I really like The Right Stuf International, the company that puts out Piano. They sell and produce anime DVDs, and their web site is very informational. I've ordered from them several times in the past and always received excellent service. Their earlier releases, at least the ones that I have seen, have been good and worth purchasing. That's why it pains me to slam Piano Volume 2, but I have to call 'em like I see 'em. I didn't like the first disc, and the four episodes on this volume do nothing to change my mind. This show is dull, uneventful and bland. It certainly isn't worth spending $30 on.
Miu is an average girl in her second year of middle school. She has been taking piano lessons for six years, and is doing pretty well. Her best friend is Yuuki, a girl who's on the school track team. They both work hard on their respective hobbies and are just starting to notice boys. Together, the two friends go to school and....well, that's about it.
Summer vacation is here, and Miu and Yuuki have some time off from school. Miu practices the piano, and Yuuki goes away to visit relatives. Near the end of the summer is Yuuki's birthday, and this year she is planning something big: She's going to tell the boy that she likes, Takizawa, that she's fond of him. Yuuki gets nervous as the day approached though. Will she chicken out?
In another episode, Yuuki's sister, a foreign tour guide who's never
in Japan, comes home unexpectedly for a visit. She's acting a little
strange though, and everyone wonders if there is something else behind
I could even get past that and look at it as a sliceľof-life piece if the characters were even a little bit interesting. They aren't. Miu is whiny and so timid that it's irritating. This program is so low key that it needs CPR.
This disc comes with the original Japanese soundtrack, as well as an English dub, both in stereo. I alternated tracks while I was viewing the disc and enjoyed the Japanese track more, as usual, but the English dub didn't have anything wrong with it. Both tracks sounded nice, with no distortion or dropouts. The dialog was easy to hear and the musical accompaniment was clear. A solid sounding disc.
The full frame video looked good. The colors were solid and the lines were strong. Digital defects were at a minimum, with just the slightest amount of aliasing in the background. Overall a nice looking DVD.
This disc has a good selection of extras. Special Epilogue 2 is a four-minute talk where Ayako Kawasumi (Miu) and Tomoko Kawakami (Yuuki) talk about their favorite scenes in the show. The camera is never still, always moving around the pair which is really, really annoying.
There are also two Visual Monologs, five-minute segments where the character Miu ponders events that happened in an episode. The video is a combination of slips from the show and live action footage of Ayako Kawasumi walking around or staring off into space.
Charatcer bios, a line art gallery and a selection of trailers are also included.
Piano is a show with no conflict, no characterization and no
plot. A slow and plodding program that takes its time to get to its
destination that turns out to be nowhere. I don't like a lot of Go
Nagi's work, but I can at least see where it would appeal to some people.
For the life of me I can't imagine anyone getting into this show.
Pass on by, there's nothing to see here. Skip it.