A Small (Optional) Introduction
Foreword: for those who wish to jump to the actual episode impressions, please skip this entire section–it merely serves as my intro back to the series, as well as addressing certain issues. It does get meta and personal: be forewarned.
OP2: 「七色シンフォニー」 (Nanairo Symphony) by コアラモード. (Coala Mode.)
“Twinkle Little Star”
Failure early in life is often met with the sage consolation, “you’re still young; it’s not the end of the world.” It is a phrase that highlights the temporary nature of early failures and the opportunities available moving forward. For Ryouta and Tsubaki, these notions mostly ring true–they will have another shot at their respective sports in high school. However, a certain Miyazono Kaori does not have that luxury. Disease is looming around the corner, ready to strike her down at any time.
Without this comfort, how does Kaori react in this situation? She doesn’t let it keep her down, but rather she charges forward, dramatically advancing into the fray, seeking to affect her world and touch people’s hearts, even if a few people will be peeved. In her charge, Kaori has peeved the competition (legitimately so), selfishly put herself on stage and disregards her accompanists, but at the same time has touched many people’s hearts with the sheer power and life she puts into her performance, refusing to be bound by both composer and death itself. There is no time for Kaori to wait for a next time and well thought-out decisions and words are not as plentiful a luxury as one could hope for.
At the same time, Kaori is scared. She is insecure. Faking it. She is living a “lie” to everyone except perhaps her parents. She lacks faith in her abilities. She doesn’t believe in her own contribution to Kousei’s life, nor believes in her worth to him. Her two-faced interactions with Kousei have been the focus of the series’ progress thus far, with both positive and negative consequences. This focus is what I’d like to discuss today–how Kaori’s web of mystery and deception have affected Kousei, how Kousei actually has power over Kaori, and how this entire bond of music will become Arima’s “second struggle” with the dying moving forward.
Who is Relying on Who?
Going forward, it is important to note the contrasting forces at work when it comes to Kousei’s influence. Despite being the least pushy, least assertive, and definitely non-violent person on the show, Kousei is undoubtedly the character who has influenced the most people. Emi, Takeshi, Tsubaki, and even Ryouta have in some way influenced by Kousei, whether by his talents, the struggles of his personal life, or the apparent ‘human metronome’ aura. In turn, these four have in turn shown a more ‘honest’ side to Kousei, or at least have had their honest desires unlocked. Despite being wrapped in a barrage of slapstick humor, Kousei is the gentle, yet forceful push that moves every character away from their surface exteriors and into honest powerful narratives. Kousei need not say a word, yet his determination and struggle speak enough to inspire. In my eyes, that makes him the strongest character of the show, and the one to be most admired, especially in light of his cursed struggle.
Additionally, this episode confirmed the extent of Kousei’s influence on Kaori, though the exact details are still to be revealed. Most likely, when Kaori was younger, she did witness (with her parents) the human metronome at work, where a flash of inspiration must have inspired something relating to her musical aspirations. Kaori knows first hand what Kousei’s talents are and how he left his mark on classical society, where even after two years he is still the topic of gossip. Although Kaori has the upper hand against Kousei on the surface for better or worse, in reality, it is Kaori who depends on Kousei much, much more. Although she recognizes that she is raising Kousei back into the world into music, her intentions are a multi-purposed sword that is far from being purely altruistic. For Kaori, her raison d’etre is not to touch just anyone, but rather to touch the heart of the pianist that most likely inspired her will to live and struggle many years ago. See episode two, where Kaori literally is shaking for the approval for Kousei; episode three, where in crying tears, she desperately wishes for Kousei to support her in a time haunted by death and a slow debilitation of one’s abilities; and various episodes where Kaori will conveniently appear in front of Kousei, seeking to once again be saved by the pianist she truly admires and well…loves, all under the guise of lifting him up. If I had to put a finger on it, it’s much like the relationship portrayed in Welcome to the NHK!, where under the guise of help lies a person needing just as much caring.
Unfortunately, Kaori’s terrible flaw is her selfishness to keep living a lie, preventing her from finding her beloved connection with Kousei. To live a lie by being interested in Watari only as a lite version of companionship, a ‘safe’ relationship which serves as a self-constructed barrier to put between herself and Kousei. To live a lie by playing in recitals where she is not playing alone, and in recitals that Kousei is present in. To live a lie by hiding her insecurities and her sadness behind slapstick and words of wisdom for Kousei. However, at the same time, she clearly wants Kousei to break through these self-constructed barriers and to break through to her. Even she falters at times and breaks through her own defence, but soon is reminded of her own mortality. It is a form of the hedgehog’s dilemma that is self-destructive and definitely is not the best course of action, yet it is a plausible situation that I’m sure many people have experienced in some shape or form (minus the mortality).
Therefore, the moment that Kousei moved forward without Kaori is the tipping point of the show. Just as he has started to make amends with his past, his future starts to haunt him. As viewers, this episode was mostly confirmations of what we’ve figured out already–Emi is enthralled with a rival once again, Kaori relies on the light of Kousei (literally through sparklers) to keep smiling, and that Kousei is slowly turning his life experiences into a sorrowful power that is bitter, yet enables him to be expressive and mature through his musicality. What mattered most was the implications of a no-show Kaori and how this spells the beginning of a very melodramatic and heavy-handed second cour. The web of lies has been spun, April is beginning to end, but I look forward to seeing all of that to touch our hearts as an audience, both to the music but also to the struggles of mortality and the ever changing world.
I apologize for the lack of focus for this particular post, but having come back mid-season is tough to ease back into. If you guys want to discuss anything from the previous cour, please let me know in the comments and we can start a discussion! I hope we can have a productive discussion of this show moving forward. I’ve said my piece, dear reader, and I look forward to writing for and to you guys in the near future!
ED2: 「オレンジ」 (Orange) by 7!!
As a side note, here is a very nice annotated video with all the classical songs played in KimiUso!. However, it does include EVERY song, so possible spoilers if you play it for too long!
Listen to it here.
Honestly, after that whole recital thing with Kousei and Kaori the show significantly improved. Now it strikes me more as if people are actually considerate for his own personal struggles rather than projecting their anxieties on him and casting it off as if they’re itching for him to succeed.
Kaori is definitely an acquired taste. I can understand her methods, I can understand her reasonings, I can understand her motives…I simply cannot always stomach it at times because she can just be a bit too much of an ass for her own good.
As I said though, it’s gotten a LOT better after that whole recital thing. I’ve been really enjoying the story since. It’s good to see the story going about different ways to address Kousei’s issue because the point after the recital almost felt like it could have wrapped up his trauma there, but then it’d make such a complex issue seem so shallow.
I’m also starting to sort of understand his mother oddly enough. 5 episodes ago I would’ve dismissed the woman as simply an overbearing witch who doesn’t desire the happiness of her own son, but rather her own personal greed. Which isn’t to say that isn’t a huge part of the way she treats him…but as the show expands on her personal life through his instructor you get to understand little by little just how much her life threatening sickness came to warp her.
If there’s anyone I just simply cannot stand it’s Tsubaki though. For a childhood friend you’d swear the girl doesn’t know Kousei at all. Okay, it’s cool she’s so comfortable that she isn’t afraid to be herself regardless of how her best friend feels, but her ability to never be considerate about his feelings until after she’s done something drastic (usually hitting him) has totally annoyed me beyond repair.
I really enjoyed this review, you do a good job of remaining neutral.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed the review! ^_^
To speak to a few points you bring up:
Kousei’s mother is an interesting character to dissect, though perhaps an ugly case at how the fear of death and a overt desire for purpose can warp one’s actions. I can’t say for sure, but we could very well see how Kousei’s mother had good intentions for her son, but they got grossly corrupted along the way. We saw this portrayed very prominently in Clannad with Tomoya’s father.
As for Tsubaki, her character is very typical for a childhood friend type. It’s not that she isn’t internally digesting how she should act around Kousei, but that it is very hard for her to act any other way around him. She uses this happy-go-lucky and oblivious nature to paint a common narrative of hiding one’s fear of change and a fearful insecurity of how Kousei perceives her. She’s fallen into this trap that doing the same thing is obviously bad, but now, Tsubaki uses this guise of “being herself” to protect herself from the changing times, to keep herself with Kousei, despite how warped that logic is. It’s only going to get worse, I assure you, especially since she’s probably not really feeling her current relationship with her senpai either.
Based on the prior episode, that’s likely the case WRT his mother. If we run with her friends memories, she didn’t want Kousei to train as a pianist at all until her friend insisted she do so based on his natural talent for it. Also, the dichotomy they use graphically for his mother – where her later moments are all in shadow greys and serious and her earlier moments with are in full colour and smiles – heavily implies that transition within the context of the show as well.
And I simply cannot bring myself to even give her the benefit of the doubt for all of that. It’s weird, I just don’t like the girl at all -____-
I just wish she could hide her fears in a way that isn’t ‘hit first, think later’. It’s funny considering the character actions that I berate her for are pretty much the same to other female characters in many anime…it’s just hers just strike an astoundingly wrong chord with me.
I’m assuming it’s mainly because of who she’s doing it to ultimately. If Kousei wasn’t this thoroughly depressed MC with a certain fragility to him…maybe I wouldn’t be so irked by Tsubaki’s actions. It just goes back to how I couldn’t really begin to understand how it felt as though nobody was aware, nor considering, that Kousei could be/is depressed from the loss of his mother.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
Great job on the post Zani! It was very well written.
Regarding his mom (Saki):
It was probably said before, but I’m thinking that Kousei’s guilt of telling his mom “to die” is what’s mostly demonizing her in his memories. Clearly she was strict and abusive after she got whatever illness, but even back during the Rondo and Capriccioso performance, Kousei used the POSITIVE feelings left from his mom to bounce back and “power up” so to speak.
Even this episode, they keep showing us that yes, his mom was normal and loving before she got her illness, yet we have no idea how becoming sick transformed her into the CRAZY lady.
What if when Kousei’s mom was diagnosed with her terminal illness, it then became her goal to leave him with as much of her musical knowledge before she died. It could be a bit similar to Kaori’s situation, where she has to charge forward to leave her mark before she disappears, only with Saki it manifested in a much harsher way.
*Extra TWEEST: What if they both have/had the same illness/plot cancer??
Same feelings here.
After the recital, things actually felt supportive of Kousei rather than Kousei feeling forced to do things through guilt trips and whatnot. He’s actually been inspired by others, like Emi and Takeshi at the competition and their feelings reaching him through their playing, and then doing things of his own volition thanks to that inspiration, but thankfully, that inspiration also doesn’t just magically cure him of his problems, but it does help him take another step forward and ones like Kaori, Emi, and Takeshi are able to understand this through his own change in playing.
Little by little, he’s now cutting his strings.
As for Kaori, yeah, I guess part of it at least is because her type of character is seen a lot more in less serious and/or more over-the-top comedy anime where it’s much easier to laugh off things she does as opposed to this series, which is clearly meant to be more serious, realistic and/or relatable to the viewers, so when such things happen, it doesn’t strike the same chord and feels out of place or even uncomfortable, especially if you’re someone who has or is at a depressing low point like Kousei; you’ll find yourself imagining yourself in his shoes quite a bit (hence “relatable”) and being on the receiving end of such treatment/actions in general and…yeah…it doesn’t make you feel good at all.
Tinkle Tinkle Ritar Star!
i covered my ears. i cant stand the way they sing it 😀
Can’t wait to hear this on the OST as an insert song 😛
+1. Really appreciate someone picking up this show after the previous writer dropped it. Glad to see someone on the writer team that has a positive interpretation of the show
Sheapy, chris, helloharu, and AznSoulBoy, thanks for your support! Addressing all of you guys at once to avoid inflating the comment count :P. I look forward to watching this show with you guys!
Somewhere, a certain Shinigami is drooling over this scene.
Thank you so much for tour words. I love this serie And i am ready to read tour reviews. I also love romantic comedies. Thanks for your time And for been in The RC team.
Finally Shigatsu is back on RC :3
So many death flags ~
awesome episode, Arima is playing solo i guess.
Glad that you’re picking up the show Zanibas! Despite its flaws, I can’t help but love it anyway.
Thank you for picking this show again.
Kairi left RC? I did not realize. I am going to miss hearing Kairi’s voice on the podcasts.
To be honest, they kind of did away with the bullying and the abuse. I’ve been enjoying the show since then.
Honestly, as much as I complain about this show, it is still one of the only shows I find myself keeping up with lately. The art is nice and the stories are very powerful even though I find all four main characters incredibly annoying. Honestly, they should focus on Takeshi and Emi and it would be ten times more interesting, so far those are the only characters I enjoy, as well as Kousei’s mom’s friend.
This series is still pretty messed up. People still don’t seem to understand anyone else’s feelings, at least in any way that makes sense. Like for example, Kousei’s mom. She just got done mercilessly beating her son, in front of this huge group of people, with some trying to stop her, and others calling for security. Now we’re supposed to believe that she was happy, when he then told her that he legitimately wished that she was dead? Um, what? That proved that he was his own musician? Um, what? Also, why does he have to need her forgiveness? I understand why he would feel that way, but why do others keep reinforcing it? She was pretty evil person near her end there, and I’d much rather hear a good explanation for why she thought it was OK, to beat him like she did. All in all, I’ve still been following this series, but the way that it handles the drama is just piss poor in my opinion.
I am actually surprised that a lot of people do not understand the show. I lived in India for 22 years of my life. I know how parents can get. To see things are typical in India. You can. Find evidence of this in most bollywood movies. I suppose u guys are lucky that u don’t get it. It means that u didn’t have to deal with stuff like that growing up and that’s cool. But believe me I can relate with this show. 100%. Beating your child is considered to be normal. People turn a blind eye when a child gets beaten up by his parents in public. Children are expected to meet their unrealistic expectaions. Even the so called Bullying’s you call it. Its the sort of friendship that’s common in our culture. If you think it’s wrong then good for u. If you think its OK then you’re probably from a cuountry that has the sort of society / culture that makes u think so. Yes I do think its sad. Yes. But its typical where I come from. Unfortunately.
But kousei’s mom has it’s reason for doing it(I know! It’s still not good to beat your own child) Show Spoiler ▼
Oh my… I have been watching this series all this time and never notice the things Kairi said… Ok I noticed but I don’t focused on it. For me this show is a light in my heart, it gives me hope and a sweet cheer up. I have been abused in school and suffered bullying so many times but I decided so see the world with other eyes. Thats why I think I have another opinion of Arima and Kaori, yeah you may think I am crazy but the magic about anime/manga are the colorful and different interpretations that they can bring us.
I hope you all can still watch Shigatsu till the end (and enjoy it)
*sorry, english is not my first language*
Really glad you’re picking this up. I really do love this show. 🙂
With 12 eps in, I’ve probably reached the stage where I simply got used to the flaws of the show, partially anyway since some are pretty hard, if not impossible to ignore. The “comedy” being the main ones, which I just take with a grain of salt now and move on. It’s heavy-handed presentation is another. Now, there’s the manic pixie dream girl trope that’s ever so present here and at times, like during & after Kousei’s performance in ep 10 can often be ridiculous to the point that it’s hilarious. Yes, I just said hilarious because you got two options here IF you dislike it: you either laugh it up or get frustrated over it and possibly end up dropping it. Did the later first, but still wanted to enjoy the show so I started doing the former.
Flaws that can vary in how much they bother each viewer aside, we really do have a product of passion on the other side of the coin here. On the music side of things, it’s definitely a treat, with some reasonably good atmosphere to boot. Furthermore, despite me not being a fan of manic pixie dream girls like Kaori in general, I still find myself rooting for her, just like I root for Kousei. Also, none can say that Kousei magically got over his problems even with his goddess being the solution because he’s still in the process of doing that and we’re half-way through the show. Contrary to what I was thinking in the show’s earlier episodes, Shigatsu DOES treat Kousei’s trauma seriously, proven by the slow pace that the story’s moving along. It’s rather that the general idea behind solving said trauma is what’s not clicking with some viewers(once again, in varying degrees).
Borrowing the words of Takeshi’s piano teacher from ep 10 after Kousei’s performance:
Sure, that would throw off anyone. How am I supposed to evaluate something like that?
This is Shigatsu in a nutshell for me and tbh, I was even wondering if the show was self-aware back there and winking at the audience. It’s truly a mixed bag for some of us but to me at least, that’s always a better watch than an anime without any grating flaws but without any particular strengths. Sooooo, I’m glad it’s being picked up again 😛
Emi is so goddamn cute!
Best series ever returns!
Honestly, I am so glad that you decided to cover KimiUso because I feel the exact same way!
As others have said, thanks for covering this! I was really disappointed when it was dropped, though understanding of the reason why. I also agreed with Kairi’s critics of this show but there was always something that kept drawing me back and really missed it’s presence here on RC. Loved the review, glad you found something to enjoy in it as well, look forward to your reviews, and thanks again!
is tsubaki dating the mc ?
Sorry I don’t watch this but I do like the screenshots
No, she’s dating a senpai who is a year her senior–they used to practice on the field together for their own sports.
What controversies does this show bring up? (sorry, I haven’t been following it)
I don’t think we should rehash things & bring all the negativity in here again. Just read the past post:
Thank you so much Zanibas for blogging this.
I like this show a lot.
I though when Kousei’s instructor said he had to play that song was really harsh and unnecessary of her part. But what you said: “Kousei is slowly turning his life experiences into a sorrowful power that is bitter, yet enables him to be expressive and mature through his musicality.”
(I never read the manga)
I think she is late because she is sick again.
Yay, KimiUso is back!! New OP/ED <3 <3
Thank you Zanibas for the blog and screenshots!Love saving these beautiful artworks of A-1 production.
It must be difficult to review from mid-season and really appreciate your work :))
*Just on side-note: I believe the OP artist is "Koala mode"
Whoops, it’s actually Coala Mode (at least from what I’ve read), but thanks for catching that!
And thanks for your appreciation! ^_^
Thanks for covering it!! Again!(using kaori’s voice)
I don’t really understand the issue about this and that… Most of the series has that so..ummm yeah move on
Some of the question has been answer in the manga too… I don’t know though if the anime will really skip some of that though
Honestly speaking.. this is one of the few series(so far) that I will enjoy this season
Thank you Zanibas!
Who’s the new girl?
That’s Kashiwagi, who is Tsubaki’s friend. We saw her for a bit in episode 5 when she was confronting Tsubaki’s offbeat nature at the time. It’s weird that she’s re-entering the story so suddenly now, but I hear that she plays a more prominent role in the episodes to come.
Zanibas, thanks for covering this show. I really appreciate a different opinion of this show and despite its flaws, I found this show to be charming.
There are times that I’ve had to stop the episode, go find something cute and cuddly to read, then come back. Yes, it’s very heavy, but it’s a great show.
Thanks for covering it. =)
I don’t understand the haters. Yes, the characters are flawed, unlikable, and annoying. Just like every single one of you. Real humans are like that, get over it. Sorry the show doesn’t cater towards your idealized notion of what people should be like. I’m glad this show is being covered, the fucking salt and butthurt is just unreal.
just noticed after watching the OP for 3rd time, the envelope at the end of the OP is the envelope from the latest raw (ch 43) of the manga , i conclude this will follow the original manga with those tearjerking moment ahead , i hope they can bring the most of it
ofc they will follow the manga
It’s kinda refreshing to have this kind of series adaptation though it really reminds me of Full Metal Alchemist
I appreciate the introduction section. With all the controversy surrounding this series at the beginning of last season, I wasn’t sure if this would still be open to both perspectives. I took a month hiatus from the show after it was dropped here, and have been watching sporadically since then. I might start watching it regularly again now.
The episodes between the last post covering this and this post have been better overall. I still think a lot of impact was lost because of the previous framing, but it was still an improvement. I do think the dramatic elements have become a bit much (and I think I would still believe that even if I didn’t have my other problems with the series), particularly when they’re originating from someone other than Kousei, but the rivals did give the show some perspective and some more healthy elements.
As for this episode, other than the remark that Kousei needs to “man up” (it’s actually spoken rather than implied now, geez), it was pretty decent. The comedy is still bad, but I don’t think I need to keep mentioning that every episode anymore. At this point it’s highly unlikely it will disappear.
Even from a negative perspective, however, I think there’s something interesting going on here with Kousei’s mother (quick shout-out to hjerry above; I completely agree) and Kaori: They both fill the same role in his life. He loves both of them; they both push him in healthy and unhealthy manners; and he’ll almost certainly end up blaming himself for “letting down” both of them after what I believe to be Kaori’s inevitable death. I think the show has a chance to redeem itself to some degree depending on how such situation is handled.
On an entirely different note, I wonder what Kousei would be like if he wasn’t so depressed all the time. Speculation?
What Kousei would be like if he wasn’t depressed? I guess he’d still be a quiet sort of person, but he’d be clearly happier. He’d probably smile more often. Something like that. It’s an interesting question to ask. But, I also think that if he wasn’t depressed, he wouldn’t be Kousei. If that makes sense??
Yeah, I do get what you’re saying. He’s still rather young, and life experiences have a much greater impact on you when you’re young. If we remove the source of his depression, he could have been a totally different person.
I guess what I’m mainly aiming at is his dramatics. Will he still dramatize everything even when he has a more positive outlook on the world? I’m curious about that.
i just wonder, when kashiwagi-san (tsubaki’s friend) is laugh when see the Poop Firework (IDK What is that exactly), what is it (kasihwagi-san’s Laugh) reffers to? https://randomc.net/image/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso%20-%2012%20-%20Large%2019.jpg
that makes me little curious :v
the “poop” is burnt ash, usually listed or labeled as “snakes or glow worms” since it twists/spirals like slithering along (snakes) or from the burning part it has a glow on the ash and some of them can give off a neon flame/colored smoke as it burns (glow worms), parents hate them usually because if not done on the correct surface it will leave burn marks for years.
I hope you last longer than the other reviewer who had a meltdown over this show.
I’m really glad someone took over reviewing these series. For all its flaws, the underlying story is great. I took to reading the manga, the story grips you and the underlying sadness to it is one heck of a roller coaster ride.
Thanks for took the review of Shigatsu, especially by doing it with an open mind. The story is just so good that no having it discussed on RC was really disappointing. And yes, it has flaws and questionable parts, but just viewing the number and variety of comments makes me confirm that this is one of those shows that leaves an impression every episode.
About the post, I think that you did a great job wrapping the main emotional issues showed and implied in the first half of the series. Thanks again.
any 1 knows if kaori dies in the end or not ???
I love this anime very much … amazing story and art
Kaori is just too wonderful …
I didn’t like the previous summaries of ep 1-5
and didn’t agree with lots of things
as a person who is stuck in his/her place ,myself and not moving towards my dream
I wished to get someone like Kaori to make me move forward
that’s why for me that wasn’t bullying but concern and worry (with anime humor )
nothing more ,nothing less
and even though Kaori might leave us … I can’t help myself but to wish her safety and get cured
to see her smile again … to smile again myself