This is it the last episode of the first season!! It’s been a looooong road to get to this point and all the Tokise club’s hard work is about to finally pay off… or is it? Episode 13, ‘Kuon’, is the much-anticipated performance and you’ll have to stick around for this week’s review to find out just how well they did!
It’s time for Tokise to take the stage at the Traditional Japanese Music competition, but Kudo’s hand injury complicates matters… Despite that, Kudo is determined to play, but is this really the right decision?
Kurata Steps Up: Kurata has really come a long way since the start of the series. He isn’t as impulsive as Kudo nor is he as great a koto player as Hozuki, but he is the glue that holds them all together. He’s very attuned to the feelings of those around him, especially Kurusu. He is the only one to notice just how nervous she is about the competition, taking time out to comfort her… (and if you weren’t shipping them before you’ll definitely be shipping them now).
Takinami’s Intentions: I’ve mentioned this before, but Takinami’s intentions have been called into question quite a few times during these last couple of episodes. He acts like he doesn’t care about the club but he helped Kota learn to keep rhythm and he even confronts Kudo about his injury. Kurata overhears and wonders if Takinami is really as uncaring as he appears…
Kuon: So the biggest event in the episode is the actual performance and it was kind of rough… They started off pretty strong, a nice payoff for all of their hard work at the Training Camp. However things start to fall apart midway due to Kudo’s injury. They manage to salvage the performance in the end, and I’m not gonna lie, I got chills listening to it! There were some great animation techniques used, but I especially liked the use of split screens and synchronized animation shots.
Alright, so it’s the final episode of the season and for what it’s worth, Episode 13 ‘Kuon’ did exactly what it set out to do. It showcased an amazing performance from the members of the Tokise koto club, something the series has been building up since day 1, and it was truly worth the wait. Like the team itself, the performance wasn’t perfect; they still have quite a way to go before they are on the same level as Himesaka or Meiryo, but it’s definitely a start. Had it not been for Kudo’s injury, I think they might have managed to pull off a perfect performance. However, the series just had to handicap them in the final hour…
So the performance had a strong start, a messy middle, and an absolutely stunning finish. BUT, the biggest surprise came not from Hozuki or Kudo or even Kurata, but mother effing KOTA!! That kid is the real MVP of the night! He realized everyone was falling apart and he made sure he stayed in rhythm, giving them a steady grounding point to work back up to and it was spectacular! I know he just had his big story arc a few episodes ago, but DAMN that is what I’m talking about! This is how you get me to remember a character!! Kota is now my new favorite character!!
The animation during the musical segments is clearly where most of the animation budget goes, since they tend to experiment a lot with stylistic choices and techniques. There were a lot of split screens used to show the various members of the club syncing up musically and I really like seeing the notes on the screen since it is a visual representation of the team harmonizing. Absolute perfection!!
There is No ‘I’ in Team
This was a spectacular episode and the perfect endcap to the Tokise Koto Club’s journey up until this point. The team is still rough around the edges and they have a long way to go, but I enjoyed watching them grow as a team and I can’t wait to see what new heights they reach in Season 2!!
That’s it for Season 1 of Kono Oto Tomare, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Spring 2019 reviews!!
Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life
Spring 2019 | Anime Info | Simulcast