Fukumenkei Noise

October 7, 2017

What? So soon? In the previous season we had a rock band romance in the name of Fuuka. Once that ended, now we have another rock band romance, Fukumenkei Noise. But unlike the former, it isn’t about finding new love. It is more of finding that lost love. You know, young kids who are supposed to be playing with toys and dolls, these ones start liking each other. Puppy love, I guess. And then one of them had to suddenly move far away without a word of goodbye and their only hope ever to find each other again is through music. Imagine singing the same piece of song every day for the next 6 years just for this promise. Yeah, I think fate got fed up of hearing that atrocious singing and decided to just let them reunite. Oh, did I mention how things can tremendously change in 6 years?

Episode 1
It is the start of a new school term. Students gather in the hall for a performance from the light music club. When they start playing, Nino Arisugawa starts singing along. When the band’s guitarist, Kanade “Yuzu” Yuzuriha spots her, he stops everything and runs away. Just like that? Concert ruined. Nino starts chasing him down, glad that her voice reached him. She is glad to have finally found him because every day for the past 6 years she has been singing that same melody that he wrote before disappearing in hopes of reuniting again. And she sure is excited to see him once more that she starts singing and then cries. But the feeling isn’t mutual for him. He doesn’t want Alice (the nickname he calls her) to talk to him again as his bandmates pull him away to apologize to the crowd. They wonder if that was the song he wrote but he doesn’t want to have anything to do with it. The band has got bigger problems to deal with like the club being shut down and their upcoming concert. Funny how fate is because Yuzu and Nino end up in the same class sitting next to each other! She thought he is a year older. Maybe he got held back a year. Later she hears him playing the piano and sings along. However he doesn’t stop and continues playing. It’s like he is trying to finish the song he wrote 6 years ago. Due to this, the band’s lead vocalist, Miou Suguri gets jealous and went ‘missing’. The band’s leader and bassist, Yoshito “Haruyoshi” Haruno has no choice but to make Nino as the replacement. Momo Sasaki feels weird seeing Yuzu trying to complete his composition. Like as though he is taking lightly the light music club. Is that a pun? But Yuzu wants him to just come see their concert. Nino is able to memorize the lyrics after just hearing them once. Is it because it belongs to Yuzu? Currently the chorus club is on stage performing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. This startles Nino because she hates this song. Why do I have this feeling of blaming BanG Dream for this? Flashback reveals she was friends with Momo who was also her neighbour. One day he suddenly moved away without saying anything. She was so sad. Because of that, Nino starts singing like as though she is on drugs. The band tries hard to keep up with her. All the while she is singing, she kept thinking how her voice is forever Momo’s. Suddenly she stops singing. Did she forget the lyrics? She thought she heard Momo’s voice.

Episode 2
Nino used to spend a lot of time with Momo. They look like a happy couple. And they love singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star so much! Till the class bully tells he how annoying her voice is. Despite Momo standing up for her, she still feels bad about it. Till Momo had to tell her to use that song as a guide to find each other if ever a day comes when they part. That day came soon enough and soon she became devastated and stopped singing. The bully even teased how glad he is Momo moved away since he won’t hear her annoying voice anymore. Soon Nino had a nervous breakdown. Really, she goes crazy screaming Momo’s name like as though life has become unbearable, hard to breathe without him (thus wearing that face mask?). She wanted to scream it all out at the beach and accidentally runs over Yuzu’s composition. Shouldn’t he be writing on paper instead on sand? She starts singing it and finds it easier to breathe again. Yuzu is impressed by her voice and has found the voice he wants. He tells her he is writing a song and if she is interested, she can always come here every Wednesday to help. She takes up this offer believing singing will help her find Momo. Yuzu later explains he wrote this song himself to sing it but can’t. Because if he does, he will melt away? Is he trolling her?

One day, Nino’s mom gave to her a letter from Momo she had been holding. She must have wanted to save her the trauma. Because true enough another mental breakdown when she reads it. Momo wrote how they’ll never see each other again. As she cries her heart out, Yuzu had no choice but to hug her and sing. It calmed her down. She wanted to quit singing but he told her not to give up. If she feels like screaming, just sing his song. And if she ends up going far away, he’ll go find her. Nino is now subjected to taunting over her new ‘boyfriend’. But she shuts them up when she starts singing. They’re enthralled by her voice? A week later, Yuzu left his final score before ‘disappearing’. 6 years later of singing every day, Momo didn’t show up and she thinks she was just imagining things. She feels lost that her voice hasn’t reached him. Haruyoshi confronts Miou who wants out. She is done pretending to be Alice as the real one is here. He keeps telling her to give up on Yuzu and be his girlfriend instead. She laughs at this joke and now feels better. Was it supposed to be funny? Yuzu talks to depressed Nino who is on the verge of giving up. He says he will write more songs for her to sing so she can sing without worrying about anything. Despite telling her to be positive that she will eventually see Momo, in his heart he hopes that will never come true.

Episode 3
Momo tells his Tsukika Kuze he saw Nino but doesn’t plan to speak to her or see her (he is in some special class in another building, thus they can’t see each other anyway). The reason being if he does, he won’t be able to write music anymore. Miou tells her bandmates she is quitting as she blames Yuzu for writing less and less songs. But the moment he met Alice, he started writing perfectly again. If he thinks he wants her to keep this up while knowing she is not good enough, then sorry. In bad timing, Nino comes in. Miou tells her straight she sucks at singing. Nino bugs her for more details. Miou says she isn’t bad but isn’t good either. She is lacking. Nino wants to know what it is because she wants her voice to reach more than just Momo but the world. After Nino tells her story, Miou teaches her a little of the basics. Nino realizes she sucks in holding down a note. She becomes Miou’s disciple to learn more. At least she got her confidence back to a point she can call Yuzu’s name in some strange melodious voice. It’s pretty embarrassing to him, though. Back home, Nino sees a new song on TV. She is surprised to see the name of Momo Kiryuu as the composer. Kiryuu is Momo’s mom’s maiden name. She heads down to the recording company wanting to see him. Of course no receptionist is going to allow her in like that. Noticing a poster for a vocalist audition produced by him, she decides to enter to see him. Meanwhile Yuzu and his bandmates listen to what their producer, Michiru “Yana” Yanai has to say. He is impressed by Nino’s voice (ironically Miou recommended her) and wants her to be the lead vocalist. However Yuzu opposes and storms out. The rest are confused because they thought he put this band together for her in the first place. As Momo sends in her audition tape and prays to get in, Momo is overflowing writing songs.

Nino tells Yuzu about this Momo Kiryuu guy. She isn’t sure if he is the Momo she knows and has entered the audition to find out. Yuzu is heart-broken upon hearing she would sing Momo’s song if accepted. Then they overhear Haruyoshi talking to Ayumi “Kuro” Kurose (band’s drummer) Nino at fault for Yuzu losing his ability to sing. Had he not sing for her then, he might have recovered. Nino is in shock and overflowing with guilt. She hopes it is a lie but Yuzu demonstrates. As he tries to sing, not a single voice comes out. He didn’t want her to sing back then just to see that face. He wanted her to sing forever. All she could do is sing for him as Yuzu narrates he was hospitalized for a throat disease 6 years ago. He used to like singing and writing songs and knew he wouldn’t be able to sing after being hospitalized. So he often snuck out on Wednesdays to vent his frustrations by writing on the beach. Till he heard her sing. The day he went ‘missing’ was when he was to transfer to another hospital. He snuck out one last time to write it for her. He wants her to keep singing but it seems Nino won’t now. Despite the turn of events, Yuzu is glad one of his dreams came true after the truth came to light: She sang only for him. Meanwhile Momo is not pleased Tsukika passed Nino for the audition. Did she know it was her? She did but rather because of something else. Despite the bad quality of the recording, she had a voice that was far more memorable than anyone else. Was it because it suck? Just kidding.

Episode 4
A year ago when the current popular band, In No Hurry was formed, they are actually Yuzu and his bandmates dressed up. And Yuzu was cross-dressing as its lead vocalist, Alice! Miou was the one doing the real singing as Yuzu was lip synching. No wonder they wore all those face masks to cover up. Nino continues to be depressed that she isn’t singing. So much so it bothers Miou. She too has took the auditions since being Alice was never her goal from the start. She bugs Yuzu about Nino. It will be for nothing if the band breaks up now, the reason Miou left it to keep it afloat. Of course he won’t let it happen. He just finished writing his new song and lets Nino hear it. Instantly she starts singing to its tune. As she gets her confidence back, he asks if she is free on 29th May. At the same time Nino gets a call from the audition saying she has been picked for the final screen which falls on, wait for it, 29th May. When she asks if she could see Momo Kiryuu, she is being told the message left by him in his words, he will not be attending because “your singing voice isn’t good enough to be a guide”. She realizes this is the real Momo. Back to gloomy again. She doesn’t want to go to the audition anymore so Yuzu blows his chance of stealing her from Momo by giving her encouraging words like Momo will still listen if she goes. Still not confident and scared? Time for reverse psychology. He accuses her of being a coward when it comes to Momo. Don’t expect things to stay the same after 6 years. It opened her eyes but they still end up arguing. Nino realizes more about this change when she learns Momo’s house will now be turned into a parking lot. Man, it really took 6 years? Momo may have flipped what he said 6 years ago but that means he still remembers that promise. If her voice isn’t good enough as a guide now, it just has to become one good enough to do so and make him look her way. Yuzu lets everyone hear his new song. They’re blown away. They’re supposed to release it on 29th May. Nino heads to the place as Yuzu requested. She didn’t expect this to be a recording studio. At this point she starts noticing Yuzu’s songs have this familiar vibe to In No Hurry. Then she hears their trademark song from behind a room. Upon opening the door, she sees In No Hurry in the flesh playing before being shocked by Yuzu taking off his wig. He tells her to use In No Hurry as a platform to let her voice reach Momo who is already a pro. This band is the best place for her to be and wants her to become In No Hurry’s vocalist. She is going to perform as Alice and live with them on 29th May.

Episode 5
3 years ago, Tsukika found Momo singing in the streets. He needs money to clear his parents’ debts (the reason they moved away). Although he is tone deaf, he wrote good songs. She had him work for her music label company and wants him to write a song for an idol group, Baby by tomorrow. They already had 2 singles that bombed and if the next one fails, they will disband. As long as Momo can make money, he’ll write any song. Also he requests any press publicity. Tsukika could tell he was writing the songs for somebody but Momo is sure he won’t see her again. Nino seems to be atrocious during practice. Then they try out their costumes. With all the heavy padding and clothes, no wonder you can’t tell the original identity. Later Nino tells Miou about Momo, the guy she loves. Since Miou qualified for the final screening, perhaps she could check out if this Momo is real? Like stomach birthmark and butt burn? Seriously? Momo continues to write songs. Again Tsukika can tell he has written them all for Nino. He laments he was supposed to write only for her but used them all for work. He fears he can’t remember how to write songs for her anymore. It couldn’t be more insulting when mom calls asking for money. Not only ungrateful, she mocks him being tone deaf despite having such a talent. The last straw is when she mentions Nino’s name. He won’t have her say that name.

Apparently Nino also attends the audition since her performance would be later in the day. When it is her turn, she starts singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! The judges are puzzled. She doesn’t see Momo among the judges and slips a little message into the song by changing a bit of the lyrics. But that is when Momo who was well disguised as one of the judges got mad. He stands up and walks away. Nino is shocked to finally see the real Momo. But can calling him gain his attention? He tells her he has failed. Her songs can’t make him money. This makes her mad as she rants about their old promises, blah, blah, blah. Not listening. When she goes off, Yuzu is here to pick her up and he instantly knows she has met Momo when she suddenly hugs him and cries her heart out. But the show must go on, sad or not as he takes her to the studio. Can she pull it off? Well, her bandmates can tell she is going berserk singing like that mad woman high on drugs again but the fans might thing it is all part of the gig. Yeah, they love it! Luckily the band manages to keep up with her. Momo is shocked to see this dark side of Nino on TV. What kind of monster is this? Yuzu narrates his regret stopping her from going berserk that day. He didn’t want to see her smile like that.

Episode 6
In No Hurry is now the talk of the town. Nino can’t remember what she sang on stage but with the recent sudden developments, she is overcome with emotions. She then gets a call from Tsukika to meet. It seems she wants to give him Momo’s guitar. He was so badly shaken that he accidentally dropped his mug and scarred it. So he doesn’t want it anymore? She assures her only Momo figured out her identity as Alice. Doesn’t that make Tsukika too? She wants her to accept it as proof that her voice moved him. Nino then goes to tell Yuzu all about it. She feels so happy about it. The next time she sees Momo, she wants to show him even more of how she feels. Yuzu might not like it but he offers to teach playing the guitar. What’s this about Momo not liking what Tsukika did? Better than throwing the guitar away, right? With Nino as an amateur, she is starting to get the attention of her classmates. Looking pretty there. She is no longer the weirdo with headphones and face mask, eh? Later Nino goes to thank Tsukika for it. She gives her business card in case she wants anything or if there is message she wants to tell Momo. After all, they live together. Momo can’t help feel this pain in her heart. I suppose Yuzu is her best confidante as she tells him about it. She wonders if a boy and girl can live together without being romantic. That is what you call friends, right? Yuzu then says he doesn’t see her as a friend. This shocks her because she thinks he sees her as something lower! He quickly covers up it means they are roommates.

Miou tells Yuzu that she has passed the final screening. He congratulates her and also tells her his band is getting busy with the release of an upcoming album. This doesn’t sit well with her. She wanted to be alone at the beach but look who came to bug her? So as Miou and Nino talk, Nino wonders if she has feelings for Yuzu. Miou is tired of everything that has happened. She throws away her earrings Yuzu gave as birthday present into the sea. Why, Nino actually went to look for them! Miou tries to stop her and tells her she is the weird one. Especially singing the same song for 6 years. Nino knows that. Despite all the mockery and disdain, she has gotten used to it. At times she thought how pointless it was and pondered quitting. But you can only quit after you’ve gone as far as you can. Nino manages to find an earring and hands it to Miou. Miou remembers she promised Yuzu she’ll treasure it when he gave it to her. When Nino says the need of going to hospital to check up her chest pains, Miou points out it is jealousy. The look on Nino’s face is priceless. First time being jealous. One day in class as Nino waits for her daily morning guitar lessons from Yuzu who is currently running late, she falls asleep since she has a bit of a cold. Momo is passing by and stops by to take a look at her sleeping face.

Episode 7
Yuzu is absent from class. Nino feels something is off as there is no news from him. So she goes everywhere in school looking for him! Everyone must be thinking who this crazy b*tch is. In fact Yuzu is at the beach furiously writing songs. Mom discovered he had been secretly writing songs and became mad. She tore up his scores and scolded him about his promise never to get involved in music again. It is getting late and he has nowhere to go. Luckily Momo is passing by and invites him to his place. He can tell Yuzu ran away from home so he explains about his family matters especially mom abnormally afraid of letting him get involved in music so much so she checks his handphone and computer. Thus school and outside is the only place he can do music. Momo shows him his music making equipment. Yuzu is impressed and learns he writes songs for a girl but recently someone took her away and it made him angry. You don’t know how everything is right under their noses… Momo demonstrates a song he just wrote today. First thing Yuzu says? Doesn’t sound like it could make money! He lets Yuzu play his guitar. Just as Momo answers Tsukika’s call, Yuzu checks his handphone to see many missed calls from Nino! It’s like she’s stalking him! He then leaves the place to go meet up with her. It’s not a funny matter that Nino was worried sick about him. She asked his bandmates but they brush her off as nothing serious. But it is traumatic for Nino because she thought he had disappeared again like 6 years ago. When she wants to look at his face close up, he covers her eyes. He doesn’t want her to look at him like that.

Next day, Haruyoshi relays a shocking news to his friends. It seems that Kiryuu guy has created a new band called Silent Black Kitty. They are definitely In No Hurry’s direct rival because their debut album comes out the same day as theirs and they play the same alternative rock music like them. Despite all members wearing masks, Nino can instantly tell the bassist is Momo himself. If the vocalist sounds familiar, it is because Miou admitted it is her. Yana then calls to confirm In No Hurry has been invited to play at a prestigious concert, Rock Horizon. However Silent Black Kitty will be there too. This means a direct face off. All Nino could think is that Momo will be there. Later Nino and Miou talk and the former hopes she would not fall for Momo. It makes her laugh like mad. Good to know she is human, right? Oh Nino, your punch line of being born a human since day one is pretty hilarious too. Nino thinks that Miou’s voice made Momo look his way. That’s why she is going to practice and get better to make him look her way. Yuzu finds Momo up alone on the school’s rooftop. In addition to thanking him for the other day, he wants dating advice? He just tells him to confess it all now instead of bottling up and then wait till it all explode and something weird happens. Yuzu continues to teach Nino and she admires and respect him for that. He wants the next practice to be on the rooftop because he has something important to tell her. She waits and practise. She realizes she has gotten better in playing the guitar. No mistakes were made. As she sings confidently, all comes to a crashing halt when she shockingly sees Momo across. He too staring at her in shock. And when Yuzu comes into the scene and realizes this guy is the Momo whom Nino has always been talking about, that shock on his face too. Everybody in shock. Wow. Their first meeting with such expression.

Episode 8
Nino tells Momo to stay put as she rushes over. He must be a real turtle because when he takes his first flight of steps down, Nino reached him. She is hounding him with questions so he tells her to shut up and never speak to him again. Now that Momo and Yuzu know each other a little better, I guess their friendship is done. Since then, Nino acts a little panicky and even stalks Momo outside his classroom? Tsukika notices Momo is in a slump. As warned, it’s because he already met Nino. She finds that strange because he wanted to write songs for her. Maybe he should just tell her his feelings. So the next time they accidentally bump into each other, he cancels that gag order and wants to talk. First he apologizes for his treatment during the audition and also for suddenly disappearing. Then he confesses 6 years ago he liked her. This is Nino’s chance to tell him everything but words cannot come out. So she sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! He also follows suit. Then she tells him she also liked him. It was her first lie to him. They walk back to the station holding hands. With Nino all cheery in school the next day, Yuzu seeks ‘refuge’ in the infirmary. Since Haruyoshi comes to bug him, he tells about his broken heart. He thought one day Nino would fall for him but apparently she still likes her old flame. Haruyoshi thinks he is quite the man for managing to put that into words. One day if he grows taller to be a man, maybe his love will be realized. Nah, just joking. Yuzu vows to be Nino’s friend even if he is broken hearted, he won’t run away. He will protect her smile. During the recording session, Nino starts off well singing. But then she starts thinking too much about Momo till she cannot take it anymore and drops everything and runs away. Yuzu catches her to find out what’s wrong. She feels stupid for thinking Momo would still like her after 6 years. She tolerated his ‘abuses’ thinking he felt the same that he was at the same pace as her. She lied to him that he used to like him when she still loves him even now. Yuzu tells her to sing but Nino continues to break down screaming and crying. Only way to stop this madness? Yuzu kisses her.

Episode 9
It only gets worse. Yuzu refutes that was a western greeting and it makes her cry. Kuro comes to see if everything is okay. Nino tells Yuzu not to talk to her for a while. Indeed it feels weird that the duo in the same space aren’t talking and ignoring each other. When she finally lifts that ban, she tells him she wants to quit In No Hurry. She never noticed about his feelings and only took advantage of it. Thus if she is going to keep hurting him, it is better she quits. Yuzu laughs and counters with a sarcastic tone that she thinks he likes her. He brings her to Shibuya to let her see their recently recorded music video being played in public. He tells her she will always keep singing no matter what because her voice captivates others. Her voice is what’s precious to them. That is why back then he was afraid she would ruin her voice by screaming and did what he had to. They are friends. Nino finally smiles. When Nino sees Momo talking with Tsukika, she really believes she is the person he likes now. Momo is surprised Yuzu calls him to meet. It is to return the CDs he lent. Momo can further deduce who is who in In No Hurry as well as the reason why this band was formed (like he just read from the script?). He thought Yuzu would never see him again for he was the one who stole Nino’s voice. That is the only light he has and made him trudge through life. Once he took care of everything and if she is still singing, he planned to find her and sing together again. Yuzu doesn’t accept this. He still believes Nino’s voice belongs to him. He’ll turn the tables and they’ll settle this at Rock Horizon.

The only thing Nino can do now is to sing-cum-scream-cum-shout her way while jamming her guitar. Haruyoshi is watching her performance and her ‘passion’ reminds him of that zeal when he first saw a live rock performance. He praises her singing although Nino thinks her voice wasn’t good enough. Since it is the first time she was thinking of others while singing, it is probably why her voice reached him. He thinks she can use the guitar as a weapon. She is motivated to use this to regain the person who dumped her. Haruyoshi realizes that Nino is the true founder of In No Hurry. When Yuzu’s mom cut him off from music, he could breathe again after he sang for him. It’s because she is there that In No Hurry was born. On this week’s singles chart, In No Hurry comes in second and taking first place is Baby. Nino is not worried. After all, they were going to wait until they release their first album to take first spot. Nino is happy and thankful everyone gave her a place to sing. For that she will sing for them, more than anyone, stronger than anyone.

Episode 10
During In No Hurry’s interview, Nino answered the question about her favourite food: Chicken and onion skewers. So funny that it became viral! As Nino’s profile current stands as the band’s vocalist, Haruyoshi suggests making her the vocalist and guitarist. Everyone agrees but when Yana hears her play, he stops her. There isn’t anything bad but it feels like it is missing something. This won’t be good enough for Rock Horizon. Thus Haruyoshi suggests a training camp. The next time Nino and Momo bump into each other, she learns he is applying to transfer to another school. But when he asks if she intends to keep singing in that crappy band, she chides him not to insult In No Hurry. It is a place where she belongs. Their songs let her breathe. He challenges her to quit the band if she loses at Rock Horizon but she won’t participate in that. Then struggle as much as she wants. Have your screwed up concert. While practice during the training goes fine, Nino is a funny girl talking in a stiff voice and what’s with the bunch of cucumbers? She even asks a funny question for Yuzu: Does he have someone he likes (in her quest to know her bandmates better). Oops. Not funny. He hints there is from a long time ago and when he kissed her it wasn’t his first. He asks about her obsession with Momo. Perhaps it was his voice calling her name. So when he disappeared, she felt like she lost a part of herself. Momo’s words continue to bug her till she realizes what he meant about being screwed up. He didn’t mean the band but her going berserk and screwing it up for everyone. So during practice, Yuzu can tell something is wrong with her and stops her. What’s with her trying to get better? She worries about going berserk and troubling everyone so she’s trying to get better. He dismisses that kind of boring performance and should attack more with her emotion. Sing in your own words. Don’t blame her for what is to happen then… Because she changes the entire lyrics singing about Momo the boring idiot! Feel better? Later Nino still feels down thinking about Momo. He doesn’t like her anymore but yet she allows his words to control her. She tries to hide her crying but Yuzu tells her to just cry. Singing her own words made her feel like truly singing. She wants Yuzu to let her try writing lyrics for his new song.

Episode 11
In No Hurry’s album is now on sale. Yuzu tells his bandmates about Nino writing the lyrics. Of course he is QC because he knows and doesn’t want her to write about Momo. Nino realizes how tough and embarrassing it is trying to write lyrics. Momo has the bad luck to see his mom on the streets again. Same bad luck for Yuzu because mom has found out on his PC about the songs he has been writing. She believes he is still forcing that Alice girl to be part of it and wants him to set her free. She is adamant music kills people! But when Yuzu disagrees that music didn’t kill dad, she slaps him. That’s it. He runs away from home and stays at the studio. In No Hurry practises and when Nino starts singing the lyrics for the new song, Yuzu is shocked because the lyrics are totally about him. Yana approves of this. Later Yuzu asks why she wrote the song about him. She tried about others but realizes he is the closest to her and how similar their struggles are. She asks about his crush and he wants her to guess. No idea. At Rock Horizon, the Woodstock of the country, the stage is set for the ultimate battle of the bands. There are a few venues that could play a few bands simultaneously. Both sides of In No Hurry and Silent Black Kitty there are haters who are already posting hateful comments. At a crucial moment, Momo gets a threatening call from mom to move back with them or she’ll do something to Nino. He is forced to rush to Nino and hug her. Whispering into her ear, he doesn’t want it to be like 6 years ago. He says goodbye for real to her. Nino is close to breaking down. She wants to go to him to tell him about the lie and that she still loves him. At this crucial time when her band is up next? When her bandmates call to her, she remembers all that they have done for her. She decides to go on stage. Nino disregards the playlist and starts off with the new song. Yuzu feels conflicted since she is singing his song for Momo! She is going to sing not only to make Momo stay but make sure all the audiences can never leave! Flashback from Momo’s side shows how he really wanted to see Nino’s cute smile. So he came up with all the lame puns and I guess for a kid, it is funny. Because of that, Momo thinks he is a genius…

Episode 12
After the first song ends, Nino starts playing a familiar song. Yuzu can tell she is also going out of control and she’s dragging them in. The crowd now is totally ecstatic and new ones are driving into the small space to catch a glimpse of them. Yuzu then sees his mom in the sea of crowd. He becomes stunned that he drops his pick. Fortunately Nino is able to cover for his part! When Nino and Yuzu finally look at each other, he regains his composure and makes peace with his past. He knows music doesn’t kill people. Nino is going all out and screaming and singing. Yuzu feels like it is as though it is her last. He needs her voice to keep singing the song he writes. So he stops her distraction to take back control. He tells her to crush this as they sing their last song. In the aftermath, Nino is depressed and have not sung since. She laments her voice didn’t reach Momo. By that way, that guy has transferred out of school. She ponders of giving up on him as she hangs out at her usual spot on the beach. Yuzu talks to her. He says he will continue writing music. What will she do? So she runs to Tsukika’s office? It seems Momo is also gone from here. She sees a video of Silent Black Kitty in action at Rock Horizon. For one moment, Momo looked distracted. Tsukika tells her she was told he thought he heard Nino’s voice. Flashback after In No Hurry finished their last song, I’m not sure how Yuzu knew about Silent Black Kitty’s performance ended earlier than expected, so he tells her to go right now. Nino dashed off the stage while Yuzu can only blame his stupid self for allowing this. When she arrives at Momo’s camp, as told by Tsukika he is already gone. I don’t know where Nino is running to as she searches for him. She fears the repeat of the past. She runs out of steam and just sleeps on the grass? Apparently I don’t even know how Momo knew she was here and came back just to give her a kiss while she is a sleep? Yuzu saw that and chides him. Momo calls off the competition and tells him he is disappearing for real. Yuzu warns he will take Alice for real this time. The guys can only cry. Even more heartbreak for Yuzu when he hears Nino talking in her sleep she loves Momo. With renewed determination, Nino realizes she still can’t give up on Momo. She runs back to Yuzu to tell him she won’t run away anymore. Yuzu narrates they’re hiding their feelings. Their wish is only one. He hopes it will reach her.

The Voice
So basically they’re going to relive the next 6 years like that again? Or forever? Because if that is the case, it will be a never ending chase between Nino, Momo and Yuzu. Forever. Thank goodness this series ended! I don’t think I would have the stamina to keep up and follow whatever rock music they have to play, songs they have to write and voice they have sing in order just to reach the ones they love. Can this be said a tragic ending because nobody’s love got realized? Everything gets reset back to square one and the chase is still on? Heck, even that coyote caught that road runner once. And now they’re saying they’re going to keep continuing what they’re doing? No thanks. I’m outta here. If this unresolved ending was meant to stir some emotions because nobody ended up with anybody, well it didn’t work on me. I’m so glad the series had ended…

So basically we have an entire season of drama just because our main characters cannot be truly honest with their feelings upfront. Yuzu trying to be considerate to Nino so he basically hides it all. Momo trying to make money as an excuse to delay his reunion with Nino. And Nino is just too obsessed about Momo but he won’t give her a chance. And that single chance she had she blew it. Is it that hard? I guess so. I can’t say since I haven’t fall in love like that before :’(. So they’re all beating around the bush hoping that the other would realize something through music. I understand that perhaps music is their only way to communicate and convey their love but as you can see how this romance thingy dragged out and ended up so. Of course it’s for the TV plot and without it, everything would have been resolved in one episode. And you won’t have fated meetings and encounters that brought about stuffs that led to the characters to where they are.

For those who love characterization and development, I suppose this series is pretty decent albeit the main focus is on Nino, Yuzu and Momo. For Nino, sometimes she comes off as eccentric but at other times can sound and act like a retard and hence in a way makes her look annoying. With Momo constantly on her mind and singing the same song for the past 6 years, it really eats into her social skills. But in a way it makes her unique because what I like about her is her sometimes witty sarcastic deadpan humour. Because of her very honest upfront character (though the same can’t be said about her heart), the statements she says in that deadpan voice can sometimes be funny. Like how when she took over the role of Alice, she has to be padded extra in the chest area. Thus she quips how Yuzu had this sort of big breast fetish because you know, milk. Milk makes you grow taller. There are handful of such ‘quotes’ around worthy to be turned into memes. But I’m too lazy for that… I’m not sure if Nino is a genius because for her without a guitar background and then to learn and master it so quickly in time, doesn’t it feel unrealistic? I guess anything can happen when she goes berserk. Yeah, better than drugs. Please do stay away from that (because most rock stars do them).

Nino seems to have it ‘easy’ compared to Yuzu and Momo because these guys have their own family problems to deal with as an obstacle to their music. We have not seen the bigger picture so to label Yuzu’s mom as crazy might be premature. You can’t blame her for hating music because it is hinted Yuzu’s dad died in a way related to it and Yuzu almost met the same fate with his surgery 6 years ago. So Yuzu is a little hesitant in being honest upfront because of the rejection. It’s just amazing how he managed to fool everybody with his In No Hurry band for some time. Their music must be so captivating that no internet trolls bother to dox them. So awesome that nobody could tell the difference when Nino took over Miou as the band’s vocalist. Do they sound the same when singing? Sometimes I feel Yuzu is the most emotional insecure among the trio since he keeps his emotions, it feels like it will explode like a bomb later. Sometimes you can see his outburst especially when comments are made about his stature. Is this his running joke? So did his mom finally accept music? I think she was trying to find closure too. Otherwise, why would she attend Rock Horizon and then cry (assuming it was the good kind) when she hears her son awesomely jamming away.

Meanwhile I believe Momo is trying to be a good son and clear his parents’ debts so ironically he uses all the songs he ever wrote for Nino to make money but won’t let her come back into his life. Seeing how his parents are leeching off him, I can understand why he is trying to give her the cold shoulder and not get her involved in his personal life as much as possible. I figure to show that he has a funny side, the reason why his bad puns are his running joke. Nobody laughs at them except Nino. Or maybe it is the way Momo says it that she is laughing? I also don’t understand why Momo has to pander to his parents. I assume he is a filial son but the way he handles it from my point of view feels like he is holding it all back and this ticking time bomb might explode any time soon. Can he just disown them? I believe there are things that we do not know about so it’s not quite right to jump into conclusions to paint his parents as the bad guys although I am very sure they are.

Other supporting characters are just sufficient, doing their part to support the main characters and the direction of the plot. Like Haruyoshi and Kuro’s unwavering support for the band as well as Nino and Yuzu. Tsukika also supports and eases Momo’s life a little. It might look odd that Miou has gone over to a rival band but still maintains friendship with her old bandmates and especially Nino. I suppose that band and music thing are just business. Throw away that mask and they are just ordinary high school girl friends.

I want to talk about Saori Hayami playing as Nino. No, it is not about her being unsuitable in playing the character but rather how Nino sounds weird and sometimes annoying. Like I said, I’m not saying Saori Hayami was a bad choice being casted as Nino. I’ve heard her played countless of different roles in so many animes so there is that sense of familiarity and ‘trademark’ to her ‘unique’ voice. I know, I once called her a clone of Mamiko Noto but that’s not the point. Anyway, the thing I want to point out is when Nino sings. In short, horrible. Yes, Saori Hayami does not possess that kind of high pitch cutie voice that would make guys go squealing over how cute she sounds. As though it was on purpose she sings horribly and out or tune or screaming. Perhaps it is to showcase that kind of anxiety and insecurity in Nino’s character and it clearly shows. But the way she sounds singing those singings sounded bad enough that I myself who is so talentless in singing, think I can sing and sound better than her!

Just hear the way she sings those songs. It’s like they’re out of tune or don’t fit in quite nicely. And the characters say she is good? Is this how rock band music is supposed to sound? Surely Saori Hayami sounds better than this even if her voice is not meant to sing. True enough, when she sings In No Hurry’s newest song, she sounds so much better! This is what I believe is the greatest high point that she can reach with her voice. That sounds more like it. Finally, something pleasant to my ears. I don’t have to cringe each time I hear her sing. Thus it goes to show that all the previous singing it sounded like she was trying too hard to sound out of tune and horrible. Well, she certainly did and in a way showcases the flexibility of her voice. The anonymous voice? More like the annoying voice! Well, if you think it is easy sounding like that, it’s not. So hats off to Saori Hayami for doing a great job in voicing Nino in this state.

Daisuke Ono as Haruyoshi is playing one of those carefree character roles compared to others that require that serious tone in his voice like Satou of Working!!, Dezel in Tales Of Zestiria The X, Kurou in K and Kyouma in Dimension W. Same case for Jun Fukuyama as Kuro as he sounds as goofy as Ansatsu Kyoushitsu’s Koro and Sousei No Onmyouji’s Kinako. Inversely, Satomi Arai was in serious mode compared to her other comical voices like Otome in Shimoneta and Shirai in To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. The other casts are Daiki Yamashita as Yuzu (Midoriya in Boku No Hero Academia), Kouki Uchiyama as Momo (Raku in Nisekoi), Ayahi Takagaki as Miou (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear series) and Daisuke Namikawa as Yana (Waver in Fate/Zero).

I’m still not a fan of such rock band music so hearing all of the featured music here doesn’t really appeal or resonate with me. All of the songs featured are of course from In No Hurry with Highschool as the opening theme and Allegro as the ending theme. Hearing them again, I guess Saori Hayami does sound better here than singing as an insert song inside the anime. Insert songs like Canary, Spiral and Noise all sound somewhat the same to me. And because of that, seeing them perform on stage singing or jamming their guitars or hitting the drums feel like as though they are in some sort of demonic trance or high on drugs. More so in the case for Nino when she goes berserk. Well, you can’t have them prancing around in cute seductive moves like those idols, can you? The only song that isn’t rock based is that kiddie nursery rhyme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star! I still blame BanG Dream for this but at least they didn’t turn it into a rock rendition here.

There is something about the art style that catches my attention. Well, actually the character designs have eyes that are so big! Obviously bigger than your typical big eyes anime characters. Like as though they are meant for the shoujo market. Oh wait. The manga that this series was adapted from is indeed published in a shoujo manga magazine. Therefore the characters have this super weird-cum-cute looks without resorting to a typical chibi form. Just think of all those sparkly magical shows aimed for younger girls. Just without the magic here. Also, the characters seem to be a bit lanky, making shorty Yuzu only short by comparison to others. Other than that, the colouring and hues look bright and vivid. Animated by Brain Base who did Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun, Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru, D-Frag!, Watashi Ga Motete Dosunda, Natsume Yuujinchou, Durarara and Kyoukai No Rinne among others.

Overall, if Fuuka is too cheesy for you, maybe this one will do. However some annoying moments especially in characters like Nino and the constant melodrama could only sit well with fans who are really into this sort of genre while putting off others. The love triangle not really solved in the end and it could mean prolonging the ‘suffering’ and drama. Plus, a casual music listener like me won’t be very impressed with the same ‘flat’ kind of music the band has been churning out and playing here. Like as though they are fit for people who are tone deaf. Thank goodness I didn’t lose my taste in music after hearing this. Heck, I even get tired of hearing the same song after a while (assuming I listen to it even once every day) even if that song is one of my favourites. I’m not saying I won’t be looking forward to any more future animes of this genre. I would still give it a chance but I hope that if they want to come up with another rock band romance story, take some time to write out proper stories and characters. I can wait. I’m in no hurry to watch it. Sorry, bad pun…