What’s it about? A long time ago mysterious monsters called “D2” were produced by a fallen meteor and began to take over the world. When all hope seemed lost, “musicarts” rose up against them along with conductors and used the power of music to win battles. Takt is a young conductor traveling to New York with a musicart named Cosette; while they have different objectives, they’ve established a cooperation of convenience when fighting the D2s.
When I heard that MAPPA and Madhouse teamed up to work on this series, I knew it was going to have gorgeous animation, and I’m happy to report this show is hella pretty. It’s clear the animators are having a fun time experimenting with different animation styles, from the opening looking like the art found in Witch Hat Atelier to the fluid Fate/Zero action sequences (I hope they are getting paid well [Ed. Note: they are not]).
I also like the usage of music during the fight scenes, even though I don’t think Takt is particularly useful in battles. I understand that he provides Cosette with the energy she needs to fight, but overall he isn’t compelling and he mostly complains in every scene he’s in (he sure knows how to play that piano). I want to like Cosette, but aside from her great combat sequences she has such a robotic personality that it’s difficult to be interested in her after the fights are over. I did enjoy seeing her throw Takt into that car, though.
After watching that nice intro, I was disappointed that the show just throws the audience into the middle of the story and hopes the subtle hints mentioned here and there will be enough to keep viewers around to find out what happens next. Why are Takt and Cosette traveling to New York? Why does Cosette need to be “fixed”? I think these questions COULD be compelling… if the characters were actually interesting and had chemistry with each other.
Takt and Cosette don’t get along at all and merely see each other as a means to an end for their respective goals. He wants to play music and she wants to destroy D2s, so it’s a win-win situation, but damn do I wish they were more engaging to watch.
I’ve honestly been so spoiled by the fun character relationships in The Case Study of Vanitas that everything else just feels boring by comparison. I do wonder if maybe it’ll become another Demon Slayer, in the sense that animators and anime fans alike can enjoy it solely for the various animation techniques on display even if the plot is weak.
I’ve mentioned that I like the use of music in the fight scenes, and the show establishes the importance of music early (it’s rarely listened to for fear of D2 attacks); but the soundtrack felt surprisingly forgettable in a show where the power of music is supposed to prevail. This is concerning when it’s supposed to be the central theme of the show, so I’m hoping the next couple of episodes will create a better balance between the music, the plot and the characters.
In short, it’s a pretty show, but I don’t think I’ll stick around for the plot. It just wasn’t for me folks.