「晴れたり 泣いたり あとは時々歌ったり」 (Hare tari Nai tari Atoha Tokidoki Utatta ri)
“Sunny Days and Crying and Sometimes Singing”
Like they say, good things must always come to an end. After thirteen episodes and a great run as one of the best series this season, as well as the entire year, TARI TARI finally arrives at that end. And what an ending it is. Granted, nothing particularly screamed “surprising” this episode, but it was still a joy to watch and had me tearing up occasionally too. Other times, I just found myself with a stupid grin on my face, and well, that’s just the beauty of this series—you can know what’s coming and it might not break any real new ground in terms of its genre, but what it does it does well, and it does it so well that you just can’t help but be drawn in. This episode showed that once again, and it’s just a perfect way to culminate a series that’s given us so much these past few months. Just wouldn’t have it any other way.
Going into the episode itself, I have to say, the beginning had me screaming at the screen. I mean, seeing Wakana stand there, watching the rain with that face… you just can’t help but hope that everything works out, even though you knew nothing would stop them from getting this concert out. Regardless of the weather, regardless of the locked school building, and regardless of the Chairman of the School Board standing in their way, you knew they’d find a way. And that way came in the form of the Principal, whose pants-ing of the Chairman, passionate plea, and willingness to be fired for his actions at least made up partially for his inaction the previous episodes. Followed up with a clutch backup by the Vice-Principal, who brings along a few other clubs to the party and dismisses the security guards at the gates, the concert goes on—and so do the storm clouds, setting the stage for perhaps one of the most emotional musical performances I’ve seen in a series. And before I get into the greatness of that performance, let’s not forget to mention the touching moment between Konatsu and the Vice-Principal too:
“Would you let me conduct this stage you’ve set up?”
And gosh darn it, I should’ve known that the final stage would be the very same place shown in the ending all this time!
But moving back to the concert, it wasn’t great only because it was an amazing culmination to the many episodes of quality development. And it wasn’t not only due to the fact the song was simply amazing as per usual, and used some bits of the song written by the Vice-Principal and Wakana’s mother either. It’s because it continued TARI TARI’s propensity to have deeper references within its dialogue and in this case, its music too:
“We’ve overcome many difficulties.
But now we’re finally here.
Though we lost much along the way.
Friends and family. Dreams and pride. Even our beloved homeland.
Now, we’re alone in a world shrouded in darkness, on a path that can’t be seen.
The sound of singing will show us the way.
So let us sing.
So that we may be each other’s humble guides.
Even if it won’t bring about a miracle, for that single moment of rest…
We’ll pour our feelings into this song… and start walking again.”
Case in point, this was the dialogue before the song starts, and it’s just an amazing, subtle summary of our main cast and their journey until now. Wakana lost her mother along the way. Wien lost contact with his friend Jan. Everyone took a hit to their pride as they faced the obstacles to their dreams. And now at the end, they’re even losing their school, their beloved homeland and the place they’ve spent the past few months forming their memories at. And the rest regarding the singing, that pretty much just speaks for itself. Let’s go into the actual lyrics of the song too:
“Under the blue sky, we spread out arms wide.
Doubt and pain are proof that we had hope.
We’ll go at our own pace.
We’ll always have faith.
A passing shower will eventually come to an end.
Even filled with tears, our hearts can be free.
Because, look, someone will be there to pat our backs.
This melody will bring out the light and reflect tomorrow in these sparkling eyes.
Filled with dreams, our hearts will always be free.
Because, look, someone will be there to laugh with us.
This melody beckons the light.
Even if the path is a winding one, everything will be all right.
We can set out with smiles on our faces.”
Really, it’s amazing how well the lyrics also cater to the events that’ve happened in the series. I mean, the part about the passing shower coming to an end especially, and the part about the future and going out to tomorrow with smiles on their faces… there really was just a shower earlier this episode, and they’re just literally going onward with smiles on their future, guided by their dreams and the memories of the friends that laughed with them all throughout this time. I could go on and on about just how representative these lyrics are, but there’s just so much else to discuss, so I’ll move on for now.
In keeping with the whole discussion about subtle references and powerful dialogue, I also have to mention how the Chairman of the Board throwing his cigarette and stomping on it… just really stung, because it felt like he was just stomping on their dreams, and I can’t help but think it was also an intentional addition on the part of the creators. In addition, I also have to talk about the Principal’s quote about how the school might just be an asset to him, but that he should take into account how the school means so much more to our main cast. Just another subtle reference about how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as well as a commentary on how people (especially those with power), should think of others before making decisions that affects more than just themselves.
Also, Wakana’s dad rocks by the way… and it was nice seeing Taichi man up at the end and let Sawa know his feelings, despite the fact we sadly didn’t get to hear any of the particular dialogue (WHAT A TEASE THIS SHOW!).
And ultimately, what else can I say? I feel at this point, there aren’t just enough words to describe the feelings this episode and this series conjured up. I’ll try to in the final impressions below, but for now, I’d like to say “I hope you enjoyed this series as much as I did” and that “I also hope you’ve enjoyed my coverage of this series as well, and will continue to follow my coverage in the coming seasons.” And last, but perhaps the most important, I’d like to give you viewers my thanks, for taking the time out of your busy lives just to read my posts, so… “Thanks!”
Full-length images: 01.
You know how after you’ve experienced something amazing, you just can’t really put it in words, and you’re kinda just standing there with this dazed look on your face? Yes? No? Maybe? Yeah well, that pretty much expresses how I am right now. No, I can’t say TARI TARI was a tremendous masterpiece, but it was at least a darn great experience.
And well, that makes me all the more disappointed at how low the expectations were for this series in the beginning. Yes, there was the physical resemblance to Hanasaku Iroha, which seems to have disappointed a vast majority of viewers out there, but as I said many times before, it’s just unfair to toss out a series just because of such a passing resemblance. And it’s sad, because many people seem to have not bothered with this series or dropped it way too early as a result, and just really missed out.
Regardless though, if you’re reading this now, I reckon you’ve probably completed the series, and so I’d really just like to thank you guys again. I know I’m not one of the creators of the show and it’s strange for me to thank you for watching the series, but that’s just how strongly I feel about TARI TARI and about giving series a chance despite their external appearance and the comments/pre-season impressions of others. So thanks. Speaking about pre-season impressions, it also brings back memories of how I called TARI TARI the surprise/dark horse of the season, and it’s pretty much lived up to that billing. KoiChoco makes a strong case too, but that’s another story altogether.
The bottom line in the end is this: TARI TARI might not have been the most innovative series, especially within its slice of life genre, but it did slice of life right and had more than enough charm for it stand above other series of the same genre, as well as many other shows this season too. The cast ended up exceptionally likable, despite a few rocky moments during their developmental periods. And as a character driven series, they really bought the series to heights that even exceeded my initial, fairly high expectations. There are just aren’t many casts (and series in general) on a daily basis that are this memorable, and I’m really going to miss this series.
And let’s not forget about the other aspects TARI TARI gave us too, as the choir music (though some may have different subjective favorites in terms of music) and the subtle references and commentary on life were also amazing bits that just resonated not only with real life events, but especially with events in my own life. It’s gotta be one of the first times a slice of life has really hit the spot in terms of realism so personally, and it’s also probably a big part of why I enjoyed TARI TARI so much, and also teared up so many times for too. Really, I’ve watched so many series in my life time, but only a handful have made me tear up at one point during the series, let alone multiple times, yet this series did so with only its 6th episode!
In any case, with the post now getting well into “lengthy” territory, I suppose it’s a good time as any to stop. By now, it’s pretty obvious how much I loved this series, and hopefully those of you reading loved it just as much. And so, I’ll conclude by just saying we could use more great series like TARI TARI, as well as requesting that those of you out there who did liked TARI TARI, recommend this show to others, so they too can see what they missed. With that, I bid thee adieu!