"Did I reach you? I hope I did."
I nearly skipped this gem just because of the music tag. Not really big into music anime but somehow the art dragged me into watching the first few episodes. First episode was an average episode with few interesting plot lines. But the second episode was the hook. Irony. The tag that made me nearly skip this anime was the one that kept me in it. The music, the music... THE MUSIC.. what can I say? It was just right down my taste. Never in my life did I thought of "oh hey let's listen to some classical music" but this anime opened a new taste in music in me. And I'm grateful for that.
The first half and second half have clear differences with a very smooth pacing and objectives in mind. Some may say the pacing was slow and sometimes it felt that a point is being dragged out for long. As much as I understand where they are coming from, I feel that this series took the right amount of time to build up for the many impact full moments that is present. The inner monologues that the series loves to do felt right to display the conflicts that our characters are fighting with. Also, the conflicts dealt with are very realistic and people can very much relate to them. I happen to be one of them being able to relate to our main male protagonist.
The cast of characters in this show is pretty high. As a 22 episode anime, I think it did an excellent job portraying those characters. As most animes, not all the characters were fully fleshed out, and I didn't expect it to do so. The ones that mattered most were developed beautifully. Besides, nearly everyone's thought process were clear, motivations/purpose in tact and passion which shone through.
Sound is something that I will not even talk about since it is subjective. The main reason, however, that I will not dive deeper is because for me, it was perfect. I couldn't have asked for anything more.
Animation wise. Throughout the whole series, it was standard stuff from A-1 Pictures. It did have some drop from time to time, especially during the comedy segments, which I didn't find distracting but it wasn't great to say the least. Animation stood out where it counts. Those performances. I would have been really been disappointed if the animation was average in those moments, because of how beautiful the soundtracks are. But A-1 delivered, and they both complimented each other outstandingly.
By the end of the series, I was just left in awe, and honestly a bit (extremely) emotional. To compare, the 'feels' in this series (my opinion) surpasses the highly praised Clannad: After Story for one simple reason. I was just slightly more attached to the relationship our main characters shared than I was with Clannad. But the story is not about tragedy. It's about inspiration, passion, moving forward, family, friendship, helping each other (many more). It is about life and how hard it can be to carry on, but you still gotta do it. You still gotta live your life to your fullest.
"If you can't move with your hands then play with your feet! If you don't have enough fingers, then use your nose as well! Whether you're sad, you're a mess, or you've hit rock bottom, you still have to play! That's how people like us survive." - Kaori Miyazono.