Mashiro no Oto

Title: Mashiro no Oto – Those Snow White Notes
Original Title: ましろのおと
Episodes: 12
Year: 2021
Studio: Shin-Ei Animation

Setsu Sawamura runs away from his small home village following the death of his grandfather, the legendary shamisen master Matsugorou Sawamura. On his deathbed, Matsugorou told Setsu to give up the shamisen if he was only going to imitate others instead of playing in his own way. Grieving, Setsu heads for Tokyo, hoping that the big city can inspire him to discover his own unique playing style. But Tokyo defies his expectations by drowning out all other sounds with the deafening noise of its city life.
Concerned about her son, Setsu’s rich and successful mother, Umeko, waltzes back into his life and forces him to enroll in Umezono Academy. At the school, he meets Shuri Maeda, a girl who is fascinated by the Tsugaru shamisen and wishes to perform a song her grandmother once heard a long time ago. Shuri starts up a shamisen appreciation club and convinces Setsu to teach the members how to play the instrument. As he becomes more involved with the club, will Setsu be able to recover his love for the shamisen and discover the unique sound he lacks?
(from MyAnimeList)

After watching an anime on Koto, why not one about Shamisen?

At first I thought it wasn’t a school anime but an adult one talking about more mature thematics but then the protagonist starts the school part. Still the way this is represented is under a more mature lens than the classic school anime. Still it is not too serious and some parts are really funny.

I really got into it at the beginning but with the school part I started to lose my interest with the school part as it started to get too similar to the classic music anime.
However, despite deviating from the initial part, it is still able to narrate well the school club’s part, without falling too much into cliché; it was still able to develop something that I really appreciated.

I loved how there are a lot of parts where the music of the Koto is the real protagonist and, when it isn’t, it will still accompany the stories of our protagonists.
In the end the anime is like poetry accompanied by the sound of the Koto.

I didn’t expect that kind of ending though… It’s quite open so I wonder if there will be a second season.


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