In Tari Tari 9 it’s time for Wein to have a crisis of sorts.
Seems he befriended a sickly boy back in Germany and watched that Gamba hero show with him a lot. Now the kid’s moved and Wein doesn’t know what happened to him. He demonstrates his concern by not paying attention to the others, not taking notes, and going “huh?” a lot. Just so we know he’s bothered. This is all right as far as crises go. It’s frustrating to have no idea how a person you care about is doing. Unfortunately the show doesn’t handle it too well. In fact, it comes out of left field. The gang are going to be Gamba fighters for the local festival (long story, there’s plenty of other plot going on, too), and Wein takes it on himself to become their rather overbearing leader. One good bit, where he explains to Sawa that she can’t wear red unless she feels she can assume the role as leader, and it looked like we were going to get a status-within-the-group argument via suit color, but they miss the opportunity to play with the metaphor because Sawa isn’t stupid and backs down right away. Not often am I disappointed by a character being intelligent … Anyway, Taichi finally asks Wein what’s wrong with him; he could have said “So what’s YOUR crisis in this show, Wein?” Same thing. I swear, this show can be so smart and witty and at the same time so clumsy.
Meanwhile Wakana is trying to compose the song “with” her mother and is stuck. (a nice bit where the cat walks across the keyboard and doesn’t hit a dissonant note). I’m glad to see that they’re treating this personal crisis decently, i.e., to truly get over something takes time and effort. And that will probably include the softening of Takakura, who has some issues of her own involving the school (the show is being coy with this plot part) and with her own memories of Wakana’s mother, since Wakana is going to ask questions about her. This future plot stuff has the potential to be really good; I hope they handle it better than some of the others.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita 9 is the show’s most direct attempt yet at commenting on, er, human society. There’s been a spike in the fairy population and that has led to fairy bullying, the closest thing to dissent we’ve seen among them yet. Up to now they’ve been pretty much interchangeable. So Watashi is sent off with some of the refugees, or whatever they are, to form a new colony, or whatever they do. Stranded on an island, they decide to form a country with Watashi as the queen.
Watashi isn’t sure this is a good idea but she doesn’t mind seeing the fairies, with a new purpose in their lives, energetically build things for her. Civilization becomes more advanced by the day; meanwhile, we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s clear that they’re overextending the island’s limited resources, but that isn’t what makes the ecology topple in the end. It’s when they start building monuments, rather too many. I’ve trotted out that “A society that builds monuments to itself …” line here before, but I’ll also not the connection between the monuments they build (direct imitations of those we humans made) and the humanity monument that the show’s used as a plot device before. It’s all a crude allegory on the rise and fall of civilizations due to available resources, but what do you want? This is a fairy story.