Tari Tari 06 — Songs about Ghosts

Am I the only one who’s creeped out by this whole story with Wakana’s mother?

She seems to believe that Wakana could never want to do anything else other than make music. Like mother, like daughter.

Now, I’m not going to blame the mother for this. After all, when she was alive, Wakana did enjoy music. At this point, it was perfectly reasonable, even commendable, for her to encourage Wakana’s interest in music.

Now that Wakana has grown older, however, her interest in music has faded. But her mother’s presence remains. Wakana has become haunted by her mother’s ghost. She can’t get rid of the piano or quit the choir club because she is pegged with guilt. She is imprisoned by her own past, and by her mother’s foreboding promise to “never leave her alone.”

If I were writing this anime, I would lead Wakana to the conclusion that her mother simply wanted her to be happy. That’s why she hid her own illness, after all. Music is a means to the mother’s wish, not an ends.

But somehow, Tari Tari reaches the opposite conclusion. Wakana’s mother taught her to love music. By choosing to set other goals for herself, Wakana is throwing away her mother’s gifts and dishonoring the dead. Wakana ought to dedicate her life to following in her mother’s footsteps, even if that isn’t what she truly wants to do.

To me, this is inauthentic and imprisoning. Wakana is trapped in her childhood. Her mother’s death leaves her unable to grow.

But why is the show focusing on Wakana anyway? Wien and Takana are so much more interesting. Despite being strong-armed into joining the choir club, they are currently the most enthusiastic and dedicated members. What caused this transformation?

Unfortunately, we aren’t allowed to see this, because Wien and Takana aren’t cute girls. In summary, they should have made Wakana a boy and Wien and Takana girls.

15 thoughts on “Tari Tari 06 — Songs about Ghosts

  1. I think there lies a cultural gap. By throwing away her mother’s stuff, you came to the conclusion that Wakana “set other goals for herself”, and simply wanted to move on. If her mother’s was alive (or as a ghost watching her), she should respect Wakana’s wishes and let go. Respecting individual freedom is a fundamental pillar in western morality system.

    However, filial piety (Chinese: 孝, xiào, in Confucian philosophy), the virtue of respect for one’s parents and ancestors is deeply ingrained in the social fabrics of oriental countries, and I can see how Wakana’s actions were guided by it in this arc. As a matter of perception, where you saw Wakana’s interest of music faded, I saw and (maybe, just maybe) what the writer intended to protray was that Wakana was simply going through a rebellious phase before her mother passed away. Her interest in music never actually faded, instead, it was shackled by her guilt of disappointing her mother. Now that she finally realized her mother would love her no matter what, her personal interest is finally aligned with her morality of honoring her mother, and she felt truly free.

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely a cultural gap. As someone raised in the west, I frankly find some of the ideas of filial piety disturbing.

      If Wakana was genuinely interested in music, I guess that’s fine. I couldn’t really tell this from the show though. They should have done a better job showing it.

  2. Neh. You may be right if Wakana truly disliked music and found another hobby instead. I think it’s quite obvious from her interactions with the Choir Club that she actually loves playing the piano and singing.
    Wakana cast away her music not because she hated it but because it reminded her of the painful memories of her mother’s death.
    She was just running away.

    1. Really? To me it just seemed like she was guilted into doing everything for them. They had to drag her kicking and screaming every step of the way. If it is the case that she still liked music, I don’t think they did a very good job at showing that.

  3. I am curious about how you drew a conclusion that Wakana doesn’t like music any longer.Because Wakana quarreled with her mother and said “NO” when her mother played the piaon with her before the exam?I don’t know what the condition is in Japan.But as a Chinese student,I konw exam is the most important things in the world.No matter how Wakana likes music,she should give up it temporarily in order to try her best to prepare the exam.But it doesn’t mean she dislike music.When I saw the smile that Wakana had when she sing the song at the end of esipode six,I knew she really enjoy music.

    1. Maybe I describe the exam a little exaggeratively.But I just want to tell you the imprtance of the exam for Chinese student ,even Japanese student.Wakana just concentrated her attention when the exam was coming.

    2. I didn’t think much of the fact that Wakana was focused on the exam when her mother died. I was convinced that Wakana didn’t want to make music by how little interest she has shown in the choir club up to this point. She has seemed to purposely avoid the club unless someone else drags her along.

      1. Well,I know perheps lots of western students couldn’t understand the importance of the exam for Chinese students.If I were Wakana,I will stop playing music when the exam is coming because I have no time.So I think maybe Wakana was a little nervous about the exam.Then you said that Wakana seemed avoid the club and music.Well,Wakana did something bad to her mother before the exam,and her mother was worried about disturbing her so she concealed her disease.I think Wakana does love her mother.If her mother was alive ,they could have reconciled.But they lost the chance.In esipode 5 Wakana refused the invitation that her mother wanted to listen the opinions of her about the song,and said”I didn’t have time to do these.”So there was a heart knot to Wakana that she didn’t talk about the song with her mother.She could have done that.Then she rufused the music and sold out the piano in order to say goodbye to the past.But she forgot the fetters of her ,mother and music is too deep.She really loves her mother and the music,she can’t leave them.And she cheered up with her father and fellows.She chose the music again,which is her favorite thing forever.Now I know the difference between us is whether Wakana enjoys the music or not.I think she does enjoy it because of the a little same experience I have.Perhaps you will find some interesting things by a defferent point of view.

        1. I’m sorry that I don’t know whether “fetter” is a negative word,but I want to used it as a positive word to describe a good relation among Wakana,her mother and music.I am not so good at English,but I hope you could understand what I mean.

          1. No problem, I get what you were trying to say. Maybe “ties” is the word you were looking for.

        2. From the latest episode, it seems like you’re right and Wakana does enjoy music. I couldn’t tell this at all from her actions in the previous episodes though. I feel like they could have done a better job explaining it (although clearly some people realized this, so maybe it’s just me).

  4. You come up w/ a good and quite convincing interpretation of Wakana’s situation, Draggle! I agree that it hasn’t been all that obvious that Wakana secretly loved music all the time.

    Unfortunately, Tari Tari is overly clichéed imo so I think in the creator’s mind this fact is clear b/c

    1) Wakana knows how to play the piano and if you know just one bit about the wondrous thing called music it just trumps everything else in your life

    2) Wakana’s mother was a gifted musician and something must have rubbed off.

    In any case, interesting discussion in the comments! Seems to me that Wakana’s mother dragged her daughter into an unresolvable conflict between studying for the all-important exams and filial piety. Not very nice of her.

    Btw, you chose a fitting pic as illustration for: “Wakana is trapped in her childhood.” ! Your last pic certainly is my favourite, though 😉 . I’d love to learn more about Konatsu’s story although I doubt she will come into focus again in the few remaining eps.

    1. 1) Wakana knows how to play the piano and if you know just one bit about the wondrous thing called music it just trumps everything else in your life

      2) Wakana’s mother was a gifted musician and something must have rubbed off.

      Exactly, this seems to be the assumption. It seems like a foolish assumption to me, but the creators simply take it for granted.

      Btw, you chose a fitting pic as illustration for: “Wakana is trapped in her childhood.”

      I was quite proud of this, was wondering if anyone would notice. 🙂

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