Final Review: Tari Tari

DISCLAIMER: Anime reviews on this blog will attempt minimal to no spoilers unless otherwise noted. If a review seems dull or shallow, it’s because I’m trying to make sure not to go into too detail for those who are actually interested in the show before or after reading the review or those who have yet to finish the title. If you want further details, there are usually tons of reviews that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Furthermore, anime reviews in general are the sole opinion of the author writing it and thus differ across the users. There is no such thing as a “right answer” only a majority agreement. You are free to have your own opinions and thereby free to state and/or argue/debate in the comments section below or on the Fansub TV Forums. The review is not necessarily meant to serve as a recommendation but rather a personal opinion of having completed the series.

As summer reviews wrap up, I finally got around to finishing the final episode of Tari Tari. Tari Tari is based on an ongoing manga that started in May 2012. So effectively, you could call this an original work given how little source material there is. It follows Konatsu Miyamoto who is an optimistic girl and loves to sing. Unfortunately, the vice principal, who is also the advisor of the choir club, thinks otherwise, forcing Konatsu to quit the club and start her own vocal music club, a group that effectively became the vocal music with badminton on the side club. Together with Sawa Okita, Wakana Sakai, Taichi Tanaka, and Atsuhiro (Wien) Maeda, the five attempt to prove to the vice principal that they’re serious about singing. Tari Tari aired during the Summer 2012 anime season, was simulcasted on CrunchyRoll, and licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

Tari Tari has one of the better stories in this weak anime season. The premise and conflicts are simple. No real twists. So what’s so good about this show? The character development, of course. Each of the five leads get their own little back story shoved in between episodes as the group grows closer to each other. It’s mixed very nicely and does not feel out of place. I should also note that the cast is generally likable. You get a nice balance of airhead and ridiculousness from Konatsu and Wien while getting the serious and stubbornness from the other three members. Plot advancement is also stable for the most part. Each episode has the cast working towards being able to sing at the school festival and at least one growing in character along the way. There’s also a bit of drama and tension for those who like to have it mixed up a little rather than going happy-go-lucky all the way from beginning to end. Conclusion wise, everything and I mean everything is wrapped up quite nicely. All the little loose ends that were scattered throughout the series resolved itself and in a reasonable fashion too. The only question I still have is what was with the 1 minute epilogue following the ED video. Not sure what significance that had. Arguably the best show this season.

Art is very nicely drawn. Colorful and detailed backgrounds as well as crisp character designs. My only complaint about character designs is how lifeless some of the characters look, particularly Konatsu. In terms of animation, Tari Tari is P.A. Works’ newest title and similar to a number of their recent works like Hanasaku Iroha and Angel Beats!, P.A. Works continues to impress me more and more. The animation is absolutely stunning for them and the fluidity is absolutely great. If you want examples, just look at Sawa’s gorgeous movements in episodes 11 and 12.

OP theme is okay. I’m not too big of a fan of AiRI’s works but this wasn’t bad. ED theme is catchy but not particularly noteworthy long term. For a show centered around music, its themes are generally disappointing. Background music is also only average as is its sound effects. However, seiyuus are generally solid. Nobunaga Shimazaki, Asami Seto, and Natsuki Hanae are all relatively new to the industry still and it’s great to see them take off with solid lead roles. Ayahi Takagaki and Saori Hayami, of course, are veterans in this industry now and continue to do well in their respective roles here.

Enjoyment? Tari Tari has a lot of fluff fun to start with. Tension didn’t really start building until mid-way through but the preliminary build up really allowed for greater insight to certain characters. It really gave the audience a chance to develop a bond with the character and ultimately bring out an all out drama at the height of that bond. Unfortunately, Tari Tari’s long-term value is only average. It doesn’t have many big factors driving it forward, especially when you compare it to something like Hanasaku Iroha. I guess if you’re looking for a shorter slice of life Tari Tari could work out but I generally prefer the ARIA franchise instead in that case.

Overall, Tari Tari is by no means a unique show. The slice of life elements used in this show are stuff that recent titles such as Hyouka and Hanasaku Iroha as well as many others have done countless times and to some extent better. Regardless, Tari Tari is a very easy watch and it’s got quality animation to boot. It’s character development and story are both solid overall and a likable cast to top it all off. With that said, Tari Tari certainly deserves some praise. However, if you want drama, we’ll just have to wait and see how same season competitor Kokoro Connect does when it finishes…in 6 months (recall 4 special episodes released after episode 13)?

Story and Character:

  • Premise (0.5/1): Simple and basic slice-of-life start up. Not much of a hook aside from an amusing lead character in opening episode.
  • Character Personalities (1/1): Lovable cast.
  • Character Development (2/2): Solid all around. Looking back, Konatsu’s character is kinda glossed over but still enough to motivate the purpose of the show.
  • Character Usefulness/Presence (2/2): Small and simple cast that maintains its usefulness and presence throughout the series.
  • Pacing: (1/1): Pacing is solid overall. For a show with little to no source material to work off of, this is very well done.
  • Reasonable/Plausible (1/2): Sawa falling off a horse and not seriously injured is a bit out of place. A few other things that are out of place for a slice-of-life title.
  • Conclusion (1/1): Strong conclusion that wraps up both the main plot and the various subplots.
  • Total: 8.5/10

Art and Animation:

  • Backgrounds (2/2): Very detailed. Colorful and detailed backgrounds.
  • Character Designs (1/2): Crisp character designs. Eyes need some work. Too soulless
  • Fluidity (2/2): Perfect. Sawa is amazing.
  • Visuals/Special Effects/Flashiness (2/2): Visually stunning for P.A. Works title.
  • Art and Animation “Expectation” (2/2): P.A. Works continue to impress with quality animation.
  • Total: 9/10

Sound and Music:

  • OP/ED/Insert Themes (2/3): OP is okay.
  • Background Music (1/2): Average
  • Sound Effects (1/2): Average
  • Seiyuu (2.5/3): Solid
  • Total: 6.5/10

Enjoyment:

  • Amusement (2/2): Good stuff. Konatsu and Wien can be amazing at times.
  • Weekly/Next Episode Anticipation (1.5/2): Slow start but builds up nice and fast soon after creating a desire to watch more.
  • Presentation (2/2): Character developments are weaved nicely into the overarching story. Little need for improvement
  • Re-watchable (0.5/1): Has some rewatch value. It’s not unique though and other shows have done the same concept equally or better.
  • Recommendation (1.5/2): Hanasaku Iroha, True Tears, and ARIA are all prime recommendations but Tari Tari is certainly capable of holding its ground in the genre. Kokoro Connect could also be another one depending on how it turns out.
  • Value (0.5/1): Has some long-term value due to its short length. Can be a bit more fast paced than Hanasaku Iroha at times. Good emotional and dramatic content.
  • Total: 8/10

Preliminary Score: 7/10

Final Score: 8/10

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