First Love, Last Love
Tamako Market is really a wonderful show. Each episode captures something so beautifully that I’m in love with life by the end. Often, as is the case with episode 9, what it captures is nostalgia.
Do you remember your first love?
I know I do. Her name was Megan. I met her the first time I asked my mom if I could walk around the block. I was 5. I thought she was wonderful. This new person who lived so close, yet I’d never met her before. I barely even met her then. We spoke from across the street, with no adults around we weren’t allowed to cross.
I didn’t have such encouraging – or prodding, depending on how you look at it – people around me as Anko does. So I never did express my feelings to Megan. Not then. Not when we met again in kindergarten. Not when she dated my best friend. Never. Yet, Anko was able to put her feelings into her mochi, and she delivered them to Yuzuki like a champ.
If we take a step back we’ll note that Anko had plenty of fits and starts along the way. It’s not always easy to deal with your own emotions. Even when it feels like it’s easy to understand others’, emotions are tricky things. Along the way to finding your love you’ll embarrass yourself, you’ll fall, you’ll say the wrong things, you’ll make the wrong choices, etc.. Each time it will feel like maybe this is the fall you shouldn’t get up from. But you do. Hopefully because you know you’re worth it, but more often because you know they are.
Then one day, without realizing it, you’ll find the right one. For Tamako’s father it was confusion and a rushed confession at the mochi counter. He’d later write a song for her. For me, it started with a prank call. Then I called to apologize and stayed on the phone for hours. I sang to her as well, only not quite so romantically.
Love is, of course, not so simple. Tamako’s mother is no longer with her lover. That’s another aspect we must face. Even if it is in death, all relationships eventually come to an end. Love can go on, though. It lives in memories. In nostalgia. There’s a part of me that still loves Megan. Anko will probably never forget Yuzuki. And Tamako’s mother will remain cherished by her father, even more so in the two children she left behind and the mochi shop where it all started.