Nino Arisugawa is a girl who loves singing and has an enchanting voice. She experiences two heart-wrenching partings in her childhood, one with her first love, Momo, who moves away, then after Nino befriends Yuzu, a young composer, she experiences another sad parting. Each of two boys made a childhood promise with Nino to find her one day through her singing voice. Nino holds on to that promise and continues to sing.
Six years later, the three are now in high school. Nino reunites with Yuzu, but Nino also wants to see Momo again. Yuzu is a member of the masked band in NO hurry to shout. He loves Nino and asks her to be the vocalist of the band to help her reach Momo. Nino strives to improve her singing skills in an attempt to get attention of Momo who is now a professional composer. With music at the core, how will the love triangle play out?
The artwork style used here has a distinctly shoujo feel: long legs, pointed chins, flowing hair and overly-large eyes (even in some of the male characters). In a way, the style reminds me of Natsuki Takaya’s Fruits Basket, particularly in how the faces are drawn.
I found myself being drawn to this anime right from the very beginning. Maybe it was the musical element, maybe it was the budding love triangle or maybe it was the fact that protagonist Nino is clearly a bit of a nutjob. Quote possibly it’s the bizarre mixture of all three. As a main character, I have to admit that, whilst charming, Nino is a little bit annoying. I can genuinely see why her classmates are irritated with her singing all the time even from a young age. And she’s so loud with it, too.
Aside from that, the story behind Anonymous Noise is a compelling one. When Momo moves away, Nino begins to feel like she’s suffocating because she no longer has anyone to sing with. But then she meets Yuzu, and his no-nonsense attitude and passion for music saves her until he too abruptly disappears. Years later she is reunited with Yuzu, who still has feelings for her after all this time, but Nino is still fixated on Momo and using her song to reach out to him. Was it truly him she heard whilst singing for Yuzu’s band? She can’t think of anything else other than the hope that her song had finally reached her long-lost friend.
The more Nino tries to pursue Momo, the more she sings and the more complex things become for her. When she auditions for a change to be a lead singer in a band, she hopes that this will allow her to meet a mysterious composer who she thinks might just be her long-lost friend. However, Momo isn’t keen to see Nino again and the conflicted Yuzu is determined to keep the two of them apart.
The music in Anonymous Noise is great. It’s consistent, melodious and really helps to bolster that quintessential romance and drama that no shoujo anime can do without. It feels like a whole since I’ve watched and enjoyed a purely shoujo piece such as this one. The last instance I think was when I watched Fushigi Yuugi and even that wasn’t really a flat-out shoujo anime. Perhaps another good example would be something like Golden Time. This goes without saying that this isn’t exactly the kind of anime that I usually watch, but when shoujo is written and produced well you can’t help but feel drawn in by the characters and their chemistry, which are arguably the two most important things to the genre.
I’m expecting good things from Anonymous Noise. I want it to keep my attention the way it has been doing and really delve into the love triangle between its three main characters. I want to see the unique parts of the story being used to make the later episodes more compelling and climactic. Shoujo stories usually follow a certain structure with similar results, but the makings of something impressive are always in the details and story nuances which are, in this case music, overcoming childhood trauma, coming-of-age and what singing means to each of the characters. I’d also like to see Nino’s character develop into a protagonist worth having a shoujo anime about, as there is a lot of potential in her character. She has the wistfulness down pat, and her determination to succeed is getting there. She just needs a bit of self-confidence and strength and I’m hoping I see this of her in future episodes.