La Corda d’Oro Volume Two is a manga written by Yuki Kure, and it was published in North America by Viz Media’s Shojo Beat imprint in 2007. The series is rated “T” for teens; from what I’ve read of this series so far, I would agree with this rating.
Kahoko Hino is a general education student as the prestigious Seisou Academy, which is home to both a general education program and a music program. A presitigious musical competition is held every two to three years for the music program. One day, Kahoko encounters a fairy who gives her a magical violin and enters her into the musical competition.
At the beginning of this volume, Kahoko is trying to figure out how to get ready for the first round of the contest. She has significant interactions with the two male characters who are poised to be the main love interests: Len (an aloof violin player competing against Kahoko in the competition) and Ryotaro (a general education student that she gets to know in Volume One). Kahoko, along with the reader, is given some backstory for Ryotaro. The volume ends with the first round of the competition about to get underway.
As an added bonus, a one-off story called “Tomorrow Will Be Golden…” is also included. While there isn’t any link between this story and La Corda d’Oro, this story is also about characters who are musicians. This is actually a sweet story, but I can see why it was simply a one-off; it just wouldn’t have worked as a series of its own.
From the concept that was established in the first volume of La Corda d’Oro, the progression of the story in this volume is believable. I also thought that there was some fantastic character development for Ryotaro in this volume. Hopefully, since Len is poised to become another love interest, that some more character development will be done for him in an upcoming volume of the manga. As things stand right now, I see no real reason for a reader to want a Kahoko and Len pairing.
It’s also interesting to note that Lili, the fairy that got Kahoko into this situation to begin with, really isn’t as integral to the story in this volume. He only gets a couple of appearances, with one at the beginning and one at the end. On the one hand, it’s nice that Kahoko isn’t relying too much on Lili’s help and is trying to do things on her own. But on the other hand, I would have thought that Lili would still have a bigger role in the story this early in the series. Again, this may have more to do with the fact that this manga is based on a Japanese video game than in Kure’s writing style.
While the fantastical element is still the reason why Kahoko is in her situation, the series seems to be focusing more on drama in this volume. In some respects, this makes the volume a little easier to read for someone who is a fan of drama.
If you like stories that focus on music and drama, and also have an appreciation for shojo manga, then you might like La Corda d’Oro Volume Two.