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.
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.
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.