Anime Review: Tari Tari – 13 [Final]
Growing up is a series of different procedures and experiences. That explains the title of this anime.
While not moved to tears, the finale touched the inner core of my being. It’s hard to pull through with an ending that consists of the festival in autumn and skip ahead to next summer. Hasty it might have seemed but details weren’t needed when images and songs resonated all necessary feelings. Partings are always bittersweet but that’s just a part of growing up, a part of life that we all go through. It’s no different for these kids, even after overcoming an obstacle staged by the know-it-all board of education. Because they really care about the students and faculties, right?
But I can see how the rush can hurt the series’ credibility. Preceding that, the White Festival turned out pretty well considering how impromptu it looked, but who’s really judging the quality of the performance when everyone got their last dibs before moving on? The flash forward gave plenty of glimpses of everyone’s futures and what they plan to do. And for a series like this, I think just hints of what they went on to do is enough to convince me that the series is ready to close. I’m not calling it lazy but after all the drama of having this choir and sometimes badminton club exploit all kinds of luck and sheer willpower, we didn’t, or at least I didn’t, need to see everything else. Yes, I do think Sawa going abroad is a new twist that is entirely welcome but I liked the placing of it at the end. As a conflict, this would have been a much damper end that could have been easily anticipated.
Through it all, things worked out for Konatsu and gang. Her going off to college and looking like a young college student is just right for her. Wien getting his re-encounter with Jan is deserving; Taichi getting a little love promise and his badminton scholarship are keeping him occupied. Finally, Wakana getting the nod for the final smile of the series is just right as she rediscovered her love for music thanks to the many memories of her mother. After all the strife and trying to find herself, I want to say that she got a lot of things figured out heading into a new chapter in life.
I found inner peace with the way Tari Tari ended. While opinions may vary, I’m happy that everyone each got a good end and that the festival worked out in spite of the adversities they faced. The overall feel good atmosphere worked and I’m glad that I was able to stick with this series to the end.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
Really, it’s hard to put a number to any series. I found myself enjoying Tari Tari more than I should have but the ratings may not always reflect that. I just want to make it clear that while it is a good series to watch, it’s not the best in the genre. And I kid you not, I haven’t factored in the cheesiness that I sat through for Wien — no hate for the guy but I still can’t take him too seriously without doing a funny pose. On top of that, it’s more or less a typical high school setting with a few atypical circumstances. Whatever the anime magic that’s been applied here, P.A. Works did a heck of a job in making it delightful and meaningful. They did it for a two-cour show in Hanasaku Iroha a summer ago, and they pulled through again in a single season with Tari Tari. Similar style, similar feel, similar results.
So, last year in high school is supposed to mean something, before life takes a scary or curious turn — for better or for worse. What binds this band of five together is their love for music, or so they thought for some time in the series. Eventually, singing and music became a magical potion that immortalized their friendship. Along the way, they faced hardships, personal issues, victories and above all else, life itself that kept tempting them to take the easy way and stay down when feeling down. But each one fought hard to stand tall and to do so, they had to overcome those life problems (young they may be).
Tari Tari is a purposeful title for this anime. I’m not going to assume everyone knows Japanese grammar but you use the ~tari ~tari form when listing multiple actions and then some. If you’ve noticed, each episode is a series of verbs that the three girls and two boys do or feel or experience. That means a lot because it sure beats out a title like “The Magic of Music” or the like. I just can’t imagine myself tagging that week in and week out.
I wouldn’t lie to you and say that Tari Tari is something spectacular, but it gets the deed done. The visuals are pretty as hell and that’s what you’d expect from P.A. Works. Because half this anime is dedicated to music, audio and vocals are top-notch and these aspects are worthy of your time if the premise seems a little bland for your tastes. If you want some emotional kickers, then get to know Wakana and her mother, Mahiru, because they are the driving force. I think the writing is pretty good and really sends out a powerful message that is quite simple: have fun with music. In fact, have fun with life and don’t be on edge at all times. It can be stressful and depressing when life becomes a series of doubts and questions. Mahiru embodied this in the past and Wakana discovers that with the help of many people. Not to forget the rest: Sawa’s a beautiful would-be jockey with a lot of comedic spunk; Konatsu’s the passionate “leader” who has plenty of spirit and guts and would make a perfect female lead on her own; Taichi’s kind of a funny guy but he’s a clutch player; finally, Wien’s also kind of funny but he’s the glue to the group through his curiosity and innocence, a guy that every group needs.
If you’re looking for a splice-of-life that isn’t too hard on drama but not overplaying the comedy, then Tari Tari is right for you. It’s the most recent rendition of teenagers learning their ways through life and it doesn’t disappoint. If you’ve watched this series during its airtime run, then I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, if not more.
Overall GO Rating: 3.5/5
Smiling, enjoying life and listening to life’s music.