Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 12 [END]

It’s the day of the exhibition, and while things start out slowly, the girls start seeing a steady stream of people through their exhibition. Everybody’s presentations are a hit, but the biggest one is Maon’s new recital, which combines all of the girl’s talents together. The next night, the girls celebrate New Years when Chihiro calls and says she’s made friends with Tomo, a girl in her class. Finally, Sayomi takes them driving (to near disastrous results) the next morning to watch the first sunrise.

Maon and friends say goodbye and thank you for watching

Maon and friends say goodbye and thank you for watching

And this series ends as it largely began: as a laid back slice-of-life series. As I thought when they first came up with the idea, they ended the series with the exhibition, which was done probably as well as you could expect. I’m kinda sad that we didn’t hear all of Maon’s new story, though. The rest of the episode was pretty much the four girls being themselves, with a trip with Sayomi, who apparently learned how to drive from Yukari-sensei, thrown in.

For whatever reason, this series gave me the feeling of a series made in the early to mid-2000s, which is fine since it seems like series from that era seemed to be better in my opinion anyway. Maybe it’s the way that it can be cute without going overboard on moe. Maybe it was the animation style. Maybe it was the music. I don’t know, but whatever it was, I liked it.

Even though previews of this series make it sound like it’s all about photography, it really isn’t, even though photography is a major part of Fu’s character. But you don’t need to be a photography nerd at all to enjoy this series. I certainly know this series isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of slow-paced shows, I’d definitely recommend it.

There is also an OVA, which apparently is supposed to take place between the first two episodes of this series. I don’t know if I can find it anywhere or not, but if I can, maybe I can sneak watching that in somewhere.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 11

With everyone preparing for the exhibition, Maon says she wants to try to do a recital at the inn on Osaki-shimojima. However, Maon is having trouble writing her own story, which just gets worse when everyone keeps telling her how excited they are to see the recital. Once they get to the inn, Maon and friends find out so many people have come to see it that they had to move it to the Virgo, the theater that Maon has always dreamed of performing at. However, Maon still hasn’t come up with an ending, but decides to do the recital anyway, and is able to finish it – an allegory about Maon’s own experiences – with the urging of her friends.

I don't always say no to Maon, but when I do...oh who am I kidding. I can never say no to more Maon

I don't always say no to Maon, but when I do...oh who am I kidding. I can never say no to more Maon

Another Maon episode, yay! This time Maon tries to add to her myriad of talents by wanting to do a recital of a story that she’s written. It’s nice to see Maon, who probably at the start of the series would never have even dreamed of doing such a recital, being able to do one in front of so many people. If there is any character that has developed more during this series, it’s probably Maon.

It’s hard to say if this is the best episode so far, because there have been so many good episodes, but this has to be up there, I think. I’m sad that the next episode will be the last one. This has been such an enjoyable series to watch.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 10

Fu, Norie, and Maon realize that Kaoru hasn’t been acting like herself after being overly disappointed that they were all busy that weekend and later by turning all of their requests for Kaoru to join them on their particular outings. Norie finally confronts Kaoru about it but Kaoru just says there isn’t anything they can do. Finally, on the Sunday everyone is supposedly busy, Sayomi makes Kaoru come to the cafe, where everyone is waiting, still worried about her. Kaoru explains that she’s unsure of what she wants to do and doesn’t know if her potpourri hobby is something she could do much with. However, Fu and friends tell her that they’ve had doubts about their hobbies too. Finally, Kaoru suggests they hold an exhibition of their talents together.

Enraged Mode Norie thinks Kaoru is thinking too hard

Enraged Mode Norie thinks Kaoru is thinking too hard

We finally get a Kaoru-centric episode. I’m not really sure if we had really gotten one yet, which is strange since she’s really the center of the group. In any case, I thought this was another good episode. It’s nice to be able to learn more about Kaoru as, I just noted, she is really the one person of the group that we didn’t really know all that much about.

As far as the exhibition, I would expect us to see it before the season is over. Since it’s supposed to take place on the next to last day of the year in the series, probably seeing it in the last episode as a way to close out the series would be my guess. And that would be a pretty good way to go out I think as well.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 9

First, Momoneko-sama, the pink cat in the town, has it rough, despite the opinions of Fu and her friends. He saves less fortunate cats from being beaten up by larger cats and does other public services. However, has he met his match when a wort hog starts destroying people’s fields?

Next, the girl that Fu and friends heard was going to confess to someone back in episode 7 in the camera shop, Shimako, shows up at Hoboro’s on an eating binge and eats too much. Hoboro and Sayomi bring her back to Fu’s house to stay the night. The next day Sayomi decides to take everyone on a road trip, where Shimako’s friend Manami helps her sort things out.

Hoboro is going to make you tons of okonomiyaki and you ARE going to like it!

Hoboro is going to make you tons of okonomiyaki and you ARE going to like it!

We get another double-episode episode, though the parts in this episode aren’t related like they were in episode 6. First, we get a glimpse of the mysterious life of the pink cat Momoneko-sama, which was definitely entertaining. Giving emotion to a blog of fluff that isn’t very capable of expression emotion is always something that can be entertaining.

The second half of the episode just kinda felt like filler. It was centered around a character we had met for maybe 30 seconds two episodes ago, and while it was based off of the conversation we overheard her having about confessing, it seemed to be more about trying to create humor by being over the top than any sort of real story. And while I suppose it was funny, I’m used to this series having an episode which also has a good story, so I was disappointed in that regard to the 2nd half of this episode.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 8

Fu learns that Riho is staying at Hoboro’s and becomes curious about the relationship between the two. The girls head to Hoboro’s to investigate (and to eat) and find out that the two are very close, with Riho even giving a “quiz” about Hoboro to the girls. Later, Fu shows Riho some of her pictures, which Riho thinks are good. Riho then suggests to Fu that she accompany her and Hoboro to see Hoboro’s sempai who runs a cafe in Kure. However, some comments Riho makes starts concerning Fu that she may be losing interest in photography.

Unexpected old friends

Unexpected old friends

So this time we get a kind of background episode on both Riho and Hoboro, which includes learning Hoboro’s real name (Chimo Yakusa). This episode was ultimately about, I think, the trip each person takes through life, and how what they want to do is up to each person. Hoboro used to do illustrations, but quit to run a restaurant because she liked seeing the town and the children in it grow up. Her sempai, Chimo, also runs a cafe, but still does a lot of illustration work. Riho has moved on from taking pictures of the sky to taking pictures of lot of other things.

Really, this episode explains the symbolism behind the train ticket with no destination that Riho sent Fu back in the first episode: that life is a journey and you never really know where it will take you, as long as you follow what you want to do.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 7

It’s time for a festival in Takehara called the “Road of Aspiration,” where the town lights up tons of beautiful bamboo stalks. Fu is really looking forward this festival since it’ll be the first one since she moved back. They then go to Hoboro’s to eat, and find Dougo, their teacher, working there, who pulls them aside and asks for their help in confessing to Hoboro. It then begins to rain, threatening the festival, but lets up just in time. The girls then are able to enjoy the festival, while Dougo’s confession plan ends up going bust.

On the Night of the Festival

On the Night of the Festival

This was a good episode, though I was kind of caught off guard by the introduction of new characters who I’m not sure got a proper introduction because they were almost treated as if we had seen them before.

First was Riho Shihomi, the photographer that Fu had sent pictures to in the first episode, and from who she received a train ticket with no destination as a charm from. Fu seemed familiar with her, so apparently she has met her before between the start of the series and this episode, or has otherwise kept in close contact.

Next was Shouko Hirono, one of Kaoru’s old friends, who had apparently moved away before even Fu had. I’m not even really sure what her purpose was, other than to maybe show that Fu has gotten over her father’s death by having Shouko ask about him, not knowing that he’s died. Otherwise, her character seems to be relatively unexplored as well.

Also, we had lots of talk about the festival and how it’s important to Fu, but I’m not sure we got a clear picture of why it’s important to Fu. Maybe I just missed it, and maybe it’s something that one is supposed to just kind of “know,” but I felt it was kind of missing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still thought this was an OK episode, but I think it might be the weakest one so far for the reasons above. It just kinda felt things were happening without giving a proper explanation of why or who these people were.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 6

In 1999, Maon is reading a story she made on a hill when Fu arrives and overhears the story. Maon is incredibly embarrassed, but Fu is interested in how it ends. Norie and Kaoru then show up, but Norie falls while trying to pull Kaoru around, causing Kaoru and Fu to start crying as well. Maon is then able to calm them down by whistling. 10 years later, Maon is in middle school and after class runs into Norie, who is despressed because a boy refused her sweets. They walk around town, and Maon starts whistling at sunset. However, Norie is able to understand what she’s thinking when Maon whistles, and the two become friends.

Maon FTW

Maon FTW

I guess to start off, this episode cleared some stuff up for me. I was kind of under the impression that Fu already knew everyone from when she lived there before, so I was like “wait…how can Maon become friends with Norie in middle school, after Fu already left?” So I went back and checked the first episode, and sure enough, the only one that they had really established as being Fu’s friend from before was Kaoru and her sister, and the 2nd episode, while not confirming this, insinuated it as well. So…I guess my impressions were wrong so now I’m corrected.

Having said that, this was once again another nice episode, and another Maon episode, who is quickly becoming my favorite character, I think. In this episode, we see how the four friends all first met, even though they didn’t really become friends yet at that point, and then later when Maon became friends with Norie (and then presumably Kaoru after that). We also learn where Maon got an affinity for whistling as well here. I think I said this a couple episodes back, but Maon is the type of character that can sometimes be forgotten by writers, and I’m very pleased with the fact that she’s already gotten two episodes centering around her.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 5

Fu’s old friend Chihiro comes to visit Takehara, but gets off at the wrong station, so Fu’s mother goes to pick her up. In the meantime, Fu meets some of her mother’s old biker friends in the cafe, who show Fu pictures of her mother. The next day, Fu takes Chihiro to meet her other friends, and the conversation soon turns to Fu’s different nicknames: “Potte” and “Fu-nyon,” and how she got those nicknames. Sayomi then show up and decides that they should all take an expedition up a big hill. In a neighboring town. By walking.

All of Fu's friends, together

All of Fu's friends, together

Once again, another excellent episode. I figured Chihiro would probably visit eventually, and the episode was as good as I was hoping it would be. So we learn that “Potte” is a name Sayomi gave Fu because she thought it described how she moved, and Chihiro calls her “Fu-nyon” because she accidentally called her that when they met, out of nervousness.

It was nice to see Chihiro finally warm up to all of Fu’s other friends, especially Maon, in this episode, and I hope she decides to come visit again later.

This episode was better paced than the last one, I think. It still kept the show’s relaxed feeling, but wasn’t so slow that it felt like the writers were just trying to fill time up. I think so far this probably rates as the 2nd best show I’m watching in my Fall group.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 4

It’s summer vacation, and Fu and the group decide to spend their vacation at an Inn Maon’s family runs on an island in the Inland Sea. While sightseeing, the come across a theater that Maon recognizes, and she gets in a really good mood after they take a loot inside it. They then go to see Fu and Kou’s grandfather when they run into Komachi. Later we learn that Maon saw a guitar concert at the theater, and she became interested in music as a result.asdf

I'm the King, er, Queen of the Anime World!

I'm the King, er, Queen of the Anime World!

Another nice little episode here. The last episode got us to know Norie a bit better. This episode lets us learn a bit about Maon. Again, if you’re looking for tons of action, look somewhere else as this is another laid back lazy episode. It’s nice to see Maon get some depth as she is the type of character which can sometimes get neglected in a series. Apparently Maon likes to whistle as a substitute for talking, which she can be really nervous about sometimes. In any case, she seems like a really cool character after this episode.

Tamayura: Hitotose – Episode 3

Fu and company are having a meal at the cafe when Kou shows up, causing Norie to go bonkers. Later, when Norie and Maon are shopping, they notice someone is following them, and finally discover it’s a girl named Komachi. Komachi tells them that she’s doing surveillance on Norie because of her behavior around Kou, who is also Komachi’s classmate. They then get into a baking contest at the cafe to see who can make the best sweets, with Kou being the judge. Of course, they end up in a tie with Kou loving both of their sweets.

It's gonna be a battle to the, er, stomach

It's gonna be a battle to the, er, stomach

I another good episode, I thought. This time we’re introduced to Komachi, a classmate of Kou’s who also has a crush on him.  Obviously the tension between Komachi and Norie is going to be some added comedic relief to this show, and so far it’s doing pretty good. It was kinda cute how Komachi worked to make her hotcakes for Kou, even though she didn’t really know how to do it, but it turned out OK in the end. I also had to kinda of lauch at  the fact that Norie may have finally found someone more hyper and crazier than herself.

Some shows are what I might call “hyper” slice-of-life shows: shows that fall into the slice of life category, but are really fast paced. Examples of shows like that include Azumanga Diaoh and Lucky Star. Then you have a show like this, which is also slice of life, but the pace is really slow. Probably the closest shows I can think of might be Sketchbook and Hidimari Sketch, with both happening to be artsy shows as well. If anything, I like this show better than either of those, at least so far.