A refreshing four episode OAV for an upcoming anime Fall 2011 that certainly deserves attention.
Producer: Hal Film Maker (flying DOG half production)
Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life
Recommended/Similar Titles: Hidamari Sketch, Sketchbook: Full Color’s, Aria the Animation, Tamayura: Hitotose (series)
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
Tamayura, is short 4 pieced OAV series that tells the story of Fu Sawatari, a young girl with a passion for taking photos and beginning her new life in the picturesque town of Takehara, Hiroshima. While with OAV only covers one particular story path line regarding Sawatari and the place she wishes to find in her father’s photo, it is still enough to offer a rich yet relaxing story that centers around many mysteries such as the Tamayura (the show titled idea), or children of light that appear in pictures of people or places that give off the most joy and happiness. The OAV does not hover or present in-depth details to this as well as other questions, but rather moves into Sawatari trying to reach this place she only has memories and her father’s photo of while making new friends and experiences in the process.
The cast of Tamayura is quite impressive in their quality if not in quantity. The four main leads excluding Sawatari consist of: her best friend Karou, their new friend Norie and her friend that communicates through whistling, Maon. Their are also others such as Sawatari’s brother, Kou, her favorite artist, Riho, and a every weird feline named Momoneko-sama as well as others. Each character (more or less) plays an equal role as the story develops and they help carry a very relaxing if not philosophical tone through the series that seems to almost speak to the soul. It would be a understatement to overlook this peaceful effervescent quality, but the characters themselves help highlight this quality even more. Within the peaceful atmosphere of this series it does chronicle some important aspect of life such has passions and hobbies (through Sawatari’s photo taking), dreams and aspirations, and the importance of these things. Truly a different take on the ideas of the slice-of-genre that are pronounced through emotional intelligence rather than just showing the average and mundane to enjoyable parts. Not to say that this anime lacks any humor, which it does have.
The aesthetic productions for Tamayura are both impressive and touching in their own right and aid the story remarkably. The art is beautiful, the animation smooth and fluid, but these traits and attributes are not the impressive part. It is detail. The sheer amount of it, is truly reflective of the metaphysical tone it wishes to portray, but also in that of the town of Takehara and its spirit in response to the overall theme and mood of the story. It is something that can not be covered in mere words; which the same goes for the soundtrack as well, both pleasant and lively that helps create and maintain a myriad of feelings as they shift through the anime itself. With that being said, it is almost seemliness how these separate productions fit together perfectly, committing themselves to the whole production without question. Add onto it, the voice acting cast is quite respectable as well with notable figures such as: Ayana Taketatsu (Fu Sawatari), Kana Asumi (Kaoru Hanawa), and Chiwa Saito (Shimako Tobita) just to name a few.
Personally, Tamayura was a series that I was honestly surprised to view. Within the first ten minutes of the 1st OAV alone, I knew I was in for something special, but was not expecting what transpired. Their was just some indelible, undeniable charm that left a mark on me well after I was finished with the series and I just had to have more, but no other series for awhile in the genre seem to give that charm and awe more than this OAV. The ending, just as the whole series, was just too emotional for me that I sorted of shed a tear or two (and weirdly enough trying to do now remembering it), but all was well during the very need which gave me smile as it did throughout the series.
Tamayura is definitely a series that is a step ahead in the slice-of-life department and truly deserving of the title of a “healing story” as it was classified. However, it is more over a coming-of-age story story as well as a thoughtful and heart moving peace that can actually make you laugh as well. It has balance, which is something a series needs to succeed and accomplish what it wishes. Tamayura does that exceedingly well. If your in the mood of for a heart warming, mindful, and balance story that might surprise you; then this series has a lot too offer you and will please both newbies and veterans alike. I highly recommend this series as well as watching out for its upcoming full length series, Tamayura: Hitotose.
Conclusion & Notes
- Pros: Relaxing, yet thought provoking story, solid themes of focus, refreshing attributes and tite for the slice-of-life library.
- Cons: Tends to mender slightly, would of benefited to explain a few minor details.
- The full series will air this Fall 2011 season.
- While watching Tamayura or if you have, keep in these pictures of the Takehara region with in comparison of its depiction. Image 1 , Image 2 , Image 3 (Via wikimedia).