Pinch!

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.

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The town prepares for a festival of bamboo lanterns, but will the weather cooperate?

Episode 7 was one of my favorite episodes of Tamayura ~ hitotose yet. It had some of the classic elements that make Junichi Sato’s Healing series so effective. There was a light tone, minimal plot (mostly, will it rain?), a strong sense of place, and a quiet appreciation for how people can work together to make this a better place.

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Performing tonight: Marble.

In episode 4 of Tamayura ~hitotose~ there is an insert song performed by Marble. They do a nice rendition of “Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara”. A Maaya Sakamoto performance of it was used as the OP in the OVA version of Tamayura. Unfortunately it is too soon for a linkable copy of it to appear online, so you should go now and watch the episode for yourself. “Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara”, which was originally the ED for Kikki’s Delivery Service, has lyrics that are very pertinent to the themes of this show, for example the refrain, “Let it’s gentleness engulf you”.

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Photography.

I mentioned last time that a major theme of this show, along with Junichi Sato “healing” anime in general, is the value in working with ones hands. This often comes across in depictions of arts and crafts. Episode 2 of Tamayura ~hitotose~ gives me a good opportunity to show how prevalent this theme can be. In this post I don’t attempt to discuss the events of the episode, merely to catalogue how this theme is represented.

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The power of photography and other arts and crafts is explored.

Tamayura ~hitotose~ is an expansion of the Tamayura OVA that I reviewed previously. This is an example of the “healing” genre, and is directed by Junichi Sato, the master of this genre, and the director of Aria (he also worked on a recent work in the genre, Ikoku Meiro no Croisée). For those who don’t know, some aspects of the “healing” genre, especially Sato’s work, are a strong grounding in a particular place, the power of human relationships to bridge gaps and sustain us, the nobility of work done by human hand, and the potential to make a fresh start (or perhaps better phrased, the opportunity the future brings to those willing to face it). I’ll take a closer look at these themes below.

I was looking forward to this series because I’m a fan of Sato’s work, but I wasn’t sure how much the OVA could be expanded. Having now seen the first episode, I can happily report that this first episode already expands the story of Tamayura, adding important details by exploring the story of the months prior to Fu’s arrival in Takehara. This was a very good first episode, and I am looking forward to following Tamayura this season.

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Photographs reveal the heart of the photographer.

Tamayura is a 4 part OVA. This “first impression” review is based on the first two episodes. Tamayura is a slice-of-life show about a young photographer. The director, Junichi Sato, is deservedly famous as a master of the genre, because of his work on Aria. Unlike Aria‘s exotic setting, this show takes place in the real sea-side town of Takehara, near Hiroshima. Hashihime has an interesting article about a visit to the real location by the cast. The word tamayura means something like, “transients”, and is explained in the show to refer to spots of light that appear in photographs, also called, “light’s children”. That gives you a pretty good sense of the show; an open-hearted girl wanders around a quaint, seaside community, making friends, and capturing transient moments with her camera.
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