Spoilers for Tamako Market & Tamako Love Story, proceed with caution or don't proceed at all! Turn around watch Tamako Market, then Tamako Love Story and then come back.
Title: Koi no Uta (恋の歌) | Artist : Aya Suzuki | Series: Tamako Love Story
So what makes a great OP/ED for me? Well there are a couple of things I look for, especially for a "baka gaijin" like myself. For starters, I love me some piano, if it's got some then I'm probably all in. Sometimes if someone's voice is like honey in my ears (Minori Chihara for example) then I'm all down to listening to some powerful or strong vocals from certain artists. Accessibility is a major factor as well, by that; I mean how easy it is for me to reproduce the music and sounds. Oh, and the level of "Engrish" in a song can sometimes be what pushes an OP/ED from okay, to freaking great, but that's always going to be subjective from one person to another. Songs sung by character/s (or more accurately the voice actor singing as their character in the song) from the show are enticing as well, especially if you like the character. Oh and how catchy the song is (probably the same as accessibility), you can't go wrong if it's cute and poppy or if it's just got a killer chorus you can't shake off.
Note: Keep listening and watching through the blank black screen, I think the uploader of the video had to edit them for some reason (just some credits and movie title)
Like daughter like father (wait a minute…) obviously fans of the series know this is the song that Mamedai (Tamako's dad) sang to Hinako (Tamako's mum) but more rock? Poppy? Complete? Cute? Either way it was a super fun and completely endearing song which perfectly ends a fantastic movie.
Let's start with the guitar riff which is basically in harmony with the drums. The way it builds up to the ending into that amazing catchy portion of the song. It's one of those moments where the movie plays a really catchy/popular song at the end to keep you around for the ending credit shenanigans. Instead of feeling a little cheesed with stupid antics we got what felt, for me personally, was a really heart felt good bye to the characters. It made saying good bye to the cast and crew that much harder. Having the character Tamako singing the song was just so sweet and heart melting, because we first heard it while exploring Mamedai's story in Tamako Market. Those creators are just pulling on our heart strings, using such a personal song and utilising it to create one more triumphant conclusion for another couple in love. God damn it, it just creates that warm fuzzy feeling in your chest. What a song to use to end a one of the most lovely, comfy little romances story in this medium.
Plus she sings the most adorable way possible for "telephone number"
This song is a great and honest, a brutally honest, confession themed song. The idea that the singer couldn't profess their love, explores the alternative route of making a song with a band. A song explaining he's too much of a coward to confess directly, so he made a song only for her to listen to. I don't know, it's subjective, but I find it profoundly romantic.
Right, I love analysing cinematography because it's a super fun way at being wrong in terms of interpreting and creating faux motifs and messages that I thought the creators wanted to portray.
So here we go!
It's reasonably clear that we discover that all the sources of image are from Mochizou due to his interest in filming, photography which was signified by both the TV series and movie. Remember how Mochizou would always be far away from Tamako when he would film her or take pictures? Look at how intimate his photos with Tamako are now, just showing how much they've grown together in that short space of time since the confession. Throughout the whole sequence, Tamako is never initially in frame, she is either entering the frame or the frame pans into her, or she is spliced artificially into frame and that entire section where they kept switching frames between Tamako and scenery. Let's note that between the switching of frames, they first show picture of the scenery then Tamako, hence Tamako is always second to the frame of sequences. While Mochizou was always interested in Tamako, he only secretly filmed her, and was never the main subject in terms of his creativity. I think it's a way to show how much Mochizou is infatuated with Tamako and how much of an influence she is to him.
I'm going to sound a little crazy, but maybe it's also a visual representation of Mochizou's road to his confession. Mochizou is filming a clear blue sky, with a plane flying overhead leaving a vapour trail right to left. Sense of a peaceful life, maybe even empty with no goal or purpose, suddenly Tamako abruptly enters the frame from right to left with her then facing the camera and talking to us. The sudden introduction of Tamako in the frame is somewhat akin how she enters Mochizou's life which becomes the start of this crazy romantic journey.
Second Tamako themed frame is, Tamako standing in front a hedge filled with fully blossomed flowers. Pretty obvious here, Mochizou's feelings have blossomed into love, he realises he loves her and that his feelings towards her are romantic.
Third section with Tamako is the constant frame swapping timed to the drums of the song. The frames that are constantly being switched between are close up shots of Tamako and scenery. I felt like this represents Mochizou's state of mind. It's infected with Tamako; he keeps constantly thinking of Tamako due to his feelings for her, and can't concentrate on other things.
In the final moments of the sequence, where we see the apple slowly approaches Tamako and then traverses to the top of her head to fall off. It's Mochizou feelings trying to reach Tamako! The reason why it took so long to reach Tamako was because he couldn't bring up the courage to open them to her, and he was worried of the consequences. Which in the end Tamako laughs off for Mochizou being silly, as the apple falls off. In which it follows with inaudible speech as she tries to talk to the camera, and holds the apple close to her. She's accepting his confession and his romantic feelings, and reciprocates them!
What further suggests that the apple is Mochizou romantic feelings is that we see moments of other character holding the apples in their hand and chasing it around the open field. At first it's Mochizou club members who know about his feelings, and eventually the rest of the cast, in which they all try to push him to confess, hence the chasing.
So yeah, the song is catchy and pretty much all around amazing, I love cinematography.
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