With Kaori unaccounted for, Kousei plays a solo piano arrangement from memory in lieu of their planned duet. Still unable to hear the notes, he recalls the tenderness with which his mother played when he was a child.
The first thing that struck me about this episode is that we actually see Saki’s eyes for the first time, and young Kousei’s gaze from underneath the piano full of love for her. We see further when Hiroko arrives that Saki was actually cheerful once.
Kousei doesn’t play quite as well as Hiroko yet, but she’s amazed by his skill all the same, considering no one ever taught him. It looks like she was the one who actually convinced Saki that he should take up piano.
He’s angry about Miike’s words, he’s angry Kaori’s not here, and he’s angry that he can’t hear the notes. The audience isn’t booing yet, which must mean he’s playing well enough, but it’s still all wrong.
Just like when he played with Kaori, he remembers his mother’s lesson. Touch the keys gently, like holding a baby; just like she used to hold him. For having never seen Saki’s eyes before this episode, her gaze is the embodiment of motherly affection here.
Kousei can’t hear himself play it, but he heard his mom play it all the time. The notes are in him, and so he decides to play it the way she did. It’s such an incredible moment because once again Kousei is realizing he’s not alone up there.
At last we see Saki’s side of things. It doesn’t excuse what she did to him, but she was a woman out of time. “There was no time for artistry” she explains. All she could do was teach him to win competitions. If he could do that, the piano could support him. It was the last thing she was able to give him.
But still she wanted more. She worried until her final moments about whether she did enough for Kousei, but on top of it all she just wanted more time with him. I know I’m sharing a lot of Kousei/Saki moments but that’s the point of this episode!
How many of you were asking the same question? Why always play Love’s Sorrow when you also have Love’s Joy? Maybe Saki knew there was tragedy in her future, and played until sorrow wasn’t as scary.
The thing I really love about this scene is that her eyes were obscured again, as they normally are when she’s in her wheelchair, but as she leans forward to pull him into her lap we see her eyes again and they have happy tears in them.
Kousei doesn’t see the ghost taunting him, or even his mother watching from her usual spot. With this performance he says goodbye, and can finally begin to heal from the pain he suffered in losing her.
Tsubaki is torn between relief that they talk to each other the same way and sorrow that nothing has changed. She’s confused, but the vivid colors here should tip off the audience as to which way she’s leaning.
Of course, one emotional turn deserves another. Hiroko and Ochiai believe Kousei is the type of musician who finds growth through sorrow. The heartbreaking followup to that is that he must lose someone else to grow further.
Finding a track from the OST to cover for this episode was really tough since they played Liebeslied for maybe 11 of the 22 minutes of airtime. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great peice, but not original to this show. On top of that I already talked about Again, Kouiu Kimochi wo Nante Itta Kana, and Maru de Eiga no One Scene no you ni, which were the only other ones I caught this episode. So today I’ll take the opportunity to showcase the second OP : Nanairo Symphony.
This video isn’t the actual OP, as those got pulled off youtube. Instead I have coalamode, the band that did the song, performing it out in public in Yokohama. The song is just so happy and cheerful, which will be a much appreciated thing in this second half, but it’s not out of step with the series either. A free and unrestrained sound, the innocent happiness of youth, and the theme of individual parts coming together to make a symphony.
Kousei pretty much spells this one out near the end of his performance when he says he’s connected to Kaori, and connected to his mother. Even without their physical presence in the hall, they are with him.
Performing, and watching a performance, creates connections that go beyond the few minutes that you’re exposed to the music. Kousei realizes that there’s so much about him that reflects Saki, because she was a part of his life and there’s no erasing that. This builds off what he told Kaori two episodes ago – that no one goes on stage completely alone.
This was another emotional episode. What did you think of it? If you missed a post, you can catch up on the re-watch party here