Fall 2019 Grab Bag Week 8: Kono Oto Tomare

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Sane just wants a break

Kono Oto Tomare Episode 21

I guess this week’s episode ends the long training phase before nationals starts up. This second season has been shaping up a lot better than the first one did. It hits many of the same emotional notes while putting together a pretty solid koto club. I think the first season had to spend more time getting characters on board with playing the koto, while this season is purely focused on coming together to play a piece.

Sane wants some special training

Am I supposed to be shipping Sane with Akira? I’m kind of okay with that. But that aside, I like how Sane figures out his role in this episode. Being able to work with others well is something that’s hard to express, so I think it fits a side character like him well. In the end, he’s still doing his part.

Chika is scolded

I think this series has done a great job of splitting its characters up. The koto club is there to support each other, but not every moment needs every character. Chika can go off and do his own thing with Takezou and Satowa, while Hiro gets her own supportive moment with Takezou. It does leave certain side characters in the dust a bit, but I think it’s better for the story overall.

The executives come to talk about the Hozuki school

On the other side, I like what this season has done with Akira so far. She’s had a surprising amount of independence as a side character, coming to her own conclusions about the club members and eventually becoming part of the team. I think it’s great that she defends the club in this senior meeting without anyone from the club knowing about it. She’s slowly cozying up to the group, but we get to see a shining moment of triumph as the audience.

Satowa tells Chika her story

I do think that the series could be doing more to show Satowa’s personal struggle with her song. Moments like this one with Chika are great for forcing her to face her past, but I sometimes wish to see more. With nationals coming up, I feel like the inevitable conclusion for her saga is for her mother to show up, but it’s only been developed so much at this point.

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