Episode 16

by Rose Bridges,

How would you rate episode 16 of
ClassicaLoid ?

ClassicaLoid episodes fall into roughly two familiar patterns: riffs on the composers themselves and riffs on common anime clichés. The latter are much fewer and far between, but no less amusing when done well. This week's ClassicaLoid falls into the very familiar pattern of "main characters get a boring part-time job." But this time around, those characters are Mozart and Beethoven.

Also, they're not just doing it to pay the rent. They're still having issues with that and likely always will, since Kanae is a strict mistress, and none of these guys have much work ethic outside of music and their other hobbies. Beethoven might put his all into making the perfect gyoza, but that's because it's gyoza. He can't be expected to subsume himself in anything lesser! Funnier than all of this is the real goal of their job-hunting. Kanae makes a joke about sprucing up the bathroom with a fountain statue, so Mozart and Beethoven set their hearts on earning her a merleopon.

The episode starts in a fairly cliché place but slowly grows weirder. They start out by looking for music jobs, at Bach's company and as music teachers, but that doesn't work when they're rejected for their "off" attitudes. (Odd enough, since both composers taught students music in real life.) Mozart and Beethoven's first jobs after that failure are pretty standard, like working at a convenience store. They manage to bungle that too, especially when Beethoven gets a little too passionate about frying the gyoza. The show wisely skips through the bulk of their occupational misadventures to cut to their final destination: their "new life" as farmers in a remote part of Japan. Harvest season is coming up after all, and that means the money will soon be coming in!

Mozart and Beethoven's friendship forms the heart of this episode. Despite what Schubert thinks, it's easy to see why they get along so well. Both of them are deeply silly goofballs—just in opposite ways. Beethoven takes himself far too seriously, while Mozart doesn't take himself seriously at all, which makes both of them into complete fools of themselves. This is especially on point this episode, as they fail at job after job for opposite reasons. Beethoven gets too into it, ignoring his bosses' specifications, while Mozart treats it like one big joke. You don't want either of those personalities on any job—at least not if you're the boss.

ClassicaLoid does a fantastic job relating this dynamic back to the other characters this week. Everyone at Kanae's house is excited when they hear about the merleopon, and they start working to make it a reality as soon as possible. None of them expect Mozart and Beethoven find much success, so Liszt and the others take matters into their own hands in different ways. Liszt uses her unique artistic sensibilities to create the perfect merleopon, but then scraps it because it's "not what she intended." ClassicaLoid could have used this for a tired quip about pretentious contemporary artists, but it went somewhere far better instead: a dick joke. When we finally see Liszt's masterpiece, it's blurred out. From the overall shape to Liszt's comment about it squirting straight up, it's not too hard to figure out what she made. Well done, Liszt.

Chopin is the other key supporting player this week, even getting the ending theme song! He runs into Beethoven and Mozart after they've settled into their "new lives" in the countryside. Apparently, he's not as much of a shut-in as we thought. He embraces this adventurer side of himself by going on solitary rural walks, where he won't run into people he knows. Liszt calls this his "out-cluse" mode. He switches back and forth between this and his usual hardcore NEET demeanor to keep himself content. It's hard not to see the appeal; I'm an introvert myself, and there's something relaxing about being alone in the wider, populated world. Anyway, while he's more comfortable in his skin outside than we've ever seen him, this doesn't keep him from panicking when he recognizes his former housemates.

Mozart and Beethoven ultimately go home anyway. The status quo must be retained for the next episode, right? Even with their empty pockets though, it doesn't feel like a reset. We learned so much this week about their relationships and even saw Chopin grow into a real character with a secret other side that no one (save Liszt) had seen. Even Schubert gets some moments in the limelight, moping about his senpai's disappearance. It also reminds us just how skilled ClassicaLoid is at raunchy humor. Like Chopin's "outcluse", ClassicaLoid doesn't always reveal that side of itself, but when it does, you definitely stand up and take notice (just like Liszt's finalized statue).

So while we see plenty of Beethes and Motes in goofy uniform, episode 16 feels different from a typical "job episode." It starts out simple enough, but by the end, they've somehow turn into an elderly farming couple, slipping easily into the role as they grasp at a pastoral fantasy that can't last forever. They aren't suited to this life any more than they are to their other jobs. They make the hills sing with their Musik, but we really love them for the silly jokes, so they need to return to the city with their friends.

I love seeing the many different moods and premises ClassicaLoid squeezes out of its odd formula. It's always very meta, but both the "lives of famous composers" and "anime tropes" are deep wells to plumb, each offering endless possibilities for ClassicaLoid's twisted sense of humor. This week might be one of the best blends yet for ClassicaLoid's perfect mix of warmth, laughs, and just plain weirdness.

Rating: A

ClassicaLoid is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Rose's most entertaining—and exhausting!—temporary job was her day as an extra in a Hollywood movie. Follow her on her media blog Rose's Turn, and on Twitter.

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