Ep 18 – Hearts Come Together

Nagi and Kousei deliver a performance that impresses even Takeshi, who is none too happy about Kousei spending time with his sister. Another listener who caught the performance through her phone is moved by it enough to consider giving her all once more.

Watari holding his phone up towards the stage as it shows an active calll

How sneaky, Watari. So now we know what the favor was that Kousei asked for. What a perfect way to show Kaori just what she’s missing by giving up. Technically this screenshot is out of sequence, but I liked this shot better than the one where he’s pulling his phone out of his pocket.

Kousei looking like he has dark energy coming off him as he plays

For once Kousei finds the sounds of the notes distracting and decides to turn it up a notch. I’m sure to Nagi he must have seemed like a demon at that point, as if he’s trying to sabotage everything they worked for. Kousei knows full well what he’s doing though, and it pushes Nagi to step up as well.

Kaori sitting on the hospital bed as she listens to the performance with her back to the camera

We see this scene right after we see Watari holding the phone up. Kaori looks like she’s stunned too, but we can’t tell because her back is turned. She might want Kousei to forget, but he’s going to make sure she doesn’t.

A memory off Kousei and Nagi walking down the street eating pork buns

As they play, Nagi begins to understand Kousei, and that he isn’t a machine to be destroyed by her brother. The emotion he pours into his performance finds an audience in her as well, and everything they shared comes flooding back to her.

Takeshi sitting in front of the piano, frustrated that he's getting it wrong

Likewise her struggles to prepare for this event help her understand Takeshi, and how hard it was for him not to be able to reach Kousei’s level. But now, rather than wanting to relieve his suffering, she wants him to fight and prove himself the hero she looked up to.

Kaori playing an imaginary violin in her hospital room as she listens

Kousei’s plan seems to work as Kaori imagines herself playing along with them. With Nagi’s words in the backdrop “why does does sound you make echo so beautifully?” we see the kind of effect Kousei has on his audience, even when they aren’t there.

Nagi bowing on stage with Kousei

As Nagi takes a bow, she realizes she doesn’t have the be the Phantom, admiring from behind the scenes, but rather Christine standing center stage. It’s a nice way to wrap up her small arc, as she’s able to be proud of her own accomplishment thanks to Kousei.

Hiroko mussing Kousi's hair backstage

Hiroko finishes her lesson to Kousei as well in a way, revealing that this is what teaching is all about. When the pupil is able to move past whatever is limiting them and really come into their own. Teaching that to someone helped Kousei understand how meaningful his own journey has been, and the lasting effect he can have on people.

Nagi introducing Takeshi as her brother

Nagi totally pulls a fast one on Kousei, though to be honest she could have probably used the Aiza name from the beginning and he wouldn’t have remembered.

Takeshi running through the hallway

Takeshi finally has the fire of competition in him again after seeing Kousei play like his old self. From previous episodes it seems like Takeshi has been struggling a little for lack of inspiration, but Kousei is a very different player than he was before.

Kaori on a bench, playing keys on a melodica while a little kid blows into it.

Is this how Kaori passes her time at the hospital? She must have caught a bit of the musical bug after hearing Kousei play. I don’t know who these kids are though. And of course she’s playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The first song she heard Kousei play when she appointed him as Watari’s stand in back in episode 2, and the song they sang together on a bike ride home on an ordinary but unforgettable summer night.

Kaori sitting on a bench while Kousei stands before her

I love this shot for what it represents. Kousei tells her he can’t kill himself with her, because he would just be following her again. He’s decided to take the lead, and is now the one inspiring Kaori where she inspired him before. Remember the scenes on the roof before? Kaori was always the one standing before Kousei, but now they’ve switched.

Kaori looking up from her seat at Kousei with tears in her eyes

Kousei tells her she doesn’t have to be a princess and that he won’t play Ravel anymore (and I think that’s the final Ichigo Dōmei reference). All he wants from her is one more duet. A plea as simple as the one she asked him for, yet much harder for her to fulfill. Still, we see for the first time in a long time, Kaori showing a glimmer of hope again.

Featured Music

I’m stretching with today’s track choice, but they do play it at the very beginning of the episode as Kousei is explaining to Nagi why he wishes to be in her school festival. Colorful ni Irozuite Yuku, which best translates as far as I can tell to “colorfully colored” goes back another theme central to this series. At this point, Kousei is trying to bring some color back to Kaori’s dour world, and he knows he can do it if he has a stage.

The trill of piano notes that starts this piece sounds like a chirping bird, preceding the otherwise deeper notes that conjure up the imagery of a warm morning. There is a sense of peace about the way this track opens, and the optimism of the main melody that starts a minute in further accents the hopefulness that the track carries. It’s the way the world looks, full of color, when you have something special in your heart.

Noteworthy Motif

Image of a violin, looking dry and faded

When Kousei invites her to play a duet with him again, Kaori remarks to herself that she thought she was satisfied because her dream had come true. At this point in the series, they had not made it clear just what her dream was.

This leaves viewers wondering exactly what it was she was referring to, as well as why was that her dream? Though Kaori feels like she has something more to accomplish now, her original goal, which she believes has been met, is not revealed until later.

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.


9 thoughts on “Ep 18 – Hearts Come Together

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  1. I was wondering what the favor was that Watari was asked to do, and now we know 😊 Great stuff….well both sad and great at the same time I guess. Great because it showcases how far Kousei has improved, abd how much of that is Kaori’s doing, but also sad seeing her “play” with the violin, but not actually doing it either.
    The thing I really smiled at this episode was Nagi. I loved the way how she battles with Kousei, and came out on top. At first I really wondered what on Earth Kousei was doing, abd was actually getting mad at him. But then I finally began to realise what his endgame was. This whole arc of the story now really makes sense, and I am glad it was included. The end of the episode was ofcourse kind of a cliffhanger….and I am keeping my fingers crossed that Kaori will accept…but if she does (and I am almost convinced that she is going to accept, I think that we are going to be in for a really emotional rollercoaster. Then again, this entire series has been a rollercoaster,so I am (almost) getting used to that. I can’t believe we have only for more episodes to go 😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I agree, it was a great moment to see her get inspired like that but the reality is she can’t hold her violin now, so it is sad that she had to pretend.

      I’m glad you found Nagi’s inclusion worthwhile. Like I said before, some people see it as a distraction, but maybe it was meant to be that way for Kousei. A lot of the time he spent with her overlapped the weeks that Kaori spends in the hospital, and it wouldn’t be the same series if they focused on that all the time. We saw in the last episode that it’s very hard for Kousei to process what’s happening to her, and if he didn’t have something motivating him to play he wouldn’t have done so at all.

      Alas, the ride is nearing its end. All journeys must end sometime, but from what I’ve seen of your comments through this month I think this one will stay with you like it did with me.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unless something really strange happens, this series is going to get a 10/10 review for me. Besides Grave of the Fireflies, no anime I have ever watched has managed to achieve such an emotional depth as this series. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Loving the parallelism within this series. Thank you for pointing it out again.

    I really do look forward to hearing about her goal. Not too much longer now, probably.

    I am also glad Takeshi seems to have a friend that can kind of guide him to the right direction. Maybe she is Takeshi’s Watari. Watari, as usual, was a great friend to Kousei. At this point he’s been a mostly static character, but he really grows on viewers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do what I can 🙂 It’s not too much longer before you find out what all this has been about, but the series is going to make you wait until the end. Sui ma sen.

      I kind of didn’t pay attention to that girl the first couple times, but now I do notice that she’s his BFF, so that’s pretty cool. I agree that Watari didn’t get much to do this whole series, but you still can’t dislike the guy even if he is kind of Kousei’s rival.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. yes!! sleeping beauty! ❤ Ah, I loved the push and pull between Nagi and Kousei. So cute, and I love that Kousei knew she could keep up – bossing her around via piano. I love this duet so much. I listen to it pretty often since I YLIA. haha

    It touched so many people. Why did I keep calling him Aizawa when it was just Aiza. Glad you knew who I was talking about though. LOL. I liked that Takeshi was reinvigorated with this performance. I hope that Nagi realizes that her playing did reach her brother like she hoped. I teared up again when she was crying about reaching him.. dammit; this show is so good!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems you were more invested in Nagi than most. This whole scene was great, and watching her mature as a pianist with every challenge Kousei threw her way was so cool. A nice positive tenor amid the sadness that surrounded Kaori. Also how they fought when one side or the other was supposed to be dominant. Just so many entertaining things in this episode.

      Actually I thought Aizawa sounded really familiar for some reason.

      I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night and remember. I just know it.

      Liked by 1 person

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