The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Being cloudy, shining, singing again someday: Revisiting a review of the Tari Tari OVA

“God has given us two hands: one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.” —Billy Graham

Released on December 17, 2015, the Tari Tari OVA has proven to be the most elusive OVA encountered in living memory. Straying out of thought and time, the OVA was alone, forgotten, without escape from the dark corners of the world. The stars wheeled overhead, but it is not the end. I will recount the OVA account, and share it for my part. In my earlier talk, I briefly summarised the OVA, where Wakana, Sawa and Konatsu wonder what to do as the winter holidays approach. While Konatsu is itching towards karaoke as the group cleans up their club room, the others feel it is prudent to study. It isn’t until later that Sawa decides to gather everyone together to sing a song that commemorates their time together. This song, titled “いつまでも輝きを” (Shining Forever) is featured as the OVA’s ending song and has a runtime of around four minutes. While it’s not a sequel that depicts the character’s fates following their graduation, it does nonetheless represent a welcome piece of Tari Tari: when it had aired back in 2012, I found Tari Tari to be a wonderful anime that depicted the thoughts and emotions of a group of friends on a cusp, as they begin the transition from one stage to the next. It was a story that numerous viewers (should be able to) relate to, and coupled with exceptional artwork, has been one of P.A. Works’ more memorable titles.

The main point of interest surrounding the OVA is where it things are chronologically set relative to the remainder of Tari Tari, if it is not a sequel. Wakana mentions that it’s December early on in the OVA, and the Choir-and-sometimes-Badminton club are cleaning up their clubroom in preparation for the winter holidays. Later, while lying in bed, Sawa reminisces about the day where she and Wakana, Konatsu, Taichi and Wein performed one final time during the autumn period prior to their school’s closure (construction crews do not begin preparing the site for demolition until March of the following year, during the same time as the graduation ceremony). Therefore, it is possible to say with complete confidence that this OVA takes place during the final episode, during the eyecatch at its halfway point; the OVA depicts a brief snapshot of a period after their performance and before graduation in March. Thus, the eyecatch skips a period of around half a year, and the fact that P.A. Works chose not to depict what happened during this time suggests that Wakana and her friends were busy preparing for their entrance exams and pursuit of their post-secondary plans, although this brief moment during their winter break was meritorious of additional mention. It is interesting to note that by this point, Sawa’s parents still exhibit some doubts about her career choices, in spite of their determination to support her earlier on in the series.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Because of how difficult it’s been to find anything on the Tari Tari OVA, I’ve optimised this post to be hopefully more searchable by referring to the OVA as such, rather than by its full name (Kumottari, Kagayaitari, Mata Itsuka Utattari). To improve things further, each image here links to a 1080p full-sized copy that can be easily downloaded. I’ve updated my previous talk on the Tari Tari OVA so the images there can be viewed in full-resolution, as well. The decision to do a second post within a half-year was not lightly made, and this talk aims to provide a definitive answer as to when the events of the OVA are set, as well as provide the highest possible resolution images of this OVA.

  • Although the Tari Tari OVA does not particularly offer much in the way of anything new, it was nonetheless quite pleasant to see the characters return again. I consider Tari Tari to be one of P.A. Works’ best slice-of-life anime; it wasn’t about any one thing in particular, dealing with Wakana, Konatsu and Sawa’s aspirations as high school drew to a close. Appropriately, its title, “Tari Tari“, is used as a suffix in Japanese to indicate doing “stuff”, being quite similar to “-ing” in English whenever an action is being performed in present tense.

  • As noted in the previous discussion, there is a bit of melancholy in this OVA: besides being projected by the lighting at dialogue in-show, said melancholy can also be felt owing to the audience’s knowledge that this short OVA is very likely the last we’ll see of Tari Tari, given that P.A. Works does not do sequels. Their past records show that any continuations they’ve done depict events set in the middle of a series.

  • Consequently, it is most unlikely that Wakana, Konatsu and Sawa’s fates will ever be given solid closure. One thing I would’ve most like to see was what ultimately happened to Sawa and Taichi: subtle signs were present throughout Tari Tari that the two shared unspoken, mutual feelings for one another, and while the scene at the airport was devoid of dialogue, it’s very likely that Taichi confessed his feelings to Sawa here.

  • Despite being a seven-minute long feature with a four-minute long montage using footage from the original anime, the Tari Tari OVA has lost none of its visual fidelity. Being three years old does not change my claims that Tari Tari easily has the best visuals out of any P.A. Works titles, even beating out Glasslip and Nagi no Asukara. The reason for this is the delicate balance of colour that allows the anime to depict both vivid and brooding environments to augment the atmosphere surrounding each moment: none of their other titles does this quite as well, and in fact, recent titles like Shirobako seem a little underwhelming by comparison with respect to the visual aspect.

  • I still recall the previous year in August, during which I published a talk on Sabagebu! after having a steak-and-lobster dinner at The Keg. This first weekend of August, I celebrated a year’s of aging with a dinner at Tony Roma’s: I had the wish for a good rack of ribs and ordered what is known as the “Ultimate Grill Power”, which added an eight-ounce sirloin steak and skewer of grilled shrimp with the ribs. My standard for assessing the quality of ribs is by how easily the meat falls off the bones, and their ribs pass this test nicely, being tender and tasty.

  • The eventual fate of Taichi’s feelings is left unknown, leaving a somewhat unpleasant feeling amongst the audience, most of whom wished that more time was directed towards following Sawa and Taichi’s growing relationship. However, I contend that the decision to leave this aspect in the sidelines, and merely illustrate it subtly, allowed Tari Tari to focus on the character’s futures and not devolve into an ill-executed love story.

  • I’ve been in Taichi’s shoes before, and in both instances, there were no storybook endings. With that being said, life’s too short really worry about these things. Realistically, even if Taichi’s feelings went unanswered, the possibilities in life remain limitless, and while I’ll earn some disdainful looks from some, I contend that the things that are truly worth having hardly ever come easily, so a good relationship is no exception.

  • The weather today finally decided that the time was ripe for a change from the sunshine we’ve been fortunate to enjoy, and this morning, the rain began falling in earnest, bringing a much-needed downpour and the associated cooling to the city. While it stopped briefly, it’s back now in the form of an evening thunderstorm. The past weekend was quite eventful: I paid a visit to the local bookstore to check out Tom Clancy’s Full Force and Effect before settling down to a summer evening of fried chicken, and yesterday, celebrated several birthdays with family. The weather had been quite hot, compounded by the stagnant air, making perfect weather for being out and about, and with the work week resuming, it’s nice that we’re getting rain.

  • It’s quite easy to see why Sawa’s father disapproves of her being a jockey: in the United States, the average jockey makes around 35000 USD per year owing to the fees a jockey must pay out to their agent and valet. While there are exceptional jockeys who make a substantial income, they are rare, hence her parent’s apprehension into allowing her to pursue her interests.

  • Sources out there state that the average height of a jockey ranges from 4’10 to 5’6, and an average mass of 108 to 118 pounds. Sawa is 5’6 and weighs 121 pounds, which puts her at the upper bounds for the recommended physical characteristics for a jockey: her arc in the original anime illustrates her determination to become a jockey, even going to extremes by dieting in an attempt to lower her mass. Once her friends and parents realise this, this do their part to support her to the best of their ability.

  • Doubting her plans for the future, Sawa scrolls through her phone and finds a photograph of their performance together, evoking memories of how much fun it had been to perform one final time together for a large audience. This performance acted as a swan song for the Choir-and-sometimes-Badminton club, with their determination to see things through being sufficient to motivate other students to help them out, even as their school was slated for closure.

  • Of her friends, only Sawa wields a smart phone with a touch screen. In North America, smart phones are the dominant phone on the market owing to their versatility, but in Japan, flip-phones are still widely used. Despite lacking the raw processing power and hardware of a smart phone, Japanese flip phones are capable of video playback, running some mobile applications and connecting to the internet. Their dominance in Japan arises from highly expensive plans for smartphones: flip phone plans are much more affordable, suggesting that the Okita family is relatively wealthy.

  • While flip phones are making a resurgence in Japan, back over in North America, smart phones are continuing to march on, with each successive generation sporting improved hardware. The present trend seems to be that, with the lessening gap between mobile and computer operating systems, phones may eventually replace PCs and become full-fledged computing solutions in their own right. So, if one wanted to use their phone as a computer tower, they’d merely need to attach it to a dock for power, connect it to an external display and add a keyboard/mouse.

  • The Tari Tari OVA takes on a Christmas theme to tie in with the fact that the BD box set was released in December, just in time for the Christmas season. During this time, I was gearing up to go on a vacation in Taiwan and Hong Kong, marking the first time I traveled abroad during the winter season. Things like snow, eggnog and Christmas dinner was swapped for enjoying the sunshine of Southern Taiwan and watching the New Year fireworks in Hong Kong’s central district, which was, while quite different, not unwelcome.

  • This spot is likely the near the Samuel Cocking Garden, underneath the Enoshima Sea Candle. The original garden was founded in 1880 by British merchant Samuel Cocking as the Enoshima Botanical Garden, and featured a greenhouse where he collected tropical plants. The greenhouse was destroyed in an earthquake, and in 2004, a new garden was opened in the area. The Enoshima Sea Candle is a private lighthouse that was completed in 2003. Built for the 100th anniversary celebration of Enoshima Electric Railway, its observation deck can be accessed by a series of escalators. With a height of 40 meters, the observation deck provides a stunning panoramic view of the area that, by nightfall, is considered as the sxith best “Japan Heritage Night View”; the tower itself is illuminated by a solar power generation device installed on the south side during the hours of darkness.

  • On the morning of their gathering, the skies are grey and moody. However, it is still quite warm in Enoshima: the average temperature in the area is around 13°C in December, which is my city’s average temperature in June, and in December, we average -7°C. Consequently, whenever I hear any talk that it becomes “cold” in some regions of Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, I’m quick to dismiss it, for their weak winter is no match for Real Canadian Winter.

  • When Wakana arrives, it turns out Wein and Taichi are already there, performing a Christmas variant of the Ganba Red song. One must admire Wein’s boldness, which leads Konatsu to become embarrassed, but Wakana quickly tunes in to the Christmas spirit and begins singing “Forever shining”, after which everyone else joins in. The song clocks in at four minutes, and is very soothing in tone.

  • There were two major themes in Tari Tari that figured prominently: the importance of openness in friendship, and the impact of taking the initiative to do something meaningful as one journey of life draws to a close. In both Wakana and Sawa’s cases, opening up allowed the others to help them overcome their troubles, and by the end of Tari Tari, Wakana is much friendlier than she had been at the series’ beginning.

  • After “Forever Shining” comes to an end, a still of the plaza under a light dusting of snow is presented. Although rare, snow can fall here, as it did during February 2013, lending itself to a scene distinctly feeling of Christmas: it’s clear that the Tari Tari OVA issomething that is best watched during the Christmas season, and on that remark, this post comes to an end.

Though it might be brazen for me to say so, I conclude that viewers are unlikely to be missing out on much even without the Tari Tari OVA. I justify this claim by saying that, since the OVA was not a continuation or epilogue, and its keystone is the “Forever shining” song set to flashbacks of the events in Tari Tari‘s main story, rather than any new footage. Consequently, though welcomed as an opportunity to see Wakana, Konatsu, Sawa, Taichi and Wein perform together again, the OVA does not contribute anything new to Tari Tari. With that being said, it is a strange fate that audiences would be held in the dark for so long, over so short and simple an OVA. More than a half-year has now elapsed since the original slated release date, and there are still no avenues to access this OVA for viewers outside of Japan. According to sales figures, 1923 copies of the Tari Tari Complete Box were sold in Japan within four days of the BD volume’s release. With a price tag of 295 CAD, one wonders just how many of these sales were motivated by the want of a seven-minute short, and whether or not this price tag might be the explanation behind why the Tari Tari OVA continues to remain inaccessible to audiences outside of Japan.

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