After watching his grandfather perform the shamisen at a young age, Setsu became entranced. However, after his grandfather’s death, he runs away from his small village and quits playing after his grandfather said he should never play if he was just going to imitate others. Fleeing to the city, Setsu slowly begins to become inspired to develop his own shamisen style, further aided when his eccentric mother forces him to enroll in the Umezono Academy.
This series may be about the shamisen, but it found a way to sneak in that rock and roll spirit, creating a series that is as enchanting with its characters as it is musically. If you are looking for more anime recommendations like Those Snow White Notes, then head on down below.
For Fans of Traditional Japanese Arts
Stop This Sound
After the senior members graduated, Takezou is now the sole member of his Japanese string instrument club. Facing termination, he now begins his search for new members when suddenly a wily one bursts right into his club room.
In their essence, both series are school life series about playing traditional Japanese instruments. However, they go about it in different ways. Those Snow White Notes is about an experienced new member while Stop This Sound is about an eager but inexperienced new member. Both new guys are also heavily influenced by their late grandfathers.
Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju
Former Yakuza member Yotarou is fresh out of prison and looking to keep his nose clean. In order to stay out of trouble, he aspires to the stage of Rakugo, a traditional Japanese form of comedic storytelling. Inspired by a man he saw perform while incarcerated, he seeks out the man to mentor him, forcing the unwilling, but distinguished Yakumo Yuurakutei to take on his first apprentice.
While Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is about the art of storytelling and not the shamisen, both series share the distinct talent of making these dry old arts absolutely enthralling. While Those Snow White Notes starts off promising, it doesn’t quite live up to creating the character drama that Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju does, though.
During the Warring States era, one vassal of Oda Nobunaga learned of the art of tea ceremony from Oda himself and the legendary tea master Sen no Soueki. This vassal, Furuta Sasuke, seeks to lead a fortuitous life and now walks the path of the Hyouge Mono.
Unlike the more traditional music and character drama anime that Those Snow White Notes is, Hyouge Mono is more of an odd duck. Much of its charm comes from the off-kilter nature of its characters and the fact that it is a historical samurai show about tea ceremony instead of the more beloved sword arts of the samurai.
For Fans of Character Development Dramas
March Comes in Like a Lion
Rei Kiriyama recently started to live alone in his last year of high school. He is able to financial support himself as a professional Shogi player, but while he officially became a pro in middle school, he is collapsing under the pressure to succeed. Burdened with his own problems, Rei has found solstice among a kind family of three sisters, the Kawamotos. The oldest, Akari, likes to take in strays and Rei is the latest. While he feels conflicted about spending time with them, they provide accepting affection that he has gotten nowhere else.
Both Those Snow White Notes and March Comes in Like a Lion are about traditional Japanese activities, but at the same time, they aren’t. Both shows are ultimately about the characters and them overcoming the internal struggles that continuously hold them back.
After losing his temper on a critic, renowned calligraphy artist Sieshuu Handa is exiled to the Goto Islands by his father for a period of self-reflection. There he seeks to find new inspiration for his art, but finds that his neighbors and some neighborhood kids keep getting in his way.
While Those Snow White Notes is a school life show and Barakamon is more a soothing slice of life, both shows follow artists who are experiencing a sort of block that is keeping them from reaching their full potential.
Growing up in the shadow of her older sister, Chihaya Ayase is strong-willed and a tomboy with no dreams of her own. However, after meeting a young boy with a passion of a card game called karuta, he inspires her to become a karuta master.
Both series follow traditional Japanese activities that non-Japanese viewers aren’t likely too familiar with. However, while they showcase those activities in an interesting way, both series are really more about the character developments.
For Fans of Music Anime
Carole & Tuesday
This is the story about two very different girls with the same goal. Tuesday, a girl raised in wealth, and Carole, a girl just scraping by, both want to make music. A chance meeting brings them together, and together they may just make their dream come true.
While Those Snow White Notes is only rock and roll in spirit while Carole & Tuesday takes a more literal approach, both series are as charming a music anime as they are charming character dramas. You get great characters exploring their problems while being occasionally punctuated with lovely music.
Your Lie in April
Although once a child prodigy in the music world, pianist Kousei Arima is left in a downward spiral after his mother’s death, unable to even hear the sound of his own piano. Even after two years, Arima has all but left the music world behind, disappointing fans and rivals alike, and living in a colorless world. Then one day that that all changes when he is introduced to the beautiful violinist Kaori Miyazono who brings color into his world once more.
These days classical music is about as hot as shamisen music, so they both have the common ground of igniting an appreciation in their specific musical genres. However, what makes them different is Your Lie in April will make you quite sad.
Kids on the Slope
After moving around his entire life, classical pianist Kaoru Nishimi has abandoned all hope of fitting in as he arrives in Kyushu for his final year of high school. However, that all changes when he meets the thuggish drummer, Sentaro Kawabuchi, a man with an immeasurable love for jazz. Over the music they bond together and Kaoru learns that music should be something to bring joy to others, not something dictated by hundreds of years of technique.
Both series are about young people in school exploring a specific musical genre with people that become their friends. Both are also as much about the characters as they are about the music.
Do you have more anime recommendations like Those Snow White Notes? Let fans know in the comments section below.