La Corda d’Oro ~primo passo~ Review

lacordaStory:
So there’s this fairy that owes a human for saving its life so it decides to repay him generations later when the guy is dead and buried and doesn’t care anymore so it gives a random girl the ability to play the violin with no prior training and thus enter the school wide competition because reasons. Yeah, it’s just an excuse to surround our heroine with hot guys.

Violence:
Pretty low here. Aside from a character getting a few cuts on her hand from broken glass, you’re in the clear here.

Language:
Nothing too heavy here. Usually only a d-mn or two. I don’t readily recall anything worse, nor anything too frequent.

Nudity:
Another thing we’re spared. I honestly have nothing to note in this section.

Theology/mythology:
There’s a fairy in this. And a magic violin. If that bugs you, this show ain’t your cup o’ tea.

Personal impression:
For a romance title, this show certainly isn’t horrible. It even has a few elements of our lead character addressing her own issues with her friends, something we don’t always get in these kind of shows. We also get a decent amount of legitimate character development, the kind that aids the lead and has little to do with the male cast.
That said the music is subpar overall (all the classical music is nice, but that’s not really something this show can take credit for) and so is the art.
Again, this is a decent romance show. It’s not as good as shows like Ouran or My LOVE Story, but if you’re craving a reverse harem show without the usual flimsy leads, this one is… fine.
But that fairy is pretty obnoxious, gotta say… I just can’t stand these cute-for-cute’s-sake characters anymore. I’m too dead inside.

Personal rating: 10+

Episode: 28 (includes season one and two)
Languages: sub
Official rating: PG
Genre: Romance, fantasy, drama
Production: Yumeta Company
Company: Aniplex/Sentai Filmworks
Official streaming: Crunchyroll 

March Comes in Like a Lion Review

march-comes-inStory:
Rei Kiriyama is a 17 year old pro shoji player (Japanese chess) who makes more at what he does than most adults. Even so, he feels incomplete…

Violence:
Nothing much here. Most of the story revolves around shoji, which isn’t exactly a contact sport. That said, there is a bit of domestic violence implied with a few characters. Nothing too graphic, but it’s uncomfortable at the least.

Language:
We get spared anything too bad in this sector as well. A few d-mns is about as bad as it gets.

Nudity:
Aside from one scene of a girl changing, with a bra flying through the air, nothing here either. And fear not. It’s played for comedy and we’re spared any details.

Theology/mythology:
Nothing here besides seeing a few characters at shrines, praying for success and such. No discussion is had on these things, however.

Personal impression:
This was a wonderful show. It’s second season was one that seemed to lose momentum for many reviewers, but I personally enjoyed the second half better than the first. We get a lot of character growth from our lead. That said, I can see how if one pauses too much between seasons, it can feel as if there’s a lull in the story as the flow from the first to the second arc is pretty seamless.
Overall, I really do recommend this show to anyone who needs some solid characters and a heartfelt story. Not to mention artsy graphics that add to the wonderful “show don’t tell” theme within the series. The only thing I will warn about would be that this anime is like literary fiction put to screen. This isn’t really… genre stuff, which might put off people who are used to genre works. Technically you could say this is a sports anime… Except it’s not. It’s not traditional drama either (drama doesn’t happen just to happen, but often only occurs as a natural state of progression for story and characters). It’s not a love story or an action show… And I certainly wouldn’t call it a slice of life. This is just one of those shows that’s hard to put in a box and is all the better for it. If the slew of genre sludge that gets pumped out every season has you down, give this show a shot. It might just be the breath of fresh air you’ve been looking for.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 22 (seasons 1 + 2)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama (not sure how else to mark this)
Production: Shaft
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: crunchyroll

I’ve Always Liked You Review

screen-shot-2015-07-14-at-15-58-59Story:
Natsuki Enomoto has a huge crush on her childhood friend, Yu Setoguchi. When she manages to confess her feelings towards him, she chickens out halfway through, claiming the whole thing was just “practice” so she’d be ready to confess to the one she really loves later. Believing her, Yu keeps his own feeling for her hidden as day after day she continues to “practice” confessing her love.

Violence:
Pretty non-existent besides some characters staring each other down (dem angry gazes tho).

Language:
Super light. Besides a few d-mns, it’s not really there.

Nudity:
Aside from a few shower/bath scenes where no details are shown at all, nothing here to report either, which is nice.

Theology/mythology:
The usual shrines and charms for good luck are here and there, but no discourse on religion or theology take place.

Personal impression:
This whole mini-movie has no point or substance to it beyond getting two characters together. And maybe seeing her friends get together too. That’s… really it. Nothing else is going on. There are no points being made outside of that. Now, if you’re chill with that, you might like this one. It does a good job of portraying friendship and early love which is really the whole goal of this title so there’s nothing really to gripe about. I suppose if you like more comedy alongside your romance, this might not do it for ya, but other than that, there’s little to fault this show for.
Even the music and art are… fine. Not great, not bad, just fine. Which is overall how I feel about this whole production. It wasn’t something that blew me away or made me super happy to watch (like Kimi ni Todoke or My LOVE story!), but it didn’t made me angry and want to slit my wrists (like Say “I love you” or Wolf Girl). So if all you want is a sweet romance that doesn’t try to be or do anything else, give this one a go. I think you’ll find nothing too objectionable in it (besides perhaps finding the leads to be a bit less interesting than the side characters).

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 1 (movie)
Languages: sub
Official rating: TVPG
Genres: Romance, slice of life
Company: Aniplex
Official streaming: Crunchyroll