Hello, hope you’re all doing well! Apologies for posting late into the day. I say nothing happens in my mundane life but for some reason this week was more hectic than usual and I barely found the time or the energy to sit through the weekly anime I’ve been keeping up with. Spring season is partly at fault here for being packed with lots of interesting and fun series. But you know I’m here for one show, and one show only. Those Snow White Note’s 5th episode Playing Together mainly covers the first endeavors of our shamisen club, a bit of mother-son tackling, and Kamiki and Setsu meeting for the second time after their visit to Kamiki’s performance.
We knew from last week that Setsu’s mom was plotting something behind his son’s back like she always does and soon after the shamisen club is formed, very conveniently they have a competition to aim for. While Setsu is having a stroke in some corner because of the sudden turn of events, the other members immediately go through the rules and requirements. Their club advisor Koyabu is one busybody teacher, but it was sweet that she went to such lengths to rent equipment, look for competition and find the fifth member the group needs to participate in the Matsugorou Cup. Together with Nagamori, there are two experienced and three novice members.
I probably sound like a broken record, but every episode I’m more surprised by Setsu’s characterization. The moment I think to myself “Aaah, okay he’ll be this way,” or “It’ll probably play out like that,” we are shown a different side to him and I warm up to him all the more. For example, the moment Maeda asks him whether he can teach the rest of the group, I thought he’d reject immediately, finding it cumbersome. But the first thing he does is to call Wakana and ask for some advice. Such a cute younger brother! He tries his hand at helping them and not get angry because that’s how it is at the beginning. It’s also made clear that Setsu isn’t formally trained himself, he doesn’t even know how to read the score, so it’s natural that he runs out of patience when the day is done. Sorry Setsu, but I laughed at your distress a lot.
He comes home to get some rest but all he finds is another headache in the form of his mother. They are at odds over competition and to put it bluntly, fame. Setsu has no interest in competing individually and doesn’t see a need to put himself out there with his artistry while his mother is adamant about spreading around his father’s and son’s talent for the world to hear. In the end, she leaves Setsu be but firmly asks to reconsider his decision. Setsu is either dead set on his personal goals that he has no interest in being evaluated, or he’s afraid of being criticized. Probably a bit of both, we’ll see for certain when Matsugorou Cup arrives.
I know I said I couldn’t pinpoint Setsu a couple of paragraphs above, but I’m gonna be bold and say I think I finally got it after this episode (probably to be proved wrong in the next episode, but oh well): in a musical sense, Setsu and Kamiki Seiryuu is a lot like Nodame and Shinichi from Nodame Cantabile. Nodame too had difficulty following the piano score in front of him, would improvise the parts she didn’t remember, and could only play her best if she was emotionally invested, while Shinichi was the ‘professional’ one. Nodame’s out-of-the-ordinary way of playing was what captured his attention in the first place, but also what frustrated him. Finding the dynamic from a series that I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve rewatched in Those Snow White Notes made me incredibly happy, and a tad nostalgic! But you must also know what that means for a fujo, right? It’s shipping timeeeee!!!
My way of having fun aside, Kamiki and Setsu’s first time playing together goes remarkably well, and the harmonies they created together were so pleasant! It was also fun to see how even though they haven’t said anything to each others’ faces, both had immense pleasure from making music together. Kamiki isn’t labeled a genius for no reason; he stripped off from his own style and played the Shinbushi in a basic way for other students to learn from him. I also appreciated that after apologizing to Maeda, Setsu went back to help the group even though he isn’t as motivated about the competition as the others.
In the end, I think what Setsu yearns for deep inside is to be needed. Not because he’s the grandson of one of the greatest shamisen artists, or because he’s the son of a good traditional singer, but wanting to be heard for what he is. For that, he needs to be able to call out to others with his own voice, and he needs to discover what kind of sound is that before anything else. As always, I can’t wait for the next episode!
What about you? Are you enjoying the episodes as much as I do? Have anything else to contribute other than what I noticed? Let’s meet in the comments, otherwise, see you tomorrow!
Other reviews of Those Snow White Notes
- Those Snow White Notes Epidose 1 — Desolate
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 2 — Apple Blossoms
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 3 — Sudden Downpour
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 4 — Spring Dawn
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 5 — Playing Together
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 6 — Homeland
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 7 — Wind
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 8 — Tuning Fork
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 9 — Snow Flurries
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 10 — Wind From the Mountains
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 11 — Memories
- Those Snow White Notes Episode 12 — Those Snow White Notes