I AM SO THRILLED FOR THIS ANIME ADAPTATION! Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote this post about Kono Oto Tomare! because I just love it so much and I feel like it’s not getting enough recognition. So, when I read the news that it’s going to have an anime, I was overjoyed! Now it’s here and I’m so happy because I know that there will be more people who will know about this series! It may not be for all (as everything else, to be honest), but at least I’ll have more people on my dash and timeline gushing about the adorable characters. Even better is that I’ll finally be able to hear the koto pieces!
So now here’s for Kono Oto Tomare!‘s first episode entitled “New Club Member” (新入部員, Shinnyuubuin)
First part is an intro showing house where there are broken things, emphasis on koto instruments, with only one standing and untouched koto. Also part of it is a send-off for seniors who are graduating and Takezou crying. From these we gather that there’s an incident with a grandson who came on the scene and that Takezou is left as the only member of the club.
Now, we know where this is going.
The OP is Tone by Aoi Shouta. I think it’s nice, though not really what I usually listen to. I liked the sequence a lot, though because it’s bright and there are lots of colors and movements and scenes of the 7 members together.
After the OP we see some students gossip about Kudo Chika who they say was a delinquent. Then, there’s Kurata Takezou, the only member left of the koto club, posting recruitment ads for the club. Entering the club room, he sees delinquents messing around it, and he tries to stop them, but fails. Chika saves him and later on declares that he’s entering the club.
Of course, Takezou doesn’t believe it as he is influenced by the rumors. It’s not like him being taken by the police is just plain gossip. It’s true that his grandfather died, too, so things got ugly. So, he drives him away. Knowing the story, I got frustrated with Takezou from the very start unlike when I first read the manga. (Though I was irked by him by then, too.) Seriously, I wanted to just up and slap him.
Anyway, we follow him as he goes home and hears his family talking about him. So, he’s an intelligent student from a family with high expectations. Sadly, he didn’t get into this prestigious school and was sad for the results. That’s part of the reason why he ended up joining the koto club which he later liked.
Next day, he sees Chika cleaning up the club room when he orders Takezou to throw the trash. That’s when he almost got a run-in with the delinquent students from before. Again, Chika saves him. They have a confrontation wherein Chika asks if “protecting” means “doing nothing” while Takezou says he doesn’t believe him.
AND I ALMOST COULDN’T BEAR WATCHING THAT. I really, really want to just strangle Takezou because of his bias. (Though I’m really being bias here as well. lol) Seeing the following, it’s already obvious that Chika’s just that misunderstood
Didn’t he wonder why Chika would save him? What would he gain by cleaning the room if he wasn’t serious in joining the club? I’m so frustrated because he already believed the rumors surrounding Chika when he hadn’t even encountered him until that time. It’s difficult to fully empathize with Takezou. Or I’m really just being majorly biased here because I really, really love Chika.
After that encounter, Takezou sees how Chika cleaned and fixed the room, albeit sloppily. With guilt, he tries to look for him by asking Tetsuki (love him, too, by the way) who’s always with Chika. On another part of the school, the delinquent students are talking about re-creating the scene at the start of the episode just to bring trouble to Chika.
Anyway, through Tetsuki, we learn Chika’s past — that in middle school, he moved in to live with his grandfather who’s a koto maker. That he’s a violent student who gets in lots of trouble. That he overheard how his grandfather accept him as his grandson even if he was always fighting. From then on, Chika showed interest in playing koto. He stopped hanging out with the delinquents so they got back at him by destroying things on his grandfather’s place. The police believed Chika was the one who did it and his grandfather collapsed the same night.
Finally, Takezou believes Chika knowing those, especially the fact that the one who started the koto club — who we learned from the start of the episode was a friend of the principal — was Chika’s grandfather.
Going to the clubroom, Takezou is attacked and faints. Chika later appears in the scene just as the teachers goes there as well. They accuse Chika of doing it and takes him to the principal’s office. When Takezou wakes up, he wavers when the nurse tells him not to get involved with Chika. Until he sees the koto club sign thing which Chika took and cleaned.
Back at the principal’s office, a teacher accuses Chika of being the culprit based on what Chika’s record was. It hurts to see Chika being silent because it reminds him of what happened back there on his grandfather’s place. He is reminded of the police accusing him of doing it and even if he denied it, they still told him that he caused it. That’s what kept him from talking back as Chika is fully aware of how that event happened because of him.
Thank goodness, Takezou builds up the courage to barge in and declare that Chika is a new club member that’s why he was there in the club. Then goes the flashback where it’s shown how Chika’s grandfather actually knows the truth. That shot of him crying in relief never fails to get to me.
The teacher still questioned it but the good principal believes it. Then comes the news that three students confessed to doing it. We know that Tetsuki is the cause, but I’m a bit disappointed how they didn’t adapt the scene where he says more lines which gives more insight to his character.
Anyway, all’s well ends well. We get these two awkward dorks as members of the koto club. I still think the drama jumped right at the start, but it’s not like other series doesn’t do it. It’s really more fun for this series to get Chika’s story out from the very start in order to fully enjoy his character and scenes.
Next episode, Satowa is appearing and I can’t wait for it! Actually, I’m already looking forward for the group to be assembled because the story gets better after that, but for now, I need to be patient.