Mashiro no Oto – Episode 9

Its finally time for Setsu and club to give their performance and show everyone what they are made of! And all around they gave a pretty great performance, but it just wasn’t enough to grab first place. But I’m still proud of them! They all made and the performance they were able to give was one they should be proud of!

I’m actually surprised by the rankings of the group performance… I mean, even the participants are in shock at the rankings. I know it really shouldn’t come as a surprise since they are all beginners, but the framing of the performance really made it seem like the audience was in the palm of their hands. Their performance wasn’t the most technical, but they were still able to take a simple piece and make it fun and engaging while still adding in their own flair. It’s the club’s voice if you will. They really did a good job capturing what each musician brought to the team, rather than just spotlighting on Setsu – and for the group portion, I think that is fantastic!

In some of my earlier posts, I talk about how much I love what this series does with duets. They turn into conversations with no words exchanged (some targeted thoughts, but nothing verbal) and the visuals that surround them really help us to understand the relationship one has with another. I love how it is used to push things further. I must admit, I was a little disappointed when we didn’t get something similar with the group performance. There were bits and pieces of it in there, but it really felt one sided. But there were some good things that came out of it. I’m glad that we got to highlight each member of the club and their personalities through their performance. Kaito starts off very strong and articulate, Yui is consistent and reliable, Shuri is playing with all her effort, and Rai is able to add the fun into the performance. It was a very nice way to show the strengths of each character since there has been a lot of self-doubt going on in the previous episodes.

Unfortunately, Setsu was not the star of the show this time around and I’m okay with that. Once they framed it as a group performance and let the other characters shine, I was willing to let Setsu be support for the group. That does not mean he didn’t stand out. He was able to add a new sound into the mix to completely capture the audience. It softer and sits underneath everyone else to left up the sounds they are making. I like how they had multiple of the competitors approach Setsu after the performances. At first glance he was not the one to watch on the stage, but he was able to bring everything out and together. I’m bummed that they only placed top three, but when you only score on technicality it does make sense… And at the very least they won the judge’s special award, so I think that’s got to count for something. Plus! Hopefully Maimai is going to realize soon! She’s so aggressive in her desire to beat Setsu and show off how good she that she’s forgotten the fun in playing Shamisen. She’s only focused on the competition that it’s now muddied her sound. I hope that while she’s watching the individual competition, she’s able to have another epiphany!!

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this episode a lot more than the past couple. The team was able to give their performance and highlight the dynamic of working together. As bummed as I am that they didn’t win first, I’m pretty satisfied with the justification that they gave for it. It was much more about technical skill rather than having a “wow!” factor. And they’re all just beginners! Third place is something to be proud of !! I’m looking forward to the individual competition. If anything, I just want to know if Setsu has found his sound and how he’s going to be able to share that with the audience. Let’s go Setsu! Show them what you’re made of!!


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