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  • NYC
  • Joined Mar 13, 2010
  • 39 / M

Tari Tari

Feb 18, 2017

Time for K-On!!! Or I guess Choir-On!, C-On!? What did the K stand for anyway?

Story - 7/10

The story does start out pretty much the exact way K-On! did. A student wants to start a club, but oh no they need five members, so now she must find others so that she can follow her dream. Through some dealings, and in defiance of the Vice Principal, the new Choir Club is formed, but now they have only a short amount of time to get ready for the upcoming concert.

The remainder of the series has the club focusing on new opportunities to perform, first at a talent show run by the local business community and then at the school’s cultural festival. While the show does stay true to keeping the story about music, and unlike K-On, actually incorporating songs and performances by the club, the most important part to the show is the character building that occurs. 

They made sure to give the show a good ending that wrapped up the school year, but it still didn’t feel satisfying, as the character’s stories, and what was to come for them, demanded a second season. As a single season it was very good, but that also proves to be a downside.

Animation - 9/10

The first thing that really jumped out to me was how amazingly beautiful the animation for this series is. 

First and foremost are the backgrounds. At first glance you think the world scenery portions are photographs, with very realistic looking elements, shadows and detail that you would assume were too costly for a series to spend time on. Though not a knock on the series, there were times I found myself spending more time just admiring the artistry occurring behind the actual scene.

Moving to interior scenes, the art starts to move more into the tradition anime world, but resembling some of the more highly ranked series like Kids on the Slope or Eden of the East. They put a lot of detail into the objects placed around the different rooms, as some come into play as the series goes on. 

The characters themselves are probably the weakest part of the animation, which is saying a lot as they are drawn and animated very well. Their biggest downside is their unoriginal look. I’ve already commented how the storyline runs very similar to K-On! and well the characters do too. Miyamoto bares a striking resemblance to Tsumugi, with tinted hair, and Wakana and Azusa can also easily switch places. The only characters that stood out as slightly original looking we’re the adults, who had major differences from your standard Slice of Life Anime look.

Sound - 8/10

Even though it’s not necessarily my cup of tea, I actually liked the music used for the intro and outro of Tari Tari. The intro is an upbeat female lead song, Dreamer, that perfectly fits the feel and pacing of the series. It reminds me of a early two thousands LA Alt Rock song, which goes hand in hand with the beach and sunny atmosphere of most of the show. The two outro songs get an extra bump above most we hear in anime, because they actually feature the voice artist that perform in the anime. Both pieces of music are songs sung by the choir during the show, so it makes the ending credits feel more like part of the show itself, and not just an ending.

The voice acting was pretty good, but I’m reluctant to really judge it, as I didn’t know what they were saying or how their pacing was. I can say their emotions were very good, as often the characters had to stray all over the spectrum, and their V.O. artist always hit it dead on.

Characters - 9/10

This series really did one of the best jobs at integrating great back story with current storylines. Never did I feel like the writers were trying to shoehorn in details or give us useless flashbacks just to fill in gaps when they couldn’t find better ways of telling us the details. They also found a way to give us over half a dozen decent stories in such a short series, each actually working within the plot.

Oddly enough the main character of the series really has the weakest story of the group. Konatsu is a young girl trying to make up for an embarrassing moment at the prior year’s school talent show. Her chances at redemption are thwarted when the school’s vice principal, who is also the advisor for the choral club, refuses to allow her to sing, assuming she’d get nervous and once again ruin the song. Determined to get the chance to sing, she leaves the club and starts her own, in hopes of performing at this year’s event. Things don’t progress much deeper when it comes to Konatsu’s story, we know she has a little brother and loves to sing, but besides for being the catalyst for the show, theres not much more to her backstory.

A similar fate is had by Taichi, the lone member of the school’s badminton club. We know he is a member because he looked up to his big sister, who was a badminton star, but otherwise his story ends there. Like Konatsu, his purpose in the show appears to be twofold, balance the male to female ratio out a bit, and help provide the reasoning for the group’s comical name, the Choir and sometimes Badminton Club.

The final three main characters really provide the meat of the story outside of the school. The most important of these characters is Wakana. For the first half of the series she’s just there to help out Konatsu when she needs a little bit of help, be it an extra member or someone who can play the piano. But as the story progresses we learn more about why she doesn’t want to join the group, as well as why her original involvement is not only the reason the Vice Principal approved the club, but insisted on being its advisor.

While Wakana’s story does dominate the second half, they do a good job of trying to integrate others into it so that the story stays interesting. Of all the minor characters quite a few had interactions with her mother. The most prominent minor character is the Vice principal, who belonged to the choral club with Wakana’s deceased mother. She now is the clubs advisor and takes a hard stance against those who don’t respect music, as she always felt as if she didn’t deserve to have a job in music, after seeing how talented Wakana’s mother was. Eventually, after Wakana comes to her for writing help, she softens her stance and realizes music can not only be someone’s future occupation, but also a fun activity. 

The second fully developed story belongs to Sawa. She’s asked to join the club by her best friend, Konatsu, and thankfully she accepts, as at that point they are the only two members. She seems to be put into the show for a source of conflict and so the show can have a small romance component. The first reason is built around her desire to become a professional jockey and her father’s feelings that she should go to college to take over the family temple. The romance part is more playful than serious, as Konatsu think’s she’s depressed over being in love, not over her disagreement with her father, so she and Wakana try to figure out who it could be, finally landing on Taichi. Both plots lead you to believe that they had some good stories for a second season, following Konatsu abroad as she strives for her dream and touching on the idea that, coincidentally, Taichi actually does have a crush on her.

Our final main subject is Wien, a Japanese student who lived in Austria since he was very young, he’s now moved back and has a hard time fitting in, as he only knows about Japanese customs from various guide books. He plays the role of some comic relief, but also as the voice of reason. Like Sawa, it feels as if he was meant mostly for a second season, as there are bits and pieces about a young child he was friends with in Austria who he writes letters to. They end the series with Wien returning to visit him, which again could have provided fodder for an “abroad” section of the series.

There are quite a few minor characters, and while they can’t have complete stories, they do make them interesting. There’s the Principal, who is somewhat eccentric and clumsy for a headmaster, who does all he can for his students, while being pressured by the board to close the school down. Another is Sawa’s mother, who is the polar opposite of her father, she’s the cool young mom who the kids actually want to hang out with. A third minor character is Konatsu’s younger brother, who she often blackmails into her bidding by threatening to show their mother his porn stash. The last group is the Condor Queens, a band who Wakana’s mother wrote music for, they help Wakana learn how proud her mother was of her.

Overall the writers did an amazing job putting together a cast that not only had some depth to it, but who also made you enjoy their presence on screen.  

Overall - 9/10

The creators succeeded in keeping the story fun and light, while still being able to add just the right amount of emotional drama. They also did a great job not straying from the original concept but still adding all the side stories. Of all the new shows I’ve watched recently, this is the first that I can think of that really went above and beyond in the storytelling, and in such a short time frame.

Combine that with the amazing animation and excellent music, and I would say this is one of my top series of the twenty-teens. Which leads me wonder what complete imbeciles must work at the various Japanese broadcasting companies, as I’ve seen utter garbage get multiple seasons, but this was limited to one.

7/10 story
9/10 animation
8/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall

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