Tari Tari – 11

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What’s this – could there finally be a little romance creeping into our chaste Tari Tari at last, so close to the end of all things?

[Doki] Tari Tari - 11 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [BD8BC249].mkv_snapshot_00.22_[2012.09.09_19.59.57]After the melodramatic hyperventilations of another much-discussed high-school series this weekend, the feckless charm of Tari Tari made for an especially refreshing break.  This series certainly isn’t doing anything new – the themes and plot twists aren’t even cliché to the world of anime, they’re more generically cliché than that – but the complete lack of guile and pretense has pretty much won me over.  It’s not a series I love and it’s not a life-changer – in fact, I’m not even sure I’m going to remember it much once it’s over if I’m going to be honest – but for me it’s just about impossible not to like.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with series that don’t make the audience work too hard to enjoy them.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 11 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [BD8BC249].mkv_snapshot_03.13_[2012.09.09_20.01.38]I generally take notes when I’m watching an anime episode I plan to blog.  Sometimes they can get pretty extensive (Jinrui and Eureka Seven AO come to mind) but with this episode of TT, I looked down at the end and noticed I’d barely picked up my pen and was looking at an almost pristine sheet of paper.  I was just enjoying the experience, I guess, but not much stood out.  Konatsu’s insipid fantasy stage play was sort of funny, in an amusing sort of way (Frog Brothers?  That sounds about right, from the writing staff)  and I quite enjoyed the “Flashdance” montage of all the kids hard at work on their respective jobs, but apart from one scene I’ll discuss in a minute there really wasn’t much that jumped out.  Maybe that’s because Tari Tari (and this is a good thing, mostly) is a series that paints in primary colors.  There generally isn’t a whole lot of subtlety here, and not much left to interpretation – there certainly wasn’t much this episode.  There have been eps where that wasn’t wholly true, but not many.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 11 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [BD8BC249].mkv_snapshot_03.33_[2012.09.09_20.01.57]Really, as much as I enjoyed the episode only one scene really jumped off the screen, and that was when Taichi went to sneak pictures of Sawa to give to his friend in the Art Club in exchange for taking over the background design for the play.  I never thought noble-hearted Taichi would actually do it (he didn’t) but this was a really nicely framed moment, with Taichi sneaking into the doorway and watching Sawa dancing to Wakana’s unfinished song (which was just faintly audible to us) on earbuds.  I liked the quick cuts between them as he grew progressively more entranced by what he was seeing, developing a healthy blush, before the epic moment when Sawa did a backflip (slow motion well used) and gave him quite an unintended show.  Now if you apply the Chekov’s Gun theory to romance – call it “Chekov’s Blush” – perhaps there might be a hint of something between the two of them in the final two episodes.  The show has resisted the temptation to dabble in this area as almost every other school-life show does, but they are teenagers after all…

[Doki] Tari Tari - 11 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [BD8BC249].mkv_snapshot_05.41_[2012.09.09_20.04.05]Mostly, though, the episode contented itself with fly-on-the-wall observation on two fronts, the kids getting ready for the culture festival and the Principal lowering the boom on the staff and parents that the school was going to close.  Wien naturally threw himself into the props work with gusto, proving himself quite adept at it, but Taichi was truly as execrable at drawing as he protested he was (as a completely inept visual artist myself, I sympathize).  Mostly, though, the focus of observation was on Wakana finally committing herself wholeheartedly to finishing her mother’s song, having fun at it as Shiho-san suggested.  That’s been the one element that’s provided a spine and some emotional weight to the overall story, so it was no surprise to see it playing a crucial role in the concluding arc of the series.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 11 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [BD8BC249].mkv_snapshot_07.21_[2012.09.09_20.05.46]Sadly, it doesn’t look as if the song and Konatsu’s silly play will be performed at the culture fest, which has been cancelled (which seems needlessly cruel) – all part of the Chairman’s plan to raze the school and build a “combined apartment block for wealthy retirees”.  There’s actually a valid social commentary at work here, as Japan’s population is aging rapidly with the birth rate having been extremely low for many years – schools aren’t so profitable when their enrollment continues to drop.  So we have a pretty classic scenario building here, a bunch of plucky kids banding together to save their school from greedy one-perencters – but just like HanaIro (forgive me for bringing that show up this close to the end, when I’ve resisted for months) I smell a bittersweet ending on the offing.  However the series chooses to wrap things up, based on past performance I have a good deal of faith that it won’t take itself too seriously or become sanctimonious in the process, and that the ending will have enough light-hearted charm to provide a suitable coda.

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  1. F

    Het goggles aside, I loled hard at Taichi having Chinatsu level art. Thankfully unlike a certain other studio, PA Works refrained from inflicting the horror upon us.

  2. A

    But I do think they succeeded in their original purpose in making the viewers wince whenever Chinatsu's art is displayed. So at least for that, I say job well done.

    …doesn't actually make me like it, but you know… =P

  3. A

    I've enjoyed this episode for the most part, but I have to agree with Enzo on the long term, this show is very unmemorable. I've described this show once before as toothless, and this show pretty much is that. For an original show, this series took shockingly little risks with anything in terms of presentation, characters, or story. Albeit, it is highly entertaining at the moment.

    In addition, lol at GE's further proof that men are getting sidelined when they are only fit to play a pair of frogs in a screenplay written by a woman. (Gender might not have anything to do with it, but c'mon, you know it is).

  4. W

    Highlights for this episode (for me, at least) were probably the Ghost in the Shell reference and Sawa's choreography. I'm not really sure what Wakana could have composed that could lead to Sawa's choice of choreography; nonetheless, P.A. Works pulled off a nice bit of animation there. There was nothing groundbreaking in terms of the story, but I agree with GE that this was much more refreshing than KC this week.

  5. B

    Cancelling the culture fest is like rubbing salt in the wounds. Really? Really? It's so close but you aren't going to go ahead and let the students see it out? That's some bulllllllshit right there.

    "Sorry kids, we're moving to a new city next year, so it looks like THIS year's trip to Disneyland is cancelled!"

  6. H

    Yeah, pretty much the whole thing with the school redevelopment is stupid. The surveyors are stupid (what the hell are they surveying, the middle of a concrete area? At least get some corners or topo or something), the plan is stupid (Yeah, drop that building in the middle of the athletic field, don't even take up the TRACK! I'm sure the residents are going to love going down the bleachers to get to the front door), the idea of messing up that beautiful school is stupid to put that horrendous slab apartment face on it. And then, as you say, to cancel the cultural festival that's what, 3 weeks away, cause you have to start screwing stuff up RIGHT NOW!! It was just penny-ante cruelty.

    Personally, I disagree a little on the lasting impact of this show, and that's mostly because they have GOT to release the music for the insert songs: Kokoro no Senritsu and Radiant Melody. Kokoro no Senritsu is a gorgeous song, sung by gorgeous voices (the duet version with Seto Asami and Hayami Saori is especially wonderful). The songs will go into my playlist, and will remind me of the show. But it's not a groundbreaking story, but it's also not a broken story.

  7. A

    Have you noticed there's only like 2-3 songs in a series whose main theme is music? I thought this was the sore spot everyone gets pissed over whenever there's a show about music?

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