This episode of Piano no Mori is consistent with the previous ones: motivation -> tension -> realization ->> competition type of thing. I continue to enjoy it a good deal.
- Kai learns that there are different styles in piano-playing. I still can’t completely buy into how he’s trying to find his own style when he only just got out of scale practices, but for now, my disbelief is suspended.
- Pretty frame. Young Ajino kind of reminds me of the Count of Monte Cristo here. I love how the anime experiments with unique styles at different points. Not all of them work (i.e. weird CGI hands), but it’s always refreshing to see.
- Now, I tried to look up Mozart’s prophecy, but couldn’t really find anything on it. If anyone knows anything on this subject, I’d love to learn more. For now, I’ll have to assume that either Ajino or Makoto Isshiki made it up, but it doesn’t seem to make much sense if it’s the latter. That would be…kind of lame.
- My favourite scene from the episode. Boy, Rei-chan is the best.
- I love how the pace picks up so quickly. I wasn’t expecting Kai to get to the competition within this episode, and I sure don’t mind that.
- Why are people so alarmed? If Shuhei is so good, aren’t they going to run into him as an opponent in the nationals anyways? I guess it means a lot in itself to be able to participate in the nationals.
- Kai is plagued by Mozart (and his expectations?). For a brief moment, I thought people were actually cosplaying Mozart at this competition.
- And…a girl is introduced! Takako falls neatly into the spoiled ojousama archetype. Most characters in this series feel fairly archetypal, but that doesn’t stop them from being interesting people. We know the formula, and can more-or-less predict the rest of the episode (or even the fallout of the competition), but there’s still joy in watching it play through.
- Okay, I did cringe a bit at the depiction of her nanny. Minor characters (as in, people who don’t appear in the OP) are super flat in this show. They’re either inexplicably mean, ridiculously overprotective, or lame in some other way. Most of them end up pretty comical, which I’m sure was the intention, but I just feel really bad when I look at nanny.
- Takako throws a tantrum and actually says some pretty relatable things. This is someone who has probably slaved away at the piano just like Shuhei had, except as she said, we as viewers really “haven’t even been watching.”
- God, why do these children have to go through such stress? It’s going to ruin the friendliness between Kai and Shuhei for sure, isn’t it? If I was put in Takako’s place at her age, I know for sure that I would behave exactly the way she did, bratty as I was.
- My least favourite part of a shounen series is the pep talk, because most of the time, it feels forced. It happens because there needs to be something to motivate characters to do things. I’m not sure how Kai came up with all this wisdom just from Takako throwing a tantrum, but I guess his pep talk did what it’s supposed to.
- Takako plays piano on Kai’s head. This part is seriously sweet, mostly because of Takako’s beautiful voice…
- The context is quite something though. Takako pulls Kai into the women’s washroom because his hair reminds her of her dog Wendy, and playing piano with Wendy is something that calms her down and restores her confidence.
- Shuhei finishes an impeccable performance of Mozart’s K 280. Do Kai and Takako have a chance? Given how blatantly mechanical his performance felt even to myself as a viewer, I’d say that they sure do. Kai, at least.
So far, so good. It’s no secret that the series is going to focus on Chopin’s music, so I suspect that this is the only time we get an episode dedicated to another composer. I’m hoping that the next episode offers some insight into the delivery of Mozart’s music!