Although I’m dealing with mostly changes in outlook in this post, I think the reason I like a lot of stuff is the transformation aspect of it all, so in a sense I really lucked out with the theme.
This OWLS tour has the theme of “metamorphosis”. The prompt:
A brand new year means new beginnings and opportunities. We have a tendency to embrace the new year because it’s a time when we can start fresh. For this month’s topic, we will be exploring our favorite dynamic characters who undergo changes for better or for worse. We will analyze these characters’ transformations and how these transformations benefited or minimized these characters’ potential in becoming “great people/beings.” We will also use these characters as a way for us to reflect on our own lives and who we want to become. Lastly, we would like to say “Happy New Year, everyone!”
After whittling the list of Things to Write About down to 3 candidates, the choices were Madoka Magica, Houseki no Kuni and Classicaloid. I’ve written about the first two before and the second season of Classicaloid was made available on Crunchyroll in the past few months, so it’s a good time to make a fairly unknown series known.
Sidebar: I was listening to this song, which is by a Japanese artist called Jazztronik (Ryota Nozaki), while writing this post up. It may not be music from Classicaloid itself, but I think it still has enough relevance to be included since the song’s name is Metamorphosis.
It may not look it, but this wacky show has a transformation aspect to it – in order to unleash their powers, the title characters equip themselves with conductor’s batons and create themselves some mag…er, Musik. Both when using Musik and not, the characters are not trying to hide their identities for the sake of ones they love, which makes them markedly different to my favourite magical girls but makes it easier to weave in the moral that one should stay true to themselves, regardless of what form they take. (Yes, even when you have been turned into a fish with Musik or your Classicaloid form is a hippo, you can stick to this moral.)
I think I was overworking myself on things I shouldn’t have been pushing myself so hard on in 2018, so in 2019 I should do what I do best and take it easy…and maybe clean out that backlog, since my 2018 resolutions swamped me with more anime than usual.
Furthermore, even without Musik, there are morals to be found within individual characters as well. Music-wise (and image-wise), I think Schubert’s character arc best reflects the previous moral, by having it be “finding a genre within which to vent against the rigidity of classical music, while still retaining the core tune of said classical music”. I also think this is what the show does as a whole, but that’s…neither here nor there.
In other storylines, this idea of acceptance is continued, such as one of Chopin’s focus episodes, which involves him overcoming grief from a lover he had in his original life and bringing his virtual idol Jolie to life as a result. Certainly, there are other anime that encourage people to shoot for the stars, but Classicaloid also admits there may, paradoxically, be limits to things you want to change and only understanding one’s limits can stop people from being so reckless.
This is also a lesson I need to take onboard, despite the fact I also brought it up in my Phantom of the Twilight post a few months back…someone told me “you need to vent more” last month when I admitted my anger at a certain series of unfortunate events which put me into a small rut of self-hatred. In short, I need to accept I can’t bottle up my feelings, especially because it is the reckless aiming for my goals that caused me to start becoming wary of more toxic kinds of self-hatred in the first place.
The real star of Classicaloid, despite the name, is Kanae. Unlike most of the anime’s characters with their static characterisation, Kanae tends to be treated with two kinds of characterisations – a willing participant of the others’ antics and the person to rein the others in, allowing her to be more flexible in regards to her role in the story. The reason why I bring this up in a post about change is because she wasn’t always a grumpy “straight man” type: she used to be a lot more optimistic when she was younger, but then she inherited her grandmother’s mansion and dealt with parental drama. In fact, I believe this is why Kanae is the closest thing to a protagonist we’ve got: because she has the sanest, “most normal” outlook on the whole scenario, it’s easy to sympathise with her…
unlike Sousuke, who is made the butt of many a joke.
Classicaloid is not an anime that garners much interest, due to its ability to reinvent itself on a regular basis. However, its morals run deeper than simply “enjoy music”, so it would do people some good to follow them, no matter what morals they may take from watching it.
(P.S.: While updating the links you see above this sentence, it seems Scott took Houseki no Kuni for this OWLS tour, so if you wanted to read about that, head on over once the tour’s done!)