You know you're legit when you have tildes in your title.
The previous La Corda d'Oro followed a high school girl who was BSing her way through a music competition with the help of a magic violin given to her by a fairy, and gradually learned about the wonder of music from her attractive competition. Blue Skies follows a girl named Kanade who was a musical prodigy but has apparently fallen out of the competition scene. That changes when she and her childhood friend Kyoya visit another friend, Ritsu, who spontaneously moves them into the dorm at his school so that they can compete in a national music competition. And there may or may not be fairies. Overall, I was underwhelmed.
So far this version only shares the name and some storyline similarities with the first one, so new viewers can watch this without any problems. However, without the immediate ridiculous supernatural angle, Blue Skies is pretty bland. Everything is very obviously in service towards getting all the characters into the music competition, and it's pretty clunky with the way it goes about it. Most of the time in the episode is spent mooning over the abnormally large pretty boy cast ("He's playing an electric violin at a classical music competition, what a rebel"), which is honestly to be expected, but it comes at the expense of setting up the situation better.
Our lead character doesn't seem to be much more than an airhead at the moment, despite her love of the violin. It's implied by the opening and the constant reference to the "are you at your limit" card that Kanade has given up her prodigy status, but she seems perfectly happy otherwise, so I fail to see how this is a problem. It also doesn't make a lot of sense how Ritsu, despite being Kanade and Kyoya's childhood friend, acts kind of cold to them and then turns around and tells them that he's moved their stuff and had them transfer schools without their permission. "Your sky is too narrow" is also pretty cryptic as far as reasoning goes. Basically, Blue Skies comes off a little too heavy in the random anime logic department.
However, the La Corda d'Oro series consistently promises one thing--cute guys playing musical instruments. Blue Sky is definitely prepared to deliver on that. I'm hoping that it will fix the flat character issues in the weeks to come, but so far it's giving out exactly what it says on the tin, no more, no less.
Images from Crunchyroll.com.