For a while now, PA Works have earned a reputation for it’s excellent production values, probably to the point where it can rival Kyoto Animation. They have done mostly original stories, which is one of the reasons why their shows tend to start on a good note. However, they also have a tendency to go sour at the middle and it was especially apparent with Hanasaku Iroha where it looses track of what it originally set out for and goes to the uncharted territory of uneasiness like unnecessary crossdressing and senseless love triangles. With Mari Okada completely out of the equation, will Tari Tari address the issues that the studio’s other works had? We’ll just have to find out. (Image Source)
After watching a few episodes of Tari Tari, it’s definitely an improvement over Hanasaku Iroha for the fact that it didn’t emasculate any male characters while maintaining a similar animation style. However, it wasn’t flawless. While the drama is more thought out and realistic such as relating to the problems Japan is currently facing in addition to the problems each character faces, canceling the White Festival went overboard. Also, the villain was pretty lame, although I do blame the principal for being way too soft and helpless against the proposal that the school administrator wanted. Even with these minor flaws, the show didn’t drag on too much despite having a second episode feel like a finale kind of sent the wrong message to the viewers.
As for the overall story, it’s a mostly lighthearted show about a second choir club with some dramatic moments mixed in. It’s fascinating how each character have their own problem such as Wakana having unresolved regret about how she treated her mother and Sawa unable to enter a jockey academy because of her weight and height. On the girls’ side, their character development felt deep. At the same time, I felt disappointed that the same wasn’t done for the males as Wein got one episode while Tanaka only had several minutes dedicated to him. Some might say that male viewers are more interested in the female characters opposed to the males. However, they should at least give them some dignity and allow equal time to develop them. Still, the character that changed the most is of course Wakana as she rediscovers music and even want to carry on her mother’s dream with the help of Naoko. Yeah, she was strict at first, but I was glad that she softened up towards the end.
So, does Tari Tari renew hope that PA Works shows won’t go into a slump after a few episodes? For the most part, yes since not once I have felt extremely disappointed by the plot’s direction. Also, they maintained the production quality. Although this show may not be perfect, I think the studio will probably try harder and not fall in the same traps of being too ambitious as seen with some of their recent works. If they balance originality and enjoyment, the studio is going to have a blight future.
Overall Rating: 8.7/10, B+ Very Good ¶