Never judge an anime episode by its first 10 minutes.

Summary:

Kanae and Sousuke are two good friends, who both have a connection in some way to music. The episode begins with Kanae visiting her deceased grandmother’s mansion before it gets torn down. Meanwhile, she has to deal with the antics of her friend Sousuke, as well as two weirdos who call themselves “Beethes” and “Motes,” and who have apparently decided to live within the mansion.

Beethes constantly attempts to cook gyoza (badly) while Motes just goofs around. Kanae eventually gets so fed up with everyone that she kicks them all out so she can clean the place in peace. As Beethes and Motes sneak back into the mansion (with Sousuke’s help), Sousuke reveals a bit about Kanae’s history. She comes from a noble lineage, and her family used to be rather wealthy. However, after her grandmother died, her father wasted his inheritance traveling the world attempting to search for something. Her mom got fed up and left, so now Kanae lives all alone.

It’s hard to take a good screencap of the entire mansion, but I really like the design of it. It has an obvious music motif.

As Kanae cleans the mansion, she reminisces about the time she spent with her grandmother. She is especially attached to the large organ in the center of the mansion, which she was never able to make work.

The next day, the demolition crew show up to start tearing down the mansion–with Beethes and Motes still inside. Motes somehow manages to make the organ work again. Upon hearing the sound of the organ, Kanae begs the crew not to demolish the mansion; but it’s too late, and the first wrecking ball smashes into the house. This causes Beethes (who had been cooking) to drop his gyoza to the floor. In a fit of rage, he transforms and starts playing “Musique.” This causes strange things to start happening around the mansion: ghostly couples appear and start dancing, the demolition workers also start dancing, and… the organ transforms into a mecha, and dances with the demolition truck–which has also turned into a mecha.

And then Beethoven was a magical boy.

I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.

After Beethes finishes his song, the demolition guys all ride out, terrified by what they had experienced. And thus, Kanae is able to keep her grandmother’s mansion, and Beethes and Motes get to stay (much to Kanae’s disapproval). Meanwhile, a few other characters talk to a man they call Bach, about two ClassicaLoids who have gone missing…

My Opinion:

Holy crap. There is a lot of stuff I want to say about this series, so this is probably gonna get kind of long.

When I first went into this series, I was not very impressed. The pacing for the first half of this series is almost abysmal. The first glimpse we get at the episode is a weird 30 second segment about Beethes trying to cook gyoza, and Kanae getting mad at Sousuke for something. There were so many scene changes and weird camera angles that it was hard to follow exactly what the hell was going on. I appreciate the effort in trying to be uh… “artistic,” but that was such a mess of a scene that I’m sure a few people would have just given up on that series right then and there.

After that, we are treated to around 10 minutes of the most banal anime slapstick nonsense ever. We are formally introduced to Beethoven and Mozart (who call themselves “Beethes” and “Motes”), and god are they infuriating to watch. Beethoven is “the guy who yells about everything” and is also obsessed with gyoza??? And Mozart’s incarnation in this anime is as a pink-haired prettyboy who is also a literal manchild. That’s it, that’s their personalities. If you want to watch this episode, be prepared for around 10 minutes of their grating antics. For this part of the episode, it felt like the writers just went, “HEY LET’S JUST THROW IN RANDOM CLASSICAL MUSIC AND RANDOM MUSICAL WORDS AND RANDOM DEAD CLASSICAL MUSICIANS! THAT MAKES AN INTERESTING ANIME RIGHT???”

After having to sit through those 10 minutes, I was prepared to write up an angry rant review about how bad this series was. But then the episode hit its half-way mark and it’s like some sort of gear shifted–or another writer took over. Because the episode became… actually kind of okay? After Kanae kicks everyone out, we are treated to a lot of flashbacks where Kanae remembers how much time she spent with her grandma within the mansion. I really like how the flashbacks were handled; with the flashback scenes taking place in the same room that Kanae is currently in. But the main reason why I liked the segment so much is because it was such a nice respite from the 10 minutes of anime yelling and shouting that I had to sit through.

We then get some backstory for Kanae thanks to Sousuke. Apparently Kanae’s mom just abandoned her? I mean, I get being sick of her husband’s irresponsibility, but leaving your kid totally alone just because of that is… uh… not great parenting.

Anyway, after that few minutes of peace and quiet, the episode decides to end on a bang. We are then treated to the most utterly ridiculous, over-the-top, colorful scene in the entire episode; which is caused by–wait for it–Beethes dropping his gyoza. It is an absolutely stupid reason for Beethes to use his magic powers just for that (and not because the house is being demolished) but whatever. Beethes’ transformation and magical performance were a real treat to watch. Kanae meets with a ghost (or at least a projection) of her grandmother, and dances with it. That was actually really cute. But what slayed me was the fact that the organ in mansion transforms into a freaking MECHA. And it dances with the mecha created by the demolition machinery. I lost my shit at that sequence. It just has to be seen to be believed. Really, the entire musical performance scene was simultaneously the most cheesy yet amazing thing I have witnessed in a long time.

Admittedly, after finishing the episode, I am kind of excited to see what the second episode will bring. But, other than the bad pacing of the first half of this episode, I do have some other criticisms. First off, why are so many of the characters so aggravating to watch? Of course I mean Beethes and Motes, but Sousuke (the other “normal” character) was also annoying. He’s like that kid that constantly gets shoved into lockers at school. I really hope these three get some kind of character development, or at least a little more toned down, in future episodes. Kanae at least is okay so far; as is Sousuke’s robot/tablet companion (which I completely neglected to talk about in this review so far, whoops).

Secondly, the whole premise of the series could be a huge turn-off. I suppose this series is kind of like Bungou Stray Dogs, in that it’s taking famous real life people and making anime characters out of them–except in this case it’s famous musicians rather than novelists. Still (and this is just my personal opinion), I have trouble really being “offended” by these portrayals. It’s obvious that historical accuracy is not what this series is going for. I mean, Tchaikovsky and Liszt are female in this show (their real-life counterparts were male). Also, I highly doubt the actual Beethoven was obsessed with gyoza (and I doubt he’d even got a chance to try it). Ditto with Mozart, who in this show has long pink hair. It’s sort of hinted at the end of the episode that these people are “ClassicaLoids,” which I’m assuming are just virtually created beings. Other than sharing the same name and playing the same music, there’s no other relation. (I think? I’m not a classical music buff so I could be wrong.)

Third criticism: an extremely petty one but man are the ClassicaLoids’ speech embarrassingly cheesy in that really “anime” way. They toss out words like “fate” and “destiny” more than Ikuhara does. But… at least the episode’s soundtrack was good. Which isn’t hard since it’s mainly just classical music (remixed!) and it’s hard to mess up classical music that badly.

Overall, this first episode was a large mixed bag. It’s definitely not a masterpiece by any means, but gosh darnit, the last few minutes of the episode were so much fun to watch. I’m… I’m torn. I am actually tempted to blog this series. I guess it’s up to the second episode to convince me whether or not to go through with it.

Out of five for this episode:

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More of this, please.

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