Recap: Despite all odds, the Choir and Sometimes Badminton Club finally gets to sing Wakana’s song. After their last performance, the group finalizes their plans for the future.
Jel’s Thoughts: Let me get the bad stuff out of the way first: this final story arc has been terrible. There was absolutely no reason for Evil School Chairman to cancel the festival and if he really wanted to, couldn’t he have had them all arrested for trespassing? The fact that the whole matter was resolved with him getting pantsed by the principal was just ridiculous. All the other obstacles in Tari Tari had some kind of plausibility to them, this whole situation felt like the writer ran out of ideas and just wanted to get it over with.
Of course the real point of this episode was to unveil Wakana’s song and wrap things up with the cast and both those things did happen. The final performance was nice but I found myself feeling apathetic about it. I saw it more as a victory lap than a song, giving us a chance to see all the inconsequential side characters one last time. I certainly wasn’t blown away by it, but it was a fitting way to wrap up that part of the story.
Not too many surprises in the epilogue either, although I guess you could argue Sawa’s departure came out of nowhere. Given her personality, I didn’t think it was very shocking though. I think someone got the memo people like her as she seemed to get the most attention at the end, but at this point I’m not the most objective judge. Probably the only moment that really got me to care was seeing the stuffed horse on her chair at graduation. I should also point out I would totally watch a show about Sawa’s adventures abroad, but it would probably be best to let Tari Tari end here and be done with it.
Final Impressions: Tari Tari is like a piece of candy, but rather than the super sweet addictive kind it’s more like a caramel or a butterscotch. It’s smooth and pleasant while you’re eating it, but you probably didn’t want it in the first place and you probably don’t have a great desire for another one when you’re done.
That’s not to say the series has no value whatsoever. For starters, it’s really pretty. Visually speaking, P.A. Works has proven themselves to be one of the top studios with their past few series and Tari Tari does not disappoint in that regard. While not quite as pretty as Hanasaku Iroha, one of their previous works, you can’t help but draw the comparison. They both seem to be painted with the same nostalgia colored pastel brush, bathing everything in warm pink, peach, brown and blue. It’s almost soothing to look at. I know my sleep deprived, computer strained eyes certainly didn’t mind.
Story wise there were parts of Tari Tari that worked well, particularly Wakana coming to terms with her mother’s death. Her progression from denial to acceptance was theoretically the main story of the series, and was handled without a lick of melodrama. The episodes focused on Wakana dealing with her grief were the only time I felt any genuine emotion throughout, giving us a glimpse of what Tari Tari could have been capable of.
Unfortunately I have to use words like “theoretically” and “could have been” as nearly everything else plot related is repetitive and uninspiring. Most plot lines follow the formula of 1. Get excited about performing, 2. Run into obstacle, 3. Remove Obstacle with Power of Friendship, 4. Sing. Some episodes do focus on the back stories of the rest of the cast, but none are as well crafted as Wakana’s episodes and just distract from her story. Even my beloved Sawa is at her best as a supporting character, and if you’ve been following my weekly coverage you know that means a lot for me to say that.
Overall it’s hard for me to say if Tari Tari’s net positives make it worth recommending. It’s pleasant to watch with it’s pretty visuals and feel good moments, but there’s just nothing that jumps out and demands that your attention. Perhaps it might make for a fun distraction on a lazy weekend, just don’t expect much more than that.