Piano no Mori Episode 3
The competition begins, with guest star: Mozart!
Annnnd now it’s apparently over according to literally everyone, even the judges, except of course for our #1 forest piano-playing boy.
There wasn’t a lot that happened this episode, but it looks like we finally get to meet another one of the pianists that will be driving the story forward. Takako’s dynamic, instant attachment to Kai as her replacement Wendy is very, very odd but I guess also endearing? No, no. It’s just odd.
We also got to see Amamiya’s father for the first time. There was definitely a debate in my head about which type of father he would be. Harsh and controlling or laid back and approving. Thankfully, it looks like the latter is true. I guess Amamiya’s mom has enough strictness for the both of them.
This is only the first song of the first competition, so there’s definitely leeway, but I have to say I’m not impressed. As far as the music itself went, it sounded very nice. Of course, I’m not anywhere near knowledgeable enough to be able to be critiquing compositions. That’s what everyone’s reaction shots and gasps are for. Visually, I was pretty ok with the CG they used this time. It wasn’t great, but most anime tend to shy away from showing hand movements (probably because of the complexity of animating it) so being able to see it at all was a nice change of pace. I’m pretty hyped to see both Takako and Kai play in the next episode. While I am pretty sure Amamiya will still win, they did skip over Kai developing his own interpretation of the competition music. Hopefully, that is because he managed to figure something out. I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts off poorly, overcomes his fear of Mozart halfway through, and then in the last second shows a blip of his true potential which shocks everyone to their cores.
It seems pretty clear that Takako is going to be crushing on Kai and Kai is probably going to ignore her advances in order to keep his rivalry up with Amamiya. Off the record, can I just say, anime has really been trampling all over this ‘I’m your rival’ business. In more and more series, everyone is just piling on rivals left and right. For, like, no reason. What happened to the honor, to the intense privateness of a deep connection between two frenemies?! Every time a main character goes to the bathroom now they come back with another rival! It’s ridiculous!
Ok, ok. I’m done.
From the looks they exchanged, I’m curious what the relationship is between Ajino and Amamiya’s father. The nods they gave made me feel like there’s a lot going on under the surface. Like Ajino may have been close to, or on the verge of, becoming the #1 pianist before he hurt his hand opening the path for Amamiya’s dad to take the spot. Now, it’s them raising the next generation to compete with each other to see who really should have been the best. Or something like that.
As I previously mentioned, the piano playing looked cool overall, despite the minor disrupting of the CG. I do want it to go further though. The show uses light and unique scene creations to really drive home the beauty of what the kids have been doing so far. It would be a shame if that was lost in the competitions. Being able to see the actual playing of all the notes is certainly something that I enjoy, but I need a but more ‘oomph’ to really get invested in it.
Kai’s mom was so cute this episode. I 100% respect Kai’s attempt to not involve his mother, for fear of her overreacting, but I’m also kind of glad she found out. Their relationship is very different from Amamiya and his mother and it shows a nice juxtaposition of expectations and ways of showing affection. Now that Amamiya has his father figure in the picture, I like to think that Ajino will slowly take on that role for Kai.