Piano no Mori – 1

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

So I am back from the dead and trying to be active on my blog again. Had to take a few month off to deal with some personal affairs, but it's all good now. I'll be doing another episodic review series from the batch of spring 2018 anime, this time on Piano no Mori. I have decided to go forward with reviewing this because I am a "pianist" myself after my parents invested thousands for me to learn the instrument, so why not follow an anime that is based on piano playing. 

So there are two notable piano-based anime out there: Nodame Cantabile, and Your Lie in April. Piano no Mori looks like it's going to carve it's own path, since it's synopsis seems to skew away from Nodame Cantabile and Your Lie in April; they only theme these three anime have in common is piano playing. That thought did not have much to do with the episode, just wanted to put that out there.

Piano no Mori is based of a popular manga that has completed, it is done by Fukushima Gainax, and it's going to be 12 episodes long. Personally, a completed 26 volume manga into 12 episodes does not seem like a good idea but who knows, there could be a second season in the works. There's already a movie adaptation out there done by Madhouse back in 2007, have not seen it yet, but will see it soon to get some more perspective on this series.

The first episode felt like a lot. Just a lot was thrown in after watching the first episode: there's a piano in a forest that only plays on Kai's accord, there's a Shuhei the new transfer student, Ajino the former pro turned into a school teacher, Kai's mother who's a prostitute working in the red light district, etc. Just so much stuff jammed in one episode that could have been split well into two. I was pretty much well invested into the episode regardless of the amount of content jammed in. 

Art direction was a bit wonky for my tastes. I've seen a few clips of the movie adaptation, which looks fine in terms of the animation. But I'm not sure how I feel about Gainax's rendition of the character designs, and the use of CG for this particular series. The CG doesn't look that stellar, or appropriate for this series, in comparison to a Houseki no Kuni or Sidonia no Kishi, but the CG can improve or slowly grow on me.

I think one of the pluses of throwing so much into one episode is that I'm intrigued to see how the story plays out, mainly the socioeconomic part. The two main characters, Kai and Shuhei, come from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds and they bond between their love for the piano. I'm interested in see if there's going to a clash between the opulence of those who actually are actually into classical music (trust me these are the only people who enjoy that stuff and pay money to see it), verses someone like a Kai who does not come from money, let alone a traditional household. Basically I'm into seeing if Kai will have a downfall based on his upbringing, when he's rising and making a name for himself in the classical world. I'll be watching the movie later, and watch by the end of the movie none of this happens.

There's also that element of mystery that I like during the last scene of the episode. Where this unplayable piano can be only played by Kai, and Ajino declares Kai the one with "the chosen hands." How is Kai going to transition from being a prodigy via the piano in the forest with his inability to play a regular piano? Only time will tell. But it's something I look forward to.

Okay so that's the first episode, we can only go up from here. What are your thoughts on the first episode? Or Piano no Mori in general? Let me know.

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Hi, my name is Victor and welcome to my blog where I like to share my thoughts on anime, my adventures and anything else that comes along my way. Enjoy your stay here!

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