Kohako is a normal student in the General Education department with absolutely no musical skill, but all that changes when she catches a glimpse of an elusive fairy who lives on campus. The fairy grants Kohako a magic violin, and before she knows it, she’s nominated to participate in the school’s music competition with five very attractive boys. Will she win love and fame, or will bitter rivalry rule the day?
Well, the bitter rivalry hasn’t started yet. But, Kohako does get thrown into the thick of things pretty quickly. In this first volume, she meets a fairy, is drafted into a musical competition, and given a magic violin with little to no instruction. High School’s pretty tough nowadays.
La Corda d’Oro is a series that started as a dating sim game, and its origins are fairly obvious. A normal girl is suddenly surrounded by bishonen (beautiful boys), and she must choose one of them: though we aren’t anywhere near that yet. This first volume is all about setup; getting Kohako in the situation, and introducing all the boys. But this series isn’t just about telling a dating sim story. There is a real conflict being set up here. Not between Kohako and the boys, or Kohako and other girls, though we do see a little of that it here: it’s really between Kohako with herself. She doesn’t believe in herself, or in the ability that lies dormant in her. Even though there will be lots of interaction with boys and the mishaps that come from them, I believe that this story is really about Kohako discovering the beauty of making music. That it isn’t just about technique, but also about emotion, feelings that make the music come alive. And if she just happens to find love along the way, well, double bonus for her.
Something I really liked about this first volume is the way Kohako reacts to Lili, the music fairy. She doesn’t believe she’s seeing it at first, and runs away. She faints the second time, and when she is presented with the magic violin, she refuses it at first, all very realistic reactions, and not something normally seen in a shojo manga. There is a good balance of humor, and drama throughout the volume, making this a really fun read. While Kohako can get annoying sometimes with her constant self-doubt, her realistic, normal reactions to the stranger music students is fun, and somewhat familiar as a former musician myself. Overall, this first volume makes a good impression and makes me want to read more.
Review copy provided by publisher.