Title: Tamayura ~hitotose~
Genre: Slice of Life
Summary: For her first year of high school, Fu Sawatari moves to Takehara, a scenic old town near Hiroshima, on the Inland Sea. Her father, who has passed away, grew up in Takehara. She loves taking photographs with her father’s old film camera, a Rollei 35S. The story follows her and the friends who gather around her as she comes to love her new home.
Review: Picking this anime up a bit ago (at least the OVA) I was rather excited for the series. I’m not sure why I thought the series would be better or why I was interested in the first place. It is the definition of slice of life. There is no miracles or strange twists that would make this series seem all that interesting. It really is just an anime about a group of four close friends and their daily lives. Most of the time they go around town taking pictures and making memories. Normally I would be interested at first then quickly get bored. Yet for some reason I found myself wanting to watch episode after episode. It was something about the small adventures that made the series worth watching. It was cute, a little funny, and very sweet.
The animation for Tamayura is matched with the OVA. I feel that the main focus is the backgrounds and brilliant lighting. At many points it looks like the character are placed inside a painting with detailed building designs and magnificent scenery. The best part about the anime was the sheer variety of places the character went. Whether it be in a café, restaurant, or mountain top the series never disappointed. Even as the friends wandered through the city it was obvious that they visited different places by going through alleyways or steps of a shrine. I found the minor changes of setting enlightening. For many anime the backgrounds often were generic and had a “copy paste” look between series. By placing Tamayura in a small, secluded town the audience never feels as though it is being crossed by the typical city scene. Tamayura even did something that I absolutely love in anime, clothes. Sounds strange right? But as many of you know I have a small pet peeve when it comes to anime that constantly have the characters in the same clothing. Tamayura did have the typical school uniform from time to time, but for the most part it had the friends in normal street clothes. More surprising is they always seemed to have something new on. I always wondered why anime didn’t do this more often. How hard can it be to come up with new clothing designs? Then again it might be the fact that they want to the characters to always look their best so they can’t just slap on any outfit they please. I’m glad that Tamayura took the risk and decided it was best to have the characters look more natural.
The story for Tamayura is extremely simple. As I said before it I just follows around four friends who are trying to make more and better memories every day. I feel that the messages the series is trying to convey are: “Be thankfully for your friends and family” and “everything is a miracle”. I honestly felt that my life was filled with tiny miracles after watching this anime. Whether it be watching the sunset or laughing with friends. Everything should be cherished and each moment remembered. I also enjoyed how the series would show you the pictures Fu took while hanging out with her friends. Each and every one of them telling a different story. They weren’t all of the beautiful scenery or her friends smiling. There were a lot of powerful pictures as well expressing strong emotions. It was nice to know that the series wasn’t only trying to make someone happy or tell the audience to only remember the good times. Every point in your life, every bitter or sweet memory you have is worth remembering. I know personally I try to repress a lot of bad memories, I’m sure everyone does. But after watching Tamayura I began to question why? Is it so awful to be sad at times? Is it possible that being vulnerable at one point will make you strong at another? It was questions like these that constantly popped into mind while watching this anime. Which personally I find a slice of life is meant to do. It should have you reflexing on your own life from time to time. I genuinely enjoyed watching every episode of Tamayura and wouldn’t mind if it came out with another season. It made me feel happy, sad, and overall touching. However, I do know that slice of life anime aren’t for everyone. If you are looking for a good slice of life this is definitely at the top of the list for its genre. Sad to say though if you watch this everything else might be bad in comparison.
The soundtrack for Tamayura was pretty good too. The opening especially got me interested. It was a sweet, slow paced song that I could see myself listening to while sipping a cup of tea. The animation much like the OVA with moving picture frames and colorized focus. The ending seemed a bit more melancholic for me though. It wasn’t so much the lyrics as the tune. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it didn’t seem to have the same feeling as the rest of the anime.
Final statements: The series is worth a high priority watch for keeping things simple and interesting. It got a lot on my mind and the art was very well done. It is one of the best slice of life I’ve seen and deserves at least a gander. If anything check out the OVA, if you like that you will probably like the series.