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Natsuki Hanae ...
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1 July 2012 (Japan)  »

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Good atmosphere, a few troubles with pacing.
30 June 2016 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

The show has a nice balance between drama and gentle comedy. The humour is mixed in smoothly, never obtrusive or breaking the mood. And setting this mood it does very well, with a few effective imageries and no unnecessary vocalization. Overall the emotional moments are well executed, not over the top or forced and with plenty of build-up.

It starts out at a comfortable pace, taking enough time to set the mood and establish the story and characters with their backgrounds. And where it matters it continues to develop the characters in that same measured pace as well. But about half-way the shows staggers, as it continues in little story-arcs focusing on a single character. There are some touching moments and the segments are well executed (it does feel rushed in some spots), but a lot is quite secondary to the main story. You could take them out and the whole would be just as coherent (perhaps even more so). The show systematically lets its characters resolve their issues, as if wanting to place a checkmark next to each name. One character at a time is put in the spotlight, while the others take step back and wait their turn. It makes the collection of individual stories rather segmented, instead of an intertwined whole. It picks up a bit of a 'one step forward, one step back'-routine. The story loses momentum and is in danger of becoming repetitive.

The characters are nicely rounded. Not particularly complex or original, but they're likable, feel real and fit the atmosphere with their not too outspoken personalities, which are established naturally and unhurriedly. Even some supporting characters which at first glance may seem flat, get fleshed out a bit in later episodes.

For a show focussing a choir, it doesn't feature a lot of music. The soundtrack consists of only a handful of songs, which are enjoyable, but not much more. Even within the context of show, the music leaves but little impression.

Though it misses that bit of extra originality or impact to make it a classic, it's still quite well executed and truly enjoyable. I'll gladly recommend this one if you're in the mood for some gentle laughs and mild tears.


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