Unable to hear the notes, Kousei becomes consumed by his feelings and simply stops playing. With no hope of placing in the competition, he wonders what led Kaori to restart their performance at Towa hall. Thinking of her, he begins the piece again.
Opening the episode on an event prior to the present has become a bit of a habit with this show, and today we get another bro moment with Watari. Kousei was the one that says failure is normal, but he’s terrified of failing himself. Watari has a fantastic quote ready. The stars are always out, but they shine brightest at night.
It seems it’s hard to remember such advice in this moment though. Saki tells him this is punishment for rejecting her dream, but that he already knew that. Her wording helps make the point that this curse of his is self inflicted in a way.
The way that his discomfort is drawn out, so is the slow way he stops. His friends silently plead for him not to, but he simply doesn’t have the heart to continue. What reason is there to torture everyone with his awful performance?
As he stops, he’s not thinking of the competition, but of Kaori. His line “Even the you that’s in my head, you refuse to let me throw in the towel” shows how he’s begun to change. Even without her saying it, he knows she would want him to keep going.
He decides to play for Kaori. The judges, the competition, and his own fear take a back seat as he tries to give her what she wanted. As he commits solely to this purpose, the imagery he’s been searching for comes easily. Emi can vividly describe the scene that appears in her mind – the place where Kousei found peace with Kaori.
“Thank you, for everything. Every note, every glance, every you.” It seems Kousei has understood the full weight of what Kaori brought him. It wasn’t her stubbornness or bullying that put him on the stage, but Kaori herself that brought him back to life.
The emotion flowing through Kousei and the piano isn’t lost on Kaori. She’s moved to tears by the performance, and by seeing this side of him finally return.
As Kousei finishes, we get a beautiful visual. Alongside Takeshi’s “Torrent” and Emi’s “Winter Wind”, Kousei somehow turns “Wrong Note” into the essence of Spring.
After everything, this might be the most emotional moment of all. Saki’s ghost, the embodiment of Kousei’s guilt and heartache, actually gives him a warm smile.
Today’s song is Kouiu Kimochi wo Nante Itta Kana (I wonder what he said about such feelings). It played during Kousei’s walk with Watari the night before the competition. The melody should be a familiar one by now, but it’s a much slower and softer version of it than Kimi wa Wasurerareru no or Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
I don’t know which version is my favorite, but this one is the most serene and it’s the first one I learned to (sort of) play. It’s a perfect song to capture that scene of quiet stillness on a warm spring night, with the stars beaming overhead.
I mentioned that this series like to repeat phrases. As Kousei looks up toward Kaori, he wonders “Did it reach her” just like Kaori asked herself at the end of her performance at Towa hall. This hope, that the music they place finds a place in the listener’s heart, will repeat again.
It’s not as bad as “Let it ring!” at least. I got pretty tired of that in the last two episodes.
This was quite an emotional episode, so let me know what you think! If you missed a post, catch up on the re-watch party here