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OtapediaPiano no Mori: The Perfect World of Kai

Also Known As

The Piano Forest


Kai Ichinose, the abandoned son of a prostitute, escapes his difficult life in the red light district by taking refuge in a forest which mysteriously contains an abandoned piano. Meanwhile, Shuhei Amamiya, the pampered son of a famous concert pianist, has just transferred to Kai’s school, Moriwaki Elementary. Shuhei is a sensitive boy and quickly picked on by the class bullies who dare him to venture into the creepy forest and play the abandoned piano. Submitting himself to the dare, Shuhei ends up meeting Kai who is the only one able to play the piano everyone else thought to be broken beyond repair. Kai’s musical ability convinces Shuhei to introduce him to his piano teacher - Sousuke Ajino. Sousuke and Shuhei do their best to convince Kai to take proper piano lessons, but he is reluctant to interfere with his natural playing technique. On hearing Sousuke play a bewitching Chopin piece that he just can’t seem to get right on his own, however, Kai relents…


Piano no Mori: The Perfect World of Kai is an adaptation of the manga by Makoto Isshiki, serialized in Young Magazine Uppers and later Weekly Morning between 1998 and 2015 before being published by Kodansha in 26 tankobon volumes. The manga also won the Grand Prize for manga at the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2008.

The series was previously adapted as a popular 2007 animated movie directed by Masayuki Kojima for Madhouse and starring Aya Ueto and Ryunosuke Kamiki. The TV anime adaptation is scheduled to air on NHK in April 2018 and will be produced by Fukushima Gainax with Gaku Nakatani directing.

Aoi Yuki will sing the ending theme, “Kaeru Basho ga Aru to Iu Koto,” which will be released as a CD single from Nippon Columbia on April 25, 2018.


Ichinose Kai (CV: Soma Saito / as elementary school student: Ryoko Shiraishi)
Series protagonist Kai Ichinose (generally nicknamed just “Kai”), is a young man with great untapped potential as a natural piano player. Unbelievably pretty just like his mother, Kai is often mistaken for being a girl. Since he was little, Kai has been living alone with his mother, Reiko, on the second floor of a bar and has been helping out doing odds jobs in the sex establishment where his mother works since he was 11, even sometimes having to help the hostesses tout for business. Belittled by his schoolmates for his poverty and for coming from such an unusual background, Kai escapes to the forest to play the hidden piano where he comes into contact with Shuhei, the son of a concert pianist. Impressed by his talent, Shuhei urges him to take lessons, but Kai refuses because he doesn’t have the money. Introduced to Shuhei’s teacher, Sousuke, Kai eventually gives in after hearing him play a complicated piece by Chopin and decides to devote himself to becoming a concert pianist.

Shuhei Amamiya (CV: Natsuki Hanae / as elementary school student: Yo Taichi)
Kai’s best friend, Shuhei also thinks of himself as his rival. Shuhei is the son of a famous concert pianist and has just transferred to Kai’s school, Moriwaki Elementary, where he is quickly picked on by bullies and dared to play the creepy abandoned piano in the woods. When he meets Kai he is struck by his musical potential and introduces him to his piano teacher, Sousuke, who also encourages him to take proper lessons spurring Kai on towards his musical destiny.

Sousuke Ajino (CV: Junichi Suwabe)
Later Kai’s piano teacher, Ajino Sousuke was formerly a successful concert pianist but was forced to abandon his career after losing his fiancée and sustaining an injury to his left hand as a result of a traffic accident. In the midst of his despair, Ajino became the music teacher at Moriwaki Elementary where meets Shuhei and Kai and later recognises Kai’s genius playing the piano that he himself abandoned in the forest.

Reiko Ichinose
Kai’s mother Reiko has lived near the forest all her life and works in the sex trade. She gave birth to Kai when she was just 15 and doesn’t know the identity of Kai’s father. Despite learning of his mother’s profession as a sex worker from the jeering of a local resident, Kai has deep love and respect for Reiko.

Namie Amamiya
Namie is Shuhei’s education-crazed mother. Namie doesn’t look down on Kai because of his background, but as a doting mother she puts her own son first.

Yoichiro Amamiya
Shuhei’s father, Yoichiro is a famous concert pianist. Previously a rival of Sousuke’s, he remains envious of his talent and somewhat hostile to his son’s piano teacher. While acknowledging Kai’s talent, Yoichiro also fears he may eclipse his own son and crush his musical dreams.


Soma Saito: Kai Ichinose
Ryoko Shiraishi: Kai Ichinose (as an elementary school student)
Natsuki Hanae: Shuhei Amamiya
Yo Taichi: Shuhei Amamiya (as an elementary school student(
Sousuke Ajino: Junichi Suwabe


Original Manga: Makoto Isshiki
Director: Gaku Nakatani
Series Composition: Aki Itami, Mika Abe
Character Design/Chief Animation Director: Sumie Kinoshita
Animation Production: Fukushima Gainax


Piano no Mori confirms TV anime Cast!

Official Links

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