Tari Tari – 08

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_08.08_[2012.08.19_20.37.58] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_08.56_[2012.08.19_20.38.45] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_20.28_[2012.08.19_20.50.17]

How many gears does that thing have?

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_02.19_[2012.08.19_20.32.08]That was a nice comeback from arguably Tari Tari’s weakest episode last week.  I still don’t find Sawa all that likable a character, either in perfection mode or sulky hellion mode, and that limits how much an arc focused on her is really going to appeal to me.  Of the characters that have a realistic chance of being at center stage in this show I find Wakana vastly more compelling than either of the others, so it’s hardly surprising that these last couple of episodes have lacked the same punch her arc did.  But this episode had a bit of the feel of the first “Choir” arc, with more focus on the group and less on Sawa than last week’s, and it was the better for it.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_03.20_[2012.08.19_20.33.09]Of course, this arc also has the merit of being – apparently, though I wouldn’t bet a steak dinner on it – only two episodes long.  That’s good, because while I get that Sawa’s dilemma over pursuing her dreams is a valid teenaged drama, I don’t find watching her pout about it and she and her father verbally assault each other all that entertaining.  I don’t think enough was invested in the character to make Sawa’s transition from ever-smiling and supporting ojou-sama to angry and borderline anorexic train wreck believable.  We’re all capable of putting up a façade that hides terrible pain underneath, not least teenaged girls – of that I have no doubt.  But the change in Sawa’s character here was really too arbitrary to be believable.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_04.43_[2012.08.19_20.34.33]Wakana continues to be the most engaging of the girls by far, and I’ll admit one could make a case that her transition has been almost as dramatic as Sawa’s.  The difference, I think, is that we were given a good deal of exposure into what contributed to the Wakana we saw in the first few episodes.   Not only is the crisis she deals with substantially more gripping, but we see her deal with it almost from the beginning, and both sides of Wakana are visible even when she’s in her darkest hour.  What’s emerged from the chrysalis after her ordeal is the person she really was all along –  a kind, determined girl sensitive to the problems of others.  I was very pleased with the way she dealt with Sawa here – she gently tried to nudge her in the right direction, but she didn’t apologize – pointedly did not, in fact – for something she didn’t do wrong.  She also let Sawa know kindly but in no uncertain terms that whatever her issues with her father, she had something Wakana would never have – an opportunity to make them right.  Sawa was rightfully embarrassed by her behavior as soon as Wakana did this, but it took some time for her to get to the point where she could actually show her contrition.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_06.00_[2012.08.19_20.35.50]My hope – and the preview supports this circumstantially – is that Sawa’s side story is basically wrapped up to the point where she can be absorbed back into the main story.  The difference between TT and Kokoro Connect is obvious in the way this show didn’t go for the drama with her head injury, but moved past it quickly.  As she does battle with her father, there’s also drama playing out over the issue of the Choir, who’ve been booted out of their practice room even as the Vice-Principal tries to get them to withdraw their application to perform at the upcoming school festival main stage.  I’m not fond of the over-broad characterizations of the Vocal Group and the V-P as arrogant and dismissive arch-villains, though it’s obvious that the V-P and her link with Wakana’s mother are growing ever closer to taking center stage.  That’s going to be the final arc, probably – as for Sawa, I don’t really see any way out of this for her apart from acceptance – she’s simply too big to get into the school, although her father does score some points for trying to browbeat them into accepting her in spite of the entrance requirements with threats of hellfire and damnation.  There’s still loose ends to be tied with this thread (Sawa refuses to apologize to her father, for one) but I’m hopeful it isn’t milked for another full episode.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_06.21_[2012.08.19_20.36.10]What of The Professor and Mary Ann?  Well, they’re here – and Wien actually gets a step closer to relevance when he invites the gang over to use his house as an alternative practice venue.  It’s heartbreakingly obvious how lonely he is by his eagerness to have them over, and his house is interesting – a large mansion that belongs to “the company” that his family is living in temporarily.  He again shows a fascination with all things Super Sentai , even snapping at Konatsu (the first sign of anger from him in the series) when she plays with one of them.  He also says that the missing red figure in on a “special mission” – presumably with the person he’s been writing letters to.  Sadly the piano clearly hasn’t been played in years and is hopelessly out of tune, but this amounts to the most extended tease of Wien’s backstory we’ve received so far.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_07.16_[2012.08.19_20.37.05]As it often does, Tari Tari scores quite a few points by deflating some of the drama with quirky and well-timed humor.  I enjoyed Wien’s insistence that Taichi must have ninja friends, who were no doubt in hiding, and Konatsu is still playing out her fantasy that Sawa has in fact been dumped by an older man and not an equestrian academy.  There’s also Sawa parking Sabure in the bike rack after riding to school to try and join the others in time to audition (which wouldn’t have been necessary if she hadn’t been home pouting), and she makes it – but only after Wien almost invokes disaster by deciding the hero thing to do would be to pull the fire  alarm to delay the audition.  Happily Wakana proves her worth yet again by phoning the school and having the V-P paged – very clever that – setting the stage (literally) for next week’s ep to begin with the audition.  There are also several moments of really breathtaking P.A. Works background art – some of the best of the series – which really show off what this studio can do.  Even if they don’t lead the industry in terms of fluid animation, their visuals have a sense of style that almost no other studio can match – they may not be the leaders in the craft of animation, but they take a back seat to no one when it comes to the art.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_07.56_[2012.08.19_20.37.45] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_08.02_[2012.08.19_20.37.52] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_08.43_[2012.08.19_20.38.32]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_09.05_[2012.08.19_20.38.55] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_09.50_[2012.08.19_20.39.40] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_10.09_[2012.08.19_20.39.59]
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[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_13.51_[2012.08.19_20.43.40] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_16.00_[2012.08.19_20.45.49] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_17.24_[2012.08.19_20.47.13]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_18.28_[2012.08.19_20.48.18] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_18.43_[2012.08.19_20.48.33] [Doki] Tari Tari - 08 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [70578A02].mkv_snapshot_19.15_[2012.08.19_20.49.05]
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  1. A

    There's an ongoing theory that chairman is Wein' father. Also, I'm surprised that you are one of the few if the only person not to like Sawa..

  2. F

    Somehow Enzo doesn't find himself moved by Sawa's lesbian SWAG. Not sure why.

  3. There's an ongoing theory that chairman is Wein' father. Also, I'm surprised that you are one of the few if the only person not to like Sawa.

    I've seen quite a few others express similar sentiments about her, so I'm hardly alone. In any event it's not a situation where majority rules anyway – a character is who they are, and we all make up our own minds. I find Wakana to be a far more engaging character, for reasons I think I elaborated at enough length that no one wants to see me rehash them.

    Your theory about Wien's father does make a certain amount of sense – we certainly know he's loaded, so chairman of a large high school certainly isn't outside the realm of possibility. It's a bit much in the coincidence department, but it would more or less force the story to acknowledge Wien as an important plot device if nothing else.

  4. A

    Lol my understanding with TV and books is that "if it isn't coincidental, then it isn't a book." I can accept coincidences because it'll make the story. The idea that Wien's dad being the chairman sounds awesome. Hope it's true.

  5. F

    presumably with the person he’s been writing letters to

    Presumably? This was established for a fact several episodes ago. I'm surprised you don't remember it.

  6. A

    Wein might get the backstory next episode you were looking for, Enzo.

  7. Well, he gets to cosplay anyway. That's progress, I guess.

  8. A

    Anyone notice the offhand sexism this episode?

    Konatsu: "Wakana, you have a piano at home, right?"
    Wakana: "yes, but my room won't fit five people"
    Konatsu: "the guys can stay outside"
    Taichi: "I'm going home"
    Konatsu: "don't be a brat! Think about the times we had nothing!"

    After GE's article, that's all I can think about now when I watch this show.

  9. A

    don't kid yourself that happens in real life and is hardly sexism.

  10. Sorry if I planted that bug in your head. 😉 Of course, I'd argue that your reaction is perfectly sensible and it's the same one I had, but why belabor the point?

  11. a

    It's just the old story of boys vs. girls, rather than conscious intent on the writer's part to be sexist. There'd have to be so much more egregious slagging, before I'd see the instances of brattiness as anything more than normal polarization. The point of a series like this is to produce a squeeing moe effect and this drive seems so important that the boys appearing in the OP and the ED was more of an afterthought than an indicator that this series actually had 5 main characters.

  12. A

    I'm not so much belaboring the point as I am now treating gender discrimination in Tari Tari as my "This Week's Nadeshiko-ga!" for this series.

  13. LOL, I wasn't saying you were belaboring anything – only that by mentioning it, maybe I would have been.

    Now you mention it, though, your idea would make a very interesting omake for Tari Tari. BD extra, maybe?

  14. H

    I had figured it would be difficult to drag Sawa's drama out too long, because it's just not 'fixable': too big is too big. One thing that made me think twice was her father. I think he was pretty inelegant as a character, but like I said in the previous episode, his reactions were believable when looked at as a person, not as a TV Dad (he's horrible as a TV Dad). But as a person, even 40ish-year old people (guessing about the age of a man with a 17 year old daughter) want to be right, and a lot of them, when they are right, like to point that out. Wakana's dad was an awesome TV Dad, and maybe he's what real life dads would aspire to, but Sawa's dad was, to me, a believable person who came across as someone who wants the best long-term for his daughter.

    I can also believe the really short turnaround on her attitudes, because it *was* short. Even an always happy person can have a bad reaction to bad news, and in Sawa's case it was compounded by bad decisions that left her body in bad shape (it is hard to feel good when you are not eating). So I view it as a generally happy person had a couple of bad days. Plus, we'd seen Sawa get snippy before, in dealing with Konatsu especially, so I think the idea of her being always-smiling had been dispelled before (although iirc people thought that was out of character at the time also).

  15. K

    Sawa, you're a spoiled little brat and you're not getting any sympathy from me (as I don't like horse girls in general). Really, you have no future? How about starting a punk band then? Get a grip girl. Also the villainy of the Vocal Group girls was ridiculous, I was expecting some evil laughs half way through, muahahah!

    I'm probably not the target audience of the show (but I still enjoy it) as my troubled teenage days are a bit behind me, so I'm also siding up with Sawa's dad. Okay, he has a crude way of saying things (as parents tend to do) but hey, not everyone can get such refined sagely lines as Wakana got to say through this episode, you got to take what the writers give you. That Sawa's dad cared about his daughter was clear from the beginning and that's why he is concerned about her future and how she plans to pay for it, how she can safely live on her own (that's an epiphany you mostly get around the first time you have to pay your own rent).
    And aren't there some more ways for Sawa to work with horses other than becoming a jockey? Someone may enlighten me here because I don't know anything about horses. That daddy would actually try to get Sawa into the riding school was therefore no big suprise. That she still refuses to apologize doesn't score any points for me (sorry, I'm not fooled by a cute face on a big rack).

    So yeah, let's hope this is over and get on with the boys then. What are the odds? Pretty bad?

  16. S

    Why would you want to get on with the boys though? They're so boring and bland. I'm not saying the rest of them are much better, but 8 episodes in…? you can't build much of a story without planning for the end, and the boys won't get anywhere in the end, that's for sure

    This whole shabang turned out to be a really shitty girls @ school anime, with cardboard boys. I want to drop it so bad, but I'll probably wait for 1 more review. Btw, did you guys hear the autotune song in ep 7? horrible.

    And since I'm commenting on your reply anyway, the whole Sawa rant here was silly. You sound like you would be a complete dick as a parent and should probably take a few hints from the comment above yours.

  17. A

    Anyone notice that story arcs for all these girls are predicated on the monumental cock-ups they make in their angsty teenage life?
    Konatsu fought tooth and nail to set up a club, only to ditch her friends to become a groupie, leading them to have perhaps the smallest venue ever in their lives of entertaining children.
    Wakana can't face the shame of being a bitch to her mother while she was still alive, and so instead of honoring that most precious thing her mother can give her (her music), she decides to defile that memory by tossing away her mother's most precious heirloom.
    Sawa can't accept the lot in her life that she's in fact too voluptuous for a career in jockeying, so she decides to take it out on her father (who was just trying to reason with her), random strangers (the official choir club who saw the group were in fact not practicing very hard), and nearly cost her friends the chance to perform because she couldn't get it together.

  18. P

    Hey Enzo, I think all the male character development in this show is going to the dads instead of the two male teenagers. 😛

  19. Well, Wakana's dad may just be my favorite character so far – he rocks. I thought the bit with Sawa's father was pretty broadly-written, but at least he wasn't portrayed as a total ogre this time.

  20. A

    Kyoani does the best background people animation and really natural-looking still backgrounds.

    PA Works does the most background technical details (the reflections from the wooden floor! except the scale was off; based on the texture scale the camera should have been a few inches from the floor but the field of view suggested waist-level).

    A-1 does insanely smooth animation when given the budget (Kannagi).

    AIC ASTA also does great work all around when they have the budget (Sora no Otoshimono).

    Brain's Base has done the best sound effect work I remember (the only time I ever noticed, basically) in Durarara!!.

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