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.|