Lots of new characters are introduced between episodes two and four, but their introductions help further the plot. Primarily, we meet many of Seisou Academy’s rivals from other schools that are competing in the ensemble competition, including members from Amane High School and Shiseikan High School. One of the most notable is Reiji Myoga, the president of Amane, who blatantly insults Kanade’s ability. In contrast, Sei Amamiya (another Amane student) is much more gentle, but he takes interesting approaches to bettering his musical ability. Finally, Arata Mizushima, a member of the Wind Orchestral Club at Shiseikan High, has a very enthusiastic personality, which surprisingly reminds me of Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club.
In my review of the series’ first episode, I expressed a desire for a variety of types of instrumentalists. Much to my delight, this is supplied, as these three episodes introduce a cello player and wind-instrument players.
This series is shaping up to be really melodramatic. For instance, in these episodes we see a character planning to throw his cello off a bridge to avoid the pain of being rejected by the ensemble. Although some people do, of course, take music very seriously, I don’t think most musicians would go to this extreme. However, I am able to suspend my disbelief for the most part—the series does not take everything quite so far—and the dramatic moments give the story more suspense.
I really like the episode that focuses mainly on Sei. I think he’s an interesting character, and his struggle to understand love is hilarious. When he’s told that his music lacks love, he demands that Kanade fall in love with him so he can put the love into his music. Of course, his plan fails miserably, but the attempt is comedy gold. I am also looking forward to the series building up Arata’s character more. Reiji, however, is just a cold jerk. I want Seisou to murder him at the competition!
According to the preview for episode five, the next episode marks the beginning of the competition. The series is progressing rather quickly, but it’s not moving ahead of itself. It has a great pace that doesn’t leave characterization behind; the characters are all very three-dimensional. Kanade is especially complicated, which is great, since she’s the main character. She notes that she hasn’t played with passion in a long time, and that she’s only recently regained it a little. Several things seem to be holding her back, but they haven’t quite been revealed yet.
Overall, this series really has me hooked with its lifelike characters and its tight, engaging plot. I can’t wait to see what happens next.