Entry updated 24 January 2022. Tagged: TV.
Japanese animated tv series (2021; vt Tákt: Op.). MAPPA, Madhouse. Directed by Yūki Itō. Written by Kiyoko Yoshimura. Voice cast includes Eiji Hanawa, Satoshi Hino, Kaede Hondo, Miku Itō, Kōki Uchiyama and Shion Wakayama. Twelve 24-minute episodes. Colour.
Shooting stars rain onto the Earth and their "beautiful stones" are studied by Scientists. Some years later, a second meteorite shower falls, but these are dark and bring forth D2s, violent Monsters of varied but colourful appearance that are drawn to Music, resulting in its complete banning. The D2s are subdued by Musicarts, brightly attired young women wielding exotic Weaponry, each associated with a piece of classical music and each guided by a conductor. They are created and trained by an organization called The Symphonica, led by Grand Maestro Sagan (Hanawa); it can be inferred that the Musicarts' powers derive from the beautiful stones.
Twenty years later, in 2046, the ban on music is relaxed: Takt Asahina (Uchiyama) and Cosette Schneider (Wakayama) play a piano duet at a festival. But it seems the D2s are resurgent: they attack, Takt loses an arm and Cosette her life. Takt awakes with his arm restored and Cosette seemingly alive – but she is now a Musicart (likely due to a locket she wears, which significantly seems to hold a stone); she calls herself Destiny, because "I was born from the score Symphony no.5 Destiny", a Beethoven piece they had played, and Takt is her unwilling conductor. Destiny is unstable and temporarily absorbs Takt's arm for nourishment whenever she transforms (see Parasitism and Symbiosis), whilst Takt's health is declining: so the pair are driven by Cosette's elder sister, Anne (Hondo), to the Symphonica's headquarters in New York, where another Schneider sister works as a scientist. During their trip they are aided by the Musicart Titan (Itō) and her conductor, Leonard Flyheart (Hino), a former friend of Takt's father; meanwhile, the initially robotic Destiny becomes more human and grows closer to Takt and Anna. It is not clear whether any part of Cosette still exists within Destiny (see Identity).
Leonard dies saving Takt when Grand Maestro Sagan attempts to kill him. Traumatized by the suffering of the soldiers he had persuaded to sacrifice themselves when the D2s first arrived, Sagan is psychologically disposed to martyrdom ("Pain is true happiness") and plans to draw all the planet's D2s to him, sealing them away ... a side-effect being the death of everyone in North America. Though managing to kill Sagan before he succeeds, Takt then lies moribund until Destiny saves him, at the cost of her physical form: she turns into a pendant. Takt is put in Suspended Animation whilst he recovers; waiting his return, Anne joins the Symphonica, now wearing the pendant – she will be the new Destiny.
This is an enjoyable series that promotes classical music, though ragtime and jazz are given time in the limelight. The animation is lively; the main negatives are Takt not being a particularly engaging protagonist and the current gaps in the worldbuilding – such as the nature of the two meteor showers: they could constitute an Alien Invasion or the D2s might be a bizarre natural phenomenon. Answers may be provided by the 2022 mobile phone Videogame Takt Op. Unmei wa Akaki Senritsu no Machi o, for which this Anime is a prequel. [SP]
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