Friends but Maybe Something More (Tamako Market 2)

Spring is almost here alright.

Spring is almost here alright.

I’ve taken notice that I have a soft spot for friendship anime (so soft that you could probably poke right through me). K-On is probably the pillar of it all, but there are many smaller examples that at times accomplishes just as much as the King of slice of life in much less time. I also noticed that I love comparisons simply because it makes it easier for me to organize my thoughts. So why not put the two together right?

Manga: Tomodachi no Hanashi

Manga: Tomodachi no Hanashi. It’s short but awesome, so go read it.

After finishing the second episode of Tamako Market a sudden realization hit me, and it was that it shared some interesting similarities character wise with with a manga called Tomodachi no Hanashi. In one we have Midori, Tamako’s friend who perhaps has feelings more than friendship for the mochi maker’s daughter and in the other we have Moe, a pretty but overprotective and brash girl who puts her friendship with Eiko above everything else. While they share striking similarities in their appearance, what is more interesting is the relationship they share with their close friend. You can tell by the way they act together that they’re close, but when does that ever become something more?

While it may be to early to call in Tamako Market with Tamako and Midori, in Tomodachi no Hanashi that line between the love of friendship and romantic love is much more blurred. Each chapter of this three part short series focuses on a different character in this tale, the first of which being Eiko. It delves into her feelings of how she thinks she’s in the way of her friend’s chance to fall in love (Moe states that she will only date a guy who puts Eiko before herself). Eiko ends up learning that Moe does what she does because she appreciates everything about her, and that she doesn’t want her to feel left out.

By the way, the artist for this manga is one of my favorites.

By the way, the artist for this manga (Yamakawa Aiji) is one of my favorites.

We get a better picture of everything, however, when Moe takes center stage. We learn that because of the insecurity she has about herself and her somewhat brash attitude she had trouble making friends and it wasn’t till she met Eiko that she felt she had been accepted for who she was. As a result, Moe never gives up the chance to tell Eiko how much she means to her. At first it all seems like what friends would do, that the love Moe speaks off is simply that of friends, but there are clues to the contrary.

ptomodachi_no_hanashi_-c003-_p105

Coincidentally, it’s written by the same person who did Ore Monogatari (Kawahara Kazune). What a perfect match.

So, when the time comes and a young man falls for Eiko, Moe feels a bit conflicted. She’s not angry, since she new this would happen sooner or later,  she’s just worried that this guy will take advantage of her overly nice best friend, something that has unfortunately happened to her many times in the past (it also causes her to have a distrust in men). However it’s at this moment that it strikes her. She won’t be able to provide Eiko with what she thinks is true happiness.

ptomodachi_no_hanashi_-c003-_p153

Now, whether or not what she believes is true, I guess, is all up to her, but one can’t deny the fact that her beliefs aren’t going to give her the happiness she wants. She’s conflicted and this is perhaps what Midori is also feeling. She might not want to consider Tamako as someone she loves in that way because she feels it’s not what true happiness entails. Hopefully they’ll both find out that true happiness is something that will make you happy.

Like I said earlier though, it’s a bit too early to tell which way KyoAni will take Midori’s feelings for her best friend, after all this show isn’t one to get serious on us, but I certainly hope that this issue isn’t washed over completely.

Random Stuff

  • I’m so rooting for the afro guy and the daughter of the bath house. 
  • Tamako’s laugh when her dad gave her the mochi with chocolate, priceless.

About Nishimura

An anime enthusiast who finds time to blog when she has no time to spare.
This entry was posted in Anime, Episodic, Manga and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Friends but Maybe Something More (Tamako Market 2)

  1. Marow says:

    Unlike the first episode this one had focus and Dera not being as annoying, luckily.

    I’m really curious whether or not KyoAni is going to advance on Midori’s relationship with Tamako or not. This is probably one of the few (or maybe even first?) anime that have made such things subtle. Usually it’s all out homosexuality, for some reason. Maybe because it’s still a bit odd to most people?

    • Nishimura says:

      Yeah, I’d have to agree that Dera was more endearing in this episode then the first.

      And I would also think this is one of the most subtle uses of shoujo ai I’ve seen, especially when you consider that this isn’t usually the type of show you’d see it in or at least stated as obviously as it is. I have to applaud KyoAni though for the handling of the subject, when it’s not a yuri show to begin with (say something like Aoi Hana) it’s mostly played for laughs (Kokoro Connect immediately comes to mind). I would love to see Midori develop the way Moe did in Tomodachi no Hanashi though, it was such a beautiful little manga.

      However, (now don’t quote me on this, I don’t quite remember where I read it or if it was credible) I remember reading something where these types of relationships between girls was actually quite common in Japan, but it was something they were expected to grow out of. I wonder if that’s the way they’ll take the relationship in the later episodes.

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