Spring 2019 Grab Bag Week 1: Senryuu Shoujo, Kono Oto Tomare

As I struggle to figure out which shows to post about in this season, I can at least give a sense of how I feel about the shows I'm watching.

Nanako blows bubbles

Senryuu Shoujo First Impressions (1)

As I say that, I might be immediately undercutting myself, since I'm starting with a show I knew about before the season started. As I mentioned in my preview, I read the manga for this series and really enjoyed it as a fluff series. It's a half-length anime that follows Nanako Yukishiro, a girl who feels most comfortable communicating in senryuu, a type of poetry with the same syllable structure as a haiku.

Nanako is encouraging

Joining Nanako are Eiji Busujima and Amane Katagiri, fellow members of the school's Literature Club. The series is based off of a 4-koma manga, so it has the typical comedy and slice of life feel. In particular, it tends to focus on the relationship between Eiji, a kind student with the appearance of a delinquent, and the shy Nanako, who sees him for what he is.

Eiji gets embarrassed

So if you're into that kind of thing, look forward to a lot of embarrassed faces and lighthearted misunderstandings (it's my jam). I do like the overall concept behind the series, this idea that poetry can express things in ways typical communication can't.

Nanako gets embarrassed

I've never been one for poetry, but this series made it fun. And as a former subtitle proofreader, I look forward to seeing the hoops that the translator jump through to get the English version to follow the 5-7-5 syllable structure. That statement might have been a bit too honest.

The principal tries to support Takezou

Kono Oto Tomare First Impressions (1)

I have an oddly specific tendency to enjoy dramas with a slight tinge of tragedy in the premise, and this series is helping to fill that need for this season (I miss 3-gatsu no Lion). Focusing on a traditional instrument called a koto, which effectively looks like a giant dulcimer, the series follows Takezou Kurata as he tries to keep the koto club at his school alive.

Chika wants to join the club

Takezou is surprised when he meets Chika Kudou, a new student who immediately requests to join the koto club. I liked how the episode introduced Chika alongside the bullies who were harassing Takezou, to give Takezou a legitimate reason not to trust Chika. It informs his behavior and makes him a lot more believable as a character.

Chika's grandfather was a koto maker

Chika's past is also an interesting portrayal in this episode. Part of me wants to be critical of how the police are portrayed in the flashback. They're cruel to the point where it's almost hard to believe. But I wonder if you can explain that away a bit by saying that Chika could have focused in on the negative parts of the memory.

Chika's grandfather tries to comfort him

It's a small gripe, but I feel like this scene actually fails to provide the emotional lift that it's attempting to add. In my mind, it messes up the timetable of the incident. I find it hard to believe that Chika's grandfather had the time to have this conversation, but couldn't exonerate Chika. Maybe you could argue that he thought he'd have time, but it feels a bit weak.


I think I'm willing to give the series the benefit of the doubt, though. It seems like it could be fun, so I'm looking forward to seeing more.

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