REVIEW: Tamako in Moratorium (2013)

Tamako is a university grad who is living in moratorium, or the period of time in which she delays returning to the real world.

By Raymond Arcega
Last updated on

Tamako in Moratorium

Original Title: もらとりあむタマ子
Year: 2013
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Genre: Slice of Life

Tamako (Maeda Atsuko) is a recent university graduate. However, rather than finding a job like a normal person, she moves back to her father’s (Kan Suon) home in Kofu, doing nothing much more than eating and sleeping – not even helping out with her father’s sporting goods shop.


Throughout the four seasons of one year, the film follows Tamako’s period in moratorium, or the period of time in which she delays returning to the real world. A story of accepting responsibilities and growing up, this is one topic that most of us can relate to.

Tamako in Moratorium is a charming and easy-to-enjoy film by Yamashita Nobuhiro, the man behind great youth films like Linda Linda Linda and The Drudgery Train, the latter of which he also teamed with Maeda.

This time around, Maeda plays a jobless girl who lounges around at home doing barely anything. And boy, is she adorable and fun to watch. Tamako is lazy and a bit spoiled by her father, who is the one in actuality letting her lounge at home. However, she doesn’t come off as an annoying spoiled brat.


Maeda’s performance feels really natural, and fits well with the calm and peaceful slice-of-life theme of the film. The charm of the film comes from Maeda Atsuko’s performance and watching her interactions with the supporting characters, from her father who’s too kind to tell her to move out, to her only friend in a local junior high school student.

Given the description of the film, one can expect not much to happen plot-wise. The film doesn’t feature any gripping or climatic events, but instead focuses on the day-to-day of a girl who needs to grow up. That’s something not uncommon in the slice-of-life genre, but for audiences in search for a film with more of a dramatic plot, it might serve to be the basis of their disappointment.


The film is a short watch, clocking in at 78 minutes. The runtime seems just right, seeing as how the film is an adaption of a series of 30-second shorts which aired on the television channel Music On! TV.

Overall, Tamako in Moratorium isn’t director Yamashita’s best work, but it’s a welcome addition. Not a must-watch, but definitely not a disappointment.

Watch this film…

…on a lazy afternoon, so you can sympathize with Tamako completely. It’s the perfect time for a light watch.

About the Author

Raymond Arcega


Follow Ray on Twitter and chat with a fellow cinema nut. He also tweets about tokusatsu, assorted geekery, and life and adventures in Japanland.