The first round of the junior music competition is fast approaching, and after so many phenomenal performances, only 10 participants will advance to the final round! Some will be victorious, while others will taste bitter defeat in this week’s episode of Piano no Mori. Who will be victorious? Shuuhei? Kai? Will Kai finally be able to play Mozart his own way?
Japanese Original Episode Title: 一番のピアノ
The junior music competition is on. After Shuuhei’s stunning performance, Kai and the rest of his competitors are starting to feel the heat. But when the results of the first round are posted, only ten young pianists will advance!
Musical Tite Cards: They’re back again! When a new piece is played the name of the piece and the composer are displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.
Visualize the Music: When Takako plays Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 2, K.280, Third Movement, the feeling the music evokes is very different from when Shuuhei played it last episode, and the animation reflects this difference. When Takako plays, the background turns pink with a bit of a bubble filter.
All in your head: Kai envisions several of his classmates and friends dressed up as Mozart. These false Mozarts taunt him as he tries to mentally prepare himself for the music competition.
Themes & Trivia
Imaging Everyone Naked: In order to find his own sound, Kai imagines that everyone in the audience is a tree. This is a common technique used to help individuals that suffer from stage fright. The idea being that if the person can visualize the audience as something they find soothing or funny, then performing/speaking in front of them won’t seem as scary.
Playing for an audience of one: Another coping technique, in which a performer singles out one person from the audience to focus on during their performance. In this case, Kai plays for an ant that managed to find its way onto the stage.
Op.18, the Grande valse brillante: The final performance piece for the junior music competition. Composed in 1833 by Polish composer Chopin, this was his first published waltz for solo piano.
Op. 64 No.1, The Minute Waltz: The second final performance piece for the junior competition. Composed in 1847 by Polish composer Chopin, the Minute Waltz is one of Chopin’s most popular pieces. Many players have attempted to play this piece as fast as possible, with many attempting to complete the piece in under a minute.
Wow, this episode definitely doesn’t hold back on the emotional punches. I went in fully expecting the junior music competition to end one way and it went in the complete opposite direction. It’s not always about winning, it’s about the experience and Piano no Mori is definitely an experience. Like the series’s protagonist Kai, it doesn’t always fit into a neat little box; it evolves and grows along with the characters. With other musical series, it’s about winning a competition or beating a better player/band, but, with this anime, it’s about how each of the characters grows as a player. It’s not so much the destination that matters, but how they get there.
You Win Some, You Lose Some
This week’s episode hits us with a healthy dose of reality, but rather than finding fault with the conclusion of the junior music competition’s first round, I’m curious to see how the various characters use this experience as they grow as musicians. Though be warned, this episode will definitely hit you in the feels.
What do you guys think of Episode 4 of Piano no Mori? What did you think about the results? Did you think things would turn out the way they did? Let us know in the comment section! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Spring 2018 anime reviews on MANGA.TOKYO!
NEXT TIME: Konkūru no Kamisama (コンクールの神様)
Piano no Mori (The Piano Forest)
Spring 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast