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Dated 9 January 2009: Piano is the Ayako Doctrine at work

Miu
Miu has serious hair.

I still can't believe RightStuf licensed Piano. I hope I'm not the only person to have bought the DVDs. Piano is a 10-episode series that seemingly few people watched to the end. I'm not saying Piano is boring, but it's very slice-of-life, not a whole lot happens, and Miu spends most of the series mildly unhappy the way only a young teenage girl can be. So it's a hard sell even if Miu has the second best hair in the history of anime.

Ayako Kawasumi
The Piano DVD collection also features a number
of shaky-cam interviews with Kawasumi Ayako.

I originally watched Piano because of the Ayako Doctrine. The Ayako Doctrine applies to Piano a bit more than it typically does since Kawasumi Ayako (a skilled pianist) not only voices the main character, she also composed the opening theme and presumably plays the piano as Miu.

Yuuki
Yuuki also has serious hair.

There's not much else to say about Piano. It is a pleasant little show about family and relationships. Miu doesn't really have her act together, but it's forgivable since she's still a kid. Her greatest challenge during the short series is struggling against the temptation to just give up when things get tough. To that end, she performs much better than say Satou from Welcome to the N.H.K. Beyond that, there's not much drama. You're not going to see anyone bent over a baby grand, for example.

Shirakawa
Miu's stern piano teacher.

Is Piano still worth watching? Well, I like it. And if you follow the Ayako Doctrine, viewing at least the first two episodes is compulsory. Despite starring Kawasumi Ayako in a piano-based series, there really aren't many similarities to Nodame Cantabile. In fact, there aren't many similarities to very many shows now that I think about it. I suppose you could say that's its main draw: Piano is unique in being so ordinary.

Dated 30 May 2012: I acquired some more shelves in a game of chance, and some more viewer mail too (through wholly legitimate channels)

Shelves
I bet these discs will still be unorganized months from now.

In semi-related news, I'm partially responsible for at least one more To Heart purchase in addition to my own. Brendan writes:

...your recent comparison of Idolm@ster (which I haven't seen) with the original To Heart (which I also haven't seen – yet) was instrumental in my otherwise blind purchase of the To Heart box from Nozomi. Likewise, following the blog and flipping through the archives have led me to a number of shows of varying popularity which I might not otherwise have bothered to research or dig up – chiefly Figure 17 (was sold by the piano solo in episode 4 – I now own two copies, and the show is easily in my personal top five), but also Nanaka 6/17 (bought blind), Piano (bought blind)(may also have been influenced by the AMV "The Most Exciting Thing, Ever, In the Entire Universe"), Pita-Ten, Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight (would totally buy, having seen it), B Gata H Kei, Chu-Bra, and maybe a couple of others. For all of these, I am grateful to you (even Chu-Bra).

I really need to merge the old archives with the "new" WordPress stuff. This is getting ridiculous. It's been like six years.