Shoujo anime usually feature a pretty girl, some bishounens (beautiful boys), a romantic triangle or polygon and lots of pointless sparkles, swirling flower petals or spring breezes that suddenly appear around the heroine and her love interests. And don’t forget the angst and romantic hand-wringing.
“La Corda D’Oro” or “Kiniro no Corda” as it is called in Japanese is a shoujo tale set in the middle of a musical competition at a high school that offers a regular curriculum and a music curriculum. The students in the music program think they are waaay better than the regular students.
The show, which translates to “The Golden Cord” in English, is based on a manga which originated from a dating simulation game by Koei. I’ve never played a dating sim. My video game preferences run toward action adventures where I whack monsters with a samurai sword or a high-tech gun. And if I can, I try not to rescue simpering damsels in distress.
The heroine is Kahoko Hino, a second year student in the regular section of Seisou Academy. She arrives late to school one day and encounters a tiny fairy by the name of Lili who is surprised that she can see him. Lili was the fairy saved by the school’s founder. The fairy gives Kahoko a magic violin and she suddenly finds herself competing in the school’s annual concours with five music students and another regular student. Apparently, regular students didn’t participate in the contest before. Kahoko is a pioneer of sorts.
Kahoko doesn’t know how to play the violin really. She does, however, have a heartfelt appreciation for classical music. In short, she plays with her heart. But she feels like a fraud later on because she knows her violin with the lone golden string is the one that actually makes her sound like a prodigy.
I know I’ve stated that I hate harem animes but somehow my inner fangirl likes this show which is a reverse harem. Instead of one guy and a bevy of beauties, there’s one girl and a slew of handsome willowy love interests. Swoon. There’s classical music to boot.
Kahoko gets to spend time with the aloof but brilliant violinist Len Tsukimori, regular student and piano whiz Ryotaro Tsuchiura, cheerful trumpeteer Kazuki Hihara, two-faced flautist Azuma Yunoki and sleepy cellist Keiichi Shimizu. Shouko Fuyuumi the clarinet player is the only other girl in the competition and idolizes Kahoko.
It has a nice theme song too. “Brand New Breeze” by Kanon fits this swoony music tale. But if you’re not into shoujo and pretty boys who look alike except for their hair color and facial expressions then by all means steer clear of “La Corda D’Oro.”
My inner fangirl adores Len out of all the bishies so I sometimes let her out of solitary confinement to watch a fansubbed version of the show. Then when I cannot stand her squealing anymore, I shove her ruthlessly back into the inner recesses of my mind so I can go back to watching action-oriented shows.