Fans of the currently-airing anime series “Piano no Mori” (literally translates as “Forest of the Piano”) will be thrilled to know that records label Nippon Columbia will be releasing a compilation CD album of the full-sized classical pieces featured in the anime on 20 June 2018.

© Makoto Isshiki/ Kodansha / Piano no Mori Anime Partners

Of the 17 classical piano pieces featured in the compilation CD, a majority will centre on those pieces by Polish composer Frederic Chopin; there will of course be a few other composers’ pieces included as they were performed in the anime episodes during the course of the series’ run. The opening theme piece “Umi-e” (To the Ocean) of the series will of course also be included (and it’s not TV-size!). “Umi-e” was inspired from the original classical piece ‘Etude Opus.10 No.1’ composed by Chopin – a young Kai, the series’ main character, unknowingly re-arranged the composition when he attempted to re-create and emulate the piece on his ‘forest piano’ after listening to it played once… and voila! An all-new piece was composed!

One might point out that since classical music pieces are evergreen irrespective of where or when they are being performed – so what makes this particular CD compilation any different from any other Chopin pieces CDs out there in the market? This CD compilation is special because the pieces lined-up are not taken from any ol’ already-existing recordings, but feature all new arrangements and performances by five selected pianists – including Japan’s very own rising new stars Kyohei Sorita and Ryoma Takagi.

The retailing price of the “Piano no Mori – Piano Best Collection (I)” CD album is JPY 3,000 and it will be available at all major music stores. Fans who would like to listen to the full-sized version of the opening theme “Umi-e” may also find it available on streaming services like Spotify and iTunes.

© Makoto Isshiki/ Kodansha / Piano no Mori Anime Partners

“Piano no Mori” anime is currently into its climax ‘Chopin International Piano Competition’ arc. The animation series was adapted from the original 24-volumes manga series by Makoto Isshiki that had its serialisation run in publishing giant Koudansha’s manga magazines from 1998 to 2015.

The story follows the growth of main character Kai Ichinose – who showed a strange talent and affinity for an old abandoned piano in the forest behind his residence. Fans follow his growth from an unruly ‘child of the Forest Edge’ (as the area he grew up in was called), to a young prodigious pianist and rising new star on the international classical music stage as he shows the competitive but very traditional classical music world HIS way of playing the piano. The anime stars Souma Saito as the character voice for Kai; Natsuki Hanae in the role of Shuhei Amamiya – Kai’s friend and rival, as well as Junichi Suwabe in the role of Sousuke Ajino – Kai’s mentor in the art of piano and classical music.