My April event continues as I explore another theme seen prominently in epsisode 14 of Your lie in April. Read on to see my analysis and try your hand at the daily quiz.
Obligatory disclaimer: This post may contain spoilers for episode 14 and earlier. Other readers’ comments are not guaranteed to be spoiler free for the overall series.
The group visits Kaori in the hospital where she assures them she’s feeling fine. When Tsubaki is confronted about how she feels about Kousei, she recalls moments from their childhood. As she grows more discontent with how close Kousei and Kaori are, her friend Kashiwagi tries to intervene.
I covered this episode during last year’s event here (opens in a new window). Take a look for the episode recap and my take on some of the key moments.
As the title of this anime implies, a deception lies at the heart of its entire premise. You all have been picking out lies all month if you’ve been playing my quiz, but did you spot the numerous lies characters told themselves and each other this episode? For today’s post, I’ll look at a few instances and what purpose these lies serve for the story.
Lies exist for a variety of reasons and in many forms. A white lie might be told to keep someone from worrying needlessly. Someone might lie to hide their true nature or intent from another who might oppose it. A lie may even be told to oneself to ward off the pain that truth brings. The characters in this show exhibit all these, and several examples can be seen in this episode alone.
The first one comes early when Kaori tells her friends once again that she’s fine. Her story about hitting her head and just running some tests is told so nonchalantly that Tsubaki and Watari feel relieved. Kousei has been through this before though, and he’s not so easily convinced. His repeated questions to himself “You’re not lying about the tests, right?”, “You’ll be okay, right?”, betray a subconscious desire to avoid the truth of the matter himself
Unlike Kousei, Tsbaki needs external prodding in the form of Kashiwagi to consider the questions that she’s struggling with herself. When asked directly, she denies feeling like Kousei is anything more than a little brother. Kashiwagi is unsurprisingly skeptical but Tsubaki feeds herself the lie so strongly that she’s started to believe it. For both Kousei and Tsubaki, the uncertainty and discomfort brought on by the truth feels like it’s too much to deal with, and they allow themselves to be comforted by self delusion.
It’s plain for anyone to see where Tsubaki’s heart lies as even her boyfriend Saito is starting to feel like he’s playing second fiddle. When Tsubaki expresses regret for always talking about Kousei, Saito reassures her by saying “it’s fun to hear about Arima.” He fears he’s wasting his effort on her, but because he actually likes Tsubaki he fibs to make them both feel better. No one likes to see the people they care for be hurt, and they find these small lies forgivable even if they prolong a problem.
But Tsubaki is so reluctant to face the problem that she looks for any reason to feel like it’s not there. Though she feels Kousei slipping away from her more each day, she reminisces during their moonlit stroll on the beach that they’re joking around like always. She wants so much to believe nothing will take him away that she can’t handle it when tells her he’s planning to move.
Facing the truth, that Kousei is the one she wants by her side forever, is something that hurts her to think about because he’s already so far away. All the same, it’s a moment of clarity that she desperately needed. As much as she’s guilty of self-deceit, she’s starting to realize the comfort provided by complacency may not be worth the cost.
We’ve all probably deceived ourselves at one point or another, simply because the lie felt better than reality. How did you feel Tsubaki’s constant need to resort to this tactic? Did you spot any other themes that interested you?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments, and remember to complete today’s quiz!