Ep 3 – Inside Spring

Kousei is assigned to be Watari’s stand in for trip to the dessert shop where he’s forced into showing off his piano skills. Kaori tells him she needs a new accompanist, but there’s a reason Kousei is hesitant to accept.

Image of Kaori's waffles with a mint sprig on top

Not going to lie, those waffles look really good but Kaori’s reaction is strong all the same. Also she got the special on the the sign in front of the store because she’s adventurous. I always just get the one thing I know is good.

Image of Kousei smiling as he watches Kaori

It looks like Kousei finds her indulgent behavior kind of endearing. Crazy musician one moment and normal girl the next. I’ll bet Kousei never thought talented musicians could have normal lives, much less enjoy them.

Kaori getting angry when Kousei doesn't want to play for the kids

Tempestuous. Capricious. Kaori can be a monster when she doesn’t like what you have to say. “Kids don’t want to hear your lame excuses.” Kousei even remarks before this that she’s patient with children but attacks someone her own age with a melodica. Kaori is indeed super nice to kids for some reason.

Image of Kousei holding his hand after he suddenly stops playing

I though to mention the scene right before this where Kousei is literally turning heads in the shop as he plays Mozart’s rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, confirming Kaori’s belief that it’s a “happy piano.” This was the more striking moment, though. Kousei is undeniably talented, but something is fundamentally broken inside him.

Kaori talking seriously with Kousei after he explains why he doesn't play

“A life without music is death.” Kaori says dramatic stuff like this a lot, but there’s a serious conviction in her voice with this statement. How deeply does she understand the lack of music in Kousei’s life?

Image of Kaori telling Kousei to accompany her

She’s not giving him a choice either way. Another iconic moment: “I choose Friend A to be my accompanist.” Kaori knows that Kousei is broken, and the only way she knows to fix him is to drag him back to music like she did at the end of the first episode.

Kaori nervously asking Tsubaki

Kousei is being difficult, and Kaori wonders if her persistence is actually bad for him. Watch how carefully she approaches the subject with Tsubaki, telling her that she wouldn’t ask if she didn’t know he was an amazing pianist. It seems Kaori already knows how protective Tsubaki is of him.

Kousei lying on the floor with his hands in the air and piano music all around him

Tsubaki is also pretty sadistic though, and they both pester him to the point of insanity. To be honest, I would be pretty happy about hearing Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso playing throughout my school. Maybe not for a whole week, though.

Kaori pressing the stop button after the hospital stop is called

This whole scene is pretty interesting, as it’s one of the few times they draw rain despite it being Spring (Thank you Kimmie for pointing this out!). Tsubaki has mixed feelings about pushing Kousei to play. Perhaps even about pushing him to play with Kaori. Kaori, however, does the gloomiest thing of all by requesting a stop at the hospital.

Kaori coming to find Kousei at the top of the school building

A great scene that illustrates what I was talking about with light. The shadow cast by the building makes sense, as does Kousei hiding behind it to eat his lunch. Still, they show Kaori standing in the light opposite him. She’s willing to put herself out there. He’s not. It’s subtle, but telling.

Image of the cat telling Kousei it's not big loss that he can't play

The cat is a repeated motif as well. It speaks with his voice here, telling him he has an excuse to step off the stage now that he can’t hear the notes. Keep an eye on this little guy and see if you can figure out what he represents by the end.

Kousei stepping into the light as he accepts Kaori's request

Kousei steps into the light when he decides to be her accompanist. A bit on the nose here, but important considering the point I made above. Also, he remembers Watari’s uncannily wise words again. Kousei is not confident at all that he can do this, or that he’ll be any good, but that’s up to the girl to decide.

Image of the town in vivid color

In the final scene as they race through town on stolen borrowed bikes, Kousei seems to be noticing the vibrant color for the first time. I love this moment because it’s the exact point that spark in him rekindles. The town looks beautiful, because he’s actually looking forward to something.

Today’s song was an obvious pick: Yuujin A kun wo Watashi no Bansousha ni Ninmei Shimasu (“I will appoint Friend A as my accompanist”).

The track feels a little tense. Like you’re being led to the precipice of something. You might be nervous to approach, but what lies beyond is beautiful. Being an admitted musical novice, I don’t know if that’s what it was going for, but it’s how I felt hearing it.  

Kaori cheerfully saying

Following the tradition of important motifs in this section, this one is pretty sweet. Kousei is lost in his own world of despair, reflecting on how alone he feels when he plays. Kaori’s answer is so very simple, yet moving, and it instantly snaps him back to reality. “You’ll have me this time.” What a difference a simple offer to stand by someone can make, even if it changes nothing about their situation.

Also Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is going to be used again.

That’s all for today. Let me know what you think! If you missed a post, catch up on the re watch party at this link


16 thoughts on “Ep 3 – Inside Spring

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  1. It was during this episode that I began to realise that this show really is something special. I loved this episode. The way Kaori tries to bring back Kousei to the thing he still loves in his heart, was touching. That moment in the roof, where he finally accepts, was one of the best moments of the series so far. The way they played with the lights was well done. But the moment in the restaurant was also heartbreaking. The way he all of a sudden stopped playing the piano, and you get the reason for it…truly sad. The final scene on the bike: I had a smile all over my face. It was great to see both the fear, but also the anticipation of things yet to come on their faces. Wow, what a great series this is turning into…really looking forward to see where this is all going to lead up to 😀 Onwards…to episode 4 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes 🙂

      Like I told you, I really love this episode. A lot of emotion going on and it’s at this point you see that it’s not all just cutesy slice of life. There is some real pain for both these characters and you start to see it from here onward. I sometimes think about how insightful Kaori had to be to realize Kousei needs this push, especially without knowing his reasons before now.

      And Kousei is too scared to push himself, so he doesn’t realize how much he needs someone like Kaori to bring him out of this.

      I was smiling at that last scene too. With excitement there’s always some nervousness and fear. Kaori told him a life without music is death, and now that he’s going back to it he feels that sense of life again.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It pretty much comes down to something that I have always strongly believed in: nobody can do things alone. No matter how much someone thinks like that, everybody needs someone in his or her life to help out with things. It is only that not everyone might realise that immediately. That is another thing that I really liked in this episode 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree. Up until this point it was pretty enough and kind of interesting but Kaori’s persistence is something to behold and the way they deal with Kousei emotionally is fantastic. Had to love this episode.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Poor Kousei doesn’t stand a chance with these determined ladies in his life. Kaori seems to bring a sense of excess wherever she goes, whether it’s at the restaurant, or declaring and the persuading Kousei to accompany her. I think this episode says a lot about depression in general; that people on the outside looking in can often see the skills and positives that we cannot see internally, and sometimes the right kind of encouragement can help someone. Whether this is the right external encouragement for Kousei to overcome his fear and depression remains to be seen.

    I sat and listened to the track you linked (question: will looking up the soundtrack have any plot spoilers? Sometimes the titles of tracks give things away about a series and while I’m not going into this totally blind, I don’t know a great deal and I’m happy to keep it that way), and it’s actually really interesting because the two primary instruments are a piano(or keyboard/synthesiser) and a stringed instrument. The piano track is high-pitched with a speedy tempo and uneven meter, it gives off a sense of energy and uncertainty. The string track however has a much slower tempo and a warm timbre; it gives off a sense of calm and assurance. This is a fantastic mirror to Kaori asking Kousei to accompany her. She’s decided that he is the one for the job and has confidence that it’s the right decision, whereas Kousei feels terrified that he won’t be able to do a job he could be proud of, and is just uncertain about playing in general. As the track progresses, the string track becomes louder and more confident, as though the confidence is overcoming the uncertainty.

    Standouts: I did a bit of a double-take when the cat started talking. It’s not that talking animals in anime are weird in general; but this series felt pretty grounded so far so it was a surprise. I also had a bit of a laugh at the endcard where ‘It is against the law to have two people on a bicycle’ was in prime position. I wonder if that’s also illegal here? It’s not a cycling regulation I’m aware of.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My dear basic grains enthusiast, thank you so much for this comment 😀

      Kousei definitely can’t compete against these two, but notice how Tsubaki had to take Kaori’s lead too. Before this, all she could do is say “You were much cooler when you played.” Kaori’s the one who’s making him do it, no matter how much he doesn’t want to.

      Your analysis of this track was amazing. The strings are definitely overpowering the timid piano here, and I wonder why I never thought to equate them to Kousei and Kaori, or the emotions they represented in this exchange. The instrumental parts in this track fit them perfectly.

      If you want to listen to the other tracks, feel free. Their titles shouldn’t give away anything about the show. Do you know Japanese? If not, maybe resist the urge to look up translations if you can help it. I can certainly appreciate wanting to keep your experience unspoiled, and I think it’s important for this anime.

      Your standouts are great today as well. The cat only ever speaks in Kousei’s mind (so there’s a clue as to its nature) so don’t worry about this shifting away from realism. You see a cat frequently throughout the series though. Keep an eye out for how they might relate.

      I laughed at that title card too, though this wasn’t the episode I saw it on. A lot of anime feature two people on a bike and I think all of them have that disclaimer. It is in fact illegal to ride tandem on a bike in Japan, but I’m not sure about the US. Different states have varying bike laws, and varying levels of enforcement 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I know (some) Japanese, but my listening skills are way better than my reading ones (because I watch loads of anime but don’t read a lot of Japanese text to sharpen my reading skills), so I’d probably be safe!

        I took some music lessons when I was younger, and I learnt a bit about musical theory. I’m not an expert but I can often pick out individual instruments in a track, both what is being played (at least the general class of instrument, I may not be able to tell violin vs cello or something like that), and what each part is doing. It takes active listening though, it’s not something which I would naturally notice when watching an film or anime series unless I have my analytical hat on! It’s not something which I think most people would know, and unlike visual analysis which we see a lot of in the anime blogosphere, there’s not a lot of people talking about it to get a feel for what aspects sound analysis may involve. I wonder if me diving into this rabbit hole and writing about it would be of interest to people. I don’t feel I have a lot of expertise, but that may be lack of confidence more than anything else. I would argue that sound is contributing to the overall experience almost as much as picture, but there’s a definite silence(I realised this was a pun but decided to leave it as-is) regarding it, at least on the blogs I’ve seen.

        I live in Australia, and we have a pretty unusual law regarding cycling that wearing a helmet is compulsory (I think that people who cycle should wear helmets, it’s a smart choice, but I know it’s not legislated in most countries), but I don’t know anything about riding tandem on a bike not designed for this purpose (they have proper tandem bikes with two seats and sets of pedals out there). I can imagine that it’s probably not a smart idea, but I’d have to do some research to find if it’s actually illegal or not. I didn’t know having two people ride the same bike and having a safety message about it was an anime thing!

        I’ll definitely be watching out for the cat and seeing how it fits into the big picture!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the screen shots that you chose to include in this week’s review. They are a nice mix that provides a fitting overview of the episode. With that said, I also have comments!!!

    What I admired most about Kaori in this episode is how she defies the clichés of familiar archetypes, in that she cannot easily be labeled. With that being a “go to” in many anime, leading to a watered down narrative, Your lie in April manages to spare itself from such a trap. Kaori is already what most characters strive to be, in terms of growth, by the end of a series.

    Enlisting Tsubaki to litter sheet music wherever Kosei will be, to entice the piano protégé to accompany her, is a nice touch of humor that goes a long way. It also attests to Kaori’s strong will, as the audience realizes (along with Kousei) just how determined she is to reintroduce him to music. As you mentioned above, “a life without music is death.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Has Kimmie become caught up in the full bloom of Spring too?

      This is a keenly observant point. No one is able to quite figure Kaori out at this point, as seen in Kousei’s feelings about her erratic behavior, because she doesn’t conform to an archetype. Indeed, fitting her to a trope only helps in determining what path her character may take. The thing about Kaori is that she seems to already know her path and pushes ahead full steam.

      It’s that kind of impulsiveness and disregard for the consequences that has Kousei so tripped up, but Kaori refuses to let his own uncertainty stop him.


  4. While I still find Kaori slightly annoying, you gotta give her credit for living life with no regrets. Hearing her reason for playing cements this image. She doesn’t want to win competitions per we (but I imagine she wouldn’t mind doing so). However, what she wants above all is to be remembered. It’s a goal that’s very different from the ones Kousei set for himself.

    I noticed him standing in the shade and then walking out into the sunlight too! Gonna keep my eyes peeled for that sort of imagery!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ooops! Don’t worry I’m also very much still being a very productive employee!

    As for Your Name’s OST:

    Or if you’re like me and also a Spotify addict, you can find it there too. RADWIMPS also has their songs in English in the deluxe version and gah, its so good. If you liked the OST for YLiA, you’ll definitely love the deluxe edition of Your Name! 😀 I have a few tracks I’m constantly listening to! I think the OST definitely brought out more of the emotional pull to your name…gah I need to get my review out – so much to do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, good thing one of us is being productive 😛

      Thanks for the link! I’m for sure going to check this out. I thought about reviewing Your Name also, but I haven’t done a movie review yet and what if it sucks and aaahh.

      Also I might as well wait until I buy a disc so I can get the screen shots I want, but by then I might miss the hype train.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh gosh, I forgot that Kousei was an only child. Another reason why he resonated so much with me. It’s kind of funny – I’ve been considering taking up piano lessons again. I only know a handful of songs on the piano, but never went the classical route-the show definitely inspired me to reconsider and re-learn.

        Ah, Tsubaki. I’ve seen a lot of people dislike her and hate her, but never really have a problem with her overbearing attitude. Also, it was kind of heart-wrenching listening to her talk about Kousei to Kaori on the bus about how time stopped for Kousei. Her concern for him is really deep, and she really knows him. Especially with Kaori finding out about how Kousei can’t hear the notes – I think it becomes clear to Kaori that there’s a lot about Kousei that she doesn’t know.

        Also good points about the light. Those are great obvservations! This show is really complex. This watchalong is definitely making me see things I never saw before! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I had some classical music training with violin, and as such can read sheet music well enough to play simple piano pieces (with a ton of practice) but I’ve never had any formal piano training. I never really looked into doing it either because I feel like it’s a lost cause. My left hand seems incapable of “thinking” independent of my right and so playing for me is something more akin to training muscle memory than anything else, and that’s much less fun.

          I don’t like the Tsubaki hate. Her character arc is very natural throughout this, and I feel like Kousei is as much a priority for her as her own wishes are. People take their shipping very seriously though, but that’s its own issue 😛

          It’s good that you pointed this out though. Kaori doesn’t have that history with Kousei that Tsubaki does, and as such there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him. As we’ll see, it’s not an insignificant thought for her.

          I’m really glad you’re getting the chance to catch up and that this re-watch is useful/fun for you!

          Liked by 1 person

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