This time I will finish our series on La Corda D’oro: I Can Do It For Your Sake by Megumi Fujino (藤野恵美の” 金色のコルダ:君のためにできること”). Let me start off by posting a few of the really cute, manga-style drawings from the book that show the fairies:
Here’s a second page:
The novel has quite a few more manga pages like this, though probably not more than ten.
Chapter 4 focuses on Kazuki Hihara, the trumpet player of the group of central characters. We see Hihara walking around a garden in a residential neighborhood, happily tapping out a song while thinking about playing his trumpet. He meets a woman with a white Great Pyrenees Dog named John and greets them. Hihara then goes to the kitchen to talk with his father over breakfast. The special Hihara family breakfast includes white rice, fried sockeye salmon and miso soup. Even here, Hihara thinks of music and the sound of Hino’s violin. His college-age brother joins them, and they talk about John the dog and a present Hihara wants to get for Hino. When he takes out his trumpet case, Hihara has either a keychain or phone strap with the adorable likeness of the fairy Fata on it. He leaves, intending on asking Hino about the present he wants to get her.
In the next scene, the class bell rings at Seiso Academy, and Hihara talks with his friend Azuma Yunoki about lunch plans and Yunoki’s brother. They enter the classroom as the teacher goes in along with about 30 classmates. Hihara sees Hino near the door but doesn’t get a chance to talk with her. The lesson begins, and I am going to guess this class is on the Chinese classics or four character sayings, though I can’t verify that since my dictionary isn’t helping here to clear that up. But Hihara is distracted in class by thoughts of Hino, and as soon as class is over, he goes to the general studies building to find her. He doesn’t see either her or Len Tsukimori, but he does hear the piano and finds Ryotaro in the practice room. Ryotaro is playing “The Golden Fish” again, which Hihara likes. They talk about the fairies and Hino. Ryotaro suggests he look for Hino on the roof, and Hihara takes his advice.
When he gets to the rooftop, Hihara hears somone playing Faure’s “Après un rêve/After the Dream”:
He decides to wait for her to finish playing before he approaches her, and he notices the fairies Fata and Lili flying around near a window. They are calling his name, and they come to talk with him. Yunoki arrives too, and they talk about Hihara giving Hino the present. Yunoki asks Hihara if he considered seeing what Hino might want for a present; he says he didn’t, but I think it’s the fairy strap he was planning on giving her as a surprise. I think Yunoki just feeds Hihara more doubts about what he’s doing for Hino. This leads Hihara to decide to go back downstairs and give Hino her gift tomorrow because he’s unsure of what her reaction may be.
Hihara then goes to the orchestra department’s practice room where department members are gathered and talking about doing solos or ensembles. Everyone is in high spirits, and the fairies are with them. Oosaki talks a while with Hihara to make plans to practice in that room the next day, but Hihara thinks that was when he wanted to get Hino’s present. They hear a car horn while they are talking, and white van stops near them, ending their discussion.
Hihara is at the train station on Saturday so he can go shopping and ends up near a café, watching a couple on a date walking around the numerous shops on the main street. While he’s looking around the clothing and CD shops, he runs into first year music student Shoko Fuyumi. He talks with her about the present he wants to give Hino. She suggests he buy her a dress. After they spend some time trying to pick one out, Hihara thinks about a market selling antiques in the park his father mentioned and says goodbye to Shoko.
When he arrives at the park, he goes to a food stand and a flea market before running into Lili the fairy. They come to a stall where there’s a fish scooping game, and it seems his classmate Oosaki is running it. The stall has a fish tank with goldfish, and Hihara and Lili try to catch one. The whole exercise reminds Hihara of Ryotaro playing the golden fish song on the piano earlier. They try to convince Lili to use fairy magic on the fish.
Finally, chapter 5 focuses on Azuma Yunoki, and it is titled “A Stadium Monophony.” The chapter starts on a Sunday evening at the Yunoki household. Azuma is restless in his room, which is decorated in traditional style with shoji screens. Sitting at his writing desk trying to fill out his career questionnaire, he doesn’t know what to write. Opening the screen, he goes out into the moonlight, feeling the weight of responsibility to his illustrious family and pressure to conform with certain expectations. Kahoko Hino from the general studies department comes to mind, and he has to smile since he considers her an adorable toy. He plays his flute and thinks of Hino.
The next morning, Yunoki is at the main entrance to the school in his black sportscar.He gets out and goes to the faculty room with his questionnaire, looking for a teacher. Kanazawa greets him, and he’s accompanied by a young man wearing a tight dark gray suit named Fukutani who turns out to be a student teacher. Some girls gather around Yunoki as they talk about his career plan and whether he should continue with music in college. Yunoki looks for Hino among the crowd of girls but doesn’t see her, but it seems she is supposed to accompany him to something at this particular time, so he’s not happy. When the bell rings, they start to disperse, but Fukutani walks with Yunoki to talk a little more about musical talent, then they go to their homerooms to start the day.
That afternoon at lunchtime, the students go out to the sports arena for a soccer game. Yunoki is again accompanied by a flock of girls. After lunch, Yunoki goes back to class and runs into his good friend Hihara and another student named Ogura. There’s a girl playing the violin in a junior contest, and I think she’s the German girl from the first chapter. They talk about her skillful violin performance and the soccer game. The lesson then starts, and everyone settles down. When class ends, Yunoki takes his flute and leaves to go to the practice room. He hears the sound of a violin, which he thinks is Hino on the rooftop playing Faure’s “Lullaby.” Yunoki decides to go to the rooftop instead of the practice room, but when he gets there, he finds Len Tsukimori, whom I don’t think he stops to talk to. Yunoki goes back to the practice room.
After playing his flute in the practice room, Yunoki heads for the main entrance and goes to his car with girls thronging him. His bodyguards deal with his fans while he thinks about Hino who seems to be on the rooftop now playing Paganini. Hihara and his friend Hitoshi Aoyama approach Yunoki to talk about Hino’s contest selection and status as a general studies student, whether she’ll lose the contest. The school soccer match also comes up.
Later when he returns home, Yunoki changes out of his uniform into a kimono. His room is filled with the sweet scent of flowers from the flower arrangements around the room. Hino and her music comes to mind again. He looks at the flowers, and considering them an eyesore, he grabs his flower shears. He thinks of Hino shouting for the general studies ball team if they win the school game, and he decides to cut off the flower bud.
The next morning, Hihara and Yunoki talk in one of the classrooms about the upcoming game and which department will win. He also runs into Kanazawa and Fukutani, and they discuss their predictions for the outcome of the game. The final chapter segment takes place the day of the big school soccer game between the general studies and music departments. The segment goes into the game in detail, which I’m not going to do. Needless to say it’s very competitive. The music department does win, and Hino remains a distant figure throughout the book, though she is never far from any of the boys in her contest circle’s minds. I have to say as someone who watched and enjoyed the anime telling the main story, it’s an interesting technique that makes sense and is kind of sweet since technically the dating simulation game it is based on is a reverse harem where Hino as the player character can date any of her classmates.
Part three of a three part series.
Next time: We return to Korea with the teen romance novel Wolf Boy by Miri Kim!