「空回ったり 見失ったり」 (Kuukai ttari Miushinatta ri)
“Spinning in Circles and Losing Sight”
Following the conclusion of Wakana’s arc, Sawa gets her time in the spotlight this time around. But, even with this spotlight, Sawa wasn’t actually what the episode was about. Rather, the actual focus is on the developing plans and changing outlooks our main characters have regarding the future. Topping it off with some great character development all around, TARI TARI distinguishes itself by being able to put the focus on one character while ensuring that the other characters don’t get lost in the process.
For example, we get to see the culmination of Wakana’s development over the last few episodes. We see her finally embracing the music she’s been intentionally avoiding for years and we see her being undecided for the future as a result. We see her opening up to the other members of the club, a side of her we haven’t really been able to see until now. And it just shows how far she’s come as a result of the events of the last few episodes.
And then there’s Taichi, who is showing how despite the fact he has earned an athletic scholarship, he knows he still can’t afford to slack off regarding the entrance examination. He knows if he fails it, he could still lose the scholarship… and it’s just a refreshing attitude that not only provides a nice contrast to other people who would take this chance for granted and not put as much effort into it, but shows how determined he is to succeed in the future.
Speaking of contrast, one of the more notable aspects for this episode (at least for me), revolves around the obvious contrast between Wakana’s parents and Sawa’s. Wakana’s parents were more easy going and in ways, a kind of ideal arrangement where they wanted their child to find what she wanted to do, and would support her all the way. Sawa’s parents on the other hand though, are a complete opposite… being more down to earth in many ways, and showing obvious dislike of her desire to ride horses as a career despite her love for it. Really, the quote from her father pretty much summarizes their view in a nutshell: “Some obstacles cannot be overcome by hard work alone”. And well, it’s just a really big contrast… so big that it makes me wonder if it wasn’t intentional that Wakana and Sawa’s arcs were placed back-to-back, which would be quite clever of them indeed. Also, I have to say, that whole exchange between Wakana and her dad, just highlights further how awesome he is.
Going back to development for a bit… I feel like I also have to mention the bits we get about Wien and Konatsu as well, as we find out about Wien’s insecurities about the future and the brave face he puts on as a front, and about Konatsu having to continuously deal with old friends from the original Choir Club questioning her resolve. I reckon though, by the end of the coming White Festival, that Konatsu will get her revenge, which will be sweet indeed. Wien on the other hand… it’s something that’ll probably take a bit of a few episodes to get through, but I’ll definitely look forward to that.
Moving on… everything above just shows how much development everyone gets, despite the focus on Sawa. But still, the main focus character wise is still Sawa’s and well, it’s just sad the lengths she ends up going through in an attempt to pursue her dreams because of her dad’s rigidness regarding the endeavor… something that leads to her falling off Sabure and getting injured at the end of this episode. In the end though, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying either parenting method is necessarily better than another. What I do believe though, is there should be at least semblance of flexibility given if possible, unless the family absolutely cannot afford it and is in dire financial straits or something. Regardless, while I can’t really see where Sawa goes from here, I just can’t help but want her to continuing pursuing her dream. I would think the signs point to her eventually going back to horse riding, but for some reason… I just can’t shake the feeling there’s that chance that Sawa also goes the opposite route and tries pursuing something else.
And well, that’s about it. Just another solid, enjoyable episode to say the least… though I personally found it great due to the fact I’m about to graduate soon too (from college) and my future’s up in the air to a point that I can really identify with the characters. You’ll find a few full lengths below, as well as interesting facts regarding the series name.
Interesting Trivia: The funky episode names all use verbs in the -tari -tari conjugation (used for “indicating actions amongst other actions” or “I’m doing things such as…”). Hence, the origins of the series’ name! Thanks to one of my friends for catching this!
Author’s Note: Took a bit to fix up, but blog’s back up! Take a peek if you have the chance and stay tuned for some previews of graphic novels and hopefully The Last Story artbook in the comings days!