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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

La Corda D'Oro ~primo passo~ Rating and Review

Series: La Corda D'Oro ~primo passo~
Animation Studio: Yumeta Company
Original Run: 28 Episodes (25 eps in first season + 1 special + 2 OVA eps)
English Licensor: Sentai Filmworks
Adaptation of: Koei's game "Kin'iro no Corda" and Yuki Kure's manga "La Corda D'Oro"

Summary: Let's face it, high school was a a bit dull and stressful at times. But I'm sure if one's school had a music school fused in, school life would have been a bit calmer, especially when music students could be heard playing Mozart, Beethoven, and other memorable composers. In the fictional school of Seiso Academy, music literally fills the halls of the school. Well, sort depends on where one is in the school. Seiso is divided into two departments: the ever prestigious and competitive music department, and the general department which houses students that don't play an instrument and want to simply live out a "normal" high school career. The main heroine of this story is Kahoko Hino, a student in the general education branch and otherwise really had no interest in classical music. That is until the school wide four part annual music competition came around and she found herself participating in it due to a spunky music fairy named Lili. Yet because Kahoko has no idea how to play any instrument, Lili grants her a magical violin which makes it possible for anyone to play, so long as the holder has the tune clearly in their mind. She is a bit overwhelmed at first but she eventually learns to accept it.

When she enters the competition she meets her fellow competitors who are all a part of the music department, and are musically talented. This group consists of two 3rd years; Yunoki Azuma (flute), and Kazuki Hihara (trumpet), two 1st years; Shouko Fuyuumi (clarinet), and Keiichi Shimizu (cello), and one 2nd year, Len Tsukimori (violin). Yunoki has a very "gentleman" like charm to him, which makes all the girls swoon, however behind his smile he holds a very dark personality. Opposite of him is his cheery and energetic best friend, Kazuki. Shouko is a quiet girl who is fairly timid and shy and Keiichi...simply goes at his own pace while he looses himself in his music. Len is a prodigy violinist, who was born into a family of musicians, and thus is always striving to perfect his playing. Unfortunately his cold and warped personality is a turn off for most, one such individual being Kahoko's friendly and supportive fellow general ed.-mate, Ryotaro Tsuchiura. Ryotaro is a member of the soccer team, but also holds a secret of being a very skilled pianist. He eventually becomes the 7th participant in the competition after he shows his amazing talent in the first round, when he played as Kahoko's accompaniment. But because Len and Ryotaro have such conflicting personalities they often clash with one another, causing some tension between them. But aside from the participants there is Hiroto Kanazawa, who is a music teacher at the school, acting as the competition's coordinator, and his "off-and-on" helper, Shinobu Ousaki, who is a graduate from the school and actually won the competition when he was a student.

As the competition goes on, Kahoko begins forming unforgettable bonds with each of the participants. Without even trying, she begins to change and touch the hearts of each of the competitors and thus their music is also altered (but in a good way). Most of the boys begin to fall for her where as she slowly begins to fall in love with the violin. Yet, the further she moves along with the competition, the guilt of standing on the same stage as her fellow musicians starts to grind on her.

If you love classical music and enjoy a calm and happy story, this may be a series you might want to check out. "La Corda D'Oro ~primo passo~" is packed with music, romance, and drama; and once it ends, you can still catch a couple of more specials that follow it. And just when you thought there couldn't be anymore guys in this reverse harem, three more are introduced. So if you like pretty guys art, and music, give this series a shot.

A.I.'s Rating:  8.5/10

A.I.'s Review:  If it wasn't obvious, this game was based off of a Japanese dating sim game, which was then made into a manga, which then resulted in an anime. I have never played this game but, I have seen scenes and screenshots of it. However, I do read the manga and from what I can tell, there are differences between all three. The anime series took me a while to get used to when I watched it the first time around. One reason is because I found Kahoko to be pretty annoying half-way through the series when she started to get really emotional about lying to everyone about her talent. But she eventually resolves her troubles and she was likable again. Another reason was because the series moved slowly at times that I found myself having some difficulties of wanting to move to the next episode. But once I got over those couple of bumps I found the series pretty good and I actually found the series to be more enjoyable the second time I watched it.

The art is extremely clear and definitely has vibrant colors. The characters are great as they all have their own unique personalities, and the character development was pretty good considering the studio only had time for one 25 episode season. But the one thing that this series takes home is the music. If it didn't, I'd be pretty worried, but the old classical pieces in this series are beautifully played. After watching this series, I recall listening to some classical music (including my favorite piece, "Canon in D major" composed by Pachelbel, which Kahoko played in her second round).

I also checked out the special and OVAs that followed the original anime and they were so-so. I felt the OVAs were unnecessary as two of the three characters that were introduced barely got any screen time, and I felt as if the whole OVA duo focused on was the new character Aoi Kaji his interactions with Kahoko. What felt so wrong about it was, the original Corda guys barely got any attention (poor guys), and the ending of it was pretty dull. But if I were to put aside the OVAs, I would say the original series and the special were well done as everything flowed nicely as I saw Kahoko's and the other characters' interactions with one another to be charming. Yet I felt the series didn't focus mainly on love, but rather the love and appreciation of music, and I found that to be a memorable aspect of the series. Yet if someone were to come up to me and ask if I had a favorite pairing in this series I would say yes. Despite there being a large amount of guys in this anime going after one girl, I thought one boy stood out amongst the rest. I won't name him but he is one of the music students.

I included the opening as it is one of my favorite anime openings.

So I hope you enjoyed and tune in next time for another rating and review~!

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