Ep 16 – Two of a Kind

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.


Episode Moments

Kaori laying on the ground with blood coming from her head

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.

Nagi reaches for the piano lid, intending to slam it on Kousei's hands

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.

Kaori pointing at Kousei as she stands across from him the way she did before

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.

Kaori loking content as she appoints Kousei to stand in for Watari again

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.

Kaori sliding her hand along a desk that has the names Shiho and Ryouta on it

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 looking at Kousei with an emotionless expression

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.”

Kaori crying quietly on Kousei's back as she ride a bike home with him

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.

A golden sweet potato with dreamy bubbles around it

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!

Kaori crying in her hospital bed after she drops her bow

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 and Kousei having an argument in her hospital room while everyone looks on

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.

Takeshi standing in the hallway after Nagi comes home

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.

Kousei hallucinating an image of his mother in Kaori's place when he comes to visit her

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 and Kousei in the hospital room, with blue light from the evening sky streaming in

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!


Featured Music

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!


Noteworthy Motif

Kaori lookingat her hand as she talks about the girl they helped

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.

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12 thoughts on “Ep 16 – Two of a Kind

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  1. Well…it has finally happened, and it probably will not be a very big surprise for you that it finally did: I cried. Yes, I mean literally I had tears in my eyes. It happened during the scene where Kaori cried against Kousei’s back, on the bike. That scene was so powerful, and so incredibly sad, that I really had a tear in my eyes. I could totally feel what was going through her, like you described so very well in your post: the realisation, that she might not have a moment like this again. When I think back on it right now….it makes me feel sad again. Incredible how much emotion was put into this scene. I’m not going to lie here: it has been the most powerful scene I have ever seen in an Animeseries to date. As I mentioned in one of my earlier comments, I am getting scared to continue with this series. The emotion I felt by this scene alone…I am very anxious and scared to find out what will happen next 😦
    As for Nagi being Takeshi’s brother, that was really a surprise indeed. A good one though and you are right, this made a lot of sense now. I think this episode has been one of the best so far. There was so much going on throughout this entire episode:wow! What an emotional rollercoaster this series is: truly 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that scene gets me going too. You don’t realize until it happens how invested you can get in these characters. Seeing her so happy one moment as she thinks about what they shared, then so very sad in the next moment because it might be the last time. Just like you, even thinking about it now makes me sad.

      As the first anime I watched last year many months before I even started my blog, I was astounded by what it accomplished. I was never this nervous, or genuinely struck by an anime before. It was scenes like that, and many more to come, that make me realize the sort of attachment I had been missing with anime before I watched this.

      But it’s a beautiful thing, I think. To feel such strong emotion by seeing what these characters go through. If you’re scared to continue just remember that these two still have their final acts to perform. As an audience, we owe it to them to watch!

      Also thankfully the next couple of episodes are a little happier, which hopefully gives you a breather. Still very emotional though 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well if there is one thing you can count one it is that I am not going to quit with this series. I can’t stop watching this…it has been a truly amazing experience, and I would not have wanted to miss it for the world. What a fantastic gem this anime 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Even knowing what’s coming it’s hard to really condition yourself into preparing for it. As you said, the presentation really sells the emotional impact more so than the events taking place. Seeing how I feel watching it, even after multiple views, proves that.

      We’re seeing most of this from Kousei’s POV, so his experiences are what drive the audience reaction despite us having more awareness than the character does. I think that’s a real achievement for this series.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, this episode hit me with the feels so hard that I started bawling my eyes out when Kaori finally realized her feelings for Kosei! 😥

    Like

    1. Indeed, a very strong episode. I think Kaori realized her feelings quite some time back, but this was the first time she hinted toward them at all by saying “I’m glad it was you.” Really touching either way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The stationary that Kaori was fussing over was really adorable. Hopefully she was able to get what she wanted.

    The juxtaposition between Kousei’s praise for Kaori and her current situation was powerful. He calls her colorful when she only looks pale and faded. She is powerful in his mental image of her when she’s unable to play the violin anymore and is crying out of frustration.

    I haven’t done a good job with this series so far, but the title really suits the contents of this episode. “Two of a Kind” might be referring to the similarities Nagi and Kousei may share in regards for the reason they play piano. It also may be referring to how Kaori and Saki are basically going through the same thing. As you said before, the show loves parallelism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, sometimes I feel like I’m exactly like Kousei was in that scene. Cute stationary? Just send an email! Lost kid? Not our responsibility!

      I thought those scenes accompanying Kousei’s description of her were striking as well. He’s described her as a force of nature, tempestuous, and capricious. Everyone she played for saw in her a strength that no other performer had, yet in private she deals with so much pain and frailty. It was a strong statement, and now I feel like I should have covered it in the motif section!

      I think the title is supposed to refer to both pairs since they pushed similarities pretty hard this episode. In any case I think you’ve done a fine job with this series. You’ve pointed out a bunch of new things to me so definitely keep your eyes open for more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re pretty practical wahaha.

        Oh, it would have made for a nice motif. Kaori really did look brave in this episode.

        Ohh I totally meant that I haven’t done a great job looking at the episode titles, but I also was a bit doubtful of my overall input. I’m glad that I was able to point anything of interest at all. Thanks again for this series. Not sure when I would have watched Shigatsu otherwise.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Emotional background music again. it will be the end of me. Kousei still thinks he’s a stand-in for Watari. They were always so close to confessing their real feelings. T-T I’m getting teary eyed watching this scene of the bike ride home at night.

    Oh that’s right. LOL This is the episode we find out who’s Nagi’s brother is. LOL. yes yes yes, sleeping beauty is upon me. Also, lol nagi so upset is so cute. I never really thought about Nagi bringing more joy into Kousei’s life who was so used to sorrow. how is nagi talking about takeshi seriously making me tear up right now. is it the ost again..jeez…I’m at a loss with this show! and LOL at Nagi giving kousei love advice. omg. Poor Kousei..gosh so heartbreaking.

    omg, kaori’s rant and crying over it. oh wow. Im sure everyone realizes there’s something behind her outburst…man this is ramping up the feels again. lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm.. is the OST that’s getting you so worked up Kimi wa Haru no Naka ni Iru? (The one I featured in this post) It gets me going sometimes too, depending on my mood.

      I was transfixed on the screen at so many points thinking they would confess to each other but it wasn’t time yet I guess.

      Nagi was pretty cute when she got mad. I should have used a shot of that. 😛

      That scene at the hospital had me feeling like it’s all fun and games until Kaori blows a gasket. Everyone just kind of stopped and thought this got really real really fast.

      Like

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