Ichinose is a free-spirited boy bestowed with the talent of
a genius in playing the piano. He befriends a transfer student
Shuhei Amamiya, who devotes his time in practicing piano so
that he can become a professional pianist like his father.
Kai invites Shuhei to the deep forest where there lies a broken
grand piano which only Kai can play on. Shuhei is touched
by Kai’s performance and is surprised that he has no
basic piano training.
has fostered a closer friendship between the two. Kai, due
to the influence from Shuhei, has developed a keen interest
in piano. Kai is then entered in a piano competition, pitting
his skills against Shuhei and many other aspiring young pianists.
touching story of two young hearts, passionate about piano
and their desire to discover a sound they can call their own.
The usual Japanese animations you see just can’t do
without either one of these things. One: Cute talking animals
or Two: Tough-looking guns-toting cyborgs.
of course startling to this reviewer that "The Piano
Forest" doesn’t boast either one of the above and
yet manages to enthrall throughout its 100 minutes running
"The Piano Forest", Kai and Shuhei are two boys
who bonds together all because of their love for the piano.
Kai comes from a single-parent family whose mother has a questionable
profession while Shuhei has a world renowned pianist as his
father. But Kai has a secret or talent of his own, he can
play the piano remarkably well without any proper coaching
which in turn spurned Shuhei to take up piano lessons. According
to Kai’s mum, the abandoned piano in the forest has
been Kai’s constant companion since he accidentally
stumbled upon it when he was three years old.
no surprise third act so no worries in case you wonder if
somehow the piano is Kai’s magical guidance. And there’s
no cute talking animals prancing around (unless you want to
pick on the mice) when Kai plays on his piano. In addition,
there won’t be any appearance of wand-wielding wizard
in the forest.
turn, a teacher with a haunted past and with links to the
old abandoned piano in the forest decides to act as a tutelage
for Kai, to help him find a 'voice' to call his own.
Madhouse anime is filled with luscious music pieces from Mozart,
Chopin, Beethoven just to name a few which are beautifully
performed by Russian pianist, Vladimir Ashkenazy. Aya Ueto
(Kai) and Ryunosuke Kamiki (Shuhei) who coincidentally co-starred
earlier in the coming-of-age drama, "Install" gives
life to the two protagonists.
cute talking animals or gun-toting cyborgs to visually arrest
you, the leisurely paced anime is a breath of fresh air. Give
"The Piano Forest" a try, it’s definitely
a feel good movie about the meaning of true friendship and
finding your inner calling.
visual and audio content is acceptable but might be disappointing
to those who prefer a 5.1 transfer which the disc does not
possess. The DVD comes only with the original Japanese audio
track but with English, Chinese and Malay subtitles.
Review by Linus Tee