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From Easy Going Scans: A tranquil tale about Shuhei Amamiya, who transfers to Moriwaki Elementary filled with hope and ambition about his new life. But it doesn't take long before he gets picked on by the class bullies, and gets involved in a dare to play the mysterious piano in the forest, leading to his meeting an enigmatic child that goes by the name of Kai Ichinose, who seems to be the only one capable of getting sound out of the thought-to-be broken piano. His ability earns him the respect of Shuhei and his music teacher, former master pianist Sosuke Ajino. At first Kai is resistant to refining his art but after hearing Sosuke play a Chopin piece he just can't seem to play by himself, he relents.
Note: Received the Grand Prize for best manga at the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2008.
ピアノの森 - The perfect world of KAI 森林中的钢琴师 琴絃森林 วัยกระเตาะ ตึ่งตึงตึ๊ง Piano Hutan Piano no Mori: The Perfect World of Kai The Piano Forest
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The characters are great... something about it just totally captures your heart. I'm sure even those who don't know anything about music will find it very touching. There's lots of rivalry stories out there but this one is really unique. I love Kai! Even though the series is long, so far I don't feel bored at all. I thought the art is quite nice too, just different, funny and cute in its quirky way, like the art from Gokusen. Like others said, the art suits the story.
when the main character grown, the enthusiasm for how the story develop is present, but unexpectedly bland storyline as the follow up, this manga became annoying.
The childhood story of Kai and Shuuhei surely enticing to the point made anybody fall in love with this manga. The serenity and excitement continues up until when the two separated (after the contest). But when they actually met up, all grown, the focus shift to which one of those can play better, how the contest held, and many unimportant knick knack. All the attractive element of piano no mori suddenly vanish, replaced by meaningless episodes.
Spoiler (highlight to view)
I can only managed to read up to volume 15. I became too bored of it and decided to stop reading. for the people who want to get the most of this manga, read only up to the point when Kai lost his first contest and resolute to study seriously under the teacher (who his name again?). After that point, you will only read story that makes your hopes high but presented with disappointing follow ups.
Its amazing how well written the story is. This is one of the best mangas I have ever read in my life. Its not a typical "under dog wins" story at all, its about so much more. It involves suffering, accomplishment, and the story is extremely heart warming. The only thing lacking is the art, which isn't that bad since it does its job.
Such a touching story...
So my first point is that this is certainly NOT a comedy. Certainly, there are a few laughs here and there to keep the mood not so serious all the time, but Piano no Mori is definitely a serious kind of story.
That being said, whoever said this was filled with shounen cliches obviously hasn't actually read the manga. Certainly, there's a rival and the main character is very talented. But to be honest, that "rival" isn't even the biggest point of the story. Rather, it's the growth and development of Kai into a professional pianist. And certainly, Kai is very talented and a prodigy, but he doesn't play the piano just based on that. I don't recall if the eng scans have shown this yet, but he works so hard for everything. He really deserves all that he has, especially considering his background.
What I also like about this manga is that Kai isn't the person winning the awards all the time. Certainly, he always manages to awe the audience, but so far, he's never actually won a competition. And he's not without faults either. Although I suppose I can understand why people would regard him as an emo Gary Sue, but hey, he's a very likable one.
simple but perfect
This manga is my favourite, through it's drawings it shows, how simple a child's point of view is. Also the differences between Kai and Shyuhei life is very prominent. Kai's mother is very beautiful in a whore life, she also uses Kai's piano skills to make her forget all of her troubles. where Shyuhei's mother isn't as pretty and uses Shyuhei's skill to make her husband and mother proud.
This also is seen in there piano's Shyuhei see pianos as a tool, where Kai sees them as a part of him.
Kai and Shyuhei lives are so different yet they connect so well.
This manga is piece of art. I always treasure every chapter I read, this is one of the best manga's ever made
Poignant, touching and deeply inspirational.
I fell in love with this manga after only 3 chapters. Although the art is simplistic, the setting of the story is nothing less than mesmerizing. The first time I saw the piano standing amidst the forest trees, I was captivated. It was so enchanting, it made me wish I could actually sit beneath the trees and listen to Kai play.
Some people are put off by the art, but I disagree. I rather like it. The simplistic art, although not as vividly detailed as other manga, is actually charming in its own right. Personally, I think it is a conscious choice on the part of the mangaka to draw the manga very simple. Because every once in a while, you'd get these incredibly detailed drawings, so intricate and vivid that it takes your breath away. The effect wouldn't be as strong if the entire manga was always drawn that way. But because most of the manga is looks simplistic, and only the important scenes are drawn with incredible details that the effect it has on the reader is so strong.
But all that aside, this manga is an example of how good storytelling can make even simplistic art come alive. Kai is an incredibly well written character. You'll definitely fall in love with him.
The tone of the story is very mature, although it features little kids. Actually, because of how serious and crude some themes are, it's recommended for people 15 years +
... Last updated on May 24th, 2009, 12:20am
Piano no Mori is a wonderful little story. The basis is a cliche we've all heard god-only-knows-how-many-times before, but through the execution it really shines. What I find particularly interesting is the portrayal of Kai's connection with the Piano- it isn't so much one of escapism, as one typically would expect from a story about a prostitute's son, but one of self-expression, and that in and of itself makes the work that much more powerful.
beautiful, i stopped watching nodame coz of that mustache girl wtf?? and apparently its good so mite pick itup...but this manga is the best music one ive ever read...prob the only one...but its nice...its real...hes a genius...and his life is tough...real tough...but he keeps his positive tude to the max at most times which is cool.
... Last updated on March 14th, 2009, 9:00pm
Like a magic .... :P
Love snoopy for picking it up !! Really! I was reluctant to start it since it was the story from the movie but got nostalgic and just started reading. I want more KAI!!!! For some reason the air, the characters, the story are enchanting me. It is kind of like magic this one. It is not just because I like that and that but the whole ^^
... Last updated on January 25th, 2009, 10:35am
A delightful story.
As I was reading this in the first few chapters, I wasn't impressed with the artwork. However, the only thing that really stood out was the story. Taking in the life of a kid who's background is shunned by everyone in his hometown...and making a name for himself through piano. Along with the mysterious talent of playing anything by ear, the story captures the hearts of the reader, with many laughs and precious moments.
Although the story was good, I would really like to see some better artwork representation.. if it wasn't for me being bored and choosing a completely random manga, I would probably have never read this. If this was a novel it would receive a 9-10ish but it's a manga.. so I'd have to deduct 2 points for a solid 8.