If you’re familiar with my reviews, then you’ll know I have a soft spot for both shojo and music series. So when the anime adaption of Anonymous Noise combines both, it should be a match made in heaven, right? Let’s take a look and find out!
The story follows Nino Arisugawa who is just starting high school. Nino loves singing and is looking forward to joining the school choir, but before that she checks out a performance from the school’s band club. At this performance she’s reunited with childhood friend Kanda Yuzuriha (or Yuzu as we come to know him), who’s a part of the group. This encounter sets off a chain of events that changes our protagonist’s life forever!
Six years before the beginning of the series, Nino met Yuzu. At the time she was dealing with depression caused by her close friend and love interest Momo Sakaki moving away. Even back then, she loved singing and Yuzu encouraged Nino to keep singing, believing that her voice would lead Momo back to her.
Now back with Yuzu, Nino is drawn into the world of music as she’s recruited into his band In NO Hurry to Shout, which inadvertently leads her to reconnect with old friend Momo. However, Momo doesn’t want to talk to Nino nor resume their friendship which leaves her understandably heartbroken. Hoping that her voice will finally be able to break through to him, she puts her all into helping Yuzu lead their band to fame and fortune.
Despite only being a 12-episode anime, a lot happens in Anonymous Noise. The series jumps between filling in the relationship between the three main characters in the past, while also dealing with the realities of the present day. As episodes go by, we discover that both Yuzu and Momo are in love with Nino, while she’s still in love with Momo, even despite all their years apart. On top of that, Yuzu becomes friends with Momo, unaware that he’s a rival for Nino’s affections!
Despite the ample amount of different plot threads to deal with, the anime pulls everything together well. Episodes are compelling and often end with a cliffhanger, encouraging you to watch just one more episode until you suddenly find yourself at the end of the series. Pivotal scenes leave a lasting impression and the show has a great sense of how to build up the anticipation leading to these moments.
As someone who enjoys shojo and music a great deal, I [like] the balance Anonymous Noise strikes. Every choice the cast makes is driven by love, but that doesn’t take away from their efforts when it comes to In NO Hurry to Shout. Nino, Yuzu and their bandmates Haruyoshi and Kuro want the band to succeed. They’ll give anything to make it happen and that comes through to the viewer in their performances.
The only thing that may put some viewers off is Momo and Yuzu’s personalities. Early in the series, Momo’s interactions with Nino are fairly cruel. He stops her talking to him and acts so cold to her that it’s hard to believe she’d continue to chase after him so earnestly. Yuzu, meanwhile, is simply whiny. He struggles to come to terms with his feelings for Nino, constantly struggling to bring himself to confess to her or remain as friends and help with her pursuit of Momo.
Another minor niggle (which is by no means the fault of the anime), is that the story is left unfinished. This anime is based on a manga which ran for 18 volumes (all available in English via VIZ Media!), but the anime doesn’t seem likely to get another season at this point. I’m sure this will bother some viewers so it’s worth a mention and I would have loved to have seen further seasons of anime since the manga goes to some really interesting places!
The anime has been handled by studio Brain’s Base (Durarara!!, Kiss Him, Not Me; In/Spectre). The animation is vibrant and very detailed from scene to scene. Character designs are very similar to the manga counterparts, which may bother some people since they have quite big eyes! When the band is performing, the studio makes use of 3D models and although this is noticeable, I think they’ve done well to stop it being too jarring.
Where music is concerned, this has been handled by composer Narasaki (Deadman Wonderland, Beatless) and is fantastic! Narasaki has created plenty of upbeat pop songs for In No Hurry to Shout to play as a band, while also offering more simple piano or guitar pieces as background tracks. It’s a memorable soundtrack and fits well with the lively and energetic nature of our cast. The opening theme for the show is “High School” while the ending is “Allegro”, which are both performed by Nino’s voice Japanese voice actor and capture the tone of the series well.
The voice actors for this series also deliver entertaining and memorable performances. Nino is played by Saori Hayami (Kasumi in Bofuri, Shinobu Kocho in Demon Slayer) in Japanese and Juliet Simmons (Chiyo Sakura in Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Momoko Sudo in O Maidens in Your Savage Seasons) in English, who both capture the protagonist’s oblivious and air-headed nature. I’m also fond of Daiki Yamashita (Toya in Log Horizon, Izuku Midoriya in My Hero Academia) and Bryson Baugus (Takumi Aldini in Food Wars!, Misuru in Darling in the Franxx) who play Yuzu and manage to perfectly capture his lovestruck, yet whiny nature.
Anonymous Noise comes to the UK thanks to Anime Limited and is available on Blu-ray. The release contains all 12 episodes of the series with both Japanese audio and the English dub. On-disc extras include clean opening and ending videos, as well as trailers for the series.
Anonymous Noise offers a compelling and memorable shojo series. The twin focus on love and music gives this anime adaption a lot to work with and it certainly delivers. Hard to look away from and easy to fall in love with, this is a show not to be missed if you like this genre.