LA CORDA D’ORO PRIMO PASSO COLLECTION 2

Posted On December - 10 - 2010
  RELEASED BY:   SENTAI FILMWORKS
  ASPECT RATIO:   16:9 ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN
  AUDIO:   JAPANESE 2.0 w/ ENGLISH SUBTITLES
  RUNNING TIME:   325 MIN
  RATING:   TV PG
  RELEASE DATE:   08/10/2010
  REVIEW DATE:   12/20/2010
  REVIEWED BY:   HOLLY ELLINGWOOD



SYNOPSIS:
Kahoko Hino's life has been turned upside down ever since she was given a magic violin and entered in the Seiso Academy's prestigious music competition. Now she's an outstanding new prodigy… but the problem is that, although only Hino knows it, she doesn't play the same way as all of the other students. But is it really just the magic violin that makes the difference? Or are Hino's growing respect and feelings for others in her class clouding her judgment? And then, just when she needs it the most, something terrible happens to Hino's violin!
Contains episodes 14 to 26 on 2 DVDs in a hard shell case.

REVIEW:
The second half of the first season sees the final two selections in the competition and Hino facing her most difficult challenges as a budding musician and as a girl. Things get tense when Hino’s magic violin breaks. It shakes her timid confidence and now without a violin that helps her magically she fears she cannot sustain a single note!

The difficulties of learning what she had developed the basics for and gaining confidence in her innate talent is an uphill battle all the way for Hino. Good thing for her she has everyone in her corner. Although Len’s words are hard, they are meant to help and later in the season he shows a more vulnerable and tender side, particularly during a recital with his mother that is witnessed by Hino.  In fact each of the young men in the music competition have significant one-on-one time with Hino, proving they are each valuable supports for her but also that they each may have romantic feelings for her.

Although the anime does not dwell overly on the romantic connections, they are well sown in the season, especially during the latter half. The series spends time giving back stories for each of the young men, adding insights into their characters and why Hino has touched each of their hearts so deeply. During the final selection, Hino watches each of the performances of the men in her life and reflects on how each in their own individual way has helped her grow as a musician.  During her performance it is as much an expression of her gratitude to the important people in her life as it is an expression of her love for music.

An interesting facet of the anime is that although this is a competition, it does not focus on rivalries so much as how the individuals involved help to inspire each other. It is a much nicer, more cooperative look at competition and how competition can bring out the best in people instead of the worst.

EXTRAS:
Bonus features include trailers of other anime titles along with clean closing and opening animation.

IN SUMMARY:
La Corda D’Oro inspires and captivates! Definitely one of the feel good anime of the year!

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