So the first episode of Tamayura – Junichi Sato’s (and HAL Film Maker’s) new slice-of-life OVA project – aired on AT-X, as what I figure to be a teaser of sorts. It teases, alright. Having marathoned ARIA the Natural and ARIA the Origination instead of taking it easy on getting through the series out of fear that I’d put it on hold yet again, I might even go so far to say I might’ve been going through SatoJun iyashikei withdrawal. (As an aside, thank you very much, RightStuf — let it be known that I love you guys!)
For a moment, I went through a bit of a phase: what was I supposed to do to get my fix of fresh iyashikei, having finished ARIA? Well, I guess there’s Kaleido Star, of which the second season boxset sits shelved right next to the first boxset of Someday’s Dreamers — neither of which I’ve actually really gotten my hands into.
I prefer it, however, when there’s not too much emphasis on competition — as with ARIA or Hidamari Sketch, both of which have some elements of competition that aren’t not shown very often if they’re not lighthearted. Or series where there’s not really anything going on at all, as with Sketchbook. Or, maybe, if it’s got one main conflict that quickly resolves itself, then sets up a huge sign that tells you when to say “AWWWWWW,” as with the Animal Crossing movie.
Or, I could talk more about Manabi…but if I’m going to talk about Manabi (as iyashikei or otherwise), I’d rather link to people who can describe the experience much better than I can, then link to the one guy aggregating ’em all.
Anyway, it’s funny how the third point (“nothing really happens a la Sketchbook”) works: when there’s nothing really going on at all, everything mundane suddenly takes center stage, thus making it a top priority to take those things and make them seem more significant than they actually are. That’s probably one of the things that makes Sketchbook one of my favorite shows — I love it when Sora or Hazuki or Kurihara-senpai point out stuff, because they all point out the things I usually don’t pay too much attention to and make them somehow sound interesting…even when at the end of the day, most of the things they point out are truly just plain. (As an aside, I’ve got an alternative hypothesis: the ‘observation’-slash-pun humor in Sketchbook — especially the manga, but certainly present in the anime — is sometimes eerily similar to a handful of my friends’. Like, say, pointers about cheese steak. Cheese steak? That sounds like you’re making a meal out of a frickin’ hunk of cheese — and so on, and so forth.)
Tamayura feels like a Sketchbook 2.0 to me. It’s slow. There’s not much going on. Fu-chan’s got two missions: to take pretty pictures, and to try and become more extroverted — analogous to Sora wanting to capture her life in drawings and perhaps become a bit more extroverted, herself. It’s the change in media — from sketch to film — that really strikes me. I’m not the best person to ask for a sketch (although I could try), but I share the same sentiment as Fu-chan when it comes to photography. That coupled with her shyness — it isn’t quite as bad as Sora’s, but she’s still pretty shy! — made her character someone I could definitely connect with.
I can’t wait to watch the completed work — fifteen minutes is simply not enough. On the other hand, like I said, I guess it’s supposed to be a teaser for a reason…