• remind me tomorrow
  • remind me next week
  • never remind me
Subscribe to the ANN Newsletter • Wake up every Sunday to a curated list of ANN's most interesting posts of the week. read more

Whisper Me a Love Song
Episode 10

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Whisper Me a Love Song ?
Community score: 3.9


The worst thing about competing with a dead girl is that you can never win. Even if you become the better musician, as Shiho may well have, it's always tempered by the knowledge that your competition will never have the chance to rise to meet you. They're frozen at the height of their performance—and even if intellectually you know that you've surpassed them, the weight of what might have been will keep pushing you down.

For Shiho, that reality has consumed everything in her life. Hajime's older sister (and Momoka's girlfriend), Kyou, is dead. That means that Shiho will never be able to resolve her feelings about Kyou's playing. That constantly aching wound is what pushes her to keep dropping out of bands, thinking about how Kyou would have been or acted. Eventually, it turns her into the sort of bitter person who blames Yori for Aki's crush on her. It's not Yori's fault that Aki fell for her instead of Shiho, but by this point, everyone is Kyou in Shiho's eyes—an insurmountable hurdle to happiness and contentment with herself. Shiho will always be looking for a more perfect version of being “the best” because the one person she wanted to compete against died, leaving her unmoored.

It's interesting that neither Hajime nor Momoka, who were closer to Kyou, seem to have the same issue. Maybe that closeness allowed them to grieve in a healthier way; they go to visit her grave, while Shiho goes less to remember and more to keep the pain fresh. Even when she thinks she can stop going, she's back again, trying to sort through emotions that she can't fully understand. Kyou, in the time after her death, is less of a person to Shiho and more of a symbol—and I don't think that Hajime and Momoka fully grasp that about their bandmate's relationship with the dead.

It isn't easy for Himari to figure out, either. She recognizes that Shiho isn't acting rationally—she has no real reason to hate Yori, with whom she's barely interacted. She tries to say that Himari won't get it because she's never had her heart broken but that feels like the sort of excuse that people toss out all the time—you don't understand because you've never been in love/had your heart trampled on/ripped your favorite dress/been to Boston/eaten chocolate, etc. It's a self-serving excuse to avoid explaining your feelings—a way to shift the blame onto the other person when simply saying, “I don't want to talk about it” would work just as well. Shiho has become a champion of blaming others for her issues. She seems to know that about herself, at least a little, but this may be Himari's first encounter with someone like Shiho. And because she's ultimately an earnest person, she really wants to understand.

Although this hasn't been the best adaptation, it has consistently done a good job (or at least a good enough one) of showing us who the characters are. Even people who at first seem strictly one-note have more going on; not everyone gets the chance to develop, but Shiho, Aki, Himari, and Yori all have reasons for being who they are. That's important – Shiho would have been a fine blanket evil character, but knowing where she's coming from adds to the story and helps Himari to develop as she struggles to understand someone completely outside her worldview and experience.

Can Himari help Shiho in turn? I know she'd like to, but as this episode shows us, if Shiho wants to change, she's going to have to face some things about herself she doesn't like—and that's not something she's comfortable doing. After all, when you compete with the dead, it's easy to lose track of what's happening in the world of the living.


Whisper Me a Love Song is currently streaming on HIDIVE.

discuss this in the forum (57 posts) |
bookmark/share with: short url

back to Whisper Me a Love Song
Episode Review homepage / archives