Tari Tari Ep. 2: Emotionally dry

I love how Japanese girls have the magical ability to enlarge and shrink at the drop of a hat. Konatsu seems okay enough in the screencap above. But whoops, there she goes:

But it’s a good thing that her dwarfism was just a momentary thing:

It’s not very safe to be so small. Anyway, I’ve focused enough on P.A. Works’s supposed animating prowess. It’s about time we talk about the actual meat and potatoes of the show and weeeell… Tari Tari feels like a really boring Glee, and I don’t even like Glee.

Instead of remixing contemporary pop songs — y’know, stuff that I could actually see young people wanting to sing, we get crusty, old ballads. Instead of a comically evil cheerleading coach hellbent on crushing the dreams of young people, we have an uptight school marm that no one has the guts to confront. Most of all, there isn’t a colorful cast of characters; we just have girls designed to maximize the HNNNG. But yes, I’m being a bit unfair because the two shows are in two totally different genres: one’s a comedy and the other is a-totally-boring drama. I also realize that glee club isn’t the same as choir. My apologies.

Let’s recap a bit (I’ll try to keep it short)… Konatsu wants to sing, but the choir teacher is being a total bitch about it values maintaining some arbitrary standard for singing in high school over nurturing the academic and personal development of her students. So naturally, Konatsu and her friends form their own choir club because, uh, Konatsu really, really wants to sing and it’s important to make her happy. Yeah, if it seems to you that I might find Konatsu’s a tad bit selfish, you’d be right. But nobody seems to mind having to give up their prior obligations to assist the girl. Perhaps they had no prior obligations! Oh wait, we definitely know that Wakana does, but two cakes will apparently smooth it over.

The club’s first recital is about to begin, but due to a series of mishaps, only Konatsu and Sawa seem to have made it to the auditorium in time. Guess we’ll just have to cancel….

So that’s when Sawa slaps Konatsu on the ass (really?) and tells her that they can’t turn back now! They’ve come too far! Let’s just go out there and sing! But did anyone find it funny that no more than forty seconds into their duet, Konatsu’s brother shows up, i.e. presumably with the rest of the club:

Maybe he has magical otouto teleportation powers or something, and he was the only person to get there. Right. Anyway, I’d be pretty damn incensed as a member of the choir club. You mean to tell me that you guys really couldn’t have waited an extra minute or five?

Oh, you could hand-wave this off as some temporal lapse in the anime’s narrative. Maybe time skipped ahead even though the song apparently did not. Sure, sure… but regardless, P.A. Works’ plots always seem to operate off of some predetermined formula to maximize the HNNNG. As a result, we get contrivances such as “Oh, the club won’t make it in time. Guess we’ll just have to do it ourselves!” I can’t wait till Sawa’s horse gets a mysterious disease just so we can do a tearjerker episode about it. You know it’s coming:

I guess I’m layering on the hate pretty strong, but I could at least respect the grandmother in Hanasaku Iroha. Thus far, Tari Tari is anime by-the-numbers, which isn’t all too surprising considering how P.A. Works generates their visuals. I can imagine that this won’t be a popular opinion, but the emotions just aren’t coming through.

I’m not convinced that Konatsu loves to sing. It just feels as though the anime is telling me that she does instead of showing it, because it’s too busy trying to push the narrative forward. As a result, the story feels rushed. It’s just the second episode and we’re already at a recital. Barely any struggles or anything likewise. At the moment, I should identify with Konatsu, but even though she’s the only character whose motivations and desires are even remotely fleshed out thus far, she’s not really getting as much time as she probably should.

So why go forward? Why not just ditch the show now? I’m curious to see if the addition of Wien to the club might actually make things a little more interesting. So far, he’s the only character that could stand out against the homogeneity surrounding him. I was actually hoping that Principal Col. Sanders would serve as the club’s eccentric coach/advisor like, say, Streseman in Nodame Cantabile, but unfortunately, they had to go and wreck him in an accident. So, uh, go Wien!… yeah, it’s a long shot.


10 Replies to “Tari Tari Ep. 2: Emotionally dry”

  1. Do you think the two male characters (obvious from the opening) are going to make a difference in the story? or it would still remain as an all girl dominant slice of life anime?
    Nice post as well.

    1. Probably not, but we can always hope. I’m just interested in seeing how they play up his “foreignness.”

  2. It would actually be a good thing if modern youth widened their tastes beyond pop music to ballads and the like. As for the ass slap, I prefer that to the typical face slap. It gives things a little more variety and it would be out of character for Sawa, who is my favorite character so far, to slap her so harshly in only the second episode. The one thing that’s bothering me is everyone’s interest in Sakai. Did I miss a part when the show stressed her role in music?

    1. It would actually be a good thing if modern youth widened their tastes beyond pop music to ballads and the like.

      Maybe, but I don’t think the song in this episode is the one to do the trick.

      As for the ass slap, I prefer that to the typical face slap.

      Why should anything get slapped? That’s mean!

      The one thing that’s bothering me is everyone’s interest in Sakai.

      All the flashbacks imply she’s had a long (perhaps painful) history with piano that we’ll all find out about soon enough.

      1. Well, I’m part of modern youth and I kind of liked the song, but to each their own. You said so yourself that the MC is being a selfish brat, which Sawa realizes. A slap is warranted, mean or not.

  3. You know, I felt that this second episode was a bit all over the place compared to the first, which set up everything nicely. Things were moving fast, very fast. So I wonder if this just wasn’t some bad excuse as some sort of prologue to the series. But I can see where you’re coming from.

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