Episode 3

by Rose Bridges,

How would you rate episode 3 of
ClassicaLoid ?

With the third episode of ClassicaLoid, we get our two latest additions to the cast: Chopin and Liszt. Like Kanae's two previous tenants, they're both colorful characters in their own ways. When they answer Kanae's ad for new tenants, they manage to cause even more trouble—especially Chopin, who hides in a closet and therefore can't work to pay rent. Of course, this all gets resolved by the end of the episode, through the power of Musik!

Liszt is a flirtatious, beautiful woman who enjoys teasing men and women alike, particularly Kanae. Though Liszt was a man in real life, he was extremely popular with the ladies. He was basically the 19th-century version of a pop star, making women swoon with his flamboyant performing style. It's a little harder to pin down where Chopin's reclusive personality comes from, although Chopin in did prefer private salon performances to public ones in one real life. That being said, he did quite a few of those early in his career to establish his reputation as a popular pianist. He wasn't a recluse; none of the composers in ClassicaLoid so far were, though Beethoven would come the closest due to how much his deafness isolated and tortured him later in life. I'm guessing this is an exaggeration of Chopin's portrayal as a "tragic figure," because of his early death from disease at age 39. I found it interesting that this shy Chopin was more social online, forging a bond with Sousuke through social media before he could open up to anyone else.

Despite their divergent portrayals in ClassicaLoid, Chopin and Liszt actually had a lot of interesting similarities in real life. Both were early Romantic composers who became known as performing pianists with emotional playing styles. (Although Liszt continued composing much longer than Chopin due to a longer lifespan.) Both had significant relationships with famous, rebellious French female writers: Marie d'Agoult for Liszt, George Sand for Chopin. (They may even have fought over their respective girlfriends.) They were both Eastern European composers (Chopin was Polish, Liszt was Hungarian) who often wrote music based on their native countries' folk traditions. I wonder if the ClassicaLoid creators were aware of these many similarities when they decided to pair these two characters together. It makes me wonder if they'll introduce future composers in other thematic groupings.

Moving back to the episode, something about the other characters insisting on Chopin joining their party triggers one of his memories, leading to a Musik sequence using his Nocturne no. 2 in E-flat Major. I'm surprised they didn't use his "Tristesse" Etude in E Major, which seems to be a perennial favorite of anime, appearing in titles from Fullmetal Alchemist to Baccano! to Your Lie in April. I appreciated that the show had Chopin speak Polish rather than French (he spent most of his career in France) or the German it used for the other composers. If you were wondering what he said, since Crunchyroll left it untranslated, it was "your music is meaningless," coinciding with the pessimistic nature of his song and the rest of his transformation speech.

Chopin's Musik comes and goes quickly, with the goal of isolating himself further from the group. It doesn't prove nearly as powerful as Liszt's Musik, to the tune of Liebestraum (German for "Love Dream") no. 3. Her powers make everyone starry-eyed and loving, encouraging Kanae to let Chopin live in the house after all, even if he can't pay rent. The scene was a little unnerving, but hopefully these powers may have a more lasting effect on Kanae. Her hard-heartedness is starting to get annoying, coming across as just mean rather than merely "responsible." After all, who could be that resistant to living with the reincarnations of a bunch of famous composers?

Overall, Episode 3 wasn't as narratively strong as the previous two episodes. The plot jumped all over the place, mostly just to further that Kanae is strict, and everyone around her is a different kind of goofball. We did learn a little bit more about the "agency" behind everything, as it seems composers are leaving out of a lack of desire to be part of Bach's idol group. But is that really all there is to it? Why would the more excitable, extroverted Mozart resist in the same way as a Beethoven or Chopin type? Will Liszt stick around with Chopin, or will she report back to Bach-sama?

I'd love to get answers to those questions and learn more about Bach's shadowy group, as they continue their hunt for our Classicaloids. Still, the core appeal of this silly show is zany jokes accompanied by amazing music, and on that front, episode 3 still completely delivered. Chopin and Liszt bring two new colorful extremes to the cast, and with Schubert seemingly joining next week, I'm sure things will get even crazier on ClassicaLoid.

Rating: B

ClassicaLoid is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Rose's favorite Chopin piece is his Military Polonaise in A major; her favorite Liszt is his Hungarian Rhapsodies. Follow her on her media blog Rose's Turn and on Twitter.

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