Glub glub glub.
— Kousei’s performance not only made Emi want to become a pianist, it also moved her to tears. Wait, wait, it also compelled her to climb to the top of a jungle gym and announce to the entire neighborhood that she’ll become a pianist.
— And last but not least, lights came out of Kousei’s fingers as he played. The tone of the show isn’t right. This part of the episode is something I’d expect out of Yakitate!! Japan, not an anime like Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.
— Emi even went home and trashed everything that she once held dear because of one performance. Check that. She did all of this before she had even touched a piano. Anyone who does something like this needs help, but I suspect the show wants us to be impressed by the fact that she has such passion and a singular focus for what she wants in life… at what? How old was she back then? She couldn’t have been much older than five or six.
— Yeah, I’m sure that a little kid would talk like this. This anime is so full of itself.
— Why are there so much percussion in the background? Ahhhhh, I thought I was just going to listen to some piano!
— Everyone in this show is fucked up. Yes, what you see above is exactly what you should do shortly following a performance. No, wait, you’re only allowed to do that if you’re a girl. If a guy grabs a girl by her shirt, we’d all be up in arms. But when every single female character in this show bullies Kousei, we just brush it off. Hey, his mom used to beat him, so this is nothing compared to that! Ha-ha!
— Apparently, Kaori needs a cocktail of meds just to keep her upright, but I don’t care about her character whatsoever, so I’ll just leave it at that.
— Tsubaki wonders if Kousei is shaking in his shoes because he has to follow Emi’s performance. Ryota replies that he won’t, because Kousei is a man! Oh man…
— Now it’s Takeshi and Emi’s turn to sit in the audience, and they’re all like “I can’t believe Kousei has picked such an easy piece to play! Inconceivable!” Man, you guys can sit there and spout all the pretentious nonsense that you’ve been spouting, but you can’t honestly come to the one simple conclusion that it’s been two years since the kid competed. So maybe — just maybe! — he should start with something easy and comfortable!
— Apparently, Kaori just picked the piece by random.
— Kaori’s speech is priceless. They won’t let him hang back. They won’t let him stop! He’s a musician! Yeah, I feel ya, Ryota. I feel yea.
— Kousei: “I never knew. That music could be this colorful, and that it even had a scent.” If you’re smelling things out of nowhere, you might have a tumor. Just erring on the safe side, buddy! Go get that checked out!
— That dorky blue suit might have been cute when he was a kid–… oh wait, he still is a kid! I keep forgetting because everyone in this show acts as if this minor competition is a matter of life and death. HEAR ME! WATCH ME! Screw going overseas! Showing up this kid who had disappeared for the last two years is… EVERYTHING.
— Then of course, we are reminded that Kousei’s mom used to beat the shit out of him for not playing the piano properly. Also, more reminders that the younger Kousei played the piano because he thought it would keep his mother alive. Juxtapose all of this with the nonsense at the start of the episode. Honestly, what am I supposed to think? We go from sexist slapstick (it’s always female-on-male violence), to flowery statements about music, to kids acting nothing like kids, and now, we’re right back to horrific physical and emotional abuse. The tone of the show is just not right. Sometimes, it wants to be a romance. Sometimes, it wants to be a touching story about Kousei’s recovery. Sometimes, it wants to be a comedy. Sometimes, it wants to wax poetic about the piano. Unfortunately, these elements don’t all go together, especially in this episodic format that we’ve been given. For instance, the comedic elements simply make me think that we’re making light of Kousei’s trauma. The entire anime is a Frankensteinian monstrosity held together by A-1 Pictures’ production values.
— Another flashback that simply repeats what we already know. This is just filler, but it won’t feel like one if you’re wrapped up in the emotions of it all. To me, however, it’s just filler.
— So at some point, Kousei reached his breaking point, and told his mother that he wished she would die. Guess what happened next? That’s right! She died! But I mean, this sort of thing is almost cliche at this point, i.e. “I-I can’t believe that was the last thing I said to him/her/it/the world.” You see this all the time in like-minded stories about losing a loved one.
— Plus, we already knew he blamed himself for his mother’s death. We’ve known this from the very first episode. As a result, the story isn’t adding complexity to the drama. It’s simply repeating itself, but in a louder way by letting us see the abuse as it is happening. The anime ends up feeling very repetitive. It simply relies on the emotional gravitas of its subject matter to hopefully distract the audience from its own repetitiveness.
— Child abuse is a very serious, serious matter. It’s so serious that one can’t help but wonder, “Should I be this critical?” It’s also so serious that one can’t help but think, “Man, I feel really bad, so maybe the anime did evoke powerful emotions from me after all!” But at the end of the day, the anime is still being repetitive, and the heavy subject matter is skewing our perceptions.
— Then we have these uncaring adults who are like, “Whoa, maaaaaaan, he’s playing the piano perfectly even though his mom just died, maaaaan. He must be a demonic chip off the old block.” Holy shit, what is wrong with all of you people? Have you no sympathy in your heart? But that’s just how this anime is. Everyone feels off, because the author is going for the dramatic effect over everything else. As a result, adults talk shit about a kid simply because you should be feeling as much pity for Kousei as possible, plausibility be damned. And kids will randomly spout ridiculously sophisticated lines just so that they can be a mouthpiece for the author’s views about music.
— Then the same thing happens as before, and Kousei finds himself drowning onstage. Well, I don’t think anyone’s surprised…