Anime / Classicaloid

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Let's play our Musik! (Left: Beethoven, Right: Mozart)

Classicaloidnote  is a Fall 2016 Anime original series directed by Yoichi Fujita (fairly fresh off Osomatsu-san) and produced by Sunrise in collaboration with NHK.

The series premiered on October 8, 2016 as an Edutainment Show, and is slated to last for 25 episodes. Sentai Filmworks acquired the license for the anime series in North America, and is simulcasting the series on Hulu, Anime Network and Crunchyroll. In Australia and New Zealand, the series is simulcast on AnimeLab. Its official website is here.

It's been described as "[doing] for composers what Bungou Stray Dogs does for famous authors". If you don't know what that means, don't worry. Our protagonist Kanae Otowa and her childhood friend Sousuke Kagura didn't either.

Basically, Kanae's grandma's old mansion is suddenly invaded by two people claiming to be friends of her dad's - Beethoven and Mozart (call 'em "Beethes" and "Motes", because that's what they call themselves). Sousuke has his stuff stashed in boxes in the mansion, so he meets them too. Just when the house is about to be demolished, Beethoven flips out over some failed gyoza and starts to play music, causing the environment around him to act weirdly - mecha appear, paintings come to life and the pet shoebill waltzes along with everyone!

It would not suffice to say that Kanae's and Sousuke's lives are never to be the same again...

Classicaloid provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: Kanae develops this in ep 2 after receiving praise for it by a bustier friend in regards to swimming. It evidently stays in the back of her mind until the birthday party, when Mozart presents her with boob cake. An Armour-Piercing Slap occurs.
    • Highlighted again in episode 8. She becomes conscious of her flat chest while trying on swimwear with Liszt, Tchaiko and Bada, and gets offended when they ask her to change out of the skimpy bikini she had on.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Played with. In real life, Liszt was known for his multiple romances with women and Tchaikovsky was one of the most famous homosexual composers. It appears that being gender-flipped hasn't changed their sexual preferences at all since Liszt frequently flirts with Kanae and Tchaiko has a crush on Bach. However, due to said Gender Flip, this means that Liszt is a lesbian and Tchaiko is straight.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Liszt coins "Cho-chan" for Chopin, highlighting their closeness as friends.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Kanae slaps Mozart in ep 2, sending him flying. It's a plot relevant slap, too - it reminds him of the many women he got slapped by in the past.
  • Artificial Human: The Classicaloids.
  • Bait and Switch: In episode 13, there's a meta example where Schu's Baleful Polymorph plight is unveiled...and then it cuts to Bach, Bada and Tchaiko eating fish.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Episode 13 has Schu, then Beethes and Schu, then the entire group at the Otowa mansion turned into fish (the song used is called The Trout, which Schu becomes). However, at first the fish are realistic but the last transformation renders them anthropomorphic...and not all of the "fish" qualify as fish, as Sousuke becomes a snail.
  • Bears are Bad News: A bear attacks twice during the training sequence in episode 2. Motes manages to knock it out during the second time.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Pad-kun. Yes, that tablet hangs out with Sousuke so much it deserves a -kun suffix and a character spot on the official page.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Classicaloids show up just in time in episode 6 to prevent the second attempted demolition of the Otowa mansion. Bach, however, proves to be the true hero of the day when he neutralises their out-of-control Mujik with Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.
  • Big Fancy House: The Otowa mansion is certainly very old-fashioned and grand, large enough to hold entire balls in the past. Interestingly, there are many musical references and instruments found in the house's design.
  • Call Back: The wrecking ball and its construction crew from episode 1 reappear in episode 6 during a second attempt to destroy the mansion. This time, however, Kyougo's assistant is present to make sure that they go through with it.
  • Censor Shadow: A flashback in episode 4 applies this to a naked Schubert, who is awakened by Beethes' and Motes' escape.
  • Cliffhanger: Kanae's father makes his first appearance outside of flashbacks at the end of episode 5, telling Kanae that he was the creator of the Classicaloids.
    • Unfortunately it leads to an unreveal as Kyougo proceeds to ignore his daughter's questions by giving her joke answers instead. This causes Kanae to agonise over the existence of the Classicaloids for the rest of episode 6.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The Classicaloids are associated with certain colours. Mozart is pink (feminine and childish), Beethoven is red (manly, Determinator for his ideals), Liszt is green (the colour of love in Greek and Roman mythology, hence the cherubs she summons), Chopin is purple (quiet and introverted), Schubert is orange, Tchaikovsky is light blue, Badarzewska is magenta and Bach is dark blue.
  • Conspicuous CGI: Mostly used during the Musik sequences to highlight the weirdness of the illusionary world(s) that it creates, in contrast to the rest of the show.
  • Credits Jukebox: Each episode has a different Ending Theme, usually a longer version of whatever new Musik was used in that episode. On rare occasions that no new Musik is used, a previous song is selected that hasn't been in an Ending Theme yet, for example Episode 11 features Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" which was from Episode 5 but was not used as the Ending of that episode.
  • Cry into Chest: Kanae breaks down crying as a result of stress from pent-up emotions in episode 6. Liszt offers her a hug, resulting in this trope.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The emperor penguins in episode 5 waste no time in beating up the army of mice-men sent to retrieve the Classicaloids from the mansion. The mice are transformed back into their normal state and are sent fleeing.
    • Bach swiftly defeats both Beethes' and Motes' Musik combined with his own, demonstrating that he has complete control over his own.
  • Downer Ending: Episode 16. Tchaiko's attempts to make up with Bada are dashed at the last moment, causing Bada to double down on her Musik and win over the crowd into worshipping her.
  • Escaped from the Lab: Beethes and Motes are shown escaping with the help of Kanae's father in Schubert's flashback in Episode 3.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Beethes summons emperor penguins with his Musik to combat King and his army of mice-turned-men created by Tchaikovsky. The penguins waste no time in absolutely stomping the mice, with the biggest highlight of the battle being a huge penguin in Napoleon clothing slapping King out of the area.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Schubert hasn't adapted to the present day at all. Unfortunately, without someone to correct him on what's socially acceptable and what's not, he earns himself a reputation of a creep and the police gets called on to arrest him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The symbol on the wrecking crew's helmets is later shown to belong to the agency headed by Bach (Arkhe).
    • Motes is shown reading a book about kite-flying festivals in episode 2. Episode 4 features said kite-flying festival.
  • Gender Flip: The most notable of the changes to the Classicaloid versions compared to the original ones are that Tchaikovsky and Liszt are female. Averted by a composer who was actually female in real life (Badarzewska).
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Episode 8, which is even titled as such. Having never experienced one in her life, Liszt brings Kanae to a Clasky:Klasky concert, and meets up with Tchaiko and Bada, whom she reveals to have invited as well. They proceed to relive their stress and vent their frustrations - particularly about the male characters, much to the horror of Sousuke, who is shown to secretly following them around.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Tchaiko and Bada initially clash with Liszt at the beginning of their girls' day out. Tchaiko and Bada lampshade their supposed enmity, telling Liszt that they hadn't expected Kanae to be present and that it makes them feel conflicted over being friendly with each other. However, they later loosen up and become friendly.
  • Gratuitous Animal Sidekick: Hashie, the blue shoebill. It seems a bit shoehorned in, mostly for comedy.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language:
    • Gratuitous German: The "let's play our music!"note  line is spoken in German by Beethes in episode 1. It's a different catchphrase for Mozart ("Feel my music!")note , but the same language. Although to be fair, the real Beethoven and Mozart would've spoken German anyway.
    • Continuing the tradition, Liszt and Chopin speak in German ("Music is love! Love is music!")note  and Polish ("Your music will turn to Nothingness!")note  respectively when using their Musik in Episode 3. Amusingly, Chopin's Polish was pronounced badly (though the subs for it were correct).
    • Likewise, the Austrian Schubert uses German. "Lässt unsere Musik erklingen!" ("Let our music ring out!").
    • Gratuitous Russian by Tchaikovsky in Episode 5: "Пусть музыка принесет всем счастье" ("Let music bring happiness to all!")
    • Bach also uses German for his Musik in Episode 12 - "Füge dich zusammen meiner Melodie!" ("Join together my melody!").
    • Gratuitous Polish for Bądarzewska in Episode 14 - "Ja gram. Ja modlę się" (I play. I pray.) Also counts as a subtle reference to the song that shot her to fame, A Maiden's Prayer.
  • Historical Beauty Update: The references to their real life selves (notably in episode 3, where Beethoven said he met Liszt as a young boy) means that this trope is in effect for the Classicaloids.
  • In-Series Nickname: Beethoven and Mozart introduce themselves as "Beethes" and "Motes" respectively. Invoked by Kanae's father, who didn't want them to use their real names.
  • Magic Music: Basically the concept of Musik in a nutshell. Certain effects are determined by the song that is playing, such as Beethoven's Symphony No.6 causing living beings and inanimate objects to dance, and Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik allowing him to grant people's wishes. However, it is noted that Musik can be entirely random in the sense that the Classicaloids themselves have no idea what songs will play and what effects they will have, making the usage of Musik unpredictable.
    • It is possible to have two or more Classicaloids use their Musik at the same time in order to overpower the other(s) in battle. However, too many at once makes the Musik to go haywire, causing ear-splitting vibrations in addition to the Classicaloids being unable to stop casting their Mujik.
  • Man Child: Motes and Beethes most definitely, but the rest of the Classicaloids have their moments as well. It's quite telling that one of the sanest members of the cast is a teenager with a temper problem.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Liszt sure likes to hug Kanae a lot, often leading to this trope.
  • Morphic Resonance: Episode 13. Beethes' eyebrows are still on his fish form (a black bass, due to his leather jacket), Schu retains his glasses and the style of the transformed people's eyes indicate who they are.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Schubert normally gets subjected to this trope, as he starts idolizing his senpai when he first wakes up (buck naked) and in episode 13, he becomes a trout in the bath... which results in no usage of Magic Pants when he changes back.
  • The Not Remix: Half the gimmick of the show is to rejig classical songs so that they have a modern flair to them, just like what happened with the composers themselves. Not even the very popular Eine Kleine Nachtmusik is exempt from this treatment...
    • On rare occasions such as episode 13, there is no "not remix" due to the absence of new Musik used in the episode.
  • Not-So-Forgotten Birthday: Episode 2 for Kanae. She bursts into tears and confesses her desire to celebrate it when her friend Uzuki reminds Kanae of her upcoming birthday. Sosuke overhears it, and uses it as an excuse to get Beethes and Motes to use their Musik.
  • Once per Episode: A Classicaloid unleashes his/her Musik powers, causing a Transformation Sequence (be it detailed or quick) and one of their associated songs to play.
    • Subverted in Episode 11, where they manage to resolve the problem without Musik. As a result, the ED for that episode was Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker despite Tchaiko not being involved in the episode. Again subverted in episode 13, as Schu sings the song of the day to invoke his Musik.
  • Past-Life Memories: The Classicaloids seem to be unable to remember their past lives as composers. Triggering one of these memories are essential for them to utilise Musik.
    • The amnesia seems to be mostly confined to Mozart and Beethoven or highly selective. Tchaikovsky and Badazewska seem to remember their past selves fine and Liszt has apparently told the same stories about Chopin's past girlfriend many times.
  • Psycho Strings: Used in Episode 17.
  • Put on a Bus: At the end of his introductory episode, Schubert gets entangled in the strings of unsecured kites, which apparently carry him all the way to Africa. Guess he won't be returning for a while...
    • The Bus Came Back: He arrives at the Otowa mansion two episodes later, understandably confused as to what's going on.
  • Real Place Background: Classicaloid is set in Hamamatsu, a coastal city in western Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is famous for being an industrial city, especially for musical instruments, hence the nickname "the City of Music". Its only skyscraper, Act City Tower Observatory, is noted in-series as looking like a harmonica, and it serves as the base of operations for Arkhe, Bach's talent agency. Meanwhile, the annual Hamamatsu Kite Festival serves as a backdrop for Episode 4.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Played straight by Beethes in ep 1, but most notable is the variant in ep 2, where the camera spends a good few seconds just focussing on Motz's angry face with glowing pink eyes.
  • Scenery Censor: To Schu in episode 13, due to his Baleful Polymorph scenario first occurring when he is in the bath. Beethes' head acts as the censor.
  • Screw Destiny: Some of Beethes' ramblings involve him monologuing about defying fate, particularly in episode 1 while leading up to his transformation. He seems to take fate pretty seriously.
  • Small Taxonomy Pools: Goes hand in hand with Misplaced Wildlife for ep 13, as freshwater fish (brown trout) are shown with seawater fish (clownfish) in a pond, and a brown trout is let into the sea because he spells "I want freedom" with sticks and Sousuke never questions it. The former trope is zigzagged due to Pad-kun identifying each of the species of fish (and snail) at the end of the episode to be types that some people may not have heard of.
  • Sneeze Cut: Beethes and Motes simultaneously sneeze when Schubert praises and curses them respectively in episode 4.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The Classicaloids whose surnames are taken wholesale (e.g. Bardazewska) are exempt from this, but the ones that get abbreviated by katakana (e.g. Motes/Motz) get a lot of this.
    • For a while fans were unsure how to spell the Classicaloid's "ムジーク". It could be written as Mujik, Muzik or Musik. Crunchyroll went with "Musik" under the assumption it was referring to the German word for "Music" and the official merchandise confirms that is the correct spelling.
  • Training from Hell: Motz gets this treatment in ep 2 to activate his Mujik powers. However, he ends up learning how to survive without Musik instead.
  • Transforming Mecha: An effect of Beethes' using Symphony No. 6. The wrecking ball crane and mechanical organ from episode 1 turn into robots that initially clash before becoming ballroom dance partners. The stove in Episode 13 is a mecha in the truer sense of the word in that it's controlled by fish-Schu and fish-Beethes. (Also it turns into a crab.)
  • Transformation Sequence: Apparently part of the Classicaloid shtick. It tends to evoke the typical Magical Girl sequence due to all the sparkles and ribbons...so in short, Classicaloid = Magical Maestro Boy/Girl. (Funnily enough, Motes' hat only changes shade.)
    • Bada's transformation in particular is the most evocative of magical girls due to the pink background, heart motif and the final pose she makes.
  • Visual Pun: Beethes' Piano Concerto No.5, also known as the Emperor Concerto, summons emperor penguins.
  • Walking the Earth: Schubert, presumably to find his "Beethoven-senpai".

"Das Ende!"
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