Beautiful and heartwarming series that surprises us in each episode. Who will thought that we will have regular boy an deliquent and koto prodigy in one place and they will create a "space" that will reach us all? As much as story brings us enjoyment there is one thing that's most interesting and it's sound. Voice acting and instrument sounds are really nicely done here. I like art and I rated it high even if animations aren't top notch, at least this isn't a series when it's hard to recognize characters because they all look the same and act same.
The maybe one thing that
series lacks is small amount of female characters but opening gives us a hint that there will be one more girl showing up in later part of season.
Connection. It is a topic that’s meaningful for many of us. Whether it’s connecting more deeply with yourself, making time for self-care, simply connecting with others, or wanting to feel connected in life. When you’re watching a sporting event with your friends, you’re experiencing connection. When you gather with your family for dinner or open up and express your authentic feelings to another person or find you have something in common with someone, you’re experiencing connection. In Koto Oto Tomare, it’s the connections that matter. This entire story is about connections, in some ways we’ve seen and in some ways we haven’t yet.
But really, connection
is where the good stuff happens. Our relationships with others encourage growth, insight, and new ways of thinking. Connecting with ourselves teaches self-love and self-acceptance. Kono Oto Tomare embodies all of these things through the lives of its characters. It is also a story about a Japanese instrumental called “Koto” which is the centerpiece that helps connect the characters to each other and the audience, through music. The music also serves as a mechanism for the characters to connect with the hearts of those they feel disconnected with. When words fail, music speaks. This is a character-centered and a character-driven story that encourages us to share parts of ourselves through the sounds that are strung together. When telling their stories or channeling who they are with music, an awareness develops and their bond solidifies. Music exists to speak the words we can’t express, a theme that resonates throughout this series.
This juicy school drama, that is also shounen, has a premise that should feel all too familiar with the audience. Just as Kimetsu no Yaiba makes its hay by executing one type of shounen very well rather than by breaking new ground, so it is with Kono Ono Tomare. But this is a very different sort of shounen, obviously. We’ve seen these tropes many, many times—the club which will be shut down if it doesn’t get new members, the misunderstood delinquent, even the kindly kouchou-sensei with a connection to the club’s past, etc. But mangaka Sakura Amyuu shows that she has a deft hand with the material and she’s a genius when it comes to character and character dynamics. As well, this series just has unbelievable amounts of heart—heart which it very often wears on its sleeve. It’s an unusual hybrid of shounen and shoujo traits makes its course harder to predict than you might think. Learning the koto must surely, I image, be an undertaking that both requires and rewards patience—and watching Kono Oto Tomare! is no different - albeit much easier.
There is never a dull moment. This is not a series that lets moss grow on its feet. There’s always something happening here, always movement—in many ways a sort of metaphor for adolescence. It’s not so much a matter of pace but volume—there’s just so much detail in every character arc that little space is left over for the incidental or trivial. Things are always in motion, and there are parallel tracks to be observed. The recurring storylines plot out slowly and gradually, but within that framework, the more immediate stuff tends to happen pretty quickly. That’s a pretty accurate depiction of adolescence as it happens—in my view anyway—so this dualistic narrative style works very well. And if you don’t especially like how something in Kono Oto Tomare is playing out, you won’t have to wait long for it to change or for the next thing to come along. That’s just the sort of rolling stone this series is.
This way of storytelling doesn’t leave much room for lots of breather episodes, mind you. That, I would argue, is a direct reflection of the fact that it doesn’t employ throwaway characters—it has a big cast, and fleshes each of them out as individuals with their own lives. That’s a good thing because everyone matters in this story. Among the many qualities, I value in a series, “genuine” is one I would rank very highly, and I think Tomare has it in droves. There are genuine character chemistry and character dynamics, some of the best I’ve come across. Takezou Kurata is timid and plagued by self-doubt, and Chika Kudou is all brashness and snarling defiance. Satowa Houzuki is the prodigal talent, formidable and brutally honest. These characteristics were fostered by their upbringing or past traumatic experience and masked their internal pain. This is what is projected on the surfaces but deep down, they are scarred souls looking to connect and feel connected.
The dynamic of Takezou being the club leader but lacking in confidence, and his two subordinates are a professional-level koto player and a boy far tougher and more decisive than he is an interesting one. How does he stay relevant in such a situation? The same thing with Satowa and Chika also immediately clashes, unsurprisingly, both being as strong-willed as they are. There’s also a larger theme of what it means to be an artist coming through, and it’s an important one with this series. Where does the line between ambition and ability lie, and how much does each contribute to achieving artistic greatness? The dynamic of the club has fully calcified here. Satowa and Chika are the irresistible force and the immovable object, constantly in conflict, and Takezou is forced to go completely against his passive nature in trying to make his voice heard in the middle. Satowa teaches as she was taught— “Spartan” style, as Tetsu reminds Chika.
Everyone at the center of the story has something they’re struggling against. Not only for our trio protagonists but also Chika’s posse and the latest member of the club in Hiro Kurusu—connections are the hardest thing in the world—and severed connections the greatest source of their pain. The emotional palette of Kono Oto Tomare, I think I’d say “using the negative to highlight the positive”. This is not a carefree and happy story by any means—the characters are all pretty troubled. They’ve gone through a lot of pain, and a lot of painful things continue to happen. Progress is a marathon, not a sprint. But it’s definitely not a story for cynics. There is a “possibility vs. regret” dichotomy here. But it’s a series that always wants us to believe that possibility can triumph as long as we have the will to let it happen. Personal growth is such an essential component of Kono Oto Tomare—if you want characters that are finished products, this is not the series for you. The depth of strong characters is definitely one of this series’ most potent narrative weapons.
Good shows of this genre tend to make you feel such deep and genuine affection for the characters—in younger viewers, it’s probably mostly camaraderie, with older ones a sense of protectiveness. These are such good kids, all flawed in ways we can relate to but genuinely trying to do their best. A sense of belonging somewhere is an incredibly important lifeline when you’re an adolescent to be sure, and that’s something anime frequently tries to capture but rarely with this level of success. Again—sincerity, authenticity, and real characters that feel like real people instead of archetypes. Character chemistry simply oozes, drips, and sizzles from every blessed episode. One duo in particular—Satowa and Chika. They spar almost from the moment they meet. Their arguments are earnest, but their energy is always aligned. Their chemistry together lifts simple exchanges of dialogue or action beyond the status of basic information and into “entertainment”.
Furthermore, both are united in purpose but divided in outlook. The differing worldviews of the two characters push them apart while their common grounds struggle to pull them together, creating not only great interpersonal conflict but extremely resonant inner conflict as well. Personally, I think that Chika and Satowa are a match made in heaven. I love their chemistry together and it results in the shows best individual moments, and moments in general. They clash, they fight but are perfectly in sync and bring out the best sides and their most vulnerable sides of their personalities. Studio Platinum Vision brought out the best of the characters and their relationships with its gorgeous shot composition that really defines who they are within the story. The art style and character designs are very appealing for being something familiar. Trendy attires, detailed backgrounds, and a color palette that is very light, soft, gentle yet vibrant.
The animation has its moments, especially during the koto performances where its poetry in motion. Also, there are manga style stills, but the kind that is very dynamic. It generously uses pan and zoom during moments of conversation as well as lingering shots but never without failing to highlight the emotions and spotlighting their state of mind. In saying that, there is always something moving—and in these moments there is fluidity and smoothness to them. The casting is pitch-perfect, each seiyuu really bringing the characters to life, matching their personalities and emotions with their wide range of vocal skills to project the voices of the characters from loud to soft, change the tone between high and low, and adjust the speech patterns from fast to slow to develop the personality of the characters. The soundtrack is beautiful, with a variety of tunes that compliments each scene perfectly. The koto performances are usually the “wow” factor and leave you mesmerized.
Before Spring season commenced, I picked this series out as something I would really end up loving, and my gut-feeling turned out to be correct. Kono Oto Tomare is one of the best drama’s I have seen with lots of well-timed comedy, weight behind its emotional punches, and subtle romantic beats. The characters are so likable, charismatic, relatable and are a joy to follow. In my opinion, this is the most underrated shows to air this season and I highly recommend giving it a go if you’re into a story like this. It really is rewarding but does require patience, it doesn’t reveal all the cards in its hand at once. I can’t wait for the second season this Fall, to see where the story takes its characters and what new messages may come from it. The message of this series that I got from it is that in order to connect with others, first, you have to let go of who you think you're supposed to be and embrace who you are.
I like to end on Satowa's view on koto and dragons: "Dragons are said to connect heaven and earth, the world of the living and the dead, joining together two unconnected things. So kotos, which are created to resemble those same dragons, connect the hearts of the players and audience. I believe it embodies this wish." How beautiful is that?
This is the first anime I thought I needed to review it, super underrated in my opinion, I'm at episode 5 and already cried twice. To be honest, I get it, is an anime about playing Koto, a classic Japanese instrument, I always thought koto, kinda weird and stupid, and I wouldn't watch it if it wasn't recommended by a YouTuber that I watch, but they can make you emotional anyway, really great, looking toward watching everything, if my opinion changes I'll edit this review.
The story is great, the editing is great, the animation is Ok, nothing I wasn't expecting from a slice of life
about playing an instrument, music is great too.
The best part is the way that the director tells you the story, I've seen before directors not bringing the best out of a good story, but that is not the case, I feel like this anime would lose a lot of potentials if it was directed "wrong".
The foundation of school clubs have been an ongoing trend in many anime involving school life. But reality is, you probably haven’t heard of koto club being part of a central plot, have you? At first, I came into this show with some cautious optimism. The concept of Kono Oto Tomare itself reminds me of anime like Chihayfuru. That anime became a rare breed that capitalized on a unique competition. Kono Oto Tomare walks a similar path for its first few episodes.
Right from the start, we are introduced Takezou Kurata, the president of the koto music club. The timid young man has no strikingly impressive
traits. As the sole member of the Koto club, his love for koto music is evident although it’s hard to make his club into a sensation. The fact is, his club is on the verge of shutting down until Chika Kudo submitted his application to join. The first episode shows a world of difference between two characters – Kurata being the weak character who you may feel sympathetic for and Kudo, the straightforward delinquent-looking guy who isn’t afraid to express himself. When you put these two characters together into the same club, what can really go wrong?
Voiced by Atsukmi Tanezaki, it doesn’t take long for the audience to meet prodigy Satowa Hozuki. There’s no doubt about it. She is gifted and is considered a professional player in the world of koto music. Unfortunately, her personality is that of a stuck-up girl with a degree of egotism. On the bright side, she is also a hard worker and is determined to reach her goals. With the Koto club, her goal may have a ray of hope. Something to pay careful attention to in the show is her slow yet progressing character growth. As she grows to understand its club members, she also begins to trust in others more. The first season doesn’t fully explore this so you’ll have to be more patient.
It was announced that the show would be split into 2 cours, with the second half to air in Fall 2019. To be honest, this should make it obvious as the first 13 episodes aims get viewers comfortable enough to understand the story. The main goal of the koto music club is to reach the nationals. This goal is shared between all of its members and becomes their endgame. The real question is how far they can reach that goal, or if at all. Throughout the story, it’s evident that some of its members need more training and a lot of room for improvement. The trio of Sakai Michitaka, Mizuhara Kouta, and Takaoka Tetsuki is a very obvious example. In fact, the first few episodes shows Satowa showing disappointment at the state of the club. As their mentor, there’s no doubt that she wants them to succeed with her but it’s a difficult task. A part of the show consists of showcasing their hard work and proving the world what they are capable of as a club together. Individually, each character has their personal traits that adds a bit of flavor to the growing roster.
And of course, school life often deals with drama. When we are introduced to Hiro Kurusu, she shows a cunning side to her character with hidden motives. In fact, this show seems to dance around drama at the early stages. Satowa’s personality is like a fuse to a fire when she sometimes clashes with Kudo. In the meantime, Kudo isn’t afraid to back down because of his own thick personality. When you see the two together in early stages of the show, it’s like the two are at a mental wargame. I honestly feel sorry for Kurata since he wasn’t equipped to deal with this. Although as time passes on, Kurata also begins to grow out of his shell since his days of being bullied.
Using its visual language for communication, Kono Oto Tomare does a surprisingly wonderful job at expressing itself. The anime knows what it wants to be – a mixture of school life, drama, competition, and growth. There’s an evident of character youth in this show with its casts’ personalities. Beyond that, the technical style of animation production is probably one of the weaker sides. Character designs aren’t very eye catching except when the show gets into the mood for competition. It shine best during windows of moments that showcases the art of koto music. Sometimes, you may be awed by Satowa’s character design if you have a thing for long black haired beauties. And even as a show with heavy doses of drama, there’s room for comedy. Character expressions draw on the humorous effects of interactions. But at the end of the day, it’s not really that funny.
This is a world where koto music is more than just an art. It’s a way of showing talent to the world while understanding the true meaning of koto music. Anime viewers who are new to the show’s ideas should be prepared for dramatic ride. You won’t need a bucket for tears but do be prepared to be cast into a world where sounds is a way of life.
Glancing at the promotional poster for “Kono Oto Tomare!” had me confused, that’s because I thought the students were holding bazooka’s. Which could have made sense given the American name, “Stop the sound.” Despite my lack of knowledge of the koto, however, I soon realized that splattered body parts would be a rare occurrence. Quite a shame, I know.
Musical-centered anime follow a similar framework to sports anime. The participants usually start with mediocre talent and low expectations, but through the power of bullshit (i.e. friendship), they overcome all/most obstacles in pursuit of their goal. Like when the vice principal challenged
the crew to learn the koto in a month and play a song in front of the student body. The subsequent veneration from the student body was a cliched response that has been utilized more times than a crack pipe at Charlie Sheen’s estate…or car, or on the set of “Two and a Half men,” or at Wendy’s as he wears his Burger King crown with glee — “Smoke it your way, bitch!”
Manufactured plot points aside, the characters are recycled tropes of the worst kind. Chika (he’s actually a dude — outré, I know) was the archetypal ‘tough guy’ with a concealed gentler side. With the wisdoms of his father constantly ringing in his head, and the strengthening bonds of friendship, he blossomed into an amiable companion who supported his fellow koto enthusiasts. Satowa, the resident bitch, deceived the various men in her life to do her bidding. One might liken her to a succubus, but let me assure you, she’s not putting out. Similar to Chika, her aggressive demeanor cloaks her insecurities and longings to have friends. Both character arcs proceed accordingly, with no meaningful nuance to distinguish itself from its predecessors.
Takezo Kurata was an apathetic, meek boy who didn’t establish himself as someone worth caring about. His character arc was rather predictable, with a gradual rise in self-confidence as the series progressed toward its finale. The other, initial koto members — Kouta, Saneyasu, Michitaka — were stock characters with no discerning characteristics worth mentioning. Miya Sentarou, a member of a rival koto team, did have a humorous moment when he started ‘powering’ up during a live performance, and reached a state of kaio-ken (or, maybe he was having an aneurysm — tomayto, tomahto). Otherwise, though, Sentarou was rather tropey.
An interesting facet about “Kono Oto Tomare!” was the lack of koto music. Performances were often cut short or relegated to a considerable amount of internal dialogue/flashbacks from the main characters. Frankly speaking, evading the primary focus of the show for a contrived love story and frequent reminiscing seemed like lazy, bland storytelling. The difficulties of learning a new instrument is fascinating in its own right, without the ‘aid’ of superfluous, emotional conflicts. Eliminate the soap opera and focus on the trials and tribulations of the learning process.
Quite literally the dark horse and the best hidden (diamond) gem of the Spring season that not a lot of people are giving it the recognition it severely deserves. In my view it's no AOTS nor a masterpiece, but it's a really satisfying watch. And this journey to stardom isn't quite over yet, as the 2nd cour airing in Fall 2019 will continue this journey of the Tokise High School Koto Club. And the TGI-Saturdays of highly-intensified music marathon is over for this period.
Like can you believe that the 2nd cour was planned right when the show just started it's pilot episodes? That's some fierce
determination right there.
But first, a quick background about the Koto, which is the centerpiece of the series. Made in 13 or 17-string variants, the koto is a rendition of the Chinese Guzheng, and is the Land of the Rising Sun's national instrument, having heralded first in China over many centuries. It is a marvellous piece of instrument with sounds unlike any other (the stringed "Angels" harp doesn't even come close). And so far, no music series has so far encased the use of the koto (as much as I've seen anime and read manga for so many years).
The story goes of the Tokise High School Koto Club, once a club of mediocrity, and with seniors playing for the fact that the tone doesn't strike as "Aim for Nationals!", the small reminder poster in the tattered practice room. To make matters worse, a second-year by the name of Takezo Kurata, is the ONLY surviving member of the club, with his seniors graduating all at once. Not being outdone, as the new president of the club, he tries to recruit people to continue the tradition of playing the koto, though with that said, Takezo is an amateur player. Not to mention that his cowardly-self also impacts the club, right down to his own brother having to coerce him into determination and courage not to back down, and raise the club's morale he (eventually) did.
And then...in comes the school's most notorious person, responsible for in and out-fighting of people, and labelled a delinquent: Chika Kudo. Funnily enough, if you paid attention to the meaning of his name (in Hirakana), his name means 爱, or "love", speculating that his friends call him names for his childish personality. Being a delinquent in his younger years, plus the fact that his grand-dad made Koto instruments for people, IMO the Koto would have saved his younger years (but it wasn't meant to be), but through his harsh lesson to learn and understand to express himself as time passes in this series. But, he's not alone.
With his good ol' bud Tetsuki Takaoka, he was the right-hand man and close friend of Chika whenever he couldn't weaver his way out of any trouble, both major and minor. But Takaoka isn't just Chika's advocator. He also helps addresses issues with Takezo on Chika's past, and whilst helping Chika rekindle his grand-dad's pursuit on the Koto and get back in the groove, for replacing his anger management and violence issues. And I say that Takaoka is best support character, really wished we all had a close friend like him in the deepest ranches of the furnace.
With the duo set in motion, plus the three followers/stooges (Saneyesu, Sakai and Mizuhara) joining in the venture, there stood a powerful figure, one of the most hardworking but underappreciated figures in the Koto world: Satowa Hozuki. Born a prodigy in a harsh family enviromment that is built upon skill and tone, she was abandoned by her mother and the entire family group and left to her own devices, whilst still maintaining a super-strong calibre that at most times with a very stuck-up attiude (that slowly becomes neutral overtime), takes a very heavy toll on both her physical and mental being. As you can tell, being a prodigy, also meant being a teacher to essentially everyone in the club, since they are learning from scratch. As time passes, she becomes the quintessential member of the club, spurring everyone to do their best...
And it would be a BIG sin for me to leave out the truly short but cute and romantic moments between Chika and Hozuki. It's her having a crush on Chika, but at best hiding it from his naivety. I LOVE THESE stress-relieving MOMENTS A LOT.
Hiro Kurusu, the classmate of Takezo's class, is what I imagined to be the series' Malty/Bitch. A stuck-up character caught within the "Waves of Desolution", trying to bring down the club with her double personality. Fortunately, Takezo sees through that personality and warns her to give up this thought, while processing the benefits of the club.
And the final character, the not-as-hopeful Suzuka Takinami-sensei, the club advisor. Knowing the desolute days where the Koto club would not suffice, he has placed less emphasis and brought more criticism to Takezo. But however, like past experiences, with his facade intact, as he saw the Koto club improve overtime, so does his negative thoughts that subsequently faded away. Not entirely, but surely.
To me, this series does a super great and tremendous job at the character development of each and every member related to the Koto Club, be it family members or even rival schools in the Nationals, their quest of overcoming their past identities and forging new links of their own, and it definitely has shown that and more. I can even consider this the "golden (Harry Potter) Snitch" of the series.
To the studio responsible, this is like Studio 8-bit's Magnum Opus (which was the Slime Isekai series), to which this is Platinum Vision's Magnum Opus, the flagship series representing the studio's best and talented efforts. Artwork and animations are super detailed thanks to renowned directors Junko Yamanaka and Toshimitsu Kobayashi who did the manga source material justice, and a whole lot more. Some rough details but nothing too off, and the full experience is wholesome.
But being a musical series, what is there to say if I didn't "Stop This Sound!" about the music, which is the anchor for the series. And I have to give a shoutout to sound director Hajime Takakuwa. Being the SD for the current Black Clover and classics such as Spice and Wolf, there is no one person perfect for this job as this talented man (albeit with a few mediocre ones). The Koto pieces were truly indistinguishable from the IRL ones (albeit with some differences), and this made all the difference. Not to mention that both the OP and ED are great too. And it's been awhile since I've heard a Shouta Aoi song, and his OP song "Tone" really fits the (literally) tone shift of the series. The ED "Speechless" by Chika's VA Yuuma Uchida is a damn perfect ending, as music renders us "Speechless" at its play, and this is my ED of the season. Plus, spectacular jobs and props to the VAs, marvellous and convincing acting.
The only thing I'm sad for is that with the sesasonal battle between this and Shinichi Watanabe's "Carole & Tuesday", I'd wager which series garnered the most attention (and it's an obvious one to boot). Regardless, even if you're NOT an anime fan of the music genre, I highly, HIGHLY recommend that you give this series a second chance to not skimp on it.
Because the journey of Takezo, Chika, Hozuki and the others aren't done yet.
Because of the split-cour decision (2nd cour in Fall 2019).
Because of such an underrated series like this.
Because of all the above, no one series is perfect to a T, but watching it makes your time worthwhile.
Because I believe (and you should too) that it could be more than this, and expectations run high.
More importantly, because being casual is the easiest way to strike a chord, and being comically serious strikes THAT chord into something beautiful.
Awaiting Season 2 / 2nd cour in Fall with greatness.
NON SPOILER REVIEW:
First let me start by saying I love this anime because I love the manga. The manga is near and dear to my heart with such amazing character development and storylines and it does not fail to give great art as well. As for the anime, I believe that it holds up to the standards the manga has set up. After only having watched five episodes so far I can tell that its going to be great. I will be updating this review once there are more episodes to compare to, I just felt compelled to write a review since this anime deserves
all the attention it can get.
Genres: Comedy, Slice of life, music, Subtle hints of romance (further down the line)
Story: The story so far has closely followed the manga, and I expect it to well into the second season as there are 70+ chapters available for the anime to follow. The storyline grabs you in the first episode as you follow the story through the eyes of one character. The story progresses into following 3 of the main characters in their point of view.
Art: The only thing I do not like about manga is that it gives you an unrealistic expectation of how the anime art should be. The manga is so beautifully drawn that the anime art has lost some of its original luster. With that being said, the art is still beautifully done on its own if you don't compare it to the manga. My only wish would be that some of the background was a little more detailed along with the characters, but it still has its own charm.
Sound: I like the anime opening and ending, I just dont love them. This is a person preference so it's really up to you. As for the koto, you dont hear the sound until the second episode. And I must say I had high expectations for it because of how much the manga hyped it up....and it delivered. I've never heard the koto before but the way the koto sounded when Satowa played was amazing. The anime did a good job of displaying the koto because there are characters who are not as good at playing the koto and characters who have been playing the koto their whole lives, like Satowa. I'm really excited for the way the instruments sound further down the line as the pieces get harder and more dynamic (as explained by the characters in the manga).
Characters: I'm only going to write about the character development in the anime so far and not the manga because it would contain spoilers. With only five episodes in you can get a good grasp of how the characters are going to interact and grow within the storyline. The characters start off weak or misunderstood and continue to grow from their past mistakes and learn more about themselves and about what the Koto instrument really means to them.
Enjoyment: The manga/anime is down right hilarious so if you're looking for something to laugh this is definitely the place for you. Be warned there are also times when you really feel sorry for the characters or are frustrated by some actions the characters do. Overall the character development so far is starting to build. Each character has their own personal color and sound, im excited to see where they go next
Overall: I hope that if youre STILL reading this, that you give the anime a chance because I believe it has a lot of potential to be one of the best animes in a long time (is it just me or lately the new animes been nothing but ecchi and poor storylines).
It has heart. Considering the love and hard work that went in producing these episodes and the love the manga has received from fans it's no wonder the second cour of the show is already planned.
The direction is great. The atmosphere ranges from funny to ominous as the context of the scenes ask for. Are the characters and situations clichéd? After meeting similar people in similar situations behave in similar fashion will you consider their existence a trope or a reality? Your answer to those questions will provide the lens through which you view the story and characters.
The characters are
classical archetypes but whose stories are revealed in a compelling way. The animation and cinematography are gorgeous. The character designs are beautifully drawn(especially the eyes) with occasional changes of the style for comedic purpose. It works, even though it's just a matter of time until it will have its critics as FMA:B/FMA.
And the main attraction: The music? The koto music is teased for 4 episodes. Only a few practice scenes or short performances by episodic characters. Then episode 5 comes, and it really was worth the wait. Outstanding. The background music is also great.
I'm looking forward to how the subsequent episodes adapt the rest of the manga.
If the production keeps this level of quality, considering it's source material, it's almost guaranteed to be one of the best shows of the year, together with Fruits Basket, and may be a classic in the making.
this is the second time I have watched anime music, this anime is very good by presenting a dramatic storyline and each character has a story behind each of them, I really enjoyed the story from the first episode to the end.every episode has interesting conflicts and is not bored to watch for me.the visuals displayed are very suitable with the conditions that are told and make the audience seem to be fixated on the conflict presented. I'm really waiting for the continuation and this is my recommendation for those of you who want to find anime with dramatic stories and music.
I will update this review once the series finishes airing-- but, 5 episodes in, I'm pretty sure this is a masterpiece.
Just a heads up: I've never written a positive review on this site and I've been a MALer since 2010. Besides writing the occasional Yelp review, I'm not really a "reviewer" so please bare with me.
After my preface, I'm sure you could gather that this anime is quite exceptional. Kono Oto Tomare! moved me in ways that Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) never could. There's something so pure, and original with this concept of musical anime. I was a
big fan of Nodame Cantabile back in the day, and yet even Nodame does not pull at the heart strings like Kono Oto Tomare! does.
This series is focused on a high school Koto club. The concept is quite obscure since the Koto instrument is not really well known outside of Japan. In a sense this anime really connected with my Japanese heritage. The characters are out of place playing such a traditional instrument, but the producers of the Kono Oto Tomare make it work. I don't necessarily find it helpful when reviews just summarize the plot of an anime, so I won't be doing that here. I'm just here, trying to bring light to a very underrated anime of the season. Don't sleep on this beautiful and touching anime.
If you want to experience the true essence of Japanese culture presented through a goofy, high school anime. Kono Oto Tomare is for you. It will make you laugh, cry, and view music in ways you could've never imagined (and never fully realized through Your Lie in Anime)-- watch this anime.
Kono Oto Tomare is not just a music anime, it intricately presents a lot of issues faced by people in general and therefore a lot may relate to the characters experience.
It has a lot of “potential” which it couldn’t fully use however that shouldn’t demotivate you from watching it. It’s become one of my favourites for sure.
The animation felt a bit awkward during the start but they really improved a lot as the series progressed. Loved the art from the start <3 But yeah compared to other brilliant anime it may seem a bit lacking so may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
glad I didn’t drop it, infact it compelled me to read the manga too.
I’ll digress a bit but Ohmygod you need to read the manga. It is Amazing. A masterpiece. The art is absolutely breathtaking and except for the fact that you can’t hear the koto music everything’s on point. Even about the music part, separate music CD has been released so you can get an idea of what they play. And it’s absolutely mesmerising. The manga is a must read if you like the anime or the concept of the anime but aren’t able to watch because of the issues.
Anyways coming back to the anime,
Since I’ve read the manga I’d say they actually did a good job adapting it because they didn’t change much of the storyline and it seemed similar and all. Anyways read the manga my fellow people. You will not regret :’)
Some of the things which I’d like to point out are (I’m not mentioning these to not make you watch it but so that you’re “aware” about it. Infact I very much recommend you to check it out atleast)
Firstly, the personalities of a few characters reallyyyyy annoyed me at first but I’m glad it got better.
Now I can say I’m quite fond of all of them.
The character developments are really strong in here!
Secondly, one thing that I didn’t like was they barely gave you 1-2 second glimpse of koto sound during practice sessions and members exaggerated reactions. I mean I do get they left it for main event but like just one touch of string is too less? And how do you react like that just from one second sound. It was funny yet annoying at times.
And even in the main performances they’d start showing flashbacks. Flashbacks are fine by me if they just showed slides but they’d even stop the music and there would be dialogues. It really put me off lmao because I love music and I’m here for music but then you cut it off in between. I mean yeah flashbacks are important but why put it in between the actual performancesssss.
Apart from this everything else was fine.
I’m not someone who looks for perfection. My philosophy is to see the beauty of imperfection and that’s what I was doing while watching this anime. The imperfection made me realise that we all are human afterall. It’s easy for me or others to condemn and criticise about it while I can’t even draw one scene out of it properly. Also as I said the manga is very good so there’s always that option for you.
The ending didn’t seem like an ending but since the list says 13eps I guess that was it. Can’t wait for season 2 which will come out in October I believe. I’m sure they’ll make a lot more improvements by then. I’m quite happy to see how much it improved within the first season itself. I’m really glad I watched it, hope you can feel the same~
This is one of those times when I believe the summary doesn't really done its anime storyline's justice.
If you like stories about developing friendship, beautiful soundtracks, and/or touching slice-of-lifes, this is for you.
Story - 8/10 (very good)
Ah, another story about reliving an unpopular school club. It's one of my most liked tropes, so I might just be a little biased here.
A shy, timid guy wants to keep his club going for the sake of his graduated senpai. The premise is quite simple, you see. But the way the director is telling it to us, the audience, managed to bring along the stories of its characters'
both struggles and simple happiness moments to be wrapped up into something simply beautiful. The storytelling style is one of my favorite parts of this. The way they revealed the flashbacks little by little in each episodes from multiple POVs makes it easier to sympathize with the characters.
Characters - 8/10 (very good)
The characters development is the big selling point in this, and the thing that keep the plot going. My favorite character in this is Kudo, if I have to say. I love how (realistically) complex his characterization is. He is a pessimist that has partly given up on himself but still yet striving to do the best because he's longing for a good future. Despite how the MAl summary sounds pretty Takezo-centered, the story itself is actually more Kudo and Hozuki-centered.
The biggest downside that hold me back from giving its characterization point 10 is how Hozuki character had written. The genius but having too strict parent is already a quite often used troupe. Without bringing anything new to her character except having dual upfront personalities (which actually not that different) her character just seems too cliche.
Overall though, I love the character developments that most of the main characters had shown.
Art - 6/10 (okay)
No lies here, the art itself is nothing than just okay. In my opinion, at least. But I think many people would agree with me, even though everyone's personal scoring might differs. Nothing special about the art. Almost all of the characters design would give you some kind of Deja Vu cause its been used similary in any other anime. The color palette is even rather dull for this kind of story, in my opinion.
Sound - 10/10 (amazing)
I'd give nothing less for the sound. The Koto instruments sounds truly beautiful. The voice actors done their job greatly, especially for Takezo's voice. They insert the right soundtracks in the right times and it really helps bringing up the overall mood. The opening and ending themes might slightly less amazing, but I'm willing to overlook that for the sake of doing the instrumentals justice because Koto really does sound amazing in the right hands. For that, I'm really glad they had made this anime.
Overall - 8/10
This is something I'd definitely continue to watch and would recommend to anyone looking for a good SOL anime.
Story and Characters:
Kono Oto Tomare is my favorite anime for Spring 2019.
The story revolves around Chika Kudou, a misunderstood high school student who struggles to find his identity, he has been disowned by his father leaving him with his grandfather a Koto luthier. Through a series of unfortunate events Chika's grandfather dies, feeling guilty, Chika vows to join the Koto club in order to make amends for his mistakes and create a legacy in honor of his grandfather with the help of his club members.
Despite Chika having a primary role in this anime, every other character has an equally important subplot which
adds to the overall complexity and completeness of the story. Every character in this anime is interesting and likable.
On the animation and artistic side, this anime has a very nice blend of very beautiful and realistic style, mixed with a very cute chibi art style. During the musical performance sequences we can see some great attention to detail with the animation. Overall excellent artistic presentation.
On the sound department, Kono Oto Tomare excelled thanks to the beautiful Koto pieces played through the season. On the opening and ending department I would say the opening is adequate and catchy, however not the best I've ever heard. The ending on the other hand fits perfectly with this anime!
Kono Oto Tomare is a story that demonstrates how ones internal struggle can be remedied by the power of love, friendship, and music. Every episode in this anime is perfectly crafted in my opinion to demonstrate these qualities.
Overall this was my favorite anime of the season, the story is excellent, every character is complex and interesting, the music is amazing, and the art and animation is beautiful. An easy 10 in my eyes!
Good animation, decent plot and music, although the plot seems to work itself into rather predictable paths at times.
Personally, I feel that the series could do more to connect viewers with the characters. Perhaps it has to do with the koto being a relatively unknown instrument to us foreigners, or maybe it is because the plot seems to revolve entirely around this koto club, and so there aren't many opportunities to explore the various interesting characters in situations which do not involve any kotos.
Yet.. I'm only at episode 7 now and it seems like the show may now be placing a greater focus on individual
characters after getting a major plot point over and done with.
Also, it does provide a fairly accurate portrayal of learning and playing music, which makes it better than most of these music anime. At one point, one of the characters gives a better explanation of interpreting classical music than my music teacher! lol
A type of musical instrument only has beautiful girls playing for the king. It is a noble musical instrument. The sound is very smooth. But in the anime, the boys play, it makes a special point for the anime. In my country, when it comes to đàn tranh, people will think of being women playing. It is a kind of instrument that exalts the beauty of women.
Commenting on the content, the anime revolves around a group of friends playing the zither. The evolution of the anime will but other anime have trouble. With the power of friendship and youthful enthusiasm, they overcome those difficulties. Say
goodbye to the temporary story, I give 8 points.
As for the art part of the anime, moving, the details are clear. But the scenes playing the zither are often cut off. That is acceptable. I give 7 points.
The sound in the anime is very good. But the songs at the playing of zither are too short, only the last episode is finished listening to the song. I hope season 2 will be heard more. This part I give 7 points.
In short, I gave the anime 8 points.
Who wants to see a lovely set of school, music, gentle feelings, with a bit of shyness of couples, this is a set that should not be overlooked. Bad boys are gifted with perfect girls.
P/s: Anh/em nào muốn xem một bộ tình cảm học đường âm nhạc nhẹ nhàng đáng yêu, có pha chút ngại ngùng của các cặp đôi thì đây là một bộ không nên bỏ qua. Trai hư có tài x với gái tàì sắc vẹn toàn nhưng hơi lạnh nhạt. (y)
Kono Oto Tomare! introduced itself as a beautiful anime. The next task, for its upcoming second season, is to prove that it is more than just pretty to look at.
This anime feels a bit divisive in my heart. For audience being relatively new in anime scene, this series is definitely one to watch. It revolves around a very niche Japanese music and discusses Japanese-centric topics such as tradition, societal pressures, and redemption. The romantic element is also refreshing as it is less about "boy meets girl" and more about two different people finding common ground thanks to shared love for cultural artistry. However, such may
not be the case for the more experienced audience and hardcore otaku out there. The storytelling feels exciting at first but as more episodes roll in, it slowly degrades into being predictable. The material is not at fault here. Once again, it's about execution, execution, and execution.
Ultimately, I still believe it is too early to judge this series based on first season alone. Let's give the second cour another chance and we'll see where we end up. Just like any musical instruments, even the best anime series out there could use some time for tuning sessions.
When you say about an music anime, exclusively about classical music, in your mind comes your lie in april or Hibike Euphonium.
But to compare that two animes with kono oto tomare is completely disgusting.
This is an example of anime who do a lot of things but does not did any correctly. We can't blame the studio but the production of the anime is horrible. Some decisions made the history boring, like the firsts episodes of the anime and some parts in the middle and in the end of the anime.
The studio did only 6 animes, then we can't expect see a good animation, and is
exactly that happens.
The evolution of the character is a nice thing about this anime. The flash backs is not like naruto's flash back, but i don't liked the decision to put that in the start of the history, because we watched this thinking ow this is awesome, but i do not care with that. In addition, put flash back in the early of the serie did it lose the "mistery" of the history.
The most important aspect of the anime is the song. The scenes whit music is not the best... The animation didnt colaborated to make this better. I didn't feel any emotion listening the musics of the anime, but this is a lot personal.
Same with problems the anime is not a big desaster, is like a "seção da tarde" (a movie that spends the afternoon on TV for the whole family), is a good anime for pass the time and watch that with the brain turned off.
Thanks for read :P
This is such an under ratted anime. The artwork is pretty good, story and plot is not new, but certainly made more interesting with pretty good characters and their back stories.
The pacing of the anime was also pretty balanced with humor and emotional scenes well mixed in for every episode so far.
The main draw of this anime is the music. It's so refreshing to listen to traditional koto music and further more it was made interesting to watch with explanations on various type of kotos, techniques and playing styles etc.
And so far, the anime is following the manga quite closely with very few
I first stumbled across Kono Oto Tomare listening to a YouTube video of their IRL counterparts playing the final performance piece on koto from this anime and immediately I knew it was going to be good, and fortunately I was not disappointed.
To finally have a shounen anime focused on music, I couldn't be more ecstatic and the fact that it the main instrument isn't that mainstream makes it so much more interesting.
The story and art is pretty much good enough, there's not much to talk about there. It's not really the main focus of the anime so I'm not going to go through
it in depth. Like a typical tournament anime, the story goes through "tournament" arcs and for each one, a new song is prepared. (speaking generally in terms of music anime, by tournaments I just mean stages so they can also mean festivals/auditions/exhibits).
What starts out as the most unlikely group of people (according to the anime) loving the traditional Japanese instrument striving to form a club which the whole school could care less (because modern pop music ftw l0l), they go against everyone who has to stand in their way for various reasons for the entirety of the series (as far as I know). We've got the senior member Takezou who is already in the club and is given the task, by his senpais, to keep it alive. Then there is the delinquent Chika who is infamous for stuff he didn't actually do and Houzuki who is a prodigy from a famous koto family. They are joined by Chika's friends just to reach the member count but the focus starts off more on those three.
What makes this anime amazing as a music anime is the fact that its competitive, but winning isn't defined as being better than another ensemble. In the first place, the meaning of music is pretty much an expression of art, so in a sense, they win by using their music to get people to listen to them. While there are technical aspects of the show, the story emphasises a problem among teens that society tends to ignore: the voice of 17 year olds whose ideas and opinions are disrespected because of their deemed immaturity.
Apart from Houzuki who is a prodigy and Takezou who is already in the club, the other members are all newbies which makes their goals seem pretty much impossible. One of the problems in this anime is how unrealistic their improvement is which is passed off by endless practice and transferable skills. Even then they are playing together at an incredible level (not that they don't make mistakes here and there). There are also other practices that ignore realism, not that they don't point it out, but would hypothetically would turn out terrible in real life even if it worked in the anime. Though, I mean, what shounen anime doesn't do that? While I don't know how hard koto playing actually is because I've never done it before, I actually don't think their level of performance too much of a stretch since we're also assuming they don't play as well as the recording. I would provide more theories except that it would have to include spoilers.
Nevertheless, the music and story behind the music is enough for illogicality to be bypassed and I can say confidently is worth watching. What I find is the best thing about this anime compared to other music anime I've seen is that they actually incorporate relationships giving it a shoujo vibe: romance, teamwork, friendship etc. and its not just about winning this and winning that but the mental aspect of their performances as well. Honestly, one of the best examples of what it truly means to play music as an ensemble (or in general) that I've ever seen.
Anyway I wrote this in hopes that more people will watch Kono Oto Tomare. I have read the manga after I watched the first season and I feel like if the second season was connected it would've made more sense. Unfortunately we only have one cour so far so its kind of unfair considering that this season isn't even its true form. Anyway if you want a good music anime with a mix of competition, that doesn't just focus on the technical aspect of playing but also the emotional aspect of it, this anime is for you.
Kono Oto Tomare is an anime that I did enjoy watching. I didn't know exactly what to expect from an anime about koto playing, but as typical anime are, it's a school koto club aiming for nationals.
The pacing is sort of weird throughout the story, bouncing from character arc to character arc, as if trying to fit as much in as they could within 13 episodes. Not to say I didn't enjoy them and come to like the characters, but it definitely felt odd to finish one and immediately run into another arc.
The art is a shoujo style which doesn't fit the the
shounen tag on the anime's page, but it's fine with me. Some stills of the characters in certain shots felt odd, like the facial proportions weren't right. Considering how little of the anime is actually those shots, it's fine and it doesn't have a huge impact on the overall enjoyment.
The art of the characters plucking the koto strings is obviously where all of the budget went, but it really was worth it. It aligns with the storytelling and the plot in a way where the climaxes are the best animated and it works well.
The characters all feel like they're from different genres. Kudou feels like he's from a shounen anime, while Kurusu seems like she came directly out of a shoujo manga as the main character's love rival, etc and so forth. Oddly enough, they all come together as an unlikely bunch and it works.
Of course, this being a music anime, the sound is one of the, if not the most important part of the anime. I've actually heard kotos being played before off of YouTube videos so I already had an idea of what they sounded like. This anime really gave me an insight to what koto ensembles sound like together and it's really cool. The performances that they play are great and definitely the highlight of the anime, in my opinion.
The story had weird pacing, the characters give off different vibes and the art is odd looking at times, but it's still worth watching. I still ended up liking the characters a lot, I still had fun with the story, and the art during the performances is great. The music ties it all together. Overall I'd say it's a 7/10 and I'm eagerly awaiting the second season.