Kōsei and Kaori head to the competition, despite Kōsei’s incredible nerves. The two begin their competition piece, and all is well for a little bit. There is lot of audience commentary questioning Kōsei being the accompanist instead of the soloist. But, the same problem Kōsei has been experiencing happens during the performance - he can’t hear the piano, the notes disappear from the page, and he becomes lost. They stop their playing, which disqualifies them, but when Kaori starts again, Kōsei plays from the heart and what he remembers the piece to be. The audience still erupts when they’re done, even though they won’t get to move on in the competition. Afterwards, Kaori faints and ends up in the hospital for a few days. As part of her “gift” for leaving the hospital, she tricks Kōsei into agreeing to enter a solo piano competition.
The storytelling is a little frenetic in this volume - the two leads get to the competition on a bike and it appears to fall over or Kōsei somehow falls off it, and it shows him bleeding from the head, but as soon as they go in the hall, he’s fine. Kaori's fainting is told in a flashback well after we find her in the hospital. This storytelling works really well for Kōsei's playing during the competition, but the rest of the storytelling suffers a little bit from the missing details in a non-linear approach. Overall, this is still a fine volume and a beautiful story, so I (and probably many readers) can look passed my preference to have things a little more spelled out.
The art is a little polarizing. Arakawa's lack of detail and strange use of shading on character's faces is very different than most mangakas, but it also makes it interesting and stand out from other stories.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Publication Date: June 23, 2015
ISBN: 9781632361721 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Manga, Music, Friendship, Kodansha
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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