After the competition ends, Kousei is approached by an old friend and confronts his rivals once again. Accepting himself as he is, Kousei decides to move forward. As the days drift into summer, Kaori receives an invitation for the two of them to play at a Gala event.
An odd sequence where Takeshi compares Kousei to some kind of superhero, but it has a lot to do with how Takeshi sees him, and it’s very different from Emi’s view. Kousei once inspired Takeshi like a comic book hero, and he’s been looking up to him ever since.
This whole panel was stuffy judges who treat the competition like something sacred. Kousei (unwillingly) paid registration fees, so if they didn’t think he wasn’t good enough they should mark him off and move on instead of complaining like this. But hey, drama.
Hiroko’s appearance get some much needed adult perspective into Kousei’s situation, and with her being a close friend of his mother we start to get a little background on her as well. One thing that caught my attention here was that Saki said she didn’t want Kousei to be a pianist because it’s too hard a life.
Hiroko asks Kousei pretty bluntly which one, Tsubaki or Kaori, is his girlfriend. She could tell just by the way he was playing that he had someone very special in mind. Of course, Kousei tells himself that what he felt toward Kaori was gratitude, not love, and once again calls her “the girl who likes my friend.” The shot is even framed that way, with Tsubaki on one side of him and Kaori with Watari on the other side.
Kousei is okay with everything, in many ways. He practiced as hard as he could and went on stage to do his best. He’s not bothered by Takeshi’s taunt, and states that maybe this is the way he is now. It’s very different from before, when he was just running away from music.
After the group tries to outrun a train, we see Kaori return home to a bakery. Is that why she has such a sweet tooth? Notice also the handrails in the hallway that she uses. Looks like her family has been dealing with her collapsing for a while.
The spelling of her name is interesting here. Phonetically, かをり is pronounced “Ka-wo-ri,” but all the translations write it as Kaori. I think I’ll keep using the latter.
Looks like Kousei was so excited that he went home and played all night. Is the curse lifted? I’m not sure what was meant by this scene, because the issues he has with his mother are far from resolved.
Kaori and Kousei are invited to play for the gala, but this time she’s not going to force him. Kousei made the decision after his performance to move forward. It’s up to him now to decide if this is what he wants to do.
On a side note, I like the dub’s line when Kaori comes to the roof. The translation just has her saying “nein!” but in the dub the line was changed to have Erica Lindbeck shout “Achtung! There will be breaks for us, Herr Friend A!”
Kriesler’s Liebeslied is a lovely duet for violin and piano, but Kousei is right that it’s a strange choice for a gala in that it’s not very flashy. His insistence that they play something else is unlike him, though. He had no problem when Kaori selected a song for him before. His mother’s brief voice in that moment gives a strong hint about it, though.
Kousei ‘comes clean’ with Hiroko in a sense, explaining that his meeting with Kaori was what got him to start playing again. Hearing this makes her decide to start teaching him herself. Hiroko obviously feels some sort of guilt over the pain Kousei has suffered. Given that, it seems like she’s going to be a much different teacher than Saki was.
The field full of fireflies is pretty if nothing else, but Kaori adds another one of her poetic sayings about how their light is like a heartbeat. She’s mentioned heartbeats before, in relation to music, and how without music there is no life. There’s probably a good reason she talks about this so much.
Kaori’s mock interview question reveals an important point about performing – That no one ever goes on stage completely alone, or without some feeling in their heart. It’s touching that Kousei is the one saying this, considering how lonely the piano made him feel before.
Her follow up: “So what did you have in your heart?” leads to what I think is the most touching moment in the show so far. His admission of “I had you.”
I’ll be honest, I was frozen in anticipation after that. It’s pretty much a love confession, isn’t it? Kousei doesn’t back away from the statement, but doesn’t go the extra step either. He only pledges that one day he’ll walk beside her instead of behind.
I wondered what Kaori was thinking in that moment. If she realized how important she was to Kousei, or how much he really needs her.
I’m guessing she does, because her Charlie Brown quote, “You know, I’m not always going to be around to help you,” indicates she never believed she could remain in his life.
Today’s track is an obvious pick. It’s called My Truth ~Rondo Capriccioso~ named after the piece Kaori and Kousei played for her 2nd round competition. You can hear some of the peice at the beginning and end of this track, with vocals by an artist named ENA.
One of the few vocal tracks anywhere on the OST, this is technically an insert song, but it’s still fair game here. The chorus has a line that translates to “I want to hold your flower, which wilted in a past full of glory.” It sums up Kaori’s feelings toward Kousei quite well.
This anime has Kousei looking at Kaori’s from behind a lot. The obvious notion is that he’s always following her lead, but we see shots like this frequently, even later on when he starts to come into his own. Think about why that might be as you watch the later episodes.
I’m going to take at least 1 day’s break so some of you who are watching with me can catch up. While you’re waiting for the next episode post, let me know what you think of this one! If you missed a post, catch up on the re-watch party here