We’ve jumped right into the individual competition and things seem to be heating up both on the stage and off. There are so many people invested in this performance, it’s a little overwhelming! I want Setsu to succeed… but at the same time, I don’t know what succeeding for Setsu will look like in this scenario. Is winning the competition really what he wants? Or will he be satisfied if he is able to portray his sound to the audience but still lose? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what his performance will bring.
There is so much tension bubbling up and I’m honestly impressed that Setsu and Tanuma seem to be acting normal. Tanuma seems to be treating this like every other competition he’s participated in, but this time he’s made a new friend… whether that friend agrees that they are friends. And Setsu… well, he’s not very vocal about his feelings right now, but I’m sure they will come out when it is time for his performance. But even if Setsu isn’t adding to the drama, he existence sure is adding to everyone else. And honestly, I had a tough time keeping up with who was related to who and what the story was with Kamiki. Thank goodness for Wakana. He helped piece things together, but I’m definitely on his side in the fact that they are exhausting. I think the concept of Kamiki desperately wanting Setsu for his sound is really interesting. He is obsessed with Matsugorou and really seems to think that Setsu is capable of reproducing that sound. I really wish we had enough time to explore that obsession more than just in a brief heated conversation between him and Umeko. Ah well… I’m glad they were able to introduce it, so it’ll make the resolution more rewarding (hopefully).
A majority of the episode was dedicated to the drama of families and Setsu, but the other portion was focused on some of the others participating in the individual competition. And overall, I thought these moments were pretty fun and let us get to know these characters a little more. So, I’m quite happy that they have a chance to be back in the spotlight. First there was Ushio and personally, I’m not a big fan of him. He’s very showy and pretty in your face. In the group setting he was definitely the one who was demanding attention from the audience despite having to work with in an ensemble. But in the individual competition it’s great to demand that attention (so long as it is positive attention). And overall, maybe he wasn’t the most technical and was much more laid back, he was a lot of fun to watch. It’s much different than those who are very strict and must follow a certain way of playing. It was great to see him in his element and just enjoying the fact that he could play and show off.
And that’s the total opposite of his main opponent, Kaji. Kaji is the one who is much more “rigid” he has very good form and technique, but his power isn’t always there. He stood out in the group competition because that is when he was able to really sing with the instrument. With the support of his group. But on his own he’s much more timid and needs to find a way to fill the space and come forward. So, it was really fun watching him change. He was much fiercer; he was trying to push himself further to paint an entirely different picture for us. I want to see him do well!! But oh man… oh man the ending. KAJI IT’S OKAY IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. But genuinely that must be stressful. I know I’ve had performances where the pads on my keys would either fall off or be particularly sticky… At least with that I can hopefully figure out an alternative or hope the rest of the ensemble can cover for me. But breaking a string on a solo performance… I don’t know how he can save it unless someone comes to his rescue. Or! Perhaps he’ll completely transpose it on the fly. aaaaaaa good luck Kaji, I’m rooting for you!
We’re just about to hit the peak of all the stress that’s been building up and I’m really looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. I have a feeling next week we’re going to get quite a bit of focus on Tanuma’s performance. We haven’t heard him play yet, so I’m looking forward to finding out what the big deal is. I wonder if we’ll get any more drama before Setsu’s performance… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.