By Leroy Douresseaux
October 4, 2008 - 15:41
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Kahoko Hino wanted to enter a prominent musical competition at Seisou Academy, a high school which is divided into the General Education School and the Music School, Kahoka, a General Ed student, can’t play any musical instruments. After the music fairy, Lili, gives her a magical violin, Kahoko can suddenly play like an expert.
In La Corda d’Oro, Vol. 9, Kahoko is dealing with the aftermath of her magical violin running out of magic. Still, she is determined to learn the violin on her own, although the decline in her playing is noticed by the other music students. As she struggles to prepare for the “Third Selection” in the school’s music competition, Kahoko also finds herself drawn further into the affairs of the other students, oblivious to the fact that one of them has unexpectedly fallen in love with her.
THE LOWDOWN: This shoujo manga (girls’ comics) series is based upon the Japanese role playing game, Kin'iro no Corda, and La Corda d’Oro is Italian and translates to “the golden string.” This is a beautiful drawn story, and the handsomely composed characters – with their wavy hair, large expressive eyes, and gorgeous faces – are endearing. Yuki Kure is also good at posing her characters; the way they move, their stances, the way they relax, etc. add layers to the emotions and mental process of the characters. The writing is also strong on characterization, which serves this character drama/high school soap opera very well.
If there is one thing that stands out as a problem for La Corda d’Oro, it’s that because so much of this series is about musicians and performing music, the story feels empty and too quiet without the gentle strains of beautiful music emanating from the panels of this manga.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Shoujo readers will like the spunky heroine, Kahoko, as she actually tries to pull off a miracle and learn to be a credible violin player in just a short amount of time.