Tari Tari – 04

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Just call Tari Tari this season’s Goldilocks.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 04 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [68ABF5C7].mkv_snapshot_00.14_[2012.07.23_00.05.54]
We certainly have an interesting trio of school series to ponder over summer weekends this season.  In Kokoro Connect we have a show that’s extremely content-based, very much character and plot-driven.  In Hyouka we have a show that at its best is almost perversely trivial, glorying in the time-wasting minutiae of school life. And in Tari Tari, it seems to me we have the show that’s trying to get it just right – a breezy and whimsical tone, with just enough plot and character dynamic to add a little spice to the stew.  And so far all three are pretty much succeeding – for Tari Tari’s part that “right down the middle” tone applies to the episodes, too – unlike those other shows, I’ve enjoyed all four episodes of TT just about equally.  Which is to say, it’s not changing my life or detailing my car, but it’s a more than mildly pleasant way to spend 22 minutes.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 04 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [68ABF5C7].mkv_snapshot_02.17_[2012.07.23_00.07.08]I can’t but notice that TT has gone out of its way to show three separate interactions between Wien and Wakana in the last episode + 5 minutes.  It could all be coincidental, but if you’re looking for flags you could project one in Wien’s Knight in shining armor “rescue” from our Spanish-speaking friend from last week.  I’m not sure romance is ever going to be a component here – I’ve sensed a vibe between Taichi and Konatsu since the beginning, though the preview vaguely hints at Taichi and Sawa, and Sawa and her mother seem very fond of Konatsu’s ass – but if there is to be one, Wien and Wakana seems as likely as any.  Wien is a likable fellow but we need to go a little deeper into hos character before much longer – his role in the series has been the most superficial to date.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 04 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [68ABF5C7].mkv_snapshot_02.30_[2012.07.23_00.07.21]As to Wakana, it seems fair enough to call her the co-lead with Konatsu, though the balance could be shifting in her direction a bit.  At long last we’re starting to delve a little into the mystery of her mother’s life and death, mostly courtesy of the Condor Queens – consisting of the pig man (turns out the little porker is called Poem) and the two fellows who cut into the audition last week.  It’s worth noting that Pig Man is played by a genuine gaijin (Jorge Diaz) hardly surprising as his Spanish seemed too good for a Japanese actor.  The other two are played by  Aoyama Yutaka and Kiyoukawa Motomu, the latter of whom seems to be the one who bonded most closely with Wakana’s mother.  It’s through him that we learn that her name was Mahiru, and that she wrote a song – “Amigo, Amigo” – with the trio, which became their biggest hit.  The elephant in the room is of course the fact that Wakana still hasn’t sung – in fact, she seems to have given up music altogether, much to the dismay of Kiyoukawa-san’s character.  He gives Wakana a letter written by Mahiru after her daughter was born – and I suspect that letter is going to drive the next big dramatic plateau in the series.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 04 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [68ABF5C7].mkv_snapshot_03.04_[2012.07.23_00.07.54]Condor Queens play a role in the other thread running through the episode.  This one involves Sawa being angry at Konatsu for giving up a spot on the Beach House’s stage to Condor Queens (turns out her Grandad was a big fan, thus explaining the poster in the OP).  I can see where Sawa’s coming from here – Konatsu was the one who dragged everyone into this, and she appears to be flaking – and there’s an implication that this has been a trend with Konatsu.  Unfortunately though, this all came off as rather rushed, and Sawa’s transition seemed a bit too dramatic – a result of that fact that after Wien, she’s been the least-developed character so far.  Sawa has basically been perfect up to this point – cheerful, athletic, tolerant – so we’ve seen nothing of what makes her tick.  This might be a good first step, but it wasn’t handled as well as most of the other elements in the series thus far.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 04 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [68ABF5C7].mkv_snapshot_03.19_[2012.07.23_00.08.10]I definitely enjoyed the episode on the whole, largely thanks to the likeable presence of the Condors.  “You’re graduating from high school – we’re getting ready to graduate from life.” was probably the sharpest line of dialogue from the episode, and it makes a nice contrast to the usual anime pattern of the old gracefully making way for the young.  Screw that, they say – they need to seize the moments as they present themselves, and everyone needs to make their own breaks.  Next week it seems that we’ll get a token badminton interlude – though not too token, I hope – and lots more on Wakana and her mother, though there are sadly no concrete indications of any real character development for Wien. 

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  1. H

    I like your description of 'just right': Tari Tari is the show that I can just watch, have a little bit of drama, have a good bit of fun, and feel like it actually moved a little bit throughout. While I like the intellectual exercise that the other shows mentioned (plus others this season) can provide, sometimes they get too involving, and too demanding of attention to detail.

    I'm kind of wondering what's going on with the sheet music that Wakana pulled out of the music room. It looked to be the same book of Kokoro no Senritsu that they sang in the first iteration of choir, but maybe there is another movement or piece in the book. I thought it was odd that Konatsu didn't recognize it. They even seemed to be humming the same tune.

    Otherwise, the little Aloha tune was cute, and their lesson of "play to the audience you have" is important to learn. And I'll be looking forward to watching the next episode as well.

  2. J

    two things that didn't really bother me but more or less caught my attention

    1) Realistically speaking, what age group would be interested in the likes of condor queens? the background showed all these nicely toned young people, but c'mon now…we all know the more likely audience would be average – older aged folk wearing modest clothing hahah.

    2) It wasn't so bad here, but it happens a lot in anime, tv shows, etc. where someone (Konatsu in this case) is scolded / lectured by someone then immediately changes their outlook and acts as if they came to a realization on their own. I wished that konatsu gave more credit to the guy who changed her mind.

  3. H

    I don't know about your #1. If a group is playing on the beach, and they're playing fun music to listen to, people are going to stop and listen. Even if it's not in the genre that they usually listen to, audiences will gather for good performers.

    Plus it was a "World Music Festival", so having Spanish music wasn't out of place at all.

  4. I have to agree with Highway here – it's not like these people paid $100 to see them in a stadium. It's a gang of folks watching a free concert at the beach, and it's cool music to chill out to. No biggie for me.

    I agree that your second point does happen too often, and it's another element of why I thought the whole Sawa thread moved a bit too fast here. But perhaps it's because Sawa is normally so tolerant that it made such a big impact on Konatsu here.

  5. J

    I guess my personal experience doesn't apply to every case, but I have seen bands like this (not very popular, play small shows at small touristy venues), and the audience really does end up being older folk. People my age (20's) and younger always end up at the beach doing our own thing. Not saying it's impossible for younger people to enjoy something like condor queens, but I kinda equate it to actually standing to listen to a fan flute band lol

  6. S

    Enzo. The worst thing about critics is when they call an action or reaction by a character as too hasty, as if you know all the answers, and exactly know how a certain person would react. Especially if it's implied that it should take some five minute screen time of realisations and montages (a f*cking lifetime) before a person can go from happy to angry or vice versa. Fuck that. Sawa had a whole night to munch on that issue.

    in Kokoro Connect, you and Fencedude were whining about Yui getting closure too fast. As if her realisation that the boys wouldn't alienate and be awkward to her the rest of her life wouldn't make her happy, and that trying hard to get better and alter your approach to men is frowned upon if it happens too sudden and no montages of her mental health was shown as of yet. Let the writers tell the story, here. We're 3 episodes in and have no way of knowing how big of a deal this particular matter is to Yui.

  7. I won't speak for Fence but I'm not whining about anything. I'm merely stating my opinion that if Yui is cured of her Androphobia based on that one encounter with Taichi, it's extremely unrealistic.

    Now it's possible that she's only comfortable with Taichi, and her overall problem is still there. But if in fact we're to believe that she's "cured", IMO that amounts to pretty lazy writing. The weight of real-world evidence is that something so deep-seated as to make her literally tremble merely being in the presence of males cannot possibly be cured without a lot of hard work and probably professional therapy. If that's not how you see it, then you don't have a problem. And if Yui isn't "cured" – only slightly improved when the male is Taichi – then neither of us does.

    As for Sawa, I stand by my opinion – and I stand by my view that expressing it is pretty much the point of doing this. If you want episode summaries, the net is full of choices that can satisfy that need.

  8. A

    I think it's too soon to tell whether or not Yui has gotten over her Androphobia, and subsequently it's too early to be making arguments for or against opinion. Albeit it may be too soon to make the opinion in the firstplace, especially since it's all speculation.
    Getting back to the episode, I can't stand Konatsu. Wakana has the better story they're not telling, while Konatsu continues being the classic case of "Whateva! Whateva! I do wha I want!"
    I'm afraid I'm starting to see a critical flaw with this series, which is that you have characters that have very adamant beliefs (ie vice-principal and Konatsu), but then someone comes along with 1 line or 1 monologue and 2 minutes later, they change their minds. That happened back in episode 2, remember? I hope this doesn't become a trend for plot progression…

  9. H

    I didn't have a problem with Sawa's being cross at Konatsu. They auditioned to get a spot, and then Konatsu is giving it up. Then on top of that, Konatsu fangirls out over The Condor Queens and is canceling practices and basically ignoring the fact that the other people have been trying to uphold their commitments at cost to themselves (cause there's other stuff they could all be doing). And we really don't know enough about Sawa to know if she can be quick to anger in situations like that, because they haven't come up before – where Konatsu is essentially frittering away chances.

  10. I agree we don't know enough about Sawa to really say how she'd react, but that's exactly the reason why the whole thing felt a bit forced to me. She and Wien are the two characters who really haven't had any substantive development – he's been comic relief, and she's been help up as a sort of glorious otaku ideal dream girl. She could have done almost anything and it would be impossible to say whether it was OOC or not.

    As I said in the post, my take is that Konatsu has a history of flaking when the initial buzz wears off, and Sawa is probably tired of it happening. But because he haven't really learned anything about her in four eps, all we can do is guess based on how the average person might react.

  11. A

    It's pretty mutch hinted the reason her mother died and why wakana now wants to destroy her piano

  12. A

    First, I love reading your blog, yours is one of the few I bother to read.

    I have to say I agree that it's sad they've been giving Wien the shaft. He's a very likable character, possibly even my favourite, actually; but I sure as hell hope they don't think they can get away with keeping him as comic relief. There better be a good backstory in there.

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