Well, at this point you can pretty much safely assume that my issues with any given episode of KimiUso are the same ones I’ve had with past episodes. It’s certainly true this week, as I still don’t feel like the disparate stories we’re getting with Kaori, Tsubaki, and Takeshi really have anything to do with each other. Sure, they’re all connected to Kousei, but most of the time I feel like these scenes exist in entirely different worlds from each other. But whatever. I’ve spent enough time ranting about KimiUso‘s issues in past weeks. I’ll try not to do it again here.
I’m also kind of sick today and have a bunch of stuff I need to do while sick, so this post is going to be a little shorter than normal, for which I apologize, but then again the first half of this episode was mostly a wash for me. Kaori’s story still isn’t doing a thing for me—although I do feel somewhat bad about my utter lack of emotional response to the effort she’s putting into her rehab. It’s been about six years back now, but I once sprained my ankle really, really badly (like, almost broken badly) and the rehab was painful, arduous, and lengthy. And, most prominently, frustrating. Not being able to do something you’ve been used to doing is an incredibly uncomfortable sensation and I can only imagine how much worse it must be to have the thing you love best in the world taken away from you, as it has been for Kaori.
There’s certainly a nice poetic reversal in the fact that it’s now Kousei giving hope to Kaori, bringing color into her world where she had been doing the same for him earlier in the show. In all honesty, I had never really felt that Kaori had fallen into such a place of darkness, but I’ve been so emotionally disconnected from her part in all this that I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d just entirely missed her emotional pathways the show had been laying out. It’s also cool to get to see her parents interact with Kousei, even if for only a little while.
On the Tsubaki front, it’s kind of cool to see how her feelings for Kousei have pushed her to improve herself academically, even if her romantic efforts are pretty much non-existent despite her previous declarations. The haircutting scene, although somewhat bogged down in Tsubaki’s somewhat offbeat reflections about herself and Kaori and jealousy, was a quietly intimate moment for these two kids and it seems like Kousei talking to Tsubaki about the competition has done her some good in easing her jealousy. “I don’t know what the results are going to be, but I’ll try my best,” is something Tsubaki can understand. It’s another little window through which she can become more able to understand Kousei’s world. I still feel like it’s a little unfair of the narrative to ask Tsubaki to compete with the specter of Kaori and her impending death, but moments like this are quite gratifying for me even so.
Her final reflections on the scene are beautiful, as well. “A scene of little significance,” she calls it. “If this time turns out to be precious for Kousei as well, that would make me happy.” Perhaps this is the core difference between Tsubaki and the musicians. For Tsubaki, it’s these small moments—cutting hair or walking on the beach or sharing a mud ball—that make up her relationship with Kousei. For the musicians, everything is about the big bursts of emotion on stage, the brilliant flare that quickly fades.
Glossing over the huge distraction that is Emi’s fantastic fashion choices and the silliness of the egg sandwich (Tsubaki-made?) scene—a scene, I’ll note, that felt like it belongs to an entirely different story—it was Takeshi’s moments that really hit home for me this week. From his acknowledgement that he didn’t really have anything cool to say as he departed for the stage to his realization that he has people he can “crash into” (really, the perfect articulation of Takeshi’s character) to him calling out his own name as he steps on stage, we get to see Takeshi do a whole lot of growing up all at once. There was also certainly some growing up that we didn’t get to see between the events of last episode and the competition we’re now at, but that’s not around for us to see.
The Chopin was a beautiful, triumphant choice for what was likely Takeshi’s final moment in the spotlight before the end of the show. I definitely wish we had got to actually see some of Takeshi’s struggles between the destruction of his image of Kousei-as-hero-robot, the internal battle that lead him to realize the Kousei his was chasing after was nothing more than a mirage he created himself. The real Kousei is one he can sit next to, compete against, and play with.
My final note for this episode is simply that, had KimiUso only been a story about three child musicians and the way they grew up in their own, unique ways, I think it could have been majestic. Likewise, had it been a more conventional romance with Tsubaki and Kousei, I think it could have been quite touching. But, it is what it is, a bunch of really great pieces, perhaps too many great pieces, that leaves us with the frustrating, gripping show that is Your Lie in April.