When Hino Kahoko was given a magical violin and chosen to enter her school’s music competition, it all seemed like a crazy dream. Even so, now Hino must face up to the reality of the situation, and with only two weeks to go to the first round of the competition, she must not only choose a piece to play, but find someone to accompany her. Could the answer lie not in the music school, but in the hidden piano talents of her classmate Ryotaro Tsuchiura?
After a lacklustre first volume and a general loss of interest in the anime, Corda almost became a series that I was ready to put aside forever, but with a mild curiosity still driving me forward, I decided that the manga was worth pursuing on a ‘slow and steady’ basis. So it was that I came to read this, the second volume of the manga, in the eventual hopes of getting beyond the point where I stopped with the anime.
Unfortunately, we aren’t quite at that point, because the slow pace that characterised the first volume is back- so much so that by the time we get to the end of the book, the first round of performances has even properly begun. Yes, the sparse content and measured pace means that the series will never be taxing on the brain, but at the same time, there’s the ever-present feeling of just wanting to get on with it.
One thing all this meandering does allow for, however, is the chance for some character development, and while it is nothing stunning or ground-breaking, we get a brief focus on Tsukimori before moving onto Tsuchiura, a “general ed” student with surprising piano talent. Having watched the anime, this is nothing new to me, but hopefully it signals the start of delving into each character in turn and fleshing them out beyond their rather simplistic briefs.
Also included at the end of this volume is an unrelated one-shot story featuring a girl whose deceased father’s love of the violin inspires her to aim for a music school scholarship. Like most one-shot shoujo stories, there’s an element of romance in there too, but whilst it isn’t a bad read, the transition between scenes is often abrupt and confusing, whilst the ending is frustratingly inconclusive.
Visually, the artwork seems a little stronger this time around; backgrounds are still rather sparse, but the character designs are beginning to look a little less rough around the edges (either that, or I’m getting used to Yuki Kure’s artwork).
Once again, Corda has delivered a volume that may be easy to read, but doesn’t really go very far in terms of furthering the story. Once, I thought this would be a short series, but at the current pacing it feels as if we will need many volumes just to witness some significant progress.