One day a black meteorite fell on the world, and the world completely changed. The meteorite produced grotesque monsters called D2, which started running rampant. D2 very quickly banned all music, which was the one thing able to overcome them. But there were some people who resisted the D2. They are young women who hold the power of music, the "Musicart." These young women hold "scores" that are able to defeat the monsters. And there are also people who lead these women, the Conductor.
Let the Performance Begin -Showtime-
Master and Pupil -Lenny-
Preparing for Battle -Orpheus-
Written by Writers, Played by Gamers If you put a bunch of musicians in a room wtih some storyboarders, what kind of story do you think they would make? Well since they love music so much, they might write a story about musicians using the power of music to fight evil monsters who hate music, and make the villains the antithesis of the joy and beauty of music. Surely they would go for some all encompassing statement on music in general, right? After all they love music so much, they are obsessed with it and would marry it if they could. That's probably the same thinking the writers of this anime had when producing this story, which is about "conductors" giving their life force to "music-controlled human weapons" to fight "monsters who hate music". So basically, soul eater but replace the originality and fun with not much of substance besides sakuga. Only, this was adapted from a mobile game. On god. There is semblence of an attempt to capture a musician's passion for his craft in the form of a main character who cannot think of or focus on anything that doesn't have to do with music, and his quest to bring music to a world without it. This is supposed to appeal to people passionate about music who can see themselves in this character, but it just doesn't work beyond the first couple chapters. This is partially because of that misled ideal of what someone who loves music wants to see, and having to incorperate massive fight scenes into it, and also having everything take place within a world with the premise and plot of an action anime, with all the trappings and archetypes that comes with it. You got your "strong female" character with no personality except for one single quirk having to do with food, your constantly annoyed at the situation character, the unnuanced evil villain who they pretend is secretly evil but everyone can tell is overtly evil, and a series of disposable abstract-looking obstacles with arms and legs for the animation team to work on with overtime. When this show isn't focusing on Takt's feelings for the piano he treats like his girlfriend, it's trying to set up the most washed out and repetitive story possible, where the people protecting the world from mindless monsters are actually the REAL monsters, and for some reason the main character is caught in the crossfire of it and is seen as important even though he has nothing to do with it. While the animation is impressive and has madhouse backing it up so it doesn't get dulled down by mappa, the sound has a lot less effort put into it than it should. I mean it's a music anime for crying out loud, don't just play generic concertos one after the other over mindless battle scenes, give us some artistic vision, give us a reason to feel something about music the same way Tact does. The only time this anime really does that is when two people are happily playing piano in episode two, besides that, I really don't get why music matters at all here. Sure it's part of the plot, but why isn't it ingrained in the themeing? And what in God's name does the Tact holding a conductor's baton have to do with Destiny shooting monsters with a big lazer gun and slicing them with a big lazer gun sword? Sure it looks cool but what does that REALLY have to do with music? He's basically just using her like a remote control. The music is just background noise at best. I'm with boring While the themeing of this show fails to set it above the rest, its characters are where it really falls flat. The main two start out interesting and then immediately become half as interesting as "character development" takes place, basically cycling through these guys' main two personality quirks of eating and piano, never really getting anywhere. It gets to the point where they have to flat out say, in the show by episode seven, "trust me, she's progressing as a character, it just doesn't seem like it. Trust us guys we don't suck at writing, you gotta believe us" in so many words. Aside from the two mains, it's a sushi conveyor belt of either side characters with some potential that they don't do anything with such as the shotgun-weilding Titan and her gay dad counterpart, or the most trite and picture-book graduate of villains who smirk and smile at destruction saying things like "the world is diseased, and I am the cure" with not even a hint of irony or motivation behind it. It also doesn't seem like there was any preconcieved way to tie the main characters into the worldbuilding before they were first concieved, because the reasons anyone even cares about these two are REALLY stretching it. "Oh, they're selfishly living their lives and minding their own business while protecting innocents on the side. We won't stand for this!" which is just a blatant way to say, look, we didn't think this through before we started, but hey, animation! Not to mention the plots of the individual episodes, which feels like the writers knew they can't get away with just showing them fighting yet another horde of faceless creatures, so they instead opt to show us what the anime would be like if it was slice-of-life instead... for WAY more of its runtime than I'm comfortable with. The main characters spend most of their time doing chores, doing a funny "destroy public property" gag, having banter, or just talking to some random guy they met and telling them their basic character premises that we already know. There is a LOT of time wasted in this show, it feels like there's really only enough content for a movie here. This is meant to be a constructive review though, so instead of just explaining everything wrong with it, I'm going to provide a few ideas on how I would improve this anime as well. Instead of focusing on an overarching militaristic society plot which, lets be honest, people starting this show DON'T care about, instead reel it in to focus on the inner workings of the two main characters. Make them stronger leads with their own psychologies, experiences, and really take the time to explore that through their interactions with the world. More importantly, make those interactions have to do with music. People who love music and wanted to experience that passion through an anime about it, don't want to watch characters squabble about meaningless things, do errands for people, and get mad at corrupt business and military people. They want to see someone exploring the magic of music and relating to that. If your theme is music, don't make the theme, uh... megalomaniacs wanting to destroy the world? Lean into mysticism and absurdity. A world governed by your relationship music doesn't have to have a solid structure or worldbuilding similar to our world, play around with physics, integrate music into them, make it bizarre and appealing to the heart rather than the mind. making my way downtown~ Make use of good design choices. The costumes in this show are great, use the animation to highlight them more. And above all, the thing that connects the characters together, and to the world, should not be obligation, danger, or plot, it should always be MUSIC. It's not some kind of philosophy, it doesn't need to get deep or play around with ideas that are only tangentally related to music; music alone should be the focus, a non-idealized realistic sense of passion for the artform. The best moment in the entire anime, the one that made me feel like it was going to be something special, was this moment right here: Give us more of this. This joy, this humanism, the inherent magic that good musicality brings to any media. The action should have been this in the form of a choreographed battle. This is what this anime should have been about the entire time. ~~~ This anime will impress you for the first couple of episodes before you notice it's repeating itself like a comedian with one really good joke in a two hour set. If you want a longer-term investment that will keep you engaged the whole time, go watch something else. 6/10
EDIT: That ending was a joke. WTF. Downgrading score from 5.5 to 4. It literally got worse. Our antagonists were already bland and lacking any kind of interesting backstory or motivation, but now it's progressed beyond a new level of stupid. I won't say anything else b/c I can't without spoiling things, but I laughed out loud when the final boss battle started. --- TL;DR - Looks and sounds pretty, but otherwise not great. Animation is pretty, music and voice acting are good. The battles are very well done, enjoyable to watch. But everything else falls short in two areas, which are arguably the most important - story and characters. Story is uninspired, to be frank. The premise is that one day a bunch of monsters (D2s) invaded the world, and they respond to music so people can't really play music anymore. Except Conductors, because they have Musicarts that are basically weaponized humanoid songs (???), and they can fight the D2s. So those Conductors + Musicarts were able to push the D2s back, and life was just starting to go back to normal, and then... boom, they're back. Cue our main characters traveling to learn about themselves and fight the D2. We don't know what's gonna eradicate the D2 permanently. It's still unclear 8 episodes in where Conductors and Musicarts even came from. The world exists just because. I still haven't figured out what the main conflict is because we keep getting side-tracked by all these dumb things, like eating sweets in New York or battling narcissists. There's something about this that is just so, so uninteresting. I literally can't muster any energy in me to care. To make this uninteresting premise worse, the characters are dumb. And annoying. Destiny is composed entirely of just two character tropes - the glutton (loves food, only talks about eating), and the aloof (socially awkward, can't read a room). Takt, our male lead, is composed also entirely of two tropes - the enigma (mysterious with a traumatizing past a la Sasuke), and the tunnel-visioned (so singularly focused on one thing that he's a detriment to himself and others). Nothing's wrong with any of these tropes per se, aside from being used a little too often. But the way they're used in this particular anime? Bleh. Watching Destiny and Takt interact with each other is like pulling teeth. I've seen pornos with more fleshed-out characters. And you could even tell the writers knew they screwed up - on episode 8, it's like the writers realized how boring and contrived their characters were and suddenly there was a flip-flop; Destiny starts expressing care and behaving like a normal human again, which made her 100x more likable, and Takt now realizes Cosette meant so much more to him and for the first time, he, too seems human? Episode 8 by itself would leave you thinking you were watching an entirely different show. But alas, in episode 9 they're back to being the same glutton and tortured artist duo. You know how in a good story, things are shown instead of explained? Well this show doesn't do that. They literally had to explain that our main characters have matured. Lol ok The only real "villain" we've encountered so far is some pompous, comically arrogant ass who thinks he's the messiah reincarnated. No interesting back story or motivation, he just thinks he's awesome. He's trying to give our main characters a hard time because they didn't agree that he was awesome. I kid you not, that's the conflict - this guy is trying to kill our MC because he refused to work under him. No one f*cking cares. I can't even bring myself to hate him as a villain, he's just dumb. Even the bystanders/townspeople aren't believable as people - they're just there for the convenience of having an audience. In the first episode, one minute someone's playing piano and the next minute, their entire town is destroyed. But then at the end of the episode, Destiny is shown stealing the town's piano and people continue about their day as if several hundred of them didn't just get torn apart the day before. Overall There's this growing pandemic within the anime & video games industries where everyone puts all this attention and energy into appearances and production values, but character progression & storytelling is an afterthought. The beautiful visuals in this show are totally wasted on the writing.
Not the worst thing I've seen but distantly far from the best. Art style is pretty bland but workable. I've already seen 100 other anime drawn just like this. It's not that it's bad, its just cookie cutter in that regard. The action scenes are well animated, so that's a plus. The characters in this are very clichéd and predictable. Standard emotionally blank girl, tortured artist and a tag along to keep them glued together. The character growth felt forced and sudden. We're talking about going from not understanding the concept of a house and why you shouldn't destroy it, to giving up your candy to a crying baby. wtf? That's not something to just magically jump to. In the same vein, this anime will constantly skip over any consequences associated with their actions. Essentially, We're being denied the ability to empathize with these characters or understand how they grew. The standard baddies are mindless. So ok, we get to watch some pixels die. Then there's the intelligent baddies, which are ham handedly plunked right in front of us. I actually started laughing at how poorly wrote they were. clichéd af. We also get their standard bad guy monolog cause they didn't feel the need to show ANY of their motivations leading up to that point however we've already seen so many scenes foreshadowing that they're evil. The story and premise is probably the best thing about this anime, so far. it's absurd and it's what drew me in. creatures that hate music is ridiculous and I love it. This anime doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be taken seriously or doesn't it? It can be quite jarring to watch as they go from heavy to light and then back again in seconds. Who would I recommend this anime to? People who've seen less that 40 anime. A younger version of me would of enjoyed this a lot.
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