Piano no Mori 2nd Series

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Title: Piano's Forest -The Perfect World of Kai-
Japanese: ピアノの森
Airing dates: 8/4/2018 (TV series 12 episodes) and 27/1/2019 (2nd season)
Theatrical release date: 21/7/2007 (animated film)
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Music, School, Seinen
Original creator: Makoto Isshiki
Directors: Gaku Nakatani (TV) and Masayuki Kojima (film)
Series directors: Ryūtarō Suzuki (S1) and Hiroyuki Yamaga (S2)
Written by: Aki Itami, Mika Abe (TV) and Ryūka Hōrai (film)
Music by: Harumi Fūka (TV) and Keisuke Shinohara (film)
Character designers and chief animation directors: Sumie Kinoshita (TV) and Shigeru Fujita (film)
Art directors: Hirotsugu Kakoi (TV), Kazuki Higashiji and Toshiharu Mizutani (film)
Sound directors: Yukio Nagasaki (TV) and Fusanobu Fujiyama (film)
Directors of photography: Mutsumi Usuda (TV) and Rumi Ishiguro (film)
Color design by: Chie Yoshimura (TV) and Tomoko Yamamoto (film)
Key animation by: Tōru Yoshida (TV)
Sound work manager: Tadayoshi Itō (film)
Editing by: Akinori Mishima (TV) and Yoshihiro Kasahara (film)
Planning by: Masao Maruyama, Tsuyoshi Yoshida and Yōko Matsushita (film)
Line coordinator: Masayuki Narai (film)
Producers: Miho Ichii, Rika Tsuruzaki, Tatsuji Yamazaki and Yuichiro Saitō (film)
Executive producers: Jun'ichi Kitagawa and Takashi Kamikura (film)
Associate producers: Tomoyuki Saitō and Yoshihiro Iwasaki (film)
Animation producer: Kōji Takeuchi (film)
Studios: Fukushima Gainax (S1), Gaina (S2) and Madhouse (film)
Network: NHK (licensed by Netflix)
Opening theme: "Umi e" by Kai Ichinose (arrenged Etude Opus 10 No.1 from Frederic Chopin)
Ending theme: "Kaeru Basho ga Aru to iu koto (帰る場所があるということ)" by Aoi Yūki
S2 ED theme: "Hajimari no Basho (はじまりの場所)" by Rie Murakawa
Movie ED theme: "Moonshine ~Tsukiakari~ (〜月あかり〜)" by Nao Matsushita
Performance by pianists: Ayano Baba, Harumi Fūki, Kamuro Sahara, Kotone Uehara and Modan Oyama

Main cast: Kai Ichinose (一ノ瀬海) voiced by Sōma Saitō (TV), Ryōko Shiraishi (young), Aya Ueto (film) and Johnny Yong Bosch (EN)
Shūhei Amamiya (雨宮修平) voiced by Natsuki Hanae (TV), Yō Taichi (young), Ryūnosuke Kamiki (film), Griffin Burns (EN) and performed by Ryōma Takagi
Sōsuke Ajino (阿字野壮介) voiced by Junichi Suwabe (TV), Hiroyuki Miyasako (film), Kyle McCarley (EN) and performed by Kyōhei Sorita

Competition participants: Pang Wei (パン・ウェイ) voiced by Yūichi Nakamura (TV), Yūki Wakai (young) and performance by Niu Niu
Lech Szymanowski (レフ・シマノフスキ) voiced by Kenn (TV) and performed by Szymon Nehring
Takako Maruyama (丸山誉子) voiced by Aoi Yūki (TV), Cristina "Vee" Valenzuela (EN) and Mayuko Fukuda (film)

Sophie Ormesson (ソフィ・オルメッソン) voiced by Mariya Ise (TV), Erika Harlacher (EN) and performance by Juliette Journaux
Karol Adamski (カロル・アダムスキ) voiced by Katsuyuki Konishi (TV)
Kōsei Hirata (平田光生) voiced by Toshiyuki Toyonaga (TV) and Jason Palmer (EN)

Supporting cast: Takeshi Saga (佐賀武士) voiced by Kōji Yusa (TV) and Kaiji Tang (EN)
Kōtarō Shiba (司馬高太郎) voiced by Hiroshi Yanaka (TV)
Namie Amamiya (雨宮奈美恵) voiced by Marie Miyake (TV), Atsuko Tanaka (film) and Julie Ann Taylor (EN)
Arisa (亜理沙) voiced by Ryō Hirohashi (TV) and Erika Harlacher (EN)

Daigaku "Kinpira" Kanehira (金平大学 "キンピラ") voiced by Motoko Kumai (TV), Hiroyuki Amano (film) and Doug Erholtz (EN)
Reiko Ichinose (一ノ瀬怜子) voiced by Maaya Sakamoto (TV), Chizuru Ikewaki (film) and Reba Buhr (EN)
Yōichirō Amamiya (雨宮洋一郎) voiced by Hideyuki Tanaka (TV) and Joseph Whimms (EN)
Jean-Jacques / J.J. Theroux (ジャン・ジャック / J=J・セロー) voiced by Bin Shimada (TV)

Shiraishi (白石) voiced by Anna Mugiho (TV), Mayumi Tanaka (film) and Barbara Goodson (EN)
Adam Yasinski (ヤシンスキ) voiced by Kanehira Yamamoto (TV)
Simon Hausner (シモン・ハウスネル) voiced by Keisuke Misaizu (TV)
Raphaël (ラハエル) voiced by Jun Miyamoto (TV)
David (デイビッド) voiced by Hiroyuki Endō (TV) and Zach Rice (EN)
Victoria (ヴィクトリア) voiced by Risa Hayamizu (TV)
Pang Hao (パン・ハオ) voiced by Hironori Kondō (TV)
Pavras (パヴラス) voiced by Eiichirō Tokumoto (TV)
Igori (イーゴリ) voiced by Kenta Zaima (TV) and Tony Azzolino (EN)
Juzef (ユゼフ) voiced by Hitoshi Bihu (TV)
Christina (クリスティナ) voiced by Natsuki Mori (TV)
Anna (アンナ) voiced by Anna Mugiho (TV)

Synopsis: Shūhei Amamiya transfers to Moriwaki Elementary filled with hope and ambition. 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. Igniting his meeting with an equally enigmatic child, Kai Ichinose, who seems to be the only one capable getting sound out of the thought to be broken piano.

A tranquil tale about two boys from very different upbringings. On one hand you have Kai, born as the son of a prostitute, who's been playing the abandoned piano in the forest near his home ever since he was young. And on the other you have Syuhei, practically breast-fed by the piano as the son of a family of prestigious pianists. Yet it is their common bond with the piano that eventually intertwines their paths in life.

gdpetti said:
Piano no Mori? sounds like a male SoL...not many of those ever show up...
a MiLF ep.1 hooked me, until It's all over I'll see that film to not spoil myself!:p
Watched S1 Piano Forest... mediocre... writing isn't using the potential of the characters setups well enough... it's alright, but even the music isn't being used well... or not well enough... compared to those series that did this so well.... such as Nodame... etc.
Piano Forest S2, story improving in 2nd stage contest but Not yet at animation

gdpetti said:
mediocre... writing isn't using the potential of the characters setups well enough... it's alright, but even the music isn't being used well... or not well enough... compared to those series that did this so well.... such as Nodame... etc.
i think that's because studio Gaina (without x), Madhouse did better as film -_-
Haven't seen any S2 yet.... but the problem is usually falling back on the usual tropes... not giving the characters an 'edge' of difference compared to the other characters/tropes.... some sad background setup isn't enough if it doesn't carry thru... suddenly our MC is all nice and pretty without any affect on previous troubled times on their lives/faces etc... people going thru tough times get that 'look'... though not often in anime... they fall back on the usual tropes and character drawings.... all pretty and nice... no 'edge'... same thing happens with the story...

Ok... I looked up top.... there was a film back in' 07... didn't know that. Was it essentially S1? This MC looks like a young??? that 'cool' guy in that original anime on the Rakugo storytellers? his 'friend' that dies young.... the story setup was there early on.... this MC needs something like that to 'ground' him more.... he's too carefree, good looking, seems to be too talented... maybe that's what the marketplace in Japan wants?? of course, the audience will usually get bored after a while, but when marketing to the youth audience, there's always a new batch every year.... thus the repetitive nature of it all.... they don't remember the older stuff, even if it was better.

So, the story is improving but not the animations? It's always the story that counts... IMO.... a good story can make up for a lot of dull or cheap artwork, special efforts etc... an 'good' audience will forgive a lot, knowing the production budget is low, so expecting little... or so I think. Isn't most animation of the same quality control level? Only the really good or bad sticks out, right?

I do think they need to up the quality issue... Nodame is the example I keep comparing it to.... very well done that was... just enough music highlighted to bring the audience into the story... especially for those that aren't classical music fans... the charactes evolved, grew up etc.
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