Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Ep. 2: Pixie harder, dream longer

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - 0203

Kousei accuses Tsubaki of misleading him, and she doesn’t deny it. She admits that if he had known that they’d be attending Kaori’s performance beforehand, he wouldn’t have come. Obviously, she doesn’t realize how painful it might be for Kousei to revisit a concert hall (I discussed this in last week’s post, so I won’t rehash it). In fact, she probably thinks she’s just helping him. The idea is that Kaori’s performance will reignite her friend’s passion for the piano. The sad thing is, she ends up being right, and our manic pixie dream girl predictably gets the job done. But I don’t care; in this case, I do not think the ends justify the means. It’s the principle of the matter. Yes, Tsubaki does end up helping Kousei out, but it’s the fucking principle of the matter. I hate the world of good intentions. Readers will think I’m being too harsh on the girl, but people of her sort are the ones who truly offend me the most. After all, they pretend to care. They pretend to respect you. But it soon becomes very clear that they have their own selfish agendas, and you’re ultimately just a stepping stone to their desired goals. A true friend would have respected Kousei’s wishes, but the truth is, Tsubaki cares more about the idea of concert pianist Kousei than she does about the actual Kousei himself.

If Kousei doesn’t want to attend a concert hall, why can’t Tsubaki just respect that and leave it the fuck alone? We’re not talking about someone who’s eating himself to an early grave. We’re not talking about Kousei trying out gateway drugs. We’re talking him wanting to avoid concert halls. To the average person, this probably seems like a peculiar aversion, doesn’t it? But that’s the whole point. You wouldn’t have an aversion to concert halls unless you had a really good reason, huh? “B-but I don’t know what that reason is!” It doesn’t matter, though! You know that the reason exist, and this alone should be enough. She bemoans, “So the piano makes you feel lousy, then?” If she was actually a good friend, she would’ve been able to put two and two together and come to this conclusion a long time ago. In the future, should Kousei ever confide in Tsubaki about his traumatic past, then great! She’ll finally know everything. She’ll finally understand the pain in his heart. But until then, it is extremely disrespectful for her to dismiss his feelings like this by misleading him. It always disgusts me when people can’t respect their friends’ wishes and just leave things well enough the hell alone. Yes, you can argue that Kousei needs to confront his problems eventually, but Tsubaki ain’t his fucking therapist.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - 0202

As expected, our manic pixie dream girl doesn’t just play the set piece. She gives her oh-so-unique spin on it, and this simply blows everyone away! In truth, it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before, but hey, it’s an amateur competition involving kids (they’re just in junior high), so it’s fine. We can be impressed. I can suspend my disbelief and pretend that she “owns” the Kreutzer Sonata. After all, it’s her job to fix Kousei, and we won’t get there if we don’t believe that the manic pixie dream girl is actually dreamy. In fact, after the whole Tsubaki debacle, I’m almost ready to root for Kaori. I won’t feel the slightest bit sorry for Tsubaki when Kousei inevitably falls in love with Kaori. Still, it’s a competition, so you can’t just improvise unless the rules specifically say you can. Not only that, one of the judges has to be a big stickler for the traditions: “She might as well be picking a fight with the composer!” He’s the same type of people who would claim that a story has only one meaning. But it’s okay; Kaori isn’t playing for the judges. This serves as a sharp contrast to Kousei’s mother, who only ever valued finishing first in these competition. As a result, our sensitive but broken concert pianist simply falls even harder for the free-spirited violinist who has plucked the strings of his heart.

Unfortunately, our manic pixie dream girl is currently interested in Ryota, the not-as-sensitive best friend. But whether or not Kousei even gets the girl by the end of the story is ultimately irrelevant. What matters is that she will now fix him as per her job requirements as the story’s manic pixie dream girl. Kousei even admits that the whole thing feels like a scene straight out of a movie. That’s the problem with the anime. The whole story feels far too crafted and put-together. For me to honestly care about these characters in a show this grounded in reality, I have to see them as real people. I don’t get that with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. For me, Kaori’s too unreal. She literally exists to meet Kousei’s exact needs. Even Kousei himself doesn’t fare much better as “the broodingly soulful [boy who needs] to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures.” These characters do not engage my sympathies, because they are not genuine. For all the talk about how Kaori owns the Kreutzer Sonata, the two main stars of the show are carbon copies of we’ve seen a billion times before. There’s no real improvisation here. Nothing I’ve seen in this episode convinces me that Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso will own its story. And considering the performance we’ve just witnessed, that’s just hilariously ironic.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - 0201

By the way, Kousei lies to Kaori to cover for Ryota, but don’t you think she deserves to know if the guy she likes is going after another girl? Just more reasons why the world of good intentions is complete bullshit.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Ep. 2: Pixie harder, dream longer

  1. Pia

    I kinda find Kaori more tolerable after this episode, she’s still a unbelievable character tailored to fulfill Kousei’s needs, but when she ask Kousei opinion about her performance, for the first time she seemed human, then she ruined everything acting all narcissistic but probably that was just a facade to cover her insecurities.
    On the other hand the other 3 main characters just got worse:
    Ryota being a dick, I despise people like him, then he has the nerve to talk with Kousei about morals or some shit.
    Tsubaki forcing Ryota to change without taking any consideration of his feelings, cuz when he was a pianist he was great, why she can’t accept the guy for what he’s now?, so selfish.
    And Kousei for what you mentioned, why he needed to lie like that? I’m not telling he should say the truth and betray his friend, but he could say that he don’t know where Ryota was or something.

    Overall I think this episode was better than the first one, the problem is: I don’t care about this characters, they’re shallow and horrible people.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I kinda find Kaori more tolerable after this episode, she’s still a unbelievable character tailored to fulfill Kousei’s needs, but when she ask Kousei opinion about her performance, for the first time she seemed human,

      I just didn’t care much for it, because it feels like she’s brushing off the judges’ opinions… but you, sensitive male lead… what did you think?

      Reply
  2. rebiawatkins

    Most of the criticisms you made in the post are the same things that bothered me when I watched this, but I still find the show to be charming and kind of sweet. I hope these things don’t get worse and bother me more over time. I really hate it when a series I was enjoying gets weighed down by its negatives.

    Reply
  3. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    It’s almost poetic, the way you looped the review right back around to good intentions at the end. haha

    Good intentions are of course a great thing, and acting on them is often to be appreciated if not lauded, depending on the circumstance. However, when we act not just on our good intentions but primarily on our *assumptions*, without thought or consideration, we’re only going to widen the wound we want to stitch shut.

    But of course, this isn’t that kind of story. It’s not a story about realism or consequence, but of fixing what’s been broken via rehashed concepts. The troubling thing is, real life doesn’t work like this. There is no Poppins in the real world, and yeah, not every story needs to be “real”, but they should mature as our understanding does. We shouldn’t still have concepts like “face your fears” be a paramount message in any story that carries themes heavier than those easily understood by children.
    _And I think that’s the issue here. It’s not the friend’s idiotic push on blind “good intentions” but the writer holding onto such an archaic, or rather “typical”, concept after having introduced an atypical backstory. The friend, the Magic Girlie, and pretty much everything else is fit for a story aimed at youths who can learn something as they grow up–everything, that is, except for the horribly adult and complex backstory of the protagonist’s trauma.

    Why did they write that kind of trauma into the protagonist if they’re gonna follow a childish, if not simply old, narrative formula? Why go so heavy. hard, and very “real” with the protagonist’s complex only to show us a story that’s so surreal?

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      Because the writer couldn’t follow through, the writer just got lazy, he/she had the inspiration to write a traumatic story, then got stuck on how to develop that story and that character and just said “Fk it” and went lazy mode. It happens all too often in the anime/manga medium.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Your first paragraph pretty much nailed ONE of the reasons I’m not watching this show(drooped it after the end of the first episode) it would be great if the writers found some other way for the guy to confront his issues and get over the past and maybe becomes a pianist again WITHOUT Kaori, or his stupid friend(s) I’m not keen on pretty much having his male friend NTR him either, but that’s just because of the presence of Kaori. . .she’s just a walking radioactive plot device, poisoning what could be good characters by pouring cheesy drama when the writers ALREADY HAVE A STORY! KAORI IS SUPERFLUOUS TO THAT STORY! the writers could have told a great story without her even existing! but they just aren’t smart enough to write a story like that. so they go the lazy route and throw in the airy dixie chick. It’s downright insulting.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s