Listen, I just absolutely love the way this anime handles duets and the fact that they are really used to push the plot forward without necessarily having characters speak to each other. Before I even realize it, I’m being pulled into Setsu journey and by the end of a piece, I feel like everything’s changed and not a single word was uttered between two characters. Just the sounds of their notes resonating through room and their own internal monologue.
I think it’s hilarious how the anime acknowledges the convenience of the competition based on the development of our main character. From most of the club members, there isn’t really a strong drive to compete and win the competition. Most of them just joined for Maeda and now they’ve managed to achieve her goal, even though they didn’t actually need to play. But then the anime goes on to express why we should care about it. In previous anime, these sorts of competitions have been a way to prove themselves or just show that they are in fact the best at what they do! Here, they still want Setsu to prove himself by getting his name out there… but it is definitely not his will to do so. People are pulling him out of the dark pit that he’s placed himself in and are saying, share your skill with the world (even if it’s underdeveloped and highly dependent on your mood!)
But he’s also stuck with a group of newbies to the instrument. And boy is it apparent that just because you are good does not necessarily mean that you should be the one to teach it. I’m glad that he was able to have a conversation with Wakana before the first courses. Without that phone call, I’m pretty sure Setsu would have snapped a lot sooner than her did. It takes a lot of patience to listening to a person learning a new instrument. And in Setsu’s case, I don’t think he can really remember when he was learning the instrument and at the same time he grew up with incredible sounds. But hey! Maybe if he tried to learn some sheet music, he’ll have to start back from square one. Which would be more tough – Having an experienced player learn sheet music? Or having a group of new players try to learn by ear?
I… have mixed feelings about Kamiki Seiryuu. I didn’t like his little aside in the previous episode and I just can’t put my finger on what his role would be. At first, I thought he might be an antagonistic type character based on how affronted he was when Setsu gave such a lackluster performance when they met. But then… it seems like he’s in that rival-mentor role? Which I’m not too sure how I feel. Like he’s not really a rival, but at the same time he’s not really a mentor? He’s just trying to pull Setsu’s talent out while still being conniving. Still! He is great for Setsu’s growth. Like I mentioned in the beginning I absolutely adore what this anime does with duets. That unspoken conversation that still drives us forward is great! In this instance, the rest of the club members see / hear Setsu’s sound being supported by Seiryuu. But in reality, while Seiryuu is performing with the basics he’s grounding Setsu’s performance and actually pulling him under control. And in just a short amount of time, Setsu learns the intensity of performing with others while also recognizing that there’s still stuff for him to learn. Plus, it was cute to watch him skip out of the classroom.
So, all in all, I’m really excited to see how their competition prep will go! It’s a little cliche, but I do hope that they have a training camp so that they can all improve their skills and we get to learn more about the other club members. I’d be pretty bummed if we don’t get to learn more about the members. But from what I’ve seen, I think each of them will have their own chance to connect with Setsu. So, I’m looking forward to that!