*in villain voice* So we meet again… Hope life’s treating you well and all of you are in good health. I feel like my mind is galloping all the time, but to where, I have no idea. I’m just glad the spring is here and it’s gradually getting warmer sunnier. Too bad that it brings out the lazy in me, although when have I NOT been lazy is a more appropriate question, and I keep putting my seasonal anime off, including Those Snow White Notes. But! My motto has been “Fake it till you make it,” for the past three seasons so I’m making it work somehow. I think. Anyways, sorry for my kind-of-last-minute reviews.

Alright, this week’s quick summary goes like this: We finally have the training camp episode, with beautiful scenery of Aomori as the backdrop. Training camps are arcs where interpersonal problems arise and are sorted out. Thus we have some Kaito-Setsu strain, Maeda doubting herself, historical bits on the history of Tsugaru, and finally, Setsu making up his mind on joining the individual competition. Plus, we were already blessed with the perfection that is Blizzard as the opening theme, but we already got a new song from Burnout Syndromes? This group is really like a gift that keeps on giving. Very cool stuff. And I want it on Spotify, right about now.

Yui is, as always, a darling. Turns out, she befriended Mai, the self-proclaimed rival of Setsu from Aomori, through an online game and both are big-time nerds who don’t tolerate losing. This bit of detail allowed the focus to shift from Maeda to Yui; Maeda revived the club because she was searching for the song her grandmother was humming. Now that mystery is solved, and the club managed to find 5 members somehow, Yui provided a whimsical push for the members to get better. The group, together with their teacher and the traditional instrument shop owner, travel to Tsugaru, and although everyone has memorized the piece, there’s still a lot of polishing to do. Maeda especially has a hard time managing her timing and the more she’s stressed, the more mistakes she makes.

Being the cinnamon roll she is, she tries turning Sawamura for help, but his mind is preoccupied with Kamiki Seiryuu that his reply comes off as dismissive and in turn, Kaito gets angry at Setsu. At first glance, it looks like Kaito is furious because of the way Setsu treated Maeda, but his anger comes from a more personal place. Due to a past injury and family problems, he had to quit playing football; which was dear to him and something he considered taking up as a professional. When Setsu hears the story from Nagamori, he immediately joins Kaito in the bath and apologizes to him and the make up. Guys… I love this boy so much, what a cutie.

In the second half, the team is out sightseeing, and we get to learn a bit more about the historical background of how Tsugaru-jamisen came to be, how important it is to know about your roots but not being afraid to build your sound on it, change and adapt to your liking. Hearing these words bring relief to Setsu, and after his brother and friend visit the inn they are staying at, Setsu is one step closer to the idea of competing individually. To be honest, when Wakana showed up at the inn, I got excited thinking they’d play together and Wakana would interact with the rest of the members. I can’t get enough of the performances in the series, but they just left after the conversation. Bummer.

The last moments of the episode are dedicated to Maeda finally noticing what she lacks: properly listening and playing together with the rest. She and Setsu have an honest conversation that motivates both of them, and while I can’t believe one of Setsu’s redeeming qualities is having zero tact, Maeda gains confidence from her friend and they finally manage to play the song without a mistake! All that’s left to do is to enjoy the local festival Nebuta. We also learn that the owner of the inn is actually a spy working for Setsu’s mother Umeko. At this point, I think Umeko looks more like the head of a crime syndicate than a celebrity, but I’d love that take as well. She’s awesome.

I find the language we use when we talk about talent interesting, specifically the idea of “wasting”. I remember hearing this far too frequently when I was preparing for the university exams; if someone were to score high enough to get into a good med school but applied for an engineering program, people would say they are “wasting their score”. Is not wanting to reach high or far enough is a waste of talent? Is it missing out on the talented person’s part? I hope the show delves a bit more deeply into this discussion.

How was this week for you? Is it really an episode of Those Snow White Notes if we don’t hear Kamiki lustfully saying “You’re as beautiful as ever, my Kiyora 2…” ? Do you think Setsu is wasting his talent or is it really a loss that Matsugorou isn’t widely known? Let me know in the comments and see you tomorrow!

I was browsing through photographs of Tsugaru, and Takayama Inari Shrine looked magnificent. You can also see the figures used in Nebuta festival here.

Other reviews of Those Snow White Notes


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