Aki Miyagawa moved to Tokyo to pursue her dream to be a taiko drummer, but had a hard time balancing her strict training regimen with her part-time job. Now, after 15 years, she's returning to coach others for a taiko festival.
At first I didn't look forward to watching it since I thought it'd be bad. I had never been so wrong. I enjoyed this anime from the beggining to the end, its story is well-written and more than a few of us will feel related with the problems of the main character. I'm really impressed that in less of 22 minutes explained such a great story as depth as this one. About the music: I might accept this is one of the main reasons for which I liked this short anime, it was really good the sound of the drums. But also it's important that I mention that overall the music was good. Finally, I'd like to say that I hope that Japanese government keep this proyect of Anime Mirai. Even when we might not get stories like "Death Billiards" all the time, we find good and entertaining stories like this one. PD: I'm sorry if i have some mistakes with my writing, English is not my native lenguage.
Usually when an anime is about a specific hobby/passion of a character like music or sports, its portrayal makes you more passionate about that topic regardless of your initial interest. Aki no Kanade, on the other hand, did not make me more intrigued by taiko drumming in the slightest. Excusing this anime for its short runtime seems unfair to the Anime Tamago that actually make good use of your 22 minutes. So let's talk about the pacing. We start from the perspective of jaded 30-year-old Aki. As she recalls her past, we get into the long flashback portion. Here the short really detracts from its message. From the first half of the flashback the audience already clearly sees Aki's passion, failures, and resulting regrets that formulated her adulthood. We didn't really need more development from her younger self. What we do get is a drawn out struggle which introduces more elements (e.g. her father's disapproval) and makes it harder to tie up when the story concludes with her older self. As much time as the anime spends on Aki, her character as an adult still seemed underdeveloped. She seemed pretty listless as an adult, but extremely energetic and self-confident (to the point of even being self-centered) as a child. People can change, sure, but for the story the change didn't serve its purpose. What the short seemed to go for was a contrast between her older and younger self, and an eventual rediscovery of that younger self. But we don't see that remembrance affect her character. She essentially carries out what she promised to do from the beginning of the short. This whole re-discovery journey of Aki's could have been portrayed perfectly just through the music scenes - as an less passionate adult, as an energetic child, and as a reinvigorated adult again. But the only emotion we get from the drumming scenes is a :D from Aki, even in the opening scene as a supposedly jaded adult. The sameness of the opening and ending performance implicates that her experiences in this short didn't affect her as a musician, thus making the music theme purposeless. While this short had a lot of potential, it left me with some mild confusion but more overwhelmingly a "meh." (Recommendations: If you only care about better pacing and the music element, maybe check out Hakubo - although do read Nekus's review where I also call it "meh" haha. If you are not short on time, then watch the entirety of Sound! Euphonium, which is the reverse of this - an indifferent girl growing into a passionate, ambitious young woman.)
Warning this Review May Contain Spoiler More anime Mirai, who doens't love these cute shorts and this probably is one of my favourites (even though I haven't watched too many of them). So drumming, I found this an interesting topic to follow with quite fun characters and for anyone who is looking for a short then this would be a great one to watch. STORY So we follow the story Aki Miyagawa who wants to become a professional taiko drummer in Tokyo however it doesn't work out as she planned. It is a basic story which would be perfect as a short anime however it did seem a bit rushed at certain points therefore I would say the story was holding this back. I also would of liked a bit more about certain characters in the story, but it was enjoyable. ANIMATIONThese Anime Mirai shows generally have good animation and this was no exception, it was amazing and there were hardly any clear mistakes. So overall the animation was great but not perfect...honestly I haven't got too much to say about it. SOUND Drums, drums and drums...I just love the sound of drums and the sound in this short was amazing. If you are interested in music based anime I assure you that this won't disappoint, as well as the voice acting being realllllllly good. Again nothing really to complain about. CHARACTER Now here we might have a problem, the characters that were introduced I liked but there wasn't enough of them. We had Aki our main who we saw thoughout we got to know a lot about her such as her life and who she associated with but as this is only a short then it is understandable that they only focused on one character but they did introduced so many other ones that kind of just got left behind. So to improve this I would say make it longer or into an actual series so we get to know they minor and secondary characters slightly more. Overall love this short but needs to work on characters and how many they want to develop. -AngelBeatsYui- PS: This was part of the Daily Anime Marathon in March 2016
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