Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Ep. 5: Self-identity is for chumps

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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!

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— “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:

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— 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.

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— 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?

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— 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.


13 Replies to “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Ep. 5: Self-identity is for chumps”

  1. Have you seen the movie happy-go-lucky? maybe you should.

    Also I like naked girls and also to see them being naked. Not joking.

    Since the show showed us that MC actually enjoy the piano when he forget about his past. I don’t mind whats its doing.

    1. I’ve seen Happy-Go-Lucky, and I don’t really see what that has to do with this. The woman in that movie actually talked to people and asked how she could help them rather than bothering them until they agreed to do what she said. I agree that the MC should be able to play the piano, since clearly that’s what he likes, but if his past is what’s keeping him from enjoying it, how is making him relive his past going to help him enjoy it again?

  2. I really hope Kousei realizes that he’s just being bossed around by Kaori to satisfy her own needs, but this show isn’t actually gonna do something like that.

  3. This show is so awful, the story is blatantly telling us to look up Kaori, hell they even made Tsubaki seems even worst with that river flashback, Tsubaki forced Kousei during his entire life while Kaori didn’t, Kaori is perfect, she’s there for Kousei, she’s not forcing him, he plays piano because he loves it and she knows it, he just need to man up that’s all, lol, by far this is the worst show of this season, its twisted logic hurts.

  4. This Tsubaki is supossed to be his best friend? I think that the famous proverb “with friends like you, who needs enemies?” is very pertinent to this situation. But hey, she’s cute so let’s just forgive her. And the blonde maniac pixie girl too, even with her behavior being dangerously near of psychopathy.

    Ps: Dear E Minor, when you find your boyfriend you will finally truly understand the meaning of love and also enjoy this awesome slice-of-life.

    Pps: I want Nodame Cantabile back…

  5. The way I see the show is that it’s always exaggerated. The violence I see as 10% of what happens on screen. And so do I many others things. At least that is my strategy to enjoy the show. It was hinted many time that the Protagonist still likes music, and the act of playing it. He wants to, but he doesn’t. His trauma works as a baricade to it and prevents him from playing it. The childhoof friend of him has also tried some subtle approaches in the past and who knows how many ofscreen, 2 years is a long time. None of them have worked. Yet she kept seeing him enjoying music and the act of playing it. She might have thought about doing a more direct approach for a while now, and then the violin girl comes conveniently and supports her intentions. So they try to convince him him with some quite crazy methods, but again I use my 10% rule. And they see that it works. It shows results. He starts trying to confront himself with his past rather than running away. For example the 1 scene he started playing the song in the air. So they continued it.

    Am I defending this show to much? Probably. But I think if you only take again 10% of the message of the show it would be fine: It’s fine to give your friends a push once in a while. Is my 10% rule ridiculous and doesn’t change the fact that the show is portraying these things in such a wrong way? Might be. But it’s my only way of enjyoing the show. So I will continue doing so until I can’t.

  6. This series strikes me as what would happen if Koe no Katachi had been made by someone with no talent. The results are…unsettling.

  7. Also, with Tsubaki insulting Kousei during her monologue, she’s trying to convince herself that she doesn’t actually love Kousei. Her schoolgirl friend was trying to let her know this was the case but she was too dense to get it.

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