M.A.OKousuke ToriumiTomoaki MaenoJun Kasama
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: C
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Yoichi Fujita
Writer: Ichiro Sakaki, Michihiro Tsuchiya
Actor: Mikako Komatsu, Nobunaga Shimazaki, Tomokazu Sugita, Yuuki Kaji, Akira Ishida, Aya Endo, Kousuke Toriumi, M.A.O, Mamiko Noto, Taiten Kusunoki, Tomoaki Maeno, Asuna Tomari, Jun Kasama, Junichi Yanagita, Kenta Sasa, Kuniatsu Watanabe, Minami Shinoda, Misaki Watada, Yoko Hikasa
Keywords: anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Season One: episodes 1-12
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=17269
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 2 June 2017
It's likeable. It's funny. I'm moderately fond of it. However it's also so static that I ended up fast-forwarding through episodes, even though they looked quite good. Nothing mattered. Nothing was going anywhere. I won't be watching Season 2.
The show's premise is that someone's been resurrecting dead musicians as ClassicaLoids. There's Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Schubert, Bach and more. They don't seem to be robots, so they're probably lab-generated clone people or something. This means it's not really them, so the show can turn them into idiots, change their gender and give them superpowers.
BEETHOVEN is now a super-intense maniac who's obsessed with... something pointless. This is usually cooking gyoza with flamethrowers.
MOZART is a pink-haired man-child who rides roller shoes in the house.
LISZT has become female and is sex on legs, except that she never does anything.
CHOPIN is a shut-in who wears cardboard boxes on his head and can only interact online.
SCHUBERT is a massive Beethoven fan.
Put them together and you'll get chaos. They can't do anything. They've got the common sense of kittens. Tell them to tidy the house and you'll come home to find the roof painted pink and the kitchen knee-deep in water. Beethoven will also have probably burned something down, but that almost goes without saying. These are amusing people and I like them, but they don't exist as dramatic characters. Their desires and motivations are static. They'll worship something, in a passive way that has nothing to do with doing or achieving anything. Schubert worships Beethoven, who will be roaring hot-bloodedly about something meaningless. Liszt wants to wax rhapsodic about love. Chopin wants to be alone in a dark room. Mozart... well, it's hard to get much of a handle on what Mozart wants, beyond dressing like a magical girl and being joyfully irresponsible.
If you let these people do whatever they wanted for a hundred years, nothing would have changed. If a fairy granted their every wish, very little would have changed. (Mozart and Liszt would probably be having busier sex lives, but then again we don't know how much sex they're having offscreen here. They're both fun-loving libertines who attract the opposite sex.)
It's a fun show. It's an absurdist, light-hearted comedy, so why should I be criticising it from a dramatic point of view? Lots of anime is just as static, e.g. harem comedies. I've seen intelligent, sophisticated reviewers explaining why they love this show and I can understand that, especially if you're a classical music buff. Personally, though, I find it takes the air out of a show for the cast to be doing stuff Just Because It's Wacky. Even if a show's format is rigid, the characters still need to be trying to move forward.
For me, anyway.
That said, the show isn't all about its ClassicaLoids. There are also less undynamic characters. Most important is Kanae, the schoolgirl and fire-breathing landlady of a ClassicaLoid-infested house. (Rats would be less trouble.) Kanae's capable of being fun-loving and whimsical, but she has to wield a rod of iron if she doesn't want to be trampled underfoot by all these overgrown four-year-olds. I liked Kanae. She's the show's heart. She actually has a meaningful motivation, i.e. to protect her late grandmother's mansion, both from halfwit tenants and from property developers.
There are some pseudo-villains. They fulfil a villain-like plot function without doing anything bad, as far as I could see, but they do at least have objectives and attitude. I liked them. Even people who like the show are liable to agree that it improves when Bach, Tchai and Bada are getting more to do. Then there's Kanae's childhood friend, Sousuke, who's an amiable waste of oxygen and makes even ClassicaLoids look intelligent and useful. He's almost turned himself into a surrogate ClassicaLoid by virtue of hanging out with them all the time and behaving just as badly, but he does actually have life goals in a way they don't. Admittedly they're disreputable goals that demonstrate how lazy, parasitic and delusional he is, but they're goals.
It's just not very good. Theoretically it's doing everything you could want from an anime comedy. I approve of the eccentric subject matter and I'm vaguely fond of its often-mental humour, but I think the show got carried away with itself. It's having so much fun with its wacky cast that it forgot to give them anything to do. They just show up at Kanae's house and act like lunatics. That's all they'll ever do. There's no suggestion of hidden depths. However they do have charm and the episodes are individually pretty good. It's only when you're seeing them as a series that you might start getting itchy.
This isn't a children's show. It's family-friendly, but it's a normal anime. It's aimed at an adult audience, not primary school kids or anything. However you might find yourself giving people a false impression of kiddification if you're not careful when discussing its wacky childish characters, its humour, its superpowers and its storytelling flaws.