Your Lie in April ep9: for the one you love
I’m certainly not the person to give kids special treatment, but you have to wonder how cruel someone can be to someone who doesn’t even have the basics to survive on their own? When it comes to performance and entertainment, often you hear stories about how kids are forced to forego their childhoods and become adults long before anyone else. Kousei’s case is just such an example. He’s already lived a long hard life. I hardly find it a surprise that he’d break and stay broken.
This episode felt pretty short. It’s probably from all the rehashed animation at the beginning, and the extended flashbacks regarding both Kousei and Emi’s childhoods. While Emi’s backstory is one of inspiration and passion tinted with disappointment over Kousei’s disappearance; Kousei’s childhood is one of blinding hope and success, tinged with hatred, loss and crippling trauma. Emi’s now a quirky but well adjusted teenager (I think that just makes her normal). Kousei gets on stage and it is far more than a matter of nerves. From the moment he steps on stage, his ghosts follow. It’s as if they leap on stage in hopes of basking in his light.
The most memorable and crushing part of this episode is where we see deep into Kousei’s tragic past. And boy, it is rough. We once again see the verbal and physical abuse Kousei was subjected to, but we now also see Kousei finally vent his feelings and the perceived dire consequences. After a performance, his mother beats and berates him from her wheelchair in front of so many people! And this happens despite him winning another first place trophy! Young Kousei finally has enough when she smacks him across the face with her cane so hard that it shatter his glasses and forces blood from his face! Kousei retaliates by crying, telling her how he feels and finally telling her that he wishes she was dead.
And that was it. She soon died in the coming days. We then see Kousei perform after his mother had died just the day before. And this is when Kousei’s traumga starts to rise to the surface, as the ghost of his mother appears, as does his inability to hear his own notes.
I was so disgusted watching some of these scenes. This is especially but not exclusively because of the way Kousei’s mother abused him, but because of the way the crowd jealously viewed a kid. Even after knowing his mother had just recently died, they looked down on the kid for performing, not giving a single moment to think about why he would do such a thing. I’m sick just thinking about it.
In the end, we see that Kousei is dealing less with the abuse of his mother and likely more with telling her to drop dead before she actually did so. Now we know the reason the ghost haunts him and why he can’t see her face. And with Kousei quickly unraveling as the performance goes on, it will be interesting to see if he can put a decent performance back together.