As Emi finishes her performance, Kousei once again confronts the nervousness and excitement that comes with playing on stage. His long hours of practicing for this event appear to be paying off, but haunting memories resurface to plague him.
Backtracking a little, we get a little more on what Emi was feeling that day at the concert hall as she humorously climbs the tallest structure she can and declares her intention to the world. Kids can be pretty dramatic, but she was serious because she threw away every other distraction in her life.
What could be worth such focus? Being able to create the kind of emotional resonance that Kousei instilled in her that day. It’s a lot more romantic a motivation than Takeshi had, but even if it’s a little dramatic I think it helps make her an interesting character.
After pouring her heart out in her performance, Emi gets ready to give Kousei a piece of her mind, but backs off. I’m with Takeshi here – not sure if she was going to hit him or confess her love.
Where they were a little vague before, the show is getting pretty overt that there is a serious problem with Kaori. Her pile of medication, obscured eyes as she leaves the bathroom, and commentary from nosy ladies, ensures we realize it.
Selecting his piece with a pencil roll? Nice coaching, Kaori. It’s silly but the point she made is noteworthy. It doesn’t matter what he plays. Just that he goes up there and plays it.
Kousei is actually feeling excited about playing again with Takeshi and Emi’s performances in his head. It seems at long last he’s starting to feel the thrill of performing again, and it’s all because of these talented people around him.
Another sad scene that probably played out many times. Kousei can’t come out to play when Tsubaki comes around. He tries to hide his bruises too. You can tell that he would love to go outside, but his mother’s cruelty is too much to stand up to.
Saki told Kousei that his success was the best medicine for her, but what was probably meant as encouragement is treated as a responsibility for Kousei. In addition to looking after her, he takes it upon himself to actually heal her. In his mind, she’s getting sicker because he’s not playing well enough. This kid takes everything on his small shoulders when it comes to her and it’s sad to watch.
If you weren’t feeling bad enough already, this scene is just painful. Saki strikes him with a cane right there in front of everyone just because he didn’t play exactly what was on the sheet. The audience thought he was better than ever but that doesn’t matter. Saki’s little machine can’t have defects, and she’s going to beat them out of him.
I cheered a little for young Kousei in this moment, but it masks the incredibly painful moment that this is. Fed up with never being good enough, his last words to his mother were that he wished she would die. This is the reason why Saki haunts him to this day.
This is a lot like what Kakeru went through in the series Orange. It seems like it’s a protagonist’s luck that the last thing they say to a loved one is hurtful, and then they spend their life feeling guilty about it.
The color fades once again as guilt and panic consume Kousei. The show once again goes the extra mile to make this moment feel as uncomfortable as it can. It’s another tense cliffhanger ending, though not as worrying as Kaori’s collapse.
Today’s track is Kaasan to no Omoide (Memories with Mother). It’s one of the most ominous sounding ones on the OST, and if the title doesn’t make it clear why then the scene they use it in – Saki cruelly beating Kousei with a cane – really drives the point home.
The message behind the singular piano notes (is it an F note?) seems pretty clear, representing the instruments’ solitude in this piece. The strings flow slowly and softly behind it, changing in pitch and volume while the piano continues its one note. It’s the tragic irony of the word “with” in the title. There are two of them there in the memory, but Kousei is still frightened and alone.
The motif introduced in this episode that we’ll watch out for is the parallels between the people who have pushed Kousei onto the stage. Saki’s mentions her pile of medicine, and that Kousei’s success is the best medicine of all. We saw another pile of medicine not long ago, didn’t we?
That’s all from me, now let me know what you think! If you missed a post, catch up on the re-watch party here