I’m taken some anti-vomiting medication. Let’s hope it lasts the entire episode.
— What does the cold opening tell me? That Tsubaki has always been a jerk who needs to have things done her way. But as always, the ends justify the means. Kousei’s smiling at the end, and that’s all that matters.
— Violence is hilarious.
— And if anyone ever sees your naked back, you are ruined for marriage. That’s also hilarious. It’s especially funny because lots of couples don’t have sex in Japan. Basically, no one has premarital sex because everyone insists on marrying a virgin, but no one has postmarital sex either.
— Aw, poor Kaori: “I guess I pushed myself a little too hard.” If Kousei hadn’t been so stubborn, Kaori probably wouldn’t have overexerted herself! No, really, it’s Kousei’s fault. You probably think I’m being snarky, but she literally blames the guy: “…not to mention chasing after Mr. Escape Artist… all week long! The stress of not being able to rehearse together, and all….” I mean, what’s the alternative? Either Kaori’s serious about blaming Kousei, so she’s a shitty person. Or she’s trying to tell a joke… and it’s a really shitty joke. Pick one. Oh wait, you probably want to tell me that the joke here is funny, huh? Haha, this wimpy loser is traumatized and kept trying to avoid playing the piano for me! THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— Let’s kick him. THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— See? Look at her cute, smiling face! She’s smiling, so I know to smile too! THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— “You haven’t said a word of reproach.” Uh, were you not listening when everyone literally blamed you for her passing out? How can you not notice? The implication here is that she wouldn’t have been disqualified if you had just given in right from the start. It’s not rocket science. Stop begging to be yelled at.
— Tsubaki tries to list Kousei’s good qualities, but she draws a blank. Maybe it would be a good idea to encourage the guy to… oh, I don’t know… do his own thing and find himself? Find his passions? Find what he truly wants to be? Hahahahahaha, I’m just joking, y’all. Kousei should just play the piano for these cute girls, because fuck what he wants to be.
— GASP! Ryota already knows Kaori’s email address?!
— Our protagonist doesn’t want to visit Kaori in the hospital, because he feels guilty for making a mess of her performance. Naw dawg, naw… she made a fiasco out of her own competition. Not you. She did. She insisted on making a traumatized victim her accompanist at the last second, so it’s 100% your fault. But are we going to get an apology from the girl? Is she going to feel the slightest bit contrite for her actions? Fuck no! It’s all Kousei’s fault!
— That’s what people misunderstand. People think I hate these characters. No, it’s not the character I hate. I know there are idiots like Kaori out there in the real world. I hate the tone that the show has been given. It’s not about whether or not Kaori’s character is realistic or plausible. It’s all about how the story frames her character. And right now, she is predictably framed as this can-do-no-wrong heroine who’s just trying to help Kousei. That is reprehensible. It really, really is. An adult looked at these characters and decided to tell a story in which we’re supposed to look upon Kaori’s actions positively. That is mind-bogglingly stupid.
— Ryota’s idea of a pep talk:
THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— Kaori’s monologue is just a bunch of self-indulgent bullshit. Can’t we let Kousei make his own decisions? Can we stop deciding things for him? Can’t we allow him to play the piano on his own terms and not because you think he’s meant to live for the same moments that you live for? Is that so much to ask?
— That’s all this show is. It’s all tone. It’s not even clever or subtle about it. It just browbeats you with “This is meaningful and magical!” If you put together some sort-of-inspiring-looking scenes and set them to uplifting music, people completely forget all about the meaning and subtext of the story. Just let the good feels flow, guys. The good fucking feels.
— Haha, Kousei is thankful for her actions. Sickening. He’s so used to having Stockholm syndrome that he’s easily brainwashed all over again. Man, I’m tired of blogging this episode already.
— Tsubaki walks home with some guy in high school. Yo, he’s totally hot and dependable. She then proceeds to insult Kousei over and over in her mind. What a friend. She’s known him for years, but she has no clue why Kousei is the way that he is. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that just terribly, terribly sad? In this universe, no one understands you or even wants to try and understand you. True happiness comes from conforming to other people’s expectations. He didn’t meet his mom’s expectations, so he was sad. He didn’t meet Kaori’s expectations, so she collapsed onstage. So now, he may as well give in. Why fight it? Just meet the cute girl’s expectations. You can’t expect her to meet you halfway. You just give yourself up to her. As for Tsubaki, she’s just the odd one out. She had her chance. If she really wanted him to conform to her, she should’ve tried to be cuter. And blonder. And more manic pixie dream girl.
— Tsubaki: “I do know that Kousei has lots of good qualities besides playing the piano, after all!” So what are they? Can you list them? Can you also list them for your “friend,” so that it’ll cheer him up? Nah, you can’t. I mean, shit, the proof is in the pudding. You can’t do it when it counts. You can’t be there for Kousei when it counts. You’re a shitty friend and Kaori has long NTR’d him from you.
— Man, who the fuck gives a shit about her love life? Next scene, please.
— The next day, Kousei finds Kaori playing hopscotch with some young kids. So quirky. Very pixie dream girl.
— She then wants a gift for leaving the hospital. When he has nothing for her, she hits him. THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— She doesn’t really want a gift, of course. She’s just manipulating him to do anything she wants with her crocodile tears. THAT’S SO FUNNY!
— And what’s that something? Oh, just more piano-playing. In front of people. In a competition setting. C’mon, buddy, man up. You wouldn’t want to make a girl cry, would you?
— A bunch of empty words follow. Then her vagina shines with magic, I guess.
— She then hurls herself into the river. So. Goddamn. Quirky. Doesn’t your heart just melt for the anemic blondie who can’t help but boss you around?
— The crux of the problem: “But I can’t help aspiring to be like you.” This guy doesn’t even know who he wants to be. Ever since he was a kid, he’s had to live up to other people’s expectations. He doesn’t have his own expectations. He doesn’t have his own will. He’s just a fucking follower. Not surprisingly, he follows Kaori into the river, so even now, he has no real identity of his own. That’s why he wonders if he’s good for anything besides playing the piano. His own sense of self-worth is entirely linked to what others think of him. And you know what? That’s not healthy. What the story suggests, however, is that if you make a cute girl happy, that’s all that really matters. The normative action is the one where you make pretty girls smile. If you fail, they die. So fuck everything else. This is a man’s duty, after all.