Episode 9 proved a lot of things to me.
- CG and traditional animation can blend beautifully together for band scenes and not look awkward as hell.
- Mafuyu’s actor can in fact, sing. The humming always sounded vaguely off key to me, so i was weary but he can sing and oh my god, my heart.
and lastly 3. No matter how much time passes or how many series i watch, if the credits start rolling early and there is a lot of time left in the episode. I will always become unreasonably nervous.
So, we start the episode with where we left off with the last one with the string to Mafuyu’s guitar breaking. Mafuyu, Akihiko and Ritsuka are all a little freaked out and then Haruki walks over and is like “Why are you treating this like the end of the world, guitar strings can be replaced.” and sends Ritsuka out to a store by the station to buy some and sends Aki and Mafuyu into the back. He tells the band performing to play three more songs to stall for time. While Ritsuka is running to get the strings, he tries to come to terms with everything he is feeling.
The heart strings/guitar strings metaphor that he goes through while he is fixing the strings on Mafuyu’s guitar is actually really nice.
So, they go on stage and as the music begins. So does Mafuyu’s singing, to the shock of everyone involved (please, never do this to your bandmates.) and the song is beautiful and full of emotions. I was crying, not just having my eyes mist but full out crying during the song.
The memories spliced between only makes it more emotional. I think the thing that struck me the most was the last thing that Mafuyu said to Yuki before his passing, during their fight. “Would you die for me?” and the most heavy thing, the idea that Mafuyu doesn’t think that he deserves to be forgiven.
As the song ends, Ritsuka leads Mafuyu off stage, and this is when he kisses him for the first time. As Ritsuka returns to the stage to continue the concert, Mafuyu is left behind to think about everything. To reflect on how he’s having fun, he loves music and is having fun with the band. The basketball games during lunch period are enjoyable and he can be free and most of all, he’s found someone new to love.
The band finishes playing and Aki and Haruki start drinking, meanwhile, the other two take some time to reflect. Mostly Mafuyu as he talks with Hiiragi, who mentions that the reason that Yuki started his band was to write a song for Mafuyu. Just like Ritsuka, Mafuyu had been humming that odd song for a while. Mafuyu says that he’s developed a new love and Hiiragi says alright, that he’ll support him but it’s too much effort to cheer him on.
The credits begin rolling early and we’re treated to a little bit of backstory, with Yuki taking Mafuyu to the ocean. They go when it’s cold, but they walk the beach and it’s Mafuyu’s first time. They talk about making memories and how in maybe ten years, the memories will pass.
It’s another really nice reflection about things we do with our loved ones and our memories.
This episode was probably the most emotional so far. I’m curious, now that we’re past the live show how the characters are going to develop from here. I’m excited to see Ritsuka and Mafuyu’s relationship from this point forward and i’m also excited to see where Akihiko and Haruki’s relationship is going to be.