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! )