Episode 15

by Rose Bridges,

How would you rate episode 15 of
ClassicaLoid ?

ClassicaLoid continues its tradition of bouncing from character to character. This week, we get everyone's favorite no-talent doofus, Sousuke, as the show delves into his insecurities and develops him beyond just a one-note comic relief character.

As usual, Sousuke is a little too obsessed with coolness and popularity. When his school organizes a festival and is looking for performers, he claims out of nowhere to have a band that can do it. Of course, this isn't true, but now Sousuke has to make it happen. He turns to the only group he can think of: the Classicaloids. They're skeptical, but after they all show up at school anyway (for their own reasons), he corrals them into his band.

Of course, the only problem is that Sousuke wants to use this to demonstrate his "musical talent"; as we all know, he doesn't have any. ClassicaLoid has de-emphasized this recently, but in early episodes, we saw a lot of Sousuke attempting music and not being very good at it. More recent episodes have focused more on him being a fanboy who doesn't try enough, but episode 15 proves that even when he tries, he's not able to succeed as a talented musician.

Sousuke mostly ends up copying Claskey Klasky and other idol groups he likes to make a truly horrifying piece of music. It's so bad that it gives people indigestion and breaks things in completely different parts of the school building. This results in a tense scene where the Classicaloids debate who will tell him the truth—Mozart breaks the ice. Motes becomes the secondary protagonist for this episode, with a focus on his grandstanding and lack of a filter. Of course he's the one who snaps and tells Sousuke the truth. Mozart has always been the rudest of the bunch. However, he manages to do it in a way that's still pretty fair to Sousuke's feelings, even if there's no way to be honest without hurting him.

This episode feels like a throwback in many ways. First of all, we haven't had Mozart as a major character for a while. Secondly, Beethoven mentions manning a gyoza stand at the school festival. I thought his gyoza obsession had gone away episodes ago, seemingly replaced by a guitar fixation. Suddenly, it's back! This isn't necessarily bad; ClassicaLoid is a gag anime that doesn't have to be completely consistent all of the time. Plus, it's not like Beethoven ever stopped liking gyoza. I just wonder if it's an intentional attempt to bring our minds back to the early part of the show. Maybe remembering when Beethes loved gyoza will remind us of Sousuke's early attempts at "music."

I appreciated how real Sousuke's characterization felt this week. He's usually over-the-top and somewhat unrealistic in his extreme loser-ness, so it was refreshing to actually dig into his feelings. The Classicaloids attempt to help him when the students demand to hear his work-in-progress piece by improvising some of their own. Instead of making him feel better though, it plunges Sousuke further into despair. He's more convinced than ever that he can't do this right, helped along by his iPad furthering the snark. While he broods by the river, everyone at the mansion worries about him. For as talentless and obnoxious as he can be, Sousuke still has people who care for him—even if he can't see it.

Sousuke ends up breaking up the band and performing his own music—completely original, not copied. ClassicaLoid could have gone the route of having him finally win people over with his "own" voice, but it's even worse than the plagiarized song instead. He makes everyone listening pass out, including himself at the end of the song and even his iPad playing it! There's a great sight gag where it cracks, and the blue face vomits white bubbles. Beethoven quips that maybe this is "the boy's Musik," since it has as dramatic an effect as the illusions the Classicaloids produce. It's most likely a joke, but maybe there is something to non-Classicaloids developing these kinds of powers. After all, he's able to play it later for the other students without making them pass out—just laugh. Sousuke's success comes from finally achieving his vaunted popularity, even if it's not the way he wanted.

This speculation plays into the Bach stuff this week. It mostly stays around the edges, with Bach and associates just visiting the festival because they need to "monitor" ClassicaLoid public performances. His assistant mentions something important, though: the mansion Classicaloids are "five of the Eight Sounds." Presumably, Tchaikovsky, Badarzewska and Bach are the other three. Still, this phrasing sounds important, like it indicates new information about them. I'm guessing we'll hear more about it soon.

That aside, ClassicaLoid was fairly silly this week, even if it was a silliness with some serious emotions tucked inside. Sousuke is still a goofy failure, but we can understand him better now. He feels more human. It's that balance of the sublime and ridiculous that makes ClassicaLoid so good and unique.

Rating: A

ClassicaLoid is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Rose wrote some pretty lousy early compositions, but they never made anyone vomit, as far as she knows. Follow her on her media blog Rose's Turn, and on Twitter.

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