What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a shonen romance manga.
(Since the manga is due to end simultaneously, there’s a good chance for the whole story to be adapted.)
Kousei, our 14-year-old male lead. Throughout his childhood, his ill mother forced him to play the piano, training him to public-performance level through much duress. And then he cracked, and she died soon after. That was a couple of years ago ; now he’s done with it. But he still clings to the music world a bit, charting music sheets as a part-time job.
Tsubaki, his childhood friend, will totally deny she’s into him. And maybe they’re really just friends… but come on, this is a romance series. She’s quite fun, though.
Ryouta, one of their friends, is the typical jock : MVP of the football team and serial charmer. Not a bad guy, though.
Kaori, the girl Tsubaki set up a date with Ryouta for. (That meant inviting Kousei as a fourth.) She puts on airs as a charmingly demure girl, but really she’s more mischevious and aggressive than that. Also, she plays the violin.
It’s a bit weird how we alternate between super-fluid music-playing set pieces, and much rougher comedic shorthand. It mostly works, but it takes a bit to get used to it.
On first viewing, I found this a bit dull and unmemorable. After a second watch… well, it deserves a better reception than that. It’s a perfectly okay romance show, with fun female characters (I reserve my judgement on the boys). Kousei’s past trauma is a bit overdone compared to the otherwise light tone, though it’s not too jarring.
But the key issue here is that there’s not much of a hook. It sets up a few budding relationships, but there’s no firm sense of where this is headed. It’s pleasant enough to watch, but I’m not entirely sold yet.