Those Snow White Notes - Reviews

Alt title: Mashiro no Oto

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ahmad348's avatar
Jun 18, 2021

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.....

5/10 story
7/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
6/10 overall
vudujuju's avatar
Jun 18, 2021

Those Snow White Notes delivered on the notes, but not much else.

Wild Ride Gone Wrong 

Though it started and ended on a wild ride, Those Snow White Notes has a whole lotta nothing in between. The story with our protagonist Setsu, who moves to Tokyo to get a fresh start after his grandfather dies. The first episode spins a whirlwind of drama, with each scene progressing quickly to a ridiculous and unpredictable conclusion. However, the show continues on a completely disconnected thread and morphs into a sleep inducing school life anime. Toward the end, the drama picks up with more out-of-left-field twists, but at that point my checked-out brain could barely register them.

Replace "sound" with "plot"

Music performances

The shamisen performances so clearly outshine the rest of the show that they need to be judged on their own scale. They contain compelling character development, drama, visuals and music - all elements that the remainder of the show sorely lacks. Each character has their own playing style, which expresses their personality. These styles were complemented by colorful representations in the visuals. Additionally, the improvisational nature of the shamisen meant that performances could evolve from beginning to end. This allowed for dramatic tension and development within a single performance. These performances were the main reason I stuck with the show. My only criticism stems from the sound director playing background music and performance music simultaneously during commentary or an accompanying flashback. Clashing tracks do not serve well in a music anime. Thankfully this only occurs a couple times during a later episode.

Useless characters

Let’s do a bit of math. We have Setsu, our main character. Now there are three (arguably four) shamisen competitors of importance. Then we have the three (arguably irritating) school friends. Then we have Setsu’s brother. By the way, there’s also Kamiki Seiryuu (a famous shamisen player), Umeko, and Kamiki Ryuugen (the father of a competitor), who all retain importance throughout the show. How many of these characters does this show invest me in? Well, besides Setsu… none.

The large cast of minor characters seems to serve as “Setsu’s audience” but if even the show acknowledges you have a duplicate character, you have a problem.

They look at each other and think "Cute."

Conclusion

This show had so much potential, particularly in the initial fast pace and usage of shamisen. Lastly, I want to acknowledge the performances done by the studio musicians*, who captured such a variety of styles and made me really enjoy the instrument. If only the rest of the anime was as captivating.

*I assume it was the Yoshida Brothers, who are credited on the OP but I’ll edit once the soundtrack album is released.

3/10 story
6/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
2/10 characters
4/10 overall
orpheusx9's avatar
Jun 11, 2021

TL;DR - Beautiful music and animation with meh characters.

I mostly like the show. The music is incredible, and they did a really great job with the animation. Even if it's not 100% accurate with finger movements, there's a lot of detail and finesse that's mostly skipped over in other music-themed shows. You actually see all the subtle picking and strumming animations, and the finger movements are also done very well. So in terms of aesthetics, definitely amazing.

Even the overall story is interesting and fairly good. It's got a fine premise, and I like competitions as well as underdog stories, which we get.

What I dislike, however, are some of the important characters. Everything about the main character, for example, including how he's sometimes an ass, is half-assed.

We're given the premise that he's a genius musician guy who's "lost" and struggling to find his sound because of his grandfather's death, yatta yatta yatta. But his behavior is too stoic for that. He seems like he's unaffected and uninterested in most things, but when it counts, he's suddenly this passionate, gung-ho guy who suddenly pays attention to and cares about everyone. They justify this totally BS bipolar behavior with his "quirk" that his skill level is entirely determined by how he's feeling when he performs. Which could be interesting! But it's poorly executed.

I equally dislike a lot of the side characters. It really doesn't spend the required time building up side characters and their motivations. The premise for each of them joining the Shamisen Appreciation Club is nonsensical, and there are dramatic moments that come across as melodramatic because again, we didn't really get enough time to care about or understand them.

Shuri has done nothing all show except being shy, crying, and getting upset (mostly at herself for being useless), which is ironically what makes her a useless character. Otaku girl Yui makes zero sense. Why is she doing any of this? Kaito is supposed to be the straightforward, energetic, and passionate guy who acts as a foil to our MC, but the only thing he's done all show is getting mad at MC for being stoic. Rai is semi-interesting, but again, we don't explore character backgrounds, so he just shows up as the friendly, funny, gay guy who happens to already have musical skills.

From what I've seen so far, every other character and their background are just plot devices for our MC to "find his sound."

Another thing that really pissed me off is the first episode. The description of the show/manga makes Yuna, the first girl you meet, to be this super important character who helped him find his sound again. But then after the first episode, she disappears to "go find her dream" and then our MC is back to being lost again. What the hell was the first episode even for? Why aren't we getting more Yuna, who was actually a likable character?

Geez, Louise.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
JMChillz's avatar
May 20, 2021

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. 

8.5/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
lilmoochie's avatar
Jul 19, 2021

YES

This anime is soooo underrated!!! Not only is the OP the best OP ever, but the music in this anime is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! The anime does a great job introducing Japanese traditions and cultures and the story itself draws you in and you won't be able to distance yourself from the music! Honestly, this anime introduced me to the world of the shamisen and now instead of calming guitar or piano music to listen to while studying, I play shamisen lofi hehe! 

YOU WON'T REGRET WATCHING THIS!!!

I cried when the first season ended and I really really really hope they will continue the anime because THEY CANNOT LEAVE US WITH THAT ENDING. LIKE CMON U CANT LEAVE MY BB CRYING LIKE THAT -_- 

If you like kono oto tomare for the music, you will definitely like this anime! Tho this anime is a lil but more depressing, the setting is similar cuz they are all students in high school, have a club whatnot. But srs go check it out!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall