Tamayura hitotose 12 (final) ~ the New Year seems to be heading in this direction

December 26, 2011


Tamayura ~hitotose~ is the sort of show that is more about impact than plot, so I’ll just give my final impression quickly. Mix up a bit of cute, a bit of funny, a bit of beautiful, and a whole lot of heart-warming, and you are bound to come up with something like Tamayura ~hitotose~. This “healing” anime by the master of the genre, Junichi Sato, is a window into life in a an idyllic seaside village. The main characters, a group of four girls, are witnesses to both heartache and small wonders. They gradually grow to understand each other and themselves a little better. If this sounds like it can be sickeningly sweet, it can at times, but it also manages to hit just the right tone often enough to make the watch a special experience.

In the midst of your dreams, you'll feel lost and worried. You might not realize it, but you are dazzling, no matter in whose eyes. Everyone of you is radiant, just like that mountain.

I guess a good word for this sort of show is “charming”. The artwork is often gorgeous. The series shows off the local crafts and traditions of the village, such as the Road of Aspiration festival (a favorite episode of mine). The characters are engaging, but they retain a storybook quality, as if it is less important to have us believe they exist out there somewhere than to have them inspire us to believe something about ourselves.

Hearing the OP, Okaerinasai, sung by Maaya Sakamoto, always puts me in a good mood. Tamayura ~hitotose~ had some other nice musical moments as well, including an insert performance by Marble, of ”Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara”, a song originally used as the ED for the Ghibli classic, Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Episodes of Tamayura ~hitotose~ are often loaded with a message: about believing in one’s self, about seizing the day, about accepting that a part of life is shedding tears, and so on. Nevertheless it manages to mostly avoid being preachy. Instead the messages come across as well-intentioned advice, and are typically delivered with enough emotional punch backing them up, that they feel like they have been earned, rather than copied out of some rulebook for life.

I enjoyed watching this show, and hope Junichi Sato keeps putting out these excellent “healing” series, so I can watch even more of them.

2 Responses to “Tamayura hitotose 12 (final) ~ the New Year seems to be heading in this direction”

  1. feal87 Says:

    This was definitely one of the most relaxing anime series of the last couple of years. Unfortunately it was far away from reaching Aria level of greatness, but still a nice pick! 🙂

    • Joojoobees Says:

      Aria is a classic, so it would be tough to best that one, but it was definitely a good attempt. If you look back at Tamayura, Aria, Ikoku Meiru, and Yokohama Shopping Trip, Tamayura is unique in that it uses a contemporary setting. All of these “healing” shows had great settings, but Aria and Yokohama Shopping Trip had futuristic settings, and Ikoku Meiru no Croisée was set in the past. As a result, I think Tamayura was unusually successful in achieving the evocation of setting that is so important to such a series.

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