Story: I absolutely adore music and the art of playing an instrument. I was hoping to see the beauty of music mixed with some shoujo to create an all-together pleasing anime in La Corda d'Oro. Sad to say, I was highly disappointed in what a huge failure this anime was. It did not succeed in creating a good or coherent storyline nor make me appreciate music more than I already did. It was extremely slow and awkwardly paced with no coherence between the characters, their actions, or the behavior towards each other. Each episode ended strangely, trying to create suspense in the most ridiculous way, leaving me confused at what just happened rather than compelling me to watch the next episode. A good majority of the plot was extremely cliché and predictable, making it rather gag-worthy and frankly I had to force myself to finish. The characters were also very annoying in someway or another, especially the main lead making the anime thoroughly unenjoyable. I really hoped that it would improve later on through the show but it stayed consistently bad all the way through from start to finish.
Animation: I will give props to the rather lovely animation. The colors were vibrant and rich and when necessary more faded, especially during sunset when there is a more subdued haze. The people and background were nicely detailed and had lively expressions. The few problems I had though were the ridiculous hair colors chosen for the males and Fuyuumi. They were so glaringly vibrant and unnatural that they looked really tacky and had they been less fake looking, the characters would have been more attractive. The skin colors of some of the characters were also rather inconsistent. The biggest flaw in animation I saw would be the incoherence between playing the instrument and matching it up the music. There were clear discrepancies and also some of the playing was unnatural and awkward looking. Other than that, it was pretty decent animation.
Sound: The music was quite enriching at times while forgettable at others. The pieces played for each selection were lovely and made me want to go look up the pieces. The opening was beautifully played and sung though the ending was somewhat forgettable. The rest of the soundtrack was fairly decent but at times a little too dramatic for the seen or rather generic. I somewhat expected the soundtrack to better considering this anime revolves around music but it was very lacking in comparison to the selections pieces. It was generic and forgettable for the most part but the selection pieces stayed with me so I'd have to say, on the whole the music was pretty good.
Characters: Probably the biggest downfall for the show would be the lackluster and annoying characters. This is probably the biggest group in an anime that I strongly detest. One flaw that all the characters shared was their miraculous hearing for music within a 5-mile radius. It was just too implausible for them to hear music every time it is played especially if someone is in a store or in a sound-proof room. As for individual characters, the main girl was downright a pain. She whined, complained, cried and ran away from her problems constantly through the anime. She was selfish and uncaring towards music and her friends and had skewed logic that did not make sense especially when playing her magic violin and the way she dealt with the 'traumatic event' at one of the selections. Her "ehs?" drove me up the wall. She never paid attention to where she was going and would always run into people. She also fell in love with every single guy which was disgusting. She was also very inconsiderate through her actions, like the way she treated Lili or the way she would ignore people when they talked to her. There are just too many traits of hers that I dislike that I can't possibly list down all of them. Why a majority of the males fell for her is beyond me and they never clearly state their reason for why they like her. Their love for her is just extremely incomprehensible.
The male cast and the other females weren't much better. Tsuchiara did not have a good reason for giving up on the piano the way that he did though I did feel for him when he was forced to choose between music and sports. Hihara was funny but I could not get over the fact that he liked Hino-san so he alternated between being comical and annoying. I actually liked Len’s character because he had depth and had to deal with bullying yet he never gave up on the violin. Shimizu was fairly humorous though I didn’t like how he spoke so slowly. Yunoki was the one male I absolutely loved. The way he called Hino out on her flaws was refreshing and I’m glad that he verbalized what I was thinking. Fuyuumi is probably one of the most pathetic females I have seen. She can’t stand up for herself, and even cowers behind other females like a 7 year old kid when a male compliments her on her playing. The cast lacked in depth for the most part except for a few characters with few redeeming qualities.
Overall: An inconsistent anime that lacks character development and remains stagnant throughout. The characters were fairly generic stereotypes and when they tried to add depth, the attempt mostly fell flat. The plot had drama that was lame and predictable and could be seen a mile away and did not make me want to continue watching. This is not an enjoyable anime for romance or music lovers. Do yourself a favor and don’t bother watching this below mediocre anime.