Tabi Machi Late Show is a short series that manages to convey its theme of “goodbyes and journeys” in a very simple and endearing way. It’s one of those short-form anime that is often ignored amidst all the mainstream titles airing at the same season. Ironically, I enjoyed Tabi Machi more than half of what I watched from last year’s Winter season — a sign that perhaps short-form anime should be getting more credit in the center stage than it deserves to (see Tonari no Seki-kun, Kanojo to Kanojo no Neko).
Tabi Machi is simple in every aspect, but is deep in the message it’s trying to tell. The series is divided into four episodes, and each episode tells the story of a different person going through an important phase in their life. We’ve see a fledgling young chef chasing his dream, a misunderstanding between two high-school classmates, a bittersweet story of a young girl and a boy, and teachers reminiscing the happy faces of their students. From youth to old age, we were basically given witness to stories in various stages of life. Each stories are profound, and rich in insight if you care enough to understand them. For one, I find the story of the aging teachers harder to digest given that I am far from their age and level of wisdom. Contrary to this, I felt the full emotional impact from the first 3 episodes. The sense of hope, regret, and lost are something that my young age can relate to.
One thing that stuck to me the most from this series is its visuals. Technically, there is no “animation” here, but rather, we are given a series of still shots. I feel like the still shots is the perfect medium for Tabi Machi. It reminds me of how one browses through old photos and remembering all those memories stored inside a piece of film. Perhaps the studio just didn’t have budget to fully animate the show, but I can argue that it’s a lot better this way — it adds authenticity to the show despite its blatant simplicity. It just shows that one can truly feel confident in itself so long as it’s doing what it’s meant to do — Tabi Machi easily displayed this and the results are obviously better than your half-baked anime.
I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t seen, or yet, even heard of Tabi Machi. Now, you may want to ask if it’s worth your time: I’d say yes. Yes because it is something that you can enjoy in a really short time, and regardless of its initial appearance, it’s something that can truly be considered a hidden gem, a small treasure box of nostalgia. It’s not much, but Tabi Machi manages to tug a few strings in me and earn a special place in my heart and in this blog. Not that I’m staring to sound emotional here b-but that 3rd episode… *sniffs*.