To really appreciate Tamayura movies, one really has to start watching the franchise from the first episode of the anime series. Otherwise, whatever emotions the characters are going through in the movies will have lesser impact.
One of the best things about all the three movies released to date is the focus on emotional struggle the characters are going through. Tamayura has always been focusing more on playing with emotions, but the third movie, Tamayura: Sotsugyou Shashin Part 3 – Akogare, is especially emotional because it’s about uncertainties, separation and longing. Nothing is more conflicted than those three combined, I think.
When Sawatari Fuu first returned to Takehara, she was still mending her wounds as her father has passed away. Coming back to his father hometown, she had hoped to learn more about her late father. She did that and much more.
Fuu rekindled her friendship with Kaoru and made new friends along the way. When she finally moved on from her father’s death, Fuu embarked on a journey to start a photography club. Honestly, when a series starts becoming about a club, I get worry. But Tamayura survived that.
All the memories Fuu has made are precious to her. She captured every moment. If there’s anything I learn from watching her is her resistance to change. She’s always found spacing out, stressing out when something’s changed. Her father’s death. Her life before Takehara. Her inspiration and friend Shihomi leaving Takehara. Her life after high school.
Here in the third part of Tamayura: Graduation Photos movie series, Fuu has finally crumbled under her fears of changes. The life she has built since returning to Takehara will eventually change. She and her dear friends will part ways as each works to pursue their respective interests. Deep down inside her, she’s aware of these impeding changes and had managed to push her fears aside. Until now.
Watching Fuu accepting it all is emotional. At the same time, I keep thinking that breakdown there feels so like her. That fragile yet brave girl. That unchanging yet ambitious girl.
The first two movies may be focusing on the girls figuring out what they want to do in the future. It’s kind of like prelude to what the movie series is really all about. This third movie, especially the second half, is preparing me to a heart wrenching end of a much loved series.