Ep 14 – Footsteps

Kaori’s brushes off her hospitalization again but Kousei worries about her health. Kashiwagi meanwhile tries to get Tsubaki to admit her feelings for Kousei. As the semester draws to an end, Tsubaki deals with a number of changes.

Episode Moments

Kaori pumping her arms in the hospital bed to show she's strong

Kaori’s back in the hospital, and of course she’s acting like she’s fine again. She had answers ready for her friends’ questions though, which makes Kousei feel like she’s delivered those lines plenty of times before.

Continuing its back and forth dance with our emotions, the episode relieves us by showing that Kaori isn’t in any serious condition but dashes the hope that her health is improving at all as she requests to resume the IV drip after her friends leave.

Tsubaki nervously hitting Kashiwagi with a sun design behind them

Kashiwagi tries to get Tsubaki to see her own contrary behavior but to no avail. Tsubaki seems intent on deluding herself to the end, but Kashiwagi sees things as they are, and feels Tsubaki will need to make a move before it’s too late.

Kaori looking up at Kousei with tears in her eyes

Kouse’s line “that’s twice now” applies on many more levels than the one he pointed out (that she called him Kousei and not Friend A). Twice she’s been in the hospital, twice she’s told him she’s fine, and twice that a person he cares about has been hospitalized. This series pushes the parallelism hard.

Young Tsubaki looking proud of her shiny mud ball

Oh you adorable tomboy Tsubaki. This seems so much like something a little kid would do that I can’t help but smile as I think about how excited she is to show this thing off.

Young Tsubaki crouching and covering her ears during school choir

The silly moment is followed by a sad one. Tsubaki puts down her song sheet during choir and just covers her ears because she hates music. It’s the one thing that keeps her from her best friend time and again, after all.

Watari noticing that Tsubaki looks annoyed

The tense sounding argument is actually quite playful before Tsubaki’s reaction. Watari picks up on it, but I’m not sure if anyone else does. Tsubaki still doesn’t understand their world, and at this point she’s fed up with it.

Watari discussing with Kashiwagi during his game practice

Kashiwagi seems like she’s as much of friend to Tsubaki as Watari is to Kousei. She asks for his help, but Watari knows better than to approach the minefield that is Tsubaki’s feelings for Kousei. Funny thing is, I see both their points.

Saito looking disinterested as Tsubaki tells another Kousei story

Poor Saito. He could be off having a real girlfriend instead of listening to Tsubaki blather on about Kousei all the time. At least tell her that it’s a problem when she calls herself out on it. You’re just too nice, Saito.

Kousei hurries to help Tsubaki and starts shaking her

I was pretty touched by how Kousei just ran after Tsubaki when he heard she was in trouble. Didn’t even wait to hear what it was. It’s a nice reminder of how close they are in an episode that seems determined to show the distance between them.

Kousei and Tsubaki walking on the beach with the moon shining

Tsubaki and Kousei hum Clair de Lune together as another sign of how close they are. These little examples help delude Tsubaki into thinking that she doesn’t need to worry about Kousei slipping away from her. But moments after she notices how their footsteps have changed, he tells her the exact opposite.

Tsubaki running away while crying loudly

Gotta hand it to Tsubaki though, that’s a pretty epic meltdown. I don’t know anyone that would wail through the streets like that, but her pain is understandable here. Every time she takes it for granted that Kousei will be there for her, he slips further away.

Featured Music

This episode prominently used another insert song from ENA at the end called For You ~Tsuki no Hikari ga Furisosogu Terrace~. The track that I want to feature though, is the piano solo version of Uso to Honto (lie and truth) that played while Tsubaki was walking alone. The song is very similar to the insert song I shared for episode 11, but is missing the Rondo Capriciosso melody. It’s also cut in this episode right before the point where you would recognize the chorus.

The reason I picked this over For You is in its thematic tie to the series (and because I don’t recall if it plays again after this episode). Tsubaki is trying to figure out if she likes Saito or doesn’t dislike him, which one is a lie and which is a truth, just as Kousei runs up to her. All these main characters are struggling with a truth that they try to mask with a lie – either directed at others or themselves.

The bottom half of this song is a steady beat every measure while the top starts off the same but then begins going up and down the scale. It’s as if it’s trying to weave a more pleasant story, though both parts are in a somber E Minor, before converging again at the 62nd measure (the point at which Kousei finds Tsubaki in this ep).

The fact that they used the piano solo version here is telling as well since Uso to Honto normally features a prominent violin part. Is it any wonder why Tsubaki’s feelings would be devoid of the violin, and focused only on the piano?

Noteworthy Motif

Koari sees on the checkout card that the last person who read the book was Kousei

The book that Kaori chooses is called Ichigo Dōmei. While she may very well have chosen it after seeing that Kousei was the last one to check it out, the similarities between the story and this anime are quite uncanny. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Naoshi Arakawa based some of his story off of this. Those of you trying to avoid spoilers, maybe don’t look this book up.

Regardless, it’s a connection that comes up a few times in this series, so that’s a useful (read: not very useful) piece of trivia for you.

Tsubaki in a blue yukata walking with Saito at the festival

Just so you don’t feel like I cheated you out of a motif, here’s a double feature. Tsubaki looking genuinely cute in a yukata aside, her inner thoughts that Kousei would never call her cute is the crux of her character’s dilemma. She clings to Saito and makes excuses not to try to win over Kousei because she believes he’ll never see her as anything other than a big sister.

This was touched upon a little in the previous episode. She sees her relationship with Kousei as unchangeable situation, but isn’t sure if she ever wants it to change either. Exactly how Kousei views her will be a repeated theme in the next several episodes.

That’s all I have for today, now let me know what you think! If you missed one of the episode posts, catch up on the re-watch party at this link.

11 thoughts on “Ep 14 – Footsteps

Add yours

    1. I liked watching these moments, and I really enjoyed this episode because their friendship is just really sweet to watch. But yeah, Tsubaki just lets it all out when those feelings well up. Maybe it’s the athlete in her?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Yeah, Kaori did it again: and we all see through it right now. But I think Kousei is beginning to do that too now. The way he kept on saying you will be fine right, in his mind, kind of made me feel that he is suspecting that there is more going on. Poor Tsubaki though. It is really hard to love someone, and to have that love go unanswered. I can honestly relate as I have been her shoes as well. But I think she is beginning to realise that the world that Kousei is in, will always be his first love, and something she just can’t enter. That meltdown in the end though was truly understandable. A somewhat slower, but still great episode. I can’t believe we are already heading for episode 15 😮 I don’t want it to end lol😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m afraid this show is going to break your heart simply by ending, regardless of what actually happens in this story. But as always I’m really glad that you’re enjoying this so much.

      I think a lot of people might relate to Tsubaki, almost by elimination. Not many people are musical geniuses like Kousei and Kaori, or high school sports stars like Watar, but a good number of people have probably felt strongly for someone, only to have those feelings go unanswered.

      For me, her fear of change is probably the most resonant aspect of her. The comfort of familiarity, and the fear over what will happen once it’s gone – seeing her go through that got me misty eyed more than once.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess everyone (well almost everyone), is usually happy the most when everything is stable. It’s when things that you used to take for granted,all of a sudden start to change, or people disappear from your life, that the fear begins. As for this series ending…I am kind of still not trying to think about it 😊😂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wahaha you basically cleanly covered everything that I wanted to say. Great job as usual.
    Ummm Kaori still looks very vivid and colorful in this episode despite being hospitalized. Unfortunately that doesn’t really last…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm, I should have realized from your Twitter post that I’d be getting a good bit of feedback from you today. It’s great though, I’m glad you’ve had a chance to catch up!

      That’s a good point. I wonder if at this point she’s not resigned to a grim fate and that’s why she still a little vibrant. Some of her dialogue seems to suggest otherwise though. Hmm… dunno.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Wahaha yeah I was hoping somehow you wold get a warning in advance. Being able to catch up is a good feeling!

        Perhaps she still has hope. Or at least wants to appear like she still has hope. Tough position she’s in.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Saitoooooo & Tsubaki…*sigh* Tsubaki and Kousei as kids are just too hilarious. Yep, I like Watari’s little blurb about Tsubaki was pretty poignant with all things considered. Poor Saito, he’s such a nice guy; he should’ve said something like you said…ah Kashiwagi – she’s the real MVP in this show. Great support character..omg her meltdown; bout kousei leaving..omg so sad…poor tsubaki. crap. im crying again. damn those flashbacks are killer…

    Ah, tearing up as Kousei’s internal dialogue wants to ask Kaori she won’t leave, that he’s not going to be alone again.Seriously, right in the kokoro. I also don’t want Kousei to be left alone T-T

    Wait, they’re just in middle school. OMG. I thought they were in high school.

    Liked by 1 person

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