Ep 19 – Goodbye Hero

Kaori and Kousei are giving their all to pursue their goals, leaving Tsubaki to wonder about her place. With Kousei’s rivals are also preparing to do their best, he finds an opportunity to connect with them like he never has before.


Episode Moments

Kaori looking determined as she speaks to the doctor

Kousei’s motivational plea works, as we see that Kaori wants to go for the surgery. This is the fearless girl we saw at the beginning, and it’s nice to see that little bit of strength. The operation is only supposed to be a delaying action for whatever she has, it seems, but she feels like even a little more time with Kousei is worth it.

Tsubaki holding up her grade from a throne like position atop a stack of desks

Tsubaki is pretty happy about her cram school score, but only Kashiwagi seems to really know why. She hasn’t gone so far as to tell Kousei her feelings, but she’s doing what the has to in order to keep herself closer to him.

Kaori doing physical therapy while Kousei and her parents watch

Like everything she does when she puts her mind to it, Kaori puts her full effort behind getting better and in a good enough condition to play with Kousei again. Her illness aside, the long hospital stay has left her weak, so she hits physical therapy hard.

A picture of Kaori with cherry blossoms all around, lighting up with color

Kousei underestimates his part in all this, but Kaori’s father reminds him what she’s fighting for. I try to place myself in her father’s shoes and imagine how thankful he must feel that Kousei inspired her like this.

Kashiwagi holding up her pen with cartoon-like dog on the top

I half picked this scene for that pencil topper of hers. Kashiwagi once again playing the wise one as she explains to Tsubaki why Kousei needs to focus so much on the competitions, and it’s like the dog is emphasizing her points. The main point here is that Tsubaki should stop treating music like the enemy. It’s something Kousei loves, and if she wants to be there for him she has to support him.

Tsubaki smiling as she cuts Kousei's hair

Tsubaki cuts Kousei’s hair, and for a moment its like they’re like their old selves again. As they did a few times in this series already, Tsubaki remarks on the simple things she finds in the moment. The dry snip of the scissors, the tangle of his hair. The moment is nothing at all, and everything. More so than the others, their relationship is a collection of these trivial shared experiences that she has come to treasure.

Kousei offering a egg sandwich to Takeshi

For an episode that is otherwise light on content, this is pretty special. Kousei, always miles away from these two mentally, is actually mingling and trying to make friends. Highlighting how different it is from when they were younger was a nice way to show how they have all grown.

Young Takeshi looking out over the town from the top of the shrine

The last half of this episode is focused on Takeshi, and his understanding of how his life was affected by his rivals. He’s learned that Kousei is his own person, rather than a machine he’s tried to defeat, and that they’re both on the same journey. It’s a great moment of maturity for him as he realizes that he’s only come to the point he’s at because of Kousei and Emi. Two people that can take everything he throws at them.

Kousei helping Takeshi walk after he's exhausted by his performance

With this episode he’s grown up and found what the piano really means to him, and is ultimately thankful for Kousei’s presence in his life. For inspiring him and challenging him to be his best. We saw with Emi just how impactful Kousei’s playing can be, and now Takeshi has come around to regard him with gratitude rather than enmity.


Featured Music

Today’s featured track is Kousei wa Tensai da yo! (Kousei is a genius!). This track is often played while one of the characters is thinking about Kousei (usually Tsubaki), with its soft strumming indicating a consideration of his gentler, warmer side. In this episode it’s when Tsubaki is talking to Kashiwagi regarding what Kousei’s focus should be. Tsubaki, Nagi, and Takeshi all come to see a side of Kousei that they didn’t at first, and it’s usually something that softens their opinion of him.

The thing that sticks out about this track is how unhurried it is. Its quickest pace comes more than a minute in, and even then the gentle strumming makes it feel warm and relaxing. The long pauses between strumming are like thoughtful contemplation, as if searching for the answer to a question before the simple answer naturally flows.


Not much for today, but tomorrow’s episode should give us plenty to make up for it.  For now, let me know what you think of this one! If you missed one of the episode posts, catch up on the re-watch party at this link.

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11 thoughts on “Ep 19 – Goodbye Hero

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  1. I have such great respect for Kaori, or pretty much anyone in the same situation that she is in, and decides to not go down without a fight. Kaori clearly intends to do this, and be there for one more time with Kousei. I already have chills on my arms when I think about an actual last moment on stage between the two of them, but I don’t want to get my hopes up too soon.
    The parents of Kaori are heroes in my book as well. To see your daughter in such pain, and just be there for her without giving in….wow. Yes I know it is their child, but not every parent could go and walk that extra mile, and put on a smile for their child’s sake. (Besides the small breakdown her mother had).
    There was luckily a small scene of comic relief as well: I really had to laugh at the egg salad sandwich scene lol. But besides giving laughter, I really enjoyed the moment of quiet friendship between the three rivals. Hmm….that comment you give at the end of this post: not much today, but tomorrow ‘s episode should give us plenty to make up for that. You do realise I have to go watch that episode now right? 😊😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s incredibly hard for everyone involved to be in a situation like that, and sometimes all you can do is put on a brave face. Kaori tried it many times through this series, telling everyone she’s okay or that she’ll be fine. Her parents also try to be stoic so she doesn’t see the pain that they’re in. When they’re all struggling so hard to hold on, seeing Kaori fight with all her strength is the most heartwarming thing they can ask for. Maybe it won’t work, but nothing works if you don’t try.

      The last couple episodes kind of closed out the supporting cast’s stories as we have Takeshi’s feelings for Kousei going from hero, to rival, and finally to friend. I loved seeing them finally connecting, even over something as simple as a sandwich.

      I won’t blame you if you jump right ahead! But I want to have a post ready for you when your feelings come spilling out 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like the points you made in this episode, because you did great explanations about how they all matured as people and understand each
    other better. I especially love Kaori in this episode and how you talked about trying to be in the shoes of her father, it makes you really feel the moment they’re in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate the kind feedback 🙂

      This series has always been about putting the viewer in the shoes of the characters. Even if I don’t have a teenage daughter who is suffering with an illness, in that moment when her father puts his arm around Kousei I could clearly feel what he felt. Telling Kousei not to ever think he did nothing, because whatever created that wellspring of emotion was not insignificant.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No worries. As you saw I didn’t have a lot to say either. Takeshi kind of needed wrapping up before going into this show’s final arc. Remember what I said about this being a low-key harem anime? He finally wins over Takeshi at the end of this one 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, Takeshi’s struggle is not just competing with the two, but also trying to reach people’s feelings. I didn’t think he had that issue…but I think I’m confused as to why he’s saying good bye to his hero. Is it because instead of chasing after him, he’s realizing theyre both on the same journey? Them at the end as kids…gosh darn so precious. Emi has been in love with Kousei for a really long time huh! lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol I’m responding to this kind of late huh?

      You’re on the right track about Takeshi’s feelings. What he’s saying goodbye to is that ideal he’s been trying to chase. Kousei as the invincible hero wasn’t a person to him, and thus he wasn’t able to understand his fears and struggles. Now that he sees Kousei on more equal terms he doesn’t need a hero anymore.

      I agree, seeing them all as kids was precious. And Emi… lol. They say girls mature faster than boys but wow.

      Liked by 1 person

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