I am very impressed with Noitamina this season, as we’ve got a sequel to one of the best sci-fi series I have ever seen and now a show that offers an entirely different genre. This is how Noitamina should run their programs– have two varied anime series with overhanging themes, and stories. They sure have hit the nail on the head with this year: Samurai Flamenco‘s second half alongside Gin no Saji‘s second half– one show that shifted into a very real tokusatsu series, and the other being an educational outlook on agriculture. The spring offered us Nanana, an decent adventure mystery series that had its up and downs which focused more on over-developing its characters rather than focusing on the light novel that the story should have been based off of.
In that same airing we had one of the most amazing series about sports– Ping Pong the Animation where Masaaki Yuasa provided his unique vision by incorporating a visual feast in animation accompanied by some of the best dialogue [with the help of the amazing manga] in recent years and a wildly ramped up soundtrack as a bonus. We aren’t even halfway done yet! The summer season did something rather unique– have one 24 minute series, and another hour long series. The hour long was the re-edit of Psycho-Pass, an interesting view on a dystopian world bound by the Sibyl System. The other was one of Shinichiro Watanabe’s masterpieces, Zankyou no Terror, an exposition on today’s current events with themes of terrorism, technology, and the introspection into the lives of human connections and how far people are willing to go to improve a country. Whew, this has been one heck of a year for Noitamina and it doesn’t stop there! Thanks to these two Fall season anime shows– Psycho-Pass 2 and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
Kousei is gradually getting over the fact that he can’t play piano– this provided some wonderful moments between him and Kaori. The cafe scene detailed Kousei’s fear of ever playing again, and Kaori takes notice and upon hearing his rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is completely enthralled. Here is where it gets very good for the main cast as we’ve got this trope of opposites attract with a bit of a twist– they both love music which ultimately brings them closer together as musicians and friends.
Initially I did not feel that the middle-school setting would be appropriate to capture classical music to how Nodame Cantabile pulled it off with university students– but this worked out extremely well here. When Kaori recruits Tsubaki to help her change Kousei’s mind about playing piano for her the level of energy these youths were able to portray here was engaging and very hilarious to watch. Plus what’s even better was how fluid the animation was in his reactions to seeing all the sheet music in the school, in his locker and at his house. Very humorous scenes that began overturning quite effectively I might add to the overall emotional impact his mother had put on his piano playing.
A nod to A-1 Pictures for delivering one of the most beautiful series to back up a very solid plot we’ve seen this year: the background designs are well-drawn and with how bright its characters are the CG animation sequences especially Kousei’s piano playing with those kids at the cafe were spot on! A series which focuses on music, and romance, that strives to be authentic with its four leads and this episode pushed the limits a lot with those elements!
The manga started in 2011 and as it stands now is still ongoing, keeping this in mind I am very glad that this series will be 2-cour as it would be hard for the writer, Takao Yoshioka to screw this up and give it a Gecko ending. If anything we could see this series doing what Gin no Saji did, and broadcast split-cour– that would work out in their favor for this series.
I cannot wait for Hikaru Nara by Goose House to be released! Love this opening!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 9/10