While I did say that art doesn’t matter that much anymore, I still have preferences. I like the art style a bit modern. So sometimes I tend to shun away from older series despite hearing wonderful things about it (the *kira kira* eyes bothers me in shoujo…) But most often I have to let go of my prejudices and judge it for what it’s really worth: the story.
I think a few of you already knew how much I loved Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. It had all the great component of great music theme slice of life story. But there was an older series that also has the same appeal of this manga, though the piano and the music is more accentuated than Shigatsu. The name of the manga is ピアノの森 (The perfect world of KAI) by 一色まこと .
Piano no Mori started in 1998 so I understand that art style is bit, let say outdated. Nevertheless it is still appealing in many ways that I get used to it later on. Besides, the story was very strong. No, Beautiful!!! Ah, Amazing! The art is another, but the story? Yeah that was when I changed my mind. I just noticed myself so engaged with the story that I just couldn’t stop reading (but obviously I had to, haha).
The story started with two very different boys. One came from a family of musician, born to follow the footsteps of his renowned pianist father. And the other one unfortunate because of his background. Born in red-light district, Kai’s only sanctuary was this little broken piano in the middle of the forest. But that was it—broken. Soundless. But it wasn’t truly the case because the only one that can produce the sound of the piano was Kai. It was his piano—a piano that was abandoned by a man that lost his music to an accident that ended his career. These three people are the reasons why this series had me by hook, line, and sinker.
I was never a fan of classical music (til now). I mean, I learned that in Elementary and High School. They made us memorized, and “draw” music notes in our music notebook, though that said I never really learned how to read it. Also, my older sister took piano lessons. I heard her practice but never was fascinated. Stories do can make look the second time. I mean, I’m not going to go sign up for piano lesson, haha but it made me appreciate classical music. Like I said in twitter, they’re timeless. There’s a notion of classical music are only appreciated by the elites. But that’s not true, given the right introduction, whatever your status in life is you’ll appreciate it.
This was I think the very main theme of the story. Two boys were similar yet very different as well. A great distinction between perseverance and inborn talent. That being said as one of the competitors said something along these lines of “who says that this person work less than the others” every each one of them worked hard to make that far. No one practiced less than the other. They just did it differently. That’s one those lines that really spoke to me. And there were plenty more.
Despite not hearing a single note, it was how descriptive the lines were when they tried to define the sound of the piano that made feel it, by extension emblematically hear it. Also to whom they playing their music for that made me connect to these characters. It was just so amazing. I was kinda emotional at the end. When Kai cried, I too was on the brink of crying. Man this series was so beautiful. I’m so glad that I tried it. Definitely one of those memorable series that I had a great pleasure of reading.
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