Two Makes A Trend
I don't try to claim myself to be an authority on SoLs... Wait, yes I do lol. And PA works has provided us with two great ones back to back. If you were thinking they would struggle to follow up the subtle brilliance of Hanasaku Iroha, you were sorely mistaken because Tari Tari is yet another strong showing. These two series show the versitility of the SoL genre as they approach the SoL ideal in fundamentally different ways. Hanasaku Iroha gave us the quintessential solo feature, a series almost entirely centered around one very strong character and her growth and experiences. Tari Tari on the contrary focuses on the group dynamic, without a solo feature it shows the coming together of several indivuals and discusses not only their experiences together but their own stories as well. Which is better? Well, honestly it's a matter of opinion. As for me, I prefer the solo feature. I rather have one great character than a cast of above-average ones. As such I do hold Hanasaku in higher regard than Tari Tari. However, Tari Tari has many merits that Hanasaku does not have. Obviously, it has a stronger overall cast. So I guess I'll begin by discussing characters. An interesting note about the Tari Tari cast is that unlike the great majority of these group or club series it is not unigendered. I.e. the cast consists of both male and female characters. This struck me right away as point of uniqueness for this series. And indeed that was the case. The main cast is of five characters and they do each have their stories to tell. The first featured character is the spunky Konatsu. Konatsu is no Ohana by any means in fact she even annoyed me a bit early on in the series. But she definitely grew on me as she really exudes the go-getter spirit that made me love Ohana so much. Then there's Sawa, Konatsu life-long friend. Sawa is an interesting character in that she first seems like the eye candy of the series but her personal story actually turns out to be quite compelling particularly in the end. She may well have been my 2nd favorite character behind the person I'll be discussing next. While Tari Tari doesn't have a true #1 character, the closest thing it does have is Wakana. Wakana is technically speaking the driving force to much of the "plot". Wakana is very much an introvert, but in a way she's actually the most like Ohana of the group. She's very likeable and while she has her own story, she also plays into pretty much everyone elses as well. And while I've chosen to discuss the female cast first, that doesn't necessarily imply that the male characters play second fiddle. In particular there's Wien who is the most unique character in Tari Tari. He first strikes you as the lovable quirky member of the gang but when they go into his backstory it's actually quite touching. Then last, and frankly least is Taichi. Taichi is the reason the club is the Choir AND Sometimes Badmington Club. Otherwise he's not that significant until the very end of the series. And what happens with him at the end of the series is admittedly compelling. So characters are obviously the biggest part of this series. As far as the story, there's not too much that needs to be said. As is typical of SoLs it's more of a theme than a story. Something about making a lasting memory before they graduate from high school. It's actually not entirely bullshit. And as the Choir and Sometimes Badmington Club would imply, this is a musical series. Nothing spectacular, but the musical theme does create a nice lite atmosphere that was very appropriate for the series. What else, of course as is always to be expected of PA Works the animation is brilliant. And all and all, the best I can say about this series is that it's very uplifting and just plain enjoyable to watch. Nothing incredibly intelligent, just happy and fun. And that's exactly what you want out of a series like this. So, without further delay, I give Tari Tari a highly respectable 8 out of 10. For those who are interested, PA Works newest series Red Data Girl (RDG) is coming up in the Spring so something to look forward to :).