“I abandoned all other infinite possibilities of mine, and chose that one…”
Kaori’s amazing on stage, but I think Emi gave one of the most unforgettable performances of the series thus far, even for what I’ve seen ahead in the manga. I LOVE how they backtracked to show us more of her perspective and her back story. Emi was one of those kids who could have chosen anything and EXCELLED but she decided on piano, and it’s her desire to play like Kousei did, that’s driven her thus far. It’s amusing to see how her temperaments really haven’t changed since she was a kid.
The rest of the episode focuses on a lot of Kousei’s destructive relationship with his mother, how she beat him when he couldn’t play certain parts right, how Kousei became fixated on winning competitions so his mother would get better and how he blames himself for her death because he just wasn’t “good” enough.
“The other pianists won’t let him hang back. They won’t allow him to stop. After all, Arima is a musician…” – Kaori
Kousei’s decision to challenge the stage again and overcome his emotions, or at least try to, makes him all the more admirable as a character. The art style in Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso doesn’t have bishounen-styled characters or particularly fluffy shojo sentiments, it mostly aims at a realistic slice of life style.
Kousei isn’t particularly attractive nor does he have a vibrant personality but his resilience as a character and his desire to take bold steps forward into the bittersweet world of music is what makes him a dynamic character to watch. He’s scared to stand on stage, his past haunts him, kitties freak him out… but he does it all anyway. You don’t see these kinds of contradictions a lot in series. Mostly protagonists go from a fearful and timid period of time, through a training montage and then level up to badass with unwavering strength in battle. It doesn’t work for Kousei because one, this isn’t a shonen anime and two, he’s struggling with more of an internal battle. But to be very honest, people in real life react the way Kousei reacts. We’re stuck on the past all the time, ponder our regrets more than once and there are some things that scare the crap out of us, but somehow, we find the resolve to strive forward and seeing these traits echoed in Kousei’s personality makes him a worthy protagonist.
While I did think this episode dragged out Kousei’s back story and made it fairly long-winded, I think it’s necessary to build up the tension. After all, this is a definitive changing moment for Kousei. Will his world be flooded with colour? Or will he descend further into the depths of his regrets?
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso has really become one of my favourite series. That death flag hint with Kaori, all the medication she’s taking… yeah, all the manga readers and anime-only viewers are concerned, but I have quite a bit of faith in this series to handle all of this well. If Kaori does fall ill, it’ll be a huge hurdle for Kousei all over again because she’s become his main music inspiration but we’ll just have to see where the story takes us.
What are you pondering today?