“The piano… is meant to be played like you’re embracing it, right?” – Kousei
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, it reaches its emotional climax time and time again, every stage it takes and every performance it presents. In this show, we see the main character, Kousei, transform so many times, in so many different ways, as a person and as a pianist. As he steps on the stage with Love’s Joy and Love’s Sorrow both weighing heavy on his mind as he takes to the piano, he plays in Kaori’s stead and he plays Love’s Joy as a final homage to his mother’s memory.
When the series starts out, Kousei views his past in such a painful light, the memories of his mother were such a burden to him in his life and his music. From his perspective as a child, it almost seems like his mother was pushing him to be great for the sake of being great. However, when Kousei comes to terms with himself, he actually realizes that music is both an art that he and his mother shared and a last gift his mother gave her.
In terms of art style and animation, we FINALLY get to see the face of Saki Arima. She’s not just a faceless phantom anymore but a warm and pleasant memory in Kousei’s mind. Reflecting on his mother’s presence in his music career, he comes to understand Love’s Sorrow in a new light. It’s all so simple, this resolution that Kousei has reached through his music and yet so poignant and tragic. When all the emotions springing forth from his music, we begin to relate to Kousei’s performance in the moments we come to understand how much our parents worry and dote on us.
I really cried so much in this episode, just being along with Kousei for the twelve episode ride, seeing how amazing music helps you change and discover yourself, discover others, it’s such a therapeutic and enthralling story to watch.
The little Miike-kun who takes the stage after the prodigal Kousei is practically shaking… but like the rest of the audience, he’s become moved by the audience, the atmosphere of the gala and touched by Kousei’s performance, his motivations on stage change. The entire gala ordeal becomes absolutely exquisite. When Kousei breaks down after the performance, it’s almost like he turns into a kid again, just that kid who wants to play well for his mom to hear, and it’s such a bittersweet moment of loss and redemption through music.
But at the end of the gala, Tsubaki is starting to come to terms with her emotions for Kousei. It all wells up all at once… into a wordless inner mess…
Between Saki-sensei and Ochiai-sensei, they discuss Kousei’s growth as a musician, how his performances are colored by loss and tragedy, how it shapes him and pushes him to mature… if his growth is pushed by sorrow, then for him to mature even more, would require even more loss. OH GOD THE FORESHADOWING WORDS OF PAIN AND SUFFERING THAT I DIDN’T WANT TO HEAR. This will only spiral downwards into tragedy soon. The manga is getting there soon enough. I only hope that if Kaori’s death flags are going up and if the series ends with a tragedy that Kousei will be able to move forward as a musician without his muse.
I love how the story is focusing so much on Kousei’s character development but I REALLY want to see Kousei and Kaori play together again on stage. This series is definitely rated up there with one of my all time favourites.
What are you pondering today?