My thematic analysis of Your lie in April continues with episode 15. Read on to see what I had to say about its standout motif.
Obligatory disclaimer: This post may contain spoilers for episode 15 and earlier. Other readers’ comments are not guaranteed to be spoiler free for the overall series.
Tsubaki is still struggling with her conflicted feelings and laments that the relationship she had with Kousei is rapidly changing. Kousei is also struggling with trying to maintain a close relationship with Kaori and puts off visiting her at the hospital. A young pianist literally falls into his lap.
I covered this episode in last year’s event here (opens in a new window). Go take a look if you need a recap or would like to see my take on some key moments.
As something of a companion to the previous one, this episode also features a number of lies. One of the major motivations behind these lies, however, is to avoid facing change.
Fear of Change
Aside from the especially driven (or perpetually bored) types, most of us have been guilty of settling for what’s comfortable over what’s uncertain. It’s simple human nature to prefer stability, but this tendency often blinds us from the urgency or inevitability of changes in our lives. This anime shows a keen understanding of this as the allure of the status quo prevent some characters from moving forward, but time has a way of moving with or without them.
The prime culprit of this is Tusbaki, who has become so comfortable with the life she has that she begins to feel almost helplessly stuck. Her first foray into making a change – agreeing to date Saito, predictably backfired. This isn’t because her heart wasn’t in it, though that was absolutely a factor, but because she never actually committed to making a change. Telling herself she’s choosing Saito while filling their time together with stories about Kousei showed an unwillingness to treat him as boyfriend rather than her old senpai. In the end, he helps her come to the same realization in the gentlest way he can.
While Kousei took a huge personal leap in deciding to actively pursue a music career, he is no better at anticipating or dealing with change. As was pointed out in yesterday’s post, Kousei is still trying to delude himself about Kaori’s condition to avoid a situation that is too eerily similar to what happened with his mom. He uses any excuse to avoid seeing her, including Watari and a number of bad luck omens. What he is actually running from is his growing feelings for Kaori and his inability to approach them. He instead exists in a kind of limbo where he’s always on his way toward or away from the hospital to avoid the possible disappointment of over-reaching in his relationship with her or heartache over her situation being more serious than he realized.
In the final scene of the episode we see Kaori’s struggle to confront what is happening as well. As she tried to delude her friends about her condition she also puts aside her own concerns about her health. Letting her friends know the truth or preparing for the worst case scenario would be an admission that her life may not be the same again – something which frightens her just as much as the others.
Your lie in April started with the basic premise that a people stagnate without a source of passion to drive them. Kousei avoided the piano, but was still clinging to music in a way that made him unable to find make something of his life. Fifteen episodes later, that same hesitance to run toward uncertainty plagues these characters. As I said, this is human nature and it might always be this way for them, but we will see them learn in the remaining episodes that understanding and accepting change is a necessary part of life. Focusing their paths around one thing or person makes it all the harder to do that, and being aware of this will be an important lesson in being able to move forward.
This is another ‘heavy’ theme considering the subject material, but what did you think of it? What other themes did you see? Let me know in the comments and be sure to play the quiz for more chances to win.