Your Lie in April ep12: perhaps there’s light even here
Well, I ended up taking one heck of an unintended break from this show. But it all works out for the best, since the previous one was the last for that season. Now I get to begin anew at a proper point. Though not much has changed. Kousei is still traumatized by his mother. Kaori is still destined to be a sparkling flash in this world. And the male characters are still being violently physically abused.
This episode pretty much covers the week until the gala. And a lot of time is covered, though not a ton happens in this one episode. The main struggle of Kousei versus his trauma is directly addressed in this episode. Not only is Kaori compelling him to play the piece of music that he most associates with his mother; he also takes time to directly ask his mother’s best friend her thoughts on their relationship. While I’m somewhat disappointed in her weak answers, she at least doesn’t do anything to make his condition worse. What matters is that she lets Kousei know that he needs to keep playing and find his own answers. But I can’t get over how she says that no mother could ever hate their children. I think world news has proved otherwise. But the positivity is what matter most.
Looking towards Kaori, what strikes me about her is her generally unwavering attitude towards the “now”. She has not for a moment stopped pushing Kousei, nor stopped pushing him to play passionately. And in the end, I think that will be Kousei’s answer to his problems. A good hint at this comes from Kousei’s accidental dive into a pool and him remembering words that Hiroko had told him. He has the tools to overcome what he finds to be a handicap. It could be just as likely that his issue is proof of his talent. The bottom of the pool he fell into feels just like the sensation he has when he plays and can’t hear his notes. And to her, it’s an opportunity for him to play the music the way he feels, as opposed to playing it as the sound he produces dictates. Realistically, that’s bullsh*t to me. But I see that they’re kinda taking the Beethoven approach to things. He’ll be seen as a prodigy as a young child, but this strange on-cue deafness of his will have people perceive him as a genius. I can’t believe I didn’t see this coming before now.
Everything I said is fine, though if things actually played out this way I’d be watching an OVA or movie, not a TV series. Kaori is the X-factor here, and right when we think the drama is gonna come from Kousei fighting with his own trauma, we’re reminded that there is something far more important going on in the background. The day of the exhibition, Kaori is absent and completely unavailable. It’s clear that whatever disease/condition she’s been hiding has claimed her for a time. And it’s likely a serious issue for her to miss something so personally important.
This whole show, we’ve gotten stronger and clearer hints at her waning health and suspect mortality. No hint was more clear than her passing out after a performance. Coupled with talk that strongly avoids speaking of the future, and instead prioritizes emotion, passion and the present more than anything and I’m willing to bet that she’s a character with the reaper’s scythe at her neck. She lives her life not recklessly or irresponsibly, she lives it as if at any moment someone could pull the plug and her lights would immediately go out. It’s the same way she plays. And it makes the introduction of a new, apparently important character named Toshiya a good contrast.
Toshiya is an elementary school prodigy at the violin who is also performing at the gala. When Hiroko and Kousei attempt to convince him to switch places with them to allow Kaori more time to show up, he staunchly denies them. Even more than that, he has the courage to berate Kaori not only for her lack of professionalism, but her playing style as well. It’s all very misplaced, but I was impressed none the less. It seems like he’ll be a good way to reflect on Kousei’s past life and values. Toshiya’s been clearly brought up to understand and respect music at a high level to talk the way he does. And he’s repeating words almost verbatim to what we’ve heard other older, sterner characters say. I’d like to see if the passion Kaori and Kousei convey through their playing can change this outlook.
In the end, this is a compelling start to the second season of this show. I’ve been dying to see how Kousei will ultimately overcome his condition, just as much as I’ve been curious to learn what is exactly going on with Kaori. This episode not only reminds us of those problems, but shoves them in our faces as the appropriately most important aspects of this show. To do so though, the answers had better be satisfactory.