Bishounens. Bishounens. Bishounens galore! Am I in heaven?
Before I review the second anime series I ever watched, I’m going to do one on La Corda d’Oro mainly because I can’t contain my inner fangirl *･゜ﾟ･*:.｡..｡.:*･'(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)’･*:.｡. .｡.:*･゜ﾟ･*
I watched La Corda d’Oro early last year but I NEED to do a review on those gorgeous bishies before I move on ❤
My first post on La Corda will be on the first season, Primo Passo, and my next post will be on the second season, Secondo Passo.
Japanese Name: 金色のコルダ ~Primo Passo~
Air Date: October 1 2006 – March 25 2007
Studio: Yumeta Company
Kahoko Hino is a student whose school is divided into two branches – the Normal Branch, in which students wear grey uniforms, and the Music Branch, in which the students wear white. The school’s tradition is a music competition, but it is more common that students from the Music Branch are chosen to compete. Kahoko is surprised one day to encounter a fairy named Lili. Solely because she is the only student to see him is she the only student from the Normal Branch to be in the competition.
Kahoko doesn’t have any musical knowledge, until Lili grants her a magic violin, one that anyone can play if they believe they can truly do it. Kahoko must now face the trials of the competition, her competitors, and her peers.
Before watching La Corda d’Oro, I was looking at the official website and I found out that one of my favourite voice actors – Jun Fukuyama – is in this series so my fangirl mood immediately switched on (((o(*ﾟ▽ﾟ*)o))) here I come Jun Jun! Apart from that, the animation looks really polished so I thought that I’d give this series a chance and I’m glad I did!
I like all of the characters already and Azuma Yunoki is such a prince… BONUS! He’s such a gentlemen and that’s the kind of guy I like. He could be the prince to my princess ＼(^o^)／ oh Azuma, take me somewhere where we can be alone! But normally, these sort of characters have a darker side to them. Dual personality. I wonder if Azuma has one or am I thinking to much into this? His fangirls are really annoying though, they literally stalk him wherever he goes. Give the guy some privacy! Have you ever heard of personal space? I’m pretty sure you would want some of your own and it is impolite and downright rude to your precious prince.
Len Tsukimori seems like a really tense character and he appears really… pompous xD (sorry, that’s the only word I can think of to describe him) but I think he also has this high and mighty personality. His hair is pretty though and it’s rare for me to see a character with blue hair – should I dye my hair so we can match? Imagine that… *goes off to dream land* but if you put all of the characters together, they look like a packet of smarties. You know, the chocolate ones? Sorry if I think that way but I blame it on their hair! They look like colourful sweeties that I can gobble up at any minute. Len is a easily dis-likable character but I can’t seem to hate him. I wonder why?
Kazuki Hihara is a fun character, I’d love to go anywhere with him! He’s like a ray of sunshine since he’s always smiling. It’s rare to see him NOT smiling! Where does he get all this happiness from? He’s so bright and bubbly so he’s a relaxed character compared to the others (^_^) he’s also Azuma’s best friend. Good on you pal!
I really don’t like Kahoko. I understand her situation and how she wants to improve but she whines about it too much and that got on my nerves. She’s just asking for attention in my opinion. The whole point of being an individual is to be your own person and not rely on others too much unless the situation is critical. Whining to your little fairy friend all the time ain’t going to get you anywhere in this competition. Kahoko seriously needs to get herself in gear and compete to the best of her ability.
The music is superb. I’ve grown to love classical music now! The pieces played by each character suits them as well as the actual theme of the selection. They all try hard not to make mistakes in their choices so it’s easy to tell how much effort they’re putting in. Kazuki is funny and dorky! But that’s what I like about him. Easily depressed though, especially if it involves Kahoko. Grr, girl you need to pull yourself together for everyone’s sake!
Keiichi Shimizu = KAWAIII!!! The real definition of adorable. He’s a real sleeping beauty, like an angel. The facial expressions he makes always send me into a ドキドキ paradise! His eyes have a pretty colour so I was enchanted by them, a bright and clear blue. When he plays the cello, it sounds a bit sad but nonetheless it’s still beautiful. He really loves the cello and at one point he even said that his world revolves around it.
Azuma has a dark side?! Σ（ﾟдﾟlll）I knew it! Knew it, knew it, knew it! *Gasps* maybe he’s a dark prince? That makes him even more attractive! Who would have thought that underneath that gentle exterior lies a cruel personality? Not me that’s for sure! But I know from experience that these sort of characters always turn out this way… maybe apart from Tamaki from OHSHC. That guy will never lose that flamboyancy and he better not.
Len’s suspicion and concern about Kahoko becomes apparent which is rather adorable! He’s curious about her violin playing since she said that she’s an amateur but can play really good pieces. I can see why he’s concerned though, after all she is using a magical violin that no-one knows about. Isn’t that technically cheating Kahoko? I’m sure it is in my rulebook, I hereby declare that you’re disqualified! Is what I want to hear from the judges, but they don’t know that she’s getting assistance from magic. It isn’t fair for the others who spend so much time practising while she gets it easy (-__-)
Kazuki is the first to realise his feelings towards Kahoko. When he and Kahoko are at the park, Kazuki gets injured on his arm. Kahoko being the kind girl she is, then whips out a plaster and puts it on his arm causing him to blush like crazy. That’s when he realises how he truly feels about Kahoko…he loves her. He becomes awkward around her afterwards and blushes like crazy whenever she’s near him or touches him, how adorkable (๑´ლ`๑) first experience in love perhaps Kazuki? Fufufufu~ I shall assist you in your quest for Kahoko’s love and affection! Together we shall defeat any competition! No, I kid. I don’t want you to get together with her, it’ll just make me sad.
The plot is not for everyone. This is a character driven series through and through. The plot loosely falls around the concours, but the purpose of the concours in this plot is to contribute to the character’s development. That being said, the character development is outstanding. I barely noticed the lack of plot- simply seeing these characters interact with each other and grow left me wanting the next episode. Each piece in the concours really suited the characters and their personality, I could see what they were like just by listening to the music they played and this developed them really well. I was really impressed with the character’s growth and I felt like I grew closer to them: it was like I was in the same situation as them.
The story really falls flat when it comes to romance. This is a reverse-harem at its core, so I was not surprised with how things ended up. Still, the lack of any concrete romantic development or even a hint on Kahoko’s part as to which guy she likes best is very frustrating. Yet, there are just enough romantic moments to make you want to see something more. This can’t be written off as a simple ‘friendship’ series but it can’t be written off as a proper romance series.
Kahoko is a decent, but bland lead. I liked her determined approach to the violin, and her character development was well done. During the anime, we see Kahoko persevere, doubt herself, face major setbacks, and ultimately triumph. While I enjoyed this development, her inability to choose one guy was irritating. Seriously, were the hints not enough? It was very annoying to watch this as she remains completely oblivious to how the other males feel toward her.
Each male has a distinct personality, because this is a harem-type show. You have all of the common type characters – the cheerful and clumsy guy (Kazuki), the guy all of the girls are in love with (Azuma), the cold but good-looking guy (Len), the cute and innocent guy (Keiichi) and the close friend (Ryotaro). I found all of the boys to be interesting and intriguing characters. To some extent, every character shows development, which is refreshing and what usually lacks from anime these days. Len is a great example of development: his approach to his music was first ungrateful and cold but his opinion gradually became softer throughout the series.
Music is where this anime shines which is what I expected from an anime centered around a music school! In 25 episodes, a wide variety of classical music is introduced; a vast range of classical music written by famous composers gave the series a mixture and variety. The opening and the ending songs are refreshing. In particular, the opening ‘Brand New Breeze’ by Kanon. It tells us exactly what the anime is all about. The song gave the impression that Kahoko is singing her feelings to each of the boys. The ending song ‘Crescendo’ by Stella Quintet was also very good- it seemed like the boys are singing their feelings back to Kahoko. Both theme songs were like a call and response.
I loved the character designs and animation. This is what attracted me to the show in the first place. Each character has a distinct, unique look, right down to face shape. You would never want to mix up characters, especially in otome games! All of the bishounen are good-looking, but when it comes to my favourite character designs, it’s kinda complicated because I loved all of them! If I had to choose then I would pick Len, Keiichi and Azuma. There’s a distinct air around Azuma and Len but Keiichi remains my angel.
SPOILER: Kahoko’s doubts about using a magic violin become too much and she ends up breaking three strings during her performance in the third concours. I know you want to improve love but you didn’t have to put that much pressure in the violin. Even magic has it’s limits.
She goes into a major depression afterwards and all of the boys start to lose their composure when it’s their turn to play so they don’t play as well as they should. Even the usually cold Len doesn’t perform his best. Only Azuma shines in the spotlight and he wins the third concours. After the third concours, Kahoko is thinking of quitting the violin but with some encouragement from her friends and peers plus the fact that she loves the violin, she decides to continue. And everything ends well! She doesn’t win the concours but along the way, she made new friends and gained a love for music.
If you like beautiful bishounens, music, a rather annoying heroine and a bit of magic then this is the series for you. This series has really encouraged me to learn music because the sounds instruments make are beautiful! Highly recommended for shoujo fans!
Now excuse me whilst I attempt to learn how to play a violin… oh wait, I already know how! Sorta. I used to play the violin when I was younger and I was pretty good! But I quit four years later because my violin teacher wasn’t good and I couldn’t reach my full potential. Looking back on it, if I got a different teacher and continued playing, I would be at the standard Len is at. How scary. I wish I continued and I actually regret it now. Way to go.