“A Picture of Heaven” – Tamayura (anime) – 9/10 Pools


Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today. ~James Dean

Genre: Slice-of-Life/Comedy/Spiritual

Review Status: Complete (4 Episodes/4 Episodes)

Licensed: No, this anime is not licensed in the US

Art/Animation: Not as good as you would expect from an OVA series. The animation is decent, and the colors light- like pastels. The art is pretty simple and undetailed, but has clean lines.

Dub Vs. Sub: There is no dub for this.

Summary: In the Seto Islands, there is a town that Fu and her family has moved back to. She and her friends hang out and have good times while they search for a place a special photograph was taken of her now-deceased father.

Review: Memory fades, but a picture lasts forever. Fu tries to capture moments both big and small with the camera left to her by her now-deceased father. Nostalgia permeates the story, something that shouldn’t be surprising since the director was also in charge of ARIA. It’s brought about by a photograph that was taken by Fu when she was younger, a picture of her father surrounded by little balls of light that she refers to a ‘Tamayura’, little balls of happiness that appear in a photo when everyone involved is at peace and happy.

Life is slow and peaceful for these girls. They go to school, talk about what they want to do for the future, pose for Fu’s pictures, enjoy Fu’s grandmother’s cake, and go on a few adventures to discover where the photograph was taken. All of them have interesting personalities- unfortunately, due to the length and amount of the episodes, they are more distinctive due to their quirks than anything. One enjoys whistling, and whistles almost everything, another is hyperactive and adores Fu’s younger brother to pieces, and the third seems like a very personable, level-headed girl who’s ever so slightly annoyed by her sister’s antics.

What this anime emphasizes is that it’s not always the destination, but the journey. They don’t always find what they’re looking for, or know where they’re going, but it’s always fun and an adventure, one that’s worth going on. And sometimes life takes you interesting places that you never dreamed of, or meet people that you never would have hoped of meeting before.

Overall, this was a sweet slice of life that really captures Fu and her gentle personality.

Recommended: Yes! All ages. There’s no language, no violence, and the only nudity is Barbie-doll nudity as they visit a bathhouse. Most of the characters are underwater, and it’s all very non-sexual, just them relaxing and having a good time. I would compare it to the bathing scene in My Neighbor Totoro.

Other titles you might enjoy:
ARIA (anime and manga)
Hidamari Sketch (anime)
Natume’s Book of Friends (anime and manga)
Yotsuba (manga)
Minami-Ke (anime)

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