With the girls’ turbulent feelings of budding love under control, it’s a new week and things are back to normal!
To keep her feelings in check, Hiro decided to stick to three rules she decided to impose on herself!
- It is okay to have feelings for him, and she won’t tell him how she feels about him until they retire from the club.
- She won’t let him notice her feelings.
- She won’t cause problems for the club or performance.
That being said, she still made a gutsy decision to ask Takezou whether or not he had feelings for Mashiro. I am proud of her for having the courage to do that because it’s something that would have continued to plague her mind, making it difficult for her to properly focus on practicing. Luckily for her, while Takezou likes Mashiro, it is more out of admiration than romantically. However she might as well cross out Rule #2, because despite how much she is trying to be discreet about how she feels about him, the smile of relief on her face from his answer wasn’t subtle at all, AHAHAHA! (Gosh she is so freaking adorable! How can you not love her?!) Even Takezou who is quite sharp about people’s feelings in general ought to have sensed something is up.
As for Satowa’s case, she has more or less slapped the reset button. She and Chika are back to their usual routine of banters and the fluttering feelings that were buzzing her mind are nowhere in sight. Well, even if last week reveal of what was at stake didn’t happen, what followed this week probably would have dragged her back to that place she would best describe as hell itself.
Takinami’s pick to compete for Nationals was none other than the song she had composed and played in attempt to reach her mother’s heart. He selected it because it possessed the ingredients he was looking for that would enable them to succeed, which was an emotionally driven piece. Yet little did he know it was actually Satowa’s self-composed piece, and she was absolutely distraught about his choice because not only because it haunts her, but because she felt wasn’t able to succeed in reaching anyone’s hearts, or more precisely, her mother’s. That’s why she didn’t have the confidence it would be the piece that could take them to Nationals, much less did she want to face it again. Despite having owned the DVD of the competition, she never had the courage to face it.
This is why I am glad Chika by chance, had the opportunity to listen to it long before all of this happened. While he was mesmerized by her performance, he also could hear her screaming in pain, so at the time, he was the only one of the group who could really understand why she was scared to confront it again. It was good that he helped her by listening to it together, because unless she had done so, she wouldn’t have been able to understand why she failed to reach her mother’s heart. And on top of that, listening to it was also essential to help her move past her failure. Now she has a new opportunity with the support of her friends, and their advisor to properly convey her original intent with a revamped version of her piece. (Also, shoutout to Takinami for whipping it together in ONE NIGHT!)
I suppose the most ironic part about this piece, was how Satowa’s intent was actually to make her mother and others smile. But she was doomed to fail from the start because of two reasons: One, her piece was left untitled. Takinami explained as long as it doesn’t have a title, it won’t hold any meaning, no matter how beautifully it may be played. And two, because she was so desperate, instead all that was expressed was her pain and suffering. Yet, bearing all of that in mind, doesn’t it just make it all the more depressing that not even her cries of desperation could reach her mother’s hardened heart?
Speaking of the family reunion, oof. We met two new faces today, a nasty old hag Dojima, and her granddaughter Akira. They are currently the Grand Master’s (Satowa’s mother) live-in apprentices, and Dojima is attempting to have Akira groomed to serve as the next heir since Satowa is no longer eligible. It is no secret that she sees Satowa as a threat, and she intends to make certain that she has no chance of coming back (what a bitch!). Akira was shown (more so in the post-credit scene) of the grudge she holds against Satowa. Based on the preview, the backstory on that should be covered within the next episode, as well as revealing what kind of role she will be playing in this arc.
Considering all Satowa has been through, and the shit she had to face today when she returned home in hopes to get an extra 17-Stringed Koto for the club, I can’t tell you how happy I am for her to be surrounded by such a loving and caring group of friends. They were also especially aware and grateful of Satowa’s effort to obtain the extra 17-Stringed Koto. Hiro was all of us when she gave Satowa a hug. Even though Satowa was smiling, and she did come out of the brief reunion with renewed strength to fight for her mother, Hiro knew in her heart that it was still incredibly difficult for Satowa to do and wanted to give her a little bit of comfort in any way she could. Give her all the hugs!
I also find it quite moving when everyone watched Satowa’s dramatic performance, they recognized the pain and suffering she was going through that left them a sobbing mess. (Don’t even get me started on how PRECIOUS they were when they tried to smile when she said it was supposed to be a happy piece!) It really goes to show how special they are, and why emotional delivery is their strongest asset. That was precisely why Takinami was looking for a piece that would be emotional driven to make up for the majority of the group’s unrefined skills and lack of stage experience.
It is precisely because this group of friends are so special that it makes me really sad when we are reminded how their time together as an ensemble will eventually come to an end. It would truly be amazing if they were to figure out a way to stick together as an ensemble, but I am not entirely certain how likely that would be to happen. If anything, the odds are against them. But if there is one thing for certain, Satowa is probably not going to be as long as she expects herself to be. Today Chika reminded us of how determined he is to catch-up to her, and I don’t see it stopping when they eventually graduate. Given his passion for the Koto and how it has litterally become a part of him, I am really curious about whether or not he is determined to become a professional musician, or perhaps he will follow his grandfather’s footsteps of becoming a Koto craftsman. For all we know, maybe both, hahaha! After-all, Chika can be overly ambitious sometimes!
In fact, Chika is the latest member to be promoted to the 17-Stringed Koto, and he is already obsessed about its sound— and I am too. Up until now, we haven’t really had the chance to fully appreciate its gorgeous deep bass tone. If I were either one of them, I would be just as excited to pick it up, haha! Being able to play such a beautiful instrument is such a wonderful privilege isn’t it? I can’t help but be envious!
Overall it was a good episode to get the core plot moving again, one that flew right by! But I must say, I was both annoyed and disappointed that they failed to give us a taste of Hakuto’s performance. LET US HEAR A SNIPPET OF IT YOU COWARDS!!!!!! They also didn’t do themselves any favours when they used that annoying track I absolutely cannot stand. If it was absolutely impossible to have a piece arranged for this bit, I think it probably would have been better off with just pure silence to convey just how mesmerizing their performance was, kind of like how we can’t actually hear anything when we read the manga. But that’s just me.
Well, I suppose at the very least they let us hear the introduction of Takinami’s re-arrangement of Satowa’s untitled piece. It was sooooooooo good! Ah man, I can’t wait to hear the full version! I’ve been putting it off because I know the pay off will be worth it to hear it first within the adaption. Nevertheless, LET US HEAR MORE OF THEIR PRACTICE SOUNDS PLEASE!!!!!!!! This is a music anime, it doesn’t make any sense to leave it out!
Nonetheless, in order to win Nationals, they need to beat Hakuto, whose star is Mio, the one the piece is specifically composed to highlight his sound and performance. It’s a unique setup which explains why they tied for first in the previous competition. They got a lot of work cut out for them, but considering how everyone single one of them are so passionate about improving, I know they are all up for the challenge!