Posted by psgels on 26 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews



So, I like slice of life series with a clear narrative structure: the type that shows every day life, but where there’s also some kind of story going on with clear plot progression. Because of that I was looking forward to Tari Tari… but in the end it seemed to be missing something.

So we’re basically talking about the story of five teenagers. They’re all different, but have one thing in common: they’re the members of the same choir club. The series explores their stories with the main focus being the troubles that the choir club faces. It could have been charming, but I don’t know. It all ended up too dull, took a few too little risks, was a bit too unbalanced.

I mean, it’s not like the characters aren’t well fleshed out. The series definitely tries, and some of the characters have good stories behind them: one of the girls’ issues with her dead mother were well explored, the horse riding girl also was well explored. But that’s just one portion of the story. There also are plenty of portions and characters that just don’t work and take too little risks to really get somewhere.

Talking in terms of balance, there are some characters who are overrepresented, and others who are underrepresented. The choir girl is very annoying, yet she is the main character of the show. It’s nice to watch her actually try to realize her ideals, but she never really has that moment that redeems her; the other characters tend to do that. On the other hand, the male characters actually get very little time to really show themselves compared to the females. There is the badminton guy who gets like… half an episode maybe? And the Austrian guy’s arc gets hi-jacked by the rest of the cast so that he hardly gets to do anything, turning him to a bit of an unsuccessful joke character. It all just never comes together and creatively they could have done so much more with this.

It’s all just too standard, and the few things it does to stand out fall out flat more often than not. The central storyline of the Choir Club tends to be very forced, with characters forcing themselves to be the villains in order to add some tension and the eventual pay-off ends up as just an auto-tuned montage with very little effort put behind it.

So yeah, this definitely was the disappointment of the season for me. I mean, I can see that it has the intention to create likable characters. And indeed, this show fleshes its cast out better than some other shows do, but it’s just isn’t enough for me to really recommend it for anything. It’s got its charms here and there, but there are so many series that do this better and that’s the problem here: it just fails to stand out. It’s a nice series and all if you’re really bored, but it just doesn’t take much risks, and the risks it does take all fall flat. The exception probably is the second episode. That is the only point that genuinely impressed me on hind-sight with tight storytelling and a great concept that involved a lot of different characters coming together. After that it never really gets to that level again unfortunately.

Storytelling: 7/10 – Charming at some points, but is often just a bit too dull, plus the plot it uses is rather forced and predictable.
Characters: 7.5/10 – Some very good characters, but others are rather under-utilized. The Choir girl will also get on a lot of people’s nerves and has no moment to redeem her.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Good animation from PA Works, that has to be said. Although it does sometimes cut a few annoying corners.
Setting: 7.5/10 – A typical school setting, although a bit more forced than usual in order to get its choir plot going anywhere.

Suggestions:
Hana-Saku Iroha
Tamayura
Hyouka

13 Responses

  1. Avatar hoiut says:

    First episode has them singing Reflectia, one of my all-time faves (True Tears). Goodness, every hair on my body bristled. Like a bear.

    The similarities with HanaIro are more than skin-deep. Most of the “drama” in either show was contained in the first 2 episodes and made a partial come-back near the end.

    Because it had more time, HanaIro took a few more risks and told a story a bit more complicated (and high-stakes) than TariTari, and to somewhat better results.

    This show certainly has its merits, though! A pretty slice-of-life with a good bit of “development” for cast and plot. Nothing ambitious or profound to speak of, for better or for worse.

  2. Avatar Alec says:

    Loved Tar Tari (past tense)
    But I don’t like the fact they didn’t take the characters seriously

    Wakana & Sawa were taken seriously ; the rest weren’t
    Even Konatsu, who was originally thought to be the main character ( I’m thinking Co-MCs with Wakana) didn’t even get a chance to develop.

  3. Avatar Lin says:

    “The choir girl is very annoying, yet she is the main character of the show.”

    Wakana was the main character. She’s billed first in the ending credits. Why do you think they added that little scene after the ending in the last episode?

  4. Avatar PocariSweat says:

    “It’s got its charms here and there, but there are so many series that do this better and that’s the problem here: it just fails to stand out.”

    Mind giving examples?

    I can think of Hyouka from this year one that is comparable in quality in recent times. Or Usagi Drop of last year. Talking TV series of course since I rate movies on a different scale and there’s tons of slice of life/drama movies.

    Hanasaku Iroha was inconsistent as hell and Natsuiro Kiseki earlier this year was even more lowkey then this unless you found the “troll rock” premises ambitious. Ano Natsu? Why on earth was a sci-fi plot tacked on? Didn’t seem necessary. And Kokoro Connect… don’t get me started on that lol. First the trollbridge ep, then the really subpar conclusion to the Desire Unleash arc. If anything has forced drama, it’s this series.

    • Avatar Hogart says:

      Just FYI, psgels does add suggestions at the bottom of the review; he mentioned Hyouka, Iroha and Tamayura. I’m guessing those are the most recent examples he meant.

  5. Avatar AidanAK47 says:

    Tari Tari is a fish out of water series. By which I mean if there was a fish called plot in a bowl called music. The fish is happy in the bowl for a little while but soon jumps out of the bowl altogether. It lands on the table and just flounders about to find some kind of meaning. Eventually it wiggles back near the bowl and dies.

    • Avatar hoiut says:

      I find this the most scathingly gruesome analogy I have ever heard in context of an animated series. Some of my fish did just that — in all its grotesque and gut-wrenching glory — so it hits home big-time.

  6. Avatar wicked says:

    Well, at least it showed how pretty Enoshima is, tourism promotion complete. Actually I dont think it even did a great job at doing that, Rinne no lagrange did a better job at tourism promotion for Kamogawa(Rinne is actually funded by Kamogawa tourism)

  7. Avatar Ayumu says:

    I loved this show. All of the characters acted more or less realistic and grounded. Loved the background art of the sky and the beaches. The character designs were nice to look at too.

  8. Avatar Sudachi says:

    This series definitely had its high and low points. Would have loved to see more character development on the gents rather than having them merely relegated to the sidelines. A season with a PA Works series is still better than one without, but while I did enjoy it overall, I was also pretty underwhelmed. Thanks for covering!

  9. Avatar Scorps says:

    That Choir girl was indeed REALY annoying.
    Anyway, this was a pleasant show. The art is very good and all, but I felt that the end was lacking something as well. If I had to rate it, I’d give it a 7.5 too.

  10. Avatar wp says:

    I thought Konatsu was awesome, but I agree on the other parts. Not enough balance was the biggest culprit of this show. It could have been more.

  11. Avatar Firechick says:

    I agree with all of your points, Psgels. I also think that Wien should have been portrayed better, but he’s just a superhero-loving kid who literally acts out his fantasies with no sense of shame in regards to acting them out in real life! I didn’t like his arc mostly because of the end of episode 10.

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