Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso: Episode 10

君といた景色 – The Scenery I Shared With You

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Of course that three-part performance would throw anyone off. It sure threw me off.

Was Kousei’s performance good, bad, or just plain mind-boggling? That’s what the majority of the audience was wondering. And well, I’m going for the last of the three. He started out like clockwork, then went on a rampage in the middle and slipped into a state of numbness, then finished off in a flurry of emotions. When the audience has to actually vocalise “it is time to applaud”, then undoubtedly, it was a performance that left pretty much everyone confused.

To many who regard classical music as sacred, Kousei’s performance was nothing short of blasphemous. Not following the scores is bad enough, but to stop in mid performance? His disqualification was decided the moment his hands slid from the keyboard. However, strange as it was, I can’t help but be awed by it. Because that’s the beauty of this show. It’s not all yes we got the protagonist to start playing the piano again after two years, so he will miraculously play perfectly even though he is so scarred. Oh no, not at all… Kousei was, and still is, very troubled, and nothing short of divine intervention (hmm… maybe even that might not be enough help) will enable him to revert to his prior state. And his struggles are what make this series all the more believable, because what fun would there be otherwise?

And while it remains a tad inconceivable that he can’t actually hear his own playing, I have to applaud him for pulling through. Kousei has certainly evolved from when we first saw him. A few episodes ago, I am sure he would have simply given up. But not this time. This time, despite knowing that he would be disqualified, despite being haunted by his past, he played on, because he found his reason for playing: Kaori. Rowdy as she might have been what with the way she forced Kousei out of his comfort zone, I really love that Kaori has had such a positive effect on him. It is because of her that he is playing the piano again; because of her that he seems to no longer be haunted by the not too fond memories of his mother; because of her that he found his reason for playing; because of her that he can once again smile; because of her that he is no longer afraid; because of her that he is free.

If anything, this episode marked the start of a new phase in Kousei’s life. He discovered the freedom in music, has now freed himself of the puppet strings that were tying him to his memory of his late mother, and freed himself of his punishment. Before, he was playing so that his mother would get well. But that really wasn’t reason enough to evoke feelings into a piece. That, as well as the fact that his mother’s orders were to follow the scores down to a tee. And also, we have to remember that he really was but a child back then, and as stereotypical as this may sound, children really do lack the maturity to emote and express. This time though, even though he is only two years older, Kousei now has someone to play for. Not in the way that he played for his mother’s well being, but in the ‘let me put across my emotions through my playing, let them reach her’ kind of playing. And he poured all his feelings for that special someone into his playing. It might not have been competition worthy, but it was special nonetheless.

Classical music heard. Chopin’s Etude Op. 25 No. 5 in E Minor. I’ve scoured the net for a piano/violin duet of this piece, but can’t find any. Guess we’ll have to wait till the soundtrack is released.

Even though the music was beautiful, this episode really was more about what was seen than what was heard, because the art was absolutely stunning. The warm watercolour visuals, the starry night sky, the contrast of dark and light – it was all extremely well done and such a treat to watch.

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