Tari Tari – 12

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If the last couple of episodes have been croque monsieur, I suspect the finale is going to be a triple-decker ham and Swiss on rye (hold the mustard).

[Doki] Tari Tari - 12 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [03A0F4BF].mkv_snapshot_02.01_[2012.09.16_20.11.58]Tari Tari continues to chart what looks like an extremely predictable course as it nears the finish line.  In contrast to Kokoro Connect, which comes up with very interesting ideas it sometimes struggles to execute, TT generally doesn’t offer anything new or exciting, but pulls it off with a lot of charm.  I’ll be surprised if we see anything we aren’t expecting to see next week, but I’ll be shocked if it isn’t likeable and entertaining.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 12 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [03A0F4BF].mkv_snapshot_04.03_[2012.09.16_20.14.32]Taking stock, we have a heartless and greedy school administrator who’s so greedy he won’t even allow the kids from the school he’s closing to build housing for rich old people (hissss!) to hold a final White Festival, on the grounds that it might delay construction.  We have exquisite props thrown in the trash while every other box from the same shelf is untouched, with the doe-eyed boy who made them heroically sleeping on computer chairs to try and rebuild them.  We have the plucky club president shaming the snotty Vocal Group president into singing because she loves it, and the butt-clenchingly uptight vice-principal finding her heart through her love for the beloved mother who died too young.  And if all that weren’t enough – it’s raining.  Is this an anime, or a British Christmas pantomime?

[Doki] Tari Tari - 12 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [03A0F4BF].mkv_snapshot_04.58_[2012.09.16_20.15.27]We’re pretty much into the “to thine own self be true” phase now.  Konatsu is annoying people to try and get her way (I notice her brother voted with her at the Student Council meeting, despite the way she tortures him).  Wakana is focusing on sharing her mother’s last song with the world, and bonding with Nao-san.  Sawa is using her charm to try and win over the local business community into helping promote the renegade festival.  And it was a pretty active week for the Frog Brothers, especially the forgotten one, Taichi.  He’s struggling to get the others to take him seriously in anything he does, and coming to grips with his rapidly-blossoming crush on Sawa.  As for Wien, he’s being Wien – impossibly positive, naively optimistic and unfailingly supportive, the only one who shows any faith in Taichi.  If there’s anything that keeps all this from getting maudlin, in fact, it’s that none of the Choir Club are sitting around feeling sorry for themselves (OK, Taichi a little bit) but rather plowing ahead with surprising enthusiasm as they continue to draw a big seven-deuce off-suit from life.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 12 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [03A0F4BF].mkv_snapshot_05.01_[2012.09.16_20.15.30]The big question now isn’t whether next week’s finale will go for the heartstrings – of course it will – but just how it will go about it.  Will we have a total asspull, where Principal Ikezaki finds his cojones and somehow finds a way to save the school?  More likely, I think, is an inspiring outlaw festival that gives everyone one last chance to sing and promise never to forget each other, followed by the school closing but not before the evil Chairman is humiliated in some way.  We could also see something last-minute with Wien’s friend Jan (could he show up for the festival?  Nah…) and we’re certain to see a big finish surrounding Nao-san and Wakana.  And what of Taichi and Sawa – will we get a little open-ended romantic finish in that rare school series that’s resolutely avoided it so far?  I’m sure Tari Tari will play by the rules in resolving all this, but it just wouldn’t feel right any other way.

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9 comments

  1. F

    A Sawa/Taichi romance at this point would be ass-pulling of the most ridiculous nature. Yeah, he finally pinged to the fact that she's hot, but she hasn't even remotely expressed anything that could be considered romantic interest in him.

  2. A

    She showed a little bit of interest in him back in episode 5. Besides they have a lot in common: both are pretty stubborn and passionate about their goals (which Sawa commented on back in episode 5), and while Sawa is one of the hottest girl in that school, Taichi seems to be one of the best looking guys.

    Ultimately, Tari Tari isn't the kind of series that would develop Taichi's interest for no reason. They're going to do something with it in the last episode, that's for sure.

  3. g

    This is a great review you've written here, Enzo. Completely loving the snarky, sarcastic yet very witty tone you chose to give us your opinion for this weeks episode. Makes me wish I could turn out prose like that in my own writings one of these days.

    On the episode, it may be an undeniable fact that Tari Tari is mostly going through the motions of a typical high school anime, yet each week I always find myself immensely satisfied and entertained after each episode. This week was no different, and I found myself with a wide grin plastered on my face after the preview rolled. This episode was screaming HEARTWARMING, and they delivered that in spades.

    From Wakana's rendezvous with Nao-chan at her mother's grave, to the various ways the Choir Club members worked towards their goal of singing at the White Festival, to Taichi crushing hard on Sawa (and looking at Sawa in this episode, who can blame him), they're certainly going all out to get us audiences emotionally hooked in preparation for next weeks grand finale.

    On what next week might portend, I'm putting my cards on your second choice of a guerrilla concert where the Choir Club performs their last hurrah in front of some familiar faces, and they'll cherish those memories for a long time. On Taichi, I'm hoping he'll at least confess to Sawa (unlike a certain Taichi from a different card game based anime), although the chances of that happening is faint at best.

  4. A

    Enzo I need your help! The show's not resonating with me and I can't figure out why! Remember before you mention the dialogue for KC felt unnatural and overly dramatic? In this episode where Wakana chats with the Vice Principal and she starts crying, I know I should be feeling emotional, but all I kept thinking was raising my hand in the air energetically and going "ooh oooh! Mr. Enzo! Unnatural and overly sentimental dialogue!"

    I want to like this series, but I can't for the life of me figure out why I just don't. I'm going to take a wild guess though and say it's because I'm older and therefore much more jaded about high school life. In fact, I don't even find the chairman to be evil. Look, this man owns the property, and what's important at this point is to cut his loses and find new revenue. It's completely within his and the board's decision to do with the property the way they see fit.

  5. H

    If I might take a guess, you're just not finding what you are looking for in this series. It's just delivering something different from what you are expecting. I would argue that your age has nothing to do with how jaded you are about high school, and I doubt you're older than me, having been out of high school for over 20 years.

    The chairman doesn't have to be evil, he just has to be a jerk, which he is. The redevelopment plan is stupid (the goals are fine, but their execution is seemingly horrible) and it's just completely unthinking that they "must" cancel this school festival from a construction standpoint and can't work around it, or coexist.

    But really, I'd just think you're looking for something different from the show than it's offering. And that happens.

  6. It's hard if not impossible to answer this question – if you can't find your answer in 12 full-length blog posts I doubt I could say anything here that would change your mind.

    I applied three words to Hyouka tonight – beautiful, special and sophisticated. If I were to try to apply one word to Tari Tari (on the positive side, anyway) it would be "unpretentious". It's light and trivial, but it makes no aspirations to be more than it is. And while it's full of cliché, they're almost proto-chiches – I think they're bigger than anime. It's almost quaint.

    I'd also say that generally speaking, anime teens tend to act either too young or much too old for their real age. The kids in TT act pretty much like they should, and that has a certain charm.

  7. A

    Thanks, guys. The input has been very helpful. I think I'm starting to understand it a little better. I can't say I fully understand the woes of high schoolers not having a school festival. On the other hand, it is the most important thing to them at that moment in their lives, and I can appreciate their troubles as kids that are not yet adults. On a side note, I liked the Wien (power rangers) episodes the most, when everyone is just acting goofy, and we don't really see them worry about their problems.

  8. K

    Faced with a crisis of not even being allowed to hold their own school festival, this is a very unconventionally upbeat penultimate episode, with all our characters charging forward come what may with no regrets that it's refreshing to watch.

    So yeah, like Enzo, I somehow predict while they would be barred from entering the school gates, though they'll just hold their performance OUTSIDE the gates, attracting a large audience who wouldn't mind cheering them in the rain and ending up making the Chairman look utterly stupid. Or something along the lines of the principal or Nao rebelling against the Chairman by opening the gates.

  9. B

    I <3 Sawa, that is all.

    I just like this show, even though it's so formulaic. I don't even know why.

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