Episode Reviews

[Highlights] Piano no Mori 12 (End): That’s It?

I know, it’s only the end of the season and not the entire series, but man, this has gotta be one of the weakest episodes in the anime. Not even that many screenshots this time. It’s mostly Kai playing piano, and the animation, though without major blunders, is fairly lackluster.

piano 12.1 repetitive
Piano no Mori is self-aware, at least.
  • Be yourself, Kai, be yourself.

piano 12.2 framing, chopin

  • I do like the framing of the whole show. It’s not so much because of the growth that Kai went through, but because it triggers my memory of how excited I was when the first episode cut straight to this intense piano competition.
  • There…isn’t actually a lot of tension here though. In fact, out of all the performances Kai gave, I found this one the most anticlimactic. We see it mostly through the audience, and the members of the audience are just unanimously impressed this time.
piano 12.3 childhood
Tragic backstory!
  • To play Chopin well, you need a touch of tragedy in your being. At least, that’s what’s suggested in this series, and I like the idea of it. I believed I mentioned my love for Byronic heroes. Well, I tend to imagine Chopin as one, especially after watching a certain movie about him. Here’s a clip from it:
  • This scene from the Chopin movie reminds me of that moment in The Hunger Games when Katniss shoots an arrow through an apple in front of the gamemakers. Especially what comes next in the movie. Anyways, I digress. What I was trying to say was that Chopin was total tragic hero material, and I think that’s commonly acknowledged. Hence, it would make sense for Piano no Mori to try to establish its characters in a similar way through the introduction of depressing backstories (e.g. Pan Wei, Adamski), but it’s simply cheesy when they attempt to do that with our main character.
  • Kai is in no way like that dark, sentimental Chopin most of us know. In fact, resilience is one of his defining characteristics, and the backstory montage only demonstrates it. Kai finds enjoyment in imagining Chopin’s Raindrop Prelude while being tied to a tree over night. Maybe that was the very purpose of the backstory, but it just felt abrupt, clunky.
piano 12.4 judges
Geez, Kai, stop making your audience blush
  • This is basically how the episode concludes. Kai reminds everyone (yes, every single one of them thinks of the same damn thing) of a serene forest with his performance, and the judges are like, “Oh damn, this un-Polish version of Chopin! But it’s good! Oh no what do?!”
  • This lack of conclusion did not feel sufficiently like a cliffhanger either. There was no tension at all, because we all know that Kai is supposed to be better than Shuuhei (who admits that more often than anyone), and everyone else is irrelevant for all I care. So what if the judges have a debate over it? By this time, I’ve already gotten tired of these “skewed” competitions.

So well, I guess my general thoughts on the series aren’t all that positive after all. I might be too harsh on it at times, to be fair. Criticizing a show and supporting it with screenshots can get kind of addicting. It’s certainly an alright anime to watch, but I wouldn’t really recommend it to anyone. There are better classical music anime out there. Perhaps its manga would be better.

*This will probably be my last review of any sort on the blog for the month. July/August is gonna be hectic for me! I’ll still be around to read everyone’s stuff and respond to comments, but don’t expect content posts for a bit.

6 thoughts on “[Highlights] Piano no Mori 12 (End): That’s It?

  1. Manga version sure does a better job in providing back stories for all the characters….
    Like Wei Pang, Kai’s Girl Friend…and in-fact Kai’s mother is a whore…but somehow it was just swiped pass..

    I’ve personally read the manga twice and kind of disappointed with the animation version, which rush through things…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to be what I’m getting over the Internet. Though I do think the fact that Kai’s mom is a prostitute came across pretty clearly, I’d certainly have loved more of Wei Pang (and other competitors!) and Kai’s girlfriend.
      Thanks for dropping by!


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