Tamako Market is a very lighthearted comedy anime. Though somewhat bland, perhaps it’s best to think of it as setting the stage for the OVA movie Tamako Love Story (Excellent). Very sweet and fluffy, Tamako Market is about the joy of life – loving a peculiar little community. If you love the super-sweet anime without any clouds in the sky, this is right up your alley. If not, you can find it… trying. That said, it doesn’t feel like much happens, in spite of the presence of a talking bird and the general main plotline of finding a bride for a foreign prince. Actually, the talking bird is pretty much the saving grace of the show, acting as a refuge from the saccharine tone of the anime.
As much as I’d love to say skip ahead to Tamako Love Story, you really do need to finish Tamako Market because it develops the characters’ personalities and lays the framework for the OVA.
Tamako Love Story is a very different beast, and is more serious – it clouds over the sunshine a bit. It’s about growing up and dealing with changes that happen in life, dealing with a combination of changes that you want to happen and changes that you are fighting against, even if subconsciously. Everything about Tamako Love Story is stronger and more solid. Come to think of it, the OVA has one of the strongest “confession” scenes in recent memory. Really, this is the payoff that makes the whole series worth it.