Kaori is out of the hospital for the day, but a missed chance at running into Watari leads her to assign Kousei as his stand-in again. Kousei’s lessons with Nagi continue, and the younger girl starts to feel pressured until the two have a frank discussion about what drives them to play.
As comical as the overabundance of blood that came from Kousei’s head at various times was, I was unsure how to regard the blood in this scene. Considering we know she’s unwell, I think it does convey a much more serious tone. A really shocking way to start this episode, though I guess it continues the mood from how the last one ended.
The look in Nagi’s eyes is scary here. In the last episode she was pulling pranks, but this is the first time we see a hint of real malice from her. Only by the end of the episode is it really clear why.
This shot is framed just like the first time he saw her while walking home, and on purpose too we find out. Notice the differences though. It’s Fall instead of Spring, and Kaori looks paler. The warmth of the first scene is replaced by this somber nostalgia.
What a sneaky girl. Kousei goes to look for Watari right away since he still believes she really does want him instead. Kaori realizes she needs to be blunt, and stops him herself this time as she invites him for a shopping trip.
There was a lot of nice shots as they go through the school, but I thought this one was really interesting. It might be hard to see, but the desk Kaori so casually slides her hand along has two names, Shiho and Ryouta. Shiho is usually a girl’s name, and Ryouta is actually Watari’s first time. Is this the desk of a girl that has a crush on Watari? Kaori doesn’t seem to care very much.
Kaori admits she wanted to come to the school because she was starting to forget it, and recounts what they did that day. Then she poses the question to Kousei: “Are you going to forget?” As he repeats the words she told him on stage the day of her performance, she reveals her true feelings: “I’m glad it was you.”
Kousei might be starting to understand his own feelings now as well as he says he’ll stand in for Watari anytime, forever. The framing of this shot was beautiful too. Her tears falling as Kousei sees the shooting star streak across the sky. She’s crying because of the simple joy of sharing a normal day with Kousei, and the fear that she won’t be able to do it again. Kousei is too afraid to understand that himself.
Nagi finally seems fed up with Kousei’s criticism, and confused about what she’s trying to get out of all of this herself. She sulks, but is lulled into talking with a sweet potato. What a difference some good food can make!
Nagi isn’t the only one who opens up though, as Kousei admits for the first time, albeit to a girl who isn’t involved with her other frends, that he likes Kaori. His sweet words describing her as an amazing and radiant person are offset by scenes of her in an unhealthy state, unable to even hold her bow anymore.
Kaori’s comical anger about him spending time with another girl aside, she gets super serious as she chides him for not spending the time to practice. She’s acting just like his mother did, without even realizing it. As everyone stares in shock, she catches herself. It’s an upsetting scene all around, hearing her talk about time running out.
Nagi’s hatred finally makes sense as it’s fully revealed that Takeshi is her brother. Her studying under Kousei takes a darker tone as it seems she’s set on sabotaging him in order to deliver her brother a victory. Likewise, she compares herself to the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, secretly working from the shadows.
If you didn’t get it yet, the show points out blatantly show similar Kaori’s situation is to Saki’s as he struggles against the notion of losing her the same way he lost his mother. Set against Pavan’s Reuqiem for a Dead Princess, he’s frozen in thought as he stands before her.
Kaori quotes several lines from Ichigo Dōmei, including her last line: “want to kill yourself with me?” It’s what Naomi tells Ryoichi in the book when he visits her in the hospital and has no idea what to say. I told you it would come up!
Kimi wa Haru no Naka ni Iru has played a couple times before this episode, but I think using it as Kaori and Kousei wander through the school after hours is a perfect setting for it. With a title that translates to “You exist within Spring,” it conveys the feelings that both of them have in that moment. An impromptu shopping trip. Wandering through the school alone. A girl waiting for a boy. Memories that invoke carefree innocence.
This track still feels incredible sad though. Around the 1 minute mark you’ll hear hints of the familiar melody used in Kimi wa Wasurerareru no and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. This is a much softer and slower melody, at times attempting the swelling notes of the other tracks before dropping back down to the repetitive triple beats from the keyboard. A transient Spring that inevitably succumbs to the incessant march of time.
It’s one of my favorite tracks and they use it a lot more through to the end of the series. Listen for it as you watch!
Kaori remarks about the lost child they helped at the store that the girl was squeezing her hand so tightly. As if she would be all alone if she let go.
I pointed out before how big a deal the idea of not forgetting someone is in this anime. The literal description of holding into someone’s hand ties in here. Kaori herself tries to hold onto things in this episode, like her memories of the school, and Kousei’s jacket as they ride home. As the series heads toward its conclusion, look out for more examples of her trying to literally and figuratively hold onto things.
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.