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Manga / Kono Oto Tomare! Sounds of Life

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Kono Oto Tomare! is an ongoing Manga by Sakura Amyuu first published on August 4, 2012 in Jump Comics SQ.

Kurata Takezou is a second-year at Tokise High School, and with the graduation of his upperclassman, the only remaining member of the Koto Club. While the club is a cherished memory to him, it will soon be defunct if he cannot recruit at least four more members. Furthermore, his meek demeanor draws ire from bullies and delinquents in his class, who use his club room as a squatting ground.

During a particularly vicious encounter with the bullies, another student arrives and drives them off - Kudou Chika, the most feared freshman in the school. To make things even more confusing, Kudou gives Kurata a club application form, declaring that he, too, will play the koto. Why does such a rough-looking delinquent want to play the koto? And how far can he and Kurata take the floundering club?


This work contains:

  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    Hiro: You really though I joined because I was moved by your performance? Before the performance, you said you didn't want to lose your precious friends or the place you belong, so I joined so I could tease you! Really.... looking at people like you disgusts me.
    Kurata: Is that all you wanted to say? You must have a lot of free time, huh? Kurusu?
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Houzuki gets on her knees asking to borrow a 17-string koto from her mother.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The Koto Club hilariously invokes this during their second year performance. They all dress in kimonos and get Bishie Sparkle auras around them in their effort to look cool to recruit new freshmen. It actually works, but then all their potential recruits bail the moment they learn how insane their practice schedules are.
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  • Big Brother Bully: Inverted; it's Takezou who gets insulted and looked down upon by his younger brother Takeru.
  • Book Dumb: Chika, Sane, Mittsu and Kouta all need tutoring help from their friend Tetsuki.
  • Breather Chapter: After Takinami explicitly cancels club activities following the preliminaries, Chapter 55 is all about members of the club remembering how to relax.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Mio from Hakuto High is the focus of their koto club despite his tendencies.
  • Character Development: Almost every named character, even the more minor ones and those from other schools, get this.
  • Childhood Friends: Chika and Tetsuki, also Kiryuu and Asano from Meiryou.
  • Child Prodigy: Houzuki, a serious competitor in the most prestigious koto competition in the nation while only a middle schooler. Akira’s brother is another.
  • Crush Blush: Though the club takes priority over romance, later chapters have some amazing moments and developments.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Akira losing to Houzuki; Takinami being forced to write songs.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Hakuto, which neither Himesaka nor Tokise has heard of, wins the Kanto Music Festival. Hurts even more since they played right after the main characters, who simply dismissed them and didn’t bother trying to listen.
  • Delayed Reaction: In Chapter 29, Takinami gives the gang the score to practice for the school festival. When he answers their question about the score's origin, they take a while to process it.
  • Determinator: Everyone in the Koto Club.
  • Diegetic Soundtrack Usage: The Koto Club plays the first opening theme during their performance at the school festival in Episode 16.
  • Duet Bonding: When Akira and Houzuki play together in Chapter 40.
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Most of the professional koto players fall into this, as well as Takinami’s parents.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Takinami and Chika’s aunt were in the same high school, but they didn’t actually interact.
  • Family Business: Several of the characters come from groups that devote themselves to the Koto, and inheritance is passed down.
  • Fangirl: Kazusa to Houzuki.
  • Gaming and Sports Anime & Manga
  • The Glomp: Kouta, full goddamn stop. Chika spectacularly rebuffs him in chapter 60.
  • I'm Crying, but I Don't Know Why: In Chapter 39, Akira suddenly starts crying, to everyone’s shock and confusion.
  • In-Series Nickname: Included but not limited to: Chika, Takeyan.
  • Jerkass: Club Advisor Takinami, Akira's grandmother.
  • Last-Name Basis: Takezou still refers to his club members by last name.
  • Nosebleed: Several.
    • On the Kanto Music Festival, Eidai High's Sentaro gets one when Houzuki tries to calm him down.
    • Sane and Mittsu get at least two courtesy of Chika's aunt: when first meeting her and when she grabs Chika's phone and sends a rather bold picture of herself and Chika to the boys' chat.
    • And then they get another one upon encountering Takinami’s sister in a bathrobe.
    • Even Japanese Music Days reporter Tsukaji gets one on the prelims, albeit for a different reason.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Invoked by Satowa in Episode 7 when trying to convince Hiro to return to the Koto club. Both had joined the club because of their fascination with the club's atmosphere of friendship and love of the koto, albeit with different goals in mind.
  • Only Sane Man: Takezou, often among the five boys.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Lampshaded in the National primaries, when Chika expects Kazusa to come rushing for Houzuki, but she doesn't.
  • Performance Anxiety: The club members understandably get this before their competitions and performances.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Chika, before the start of the series, now raised by his aunt Isaki.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Delinquent Chika likes sweets and strawberries.
  • Rousing Speech: Takinami to the club members after their loss at the Kanto Music Festival.
  • Ryokan Inn: Kurusu’s uncle owns one, and they went to it for their summer training camp.
  • Save Our Team: The first few chapters are concerned with Takezou stopping the Koto Club from disbanding.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Takinami in Chapter 20.
  • School of No Studying: Subverted, though Chika attempts to invoke this, the male club members are forced to study to pass their exams.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: Eidai High's Sentaro isn’t satisfied with winning in prefecture.
  • Secret Test of Character: In chapter 25, as Takezou points out, if Takinami was only looking out for himself, he would have already brought Chika to the first aid station for his injury.
  • Serious Business: The Koto and the Koto Club, of course.
  • Shipper on Deck: Isaki towards Chika and Satowa, Kurata family (even Takeru later on!) towards Takezou and Hiro.
  • Shrinking Violet: Yoshinaga Atsumu.
  • Sleep Cute: Chika, Sane, Mittsu and Kouta having a sleep over at Tetsuki's during chapter 55. And Sane in particular from Amyuu’s official Instagram account.
  • Spoiler Opening: The first cour's (Episodes 1-13) opening spoils Hiro joining the Koto Club.
  • Spit Take: Happens multiple times.
  • Stepford Smiler: Downplayed. Kiryuu Ousuke seems to be genuinely happy around his friends, but is also terrified of losing those friends and ending up alone.
  • Stunned Silence: Chapter 52, before Mio breaks it.
  • Successful Sibling Syndrome: Akira to her brother.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Houzuki plays at this in the beginning.
  • Surprisingly Similar Characters: One can't help but remember Maid-sama!. Chika and Satowa specifically are often referred to by the community as "Usui and Misaki 2.0"; likewise, Sane, Mittsu and Kouta are considered the local Idiot Trio.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Takinami often laughs at the antics of his subordinates.
  • Team Spirit
  • Tears of Joy: Chika, after winning the primaries, and Houzuki, after reuniting with her mom.
  • Through His Stomach: Kudou and Houzuki trade places with each other every so often.
  • Time Skip: Four months, after Chapter 59.
  • Training Montage: Several of these.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Averted, and then justified.
  • Unknown Rival: Briefly, on the Kanto Music Festival, Hakuto, whose performance wasn’t even shown, takes the win from Tokise and Himesaka.
  • Wham Line/Shot: When Takinami reveals that Takezou and Kurusu have only one shot at the nationals.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: Takinami makes a point of this, at first to tell the club members how little he thinks of them, but it comes up again when he encourages the members after their loss on the Kanto Music Festival, leading Takezou to realize that Takinami isn’t just messing with them.

Alternative Title(s): Kono Oto Tomare