Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shasin closes off one of the most remarkable slice of life anime I have ever seen. As a standalone movie it is just short of being a masterpiece but the entire series itself is nothing but perfection. This review will take into account the entirety of the Tamayura series including the original 4 episode OVA.
What makes Tamayura so great is how well it tells a simple story with simple characters. A heartwarming story about a group of young girls who are about to enter adulthood and how they have to overcome their own personal barriers to follow the path that they want to
go down in life, Tamayura is a coming of age story. The story is beautiful and at moments brought me to the brink of tears. It's also cheerful and light and is very relaxing to watch. Many times over the whole series I sat down and took a deep breath and just enjoyed myself. It put me at ease much like other relaxing/healing anime such as Non Non Biyori, Aria or the latest spring anime, Flying Witch.
The art much like the series is very calming. It's clean and sincere. The scenery is very pretty and it adds that feeling of home sweet home. The original OVA was released in 2011 and the 4-part movies were released quite recently so there is a noticeable change in quality but even from the beginning the artwork does it's job.
The original soundtrack is amazing. A beautiful composition that adds to the overall vibe of Tamayura. I'm going to mention it again but it really is one of Tamayura's strongerquality, the sound is relaxing and warm. More notable are the various piano versions of the OP and ED that are played whenever things get emotional and it works like a charm. It gave those scenes more oomph and had a huge impact on me. Speaking of OP and ED, both OP and ED from the first season, ~hitotose~, is absolutely wonderful. The two songs, Okaerinasai and Kamisama no Itazura, have such a deep and powerful meaning to the entire premise of the anime. The two songs have become one of my favorite anime related songs and I rarely go a week without listening to them once or twice, or thrice, even learnt how to play them on the piano.
What makes a slice of life anime good or uninteresting is it's characters. Since slice of life doesn't usually rely on a plot to carry itself forward, the characters are the most important aspect. Tamayura is a bit different in that all the characters are driven by their goals but that is hardly a plot. The one exception would be the main character Fu Sawatari. It's evident that she is the one character that is most connected to the premise of the story, her grief and insecurity caused by her father's death, and she is the one that develops the most over the course of the anime. It may not be obvious because the show doesn't directly show us her growth but by the end this movie she, along with all the other main characters, are completely different people than the ones you see in the first episode. They're lovable, they're adorable, you want to be their friends, you want to go on their little adventures. Even thought they're pretty basic characters they still manage to make quite an impact.
Needless to say, my enjoyment can be measured as through the roof. I actually started watching Tamayura only a couple months ago and instantly fell in love with it. It has become my #1 anime and I will without a doubt be re-watching the entire series again some time in the near future. A grounded slice of life anime that isn't filled with overly cute characters or uses cheap comedy is what makes Tamayura so special. The whole time when I was watching this last movie I could get get rid of the sad feeling inside of me knowing that there may not be any sequels after this. But I am okay with that because I know how much this anime meant to me if I felt that way.
To experience an end to a Series as throughly and fullfilling as Tamayura you are blessed to have stumbled upon it and given it a chance.
From an ambitious 4 episode OVA in 2010 there have been 2 seasons and now this instalment of 4 Movies á ~50 Minutes. In this last part the creators say their final good bye to Tamayura and deliver something that is a rare sight nowadays: A proper ending.
Fitting to the theme of this whole third Season the character development is being tied up neatly and the characters you have grown to love are receiving their well deserved spotlight as they
start their new adventures. Thanks to the build up not only in this season, but also during the whole run of the show, it feels very natural and relatable.
Tamayura shines again with a relaxing musical composition and beautiful backgrounds. The character animations aren't very notable though, however I wouldn't say that this hurts the experience.
All in all I have found lots of enjoyment yet again in Tamayura and am recommending anyone, who liked the previous instalments to dive into these Movies as well. The production quality has improved continually from the OVAs on and the plots have never felt rushed.
This "Healing" Anime is on par with Aria and the Yokohama Kaidashi Kikō Manga, it is a lot of fun to watch!