The Best Characters Who Play Piano In Anime

Anime characters have various hobbies and talents, and that often includes creative expression. Some characters are good at painting or drawing, while others are poets or professional writers. Then there’s music, with anime characters playing every instrument there is.



Trumpets, Violins, guitars, and pianos are all fair game, and plenty of anime characters can sit down at a grand piano and fill the room with incredible music. Some of them are famous for it in their stories, while other piano players just play a bit on the side and are better-known for other things. Sometimes, playing the piano can open up a character’s heart and show what they are truly feeling about themselves, other people, and their entire life, making the music equally beautiful, sad, and hopeful in the best anime.

Updated on December 20th, 2023 by Louis Kemner: This list of piano playing anime characters has been updated to adhere to CBR’s current publication standards.


10 Kosei Arima Is Trying To Hear The Notes Again

Your Lie In April anime series cover art

Your Lie in April

A piano prodigy who lost his ability to play after suffering a traumatic event in his childhood is forced back into the spotlight by an eccentric girl with a secret of her own.

Release Date
October 9, 2014

Creator
Naoshi Arakawa

Cast
Natsuki Hanae , Ayane Sakura , Ryōta Ōsaka

Rating
TV-PG

Seasons
1

Studio
A-1 Pictures

The heartbreaking drama anime Your Lie in April is all about the magic of music and friendship, even if two friends can only spend a few weeks or months together. While Kaori Miyazono plays the violin with great skill, her new friend Kosei is all about the piano.

As a young boy, Kosei was a prodigy, but due to serious personal baggage with his cruel mother, he can no longer hear the notes at all. But with Kaori’s generous help, Kosei just might let the music back into his heart once again, all while dealing with some one-sided rivalries from his fellow pianists Takeshi and Emi.

9 Soul Eater Evans Played A Mental Piano

Soul Eater anime poster with Maka in the center

Soul Eater

Set in the Shinigami technical school, the series revolves around a partnership between a weapon meisters and a human weapon. Trying to reach a ranking of “Death Scythe” they must collect the souls of 99 evil humans and 1 witch.

Release Date
April 7, 2008

Creator
Atsushi Ohkubo

Seasons
1

Studio
Bones

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Not all anime pianos are a regular, physical instruments. Plenty of fantasy series depict characters going into their own minds or souls to interact with imaginary people or objects, often as a metaphor for gaining combat strength or even finding self-acceptance. Soul Eater did this with the piano.

Soul Eater Evans, a scythe-shaped living weapon, usually fights alongside his partner Maka Albarn, but sometimes, he needs more help. Soul took a great risk by accepting a devil’s offer to embrace dark power, represented by playing the piano with loud, aggressive music. The devil was delighted to watch it happen.

8 Momo Yaoyorozu Dabbles In The Piano

My Hero Academia Anime Poster

My Hero Academia

Original title: Boku no hîrô akademia.
A superhero-admiring boy without any powers enrolls in a prestigious hero academy and learns what it really means to be a hero.

Release Date
May 5, 2018

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
6

Production Company
Bones

Students at UA are expected to study and train hard to hone their Quirks, which is hard work for even the most talented students. But these students are still allowed to pursue their own hobbies in their downtime, often playing music with drums or guitars. Then there’s Momo Yaoyorozu, who’s all about the piano.

Momo grew up wealthy, and while rich kids playing a grand piano is a tad cliché, it’s still a wonderful hobby for an ojou-sama type like her to pursue. Momo later lent her expertise to class 1-A’s rock band by playing an electric keyboard, which she clearly enjoyed doing.

momo playing piano in my hero academia

7 Shu Tsukiyama Plays The Organ

Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul took the world by storm when it debuted during the summer of 2014. Studio Pierrot does some wonderful work adapting author Sui Ishida’s dark fantasy series. Tokyo Ghoul isn’t for the faint of heart. This anime combines several genres such as horror, psychological thriller, action, and drama to great success.

Genre
Animation, Action, Horror

Language
English

Number of Seasons
4

Debut Date
July 3, 2014

Studio
Pierrot

Strictly speaking, the organ is a distinct instrument from regular pianos since it also involves controlling the airflow in pipes, but it still involves a keyboard, at least. Pipe organs are often associated with weddings, funerals, churches, and more, but they can also fit any dark Gothic story like Tokyo Ghoul.

Shu Tsukiyama is a pretentious and classy villain who does everything from dressing well to speaking in a lofty tone. He even plays the organ just because he can. He was playing the organ when protagonist Ken Kaneki and later Touka confronted him in his hideout, an abandoned church.

6 Shoko Komi Plays A Bit Of Piano

Komi smiling on the cover of the Komi Can't Communicate Anime Poster

Komi Can’t Communicate

An elite and aloof schoolgirl is in fact severely withdrawn and anxious about communicating with others. An ordinary schoolboy befriends her and helps her to open up and talk with people.

Release Date
October 21, 2021

Cast
Aoi Koga , Gakuto Kajiwara , Rie Murakawa , Rina Hidaka

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
2

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The dandere heroine Shoko Komi dabbled in all kinds of hobbies and sports when she was younger, based on the photos that Tadano and Najimi saw in an album at the Komi household. Sadly, Shoko was all alone when practicing her hobbies, but at least she was good at them all.

Tadano and Najimi were pleasantly surprised to see a picture of middle school-era Shoko playing a grand piano, which only reinforces Shoko’s image as an aloof, perfect princess. Shoko doesn’t play that piano much in the main story, but even so, she must have had fun playing it once upon a time.

5 Kyoko Izanami Loves The Keys

The Day I Became A God anime poster

The Day I Became a God

Yota Narukami decides to spend his possible last days with Hina, a young girl who declares that the world will end in only 30 days!

Release Date
October 11, 2020

Creator
Jun Maeda

Cast
Natsuki Hanae , Ayane Sakura

Rating
Not Rated

Seasons
1

Studio
P.A. Works

The Day I Became a God is a somewhat obscure but emotionally impactful drama anime starring the ordinary boy Yota Narukami and his new friend, a pink-haired girl calling herself Odin Sato who claims to be a reverse-isekai guest to Earth. But there’s another noteworthy character, Kyoko Izanami.

Kyoko was once a cheerful girl, but losing her beloved mother hit her hard, and she hasn’t yet fully recovered from that. But she can play the piano, at least, and with her friend Yota’s aid, Kyoko can use her music to take her mind off things and find true joy in her daily life.

4 Megumi Noda Plays The Piano By Instinct

Shinichi Chiaki and Shinichi Chiaki and Megumi Noda in the poster of Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

Shinichi Chiaki is a talented musician who finds a rather strange companion in Megumi Noda. As they get to know each other they also meet a variety of crazy characters and face some challenging opportunities.

Release Date
January 11, 2007

Creator
Tomoko Ninomiya

Cast
Laura Bailey , Yuri Lowenthal , Bryce Papenbrook , Vic Mignogna , Colleen O’Shaughnessey , Kate Higgins , Tomokazu Seki , Ayako Kawasumi

Rating
TV-13+

Seasons
3

Studio
J.C. Staff

Franchise
Nodame Cantabile

Characters By
Tomoko Ninomiya

Megumi Noda is a cheerful and creative young woman from the Nodame Cantabile anime, and she absolutely loves playing her favorite instrument, the piano. But while some pianists are dignified and by-the-book, Megumi likes to make up her own rules and go wild on the keyboard. And she has a personality to match.

All that makes Megumi a foil to her new male friend and crush, Shinichi, who is definitely a more restrained musician. They might clash sometimes, but music will always bring them together, and it might even lead to true love.

3 Kaoru Nishimi Is Shy But Has Musical Talent

Poster of Kids on the Slope

Kids on the Slope

Two different students – a successful but aloof academic and a rebellious but kindhearted delinquent – form a friendship through their love for music.

Release Date
April 12, 2012

Creator
Yuki Kodama

Cast
Andrew Love , Yoshimasa Hosoya , Chris Patton , Ryōhei Kimura , Yūka Nanri , Rebekah Stevens

Rating
TV-14

Seasons
1

Studio
MAPPA

Franchise
Kids on the Slope

Number of Episodes
12

Kids on the Slope is a charming anime set in 1960s Japan, starring the terribly shy boy Kaoru, a teen who is quite skilled at the piano. He struggles to make friends, though, due to both his introverted nature and how often his family moves for his father’s work. But that’s about to change.

At first, Kaoru was all about classical music, but after making some new friends at school, Kaoru was inspired to try jazz music as well, which allows the piano to truly shine. He will even find true love at his new school.

2 Miu Nomura Finds Joy In Playing Music

Poster for Piano- The Melody of a Young Girl's Heart with all the main characters

Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl’s Heart

Miu used to love the piano. As a little girl, the music made her heart soar, and she eagerly shared her songs with everyone around her. Now an introverted teenager, she’s become too shy to express her feelings – even through her music. Her piano teacher, the moody Mr. Shirakawa, has become impatient with her inability to reach the next level. When Miu develops a crush on Takahashi, her teacher notices a sudden and remarkable change in her playing. Can he help her find the courage to share both her heart and her music once more?

Release Date
November 11, 2002

Creator
Mami Watanabe

Cast
Sean Schemmel , Veronica Taylor , Ayako Kawasumi , Jun Fukuyama , Michael Sinterniklaas , Akio Otsuka , Rebecca Soler , Mitsuru Miyamoto , Marc Diraison , Yūko Sasaki

Rating
TV-Y7

Seasons
1

Studio
OLM

Number of Episodes
10

The early 2000s anime series Piano: The Melody of a Young Girl’s Heart is roughly similar to Your Lie in April, but without the grief. Miu Nomura is a young lady who absolutely loves playing the piano, and she spreads joy to everyone who hears it. Or at least, that used to be the case. Things have taken a bad turn since then.

Now, Miu is having a tough time truly expressing herself on the keyboard as she once did, and worse yet, she has become a rather shy and unassertive person. Not even her classmates, friends, and piano teacher can help her, so the magic of music must come from within. It’s not quite an anime to make fans cry, but it may come close.

1 Maki Nishikino Wants To Put Music First

Love Live! School Idol Project anime cover art

Love Live! School Idol Project

When news gets out that the school is going to close due to poor numbers of new students Honoka and several of her friends rally together and form a school Idol group in order to prevent the school from closing.

Release Date
January 6, 2013

Creator
Sakurako Kimino

Cast
Cristina Valenzuela , Erica Lindbeck , Caitlin Glass , Laura Post

Rating
TV-G

Seasons
2

Studio
Sunrise

Number of Episodes
26

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Like Momo Yaoyorozu, the kind-hearted tsundere Maki Nishikino grew up as a single child in a wealthy household, and she also plays the piano in the Love Live School Idol Project anime. However, Maki’s parents have strict expectations for her and want her to study medicine instead of music. Maki came this close to abandoning the piano for good.

However, Maki was inspired at the last moment to hang onto her passion for music and make it the central focus of her life, even if her parents might object. In addition, Maki is noted for having a gorgeous singing voice and for writing her own songs. She can do more than sight-reading, that’s for sure.

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