Your Lie in April, Episode 19

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.

Your Lie in April

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.

Your Lie in April

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.

Your Lie in April

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.

Your Lie in AprilYour Lie in April

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.

10 thoughts on “Your Lie in April, Episode 19

  1. Most important sorry you are not feeling well!Get better soon!
    Yea another EP all over the place To be honest other anime have me more fired up!

    One good thing we have only a couple more weeks!IDK if it will finish or end on a cliffhangar .Manga is still coming out so who knows!

    A thing about egg salad. sandwiches they are good when nervous or have a bad stomach Uhh hangover. The next best thing is pizza!

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    • Thanks! Feeling much better today!

      Actually, I think the manga is done in Japan, although the scans haven’t caught up yet. 3 weeks left for them to wrap all of this up! It’ll be a wild ride for sure…

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  2. I got curious, and checked the “member favorites” stats on MAL for the major characters. The most popular are:

    Kaori: 605
    Kousei: 242
    Tsubaki: 34
    Nagi: 15
    Emi: 14

    So I guess Kaori’s arc is working for a lot of people, even if it isn’t so much for us.

    You know, I’m wondering if this is one of those shows that will play better in a marathon watch. I feel like I was more emotionally engaged to the story when I was still immersed in catching up with it, and I wasn’t paying as much attention to the structural flaws then, either.

    That aside, I was happy to see Takeshi back on the stage again this week. This episode and the last one made me realize how much I was missing the excellent musical performances from the beginning of the series – we had a pretty long drought there without many recitals or competitions (IIRR, the only “performance” episode we got in that whole long stretch between the end of the first major competition in ep 10 and Nagi’s school show in ep 18 was the one where Kousei played at the Gala). I also enjoyed getting several LOL-funny moments in this episode, especially Takeshi flip-flopping between, “Don’t touch my sister” and, “Make a move on her, already.” Wonder what Emi thought of that conversation.

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    • Well, can’t really say I’m surprised to see those results, but man, Tsubaki, Nagi, and Emi with less than 70 total tallies combined? MAL users really do have terrible taste.

      I concur that marathoning the show would probably have helped me gloss over the structural flaws of the series, but I also wonder if I would have paid for it in overall engagement. Feeling a bit off about things without having the time to process why things feel off can really hurt my experience with a show. And I really like working through the episodes week-by-week. It’s really fun and I always feel like I get something new to talk about, which is all I can really ask for!

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    • Just for reference – here are the “character likes” from Anime Planet, with your data from MAL in parentheses;

      Kaori: 275 (605)
      Kousei: 215 (242)
      Tsubaki: 132 (34)
      Nagi: no data (15)
      Emi: 73 (14)

      I have mixed feeling about marathoning… for me, it amplifies the strengths and the weaknesses, and really magnifies the feels. On the other hand, in some ways, “absence makes the heart grow fonder”. On the gripping hand, no breaks means no time for annoyances to fester.

      And the latter is certainly a factor with KimiUso – as the weeks have accumulated, I do approach the show with a certain amount of trepidation now.

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      • Does Anime Planet let you “like” as many characters as you want? Because that would definitely make a difference. MAL only lets you “favorite” 10 characters at a time across the entire galaxy of anime, which naturally favors the more prominent characters over the supporting cast (although I’m not sure I’d want to meet the one person who actually favorited Kousei’s Mom!).

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        • Yes, you can “like” (or dislike) as many characters as you wish. The flaw in Anime Planet’s system is that you can only “like” or “dislike” the characters in the database, and it’s not always up to date. (Hence the “no data” for Nagi above – she’s not been entered yet.) For less well known or less popular series that can take weeks or months, if ever.

          FWIW, 14 people “like” and 26 people “dislike” Arima Saki. I certainly wouldn’t “like” her, but I have been known to “like” particularly well done villains and antagonists.

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          • Oh, of course! Dilandau from The Vision of Escaflowne is an insane, egotistical pyromaniac, and he’s been one of my favorite anime characters for almost 20 years now. But while a child abuser is unquestionably an effective villain, he/she is rarely a very popular one, for obvious reasons, especially when their abusiveness is their most defining feature (I know when I was active in the Harry Potter fandom, for instance, that Dolores Umbridge was probably the least-popular major character in the series; far less popular than genocidal mass-murderers like Voldemort and Bellatrix).

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