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There’s a point in many teenagers’ lives where few things are more mortifying than the prospect of having to speak in public. High school freshman Shino (Sara Minami) has it worse than most. When she’s by herself, she can talk perfectly fine, even play-acting the conversations she wishes she was having with her fellow students. But when she’s called upon to introduce herself to the class at the start of term, she’s felled by a speech impediment so severe that she can barely get a word out.

While most of the students laugh — egged on by the self-appointed class clown, Tsuyoshi (Riku Hagiwara) — Kayo (Aju Makita) is more sympathetic. A self-possessed loner with musical ambitions, she gives Shino a notepad so she can write the words she’s struggling to say. When it turns out her new pal is a better singer than she is (Kayo, alas, isn’t the most tuneful of warblers), she suggests they start a band together.

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