「足跡」 (Ashiato)

Goshi goshi. Goshi goshi. That is the sound of wasted potential; poor Tsubaki falls into the sad, yet predictable situation of the ‘doomed childhood friend’. Although I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about Tsubaki and the main plot (until next episode), I do want to briefly touch upon the things that made the osananajimi story more engaging.

Although the message in the mud ball analogy was pretty clear–she’s poured a lot of work into their relationship and now she waits in eagerness for Kousei to see her efforts–seeing how happy little Tsubaki was, eagerly waiting to show off those mudballs to Kousei, was the hardest hitting scene of the episode. It sums up the initial hopes of every childhood friend who wants to break the status quo, where their patience becomes their greatest flaw instead of a strength. It’s a tired trope, but expressing the childhood friend conflict in subtle ways like this help keep it fresh. It was a subtler gesture concerning the osananajimi dilemma than most of this episode, which was mostly straightforward and at times too heavy too quickly. However, a very overused and unsubtle formula is enhanced by some softball curves, as seen through Kashiwagi and Tsubaki’s senpai.

Usually in situations like this, the childhood friend stays chaste and always available, readily hoping that the main character will stop fawning over the other girls and settle down with them. However, Tsubaki’s case is uncommon in that it represents a key notion of adolescent love and beyond–love is not singular nor static. Rarely in anime do we see conflict between a couple once established; when it does happen, it’s usually a very dramatic conflict that’s scandalous and full of emotions. Here, it’s much more subtle, but in practice much more believable and real. Falling in love at one point in time does not mean that it’ll still be there in the future; attraction and crushes are fickle like that, especially in the puberty years. To see that sort of message here, it’s a refreshing contrast to the ‘fall in love once, fall in love forever’ idea that is commonplace in romantic comedies. What’s icing on that cake though is Kashiwagi and her deliberate efforts to help Tsubaki out. Unlike a standard support that spouts a few lines and sets up one-time events, Kashiwagi’s role feels very much integrated with the narrative. We get to see her thought processes on what works and doesn’t work with Tsubaki. We see her deliberating with friends and trying out different tactics, acknowledging when certain tactics fail. I’m sad that Kashiwagi feels underutilized and and has a lack of screentime, mainly because the small characterization and plot advancement she accomplishes is great. She’s a wise character, as evidenced by her statement, “like and not disliking are very far apart.” Although Kashiwagi is trying her best, Tsubaki will probably face firsthand what the consequences are for not recognizing this distinction, which we’ll continue to discuss next week.

As I said before, I’ll save the main topic of Tsubaki’s relationship till later, but next episode looks like it’s going to end badly for Tsubaki’s relationship, so it seems a more natural place to discuss it then. Meanwhile, a smaller part of the episode dedicated itself to further cementing the details we expected from last episode concerning Kousei and Kaori. I’ve heard some complaints about how the comedy is ruining the moments and drama that should be happening, but I think the comedy is purposeful, or could be interpreted as such. At this point in time, both Kousei and Kaori are in denial, ignoring the huge elephant in the room. While those two have their energized banter concerning music and acting normally, the whole situation feels out of place, as evidenced by how quickly the drama escalates after these spurts of comedy. For Kousei and Kaori, this is their coping mechanism for dealing with their situations, even though both of them know very well the truth. For Kaori, her smiles and laughs are her way of coping with her bedridden condition and for being absent for Kousei. For Kousei, his willingness to play along stems from his denial that Kaori is truly sick, to the point that the resemblances between Kaori and Kousei’s mother flash through his head. Thus, the two of of them, in order to protect themselves, continue this lie. It is selfish, but for these two, accepting reality is a hard pill to swallow.

Overall, today’s episode was straightforward and a cooldown from last episode, but it does continue to setup key plot points in both stories. In particular, I enjoyed the transition of Claire de Lune from whistling to insert song to goshi goshi, but I did not enjoy the continued use of crying as something to be casually placed in a scene. The next episode, in addition to continuing the childhood friend and bedridden stories, introduces a new character into Kousei’s life. Who it could be, we don’t know yet, but she’s most likely the new character that appeared in the OP. Can the show really take on another plotline at this point? We’ll see next week–perhaps again, as one book closes, the next one will open up right after.




    1. That’s exactly what I think. It is flawed, but it’s more flawed in the way a human being is flawed, rather than just the general way a show is bad. Does that make sense?

  1. Also, to be random, I think that hospital flashback may be the very first time we’ve seen Kousei’s father….and we didn’t even see his face -.- !!!
    I kind of want to know what’s up with that. I think it’s been stated he’s currently working overseas, but where was he in Kousei’s childhood?!

  2. I really have a huge disdain for some of characters in this series sometimes, but only because some times the way they think is so terrible, it’s relatable. Just this one episode alone, you can already see the potential hurt incoming, let alone talk about tears.

    It might even escalate to Anohana’s level of drama if left unchecked.

  3. Compared to Kosei’s and Kaori’s problem, Tsubaki sob story is so absurd and unimportant.

    Maybe that’s why I don’t really care about all her emotional scenes at all.

    Noda the Pianist
  4. I must admit that I almost cried when the song in the end started playing
    I was like wstgszrtgn szjtsdgng T.T and yet I already know what happen since I already read the manga

    I really like the music so far on this anime

    Music really gives color on everything

  5. I was glad of this episode tbh, precisely because Tsubaki hasn’t been doing much for the show as a whole. I’d kind of just like for her to be given closure so we can focus on the real meat of the series but at the same time, not giving her closure would make her feel like a pretty pointless character, which I’m not a fan of. I’d rather have the predictable usage of the loosing childhood friend trope that we got here than nothing at all, just as long as it’s over fast enough.

    On the other hand, Kaori sure is swimming in those death flags…

  6. Falling in love at one point in time does not mean that it’ll still be there in the future; attraction and crushes are fickle like that, especially in the puberty years.


    People can talk about not liking the characters and what they do all they want, but I think they set up the story to reveal important themes and messages like what Zanibas has said.

    The flaws in the characters behaviours is the crux of the story. I think that overanalysing them individually would only make you like the show less and miss the point.

  7. https://randomc.net/image/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso%20-%2014%20-%20Large%20Preview%2003.jpg
    Shinobu? Is that you? 😀

    I’ve heard some complaints about how the comedy is ruining the moments and drama that should be happening, but I think the comedy is purposeful, or could be interpreted as such

    I agree with this take on the comedy. This show hits such highs and lows and it does it within seconds of each other. Take last week’s episode as an example as Arima walks off stage, collapses, and gets tackled. There was a huge amount emotion welling up to that point and with the goofy look on Arima’s face as he gets tackled (styled with a certain homage to every other character that has hit Arima), i would take a wild guess as it serves to liven the mood. Otherwise i’d be down every time i watched this show.

    3/4ths of this week’s episode was focused on Arima potentially losing another person he cares about.

    With the silent anguish they both must feel

    and the lurking memories that reside within Arima,

    i can see why moments like this can piss people off.

    However what keeps me coming back to this show is the dark foreshadowing that the side characters give us. Last week it was Ochiai-sensei noticing how there is an ever-present sorrow in his playing. The trigger for this sudden change was losing him mother. She even goes on to say he may need to lose someone else in order for him to move forward. Just hard stuff to swallow when you think about it too much. 🙁

    Ochiai: “There’s an ever-present sorrow hanging over Arima-kun’s music. If the death of his beloved mother triggered something in him…then it’s a demon’s path he must walk. His growth is spurred by sorrow. If Kousei is to walk that path, he might have to lose someone in order to move forward.”

    For Tsubaki, i didn’t really feel any sort of heart tug until she stopped running, looked up and remembered every chance she had to tell him how she feels. All of that time she took for granted. :/
    I’m excited to talk about this next week!

    yea. this hit me with feels.

  8. Wow I feel really bad for Kaori and stuff… but since I don’t really know what’s wrong with her and whether or not she’s actually going to die, I find myself connecting with Tsubaki a lot more. Actually, I find myself enjoying the series a lot more in general when it focuses on her and her relationship with Kousei (like when he gave her a piggy-back ride). Perhaps it’s because I resonate more with Tsubaki and being “second girl” best friend, but her tearing up, made me tear up ='( I hope she doesn’t get the short end of the stick again and although unlikely, I somehow wish she ends up with Kousei.

    Also, it looks like Kousei has literally grown up a lot since the beginning of the show… he just LOOKS more mature and I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not. He gives off a much more manly vibe now that he’s more confident in himself and playing music (and after forgiving his mom). I like that =3 and there’s a shot of Tsubaki looking at Kousei’s back while she’s following him on the beach and staring at their footprints… omg all the feels T_T

    1. Yeah, I think Kousei has grown, a lot. I think in that close-up of him playing the piano (the one where his hand is blurry) really shows his maturity. I am guessing that’s the kind of ‘looks’ you’re talking about.

    2. but since I don’t really know what’s wrong with her and whether or not she’s actually going to die,

      To be fair, if you did know either of these things it would completely alter the dynamic of the show. I’ve said it before, but I think the show dances around Kaori’s health for the explicit purpose of causing the audience to keep their distance while leaving the characters with no excuses to do the same because we get to see the moments she hides from them.

      Except for the one who’s seen it all play out before. Should Kosei ever decide to confront his fears instead of just monologue about them… well, that’s arguably part of his maturing process too.

  9. The anime is going to pretty short (22 episodes) since the manga doesn’t have a lot of chapters out so far. When it ends we’re in for a long wait 🙁

    So many feels with this anime.

    This is probably my favorite anime since last year, more than parasyte and tokyo ghoul.


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