Memories live, linger and long for a legacy.
Personally, I don’t know what’s more painful to watch than seeing a child’s parent pass away. The pain compounds itself when said child tries to forcefully move on but ultimately feels that sudden loneliness. Because she’s caught between trying to bury and preserve memories of her mom, Wakana’s alienates those around her and continues that bad habit of pushing people away. It might not be as bad as it was when she was taking her entrance exams but she still isolates herself. I give her credit for looking out for her dad but I couldn’t help but think that she needs to be a little girl for her own sake — so that her dad can watch over her and that her friends can embrace her. So far, Wakana is too distant, maybe even from herself.
Despite all the emotional preparations I made prior to watching the episode, I still felt like I got trumped by all of the words Wakana wasn’t able to say until the piano disappeared. I didn’t have tears streaming down my face but I’m sure if the anime decided to test my breaking point, it can potentially be one of the more tear-jerking anime of the season. As much as there are subtleties about her general character, there are plenty of blatancies about her mother and those memories of her.
Do I blame Wakana? No, and I wouldn’t at all even if she herself believes that she could have made a major difference if she had only known about her mother’s illness. And it’s just as hard to blame her parents because Wakana was in a delicate situation, and she seemed all too ready to go to the high school of her choice — for music, for academics, for whatever she has/had her sights on.
The rest of the characters get a nice balance of cameos. Taichi’s badminton tournament and Sawa’s dream to be a jockey is crammed for a short amount of time, and even had me thinking about a possible Taichi X Sawa pairing in their moment. I did enjoy the cheerleading and singing acts during the tournament, living up to the dual-club’s name. I actually don’t remember what Wien does, if anything, but I think he’s due his feature episode or segment soon. (And not those ambiguously teasing five-second intro scenes.)
I felt like I got hit hard because I had an idea of where it was trying to go and still had to feel pretty crummy. I generally like characters like Sawa who show some spunk but I feel pretty attached to Wakana too. (Now I’ve officially declared my infatuation will all three girls. Yay, go me.) On a personal level, I know what Wakana’s doing and I’m afraid to see her get hurt. And it doesn’t seem to get any easier now that we know just how perky and lively her mom was but isn’t there anymore. This episode started that depressive side of the roller coaster ride but here’s to hoping that Tari Tari doesn’t end up with tears being mandatory.
GO Rating: 3.5/5
A happy song and a happy dance might be long overdue as well.