“Was I able to live inside someone’s heart? Was I able to live inside your heart? Do you think you’ll remember me at least a little? Don’t forget me, okay?” – Kaori
Once again Kousei takes to the stage and through his music, his character comes full circle within the story. He realizes that music isn’t something that isolates him from the world, it’s something that connects him with everyone around him. As he plays, he hopes that his music will reach Kaori in her most fragile time.
The animation and imagery used throughout Kousei’s performance is splendidly directed. Coupled with the musical arrangement, everything culminates to show Kousei a vision of Kaori on stage in an intensely poignant moment where he’s finally able to perform with her again, but only within the vision. It’s all a tragically beautiful dream at first when Kousei realizes that this is a vision of his but he decides to give himself fully to the music and enjoy his time with this Kaori. As the landscape lights up in coloured lights and falling stars, the duet becomes one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever seen and heard in an anime series. It’s amazing how well the score fits Kousei’s emotions regarding Kaori and it all ends in a flurry of sakura blossoms which transition us back to the stage as Kousei moves into the conclusion of his piece and his last goodbyes to Kaori
After a short break with the title card, we’ve fast-forwarded to a point in time when Kaori has passed. Kousei’s life is still in colour thankfully, and he seems to be moving forward slowly, at his own pace. He reads the letter, revealing the fact that Kaori was also in the audience at Kousei’s first piano performance, his music inspiring her to become a musician as well. Ironically, she’s sitting next to Emi in the audience hahahahaha that’s my favourite moment of serendipity. She decides that she wants to learn violin so that Kousei will be the one to play the piano for her. Actually, she went to the same junior high school as Kousei as well but she was too awkward and shy to approach him. After her illness spread, she decided to do everything she was afraid to do and live life to the fullest.
These moments in the letter are the most honest and telling of Kaori’s personality, the most touching as well. Since the story’s been told previously only from Kousei’s perspective, we really didn’t know what Kaori has been thinking this entire time. The big twist is the lie in April that she told, when she pretended to like Watari in order to meet Kousei. It’s so moving to hear Kaori recount all her memories with Kaori.
After this sort of conclusion, it seems like Tsubaki is the only one for Kousei now, the one to support him in his growth once again, but I wonder who will support Kousei musically… or rather, everything that’s happened has pushed Kousei to be a much stronger musician and individual because Kaori will live within his music forever.
Final Thoughts on the Series
I really expected myself to cry at the end of the Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso ending but like the ending of the manga, I didn’t cry at all, I think it’s because of how detached Kaori’s death seemed from the audience’s perspective. We mostly see Kousei’s emotions and grief emerge through his performance and after the performance wraps up, Kousei has come to terms with Kaori’s death and himself. Kaori’s letter gives Kousei the final moments of closure that he needs and the last episode is really about tying up loose ends because everyone already knew it was inevitable that Kaori would not live with the conclusion of the series.
In this sense, Kaori’s fleeting presence is like a dream in Kousei’s life, a short episode in his life when a bright, passionate, fragile and vibrant girl blew into his world and lit up his life in a thousand different colours. Having dealt with his grief in a mature way, he matures as a musician by the end of the series and as beautifully as the story concludes in the manga, it was all the more poignant in the anime because of the use of imagery, surrealist styles and music.
Without a doubt, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso has become one of my all-time favourite series, and that really doesn’t happen often. There’s nothing I can really say to critique much of the series. Sure, events are paced a bit quicker than in the manga, but the anime does a magnificent job of condensing the details and amplifying the emotional moments in the story to fit the medium of animation. They stuck true to the ending and we got so much more artistic imagery in the anime than we ever did on the pages of the manga. Both the manga and the anime do amazing jobs with the art, pacing and storytelling, I really can’t decide which I like more…
I really think any fan of any genre can watch Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso and find something to appreciate in the story, the emotions, the music or the animation. The entire project is just so well planned and produced. It has really been a humbling experience to review this series weekly, especially when each episode offers new emotional dilemmas and musical introspection every week. Thank you guys so much for being here throughout the Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso journey.
What are you pondering today?