Still troubled by Kaori’s situation, Kousei tries to teach Nagi the importance of wanting to play for someone else. As he sees Kaori begin to give up, he comes upon an idea that may motivate her. Nagi’s school festival begins, and everyone is surprised by her partner.
Tsubaki can’t seem to decide it fixing the problem between Kaori and Kousei is a good idea or not. Kashiwagi is staunchly on her side, counseling her not to push Kousei towards the competition, but Tsubaki doesn’t want to see him hurting either. For some viewers her back and forth is frustrating to watch, but I think watching Tsubaki try to figure herself out is a great part of her character.
Kousei wisely tells Nagi the value of playing for someone else when she insults her classmate. As someone who was brought back into the world of music out of a desire to play for one person, he knows from experience.
Kousei hears Pavane for a Dead Princess and promptly freaks out. This is another reference to Ichigo Dōmei as this song is played for the character Naomi on her deathbed. Kousei is so terrified of the parallels with Kaori that he wishes he was deaf. Poor guy.
Watari doesn’t understand Kousei’s problem, or maybe understands a bit too well. His concern for both Kaori and Kousei is touching. Even if he’s a little rough with his best friend beforehand, but he knows that visiting Kaori is important for Kousei as well.
I always thought this was kind of strange, and I never quite figured it out. Kaori asked Kousei to bring her dad’s canelés, but Kousei always buys them from Ueno instead of Ma-Fille. Is Ueno simply on the way to the hospital? Is he afraid to face her parents? He never once has a bag from Ma-Fille.
As much as Kaori tried to help Kousei before, she can see how much pain she’s causing him now, and is probably the reason she hid her illness. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, what can she do to make things better? Her solution is to press a mental reset button. Forget about her, forget about what they shared. Go back to the way things were before they met. It sounds bitter the way I said it, but she tells him with a cheerful smile.
Her suggestion is of course unacceptable. To punish her for such a foolish comment, he eats all her canelés. It’s silly, and it gets her to laugh at least. It really was nice to hear Kaori laugh again in any case.
Kousei begs Nagi to let him participate in her school festival. Why? He has a friend that needs a good kick in the butt. This really plays well into what Kousei has learned motivates Kaori, and shows his growth as both a friend and a performer.
Nagi’s sequence here is rather significant. She’s in the same situation Kousei was in, crippled by fear, but without the psychological issues he had. What Hiroko is able to do this time that he couldn’t with the machine-like Kousei is tell Nagi about the one thing performers search for when they go on stage. The fear is present for every pianist, including Takeshi Aiza, but it’s all worth it for the feeling of performing.
I really love Watari sometimes. He doesn’t have the best character arc in this series, but he plays the support character so well. What’s the favor? Doesn’t matter. Kousei is the one asking, so he’ll do it.
Kousei by now recognizes the nervousness that comes before a performance. The worry over not knowing if your music will reach the person you play for. He’s scared too, but in the role of a teacher he tries to teach Nagi to relax. It’s one of the small benefits his short time as a teacher brought him in being able to pass on what he’s learned.
Today’s featured track is Watashi no Uso – piano solo. This plays for a decent amount of time in this episode, starting when Nagi is begins to feel the pressure of her impending performance. The translation of the title, “My Lie,” ties back to the central theme of this series. Once again the choice to use the piano solo expresses the moment. Nagi, as a pianist, is dealing with her lies on her own. She kept up a show of strength for her friends and her school, but was on the verge of breaking inside.
Those of you who remember Kimi ga Iru (from ep 7) will recognize the melody. This track adds a little more depth with a tighter pace and stronger left hand presence. The rich chords starting from around 0:47 onward makes the piece sound grand, but there is a rather simple melody at the heart of it. A small lie, that brings with it so much feeling.
No new motif which carries over that I could think of. To be fair, coming in toward the end of the series the show is closing the loop on some of these rather that introducing new ones. Re-watchers, can you think of anything?
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.
My contribution is going to be based on memory (and we both know how great mine is). Based on re-reading summaries of this episode, I can surmise what became a theme or motif around this time. The central theme seems to be facing your problems/fears. In this episode, Nagi must cast aside her crippling fear to play in the festival. At the same time we have Hiroko dealing with how she treated Kousei in the past. Finally, despite feeling helpless over Kaori’s situation, Kousei realizes he needs to push aside his fears and see her face to face.
I guess everyone can argue really that this is the running theme for the entire series. Really though, until now, it seemed the theme largely revolved around Kousei. Now, you see that a multitude of the characters are being forced to combat problems.
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It is kind of the theme of the series, but you’re right in that this episode does illustrate that it’s more than just Kousei that goes through this. It’s also important that Kousei sees another person struggling as it helps him to understand what the piano means to him and to others. Kaori did tell him that every performer has to face their fear though, so he should have known that.
As far as motif I think it does work. Without giving too much away the later episodes highlight the importance of the performance. Kousei couldn’t do it two years ago when he broke down on stage. Has he learned yet that even when the situation is at its most dire, that he has to play?
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Well, no tears this time (lol), but there was still enough emotion in this episode. Reading your comments about Watari, I have to agree. He is a really cool character, and in my opinion he is a bit underused, which is a bit of a shame. It’s nice to see that he still sometimes plays a key part in things, and in this episode the way he supported Kousei was absolutely wonderful.
Poor Kaori though. She has put herself in this situation a bit ofcourse by not telling anyone about her condition, but now it is really hard to see her struggling to find a solution. Ofcourse the one she gave in this episode is not it : and I really enjoyed the scene where Kousei makes this perfectly clear to her.
I’m not sure yet where Nagi’s arc is going to end up. I really like her character though, and it is nice to see the parallels she has with Kousei at times. And wow, that scene with Kousei was truly touching. I really loved the way he did that, by taking her hands and really giving her comfort. Another great episode !
Haha, that’s good. I was hoping this episodes would let you relax a little. Watari definitely plays a key role, but isn’t very good as a main character because we don’t get to see a whole lot about what’s going on with him.
I think Kaori is really having a hard time trying to figure out what to do now. She wants to help Kousei, but feels like her continued presence in his life is just going to end up hurting him more now. I think maybe she needs some good Watari wisdom at this point. Whether or not it’s good for Kousei to be around her is up to him to decide 😛 Of course words aren’t enough to convince her. Kousei needed to do something dramatic.
I think Nagi’s story is pretty much a mini Kousei parallel. She doesn’t have the exact same situation going in, but the same pressures are there, and both of them needed to overcome personal hurdles and self doubt.
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It was at this point I realized that Kaori had only wanted the best for Kousei. In order to get him out if his slump, she told him about her desire to make performances that were unforgettable. The concept of not obeying the sheets to the note was so different and foreign to them that he was able to rise above with her assistance.
So seeing her directly contradict that by telling him to forget about her shows that she doesn’t know what to do. It might come across as her wallowing in self-pity to others, but I think her actions and thoughts were inherently selfless and well-meant. Maybe.
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Helping him was certainly the goal, while trying to hurt him as little as she could in the process. She says something along the lines of “it’s not very nice of me to make you worry all the time.” She wanted to elevate Kousei and the best way she knew how to do that was by making the biggest splash into his life that she could.
But you’re right in that she’s kind of out of options now. It seems like she’s hit that point where she doesn’t feel like she can do anymore good, and will only cause him further pain. Hence her suggestion he just forget. I’ve always seen it as selfless, considering she probably sees him as more than just Friend A by now. He isn’t her family or even her boyfriend, so to save him some sorrow she would rather have him forget, no matter how lonely that would make her.
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My favorite scene in this episode is when he’s standing with blue hued tones as he realizes he wants to play with nagi at her school festival. It’s like a moment of clarity the with all those blue lights shining around.
Have you considered reading the manga? I wonder if it would make me just as emotional.
It’s odd to see Nagi so emotional; she’s having a meltdown due to the pressure of being a great pianist for her age.
yes, ive been looking forward to sleeping beauty so much. my second favorite performance!
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Hmm I’m blanking on that scene at the moment. I’ll have to check.
I have read the manga actually. I guess personal mileage may vary but some of those panels are just as devastating as the animated scenes. I cried reading it, is all I’m saying.
Looking forward to what you thought of that performance! Oh but one of the perks of responding late, I don’t have to wait to read it! To ep 18 I go 😀