Hina Kawamoto from March Comes in like a Lion and Tamako Kitashirakawa from Tamako Market are both optimistic and energetic girls whose families own a Japanese sweets shop. There are many similarities between the two characters, and I would like to talk about what I like about them. I love both of these shows and they have become one of my favourite animes!
During the winter season, I loved March Comes in like a Lion the most! I’ve watched the anime and read the manga, and now I am a big fan of Chica Umino. On the other hand, I watched Tamako Market a few years ago back when I was in high school. I remembered loving this unforgettable, happy, cute show, and it had a great movie too.
First of all, both Hina and Tamako are daughters of a Japanese sweets store. Tamako’s family makes only mochi, while the Kawamotos make wagashi and other traditional desserts too. The entire family, old to young, helps out in the store, and everyone loves what they are doing too. There is a family devotion that I find admirable, especially with Hina and Tamako. Their optimism and enthusiasm in sweets is contagious.
Hina and Tamako both have sisters who they are very close too. They argue sometimes but they support each other all the time. They care about their father/grandfather, the head of the shop. In the anime, we get to learn about their worries for the girls, and also their encouragements.
Hina and Tamako both don’t have a mom. Both have passed away when they were very young, and it left a sad memory in Hina’s and Tamako’s childhood. As they got older, the subtle scars is still there in their hearts and whenever they are feeling down, they think about their moms. The passing of their mothers played a big part in their insecurities and consciousness. From the flashbacks, they seemed to have passed away during a difficult age for Hina and Tamako, and it looks like they are still trying to get over their death.
At the same time, just thinking about their mothers leaves a warm, kind expression on their faces. As a reminder of their memory, they go to visit their altar often. Tamako honours Hinako’s existence by putting up a new flower everyday. We see Hina give her dead mother and grandmother curry as an offering, and she talks to them sometimes. Both girls are determined to honour their mothers, continue the legacy they left behind, and work at the sweets shop even when they get older.
In terms of personality and qualities, both Hina and Tamako are brimming with positivity. They try to not let anything bring them down and always look at the bright side of things. Hina has demonstrated strength that not many people, even myself, have in the face of bullying. Tamako acts clueless and completely confused in the face of situations involving her, but in the TV series and in the movie she was able to overcome them with the support of everyone who loves and cares about her.
Hina strongly believes in her values, and she can discern what is good or bad. Tamako’s greatest quality is that she loves everyone, and everyone loves Tamako back. Both are stubborn, caring, and enthusiastic in everything they do. They both wear pigtails, and both act childish and somewhat younger than people their age.
Finally, both characters have found a love interest that will last the rest of their life. Besides, who wouldn’t fall for these cute, fluffy, cheerful characters? I am so glad Hina and Tamako received a happy ending. Hina’s bullying arc and Tamako’s Love Story was a great exemplar of character development in overcoming weaknesses, growing up, and staying positive in whatever comes at them.