Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl's Heart

Alt title: Piano

TV (10 eps)
2002 - 2003
Fall 2002
2.905 out of 5 from 714 votes
Rank #15,557

Miu is a young, talented pianist with a passion for playing music. Under the guidance of Shirakawa, her teacher, she decides to enter a recital, where she will play an emotional, self-written piece.

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Miu Nomura a middle school teenager who when she was younger loved to play the piano and it brought a lot of joy to her life.  However, she became too shy to express her feelings and as a result, her piano playing has suffered greatly as she cannot express her feelings while playing the piano.  She has to learn how to deal with her crush on an upperclassman, which may help her find the joy in playing music again.   Plot:   Slice of life shows tend to not focus a lot on plot, but focus more on the aspects of the lives of the cast.  Piano is no exception to this rule.  Piano focuses mostly on the two main female cast members, Miu a mature piano playing teenager who has lost some of her luster since she is unable to express her feelings and Yuuki a tomboyish track star who while not as mature as Miu, does a better job with letting her feelings known.  Miu gets some overall development as she matures and grows from a young girl, into a young woman.  Miu learns about how to express her feelings more easily over the course of the series as she decides if she wants to keep playing the piano and also her feelings for an upperclassman.  Yuuki on the other and has to deal with the fact she is not the most feminine female out there, and has to learn about relationships while dating an upperclassman.  The development of the two main characters is good, but it feels that due to the fact that this is a ten episode series that there wasn’t enough time to development Miu and Yuuki.  The supporting cast doesn’t get much development and this makes the supporting cast more two dimensional than real people.   Plot wise, the show does have much in the plot department.  The story mostly focuses around Miu and her piano playing and her becoming a young woman, but again the lack of plot can most likely be blamed on the short episode count.  The pacing of the show is also really slow.  The phrase “real life is boring” can sum up why the show moves at such a slow pace.  Because the shows feel so life like in terms of how things are done, it comes across almost boring like and sleep inducing in nature.  That being said it is also very relatable as a series because it is so life like, and anyone who has played an musical instrument in their life may be able to relate to Miu’s reactions about playing the piano.   Art & Animation:   Created in 2002 the series still looks fairly well for being an 8 year old series.   The character designs are really good, and fit the age of the characters well.  Because of the cast is middle school aged there is nothing that would cause uproar with fans to be seen.  With the entire middle school cast no females have massive breasts, and there is no fan service, but seeing how that this is a shojo show there would be no fan service to being with.   While the character designs are done well, the backgrounds are another story.  It is hit or miss, sometimes the backgrounds look good and other times they backgrounds look lazy were done by the 3rd string animators.   Music:   The OP is a piano tune called “…to you” by Ayako Kawasumi which has no lyrics but considering it is a piano piece it plays out nicely and fits the show completely.  The ED is called “Kokoro no Oto” by Yoko Ueno and is a violin piece that works well for the show as well.  The piano pieces played are classical in nature and anybody a fan of classical piano should enjoy these, but to those who are not fans of classical music may not enjoy the music as much.  The other non piano pieces that are played sound somewhat generic but do fit the show’s tone.   Dub and Sub:   The English dub was produced at NYAV post, and is a good dub overall.  Rebecca Soler provides the voice for Miu in the English dub and does a good job with her role overall, however she sounds a tad too old for an 8th grader.  Zoe Martin provides the voice of Yuuki and does a good job with her role as the tomboyish Yuuki.  The rest of the English cast also goes a good with their roles and they sound natural in English.   The Japanese audio track also does a good job overall with the cast.  Ayako Kawasumi (Some of her roles include playing Mahoro in Mahoromatic, and) Aoi Sakuraba in Ai Yori Aoshi provides the voice for Miu in the Japanese dub and does an great job with her role as the mature Miu.  Tomoko Kawakami (Some of her roles include Fukuyi Hinata in Sgt. Frog, and Sayuri Kurata in Kanon (2002 and 2006) also does a good job with her role as the tomboyish Yuuki and her voice fits the character just fine.   Where it can be obtain:   The series in still in press and was licensed by Nozomi Entertainment.  It can be obtained at various online anime sellers such as Right Stuf, Robert’s Anime Corner, Amazon.com are some examples.   Final Thoughts:   Piano isn’t the worst slice of life series out there, but overall it the show feels like a wasted potential with not fully fleshing out the main cast and giving development to the supporting cast.  That being said, it still can be enjoyed for as a coming of age story that is relatable due to the subject matter and how life like the show is.   Plot: ** ½ out of **** Animation: ** ½ out of **** English Dub: *** out of **** Japanese Dub: *** out of **** Music: *** ½ out of **** Overall Quality:  ** 1/2 out of ****   Pros: Character designs, music, likeable cast. Cons: VERY slow pacing, not much in terms of plot and little character development, background art is inconsistent at times.

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