This is a episode commentary. It is intended for someone who has seen this episode, and will contain episode spoilers.

~con spirito~

~with vigor~

Collage of Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl's Heart screenshots.

Miu’s father not knowing certainly who Yuuki is suggests either Miu isn’t childhood friends with her, or Miu’s father is so busy with work that he knows little to nothing about Miu’s life. The latter would be understandable to the extent that he puts so much time and effort into his job, as evident in always working late on his wedding anniversary, and the all-nighter this episode.

I should review the names of the guys mentioned while Miu and Yuuki are at the CD shop in the first episode, as well as all the names mentioned this episode. As they’re all referred to by their family names, it’s difficult keeping track of who’s who.

There’s Takahashi, called Taka-sempai in the first episode, as well as the start of the second episode. He’s the one with the short, dark hair Miu likes him, although there’s no indication as to why (other than a youth crush on someone she doesn’t even know).

Running together were Nagazawa and Takizawa, Nagazawa being the senior of the two. Takizawa is the one Yuuki likes. It’s nice of them to both have -zawa names and to be running side-by-side, leading to their names being used one after another so often.

As voices go, at times I feel as if I’m getting used to Rebecca Soler as Miu’s English voice, but then things go in the opposite direction. She sounds much more comfortable in the role during the voice over during the next episode preview, so here’s hoping that rolls over into her voicing during the following episodes. The easier-flowing lines do seem to be when there’s no lip-syncing to deal with, such as her dialogue while Mew is scratching at her door.

The teacher’s English voice actor is uncredited. Understandable, as it was one of those horrible voicings you hear in mid-90’s dubs. Takahashi, on the other hand, has an amazingly well-fit voice actor in Michael Sinterniklaas. I guess you can’t have such an interesting name as Sinterniklaas and not have a good voice to match? I expected the worse, but even Nagazawa has a pretty good English voice (played by Brian Schneider, another great family name I might add). Did Takizawa, voice by Drew Aaron, get any lines? I don’t recall any from him this episode.

Looking back on all the school uniforms I’ve seen in anime, I think the track uniforms are the first I’ve seen where the boys’ shorts shorter than the girls’. I’m still waiting to see when a series will give the same outfit for both for physical education.

When it came to collages for Janggeum’s Dream, the hard part was limiting it to nine images. I’d often start out with 15 to 30, then work it down from there. With Piano, it’s the opposite. I start with about 11 to 14 images, remove a few similar ones, then realize I only have one more to remove, and two or three similar scenes still in the collage. There’s just that little that’s happening. If I had to represent this episode in images, I’d take two with the track races, add in Yuuki introducing Takahashi to Miu, then… and then… Really, that’s the significance of the episode. There’s only one other item worth mentioning.

What was with the girl insisting on Mr. Shirakawa being her teacher? Was it someone he knows, or a random person to show his popularity? His connection to Mew also remains a mystery.

There was enough action, movement of characters, going on this episode that the background mostly didn’t get to me. The neighbor did mention Hitomi Nomura’s gradient-filled yard, though, which brought back flat, unoutlined memories. I wonder if the issue I have with these backgrounds is because of the use of gradients, or because of how the gradients are used. I don’t know enough about light to say whether the gradients simulate light realistically, but they don’t seem to add realism to the scene any for me.

If I were deciding whether to pick up this series based on the first three episode collages I’ve put together, knowing nothing about the series beforehand, I’d pass it up. If I were watching the first three episodes of this series as a preview, I imagine I’d pass it up. Owning the whole series makes one a little more likely to see it to the end, and it is only 10 episodes. At the same time, with the slow pace the show moves at, seven more episodes doesn’t feel as if it’ll be enough to move the story anywhere.

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