My April event continues with another theme exploration. Read on to see what I discovered about a prominent motif used in episode 12 of Your lie in April.
Obligatory disclaimer: Spoiler warnings apply for episode 12 and earlier, and other reader’s comments are not guaranteed to be spoiler free.
The piece Kaori chose for the Gala is difficult for Kousei because of the memories it invokes of his mother, and Hiroko offers some sage advice to help ease his worries about playing it. Being drilled to practice by Kaori, Kousei meets her parents when he takes her home late one evening. On the day of the gala event, Kaori is nowhere to be found.
Episode recap and my take on the key moments can be found on the post I did last year (open in a new window). Chat me up anytime about what you thought of the episode!
Today’s theme is related to the title of the episode, and the numerous times the characters talk about the shining through darkness.
A Light in the Dark
It’s kind of funny that this episode falls in the second half of the anime, after they replace the OP, Hikaru Nara. The song (光るなら) literally means “if it shines” and makes references to turning a dark night into a starry sky, and the stars shining down. The episode wastes little time in hearkening to its namesake, with Kaori and Kousei riding home late after a hard day’s practice. They sing the familiar Twinkle Twinkle Little Star verse under a brilliantly lit sky. Kousei wondered during his Maihou performance what the night sky would look like with her – now he knows.
This literal representation of light shining through the dark highlights this moment in their lives. Long days spent practicing, Kousei’s worry that he still can’t hear the notes, and the memories that Liebesleid brings him of his mother – they are all forgotten in that tranquil moment under the brilliant summer sky. Another literal image that paints the opposite sentiment is the fireworks that the students play with at night. Musing about their futures, Kaori’s sparkler extinguishes when she admits she hasn’t been thinking about hers.
More fireworks remedy the dour moment but create a different problem. As Kousei is plunged into the pool, we see the moonlight shining through the water. This scene works effectively as a bridge between the physical and metaphorical aspects of this theme. Since the symbol of Kousei’s fear is the deep dark ocean, being able to see light while physically immersed in water brings him to a moment of realization – Perhaps even in the darkness, a light can shine down on him.
Kousei handily applies the symbolism for us through a conversation that he had with Hiroko at the fair. When she tells him “Losing your notes might be a gift,” she is referring to the idea where the loss of one sense strengthens the others. For a technician like Kousei, the accuracy of the notes was related to him by how his ears picked them up. If he can’t hear them, perhaps his heart will pick up more on the sound he is creating.
Sparkling despite adversity is a big part of this series. It’s more than looking at the bright side or making the most with what you have. It’s being a beacon that breaks through the dark. Kaori mentioned it in episode 5, when she revealed that everyone feels the fear of getting on stage, but that as a musician you get up there and do it anyway. As she put it, “that’s how you tell the most beautiful lie of all.”
How did you feel about the comparisons they made between light and adversity in this episode? If this is your first time watching, what do you think of the developing story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and check back tomorrow for another theme analysis.
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