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Piano no Mori


(© Makoto Issiki / Kodansha)

In the middle of a quiet forest, a grand piano lies abandoned. Surrounded by natural beauty, a young boy feverishly strikes the piano's age-worn keys . . .

This striking scene is how the comic story Piano no Mori (Piano Forest) begins. Created by popular manga artist Isshiki Makoto, the series tells the story of two boys with completely different backgrounds and playing styles as they try their best to become professional pianists, influencing each other along the way.

The main character is fifth grader Ichinose Kai, who came across the piano in the forest one day by chance. The mysterious instrument was once the cherished possession of school music teacher Ajino Sosuke, who used to be a master pianist but gave up the piano after losing the use of his left hand in a car accident.

Kai has been playing and taking care of the piano since he was young, before becoming aware of his natural musical talent. One interesting aspect of the series is that the piano can only make sounds when Kai plays it.


(© Makoto Issiki / Kodansha)

One day, a boy named Amamiya Shuhei transfers into Kai's class. Shuhei has studied the piano since he was very young in order to become a pianist just like his father. He has always been keen to impress those around him with his piano-playing skills, but he is stunned when he hears the bold and soothing musical style of Kai, and eventually comes to be very influenced by him.

With the release of a Piano no Mori animated movie in Japan in the summer of 2007, the series is continuing to attract new fans. Telling the story of the ups and downs of two boys as they try to find their way in the fiercely competitive world of classical music, Piano no Mori inspires the people who read or watch it to work hard to make their dreams come true.

(Updated in October 2007)