Hey there readers, it’s me ya boy. Maybe because the weather has been gradually getting warmer and finally the season change is upon us, I feel extra lazy and slow. It actually kind of feels good, until that anxious part of my brain reminds me of my real-life obligations. Don’t you just think being a human sucks sometimes? I sure do.
It’s finally the group division of the competition. I wondered if we got here too soon since, in sports anime terms, the competition is usually the end-of-the-season kind of final boss. But they already had their training camp, and with instruments, all you can do is to keep playing the same partition so I’m guessing it’s not as exciting to watch on screen as physical training. But Umeko sure knows how to organize an event! I’m still respectfully suspicious of her actually being a yakuza boss and Umemaru Group is just the business front. The reception hall is as extravagant as Umeko’s personality; brimming with flowers, attendants with sparkling smiles, and freebies. Our team is overwhelmed by the nervousness except for Setsu; he’s so done with how his mom handles things.
The team members are not the only ones there; Nagamori’s Handicraft Club members, as well as their advisor/teacher and Oodawara, who is the owner of the traditional instrument store, are ready to cheer them on. I love how Nagamori is a tad different when he’s with them than he is in the shamisen club, seeing a character interacting differently in diverse circles is something I appreciate. Yui is also excited to meet her online friend MaiMai, and Setsu knows that he’ll be nagged if they come across each other. So of course, without properly communicating he says he’s going on a walk, leaving the rest speechless. My guy… haven’t the past couple of episodes taught you anything…
Going back to the reception hall, Mai is trying to force her way into the individual division because she didn’t know Setsu would be up to compete but is sternly stopped by her mother, Tanuma Sayuri. Right then, Umeko joins her in their conversation. You know it wouldn’t be geniuses competing if their moms weren’t duking it out behind the scenes as well. It looks like they haven’t seen each other for a long time since Umeko has trouble remembering Sayuri, but they immediately know how to get under each others’ skin. Meanwhile, their sons casually sit under a tree and while I’d like to say they are becoming friends, Setsu’s brand tactlessness strikes again.
I didn’t declare my love for Yui in this post yet, did I? So I’m going to do that: I love Yui. As if her uniform idea wasn’t extremely adorable, her meeting with Mai is exactly what happens when two fangirls meet. Lots of screaming, excitement, and hand-holding, generously sprinkled with loving insults. Mai quickly notices that Yui is from the same school as Setsu, he’s still nowhere to be found but actually, he’s busy getting on people’s nerves as usual. The opening ceremony has passed and other teams have already started performing their versions of Shinbushi. In the meantime, we learn which other characters we should focus on from other schools and what kind of individual touch other teams have added to their performances.
The bulk of this episode were characters glaring at each other, and this made the episode less of a favorite of mine. I don’t mean it as there shouldn’t be any obstacles or clashes, but I guess I personally needed more moments similar to the Handicraft Club or Mai-Yui meeting to balance the tension out. Although I have to give it to them, the Umeko-Sayuri showdown with passive-aggressive comebacks fitted well with the rest. I dig those stuff.
Before we wrap the episode up, Setsu finally joins the rest of the group, and Kaito storms upon him immediately. I felt like this part needed better pacing; we could either see the stress build up amongst members or Kaito could start more agitated and get angrier as he spoke. Other than their clash seeming abrupt, Kaito and the rest have their own reasons for being antsy. They are beginners at the instrument and just recently managed to play in sync, and when that one member everyone puts their hope in seems like they don’t care about the group or the performance, it must be vexing.
But we also know how easily Setsu sways because he has the emotional maturity of a slime. He’s trying to do his best for the team, and it felt cathartic to hear his will to win coming from him so resolutely. Seeing his brother, once again, struggle to get what he thinks across, provides a bit more of a context, and finally, the heavy mood surrounding the members has dissipated. Only for a moment, though. Until Setsu runs his mouth. I don’t know why Yui looks so somber at the end of the episode, and can’t wait to find out what troubles her next week.
I think this episode lacked music a little but how was this episode for you? Any favorite moments or interactions? Let me know in the comments and as always, thanks so much for reading my reviews. Until then!
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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