La Corda d’Oro – lots of pretty guys, and classical music.

La Corda d’Oro
Written and Drawn by Yuki Kure.
Published by Viz Media. 184 pages. 2006. $8.99

Just when I believe that there wasn’t going to be another show just like Nodame Cantabile, came to my awareness about this series several years ago as an anime. Then I picked up the manga to read. The basic premises of the story focus on Hino Kahoko, who got picked to play in a school music competition even though she doesn’t even know how to play any instruments herself. She meets a lot of people, and finds potential in maturing with a genuine passion for music.

Originally this series was  inspired by a role playing video game. La Corda d’Oro eventually had two anime seasons, and various compact disc releases. This book series is probably a good read for any reader who enjoys reading about classical music, and of individual determination to adapt to a situation.

This series also has a reverse harem, so it is clearly targeted toward the female audience. Harems have a particular following within manga/anime culture. A main character, and then a group of the opposite gender. Of course nearly everyone in the group falls for the main character or is significantly affected by their presence and relationship. You see it in Tenchi Muyo, Ranma 1/2, Vandread or Love Hina. Those series appeal to the male audience though. Of course with reverse harem, there the girl with a lot of really cute guys. Fushigi Yuugi, Fruits Basket, Ooku, and Ouran High School Host Club fit the bill for this one.

Of course with the harem element, there is a variety of character types, and so an individual can have a favoring or leaning toward as the one true pairing. There are a lot of men in this series, and I can mention with a straight face that I find my preference in the pairing of Kahoko and Kazuki, even though it appears that Kahoko potentially likes Len the best.

At the moment there is 12 volumes in English, and volume 13 will be released in March. This is still an on going manga series in which, the English has successfully been adapted right alongside the Japanese, so there is no worry about playing catch up with this series.

For potential read alike, of course there’s going to be a long list of potential shoujo choices. La Corda D’Oro already has an interesting perspective that is really not as covered by a lot of other manga at the moment out there. For classical music similarities, there is Nodame Cantabile. For reverse harem there’s Ouran High School Host Club since more than one male falls for Haruhi, not as much as for Kahoko though. Lastly for the inclusion of fairies or other worldly guardians, Shugo Chara, or Full Moon wo Sagashite fit the bill for this.

This really is a female targeted title, so I potentially won’t see guys enjoying this title as much. Any different opinions? Of course I am in the crowd that definitely found similarity with shonen manga, once a reader got over the so many shoujo cliche moments. The main character finds strength and determination to succeed in an area, there are conflicts for the main character. There is friendship, although there is the every popular shoujo idea of an ideal match.

Poignent words, and definitely a scene of change/growth.

10 thoughts on “La Corda d’Oro – lots of pretty guys, and classical music.”

  1. Honestly, this series is kind of upsetting to me, and, as a violinist, I find it insulting. The concept of a magic violin leaves a very bad taste in my mouth, and honestly? This series is not about music and it’s not even close to being worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Nodame Cantabile (which, by the way, is also heavily targeted at females, albeit older ones. If a series is inaccessible to anyone other than its target audience that’s more a sign of bad writing to me). The series is about the reverse harem with the classical music thrown into the background.

    Perhaps my views are biased since I’m a musician myself, but I just cannot sympathize with a character who is granted a magic violin, complains about it, and then uses it as an opportunity to hook up with cute guys.

  2. @stringedsonata I actually noticed that Kahoko is pretty dense as a female character lead is. This manga is an adaptation from the video game, so yes this is an added medium to the previously released game.

    Kahoko from what I can see of her character, she is pretty normal for the circumstances that the plot gimmick has already tied her to. She begins as a non-instrument playing character that does end with losing the competition. However from this loss, she realizes that violin playing is pretty hard. La Corda d’Oro is an entertaining quick read for non-musician readers who probably want to read certain themes like this. I got into this series from listening to the music that was played int the anime, so it had given me the impression that this is a good read for people who would enjoy Nodame as well. Also with the division between shoujo and shonen in Japan, and then the publication here as an imported medium, it is challenging to see if there are not the norm readers. Thank you for your comments.

  3. I totally loved the anime. I took me like a day to finish watching the entire series. Other than her cuteness, she’s just an ordinary girl, but somehow ends up in a group of ikemen music prodigies, with a magical violin! I know it’s a reversed harem, but I was more intrigued to Kahoko’s psychological reactions to each male character. Psychological reaction, what’s going on inside her head, that I can never get to see or feel since I’m not a girl… Yeah, inner feeling of a girl. Girls are the other, that I can never reach, so this anime was a door to understanding of typical ordinary teenage high school girl. I regret that I wasn’t trained musically in early childhood. Since I’ve been hearing girls love a guy who can play musical instruments. Thank God that the anime didn’t have any one true pairing, otherwise, I would have burned myself with jealousy and sabotaged La Corda. I’m the one wants to get hizamakura on Kahoko’s lap instead of Shimizu-kun. Hizamakura, the ultimate skinship…

  4. @monsieur Glad to hear you like it. You’re the first guy I have heard of that liked this series.. ^_^ Still learning an instrument is pretty hard.. so we’re in similar boats. Personally, I never found a guy attractive just because he played an instrument. Guess that depends on the girl though. Oooh.. does that mean that you’re interested in hearing more about other shoujo series?

    1. Thanks for reply. Yup, I’m teaching myself a guitar, but it’s extremely hard, wish I learned it when I was little, so I could play like music students in Seiso High. Or, I may as well have to sell my soul to the devil at the crossroad, like Robert Johnson. You aren’t attracted to a music guy? So, you’re not like Kahoko then, oh well… Yeah, I love to know more about shoujo anime series.

      1. Nah…. I never found myself finding commonality with Kahoko.. she is a very random heroine. I just enjoy the series for the music. I like the opening of this anime, Brand New Breeze. Hmm.. I enjoy watching shoujo anime only here, and there. I do end up reviewing on occasion some shoujo manga. Hmmm.. I like to read Kaicho wa Maid Sama, but find it similar reading to S.A. Happy Cafe is also a pretty good one. Happy Cafe I need to find time to write something about.

      2. Right, a random ordinary girl. Brand New Breeze reminds me of Utada somehow. Kaicho was pretty bad, I mean, why is she so dull? Usually girls have a really acute romantic antenna, don’t they? They can tell which girl likes which boy, or which boy has a crush on which girl, that I can never guess in 3-D. Haven’t seen Special A, so I’ll check that out. I’ll wait Happy Cafe until I read your review like I did for Saruyama.

      3. Probably…. I like how they presented the opening.. so that’s what got me liking the music. Hmmm..well I have a very dense reception of who likes who and who….so my perception of 3-D is very similar to yours. >_< Personally I believe that you never would know until you ask them direct and to the point.

        Kaicho and S.A. are very similar. Both have female leads with pretty dense antennas. I got annoyed/exasperated with S.A. slightly though. Kaicho is okay on the basics that the male lead hasn't loved the female lead for the length of time that S.A. did. Plus what ranks S.A. lower for me, was how much people there were in the story already. Kaicho was much more direct.

        Hmm.. .would you want to try reading Portrait of M&N if you get the chance? http://anime.com/Portrait_of_M_&_N/

      4. Really? Interesting. So, depends on individual then… In America, their facial expression and body language are upfront, so I can guess better than I was in Japan. To me, anime or manga is much closer to America than 3-D Japan in terms of expression.

        I see. S.A. is like KareKano, competing with a top male student, but later on develops romantic feeling. Kind of typical.

        I read a review and surprised by pretty “different” setting, I thought it was something to do with chocolate or cake, patisserie, but totally different. I’ll try to find it at a used book store here. That’s where I got Saruyama too.

      5. Very much an individual experience as some friends do tell me. Personally I really don’t mind.. since my mind is on a lot of other things.

        There is similarities. But no.. S.A. the leads have known each other since they were children, competing when the female first lost to the male….so no excuse! Everyone else knows that the male likes the female.. it is not at all direct until a lot later.

        Are you talking about Portrait of S&M? That manga is done, so it’ll be easy for you to find.

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