[Review] DYNAMIC CHORD – episode 1

Production group DYNAMIC CHORD manages several top boy bands, including rêve parfait, apple-polisher, Liar-S, and the popular KYOSOH. The other three groups aspire to be as good as KYOSOH, even as they attempt to adjust to life as an idol – the click of cameras accompanies them everywhere, and Reon of rêve parfait in particular worries that doing commercials and other promotional jobs will tarnish their image in their fans’ eyes. But bigger problems are lurking on the horizon for the boys – KYOSOH’s vocalist, Yorito, was last seen driving in the rain with the top down, and he hasn’t been showing up for practice. KYOSOH asks Reon to fill in for him, but when a magazine announces Yorito’s leaving the band, will Reon be forced to choose between the two groups? Or is this the end for KYOSOH?

Source: Anime News Network

It’s going to be impossible for me to talk about DYNAMIC CHORD (so many caps-lock titles this season!) without comparing it to TsukiPro the Animation, because they’re basically the same show. Each follows four all-male music groups through the ups and downs of their career. Neither features a single female character nor even the implication that women might exist, somewhere, perhaps on an island in the Aegean Sea. Each was created primarily to sell singles and merchandise. Hell, each even features the main group working in a commercial in the premiere.

A young man with multicolored eyes holds a crepe and looks concerned. Subtitle: "You tink we'll be able to face our fans after selling out like this?"
Oh sweetie, you sold out long before you had any fans.

I say “basically the same,” though, because there are some differences. Dynamic Chord is about rock bands while TsukiPro is about pop idol groups. TsukiPro‘s story (and I use the term loosely) is about singers preparing for a major performance, while Dynamic Chord is more interested in inner-band drama and the fallout from that. Most noticeably, though, TsukiPro is by far the most polished of the two shows—so polished, in fact, as to leave nothing but a shiny, featureless surface where an actual personality would normally go.

Dynamic Chord, on the other hand, is rough. Sometimes hilariously and wonderfully so. There are random music videos in the middle of the episode for no apparent reason, the plot twist at the end is set to someone just banging ominously on piano keys over and over again, and that band animation… mwah. Chef’s kiss. Tons of reused shots (often within the same song), lots of jerky camera to make the still frames seem less still, and the “animation” of people “playing” guitars looks like they took a paper cutout of the hand and just ran it up and down the neck. Also, the number of times someone’s paper-cutout-hand slides suggestively down a mic stand is positively lewd.

An all-male band performing on an open-air stage. In the middle, the singer holds a mic while a drummer and drum set is directly behind him. A man on guitar and another man on base stand to either side of him.
LISTEN, this would have been top-tier CG animation on the original Playstation.

This lack of polish carries over to the characters as well, who have much more distinctive designs than the glossy sameface of TsukiPro, with lead singer Reon’s gold-and-blue eyes serving as the Extra cherry atop the Edgy sundae. And, while their personalities are by no means layered, they do at least get to emote and act silly, nervous, and especially ANGSTY. From the opening shot of a Sad Boy sitting in his convertible in the rain and the opening theme entitled “p.s.i hate you♡xxx,” you know there’s gonna be some Dashboard Confessional-levels of Boys Having Feelings in this show.

It’s all handled with the subtlety and depth of a sledgehammer, the plot takes way too long to actually appear, and the characters are still pretty flat… but there is, at times, a kind of charm in its cracked surface and chipped edges. Someone is at least trying to make this an actual story with actual personality, as opposed to the sanded-down block of wood that was TsukiPro.

I mean. C’mon. Just look at that header image. They put sunglasses on a cat. They can’t be all bad.

A man with his back to the camera faces a grand piano in a darkened room. There appears to be a white stuffed bunny atop the piano, but it's in shadow and hard to see.
Angst dot png

None of which is to say that Dynamic Chord is “good” or that I’ll be coming back for more. Music shows aren’t really my thing, and Dynamic Chord is barely mid-tier even within the genre. But there was a time, many eons ago, when Teen Dee would have almost certainly gotten sucked into this unpolished pretty-boy band drama and stuck around for at least another episode. So maybe I’m inclined to be a little nicer to it because of that.

 

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  • Dee

    Thanks, Matt!

    The reason we don’t include links to streaming sites is because shows aren’t always streaming on the same site in every nation/region (and in some places they aren’t streaming at all). Tracking down the complete list of nations/regions and who’s streaming what is time-consuming at best and outright impossible at worst, and we don’t want to give our readers incorrect or impartial information.

    Sorry we can’t be of more help in that regard! ANN’s Preview Review Guide (which we do link to at the end of each review) contains information/links to where shows are streaming in the U.S., so if you’re based in the states that’ll be helpful to you. Past that, hm… a show’s Wikipedia page often lists who’s licensed it in different nations, so you could try that, too, maybe?

  • Sorry Matt, I’ve just today changed our policy so we no longer link to the preview guide, but because.moe is often a great resource to see where shows are streaming in your country. Or you can of course just visit ANN and check out their preview guide without our link. I hope that helps!

    • I never knew about because.moe! That’s SO useful! Thank you SO much! Have a wonderful day!