Fri, 24 May, 2024


Mashiro no Oto (Those Snow White Notes)


By Shambhav Acharya

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Mashro no Oto is a new music anime about the Shamisen, an important cultural instrument of Japan. Setsu Sawamura, a boy in his teenage years, is in a crisis after the death of his Grandfather, the legendary Shamisen master Matsugorou Sawamura. Setsu was inspired to play the Shamisen by watching his grandfather play. The tunes he heard, the hues he saw while his Ji-chan played entices him to play the Shamisen just like the way his grandpa did. 

He leaves his hometown, Aomori, and goes to Tokyo in search of something-- that will fill this void he has right now. After meeting up with a girl and staying with her for some time and following some events, he finds motivation to play the Shamisen again. In a concert, he does an impromptu play where the crowd cannot help but be captivated by the performance. He receives a huge cheer.

Setsu grew up with his older brother and his grandpa. His mom and dad were not in the picture when he was a child. After finding out Setsu was in Tokyo, his mom arranged for him to go to a school where he would start and grow the Shamisen Club and take part in a competition called the Matsugorou Cup. The story pushes forward to create a series of events which leads to our Protagonist understanding his friends and himself. When he left his hometown, Setsu was trying to find his Grandpa’s sound(Shamisen’s sound) and in the preparation of the competitions and the events that followed, the hardships he faced, the challenges with his mother, and the effort of his teammates in the group competitions, he tunes in to his own sound. He flows into it, enthralls the entire audience with his beautiful Shamisen sound.

The visuals of this anime are stunning and the sounds of the Shamisen fly out beautifully. The anime has a very realistic vibe to it. The interactions of the teammates are played out really well and the Protagonist’s character development is smooth and natural. This anime aired on April 3rd,2021. Do give it a watch, it might open up something new for you as it did for me. I did not really know about Shamisen at first but after watching this anime, I have a deeper affection and respect for Shamisen.

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