Image source: TVアニメ『覆面系ノイズ』公式 on Twitter

Anonymous Noise shows us what influences composers through the characters Kanade Yuzuriha and Momo Sasaki.

Six years after two tragic childhood partings, Nino Arisugawa, a girl who loves singing, is reunited with her first love Momo Sasaki and friend Kanade Yuzuriha. But now that Nino, Kanade, and Momo are older, a love triangle has formed between them.

The love triangle trope, while very common, is very effective in conveying an engaging story, especially when used in new ways. Anonymous Noise does exactly this with the male leads Kanade and Momo, and it all comes from a handful of lines of dialog. In short, Kanade has found his musical muse in Nino while Momo believes he will lose his if he composes for Nino. At first glance, this sounds simple. However, when we dig into the characters’ pasts, it’s actually quite fascinating and informs us about the dynamics between the characters.

We know both Kanade and Momo were adept musical talents from a young age as well as have romantic inclinations towards Nino. But, the circumstances of Kanade and Momo’s feelings stem from two vastly different places. With Momo, he and Nino are childhood friends and neighbors who spent most of their time together bonding over singing. Yet, after Momo and Nino were separated from each other, Momo went on to become a successful composer.

In turn, Kanade’s feelings are born from Nino’s powerful singing voice and how she became his muse. This allowed Kanade to compose music he never thought he could. However, after Kanade parted ways with Nino, he slowly lost his inspiration. This alone makes for an interesting story, but as viewers, we want a little more spice so the story will leave a lasting impression. Thus, having a narrative where the characters reconnect with each other drives the drama inherent in their wants and needs.

So, when Nino reconnects with Kanade and Momo, seeing their respective responses raises a fundamental question about the characters relationship with each other. We’ve seen in the first four episodes how Nino and Kanade meeting has rekindled the latter’s creative spark. And while it has rarely been overtly stated, it’s heavily implied that Kanade composes specifically for Nino. Place that next to Momo, who believes he will lose his spark if he meets Nino again, especially when he says, “If I meet [Nino] again, I’ll lose my will to compose.” Because of this, Momo goes out of his way to avoid any contact with Nino. Yet, in terms of the story, we haven’t had much time to see why Momo meeting Nino again would cause him to stop composing. But, with the information we’ve been provided, it turns Momo’s romantic feeling towards Nino into a double edged sword; he wants to be with her, but doing so could potentially end his career as a composer.

This is where Anonymous Noise becomes a fascinating love triangle story. We have Nino trying to rekindle her relationship with Momo, but at the same time loves Kanade’s compositions. Kanade wants to be with Nino because she’s his muse and voice. And Momo wants to be with Nino but fears that will compromise his creativity. These layers add so much more to the relationship dynamics than the well used “I want to be with him/her” trope and really draw the viewers into the drama of the story. But, more importantly, we’ll see either Kanade or Momo lose what keeps them composing music. This flies in the face of what we normally expect from a romance series because we want to see everything turn out well for all the characters. Yet, knowing Kanade or Momo will lose their drive to compose keeps the narrative engaging.

It’ll be interesting seeing where Anonymous Noise takes us going forward because the romance between Nino, Kanade, and Momo is secondary to what Kanade and Momo are struggling with. For a love triangle story, this is different from what I’m used to seeing and adds new anticipation to the character drama.

Anonymous Noise is streaming on Amazon Strike. It is also being simulcast on Tuesdays 11:00am EDT on Crunchyroll.

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