Following the harrowing scene at the concert hall, Kaori’s friends check in on her. The bright spring days take a cloudy turn as both Kousei and Tsubaki think about how things are changing.
As the first scene that viewers get after seeing Kaori collapse, this is odd but the lightheartedness of it is an indication that she’s OK. The point that this scene is trying to drive home is that Kousei will never do anything on his own. In this case, Tsubaki convinced him via shoulder wheel backdrop. Sure enough, he loved it after the fact.
The other thing that this scene highlights is the bond between Kousei and Tsubaki. They really were the best of friends growing up.
A much awaited update on Kaori. So what happened? She simply pushed herself too hard. Has this happened before? “Nope, first time.” Dad is just getting fussy and wanting all these tests. Kaori, we might believe you if we could see your face when you said it.
Kousei is feeling that sense of doubt again and looks to Tsubaki for help. Is there anything more to him than the piano? Of course there is! Except Tsubaki has no idea of an example at the moment. Why exactly are they best friends again?
Up until this point you kind of get the impression that Kousei likes Kaori, but this moment of jealousy seems to bring it home. “Of course he has her email,” he thinks to himself. Watari is close to Kaori in a way that he could never be, and he tries to just stay out of the way when Watari suggests they go visit her again.
Watari’s insight here is kind of amazing though. Even when Kousei says she probably doesn’t want to see him, Watari points out that she chose him for the competition. Any attention from a pretty girl is good, he explains, so Kousei shouldn’t avoid seeing her. Watari is best bro for a reason.
So even on my third watch, this scene kills me. We see that there was some skipped moments at the end of the last episode, as Kousei and Kaori take their bows. Kousei marvels at how much Kaori counted on him, even when things went wrong. He also realizes that even while he was supporting her, she was really the one helping him.
She thanks him repeatedly, even if they failed, for giving the audience something they won’t forget – something she won’t forget. How could his sloppy performance mean so much to her?
Kaori’s next thought after her collapse: “I passed out again.” So it wasn’t her first time as she told Kousei before. Was this your lie, Kaori?
Tsubaki’s normally sparkling eyes are cloudy and Kashiwagi notices. This is a minor moment but I wanted to point it out because Tsubaki has always been the one who is full of life. We get an idea of what’s bothering her when Kashiwagi guesses that something happened with Kousei.
Kousei isn’t the only one feeling jealous in this episode. As he and Kaori rally during the performance, Tsubaki sees it: That look in Kousei’s eyes that wasn’t there before. Why, after all this time, was Kaori the one to bring it out?
She tells herself that she doesn’t like Kousei anyway, so all of that is okay. Kousei is totally not cool, but that’s still okay too. Poor Tsubaki is feeling more conflicted than ever, but how does she react to a sudden confession from someone who is totally cool?
Kaori comes back to school, and it looks like Kousei has an extra sandwich to share with her. His nervous approach is cute, but he loses his nerve when he sees her with Watari. Friend A – zoned again.
Even if he can’t work up the nerve to talk to her, Kousei can’t stop thinking about Kaori. How she seems to know just what he needs, when he needs it. How he can look up and there she is.
Kaori sells the drama enough to guilt Kousei into an open ended request. Does she really want a gift? Nope. She wants him to enter a competition. We begin to see more that more than anything, Kaori just wants him to play.
Kousei seems honestly surprised that Kaori ever feels nervous, but she explains that the confidence of any musician is an act. That everyone is scared, but they get on stage anyway, and that’s how you tell the most beautiful lie of all.
Kousei finally has a smile on his face again. Kaori didn’t have to shoulder wheel backdrop him off the bridge to make that happen either. All she had to do was lead, and Kousei was willing to follow her – the same way she led him in performing, and is perhaps leading him to open his emotions too.
This begins to highlight the difference between Kaori and Tsubaki. Both wanted the same thing for Kousei, but Kaori’s unique perspective allowed her to reach him and lead him to where he needed to go whereas Tsubaki could only push from behind.
To offset the cloudiness of this episode, they use the OST’s title track: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso at the end of it. Does it sound familiar? I had mentioned that the melody in the first track I shared, Kimi wa Wasurerareru no, gets reused. In fact, they did use Kimi wa Wasurerareru no in first scene of this episode when they were kids, perhaps to contrast these two moments from a musical standpoint as well as the visual and character elements.
This track speeds up the tempo of its predecessor a little, and manages an even more upbeat tone by using an extra harmonic note at the beginning of each measure starting around 0:17. It really ramps up 45 seconds in, showing off an excited hopefulness missing from the first track. This is timed with Kousei’s jump – the moment he decides to push himself forward instead of holding himself back. The track captures this exhilarating freedom in just a few measures, and makes this episode one of the happiest despite the gloomy title.
“Do you think you can just forget?”
Remembering moments and people is a huge part of this series. All performers want their audience to remember them, and that broad aspect certainly fits into this story. Kaori is talking about something else though. She’s asking Kousei if he can forget the part of him that finds freedom and happiness through music. He has tried for two years to stifle it, but Kaori saw how much it was hurting him to do that.
Her question sounds like a challenge, but it’s an honest query. Is Kousei capable of forgetting something like that? The question is repeated several times in this episode alone, and will come up again in the series.
That’s all I have today, now you me what you think! If you missed a post, catch up on the re-watch party here