Kono Oto Tomare or Sounds Of Life! or in English “Sounds Of Life!” is one of those anime’s where you either love it or hate it. The story is very straight forward and easy to follow and it has a simple problem solution type story. Personally, I loved both seasons and I really had a great time watching it. It has a lot of different sub stories and other winding narratives that are included with the story. But what makes Kono Oto Tomare or KOT as I’ll be referring to it as in this blog so good? And is a season 3 even possible? Keep reading this blog to find out.
If you haven’t watched Kono Oto Tomare and aren’t sure if you want to give it a shot, we suggest you read our Is Kono Oto Tomare! Worth Watching? blog. Don’t worry we don’t spoil anything. The arcs are great and we see a lot of tension, both sexual and agitated, between different characters and it really sets the stakes high from the beginning. We see an epic story from all the characters points of view and it’s honestly one of my most favourite series I’ve watched so far. It was also incredibly memorable and I’ve watched both seasons twice!
The main narrative of KOT is pretty simple and it revolves around a group of Students and the Koto club they all join in the earlier episodes, run by Takezo Kurata. Initially, Takezo is the only member of the Koto club for his school, as the other members, according to what we are shown, all graduate, when they go on to pursue other educational opportunities. The club is about to be shut down, when much to Kurata’s surprise, a new member joins, Chika Kudo. Kudo is seen by most of his classmates as a diligent, a term that seems to come up alot in Japanese TV shows and anime. Maybe it’s because I’m from a more western background, but that phrase is one I hardly ever hear, but maybe thats just me.
Anyway Kudo and Takezo realise that if they don’t get more members, the club will be shut down by default. So, they try and get new people to join. One day they enter the practise room and a girl is sitting there. Her name is Satowa Hozuki and it turns out that she is a very famous Koto player, she’s also the same age as Kudo and Kurata. She convinces them that she will take them to nationals with her skill alone. A remark which gets her fierce criticism from Kudo, as he doesn’t understand how it would be possible for them to achieve this without other additional members in their club. In the first or second episode they come across 3 more characters, Saneyasu Adachi, Kota Mizuhara and Michitaka Sakai.
At first they are reluctant to join the club but Hozuki uses her looks and charm to get them to join, staring directly at them and calling them handsome. This prompts the 3 others to join the club and from this point on these are our new Koto club memebers. We focus mainly on Hozuki, Kurata and Kudo during the whole series of Sounds Of Life but the other characters I have just mentioned also get some screen time. The group then proceed to try out for “nationals” and don’t succeed in their first attempt despite their best efforts. The story is really engaging in this type of way and it really did put depth into the characters. Thats why I think the narrative is great and it really sets the stakes high for the ending of the first season.
The Koto Clubs Intentions
The group keeps trying very hard to achieve qualifying for nationals and they carry on going throughout the series. Hozuki used to be close with her mother until a performance in which she played a different song from the one she was supposed to. This performance that she gives is called “Tenkyu“, and I think the English translation is “Heavens Cry”. The significance of the performance that she gives is that it was way of expressing her anger and pain she was suffering at the time.
Hozuki describes it as “throwing a tantrum”. Unfortunately her mother doesn’t see it that way and this gets her disqualified from the competition and excommunicated from the Koto school she attending at the time. It’s revealed that this is the reason that she decides to join Kurata’s club, as she can take the club to nationals and win. She sees it as an opportunistic career move, one that will get her back in good standing with her mother and one that will restore her reputation.
These were Hozuki’s original intentions, but later on in the first series we see that she really likes playing the Koto with other people, and she makes friends with all of the other members in the club. Her faith in the Koto and its abilities is restored and this is how the story progresses. They have another performance at the school they go to later in the second season, and this really gives them the motivation they need to qualify for nationals and try win first place. It’s really a great story in my opinion and this is why many people were hoping for a second season, despite the last seasons conclusive ending. We’ll be discussing that later, but first, let’s get to the characters.
First we have Takezo Kurata, who is a student at Tokise Highschool. He is shy, lacks self confidence and is generally seen as hard working in my opinion. He loves playing the Koto and doesn’t seem to have any other hobbies, not that it’s a bad thing. He has quite an admirable character and theres not really anything bad I can say about him.
Takezo is also quite an emotional character and we see this from his interactions with Kudo and Hozuki, both making him cry with joy at some point. All in all he’s a great first character to sympathise with and get invested in, much like Kudo and Hozuki, these three and the ones we are rooting for the most.
Next we have Chika Kudo, who is seen as a trouble maker and a bad influence by lots of people at the high school he attends. His grandfather was a professional Koto maker and he was the one who motivated (after his death) Kudo to start playing the instrument properly.
Kudo has a hard time dealing with grandfathers death and after he is deceased his makes a personal promise to himself to pursue the prospect proposed to him by Hozuki and Takezo of going to nationals. He is a hard worker just like Kurata and he admires Hozuki’s playing and skill as well. He may have romantic feelings towards Hozuki but it’s never really expanded upon in the anime, we’re not sure about the manga.
Last we have Satowa Hozuki, who, like Kurata and Kudo also goes to Tokise highschool. She is a hard worker and is exceptionally talented at playing the Koto. Much like her fellow Koto club members she is invested in reaching the Koto nationals and wants to do this so she can be reunited with her mother and have her reputation as a professional Koto player restored.
She is conventionally attractive and possesses skills that make her seem charming and nice to be around. It’s shown in the anime series that she may have romantic interests in Kudo. She acts different around him and normally picks fights with him, teasing him on a regular basis. Sometimes when the two are alone or with the other club members she normally acts shy and stumbles with her words, getting visibly nervous around him. It’s obvious she has feelings for him and Kudo and Hozuki’s relationship grows as the series progresses.
The sub characters in Sounds Of Life aren’t really sub characters in my opinion. Every different character offers their own skills and uses to the club and to each other. This makes each character valuable and it means we actually can get invested in each one. For example, in the earlier episodes of the second season, Adachi starts to think that his skills aren’t needed in the club, as he keeps messing up in practise. However, Mr Takinami tells Adachi that he’s very important to the club and the other members. Takinami reveals the reason for this is that his sound harmonises with all the other sounds, so he can link them all together when they play in unison.
I never really had much interest in instruments let alone a traditional Japanese instruments such as the Koto. However, Sounds Of Life really made me interested in this type of thing. I would never have the courage to play an instrument in front of hundreds of people in unison with other people. KOT really emphasises this and it shows what Japanese students like the members of the Koto club go through. All the characters in KOT were memorable, and they all had their different skills to offer. Here are some of the ones I liked the most, ranked from top (most favourite) to bottom (least favourite).
Understanding The End Plot
Understanding the end plot is always important when deciding whether or not a new season for a particular anime series is necessary or possible. This applies to most anime, including Kono Oto Tomare. The end plot of KOT is quite amazing in my opinion. It also solved alot of problems that had arisen during the first season. Almost all of these problems and arcs were solved / ended.
We see Hozuki reunited with her mother after they had fallen out, Kudo and Kurata and the rest of the Koto club achieve their goal of going to nationals. During episode 11 and 12 we get to see the performances of the other schools that we had seen in the first season. We got to see how the other schools had improved and grown from their individual experiences as opposed to seeing Tokise’s students reactions and improvement.
Some may argue that this is cheap way of enforcing character depth as they kind of do it at the last minute, while not showing it during the time that these events were actually occurring. Nevertheless, these little scenes did do a very good job of making you sympathise with the other characters in the other school, as now you could feel for them in this kind of way. I don’t really agree with how they did it, but it did make each performance that the different schools did alot more interesting and engaging. This is because I knew what was on the line for each school and particularly what they had gone through prior.
Hozuki Reunited + Kudo Talks With Hozuki’s Mother
We saw Hozuki reunited with her mother. The two made up and were finally in each-others arms, despite Hozuki’s mothers general dislike when she disowned her daughter. The two are reunited in Episode 13 and it’s quite an emotional scene to watch with the two crying openly in front of everyone. It’s what we’ve been waiting for, and it solves the first main problem. Kudo meets Hozuki’s mother and the two exchange some compliments with each other. This is something I was not expecting and I didn’t remember it the first time I watched KOT.
Dōjima & Takinami
We see Miss Dojima and Mr Takinami satisfied with the performance that Tokise gives. These two have kind of been the main driving force behind the clubs success, offering there assistance and guidance to all the clubs members in their time of need. It was nice to see those two satisfied with Tokise’s performance.
The main problem thats solved is the question of whether or not Tokise will go to nationals, and we all know they do. The scene when they announce who is in first place is also very moving, as it’s what we’ve been wanting for the whole series. It’s much deserved and it really does make you feel good. It’s a great way end to an epic story. Kudo and basically all the other club members start crying with joy when they realise they’ve won.
Kurata’s Old Friend
We see one of Kurata’s old Koto club friend Mashiro return and watch their entire performance. She thanks Kurata and says how great she thought his performance was. It’s another problem that is solved and we get to see the two exchanging complements.
We also see all the Koto club members thank Miss Dojima for her assistance to them when she would help them practise. Miss Dojima is a pretty well written character in my opinion and her arc was very well done. We see her brother return to see their performance. The two are kind of reunited after they stop seeing each other, but I’m not really sure what their relationship is. Since her brother stops playing the Koto and she very much disagrees with this. But it’s nice to see them to together again.
The one relationship that I didn’t really see expanded upon was the one between Hozuki and Kudo. I had previously thought that there was some kind of sexual relationship between the two. There was alot of sexual tension between the two, but unfortunately we never really got to see what happened between the two. Maybe this was expanded upon in the manga, however I didn’t read it so I don’t know.
Tokise Koto Club
Finally we see the Koto club go to nationals, congratulated by the other schools they had just played against. We also get this kind of weird scene right at the end with Kudo, which I couldn’t really figure out. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, or what it actually is supposed to symbolise, please comment down below.
We also get one final scene after the credits of the Koto club starting the practise for their new piece. It’s a great ending and it shows the compassion that each student has for one-another. It’s honestly a great and pretty conclusive ending to a great story in my opinion and it’s definitely one of my most favoured anime.
Is A Season 3 Possible?
End Credits Scene
First we have to realise the ending of Season 2, which was pretty conclusive in my opinion. If you watched the scene after the credits though you will know that this scene did lead something on. They were making mistakes and expressing their overall feelings of the new piece they had been given. This is a nostalgia (if you will) play on the earlier episodes from Season 1 when they club members would frequently mess up. Although during that time there was alot more on the line, since they had to do alot of practise in a short amount of time.
Is There Room For Expansion?
Most people would say thats probably where the story comes to an end, but does it have to? Think about it, the ending scene right at the end of Episode 13 was pretty self explanatory, the Koto club are now going to begin their journey to nationals. So surely the story can still be expanded upon. As we understand it, the original writer of the manga, Amyu, has written more chapters of KOT. So there is still an expansion of the story as we understand it and you can read about it here.
The Content Is There
The new manga content for KOT has been written and we would expect it to be expanded upon in future episodes. We would also like to stress that the time that the two seasons were released was extremely short (less than a year). Thats very short for a new season and it testifies to the status of KOT.
Success Of Both Seasons
The 2 seasons of the anime of Kono Oto Tomare was very successful and it sold extremely well, it was licensed to Funimation and they quickly produced a dubbed season, and later a dubbed season 2. This shows that both seasons and KOT as a whole is very worth while in terms of production. We would expect that a new season would be very worth while for the production company in charge of Kono Oto Tomare.
The Ending Of KOT
As far as seeing if the ending of KOT was conclusive or not, we can not say for certain. On one hand we saw most of the problems that arose from Season 1 solved and we also saw that the arcs that had mostly started in Season 1 had ended by the end of Season 2. On the other hand, we saw in the end scene after the credits that the whole Koto club were beginning their practise for nationals. This was pretty leading, and we could say for sure that the ending of KOT (the anime ending) wasn’t very conclusive.
Since there have been more manga content written then there is always a way that the story can continue and show the Tokise Highschool Koto Clubs journey to nationals. I really think that the story will be expanded upon even more and this will hopefully be done through the third anime adaption which will be Season 3. In my opinion, a season 3 is entirely possible and very likely given the success of the first and second season.
When Would Season 3 Air?
Time It Took For A Second Season
Given the time it took for a season 2 of KOT to be produced we would say that a season 3 is not far away at all if it is being produced. We would say that theres a season 3 being produced right now. Season 2 of Kono Oto Tomare was aired in the same year (2019) as the first season. This was probably because the production company started production of the second season while the first season was still being made.
It’s only been a year since we last saw the second anime adaption, so we wouldn’t say that a third season would be coming around anytime soon (this year). We would like to speculate that a season 3 of Kono Oto Tomare would air around 2021. We would like to say at the beginning, but during the spring or even summer of 2021 is more likely. If a second season doesn’t come around then we would have to say 2022, but this is pretty unlikely.
Hopefully we will see a season 3 of KOT very soon but we don’t want to get everyones hopes up so soon. We do not want any of our readers to rely solely on our information. You should look up other sources and then make a calculated guess on this subject.
Once again we hope that this blog has been effective in informing you as it should be, we hope you can make your own justified judgement based on our information. Thank you so much for reading this blog, we wish you all the best.
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