Ep 10 – The Scenery I Shared With You

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.

Watari and Kousi's silhouettes against a backdrop of stars

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.

Image of Saki holding Kousei against an ominous black background

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.

Kousei's hand falls to his side as he stops

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?

Kousei sees a vision of Kaori tuning back to look at him

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.

Koisei's memory of practicing while Kaori sleeps in the music room

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.

Kousei remembers when he and Kaori jumped in the water

“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.

Kaori watching with tears in her eyes

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.

Image of a tree full of illuminated blossoms behind Kousei

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.

Saki's ghost smiles gently at Kousei

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.

Kousei looking up at the audience.

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

19 thoughts on “Ep 10 – The Scenery I Shared With You

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  1. “This was quite an emotional episode”….you are not kidding there. I really felt for Kousei when that moment came again that he could not here the notes. I somehow knew that was coming, but I still hoped it didn’t. However, the moment of him looking up, seeing the light shine above him, and remembering Kaori’s words: wow!. I cheered when he started playing again. Seriously, how beautiful was that moment. And for him finishing the performance and finally seeing a nod and smile from his mother, that really was THE best moment of the entire episode. Even though it was her Ghost, and it was all in his mind (or was it?), it was finally a moment of getting accepted, and that was awesome.
    Another outstanding episode, I also loved the way the scenery changed behind Kousei when he resumed playing. That was really wonderfully animated. And so we are almost at the halfway mark. Can’t believe how fast things are going 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That really was a great moment, when he remembered Kaori and found the strength to play again. It was especially good because it wasn’t some generic thing like finding the will to play or miraculously getting over his problem. He simply cast out all his worries and focused on the one person he wanted to reach. Remembering the peace and happiness he found with her that Spring was what made the difference. It was just a really touching way to progress his character.

      As for his mother, I don’t think the show is really going for any kind of supernatural thing and that she’s a construct of his damaged psyche, but that’s just my take on it. Either way, it’s a great scene because it’s like he’s starting to forgive himself.

      Alas, 22 episodes will be over before we know it. Savor it while you can!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The imagery in this episode was beautiful. Plus it is such a great character moment for Kousei. Okay, now I want to rewatch this series. I’ve been thinking about it while reading along and after being reminded of this episode now I really do want to sit down and just binge it. Only issue with that is I know I’ll up a teary mess again and I tend to try to avoid that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Incredible character moment. I loved his story in this so much and I think it’s a big part of why I feel so attached to this show.

      I fully support you re-watching! Just lock yourself in your room and go to it. No one will judge your tears there 😀

      Anyway, I just feel like it’s more fun to talk about the episode when my thoughts and feelings on it are fresh on my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am beginning to think that Kaori was there at his first performance. She wouldn’t be saying he’s back if he wasn’t playing strictly to the sheet. Maybe I’m wrong.

    When Takeshi mentioned that there were like 3 different pianists performing as Kousei played, I thought to myself that each “style” represented a different aspect of Kousei’s life. He opened with his famous “mechanic” style, which was which how he played when he genuinely thought securing first place at competitions would save his mother. The chaotic style that emerged is emblematic of the part two years of his life; he was playing for no one and could not hear his notes. Then, much like he stopped playing piano for a while, he stops playing during the competition only to resume and try a different style as he resolves to play for Kaori. Maybe I’m thinking too hard again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No Remy, you’re not overthinking it. This is amazing. In fact, I’m stealing this for any analysis I do on Kousei’s playing going forward.

      It fits so well, and I’m almost sure now that’s what the author was going for. They construct scenes to represent something else all the time in this show, and these three periods of Kousei’s life are on clear display in his playing.

      Also you’re a little too observant for your own good 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, yay. I’m always too worried to really put myself out there when it to theories so I’m glad my ramblings made some sort of sense.
        I guess that’s something we should be spying attention, then: the fact that scenes are often constructed to represent something else.

        Oh, dear.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Damn, I don’t know if rewatching this was that great of an idea. I’m really crying at the end of this episode. It was when Kousei bows at the end when he says the applause didn’t matter too much since he’s decided to play for one person alone; the only person that matters…and then he sees his mom’s smiling face. Gah..I’m a mess. LOL

    “Did I reach her?” ah yes kousei, you did, your performance resonated with everyone in the audience; and that one stuck up teacher (aizawa’s coach) especially felt it. oh my gosh. i love this show..seriously *wipes tears from eyes*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re good tears, Zel! A good soul cleansing cry is good every once in a while.

      Ep 10 is considered one of those pivotal episodes, and was one of the 3 that was a solo key animation (one person animated the entire episode himself). That might be why it felt so visually cohesive and attractive, and certainly why it was able to pull so much emotion from some of these shots.

      That is to say nothing about the writing and the actual performance, which was just so incredible all around. How does something like that not reach everyone, including the people behind the screen?

      Remember, good tears 😥

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They are good tears! It’s almost like watching YLiA for the first time! I had no idea that this was done by one person! How do you know such fancy tidbits of information! I made a fairly good dent this weekend. I’ll be catching up in no time! But yes, I can’t help but tear up at the beauty of this. I definitely need to get a copy of the blu-ray’s; same with escaflowne!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. How do I know such fancy tidbits? I cheat: https://youtu.be/QDnQDe90i3w

          I would advise people watching for the first time not watch the video, because spoilers 😛

          The guy doesn’t source his info though, so it might not be accurate, but according to him eps 5, 10, and 12 were all solo animated.

          Anyway, I’m glad to see that you’ve made such good progress. You have a few more days before the finale so I’m cheering you on 😀 When is the con you’re going to? These blu-rays are pretty rare it seems because Aniplex is awful, but there’s a chance you might find a cheap buy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The con is May 26, so I have a full month. Otherwise I’ll order it on RightStuf – since it’s always there! Why is Aniplex awful?

            I think it helps that I’m not really watching anything from the Spring Season. Nothing’s really appealed to me outside of Attack on Titan, Berserk & Sakura Quest – so it’s either finishing up on hold anime’s or attacking the backlog…lol although Kids on the Slope wasn’t on the backlog very long..like…3 days..haha!

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Aniplex is awful because everything they license for US distribution is exorbitantly priced. Erased is a recent example. Each volume (6 episodes) is $90, which is just about in line with YLIA pricing. That’s the only reason I haven’t bought Erased because I think it’s a great show I’d love to own otherwise.

          Basically if Aniplex picks up the license for something, most buyers will need to think twice before deciding if they really want the series.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh wow. That’s dearer than it was in what I affectionately think of as the ‘dark ages’ of anime ownership, when in Australia it cost $30 for a 4 episode DVD. I (mis?)spent about $400 on owning Fullmetal Alchemist 2003 on DVD and have a couple of other series which I bought at that price bracket. With so many great legal online streaming services, plus most companies offering new release DVD/BD for a fraction of the price, I wonder how that can be a sustainable business model for Aniplex.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great conclusion to the events of last episode! Sometimes I think that media can portray overcoming anxiety or depression as something which is too easy, but while Kousei is able to temporarily put aside his fears by concentrating on wanting to reach Kaori which I think is more believable.

    The whole episode gave me a sense of struggling up from underwater, both from the sound and the visuals.

    It was really interesting seeing the reactions to the three different kinds of playing and the judges being uncertain what to make of his performance. It’s true that a performance like that is technically very poor, but at the same time, Kousei’s ability to persist and adapt to his circumstances is quite incredible.

    Standouts: This is only the second time we’ve seen Arima Saki smile kindly in the series, and both times colour has suffused her face. It’s amazing that he can think kindly of his mother during certain moments after the obviously very difficult time he had with her. Both of these times have been related to Kaori inspiring him to do something. I’m sure that’s probably important.

    The cat wasn’t being a total downer in this episode. I’d felt like the cat was tapping into Kousei’s fears or depression, but it actually seems like it may be representing something else. I’ll have to keep my eyes open to see what I can work out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really love this episode for a lot of reasons, but the way it ended was indeed great. It was also a nice realistic touch to see that his struggle and failure to keep his composure on stage wasn’t ignored in light of the strong performance he finished with. There are consequences for not being on top of your game, at least where judging is concerned.

      On a personal level, he had to accept that as well: That playing for the judges isn’t going to work. He’s not going to do a good enough job for them, or his mother, or even himself, but at least he can try for Kaori. It’s a remarkable moment.

      Saki’s face filling with color contrasts the bleak tones you described for Kousei’s memories of her in the last episode. We’ve seen that color is synonymous with emotion many times already, so this could be representative of her feeling something for Kousei (or at least his perception of that) instead of the cold drills that defined the latter years of her life with him.

      The cat certainly seemed antagonistic at first, perhaps another mental construct like his mother’s ghost that embodied his anxiety. In this episode though, it feels almost more like a mirror. I don’t know if I’ve gotten it completely figured out yet, but hopefully some more clues will help you close in on its purpose.

      Liked by 1 person

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