Episode 11, ‘The Sound We Were Searching For’, brings us to the start of the Traditional Japanese Music Festival and with it some unexpected obstacles! The members of the Koto Club are going to have to have to give it their all if they’re going to take down Meiryo and Himesaka!
The training camp ends without a hitch, bringing the team closer to the Traditional Japanese Music Festival! The members of the club are surprised to discover that not only is the Himesaka Academy Koto Club participating in the event, but the Meiryo Koto Club is too…
Takinami’s Words of Wisdom: Takinami has come a long way since his introduction. Before he didn’t care much for the club or what they did. And, he’s still more or less the same, except he seems to be a teeny tiny bit more invested in them, even going so far as to giving them advice. Though whether his tough love approach is considered ‘helping’ is still a matter of opinion.
Kudo/Kurata Practice Session: Kurata and Kudo are paired up during the training camp and after some sage wisdom from Takinami, the pair finally manage to play in sync! There’s even a cool visual showing the notes as puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly when Kurata and Kuda finally manage to play together.
Kiryu Flashback: So, in an unusual turn, we get a flashback from one of the rivals, Kiryu, the overly friendly guy from Meiryo. We see how he was isolated from the others because of his asthma and how he met Asano and learned about the Koto. It’s a nice change of pace and definitely helped us as viewers understand the so-called rivals a little better.
Themes and Trivia
Koto: The koto is a Japanese stringed instrument and the national instrument of Japan. The Koto is made from kiri wood and has 13 strings each strung over 13 moveable bridges, to change the pitch the player must move the bridges before playing. To play the koto the player uses three finger picks worn over the thumb, index, and middle finger to pluck the strings.
A Leap of Faith and a wish: The theme of Kuon is ‘A leap of faith and a wish’. It’s kind of a flavor note to help players get a feel for the theme of a piece and how to direct their playing. The club members attempt to figure out what that means and in doing so discover their own unique sound.
Training camp ends with the club members finally managing to play as a group, which gives them just the boost they need to tackle the upcoming tournament head on. It’s nice to see everyone having fun and enjoying playing together, which I think is really what this series is all about. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s not really about winning, but whether they enjoy themselves… the rest will fall into place.
The Traditional Japanese Music Festival is finally underway and we finally Meiryo play and… it’s absolutely stunning! They play together like a finely tuned machine and it is spectacular! They manage to make an ensemble sound like one sound, something the gang is still struggling with. It’s like one step forward two steps back for our dear club members.
In this week’s episode we even get a bit of insight into Kiryu from Meiryo through a brief flashback and I really appreciated having a side character getting a bit more attention. Most series tend to focus primarily on the members of the main cast, but in Kono Oto Tomare, we get to see the side characters sharing in the spotlight. Hell, they even have emotional storylines and motivations too!
The Price of Perfection
I really enjoyed this week’s episode. Kono Oto Tomare isn’t above pulling its emotional punches, but this week we get a chance to see a different side of one of the side characters. I appreciate a series that knows how to utilize both its main and extended cast and this series has been doing a pretty good job balancing both.
I’ll be back next week with another Kono Oto Tomare review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Spring 2019 reviews!!
NEXT TIME: Rivals
Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast