Piano no Mori ~The Perfect World of Kai~
is a Seinen
Manga by Makoto Isshi, currently running at 22 volumes.
It was adapted by Madhouse
in 2007 as an animated film, covering a majority of the childhood arc up until the end of the concours.
This series provides examples of:
- Blinding Bangs: Shiba, during the childhood arc.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kai has taken much of his looks from his mother. So much so that the dorm manager mistook Kai for a girl, no realizing until she gave him a dress and Ajino had to point it out for her.
- Fat Bastard: Kinpira.
- Jerkass: Daigaku Kanehira, otherwise known as Kinpira, is a child who constantly bullies Shuhei and Kei throughout the childhood arc.
- Market-Based Title: The anime film is sometimes known as The Piano Forest.
- Meaningful Name: Kai full name written in Eastern order, Ichinose Kai, is a pun for "ichi no sekai," which roughly translates to "#1 of the world."
- Pragmatic Adaptation: The animated film takes steps to ensure that it works as a self-contained story by taking out elements that lead into the story past the Time Skip.
- Red Light District: Kai lives here. It's nicknamed "The Edge of the Forest" for its location in the city and is known for being a Yakuza lair.
- Single Mom Stripper: ...Well, prostitute, anyway. Reiko.
- Son of a Whore: Kai's mother, Reiko, is a prostitute of his town's Red Light District.
- Sweet on Polly Oliver: Saga toward Maria, Kai's cross-dressing disguise for the P-Club.
- Technician Versus Performer: One of the central themes of this work. In this case, both schools of thought are exemplified through the two leads. Shuhei is the Technician and Kai is the Performer.
- Time Skip: One spanning several years occurs after Shuhei moves away and the piano of the forest is destroyed by lightning and a forest fire.
- Unknown Rival: Shuhei has a massive inferiority complex and considers Kai his greatest rival, despite how the music world has initially judged their respective skills. Kai, on the other hand, only sees Shuhei as his best friend and is perplexed whenever the former treats him like an opponent.