I know it’s been an ongoing theme in these episodes, but I’m really loving the concept of developing your own sound. While Setsu has been encouraged to find his own sound by those around him, these experiences that he’s having can finally put that daunting task into perspective for him. He’s on his own journey to find his sound and I’m so excited to see (or rather, hear) it develops!
If I had to pick a hero of this episode, I’d definitely choose Wakana. His phone call with Setsu really pushed everything forward. Setsu was well aware that he wouldn’t be able to produce his Grandfather’s sound, both in just sheer emotion, but also in talent. But at the end of the day, that sound was cultivated over 30 years. The sound that she heard all those years ago is a sound that has been swept up by time, it has grown and changed in all that time. But also, it was unique to Setsu’s grandfather. But without this conversation, I don’t think we would have made it as far as we did in this episode. Without Wakana, I think that Setsu would have spent a much longer time trying to get everything just right. And in the end of the day, while he wasn’t able to produce his Grandfather’s sound, he was still able to produce something unique and with a lot of heart in it.
I really loved the visuals for the episode, I think it really did a good job of showing us more than just telling us. When we first hear the recording on the tape, we get very little commentary from both Kaito and Setsu, but rather some incredible visuals of a traveler through a snowy area. And this is incredible because it really does set up the performance for the Grandmother! I’m not sure if this is what they were going for, but that connection was really wonderful to see. Kaito and Setsu, through the music can visualize that traveler and the incoming sunrise, but it comes to them as a story being passed down from one person to another. Maeda’s grandmother on the other hand has more firsthand experience with the song. While the song is strong and impactful, it evokes those memories from when she was a child; the memories about the stranger who told her to live. Back then, he was only playing the shamisen because it was a way for him to feed himself and it had not become a significant part of his character yet.
Ahhh… I really wish I had more to say about this episode because I really enjoyed it. But I think a lot of my enjoyment comes from the fact that we really focused on one concept throughout the episode, and it was told with stories throughout. We got a little bit of interaction between the Shamisen club as well as an aside with Seiryuu, but those just felt like moments tying the episode together. But the visual storytelling of this episode was absolutely wonderful and I’m glad this anime takes the time to explore it! I appreciate how it ties into the music and that it lets us listen to the whole piece from beginning to end. It really makes me look forward to what future episodes have in store!
And it looks like in the near future we’re going to enter into a Shamisen competition. I’m kind of interested to see how it will go! We only have one experienced player in the club so it will probably be fun to watch everyone learn the instrument! But it also seems like we’ll have a new character join the mix, and from his brief introduction in this episode he seems like he’ll add some more fun to the mix! I’m definitely looking forward to these upcoming episodes!