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Title (English) Piano
Title (Japanese) Piano

book cover

Fantasy Novel

Notes Seemingly an anime-original, created by Kousuke Fujishima. Apparently intended for girls.
Classification shoujo
Synopsis "Slice-of-life" anime about a school girl, her friends, and her piano lessons.
Review Well, I finally got a chance to see an episode of "Piano", the new Kids Station "slice-of-life" anime about a school girl, her friends, and her piano lessons. And although I didn't care for the show at all, I'm not going to do a sarcastic number on it as I recently did with "Saikano". That's because "Piano" is unpretentious and earnest, but never-the-less still unbearably bland.
This is a show where the characters are all very familiar stereotypes. The heroine is meek, quiet and looks like a little kid. There are the loud-mouthed boy classmates, there is the close friend who needs encouragement, there are the parents who are wise and understanding. But no one has any sort of personality. While watching some scenes I had to remind myself that this wasn't a show about the mentally disabled.
I know, there are legions of fans for this sort of series out there, all willing to point out that there are no mechas, no spaceships, no magicians, no babes in skimpy clothes, no violence and so on. But at the same time, there is no drama, no suspense, no mystery, no wonder, and no surprises. This is the "vanilla ice cream" of drama, with a "message" in every episode, but no "means" of delivering it.
In addition, strangely enough for a story about a budding piano player, there is very little piano music in the show, or much background music at all. The one short Chopin waltz in the episode I saw was adequately performed, but the overall effect of the music is quite weak. One would have thought that the creators of the series would have used piano pieces, both well known and original, to add to the overall feel of the show, as "Princess Tutu" does so spectacularly well with its use of ballet themes to orchestrate the mood of every episode.
Let me ask all you fans of these "quiet", "laid back", "trip down memory lane" sorts of shows - is it really necessary to make these "slice-of-life" series so downright boring? Life isn't boring. Life isn't a series of dull cliches. Life isn't a group of people with vacant stares. But life is too short to waste time watching series like "Piano".
(Dave Baranyi)
Credits Director: Norihiko Sudo
Original creator: Kousuke Fujishima
Character Design: Kousuke Fujishima
Episodes 10
Release Jap:DVD, US:DVD
TV Showing See the whole series for free? This series may be syndicated to regional cable, satellite or terrestial TV stations. For Europe click here.
Date 2002 November 11 - 2003 January 13
Production Pioneer, Marine Entertainment
Broadcaster Kids Station
Animation OLM (Oriental Light & Magic)
References & Help Look up the latest data on this title at:
Richard Llewellyn's Animated Divots, or
Anime News Network (see Encyclopedia section) ,
or in "The Anime Encyclopedia" (Clements & McCarthy, Stone Bridge Press, 2001).
Help & further information.



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