Piano no Mori

AKA: The Piano Forest, ピアノの森 (Japanese), Piano Forest
Madhouse Production, 2007-07
Genres: drama, slice of life, tournament
Themes: Music, Piano

Plot Synopsis:

A boy who plays a broken grand piano in the forest (Ichinose Kai) and a boy who trains for profession in his life(Amamiya Shuuhei). The collision of the two boys leads to their friendship and the passion for the piano...
Kai was the only one who can play broken piano in the forest, which used to belong to the elementary school music teacher, Ajino Sousuke-sensei who was once a national top-ranking pianist. Shuuhei, wanting to learn from Ajino-sensei, got rejected by him. Instead of guiding the well-trained Shuuhei, Ajino-sensei chose Kai, with the magical hands that the piano in the forest belongs to.
Then there comes the piano concour that decides the fate of elementary students who'd get into the nationals and become Japan's no.1 pianist. Both Kai and Shuuhei entered, and eventually Kai met a girl called Takako who called him "Wendy", her dog(because her dog's fur has the colour of his hair), and hugs him frequently to calm herself.

Art & Animation: 9/10
The art and animation style is close to Miyazaki-sensei's productions, and is detailed even though it looks utterly simple. Because it is a movie production, the quality of the animation is absolute, and of course the color is not dynamically touched, but overall it has good art.

Voice Acting, Music: 10/10
It is a musical movie, so of course quality of the music is exquisitely impressive. The seiyuu(voice acting) is so real that you could not even imagine there's actors and actresses recording it behind the scene. The piano playing is equally good, especially Chopin's and when the tournament starts you might not even hold back to be dragged into the movie.

Story: 10/10

About two boys, how further can the story drag itself? But in this movie, the story shines dimly from a distance, like a shooting star, bring the sensation of pleasantness. I like music, so I obviously liked it pretty much. It doesn't hit my head to see a boy like Kai having extreme piano skills, but you would not know the taste of the tea if you don't add hot water into it \\(^w^=)

Characters: 10/10
The characters in this movie is absolutely amusing, and they all show the normality in life. Ichinose Kai, the boy who plays the piano in the forest is somewhat not neatly dressed and has brown hair and unpleasant manners. But as a main character, he shines as equally as other main characters would. Amamiya Shuuhei, who plays his rival in the movie, is a well-dressed boy with good manners and family background. However he is pressured by his ambition to be a professional pianist. As for the other characters, they shine as much as the main characters(esp Kanpira who fights with Kai in the beginning of the movie*giggles*).

Overall: 10/10
It's a greatly produced anime movie. Minna-sama can watch it if you like. It is absolutely suitable for music lovers...(like myself) It's not a well-known anime, i.m.p.o, but I have a great feeling of pleasure after watching it.