US Distributor: Nozomi Entertainment
Production Studio: TYO Animations
Was this provided by the publisher? Yes
More Info: Anime News Network

Tamayura Hitotose Boxart 001 - 20160123Are you in the mood for a cute, slice-of-life show that will bring a smile to your face? Are you looking for a show that will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh at the same time? No need to look any further than Tamayura: Hitotose.

Tamayura: Hitotose is about a gaggle of teenage girls who are trying to find themselves amongst loss, puberty, and a little country adventure. While the events in the show unfold slowly in the beginning, it gets cuter and more endearing as the show progresses. It isn’t filled with explosions or a lot of action. These girls are going through their everyday experiences while celebrating small victories that will change their lives for the better.

There was so much potential with each of the characters and their individual stories. The girls handle some pretty heavy topics, which include death, finding and following your passion, unearthing your confidence, not having a “destination” in life, and so on. Each of the girls handle their own personal issues while finding comfort in their friendship. But, as one would expect, most of the real development is focused on the main character, Fu Sawatari (nicknamed, “Potte”).

Tamayura Hitotose 003 - 20160123The characters stay consistent throughout the series in terms of their personalities and their issues. I attribute their resilience and idealistic points of view to their youth. As an older viewer (let’s not go over how old), their somewhat naive points of view remind me just how imaginative and optimistic children can be. This brought forward another approach to the story concept: the beauty of a youthful eye. Most of us lose that as adults. We become more cynical and less romantic and adventurous. But I digress…

Everyone’s a photographer these days (thanks for that, Instagram). Of course, those who feel passionate about photography can find beauty in almost anything. That is where this show starts: at the moment when Potte accepts the loss and begins to see the beauty around her. Her camera symbolizes her innocence, acceptance, and her views of her world. She sees a great photograph in almost anything and she often puts herself in danger when she gets lost in her camera lens (read: when she gets lost in her own world).

Tamayura Hitotose 004 - 20160123

I would have liked to know more about the cat…

While Potte focuses on photography, each has their own hobby. The writers of the show chose an interesting path when coming up with the girls’ passions: different senses. Potte focuses on photography (visual). Kaori makes potpourri (smell). Maon has her whistling (sound). Norie wants to be a pastry chef (taste).

It’s through these elements that we see most of the character development for show’s cast – the episodes where we focus on their individual stories:

  • The girls’ visit to Maon’s family establishment,
  • Kaori’s indecision about what she wants to do with her life,
  • Norie’s dessert “competition” with Komachi

While I will admit that parents of students who live in rural towns may act differently in comparison to their city counterparts, the parents are almost unrealistically supportive of all of their children’s artistic endeavors. I don’t want to stereotype, but I will admit that my parents (being of Asian descent) placed an incredible amount of pressure on me about my academic scores. Any sort of liberal or creative arts program was considered a hobby and not a career path. I may be cynical, but this amount of support for the creative arts, for a group of Asian girls, seems incredibly naïve and romantic.

Like the rest of the show, the finale of season one was a heartfelt and inspirational one: the “We” Project – where they get a chance to showcase their talents. It was a great way to conclude the beginning of this wonderful, “healing” show. Tamayura: Hitotose itself is a peaceful and fun piece of animation which combines the antics and cute characters of K-ON with the beauty and soothing atmosphere of Aria the Animation. If you love wholesome anime that is soothing, peaceful, fun, and beautiful, check out Tamayura: Hitotose.