Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life is an anime adaptation of the Japanese Shounen manga of the same name. The Japanese title of the anime, when literally translated, means “Stop at This Sound!”. The series was aired from April to December 2019. The animation was done by Platinum Vision studio. Kono Oto Tomare is the story of the Koto club of Tokise High school in Kanagawa prefecture of Japan.
In the anime, Takezo Kurata is a second-year student and the only member left in the Koto club after all the senior members graduate. While he tries his best to recruit more members into the club, Chika Kudo submits his application to join the Koto club. But Chika Kudo is already a well-known delinquent at their school. He was rumored to have destroyed his own grandfather’s koto shop, so Takezo is apprehensive about letting him join. The situation changes when he learns the truth. The other one to join the club is Koto prodigy Satowa Hotzuki. Now she has her own agenda for joining this club. They gain some traction at their school. Soon more students come to become members of the club for their own personal reasons. But in the end, they all have the same goal- to play at the National Koto competition.
Who is Satowa Hotsuki?
Satowa Houtsuki is the main female protagonist of Kono Oto Tomare! She is the daughter of Reiji Houtsuki and Chiharu Houtsuki and heiress to the Houtsuki Koto school. At Tokise high school, she is a 2nd-year student and a member of the Tokise High School Koto Club. Satowa is known to be a very pretty girl with brown eyes and full pink lips. She has long dark brown hair that goes down to her waist. Although she mostly wears he hair down with her bangs covering her forehead, sometimes she ties it in a ponytail.
When it comes to Koto playing, Satowa Houtsuki is a prodigy. And because of that, she initially had a stuck-up attitude when she joined the club. But her attitude settles down as the series goes on, and she becomes an integral part of the team. As the other members have practically no professional knowledge of the instrument, she becomes a teacher to them. This role is subdued after Doujima starts teaching her.
As a professional player, Satowa can play almost any of the types of Koto easily. She is a hard worker by nature, She always tries to understand the ‘meaning’ of the song to understand its nature, to play it better. Although she started teaching the other members of the club because she was the most experienced, she herself admits that teaching is not her forte. Sometimes she is unable to explain certain concepts because playing comes naturally to her, and she finds explaining it in words difficult.
When Satowa started at Tokise Koto club, she was already estranged from her mother and the Hōtsuki group. The relationship with her family is quite taxing for her as she always has a lot of expectations as the heir. But they do make up and talk out their grievances by the end of the series. Satowa also has a crush on Kudo, but she tries really hard not to show or acknowledge it.
Why did Satowa leave her home?
Satowa Houtsuki, the heiress to the elite Houtsuki koto school, was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, as some might say. She experienced an enjoyable childhood that lasted until her father, Reiji Houtsuki’s death. His death was a great shock to her mother, Chiharu Houtsuki. After his tragic death, her mother began to feel more and more stressed to keep up the name of their music school and his legacy. The pressure of running the school gradually made Chiharu more and more abusive towards Satowa. This made Satowa rebel against her mother. She would receive very strict lessons every day. She tried to get through to her mother with the help of her music. But unfortunately, for Satowa this got her excommunicated from the Houtsuki group, and her mother, Chiharu, abandoned her. This broke Satowa’s heart and was the last straw before she finally left her home.
After being somewhat exiled, Satowa was determined to prove her worth by aiming to win in Koto Competitions. But, she soon realizes that she can’t do it alone, and she’s going to need all her members to help her out to actually win. This makes her fully understand the true meaning of “friendship”.
Thus, with everyone’s support, she gives her best performance at the National Preliminaries, which her mother watches. Satowa is able to make amends with her mother after that. And she is officially reinstated as the heir of the Hōzuki group.
Where to watch?
You can watch the anime on online streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix.