Ahhhhhhh! This was such a good episode, I think this is one has to be my favourite to date. It had everything I have been wanting to see more of, such as actually hearing them practice because the instrument is simply beautiful. Seriously, I can’t get over how lovely the sound is, I could listen to it all day.
Thanks to Hiro’s uncle, they were able to go onto a summer training camp at his inn. I gives me life how enthusiastic everyone is about practicing to improve. They are so into it, it’s a contagious!
It was great to see Kouta have a turn in the spotlight, highlighting his difficulties of keeping up with the group, and the fear that he is holding them back. What’s holding him to fall behind is the struggle to follow rhythms/beat. Even with a metronome, he has a hard time grasping it. But even though it frustrates him how little progress he has made while others like Chika and Sakai, were able to make improvements, he isn’t weak-minded. He has a strong resolve and so he took the initiative would sneak out in the middle of the night to practice on his own. And that’s what I absolutely love about him. However, hahaha, he really should have let someone know that he was heading out to do so, because everyone became frantic about where he disappeared off to! And my god, it’s so funny how addictive Chika is to practicing, because after scolding him for disappearing like that, what does he say? “It’s unfair to practice on your own!” and “Let me practice with you!”, oh goodness, the koto has completely taken over Chika’s life. That’s all he thinks about nowadays!
Speaking of Chika, I think it’s really important to recognize this guy is actually incredibly gifted. Not only he has such a pure sound, but Chika is also able to understand what he was doing wrong by simply observing (after a couple of times) someone who plays it right. That’s why he went to see Satowa and asked her to play the part he was stumped at. It makes me excited to see how much he will improve over the course of the series once he starts refining his skills and gain more experience.
Amidst Kouta’s crisis, we also got to see more of Hiro’s insecurities and gentle heart. She was incredibly self-conscious of her way of teaching, afraid she was being too harsh with Kouta, and then next when she heard he disappeared, she became guilt-ridden in fear that she hurt him and made him want to go home. The girl was so relieved to see he was still there, she cried, oh my heart. It was so cute when Kouta assured her and was so cool about it.
Another highlight of the episode was when Takezou stepped it up and confront Takinami on his aloof behaviour by suggesting he will find another advisor to replace him since they are serious about going to nationals. It was something that had to be done, because Takinami is a weird advisor. The guy had no intention of fulfilling his role properly until the club collectively proved they are serious about their goal, and Takezou (in particular) finally stood up to him. But once he actually started helping out, he does show that he thinks a lot more about the club than he lets on. A good example of this was recording their performance, so they can hear how just how bad they actually are, (which was hilarious! Count of Chika to figure out a way to turn a bad results into something positive!) and how he stepped up to help Kouta out by teaching him how to follow a beat.
Overall this episode had a great mix of a bit of tears (from the feels), laughter and worry without it going into the dramatic angst zone. I really enjoy seeing the group becoming more tightly knitted together and learning more about each other of both their strengths and weaknesses. Only a few episodes left before we have to wait until the fall for the next half!
PS: Chika groaning in front of the fan in the background was hysterical!