"Shindo" (The Prodigy) by Akira Sasou, published by Futaba-sha
The story begins when Uta Naruse, a primary school student, meets Wao, a high school graduate studying for the entrance examination of a music conservatory. They pursue their ideal music together and inhabit a world of perfect pitch.
"No matter how skillful an artist may be, it is difficult to illustrate music in a single frame of a story," Sasou said. "I tried to carefully construct the story around episodes involving music, and to transform sounds into illustrations." For example, in a scene in which Uta plays Debussy's "Poisson d'Or" from the piano suite "Images," imaginary fish swim around the audience in the room. When she plays Prokofiev's "War Sonata," her anger and despair cause the room to grow cold. World without sound Sasou, who has enjoyed listening to classical music since he was in middle school, shows his sensitivity to sound and music in these ways. In the end, Uta, who has become a pianist of international renown, becomes deaf. Sasou had planned this plot from the very start. "If you pursue music to the very end, you must think of music in a world without sound," Sasou said.
This has been made into a movie that was released in Japan in Spring 2007. To see a movie trailer in Japanese (no captioning, no English subtitles) visit http://shindo-movie.jp/