After a few months break, Kono Oto Tomare is back, and what better way to start than another round of feels! The results are in, and unfortunately despite Tokise’s amazing recovery, it was not enough to get them a placement in the standings. And their path to victory proved to be a challenge when the judges made a surprise decision to choose two winners for best performance. The ones to take home the competition were Meiryo, and the dark horse, Hakuto Academy who performed right after Tokise. They were responsible for dethroning Himesaka’s undefeated streak in Kanagawa prefecture.
I am sure there are some viewers who feel bummed out that we didn’t get to hear Hakuto Academy, but because Tokise didn’t hear them, neither would we. However because Tokise had performed before them, one of Hakuto’s members Mio, has taken great interest in them, particularly Chika. He likes their tones, and he is drawn to Chika’s mysterious, yet unrefined sound. It’s actually a big deal for him to be interested in them because remember, he’s the guy who was laying outside because he didn’t want to hear the boring sounds of the competition. He may come across as strange, but he’s in no way a bad kid. And I can assure you he is nothing compared to the likes of Kazusa who childishly threw temper tantrum at Chika today.
AND GEEZ, it is no wonder why most (if not all) readers/viewers can’t stand Kazusa’s character. Good grief, she was already bad enough on paper, but add a voice to her tantrums and it makes her ten times more annoying. We will have to bear with this a while longer, but rest assure she will eventually undergo some character development that will help her move past this ridiculous phase of hers. Seriously though, her selfishness and arrogance knows no bounds, and it’s not fair to either Chika or Satowa for her to treat them this way. Satowa in particular was deeply hurt when she overheard Kazusa go on about how much she loved her sound of solitude, and claimed her sound has become half-hearted, her skill level has dropped, even went as far as describing it as ‘defiled’. She says all of this because she is too bloody jealous to admit out loud she recognizes the reason why sound Satowa has developed a brighter, more brilliant and gentler sound, is because she is with. And man, that really ticked me off. It wasn’t just because of the horrible things Kazusa was saying, but the fact her twisted obsession with Satowa’s sound form them blinded her from the reality that Satowa was suffering all alone. It was even worse that Satowa ended up accidentally overhearing it! (But who to say she wouldn’t have said the same in front of her? In fact I suspect she probably would have done so anyways.)
Kazusa’s words were especially hurtful, because during that time when Satowa sacrificed everything in hopes to make her mother happy, and was desperately trying to reclaim the relationship that was lost between them. So it’s an understatement why it meant so much to Satowa to hear someone (Chika) say he acknowledge and prefer her new gentle sound. It aligns more with what Satowa strives for, as opposed to how her sound was likened to ‘screaming in pain’ during the phase in her life when she was trying to reach her mother.
So after hearing her say all that crap, can you really blame anyone for feeling pleased about Himesaka’s loss to Hakuto? That’s one hell of a way to knock her off her high-horse. It also serves as a great wake-up call, that just because the school may not have any history in the competitions, doesn’t mean they should be overlooked. Not to mention, the reason why she is so tilted to begin with is because she didn’t stick around to listen to their performance, instead she had chosen to go after Chika to take a fit. Had she stuck around to watch, perhaps she wouldn’t have been completely blind-sided by the results.
Overall I thought this was a solid way to kick-start the series again. Tokise’s loss was a tough pill to swallow, but it was also a necessary step for the team’s growth. Overcoming the feelings of defeat, and using it as a fuel to strive for better results is essential if they hope to ever make it to the Nationals. But even though they didn’t get the results they wanted, they at the very least received acknowledgement from Takinami that this was their best performance yet. It is an high praise coming from the man who is not only has been their biggest critic, but someone who has already admitted he underestimated them. He didn’t really expect Chika to persevere with a wrist injury, much less could have ever imagined Kota being the one to step up and pull everyone together when they needed it most. Takinami’s words were also incredibly important because even though Takezou was trying his best raise the morale as the club’s leader, he was struggling because his words didn’t hold much weight when he had performed alongside them.
Actually in the matter of fact, Takinami stepped up not once, but twice today by helping Chika come up with a hilariously lame cover-up story for his injury that Chika played along with. While Takezou had overheard what had actually happened, and Satowa knew how the injury had happened, it at the very least made it so Hiro wouldn’t have to shoulder the blame.
Speaking of Chika’s injury, the poor guy won’t be able to play the koto for a while. He is going to go insane with koto-withdrawals since the doctor told him he will need to rest for a month! It was also incredibly adorable how Satowa’s first instinct is to get a stash full of strawberry flavoured snacks (ISN’T HIS TASTES ADORABLE?!) in hopes to cheer him up. It kind of funny how it ended up the other-way around, with him comforting her, almost resulting a head-pat haha! (SO CLOSE! SO FREAKING CLOSE!)
With the end of Tokise’s first competition, even though they didn’t get the results they wanted, they should be absolutely proud of how far they have come. Now it’s time to move onto the next chapter of their journey to reach the Nationals! I am super psyched for this next arc because it happens to consist many of my favourite moments in the series, so look there is a lot to look forward to!
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