I’m super behind schedule on this. To be honest, I seriously considered dropping this series just because of how busy I’ve become, and because by episode 6, it no longer appealed to me as much as its opening episode did. Now that characters have grown up and are playing lots of Chopin… I’m happy about it again.
*Warning: shipping master Moya strikes again.
- I’m liking Shuuhei’s new look! I think the art style, and even the crappy CGI, have improved after the time skip. Not saying that the CGI isn’t a little awkward still.
- Shuuhei still lacks his own style, and is becoming increasingly conscious of it. This feeling of self-loathe is triggered by his discovery of a video of Kai’s playing, which affects him to the point of preventing him from being able to play the piano for nearly a month. He returns to Japan.
- Kai makes his money by playing piano at “Party Club” while crossdressed. Saga-sensei, one of the judges from the National Japanese Piano Competition, really appreciates his female alter-identity.
- Ooh, look at this development. I never bought the whole shipping of Naruto and Sasuke, you know, but Piano no Mori makes it convincing that friendship-rivalries can turn into something with more love. Probably just queer-baiting in the end, but shippers can always ship.
- Shuuhei releases his frustrations with a piece about insulting bullies, composed by his new “piano teacher,” Daiki. Interestingly, he chooses to play soft arpeggios to the kid’s angry singing. Shuuhei is a soft boy at heart…
- It’s Takako, who has hurt her left hand playing piano.
- She gets to hear Kai play, and is once again inspired. I loved the unexpected development of Shiba-sensei taking her in as a student, and Takako’s insistence on knowing why Shiba refused to recognize Kai’s talent before she accepts Shiba’s offer to take her under his wing. Takako is a strong girl, and I still hope she doesn’t just get overshadowed by Kai the whole time. Give her a chance to shine!
- Kai wins a soloist competition, and some master conductor writes him a recommendation letter for the upcoming Chopin competition in Warsaw, Poland (Chopin’s homeland). Lots of politics involved here, with Serreau and Ajino both entangled in a past disagreement with judges. I wish the series would expand on the mechanics behind piano competitions more, instead of just making all the judges out to be biased and frankly stupid.
- We get two new characters: Fainting Prince and Yaoi Hands Boy. Sorry, MAL is down, so I can’t look up their actual names. Yaoi Hands Boy started out irredeemably obnoxious, but is actually a pure soul who worries more about hamburgers than making enemies.
- While I’m getting a little weary of Kai imagining (or not imagining) the forest, I did get anxious for him during his prelims. Shuuhei saves him by coughing when he pauses for way too long.
- I must admit that I’m loving Kai’s post-time-skip look. I thought he looked awkward when I first saw the OP, but coupled with his voice and everything, I actually kind of like it. I like my androgynous anime guys.
- Shuuhei proclaims his selfishness. I always think it’s interesting when characters just confess their deepest thoughts to each other out of the blue, especially if those are negative. Shuuhei’s pretty good at doing that.
- Dad Amamiya is an interesting character. As a young man, he chased after Ajino’s talents, just as his son chases after Kai’s now. He never got a chance to prove himself, as Ajino had to get into a car accident. What made him interesting to me in this episode was a line praising him to be “the pianist of healing.” He’s not just hopelessly inferior to Ajino, but has his own style that he lives up to. He still looks a bit dejected whenever Ajino’s name is brought up, but he is at the same time already accomplished, and probably finds more salvation from the piano than Shuuhei currently does.
- See…remember when I said something about Reiko hogging Ajino’s coat? I doubt this will go anywhere though. Reiko’s role in this anime is most likely limited to being a cool, caring mom, who sacrifices her own happiness for her son’s success, and is infinitely grateful towards the man who made it possible.
Well, I couldn’t delve into the episodes as deeply as I would have liked to because I didn’t take that many screenshots. I assure you that they were fine episodes though, and I’m looking forward to reviewing the next one!