This week was more a breather episode, building up to Takezou’s backstory. We got a glimpse of the no-so great relationship between him and his brother. In fact his brother Takeru is straight up obnoxious and needs to keep his mouth shut. Seriously, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all! We have learned that Takezou initially applied for Meiryo, but he flunked the entrance exams and was the only one of all his friends who didn’t make it. When two girls (Kazusa and Fumi) from Himesaka comes to their school and invites them to observe the joint practice between them with an elite school from Tokyo at Meiryo. Although Takezou wasn’t comfortable with going to the school (which is also the one his brother is at), he agreed anyways.
Kazusa and Fumi are two new characters that were introduced today, and they are hilarious. Kazusa had heard about Satowa being in a no-name koto club and wanted to observe, but much to her horror and disbelief the club was mostly made up of boys. Hahaha, imagined if they came before Hiro showed up! I think she would have fainted on the spot! The most insane part about this is that Satowa doesn’t actually know Kazusa personally, because the girl never actually introduced herself, and yet it’s her dream to play alongside her. It is an understatement to say she is a HUGE fan of Satowa. She is also quite extra when it comes to boldly trying to persuade her to litterally switch schools, which Satowa immediately declined. However Kazusa is also incredibly judgemental by assuming the worse of the members at her own convenience. Nonetheless, she is certainly another one of those characters who will need time to grow on some people.
Speaking of which, hopefully Hiro’s development this week did just that for you! She made a gutsy decision of going back to all the people who she had ruined relationships with to apologize for her actions. She has gone through quite a beating, by being slapped by every one of them. It was hilarious how differently everyone reacted to this. Takezou just bluntly said “If you understand that, why did you do it back then?” (his character is 110% more awesome when he’s says what’s on his mind and spitting facts), Chika was super impressed, the trios were shook and Satowa being the true angel she is, asked her about her injury, (though she agrees with the others: You reap what you sow) earning us some adorable interactions between the two girls. Hiro also took it a step further to show how serious she was going to be for the club (after some encouragement from Takezou) by removing the glamour from her nails and trimming them so they can be fit to play and practice the koto. We also got to see her competitive spirit when two girls from Himesaka had snuck into the school to observe the club Satowa had joined. It’s great to see that she is committed to changing her ways for the better.
It was adorable to see how Chika was struggling so much with trying to understand what Satowa meant by “facing the piece head on”, but he was able to figure it out after he played the koto his grandfather had made for him. As it turns out, Chika had been practicing with a koto Granny had lent to him because he felt he still didn’t have the right to play his grandpa’s koto yet. It took some words of encouragement from Sane and the others to understand how much he deserves to use it, and how his earnest feelings for both is grandfather and his koto is more than enough to prove he is worthy of it.
We also got to meet Chika’s aunt, who had taken him in after his grandfather had passed. She had agreed to do so after Gen had called her up prior to the incident, asking her to be there for Chika in case anything were to happen to him. It seems to allude that Gen knew he wasn’t in great health, and was already making plans to secure Chika a safe haven so he wouldn’t fall back into his old ways. It’s a bit of a shame they cut out some hilarious interactions between Chika and his aunt, who is quite a spunky lady herself. Poor Chika though, doesn’t have his own room. At least he is able to practice freely at home though, which probably matters to him more than having a room of his own.
Chika x Satowa fans were treated to more sweet interactions between the two this week. The first one was when he helped her strike up conversation with two classmates whom she had rejected our of fear and lack of confidence to hang out with in the past. This time, realizing his intention, Satowa mustered up the courage to accept their invitation to join them for lunch. The second was when they were practicing together in class, and Satowa who had gotten flustered rolled along with the lie she had established about using the club for a story when she becomes a pro. Chika surprised her with an incredibly sincere answer of how he and the club have a responsibility to make sure they don’t drag the quality of her performance down. She eventually admits afterwards that the reason why she liked the club was because she enjoys playing with them. We also go tot see how Satowa’s feelings are definitely growing for Chika, and who wouldn’t when he has such a pure smile like that?
Speaking of precious scenes, it was also really cute when Chika quickly fell in love with ‘Kuon’. According to Satowa while it is beautiful, it is also a difficult piece, but it will have a great pay off if the are able to play it well. So the club pretty much settled on that for the competition. I’m really looking forward to hearing it for the first time! (Haha, I have actually refrained from going ahead and watching the videos of the piece being played! It will be worth the wait!)
Overall I enjoyed the episode as a whole, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some mixed feelings while watching. I know it’s nothing new, but I can’t help but grow more and more frustrated with the production’s decision to basically cutting it short/skipping over the little moments when the characters are playing their piece. This is a music series, so we the audience want to see the characters actively playing the koto as often as we can. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same piece over and over again, I don’t know about you, but I want to hear the koto at every opportunity that is presented to us. And frankly, the idea of saving the piece for the grand reveal isn’t worth it. By doing so, they are taking away one of the most vital pieces of what is supposed to make this adaption so enjoyable. I don’t see this problem being resolved or changing for the rest of this cour, but maybe there might be hope for some adjustments to be made for that in the second cour when it resumes in the fall.