|▪||PUBLISHED BY:||VIZ MEDIA|
|▪||FORMAT/COLOR:||JAPANESE FORMAT/ BW|
|▪||REVIEWED BY:||HOLLY ELLINGWOOD|
The prestigious musical competition held by the elite Seisou Academy is underway. Against all odds Kahoko has been accepted to compete with her magical violin and love for music, but up against the insufferably elitist students at the school, she is having trouble fitting in and finding her way. The first stages of the competition are coming up and Kahoko has to find an accompanist and a musical piece to play, but lacking friends and even gaining some enemies, can she rise to the top with all odds against her?
This is a charming shojo story about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, striving to beat all the odds to have her talent recognized hopefully by the end. The manga series has high hopes, a lovely musical undertone to it with all the references to music and the clear love the characters have for it. This volume not only focuses on Kahoko’s struggles to prepare for the first round of competition but also sees some changes in her relationships with two very different men who may have more in common than they think.
Stand offish Len Tsukimori is a superb violinist who keeps everyone at a distance and puts his music first. But it is clear he’s lost his heart for music. His meetings with Kahoko show her knack for insight at rare moments and the deeper effect it seems to have had on immovable Len, who isn’t quite so intractable anymore as he gives her a bit of help. Then there’s her fellow Gen Ed student Ryotaro. He despises the snobbish attitude of the music students and wants to protect Kahoko from their cruelty and the harsh life of music competition. But Kahoko is about to uncover a startling secret about Ryotaro which will likely seem him play a much bigger part in her life and this series in volumes to come. A growing romantic triangle, budding angst and hidden histories all with the backdrop of a music competition, it makes for a finely tuned romantic manga series.
Extras in this manga volume include a bonus story “Tomorrow Will Be Golden” which is a bittersweet piece about music, love and the passing of childhood. There are also end notes giving information behind the music pieces and references made in this volume, “Backstage with the Journalism Club” which gives character bios on the Journalism Club members in La Corda D’Oro, and there are some character introductions at the beginning of the book.
La Corda D’Oro is a manga series with finely tuned romantic intrigue.