La Corda D'Oro primo passo anime review

La Corda D
Hino goes to a school that specialises in music and has two streams: the normal stream and the music stream, where the music students are regarded as the more elite. She was running late for her class one day when she saw a tiny fairy, who seemed really excited that she could see it. The next day, the entrants in the music competition, who are decided by the school, are announced. Hino's name appears on the list - except she doesn't play an instrument. The fairy gives her a magical violin that can be played by anyone. Reluctantly, she enters into the competition and is forced to deal with the prejudices of her peers.

La corda d’oro is now a multi media franchise with its manga adaption to go along with the anime which complements its roots that date back to its role playing game origin. The story begins one day with second year high school student Hino Kahoko as she arrives late to school and happens to find herself standing next to a statue of a fairy that stands prominently in the courtyard at the front of the school.

As she braces herself against the statue and catches her breath she hears a voice and when she looks up she sees the small creature the statue was made to resemble in front of her. Unsurprisingly, she freaks out more than a little though the creature is ecstatic that someone can see him though and he causes some bells on campus to ring which set events of a competition in motion.

At the school she attends there are two paths for its students to take as they can either take a general studies path or a music specific one. When the bells ring it signals that a special music competition will take place and this year five music students are chosen to participate along with one general study student-Kahoko-having been chosen to join them. Thing is Kahoko has never held any instrument before except for perhaps a recorder in grade school and she has no idea why she was selected or what she is to do about it.

Completely over her head she encounters the fairy again and discovers that he is a Fata- a music fairy- named Lili. Lili explains to Kahoko that she has an innate affinity for music and is on the same wavelength as Lili and which is why she can see him. Lili then presents her with a magic violin which has the ability to resonate with her heart and which will allow her to play it even though she has never held a violin before. Kahoko tries to decline but Lili pushes it on her and then vanishes.

Before she can recognize what is going on she stumbles upon another participant being bullied and winds up in a position where will be forced to use the violin even though she doesn’t want to in a few days. As she is trying to figure out what she will do she comes across a fellow competitor as he plays Ave Maria and she falls in love with the violin at that moment. With this melody in her heart she goes to the roof of the school and finds she is able to play the song. When Lili appears he explains to her that the debt he has to the school’s founder is the reason that he is doing this and she agrees with some trepidation to go forward, though it certainly won’t be easy.

As she moves down the path in front of her Kahoko will learn that the world of music can be glorious but it is not an easy path and it has as many- or maybe even more- opportunities to create heartbreak as it does to be rewarding for the performer. As she navigates this world there are a number of people who will be against her and she will learn more about her fellow contest participants as well as some of the scars they carry due to events in their past in relation to the musical arena. Along the way as she touches them she will also have to come to terms with herself as she has to learn how to balance the role that music will now play in her life as she tries to rise to meet what others expect from her without losing herself in those expectations.

Perhaps Kahoko’s greatest challenge though will come when she tries to deal with the small voice in her head that starts getting louder as it says that she is cheating by using magic when her fellow competitors have been working so hard on their own talent and effort. When her magic goes away what effect will this have on Kahoko and those whose life she touched? Is she finished or will her introduction to this world of music be enough to cause her to do everything in her power to try to continue embracing the love she has found in music as well as the deep caring she has developed for her friends?

While it is clear from the way the story is presented that it is based off a dating game the material largely manages to overcome what can be a limitation in storytelling. With (eventually) five potential suitors to be chosen from in the game the anime series has to walk an interesting line of deciding if it is going to follow a single story path with a specific guy or if it is going to try to go with a balanced approach so that everyone of the guys gets an equal chance. The writers decided to go with the second approach and for the most part it works as it gives a rather rounded view of the men, though this aspect does mean it is less deep than fans of any given character likely would want to see.

With the story lacking a specific male character to follow it piles even more onto the shoulders Kahoko as she will now need to be able to walk between all these characters acting as a bridge without coming off as some completely shallow or clueless girl herself. To an extent she mostly manages to pull it off though at times her obliviousness to the feelings of the men around her seems to be a bit on the high side. What is interesting is the amount of time spent getting into her head as it could be easy to have her exist as more a generic character acting as a stand in for the viewer (or player originally) ad be more of a blank slate. Instead some real depth is given to her as after coming to terms with seeing fairies she then has to figure out just how she is going to interact in this almost magical world of music she finds herself in. At the same time she has to cope with the knowledge that she isn’t there by the same means as everyone else and the weight of her secret shows on her as the story progresses.

When watching I found myself really enjoying her character as it seemed the writers really wanted to deal with the struggles a girl might go through as she tries to cope with holding secrets while at the same time wanting to fully enjoy this new life that music has given her while balancing with the one she is more familiar with. That aspect along the way she at times gets lost and confused as to what her path should be is something I really loved about her character as it made her feel more real and it also added a touch of tragedy that she was in a position where she couldn’t talk to anyone as who would believe her, or if they did, they might condemn her as a fraud.

This careful balance of a girl who is thoughtful of just what she is doing for the most part yet in way, way over her head had me really rooting for her and made a situation that is fantastical seem rather realistic. Objectively I can see the show and its warts which its general game based route approach helps foster but the earnestness of the main character causes me to overlook some of the more generic moments of the show and focus on what the show does so spectacularly well when it comes to its heroine.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: La Corda D'Oro primo passo. Watch it now:
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