©Kyoto Animation/Usagiyama Shopping Street

18th Animation Division New Face Award

Tamako love story

Animated feature film

YAMADA Naoko [Japan]


All third-year high school student KITASHIRAKAWA Tamako ever thinks about is mochi rice cakes. On the way home from school one day, Tamako talks with her friends about what they will do after graduation. While her friends are uncertain about their futures, Tamako is apathetic: She will take over her family’s mochi shop. Just as she is starting to have premonitions of change around her, Tamako is told by her childhood friend OJI Mochizo that he will go to university in Tokyo. To Tamako, who has spent all her childhood side by side with Mochizo, this is unthinkable. And then Mochizo tells her that he loves her. The young girl is suddenly thrust down the path to becoming an adult by the appearance of love in her life. This tale of youth is a sequel to the animated TV series Tamako Market.

Reason for Award

Although this is the New Face Award, in a sense this film represents the point at which Japanese animation has arrived today. Japanese animation has evolved in a unique way and is surely distinguished by a perspective that finds fresh emotions in the everyday. Paying close attention to the shots, you can tell that not only is the sensitivity shrewd, but the film is also reinforced by the technique of its animation and the calculation of its direction, and by a strong will. I feel certain that this work is the kind that can assume the role of socalled Japanimation. (TAKAHASHI Ryosuke)