Hello everyone! Before I get on with today’s review, yesterday WordPress notified me that it was my blog’s 6th anniversary. Time sure flies by! It’s not much of an accomplishment, but more of a statement that I’ve been lurking around for a long while now. Dang, if I knew, I’d prepare something beforehand. I still wanted to take time to thank you all for taking the time and effort to read what I’m putting out, interacting with me, being kind & accepting. 

I haven’t done much, but thanks WP!

Spring Dawn, in a straightforward association, means new beginnings are on the horizon. Setsu is slowly taking steps to make that happen, all the while looking gloomy and sucking at day-to-day human interactions. He’s getting there. Last week he finally told Maeda that he’ll be playing Shungyou, his grandfather’s impromptu song. He diligently gives his big brother a call to ask for the recording of the song. There’s a comforting feeling I get from these two; they’re not overbearing, but open to each other when they need to be, and the bond they have over shamisen is not straining the relationship. On the contrary, strengthens it. Good for them. 

When Wakana went on with the “knowing/not knowing” monologue, for a second I thought he was going to end it in a negative tone and it would bring Setsu down again. What he meant was more on the lines of “Who’s gonna tell!”. Okay, he didn’t mean to ‘deceive’ those people, but still. Feeling relieved after hearing such words, Setsu asks his brother: “What kind of song was Jongara Bushi again?”

There are lots of tiny details that we associate unconsciously with certain periods and places: the boiling sound from a pot in the kitchen, colors of a curtain that filters the sunlight in a certain shade in the living room, the familiar bustling of the street in front of your house or workplace. It was so moving when Setsu wanted to hear a familiar tune that felt so out of place in front of Kamiki Seiryuu, from a person he cherishes a lot. He gets jokingly yelled at after that but, I loved how earnestly he said “Yeah.” when Wakana asked if he disgraced himself in front of that guy

The moment the words “You’re so beautiful…” was heard from Kamiki, I knew he was talking about his shamisen, despite that hotel lobby music. He remarkably channels that Cherry Blossom x Carla energy from Sk8 Infinity and I don’t know how to feel about that. Maybe people saying all geniuses have a weird side to them is true after all. He is a genius after all, to be able to extract so much from hearing another person’s playing is not easy.

Damn those city boys…

I thought Kaito’s place in the group was the childhood friend plus his feelings for Maeda, but he turns out to be an audiophile, which was an interesting addition. “Appreciators” aren’t that common or central in these types of stories, to my knowledge at least. Setsu and Kaito listen to Shungyou’s recording in Kaito’s room together and comes the most beautiful string of imagery in the four episodes we covered. Painted with Matsugoro’s masterful tug at strings, the two go along the journey that the artist himself once embarked on. 

Setsu is at the nearby temple, trying to make the song work when the blue-haired stranger we saw in the second episode approaches him. He’s an oddball himself, appearing out of nowhere, gifting Setsu a handmade chick (which is the cutest thing), and he leaves, just like that. Later on, in the episode, we learn that he’s another shamisen player who’s playing for his father’s rakugo stages. They formally get acquainted at the restaurant down from the apartment they live in. 

Finally, the moment we’ve been waiting for. Setsu, Maeda, Kaito, and Yui visit Maeda’s grandmother at the center she’s staying at. This time, along with Setsu’s sound, or in a way, retelling that journey, we witness the grandmother’s side of the story. 

I know I said that this meeting was stretched in last week’s review, and I still believe that it’s too much of a coincidence. But wow, this second half left me speechless. Interestingly, Setsu’s playing and the grandmother’s story become conversational in a sense and become each other’s companion. I didn’t expect to feel such heaviness and comfort at the same time in me. We find out that the perfected version Setsu is used to hear and agonize over not being able to copy is, in the end, different than how it’s originated. But the grandmother is delighted to learn that the person who gave her the push she needed to continue living, also kept on living and playing. This was one beautiful episode. 

Setsu’s face: who tf ‘happens’ to be an audiophile…
Lots of beautiful scenery

How was episode 4 for you? What did you feel upon seeing the scenery Matsugoro walked on and hearing him play? Let me know in the comments and see you!

Magical boy powers, activate!!

Other reviews of Those Snow White Notes


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