The episode unfolds on the day of the much-anticipated Afterglow concert. As the band members engage in a sound check, their discomfort is palpable. The individual instrument checks further exacerbate the tension: Raana makes an abrupt exit, Taki struggles to follow instructions, and Tomori is visibly uneasy about singing outside the concert environment.
In the dressing room, the atmosphere is thick with apprehension. Taki doesn’t hold back her displeasure about the sound check and the rehearsal that followed. Tomori, visibly distressed, sits on the floor. In an attempt to lighten the mood, Anon and Soyo step out, leaving Taki and Tomori to discuss their upcoming performance. Taki tries to reassure Tomori, emphasizing that her singing and presence on stage would suffice.
To Taki’s astonishment, she learns from Anon that they had interacted with “Afterglow,” a renowned band headlining the show. As the concert time approaches, the band members grapple with their individual anxieties. Anon’s frequent absences and evident panic exacerbate the group’s collective nervousness.
The moment of truth arrives as they step onto the stage. Overwhelmed, Anon’s mind races, leading to a couple of false starts. The audience’s patience wears thin, with some even leaving. In a quick-thinking move, Soyo prompts Raana to engage the audience with a brief introduction, buying them some time.
When the performance finally commences, Tomori’s initial hesitance in her singing is evident. However, spotting Saki in the audience becomes a turning point. Fueled by emotion, Tomori delivers a heartfelt performance, steering the concert in a positive direction. The audience is treated to a harmonious rendition of their song, culminating in appreciative applause.
As the applause dies down, Tomori, seemingly addressing Saki, begins to talk about CryChic and how it made her feel, but staying vague enough to keep the audience engaged. Raana begins to strum idly on her guitar, which provides a fitting backdrop to Tomori’s words.
However, the mood shifts dramatically when Tomori begins their second song, “Spring Sunlight,” a reminiscent piece from their CryChic days with Saki. The emotional weight of the song proves too much for Saki, who flees the venue in tears. Soyo, torn between her duty as a bassist and her instinct to comfort Saki, remains on stage.
The episode concludes with a jarring outburst from Soyo, who vents her fury at the band for choosing to play “Spring Sunlight.” Her uncharacteristic display of anger leaves a lasting impression, setting the stage for the episodes to come.
Opinions / Analysis
This episode’s visuals were particularly bad — when the girls are back stage, it’s really hard to make out absolutely anything. The last photo above is an example — you can barely see Soyo at all.
Seeing the girls awkward on stage gave me second-hand embarrassment; I’ve played in a band before as well, and oh my lord it was hard to sit through, especially when people began walking out. It was so horribly awkward, but I loved every second of it.
Once again, this show surprises me with its intricate character dynamics. The writers absolutely stole the show here, and I can only hope that this show gets a re-do with better visuals.