Tamako, Mochizo, and the rest of the gang are back for more fun in Tamako Love Story. This movie sequel to the show Tamako Market has the high schoolers handling extracurricular activities, college choices, and love confessions. Thanks to our friends over at Sentai Filmworks, I was able to review it before the release date.
Having decided to pursue a degree in film, Mochizo realizes he has to tell Tamako how he feels before it’s too late. Being in high school, Mochiko lacks the art of being suave, and blurts out his feelings for Tamako. Surprised at both his confession and decision to move away, Tamako reacts poorly and runs away.
This new information puts Tamako in a tizzy. Coupled with her upcoming performance at the Usagiyama Marching Festival and a lack of direction, Tamako reaches her breaking point fast. With the help of her friends, she is able to come to terms with her future, and tells Mochizo she loves him.
Prior to watching this movie, I had no idea it was a sequel. Therefore, I was very happy that it felt more like a standalone film. There were few callbacks to the series, and what was there wasn’t integral to the plot. At the very least, I was able to follow along without feeling like I was missing anything. The only thing I didn’t understand were the scenes on the island. Upon reading the wiki page, it appears that is where Dera ends up at the end of the anime.
While the movie was great, it did feel like it had some pacing issues. Mochizo’s confession happens in the first 20 or so minutes of the movie. Standing at 85 minutes in length, this leaves over an hour for Tamako to dwell over and confess her feelings. That is incredibly long time with minimal action. I definitely think a shorter run time would have suited the movie without anything feeling left out.
With anime films comes a bigger budget and a higher expectation for good animation and music. Tamako Love Story did not disappoint in that aspect. The cinematography and animation were beautiful. From the way reflections were drawn, to the blurriness of lights at twilight, it was all gorgeous. With Tomoko Kataoka as composer, the music was fun and comforting. The routine during the festival was especially enjoyable.
When I review longer shows or movies, I always like to watch the dub if possible. This way, I can focus on more of the artsy things without having to read. With Margaret MacDonald reprising her role as Tamako, fans can anticipate hearing the rest of the English dub cast as well. Margaret and the rest of the English dub crew are pretty spot on in their acting of high schoolers. The dub also manages to capture the awkward conversations teenagers have in a way that gave me second hand embarrassment. For fans of the Japanese version, Aya Suzuki also reprises her role as the title character.
Overall, Tamako Love Story was a sweet and honest look at a teenager’s senior year of high school. The movie can be understood and enjoyed with minimal knowledge of the anime series. The voice acting is familiar and authentic, and the animation is beautiful.
Fans can pre-order Tamako Love Story here from Sentai Filmworks.