Also known as: Kiniro no Koruda: Blue Sky
Genre: Music, Shoujo
Format: 12 Episodes
Allegiance: TYO Animations
Director: Kojin Ochi
Intelligence Agency Report by: Jessica Craven
La Corda d’Oro: Blue Sky follows the Seisou Academy ensemble’s participation in Japan’s national ensemble competition. After receiving a mysterious letter at one of her violin performances that reads, “Is this where you meet your limit?” Kanade and her friend Kyoya are pulled into joining Seisou Academy and its ensemble by their childhood friend Ritsu. They, of course, encounter many fierce competitors on their journey—many of whom they befriend—but one in particular, Myoga Reigi, possesses a passionate hatred for Kanade. This merely adds to her troubles, for she and Ritsu are struggling to make their own sounds blossom. They cannot help but think that they should have been more prepared than this before the competition.
Field Report by: Jessica Craven
For starters, La Corda d’Oro: Blue Sky is my favorite anime of the spring 2014 season. It is simultaneously touching, exciting, and beautiful. There were moments when the plot suspended my disbelief a bit, like when Ritsu selected Kanade and Kyoya for the ensemble over other students who were studying music more seriously because he “believed in them.” I also found Kanade’s skill level hard to pinpoint, because other characters either claimed that she was “really talented” or “mediocre,” but toward the end of the series, her situation became more clear. Although some of the characters were grazed over a little, overall they are all highly developed. I initially thought that Myoga’s hatred for Kanade was petty and overdramatic, but as more information surfaces, his feelings become more understandable (although still a bit overdramatic).
The voices fit all of the characters quite well. The audio for this series is especially impressive because the music that the characters play is so perfectly coordinated and beautiful. The artwork is always of good quality, and I especially love how the art reflects the emotion of the music during the scenes in which characters play. Kyoya’s and especially Kanade’s struggles to make their own music blossom were relatable (even if you’re not a musician, the struggle to find yourself and overcome your own insecurities is pretty much universal), and I personally learned something as she overcame them.