Hino Kahoko 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, she is 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.
Note: May contain SLIGHT SPOILERS. Nothing too major though.
Now~ to the review!
Other than La Corda, the only other series that I can think of that somehow revolved around classical music (that I've ACTUALLY seen) was Piano. I won't go into that series as I did DO a review for it. Because of the fact that I haven't a series like La Corda before, that caught my attention. And also having classical music as a major theme within the series definitely sparked my interest.
My first impression of the series was that it just caught my attention because it was a bit different than many
series that I have seen in the past. And I'll admit that by just watching the OP sequence, you may considered it a harem (this case, a reverse harem = more main guys than girls) anime, which it really isn't. Sure, there are several parts that have slight fanservice, but nothing major at all.
For me, from just watching the 1st episode, I was hooked and HAD to watch more episodes and I eventually made a fansite for this series, which used to be called 'Musical Secret, but is now called 'Crescendo'. Whether that had anything to do with the ED song being called that, I dunno, but yeah...
What I didn't like was that sometimes the animation would be a bit strange and look awkward. For example, in particular, I didn't notice this one thing until Meagi, one of my staff members at Crescendo, sent me a pic from episode 4 where Kahoko's talking to Lili and his feet are facing in the opposite direction to where the rest of his body was.
In some of the later episodes, many of the character's faces and such just look weird, like the lines were drawn thicker than in earlier episodes. It wasn't that big of an issue, but with the slight inconsistencies was a bit of a turn off. Overall, the animation was decent, but it wasn't uber, uber vibrant but not bland either (well.. that depended on the episode as sometimes the colors looked a bit dimmer in some shots and brighter in others...). Kinda funny considering that they look a lot more vibrant in magazines and such. XD;
A definite strong point in the series was the music. Though I did already have a liking for classical music, because of this series, I've come to like it a whole lot more and that makes me happy. And gee, I never realized how MUCH music there was for the series. I don't even think that I even own it all -- 2+ gigs and there are STILL more CDs. T.T
With the plot itself, it isn't a complex one, though it did make me wonder if the plot was going to keep my attention long enough. Luckily it did, but the music and the bishies were MAJOR bonuses. In general, the series itself, because of the reverse harem-likeness (as there are many more male main charas than female ones) it gives off is aimed more towards girls, rather than guys. But, any fanservice that even shows up in the series is nothing comparing to other series that have MAJOR fanservice in then.
Even though this series is one of my favorites, there were some episodes that were a bit boring towards the end, say around episode 20, as the episode(s) were a bit boring because Kahoko's all angsty and such and when I found out there was a manga version, I noticed some differences, like in virtually any adaptation that originated from a manga first.
I noticed that some of the events that happened in between the selections were either excluded altogether, modified, or where just different. And also, since the manga itself hasn't finish the concours (from last I looked, they finished the 3rd selection but no word on the 4th and final selection of the concours), so the ending of the concours will be different probably in the manga than in the anime.
I really hope that there is a second season as the series itself originated as a game, than manga, now anime and the anime itself opened the possibility for a second season as it was an open-ended ending. There's a second game, so it's a possibilty that it could happen, but for now it's quite unlikely as the manga isn't done with the concours (aka not enough material for a second season) and if Yuki Kure doesn't adapt the 2nd game into manga form, it'll be less likely than if she did.
Overall, this series was really good and is definitely one of those series that can be viewed again and I won't get sick of it. I can't say that it's one of those 'you'll love or hate it' series, but the first few might be a bit slow at first, depending on the viewer. I enjoyed watching it and I do recommend watching it, or at least give it a try.
Hino Kahoko, a high school girl who has never played an instrument in her life, is given a magic violin. In turn, she must compete in a competition (the Concours) with several elite music students from her school. It's a story about Kaho learning to love the violin and music, while deepening her relationships with her fellow competitors.
The story 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 is to contribute to character development. That being said, the character development is outstanding. I barely noticed the lack
of plot- simply seeing these amazing characters interact and grow had me yearning to see the next episode.
The story really falls flat when it comes to romance. This is a reverse-harem at its core (based on a dating sim), so I was not surprised by how things ended up. Still, the lack of any concrete romantic development or even a hint on Kaho'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 cannot be written off as a simple "friendship" series.
Hino 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 Kaho persevere, doubt herself, face a major setback, and ultimately triumph. While I enjoyed this, her inability to choose one guy was irritating. This flaw really shows through in the La Corda Special, where she can't even begin to make a decision as to which guy she likes best. It was very annoying to watch this.
Each male has a distinct personality, because this is a harem-type show. You have all of the usual suspects- the cheerful and clumsy guy, the guy all of the girls are in love with, the cold but good-looking guy, the cute and innocent guy, etc. I found all of the boys to be interesting, enjoyable characters. To some extent, every character develops, which is refreshing. Tsukimori was definitely my favorite character. I liked how his approach to his music gradually became gentler throughout the series. All of the characters are cute, both inside and out!
Music is where this anime shines...which is what I expected from an anime centered around a music competition (hehe). In 25 episodes, a wide variety of classical music is introduced, which I really enjoyed.
The OP and the ED songs are outstanding. In particular, the OP "Brand New Breeze" had great music, great art, and overall, it was very cute! It tells us exactly what the anime is all about. The song gives a feeling that Kaho is singing to each of the boys. The ED music is also very good- it seems like the boys are singing back to Kaho. I like the call and response format of the OP and the ED.
I loved, loved, loved the character designs. This is what attracted me to the show in the first place. Each character has a distinct, unique look, right down to face shape. All of the Bishounen are good-looking, but my favorite character designs are Tsukimori, Shimizu, and Tsuchiura.
Apart from character design, animation was average.
VALUE / ENJOYMENT (9)
In case you didn't notice, I adore this anime. The story it told was heartwarming. I would only recommend watching it again if you really love the story. Or if you really love Bishies.
The Bottom line:
The music, character designs, and the characters themselves are easily the strongest components of the show. Recommended for fans of Shoujo anime. Skip this one if you dislike indecisiveness in romance.
If you liked this, you may also like Aishiteruze Baby (a series that gives off the same warm and fuzzy feeling as La Corda), or even Peach Girl (a reverse harem with a more concrete romance story).
(kamika:This was my first review! Feedback is appreciated. Thanks! )
La Corda d'Ora is a reverse harem story with a heavy dose of music. I first heard about it when I was really into Nodame Cantabile and Ouran High School Host Club. So I thought,"Wow, it combines two great shows -- how perfect!" Only... it wasn't, which was disappointing. It does combine music with a reverse harem, but -- in my opinion -- it doesn't do music as well as Nodame and it doesn't do romance as well as OHSHC. I guess you can't have everything at once.
What it does have is great music. Ave Maria, which is one
of my favorite pieces of all time, plays a pretty prominent role in the series. And there were some other pieces that I really enjoyed -- familiar and new to me. And it also has a great collection of really, really gorgeous bishies. ;) Like, when you think of traditional hot anime guys -- this is it. They're so pretty. So pretty. ^.^
Plot wise... story wise... character wise... it's okay. It has a nice overall theme/message/moral. If you go in with average expectations, a fan of reverse harems or bishies or music-themed animes would be pretty satisfied. More satisfied if you're looking for eye or ear candy.
The plot is pretty simple. The synopsis hits the nail on the head and there really isn't too much more to it. The characters are a little shallow, a little cliche... a little under-developed. The biggest problem for me was probably the conflict felt by the main character and how she reacted to it. I liked the beginning of the show; it was pretty entertaining. But in the middle, I got so frustrated and turned off by the angst and the whining that I actually dropped the show: I didn't care what happened next because I was too annoyed to watch. (The time between release of episodes probably made that worse -- I might have barreled through if I had the whole series at once.) Not everyone is going to feel that way about the main character or the show -- I just personally have low tolerance for that character type.
After several months, out of boredom, I decided to go back and see if I could just finish it off since I had gotten all the way to episode 20 while it was being initially fansubbed. It was the beginning of the end so a lot of the annoying behaviors that drove me away were gone and it went back to being a nice, if somewhat predictable, story with great music and pretty bishies.
To be honest, more than anything... it makes me want to watch Nodame Cantabile again. Maybe it isn't fair to compare the two, but I can't help it -- I compare everything to anything. ;) And, as a matter of personal taste, I think I prefer when things are a little bit more romance and a little less harem, so that probably skews my score too. I didn't think it was a masterpiece or a must-see, but it was cute and entertaining and watchable because I like all the genres it falls into.
I was really not going to give this series an eye, after reading a chapter of the manga it seemed lame and confusing. For some reason though, maybe because I was bored I started downloading the first few episode. This anime is so much better as an anime than a manga. Music can't be represented very well on paper. ^^
I love the way the story is cute and fresh. I don't watch very many animes based on activities, but I'm glad I watched this one. The character are just so lovable and pretty. BISHONENS!!! Nyaaaa ><. Give this a try if you atleast like
music. Which just about everyone does.