「満ちたり 欠けたり」 (Michi tari Kake tari)
“Waxing and Waning”
To say the least, this episode is one of those that could easily make or break a series. We’re finally at a point where we see the culmination of all the character development in the series, a point where we can see what this series can truly deliver now that the characters have overcome their respective traumas, and now that we’ve become emotionally invested in them as well. And the result? TARI TARI passes this test with flying colors, as this entire episode was full of the cast just feeding and bouncing off one another. There just aren’t enough words to describe how awesome the interactions were this episode, and it’s just this dynamic that separates this series from the rest of the pack. I mean, in the end, TARI TARI is just an anime, and the friendship between the cast a virtual thing. But it’s so smooth, so well done that if you just listened to how they talk to each other, you wouldn’t be able to distinguish whether it’s something from an anime or something from real life.
And it’s just sad seeing this series come to an end, but alas… it’s like that quote: “All good things must come to an end.” At the very least though, it seems like it’ll be quite an emotional ending, and one where it won’t matter whether or not I brace myself for it or not. Heck, I was getting emotional toward the end of this episode just thinking of the group singing Wakana’s song and going against the cancellation of the White Festival by forcibly hosting their own.
But in the end, I suppose that’s just a byproduct of how much impact the reveal was: that the school would ultimately be replaced by luxury condominiums due to lack of funding and enrollment. I had figured there was something bad coming, but I never anticipated anything along such lines. Maybe something like the addition of certain facilities that would kick out the need for a Choir Club or something… but shutting down the whole school… just wow. And to top it off, the fact the creators intentionally held it under wraps so long too, made it even more emotional. I mean, seeing Sawa mother and Wakana’s dad reading the notice about the school’s closure… it just made me tear up a bit. I mean, they just went through so much recently with their children and things were finally looking up. Now they have to deal with something like this, something just so much worse because it’s not something they can control. It’s just down right messed up. And I’m really hoping they pull some magic to rectify the situation, however unrealistic and idealistic that sounds… because that’s how much this series has managed to make me care.
Either way though, I just find myself having to back track a bit, because there were just some great moments this episode. There were the scenes with Wien’s modeling skills in action, Taichi’s stalking of Sawa to get some pics in exchange for art, Taichi being told never to draw again and getting owned by the art club… just priceless. And then there were the other conversations, like the one where Wakana admits that the only reason she’s continued to work so hard on her song is due to Konatsu forcing her to, which just emphasize the great dynamics between everyone. And well, I’m just out of words, quite frankly. Like they say, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”, and the episode doesn’t need much extra explaining to emphasize how good it was, and how good of a series TARI TARI is. I’m disappointed the end is coming, but it’s okay. TARI TARI’s like that bullet train you just saw for the first time. It’ll be gone before you know it, but just seeing it is infinitely better than not having glimpsed it at all, so all you can do is just sit there and enjoy it while you can.