Tamako Market Episode 9

Are birthmarks hereditary?

Recap: It’s Mochi Day at the market and romance is all around the Kitashirakawa clan. Mamedai recalls falling in love with his wife, Anko is frustrated by her feelings for Yuzuki-kun, and Mochizou wonders if Tamako will remember his birthday.

Jel’s Thoughts: It’s kind of funny that my favorite scenes in Tamako Market have had nothing to do with the main cast. It’s the more bittersweet, nuanced moments that get me, starting with Afro Guy’s rejection a few weeks ago and now Mamedai’s memories of his late wife. Maybe I find those to be more realistic depictions of love than the cute, idealistic flirtations of the main cast, but that could just be me and my own experiences. What I particularly loved is how Dai isn’t completely overwhelmed by his grief and loneliness. It’s something I noticed in Tamako in the very first episode. Clearly losing his wife still hurts, but he doesn’t obsess over it, only revisiting the happy memories from time to time. While other stories may have used that kind of setup to drive a story about pain and dysfunction, Tamako Market goes for the more balanced, realistic approach that makes us much more sympathetic to the situation.

Saying so much with so little

Seeing as Tamako has now discovered her mother’s song, that does destroy my theory about Mochizou figuring it out for her birthday. That’s fine though, as this was a much cooler, less predictable development. Now would probably be as good a time as any to mention how much I love Tamako Market’s soundtrack. There’s a simple, authentic richness to it, with splashes of acoustic guitar and I swear I even heard mellotron in there at some point. Dai’s song was also perfect for something a high school kid into cool mid/late 80’s music would write. It’s also still stuck in my head as we speak, so they nailed the catchy part as well.

Interpret this as you will

In case we forgot, Dera makes sure to pound the theme into our heads as the episode draws to a close. “Everybody Loves Somebody” seems pretty self explanatory, but I guess it’s only now I’ve realized what that means in the context of Tamako Market. We’re getting a glimpse of practically every way there is to love someone, transcending gender, age, species, or even death. I didn’t even touch on Tamako’s story yet, which once again is shown more from Mochizou’s perspective than hers to keep us guessing. Given how this episode compares and contrasts their relationship with Anko and her dad, it’s hard not to see these crazy kids ending up together. With my song theory out the window, maybe it will all get sparked by a name pun like Dai’s flashback in the beginning of the episode. I mean would it really be too farfetched to mishear Tamako saying “I love mochi”? At this point though I don’t even think it matters if we actually see that happen or not. So long as we keep getting lovely moments like this week I think we’ll be OK.

Iro’s Thoughts:
Stoner Record Shop Owner solves all problems.

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