And we’re back with more coverage of Tari Tari! Hmm, maybe I might be watching too much Olympics coverage, but I’m also still enjoying the heck out of Tari Tari. Catching up from where we left off in Episode 4, we’ve had a couple episodes focused on Sakai Wakana, as she struggles to deal with her memories and regrets from her mother’s death after being reminded by The Condor Queen’s (yes, they put that apostrophe in, and man does it bug me). After that, memories come flooding out from everywhere, from the furniture and piano in her room to a random encounter with Sawa’s mom to the strap charm on her bag. In an effort to purge them and perhaps assuage her guilt, she has her father arrange to have the piano and other belongings sold or removed.
There’s tons of good in this arc, from the effort Wakana herself puts in to dealing with her unhappy memories of the time where she callously blew off her mom’s attempts to write a song with her, to her random encounters with the supportive people in her life – Konatsu’s goofy stream of consciousness thinking about the good memories of promises broken, Sawa’s sharing of her own passions and parental strife, Wien and Taichi’s goofy attempts at self-improvement – to the straight up Dad-style heroics that her father Keisuke pulls throughout, although we don’t find out about all of them until the end. All of this builds through to a touching, yet perfectly pitched, catharsis for Wakana which will hopefully allow her to embrace the music that she obviously feels coursing through her soul. It left the viewers happy for Wakana, and didn’t pull any obvious tearjerker moves in getting there.
Not a lot of bad to talk about with the conclusion of such a well-done character-driven story arc. Perhaps the only bad is looking at the future of the series, and trying to figure out how the rest of the episodes will play out. There’s a lot of discussion around aniblogs about the lack of any true character development for the two male leads, Wien and Taichi, and most people are thinking that the next arc will likely focus on Sawa. Personally, I’m not so sure, and I think that we’re likely to get some more about Wien, based on the cold open from Episode 5, which showed him with a younger child in Vienna.
This show really stays away from ugly. It smartly avoided a melodrama trap between 5, which ended with Wakana searching for Dora the cat in a huge storm, and 6 which opened with Wakana with a slight cold and missing school, and Dora walking in like cats do, just fine and wondering what the fuss is about. Nothing else rises even to the level of bad, much less ugly. Tari Tari really rides a nice line of storytelling without pushing for cheap emotional swings.