Takt is the son of a musical prodigy that died ten years ago in an alien invasion of beings called D2s. When D2s attack Takt’s hometown he summons a “Musicart” and becomes a “Composer”, a being born from music with amazing battle powers used to fight against the aliens. When it is discovered that his Musicart is not “tuned” properly, he must travel to New York to meet the association of composers.
Takt is a character who feels abandoned. Abandoned by a society that has moved on from music, and by extension, moved on from his late father, whom Takt idolized. With Takt intent on maintaining the tradition of music, he isolates himself from the rest of the world, which he describes as “annoying”. So he plays piano, alone, in his garage. That is until Cossette, his neighbor, starts insisting on visiting him daily. She was the prelude to Takt’s journey to understand the people around him, to understanding people’s relationship with music, and himself. If I had to guess, Takt must be the protagonist of the game the show is based off of because more is said about him than he says about himself. We never stop hearing from Cosettes’s sister about how gloomy and selfish he is because our guy has a one track mind about music and music alone.
Destiny looks exactly like Cosette, which is the problem for 50% of the show. Destiny is what the show calls a “Musicart”. These are humanoid beings born from music that are basically super fancily dressed weapons/instruments that bind to “conductors”. As it would imply, conductors conduct their fighting. Destiny lacks much of any personality besides being over the top in any force she applies. I gathered that each of the Musicarts are named after famous classical pieces, with Destiny aptly named after the over the top Bethoven piece. What I don’t get is, while the other Musicurts have distinct personalities, Destiny comes across as more robotic. She is the classical “call it as they see it” without regard to social norms. These characters always feel uninteresting because they know a convenient amount to function, but never enough to fit in. So it shouldn’t be a shock that she becomes more and more human as the show goes on.
Anna is our driver, and not a whole lot else. She reminds me of Megan Fox’s character in the 2007 Transformers movie. She has the car, the connections, and she is a girl with an emotional connection to what is going on. But she has no powers. I keep trying to convince myself that she was helpful in cementing the bond between Destiny and Takt, but I think her role was more along the lines of vocalizing mental changes and conflicts Takt would not. Maybe that role is more important than I give credit to, but I think she could have played a bigger role. Not to mention the incredibly confusing last episode from her where everything, from her actions to the clarity of what she even 0did, was in question.
Lenny and Titan played the self proclaimed master role for Takt and Destiny. They join the show around the one third mark and pose a stark contrast in synergy and positivity to our main duo. Where Takt is thin and physically black and white, Lenny is muscular and warm in both demeanor and stature. Where Destiny uses a sword/gun transformer weapon and wears an elegant red dress, Titan wears pinstripes and polka dots while wielding a shotgun. I liked the rogue pair that always seemed to be hiding something, but I question how present they are over the course of the show. I wanted to care deeply for them, but the amount of screen time we were given made it never appropriate to feel that way.
I had some pretty general feelings about this or that where I probably would have to throw together an okay section about how engaged I felt during the fights or that should have developed more personal connections to the war, to generate investment, but the final episodes wrote this section for me. I will do my absolute best to speil as little as possible here. First and foremost, the villain’s actions make absolutely no sense. This man has one of the most severe cases of PTSD I have ever seen in show and he manifests that by doing things that would continually destabilize and affect other people in the same way. There really is no way, given the D2’s are going dormant, where his actions make sense. It’s not like his choice of where he conducts his plan was any better logically. On top of a nonsensical villain, the last episode leaves the fate of ALL THREE main characters completely up in the air. If you could definitely tell me what the heck happened, in the last scene specifically, please reach out because it makes no sense to me. What was a pretty decent show that’s biggest flaw was not developing Cossette enough turned into a confusing and bitter experience for what appears to be no apparent reason other than bad writing.
Never before have I thought about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in terms of music and sound. While the show glosses over one of its most interesting ideas, I wanted to expand on it. When I was in high school, I was assigned a WWII veteran to interview. I have since lost the name of the man I interviewed, but he was & Dutch paratrooper who flew over enemy lines and pinched the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, one of the most critical battles in the war. What was most striking about the Interview was that he would never tell us about the battle. Being young and naive, I kept pressing him on the topic until he told me that he had never told anyone about that battle because he could never forget it. While it’s not quite the same, the main villain also had PTSD about his war and could never drown out the voices or the images until he found the way he could find the silence through his plan. If the show had explored this more… he would feel so much more justified. Drowning out pain is hard, and when the world wants to be noisy and you just need a rest, it’s more clear why these views clash.
The overarching theme for the show is that music is hope for the future. Covid has actually made it easy to see why. When people lose a part of their society that has emotional value, such as music or the ability to see each other’s face, we so quickly attach to what we lost as a symbol of hope for the future. Beyond that, music has permeated our society so deeply that I would be shocked if anyone goes a day without hearing it in some capacity. We use it to show our emotions, to feel others’ emotions, and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Taking something that is adjacent to the emotional and social core of who we are is destructive and unexpected. So it is no surprise that humans would tie the return of socialization and emotion, as they knew it, to hope for the future.
It’s a bit impressive that the show that is a cross country road trip over half of the show struggles with pacing. I mean it’s driving from point A to point B. That feels pretty straight forward. So where does the car break down? Right off the bat, I wanted to be as invested in Cosette more, we needed an episode or two more to feel comfortable with her and to be at the level of investment the other characters are at. But this was just the symptom of the larger decision to make the show shooter than it needed to be. Each development felt short. When Takt and Destiny were taught by Lenny and Titan, this development was cut short. When they are exploring cultural changes and the loss of music, that was cut short. There are only so many times you can go to a theme park and measure an inch or two short before you feel like you didn’t get the full experience that you came looking for and unfortunately there were a lot of rides that we did not get to go on during this show.
I was in Iceland with Randy when the trailer for Takt op. Destiny came out during the MAPPA (the studio that made the show) ten year anniversary event and I was excited. Destiny’s character concept is beautiful and her animated fights are a bit repetitive but fun regardless. I talk more about how boring desertscape is in the world section of the review, but my major gripe is this: Why is the animation not synced with the music? Music is your whole theme and the animation is on a different movement than the rest of the show. If your violins, cellos, basses, and piano are all in sync but the trumpets are a page behind, the performance has a disjointed feel. Which is a shame. Each fight is exciting, the movement and interactions feel exciting and remind me of a cross over of Darling in the Franxx and Wonder Egg Priority. Both of these shows are dear to my heart. So to find key moments as visually exciting as the show makes them makes it a shame that in a show all about music, it wasn’t the time for animation to play a solo, even if that solo was normally worthy of the lead part.
The gist of the lore is that aliens crawled out of a black meteor years after a smaller yellow meteor. The D2’s come from the black one and Musicarts came from the yellow one. The year is 2040 something and humanity is finally recovering from the war with the D2 after they start going into some kind of slumber. Music has been banned. It attracts the D2s like some kind of A Quiet Place reference. I found a couple things odd about the world. First off, they murked the midwest. All the D2 that were shown on maps were centralized there, so I am sad and offended. But the thing I can’t quite figure out is why the tech and fashion froze in the late 60’s / early 70’s for seventy years. Everyone’s clothes seem dated, the cars are retro, and jukeboxes still exist. This is almost meaningless, but it was such a peculiar choice that I really appreciated it. All the characters had a sense of style I wish I could rock. The rest of the world had a Fallout kind of feel. We start out in the picturesque call-de-saques of some undisclosed location or not picked up by me. We then start moving across the southwest, which is barren. Not that that isn’t the case right now, but the desert landscape is almost never interesting in anime and that remains true here. When we move into more populated areas, they feel broken and nostalgic. It is implied that the younger population has concentrated in bigger cities, untouched by the D2, but the older population clearly struggles to adapt from the pre-D2 days full of music, which is largely banned or culturally removed. It is because of this that we don’t really feel part of the world. With the major events being in the past and the world still emotionally existing in that time, our story feels like a little sidequest, disconnected from the mainline game.
As soundtrack, Takt op. Destiny is wonderful. Randy and I had a whole conversation about listening to the soundtrack regardless of not having time to watch the show. The quality of the classical tracks is not in question, their use is. When battles are between composers and characters that represent music, I wanted the sound effects to take a back seat in a massive way for the battles to feel more like dueling pianos than a normal battle. I wanted the emphasis to be in the music and the emotion of playing for your life. Not simply being music and playing it as a means to deliver a character, but being as a defiance and a struggle against someone in the same position as you.
|Category||Points Given||Points Possible|
|I am interested in the characters in the story||2||6|
|I liked the emotion the story made me feel||2||6|
|The story brings up interesting ideas||3||6|
|I felt the pacing of the show was appropriate||2||4|
|The animation in the show is beautiful||3||4|
|I am interested in the world that the story takes place in||1||3|
|I felt that the music added to the story in a meaningful way||2||3|
Takt op. Destiny had all the makings of a wonderful anime with all the signs of not receiving the care needed to be that. The uninspired integration of music into a world that so desperately needed it was the most disappointing element of a show that spent too much time to integrate it into the lore. With an ending that leaves you with more questions than answers and characters that do not get enough time to work their way into your heart, Takt op. Destiny is just another example of an anime derived from a game that just misses the mark.