“The stars will shine over your head.” – Kaori
SIMPLY BEAUTIFULY. ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.
How should I even review this episode? There was so much meaningful dialogue, symbolic scenery, so many emotions and so much intensity. ALL IN THE SPAN OF FIVE MINUTES. YES, the director put in those extra scenes to show us the timer in order to show us just how much condensed and concentrated storytelling was packed into five minutes within the story world even though it dragged out to span the entire episode for viewers.
A central question that pops up again and again in the series is “Why do you play? Why are you a musician? What inspires you to play on?” We see this question answered in a multitude of ways, beginning with Kousei’s puppet performances, to Kaori’s off the handle renditions, and finally to contemporary musicians like Takeshi and Emi. Kousei is faced with the question again as he takes his place on the stage with his old friend, the piano.
“The starry sky that I look up at with you – what will it be like?” – Kousei
To be honest I was really surprised at how the stars imagery could have tied into the music world but it works rather simnply and beautifully. The mention of stars starts off as a simple song, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” a song every pianist learns in his or her first year with the keys. It moves on to allude to the stars we see in the performance world, Kousei’s performance number, then to the stars that shine down on our character when they play with passion on stage. The variety of interpretations that’s used with the imagery is just brilliant and adds so much more emotion as it resonates throughout the plot.
Throughout the past few episode we’ve seen Kousei struggle with Chopin. What does HIS Chopin sound like? What scenery and imagery is he working with when he plays Chopin? Up till now, the imagery of music and the piano for him is just monochrome, tainted in grief and regret with his childhood chained to the piano by his mother’s demands. Now, he’s re-entering the music world, not as a puppet, but as a true musician. The imagery on stage not only changes figuratively in Kousei’s mind and with the audience’s interpretation of his music, but also physically with in the animation as he plays.
Kousei’s character development thus far can be summed up in this episode, three transformations that mark his career as a musician thus far. From a robotic reproduction of the score, to angry frustration at himself and at the piano, to an almost enlightened state free of the pressures of the score and cut from his puppet strings.
This quote above is LOADED with plot hints… Will it be the stars like the spotlights that he and Kaori share on stage? Or the stars they see out in the music room when they’ve gone late practicing? What will those stars mean for them? If Kousei initially saw Kaori as a muse and inspiration for his music, she’s now become the reason he performs and the catalyst for his utter transformation as a musician.
I think when Kousei says “Only you matter,” he’s mainly thinking of Kaori, her aggressive personality, her bright and free-spirit, her passion as a music; but towards the end I think he’s also thinking about his mother, sitting there in the audience in her special spot.
As the performance reaches an end, I love how they background score added the violin into the background to represent Kaori’s significance to Kousei’s performance. Simply brilliant storytelling. SO. MUCH. GORGEOUS. IMAGERY. Both in the story and in the animation and especially in Kousei’s final notes. FIVE MINUTES. SERIOUSLY HOW AMAZING WAS THIS EPISODE. Shocking, exciting, thought-provoking, touching. THIS is Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso at its best.
What are you pondering today?