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Kono Oto Tomare is a musical, slice of life series written and illustrated by Amyu. A beautiful story filled with emotions depicted through music transcending the musical sound of the Koto instrument into the lives of the young.
Music transcends all barriers- age, nation, gender, and languages. Classical music of Japan has been inspiring many for a long time.
Kono Oto Tomare is exactly that- a series that brings out the emotions of the player. The plot follows Chika Kudo, the delinquent, and his friends in Tokise High School in Kanagawa Prefecture. It revolves around the Koto Club- a musical club for the Koto players.
The Koto instrument, in all its glory, is a powerful and difficult instrument to play. It is a string instrument that is quite difficult to master. The story follows the non-motivated delinquents of Tokise High, who with the much-needed help of the musical prodigy Satowa Hozuki, learn to play the Koto and perform.
If you haven’t heard or indulged in Koto music, this is the gateway for you. In a way, classical/traditional music lives on in our souls forever. It can evoke emotions that range from happiness to sadness and to nostalgia.
Chika Kudo is a student who is known to be scary, a rowdy if you must. Nobody dares talk to him, or worse-pick a fight with him due to his violent nature.
Why was Chika so feared?
There was a horrible rumor that he trashed his grandfather’s Koto shop and got caught for it. With no one supporting him, Chika turned into a violent young’un. But things changed when he joined the Koto club and decided to learn- in memory of his grandfather. This was one of the saddest backstories of a normal high schooler.
Satowa Hozuki’s Struggles
The life of a musical prodigy may seem perfect but is far from that for Hozuki. She might’ve appeared stuck-up with an attitude, maybe rightfully so, when it comes to the Koto. Growing up as a prodigious player who goes to the National level as well as hailing from a prestigious family of musicians, took a toll on her. The depiction of her familial relationships, as well as her desperate need to be heard, can bring tears to your eyes. Between her determination to get her voice heard as well as forming new friendships, she learns to soften up and trust others.
For those who have watched the anime, you would know the musical brilliance of this ancient instrument. The Koto has a different sound compared to the other stringed instruments.
The musical pieces played in the anime had a different effect on those who watched. It is not only about the sound of the instrument, it was the collective struggle of the Koto club members that were loudly heard through the instrument.
This musical journey might inspire you to pick up an instrument yourself. The characters and their love for the instrument, and the need to prove to the world their brilliance is enigmatic.
For some, music can speak their innermost feelings, for others it is a way to communicate with the higher powers or ‘god.’
This anime’s plot did a good job in bringing about the essence of the genre. Not only did it depict the richness of the ancient instrument, but the progression of the series focused on the characters themselves. In addition to that, the characters are relatable and have contradicting personalities.
The story also shows the blooming friendship of two head-strong characters- Chika and Hozuki.
If Kono Oto Tomare got you bawling and warm, perhaps these anime will do the same: