The Ayako Doctrine strikes again. Pre-season information about Tari Tari suggested it was inoffensive light fare that sounded all right, but didn't interest me especially. But due to the relatively low number of shows I was following this season, I started looking for other shows that received positive first impressions from other viewers. I'm not entirely sure it qualifies as a positive impression, but apparently a lot of people were taken by Wakana's "I DON'T MONEY" Engrish in an early episode. Further investigation inspired by that discovery led to learning Kawasumi Ayako is in the cast. Well, consider the Ayako Doctrine fully invoked. (Discovering Noto Mamiko on the cast was a pleasant surprise as well.)
Through five episodes, Tari Tari is whimsical when it needs to be, serious at appropriate times, and charming with its medley of characters. Taken as a whole, I'm not sure I can call Tari Tari a legitimately good show, although it has passed Humanity Has Declined as my current favorite show. I'm not entire sure why that is, but there are a lot of individual parts of Tari Tari that I enjoy quite a good deal, and together they create the impression that the show is good, even if the jury is still out on that verdict.
That is, if I like enough different parts of a show, does that mean I like the show itself? I like that Sawa seems to be better than everyone else at everything she sets her mind to. I like that Wakana still struggles with the regrets she carries about her mother's death, but makes real efforts at moving on. I like that Wakana's ridiculous flibbertigibbet mom died early in Wakana's life instead of turning into another one of those "cool" but hopeless, worthless mothers who force their anime children to become precociously dependable and mature. (Mamiko-type "cool" mom gets a pass because her extracurricular activities do not appear to interfere with her traditional gender-typed role and responsibilities as a mother.) I like that Wien is an expatriate who has become a stranger in his native land forced to rely on his Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook, and I like that Daichi is an almost pathologically driven athlete dedicated to a sport nobody else at his school cares about. And I like that Konatsu choked so hard she became a Nico Video celebrity. And I like that the choir director is a real cunt. I'm still waiting for Wakana to break out her secret Sphere powers, though.