I have had Kono Oto Tomare! on my list since it was announced for the Spring 2019 lineup. The second season was announced soon after for Fall 2019. I knew I had to watch it ASAP. I was excited to see what was so special about Kono Oto Tomare! that we got two seasons in one year!
The plot isn’t new or groundbreaking. It’s basically this; the lone member of a high school’s koto club is left with his senpai‘s wish to take the club to nationals. Enter a bunch of first-years who join for various reasons but stay because of their dedication.
Pretty normal. Very basic. We’ve seen (or heard) about several shows with the same plot-line.
However, I found that what sets Kono Oto apart are the characters. So without further fuss, here’s my Top 5 characters from Kono Oto Tomare!
5) The Tenacious Trio.
The Tenacious Trio, aka Kouta Mizuhara, Saneyasu Adachi and Michitaka Sakai. They’re somewhat of a surprising entry. The decision had been between the trio and Hozuki. The reason I went for the trio was that I enjoyed the bond between the trio and Chika more than I enjoyed Hozuki and her backstory.
No disrespect to the suffering her character has gone through but the lengths Kouta, Adachi and Sakai are willing to go for the sake of friendship is inspiring. They are complete beginners when it comes to the Koto but are willing to learn and stay in the club because of their friendship with Chika. Kouta has a moment of weakness but he’s a stubborn one and refuses to give up, he even becomes the reason the club’s performance survives during a competition at the end of the season.
4) Hiro Kurusu.
I have to admit that Kurusu wasn’t my favourite character when she first appeared. She joins the koto club because she’s unhappy with how close the group seem and, due to past trauma, aims to break the club. Kurusu’s true nature is revealed to everyone after several unsuccessful attempts at breaking up the club leave her frustrated. Despite this, the club still accepts her with open arms. She becomes the Vice President of the club and helps Kurata manage and run the club.
Kurusu also dedicates herself to the club as she has finally found a place that accepts her without judgement. I also find her character to be strong and super cute so that’s always an added bonus!
3) Chika Kudou.
Ah, Chika. Where do I even begin?
Assumed as being intimidating, Chika is a misunderstood former delinquent. He is introduced to the world of koto by his grandfather. Guilt over his grandfather’s death drives Chika to reach out to the koto club to be closer to his relative. The rumours about Chika leads to Kurata refusing his application but accepts when he experiences Chika’s contradictory nature himself. Chika is rash and straightforward, but he is also talented and caring of his friends. He supports Kurata through his tumultuous times and the two even manage to perform a duet together during the competition in the season finale. He sees Hozuki as his rival and aims to be as good as her.
Chika starts playing the koto thanks to his grandfather but finds passion and comfort in it because of his friends. He even goes as far as to play when he’s injured as he wishes to play together with everyone and recognise their hard work.
2) Tetsuki Takaoka.
Tetsuki isn’t a member of the koto club, however, he is important to Chika and Kurata’s character development. He has been with Chika since they were young and understands him the most. Tetsuki encourages Kurata to accept Chika and tells him about Chika’s troubling past.
I personally adore Tetsuki’s seiyuu and that added to my appreciation of the character. The thing that really cinched the deal for me was when he teaches Math to Chika and the Tenacious Trio. The episode shows how well Tetsuki knows his friends and uses their simple-mindedness to manipulate them into studying. I found the scene hilarious but touching as well. Mostly hilarious though!
1) Kurata Takezou.
The president of the Tokise High School Koto Club, Kurata Takezou, is my favourite character in the show. Let me explain why.
Second-year Kurata is shy and meek. Bullied by his classmates and looked down upon by his little brother, Kurata is insecure. He doubts the legitimacy of his presidency with Chika and Hozuki around as they have natural talent, unlike him. His self-doubt is something that the club advisor prods and provokes until Takezou finally pushes back.
I have seen Kurata grow throughout the 13 episodes. He becomes stronger and is more confident. Thanks to his friendship and duet training with Chika, Kurata is more comfortable with the koto now as well.
He frets and worries still but is straightforward and merciless when his dedication to the club and its people is questioned. I feel like he’s the most relatable since he embodies a regular hardworking student who’s frustrated with many aspects of themselves but still pushes on!
That concludes my Kono Oto Tomare! Season one Top 5 post. I’ll be back with another one as soon as season 2 finishes to see whether new characters enter the list or the 5 keep their spot!