You ever have one of those days when nothing is going right? Welcome to the world of Wakana as we left last week's episode of Tari Tari, with storms raging outside and a missing cat putting the proverbial boot in as she continues to struggle to come to terms with the loss of her mother.
Between this stress and searching for said cat out in the rain, it's almost inevitable that Wakana ends up with a cold, much to the concern of her father. Still, it's nothing that some bed rest can't shake off, and both a visit from both Miyamoto and a chance to see Sawa seem to at least ease any anguish that she's feeling when coupled with a return to school and a chance to see teacher Ms. Takahashi's newly born baby.
Of course, none of this is enough to assuage Wakana's feelings of guilt surrounding the state of the relationship with her mother at the time of her death, even though some of the discussions with her friends ease those worries. Everything comes to a head as Wakana's father prepares a lavish (relatively speaking) meal to celebrate his wedding anniversary, leading to Wakana questioning her dad about various things, ultimately leading to her pouring out the question which means more than anything to her - namely why her mum never told Wakana about her illness before her death. It's an emotional time that goes some way to allowing Wakana to come to terms with the situation, and it also introduces her to a song that her mother had started writing prior to her death in the hope of completing it with Wakana... a song which will doubtless take pride of place in the second half of this series.
For all of its cheesy sentimentality as revolves around music (and the relationship between Wakana and mother really is one of the cheesier aspects of this show), there's something undeniably touching about Wakana's situation as a whole which has tugged at my heartstrings over the past couple of episodes - there's something genuine and believable about her emotional turmoil that I can't pretend to directly understand, but still feel drawn to and moved by regardless. Add to that some wonderful and well-placed splashes of humour then coat the whole thing with some colourful and gorgeous visuals, and Tari Tari continues to do its job nicely when it comes to proving itself to be greater than the sum of its component parts. It's still no classic, but any series that can move me close to tears on the one hand and make me laugh on the other has to be worth some level of kudos.