Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tari Tari - 05

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_06.24_[2012.07.30_10.47.46] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_11.26_[2012.07.30_10.52.52] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_21.33_[2012.07.30_11.02.58]

After four episodes, Tari Tari finally decided to add real drama to the mix this week.  A scary moment for any fan of the series, but based on the results it shouldn’t be.


[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_00.11_[2012.07.30_10.42.07]Hyouka added plot back into the mix this week, but while it’s been absent for a while it wasn’t an entirely new proposition so we more or less knew what to expect.  With TT, the first four eps have been remarkably consistent – comfortably settled between silly and serious, between plot and time-wasting, between story and character-driven.  This was the first seismic change in tone for the series, and until it happens you can never be sure how that’s going to go.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_02.17_[2012.07.30_10.43.07]If Tari Tari was going to “go serious”, it made sense that it would center on Wakana, whose backstory has been given the most reverent treatment so far, by far.  It always seemed as if Konatsu might just be a bit of a false main character, and that Wakana was the one who would drive the story forward in the end.  That might just be true, or it might be that the characters are going to rotate in central roles arc by arc – we’ll see.  But Wakana’s past has always been a subtext even when the story focused on Konatsu’s stage trauma and her plucky quest to get the Karuta Chorus Club up and running.  She seems to be the character that ties everything together, and her journey towards finding her love for music again the closest thing to a spine running through whatever other arcs the series chooses to pursue.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_02.54_[2012.07.30_10.43.44]While I wouldn’t want Tari Tari to be as heavy in tone as it was here every week (next week will also be a drama ep, clearly), as an outlier I thought they handled it very well.  The flashback scenes with Wakana and her mother scattered through the ep were just detached and dispassionate enough to escape feeling manipulative.  On the face of it this could hardly be more of an anime cliché – young girl with a sick mother (Ohara Sayaka) in a hospital bed, single Dad (Hamada Kenji) soldiering on as daughter suppresses her feelings.  But the familiar can be powerful if handled tastefully, and I felt this was.  I think this is a scenario teenagers (and former teenagers) can relate to – not being nice enough to our parents when we had the chance.  Wakana has been a mostly kind if detached presence in the series for the most part, but this is a different side of her – driven, focused, and intolerant of her mother’s joyfully irreverent behavior to the point of nastiness.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_03.35_[2012.07.30_10.44.25]The exposition is handled nicely – we get the gist of it without details being hammered home.  Dad withheld the seriousness of Mom’s illness from Wakana.  Wakana probably knew, but convinced herself not to worry.  She wanted to study and work hard, Mom wanted to write songs and sing them.  In the end I think Wakana is tortured by two things – that she wasn’t nicer to her mother all along, and that she never properly apologized for that and said goodbye.  That’s as universal a regret as you can imagine, and I found her decision to get rid of her piano and so many memories connected to her mother quite sad (seeing “useless” and “unneeded” written on them was especially effective, if not subtle).  I also liked Keisuke’s helpless foundering as he tried to understand how his daughter was feeling nicely understated.  It’s certainly no wonder Wakana is so reluctant to open herself up to anyone and especially to immerse herself in music again, considering the associations she has with it.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_05.27_[2012.07.30_10.46.17]There are some frustrations here, and (big surprise) they mainly involve the gender imbalance of the narrative.  This isn’t the offensive stereotyping that’s occurring in Kokoro Connect, but is it any wonder series like Tsuritama or AnoHana are held in such high esteem by viewers like me when they come along?  When the two choices with reality-based ensemble shows about kids these days seem to be to either leave the boys out altogether or write as if they’re completely unimportant, the rare show that treats male characters as if they matter is something to be treasured.  The frustrations are different here than with KC, and different with the two male cast members.  Taichi at least gets treated as if his concerns (such as the most important tournament of his life) matter, though they’re inevitably wrapped up and discarded in a couple of minutes so the show can move on to more important matters.  With Wien, he’s trivialized so pointedly that I’m beginning to think it’s intentional – he’s basically operating as the male moeblob so far (even getting eyecatch time), universally kind and haplessly inept, but given absolutely no substance whatsoever apart from tiny, tiny glimpses such as the pre-open this week.  Maybe the optimist in me hopes this is building to something, but the realist in me expects that to be his lot in life for the entire series.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_06.11_[2012.07.30_10.47.32]Perhaps the best hope for relevance for the boys here is the romance angle, which the series has thus far largely skated around.  The flags between Sawa (the only girl who hasn’t had a deep background ep yet, so though her gender assures that will be rectified) and Taichi have now been hinted at too strongly to be coincidental.  And though it’s largely because they share supplemental classes, Wien and Wakana continue to appear on-screen together often.  Given that no one else has been able to reach her and Wien appears intent on trying, perhaps he’ll be the one to finally break through – and perhaps the vehicle in doing so will be her cat, Dora, missing in a roiling storm – we’ve already seen that Wien has a strong affinity for animals (that’s about as deep as we’ve gotten with him).  It’s certain that the next episode at least will continue the focus on Wakana’s traumatic past and present, and it would be a refreshing decision to have Wien rather than Konatsu or Sawa be the catalyst for her comeback.

[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_06.49_[2012.07.30_10.48.10] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_07.16_[2012.07.30_10.48.37] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_08.29_[2012.07.30_10.49.50]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_09.19_[2012.07.30_10.50.40] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_09.25_[2012.07.30_10.50.51] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_11.03_[2012.07.30_10.52.28]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_11.32_[2012.07.30_10.52.57] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_12.34_[2012.07.30_10.53.59] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_14.51_[2012.07.30_10.56.16]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_15.03_[2012.07.30_10.56.28] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_15.36_[2012.07.30_10.57.01] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_16.22_[2012.07.30_10.57.47]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_16.52_[2012.07.30_10.58.17] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_16.56_[2012.07.30_10.58.21] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_17.48_[2012.07.30_10.59.13]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_18.38_[2012.07.30_11.00.03] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_19.44_[2012.07.30_11.01.09] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_20.23_[2012.07.30_11.01.48]
[Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_20.52_[2012.07.30_11.02.17] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_20.55_[2012.07.30_11.02.20] [Doki] Tari Tari - 05 (1280x720 Hi10P AAC) [47EFB952].mkv_snapshot_21.13_[2012.07.30_11.02.38]


27 comments:

  1. You are seriously stretching hard to find romance here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not so much between Sawa and Taichi, I don't think - they're hinting strongly at that. But it's entirely possible that romance won't be a major factor, which I'm fine with in principle. It just looks as if that might be the only way for the forgotten 40% of the "main cast" to actually be important to the story.

      Delete
    2. I thought that the Sawa and Taichi flag was a fairly pronounced flag. It didn't scream we like each other and want to get together but the show has seemed to slowly make it look as if they will end up together. If the show does attempt to decide to go into romance Wakana and Wein are the other likely pair. With Wakana's past and what has been hinted at with Wein's past it is likely they bond over that. Konatsu also just has the typical personality of the person who doesn't get anyone. Of course they could just not go the romance route and have all of this just be friendship bonding instead but I find it unlikely that they leave out romance and those are definitely the likely pairs.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Fencedude that romance will be a very unlikely factor in TT. I just feel that like Hanasaku Iroha, that showed pairings and spent a great deal of time delving on romantic foreplay but led to nothing, TT is mostly just teasing us with fake flags and Wakana being constantly told to find love. PA know that the false hope of a couple will probably attract some more viewers than if they said nothing romantic is going on between this quintet. Also we've seen nothing from the boy's side to suggest they have even the slightest romantic feelings for their opposite number.

      Delete
    4. BTW did you drop Nobuna?

      Delete
    5. For now - see the Summer Update post for details. Still watching for the moment and it has its moments, but I don't see myself finding enough to say about it to blog it.

      Delete
  2. oh you really though Konatsu was the MC? She's just the loudest. Didn't you that promotional PA Works scan of Ohana and Wakana?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There was plenty of promo art that showed Konatsu in the most prominent light. I never really thought she'd be the MC, but there's no denying she was for the first four episodes - and the show is more than 1/3 over now.

      Delete
    2. Which is such a shame since Wakana had the more interesting story. And Wakana's mother supposedly had such a profound influence over so many people's lives, and we only get to see her for half an episode of periodic flashbacks? Wha, no! she looked like such an interesting character too. I wanted to cry for her at the end of the episode, but no we didn't get that either cuz they cut to credits!
      At this point, even though Wakana has the better story, I can't say much about her character. Her expression was flat throughout the episode. People remarked upon her feeling down through expository dialogue; any chance of showing facial subtleties of Wanaka's troubles are wasted. It might have helped if she looked dazes throughout the episode, but she doesn't look dazed. she looks flat, as if she's not in deep thought, which according to the story, she's suppose to be.
      This sort of brings it back to the problem of the first few episodes. We don't know a whole lot about Wakana, because we get very little exposure to her actually character. as a result, we won't understand the subtleties of her behavior; we have to told of her change in behavior. With that problem, we're unable to relate with the character. How do we connect the dots between and angry, pissed off teenager to a deadpan no personality character? Does she regret giving up her mother's one heirloom? How does the letter she received convince her to get rid of the piano and move on with her life also make her regret giving away the piano and causes her to feel remorse for her past? Why was she ok with playing her mother's music, but not ok with keeping her mother's piano? We don't know, because we don't know the character!

      Delete
    3. I think your pretty dense not to spot the subtleties of Wakana since episode 1. I knew that something was up with her from the very beginning. She is a generally pleasant character who avoids getting into things. Also her making a big fuss about Konatsu's desire to start a club and still helping her as "unofficial member" shows that deep inside she still wants to sing by not letting Konatsu's dream die. I have a feeling that Konatsu and Wakana were very much like Miharu and the Vice Principal in their younger days.

      Delete
    4. We don't know a thing about Miharu for you to make a statement like that. I feel that her helping out as the unofficial member doesn't necessarily show a "deep love" of music as it does show how pushy a character Konatsu is. Of course it is easy that see "what" is up with Wakana when we first see her, we just don't know "why"; we can't understand her motivations.
      "Wakana was very much against joining a music club, but she still helps play for them when in need. She must love music!"
      "The Vice Principal whipped the music sheet out of Konatsu's hand and stuffs it away, but she does a 180 and gives it back after 10 seconds when Konatsu utters 2 lines of dialog. She must love music!"
      Don't these reasons sound a little contrived to you? Rather than loving music, maybe Wakana saw Konatsu in trouble and just wanted to help out.

      Delete
    5. SO what's wrong with looking it at that way? It just screams to me her inconsistent behavior is a sign that she is trying to lock away something that deep down she doesn't want to give up. Everything doesn't have to spelled out for us. This episode alone gave us a food insight on what Miharu is like.

      Delete
    6. On an additional note, Wakana was also enrolling in a school known for its music curriculum and she was angry at her mom that she was messing around instead of teaching her that piano piece. I think Wakana loves music in the same way Vice Principal loves music. It pretty obvious as well that Vice Principal Loves music to a point that she is a perfectionist.

      Delete
    7. lol i'm looking at this from a story-tellers perspective. i'm wondering what story they are trying to tell about Wakana. how come the letter that makes her get rid of the piano is also the letter that makes her cry with regret at the end of the episode? what does that say about her character? it doesn't have to be spelt out; it has to be clarified. SO what's wrong with looking at it that way is to drink grape juice and call it wine. It's like confusing something convoluted with something deep. Inconsistent behavior in a TV show or movie is more a mark of bad storytelling than insight. Remember Guilty Crown? Remember how many people claimed it was "deep" when it really wasn't? It really was just inconsistent character behavior.

      Delete
    8. why can't it be? Why are you constraining yourself with what is shown? Emotions are not black and white, they are complex. Believe it or not, that's what real life is like. Why can't it be Wakana cried because she never could fulfill her mother's wish and throwing away the piano is a way to alleviate the guilt she has. It is a painful reminder of her failing? I don't find it inconsistent at all.. it's like post structuralism is lost people. A work has more value than what the author intends.

      Delete
    9. If you haven't realized, I fully support "death of the author". I don't care much for story teller perspective. Author will never be word of God for me, they will be source of good insight, but they will never affect how I interpret a scene.

      Delete
  3. While Hanasaku Iroha's biggest flaw was to invest too much time in to a simple story that quickly ran out of options, my main concern about Tari Tari is that is tries to do too many things at once.

    Konatsu's trauma about music, Sawa's dream about being a jockey, Taichi's love for badminton and Wien's adaptation to the japanese culture are just too distant from one another to work at the same time without making some sacrifices, as Konatsu is not enought to wrap up all those plots in to her choir club.

    By trying to do too much, Tari Tari will develop too little. The male characters are already being sacrificed. Taichi's screentime in this episode had only one purpose: initiate Sawa's development. Wien, as plastic as he is now, is going to work as a humanizer for Wakana.

    Wakana had no redeeming qualities, and, bluntly speaking, she is a boring character. Sawa is the polar opposite: too perfect. These two characters are not the kind of character that should be the main focus of a show.

    What if Tari Tari developer a bit differently? What if Wakana was a complementary character to Wien's development, Konatsu and Taichi helped themselves up as the friends they are and Sawa, in all her perfection, worked a little bit with everyone (just like Konatsu is doing now) to help them develop? For me, it would certainly be more enjoyable and potentialy more memorable.

    Other than that, despite my criticism, i am really immersed in this show, as i actually care for some characters, mainly Wien, Taichi and Konatsu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. +1. I was hoping for something dark to happen to them after episode 1, because they are all just too bland and too boring. I dislike Konatsu, who I guess have the role to keep things flowing, and the rest are all boring. I should have dropped it long ago, but I'll drop it now.

      Delete
  4. By trying to do too much, Tari Tari will develop too little. The male characters are already being sacrificed. Taichi's screentime in this episode had only one purpose: initiate Sawa's development. Wien, as plastic as he is now, is going to work as a humanizer for Wakana.

    What if Tari Tari developer a bit differently? What if Wakana was a complementary character to Wien's development, Konatsu and Taichi helped themselves up as the friends they are and Sawa, in all her perfection, worked a little bit with everyone (just like Konatsu is doing now) to help them develop? For me, it would certainly be more enjoyable and potentialy more memorable.


    There's no question that of the three school life shows airing on summer weekends, Tari Tari tacks closest to formula. What makes it interesting to me is that it's incredibly generic superficially, but so far manages to feel fresh and interesting most of the time. It's just quirky and ironic enough to make it work.

    When you see decisions like who the narrative focuses on and who is sacrificed, TT tends to take the conventional route more often than not, because structurally it's a conventional show. That seems to limit just how good it can really be, because fundamentally it's trying to do generic things in a pleasing way (and generally succeeding) rather than try to do anything really original.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am impressed by PA works as a studio, they always provide beautiful, well produced shows. I love Hanasaku Iroha, not my favorite show ever but very good.
    But i think PA works biggest weakness might be blandness. Episode 4 in particular was bland.
    This episode gives me hope for the series but...13 episodes? 5 main characters? Why not 26 eps? This will never have time to develop more than 2 of the characters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, in fairness, they really don't even seem to be trying to.

      Delete
    2. PA did do a 26 episode series similar to Tari Tari. It was called Hanasaku Iroha. And we all know how that turned out for some of its episode :p

      Delete
    3. Honestly, I don't see this show as similar to HSI in any meaningful way. HSI was overdramatic, hyperactive and fluctuated wildly in quality from brilliant to horrendous. So far TT has been basically calm, low-key and consistent.

      Delete
    4. Touche. Though I didn't find it overdramatic (that was more Okada's other series Anohana), except for the "omlette rice" arc which was unintentionally lol due to taking something so mundane and making a big fuss about it ^_^'. It did however like you said fluctuate widly in quality and tone frequently. Still loved it though <3.

      What I really meant was that I think Tari Tari being 13 episodes is a much better length than if it was 26, since Iroha took several detours and some episodes straight out felt like filler.

      Delete
  6. PA Works weakness isn't blandness. They do a cycle of 1 SoL/drama type anime followed by a non-SoL if you look at their past 2-3 year trend.

    However, they do struggle in consistency. Canaan, Angel Beats, Another and Hanasaku Iroha all had consistency problems in its story telling. A lot of it has to do with the Ando/Okada director/writer pair.

    I do give them a big edge though in that even when they do slice of life type series, it's never "retarded" or "moeblob", unlike a certain studio that PA's tends to get flak for apparently copying (even though it's completely false). I've yet to get diabetes or lose brain cells from a P.A. Works character unlike that other studio :3.

    P.S. Yes, that other studio is Kyoani, but to be fair Hyouka is pretty good and is the only anime in 4 years by them that I actually gave a damn - the one before that was Clannad After Story.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Random useless question I was asking myself today,what would happen if Wien came across Kate from Sketchbook?

    ReplyDelete