It seems like A1 pictures is taking the liberty to omit/shorten content from the original source material. As a result, this episode felt a little rushed and sloppy. While this series still remains top notch, I think it was unfortunate that this series had to break it’s 2 week hiatus with it’s relatively boring chapters from the entire series.
It’s not that bad. It probably still makes sense to anime only watchers. I can see why they’re doing that (given that they don’t have enough episodes left in the first place). Pacing an episode in such a way where the ending makes some sense is also very important. I understand all of that. but is it really necessary to be cutting away so many (pretty important) stuff when they have the time to loop and re-loop Arima’s mother haunting him and saying the same lines again and again. Or was it a budget issue? I don’t know.
I didn’t really care much about the “Candy Apples” scene when I first read it. It was one of those necessary but not too great chapters. The way they handled this scene felt very obligatory in the anime and could use a little more impact. I didn’t like the fact that it was severely abridged in the sense that they omitted some of Arima’s monologues.
Then we have the fireworks by the pool scene. Honestly though the group dynamics were so underdeveloped and odd that it was very hard to appreciate what would have normally been a “cosy friendship bonding scene between friends”. What’s with the random stranger girl anyway. Why are you there? But anyway, something feels missing in this scene. (like why Watari is suddenly “mr scholar?”).
The symbolism in this series is still top notch. “Even light can reach the bottom of a deep dark ocean”. I honestly like how the series really tries to stay faithful to the themes and motifs that they have presented. The theme of stars recurred in this episode again. 2 episodes ago we had Arima wondering how it was like to see the stars with Kaori. And here we have it. They make a point to somewhat resolve something once they started it. (And…Engrish singing was surprisingly fine).
The episode finally shifts it’s gear and revs up the tension by introducing Mike-kun, who seems to be the Aiza/Emi equivalent in this new Gala concert arc. A new arc, a new enemy. Very Shounen-ish indeed.
The anime Mike-kun seemed a little “nicer” and less obnoxious than what I would have expected mainly because of it’s voice actor (actress?). Somehow Mike-kun doesn’t seem as arrogant and thrashy as the initial impression I had while reading the manga. It’s really amazing how a change in Voice actor can influence the perception of a character’s personality.
So apparently Mike-kun is upset (jealous?) of Kaori because she plays “thrashy music” (according to him) but garners more support/love from the audience. While he, (who won the competition) has hardly as much attention. This basically establishes the themes put up for discussion for this next gala concert arc and it’s not surprising that it’s once again, some music philosophy stuff.
Still a decent episode. While I think they should have not omitted so much content, I still can’t figure out a way where they could end the episode sensibly without cutting out content. It was probably a tough choice on the producer’s part. I don’t blame them for it and it’s rather that they ditch some of the scenes here then completely screw up the ending of this adaptation.
Also, it’s nice to see Arima gaining some confidence.
Episode Rating – 8/10
-Did anyone notice how the new opening / ending themes (including their animation and scenes) made the whole anime feel a lot more dark. There was a very obvious “change in key” here.
-I normally don’t like to read too much into what they’re showing us in the op/ed songs but…but..this has got to be some kind of message! Kaori laying down in the oceans, motionless while crying. How is this not a thought provoking scene especially when Kaori is constantly waving that gigantic death flag around. Think about it. What are the producers (that know the eventual ending of the series) are trying to tell us? I can only sense that this series is only going to get sadder from this point on.
-I liked the ending song. The opening was not bad too, but it’s really hard to beat Hikaru nara.
-Okay. Skipped scenes. They skipped a whole conversation between Tsubaki and her random friend regarding their future plans where they also mention Watari already getting a scholarship (ah-hah, explains why they suddenly call him mr.scholar out of the blue!). They also skipped Watari asking Kaori if she likes Arima (where she replies that she likes everyone, which to some people, could be another death flag or at least the way they structured the scene felt like a death flag to me). They also skipped Hiroko’s performance and also her conversation with her fellow teacher Ochiai (who is also Emi’s teacher).
-Let’s not forget that Hiroko is probably the best pianist the series has seen to date. Skipping her performance? uh…not so cool.