Tari Tari is a great show, but not a great PA Works show. That sounds contrived, but think about another analogy- Jackie Brown is a great movie, but not a great Tarantino movie. The problems with Tari Tari are relatively few and in between, but when those issues do crop up, they are terribly obvious- the most standout being the second half’s pacing and dramatic shift in focus where the characters began to have centric arcs just before the season’s rising action/end.
While this isn’t a wonderful show to look back on, but it would have been a standout addition to the season considering it aired against Sword Art Online and Kokoro Connect (which had similar issues to Tari Tari, in my opinion). Watching Tari Tari week to week would have helped with the irritation felt towards characters for their impotence and evened out that final rush to the end that happens in the second half. There are a lot of shows that lend themselves to binge-watching, but Tari Tari is not one of them. It’s just a big of a drag to the point where I legitimately believed the show was two seasons long.
Let’s get into the show basics.
Though she gets under your skin, Konatsu Miyamoto is a great kid who has great intentions, though she often ends up seeming selfish and silly. She’s a kind girl who manages quite a bit while not overexerting herself like her accompanying cast which allows her to be a very interesting foil to all characters in the show who have trials and tribulations that far outweigh anything Konatsu experiences.
Sawa Okita struggles with her weight as she dreams of being a jockey, Taichi Tanaka wants to get into college on his badminton skill alone, Astuhiro “Wien” Maeda is living in a foreign land with his letters home being returned to sender, and Wakana Sakai is slowly adapting to her place in the world after her mother’s death. Konatsu simply wants to have fun and sing, though the choir club won’t allow it, and now you can understand why the show is just a little off kilter. Konatsu, the focal point of Tari Tari, doesn’t have a problem whereas her friends certainly do.
What Tari Tari suffers from the most is the irritation with Konatsu not being able to relate, understand, or attempt what her friends are going through in any way. This doesn’t make Konatsu a bad person, but it does make it seem like Konatsu is the background character in her own story.
If you make it past Konatsu’s childishness, there’s another story element that falls apart- it’s the plot itself. It gets, well, dropped. Now, life is full of dropped plots that are later picked back up again, but it’s not something that works well in fiction since fictions is escapism. The problem with Tari Tari is that the creation/inception of Konatsu’s new choir club is put off, then later wholly ignored, for the problems that plague the rest of the cast. The character-specific focus happens in the second half and follows the same formulaic design we’ve seen with other PA Works shows which means we run headfirst into plot resolution in the finale.
This isn’t to say that Tari Tari is a terrible show; however, it retains that PA Works beauty that we’ve all come to love, and the show serves as a great example of expansion beyond just the normal school-life backdrop since the kids spend more time outside the school than in it.
I think Tari Tari offers more to fans of the studio working on it, as well as, fans of the slow-school-life genres than anything else. I wouldn’t personally suggest picking this title up if you didn’t enjoy Hanasaku Iroha or A Lull in the Sea which are two very comparable shows to Tari Tari where all don’t share much in the way of the acclaimed Angel Beats or Sakura Quest.
Tari Tari is a beautifully created show, if not lacking in essential story elements to keep you interested for all 13 episodes.