When Setsu’s grandfather died, so did Setsu’s “sound”—his unique creative spark. Grieving, he goes to Tokyo to find himself…but manages to become totally, literally lost on his first day. Only a chance meeting with Yuna—aka Yuka, the hostess—saves him from being robbed. At first glance their lives seem totally different, but they’re both striving for their dreams—hers, of being an actress, and his, of developing his talent with the shamisen—and it could just be that life in the raucous, unfeeling urban sprawl of Tokyo could just be what binds their fates together…
“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.” Being a musician is an experience you cannot simply describe with words alone. The moment you manage to play your first song and people listen to it, this is where you are likely to become an addict; an addict, looking for their own sound, expressing their very soul. However, the true despair hits you, when you realize that you do not have the true talent for it; only a few have it. Mashiro no Oto tells a rather interesting and very unique story; it tells the story of Sawamura Setsu, a teenager from Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture. Setsu adores his grandfather, Matsugorou, who is a legendary shamisen artist. His sound alone is able to paint a picture in your mind that you will never forget. Regrettably, one day his granddad is about to die and before he passes, he scolds the boy to stop playing until he finds his own sound. The old man does it because Setsu is also a huge genius, able to one day surpass his grandfather. However, because of the fact that he loves his granddad way too much, it negatively affects his style, since all he does is copying. And, as you know, there are two types of musicians: the first is those who create, the geniuses, and the second is those who can only copy. With the death of Setsu’s grandfather, Setsu leaves his brother and tries to find his own self in Tokyo. When he reaches Tokyo, Setsu by chance runs across an aspiring idol and hostess named Tachiki Yuna, who saves him from some angry-yakuza-like guys and invites him to live in her apartment for a while simply because she sees him as equal, someone who is also lost and is trying to find his real self in the big city. And so the story begins. Without a doubt, it may be difficult for some to pick up what Those Snow White Notes has to offer. If you cannot stand melodramas, I believe that Those Snow White Notes might be a bit boring for you to watch. A little cheat would be to watch it little by little, an episode or two a day, it helped me appreciate the anime a lot. Anyways, on to the anime’s story. The whole anime revolves around people who meet Setsu, who want to improve themselves and they can do that. Setsu, however, while he wants to improve, he cannot do that simply because he lost his reason to become better as a shamisen artist, and so he needs to find it now. Touched by Setsu’s search for a new muse, Setsu’s new acquaintances want to improve and become better at whatever dream they are trying to pursue and that is pretty much the whole story. All in all, like I said already, if you are okay with melodramas, go ahead and watch it. However, those who like fast stories, this anime is kinda slow and might become boring for you very fast. I found it boring myself, because I tried to rush it and in result, I did not quite like this anime. However, having rewatched it little by little, I now am a fan of Those Snow White Notes. Do give a try, if you believe to be a patient viewer. It is rather fun.
Summary: alright so i have watched many music related animes before purely for the sound and music. However, the story is what's supposed to keep you attached to the show and help you enjoy the sounds. The sound BTW are almost perfect and beautiful as expected of japanese cultural music. The place it lacks in is the writting department and not delivering enough of a punch. The buildup gets interupted and the flow is broken several times throughout the show. Especially the last episode was a big dissapointment, atleast for me. They built this hype up and it just got nowhere because the MC still needs to grow and learn there are others better than him. i don't like that. All this hype and the show ends with him crying and being depressed and as usual he gets some sort of motivation to become better. i mean that plot almost sounds like shounen manga type genre. and from the looks of it a second season is not yet in works so the anime might just end at this terrible cliffhanger or it might take a long time for a follow up. Conclusion: THE MUSIC AND SOUNDS ARE EPIC BUT THE STORY AND DEVELOPMENT IS KINDA MEH.....
It's well written, the quality of the animation is top-notch and the character development is off the hook. I loved all the songs played in this anime, especially "Tsugaru Ohara Bushi". The person singing for Umeko's part has such a powerful tone to her voice that made me listen to that song on loop. One of the underrated animes out there. I would suggest giving it your time. It's really worth watching.
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