“Two of a Kind”
Crying? Check. Failure to convey feelings? Check. Slapstick humour? Check. The weekly list is done, so let’s dive on in!
For the emotional roller coaster that Shigatsu is, seeing certain characters in constant wet-face dilutes the ride as a whole. For instance, take today’s instance of Kaori crying on the way back from shopping, whilst riding (illegally) in tandem with Kousei. The waterworks flow and Kousei narrates that he didn’t ask Kaori why she was crying. This is supposed to be a key scene that highlights the Kaori and Kousei’s reluctance to be direct, but after seeing a crying scene in literally every single episode since episode 12, the effect has largely worn off in a tragedy of diminishing returns. After all, why did Kousei not mention this the various other times he’s witnessed Kaori crying? What significance does this crying scene have over the others to warrant such a statement? There’s probably an answer out there, but it’s not an emotionally convincing one (correct me if I’m wrong). I don’t imagine the show fixing this behaviour any time soon, but at this rate, the real hard-hitting scenes that’ll come at the end of the series could very well become ‘diluted’ because of this trend. I consider my emotions to be easily swayed in anime, but lines have to be drawn. It’s understandable that Kaori is surely going through a lot during this period, but from a storytelling perspective, saturation isn’t always the best way to reach out to an audience.
On the flip side, there are other things that Shigatsu does well, even if those ‘things’ might be prolonged and repetitive. As I mentioned in previous weeks, it’s clear that Kousei is trying with all his might to deny what’s happening to Kaori. He’s not oblivious in the slightest, but because he fears what he suspects, he plays along with Kaori’s lie still, even if that lie is pretty much in shambles at this point. For us, it’s easy to see what the truth is here regarding Kaori–she isn’t ever waiting for Watari, she is afraid Kousei will forget about her, and she’s clearly going to die. However, for Kousei, acknowledging these truths has larger implications for what he has to accept, a hard pill to swallow. While the crying has tired on me, the continuous use of slapstick and the indirect dance with language bothers me less so because it creates this uneasy veil; it is a veil that most of the characters feel is false. However, said veil fell apart for Kousei though as this episode closes up, as Kaori reaches the bottom of her pit of despair and asks for a double/lovers suicide. For Kousei beyond this point, there is no denying what the truth is, even if Kaori may backtrack on her words later. It was a statement loaded both with acknowledgement of Kousei’s true role and Kaori’s own despair, as she fears the worst of fading away from this world.
Meanwhile, for our newcomer Nagi, it looks like things aren’t going well for her either. Though on surface, she seeks revenge for her brother and inflict as much negativity on Kousei, those reasons are at core fairly childish and surface level, hiding the real issues that Nagi is dealing with. We can see hints of this as she constantly makes up reasons for why she can’t keep up with the standards set by Kousei and Hiroko. Her hands are too small, those standards are impossible, or it provides no assistance for Nagi to ‘win’. Of all the child characters we’ve seen thus far, Nagi is on par with Kousei for making such excuses relating to the piano. Even though she says she despises incompetency, she is already hinting that she struggles to deal with her own self-perceived incompetency. Much like Arima and his self-imposed perception of Kaori’s true feelings, so too does Nagi struggle for the attention of her own brother Takeshi and most likely, her own rough playing. I look forward to seeing how Nagi will resolve her own problems, since it’ll most likely turn into another monologue of musical passion, one of the things that Shigatsu executes amazingly well; it’s all good to see Kaori’s pain, but ultimately the thrill of the on-stage character growth and performance is what many of us are here to stay and see.
I assume it’s because all the other times, he could understand the reason for the tears. However, this time, she is talking about how much fun she had, and how it was a great day, and how she never wants it to end. Then she starts crying. He knew something was wrong, but it ties back with him not wanting to hear the truth. He likely didn’t want to hear the answer because he was sure it would be too sad.
Maybe this late night visit was prompted by the tearful bike ride home. Maybe Kousei’s indirect approach is finally going to stop.
I wasn’t ready. T-T
I for one didn’t see the saturation here as an issue. This story is heavy. It’s not like we can take a week and pretend things are okay. That’s what they’ve been doing the entire season so far…Now that things are actually hitting the fan, i can understand more crying. I certainly cried. However i did shake my head when Kousei didn’t ask her about why she started. His indirect approach to everything sometimes gets on my nerves.
Probably the most haunting take-away from this episode is Kaori’s slow transformation into a shadow of Kousei’s mother. That scene in the hospital was super familiar to Kousei’s past and THANK GOODNESS no one cracked a stupid joke. I think the ending scene was wonderful, to say the least. That book the Kaori quoted has a really dark plot. I wonder how Kousei is going to react next week.
Nagi being Aiza’s younger sister didn’t surprise me. What surprised me was her openness and honesty with Kousei regarding her true feelings for him considering how much she “despises” him. I honestly feel like she’ll start developing some feelings for Kousei.
Or perhaps she already does…tiny tiny bit.
That scene in the hospital was super familiar to Kousei’s past and THANK GOODNESS no one cracked a stupid joke.
Ah, one of the ever-present issue I have with Shigatsu that I barely managed to get used to – and just little bit. I would’ve been INCREDIBLY PISSED for that scene to be interrupted by a comedy relief moment(especially since I never did like the Shigatsu’s comedy like, at all). It remind’s me of how Golden Time did this and ruined what could’ve been some pretty powerful moments. It’s something that grates me a lot when and always makes me question “Why the heck would you shoot yourself in the foot like this show when you’ve proved that you CAN deliver some powerful moments?”. Sometimes I can’t help but think that the writers or studios who decide to do this are some really epic trolls.
WHAT ABOUT THE DOUBLE-SUICIDE OFFER!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????
Kaori… has finally gone overboard for me. She’s a lying monster, and cannot stop trying to spread her insatiable hunger for lying to others. Arima was finally free, but because Kaori is a nasty piece of work, he’s doomed. I’ve tried hard to stick with this show, but the longer it goes, the more the characters annoy me. The edition of Nagi seems positively contrived too.
Maybe they’ll all die. Like Hamlet. And then we won’t have to deal with them anymore.
She was quoting the book that Arima had read. The book is very similar to what’s happening in the story right now. With the exception that Arima and Kaori are not lovers.
For anyone who’s curious, the book is Ichigo Domei by Masahiro Mita. It’s about a young piano player who falls in love with his athletic classmate’s sickly girlfriend. Show Spoiler ▼
She’s quoting from the book that was sitting on the wheelchair.
She isn’t lying for the sake of lying. She is lying to conceal the truth of her medical condition.
Nothing seems overused here, her tears have been for slightly different reasons every time so I’m just curious as to when they’re going to acknowledge that she simply isn’t getting better. They’re hiding behind the humor because they’re kids, but what happens when the veil is finally pulled and nobody can hide how they feel?
Sigh, feels coming in soon, and this is only episode 16
SHE’S SO PALE. ;_;
Is there a english translation for the book Ichigo Domei by Masahiro Mita. Now I am really interested!
I believe there is one but I can’t find it anywhere 🙁
Here you go. Be warned…the book is very similar to the show so far. Because of this, there are potential spoilers in the book.
Thank you so much!! If there was RC gold like on reddit, i would not hesitate to give you all of it.
I will happily indulge. I went from bookstore to library trying to find this.
Kaori’s just so pale … I just don’t get it why
why can’t you guys relate to her way of doing things or probably her lie ?
it’s just so obvious … so very much obvious … which makes it even more painful …for her and for me that’s watching her …
so sad … so touching … painful T^T
I am amazed at how… violent Shigatsu is. Dragonball characters are probably beating each other less than Shigatsu characters lately – well, Kousei is being beat mostly. But it’s the hilarious kind of violence; nothing to take too serious.
As long as it keep’s the comedy out of potentially powerful emotional moments, that are meant to be taken seriously. In that regard though, I think this episode got it right.
I can’t really accept that violence in chibi or generally deformed form is meant to be taken seriously. The anime medium is built in such a way that deformed characters are being used to purely comedic effect.
Yea, of course. But the all that comedy relief in chibi form can still break the tension when it shouldn’t. It would’ve been a real bummer to see angry-face chibi Kousei or raging chibi-Kaori hitting him in that last scene.
Best series ever continues to an unavoidable end… OMG, sigh :___
I’m surprised to myself that I actually manage to watch the whole episode after finishing the manga
Such a good series
It’s depressing watching her be the least vibrantly colored individual in the series now.
We met her and she just shined, she shined so brightly…….now she’s just… 🙁
In a way the episode isn’t very real to me. I was hospitalized for about two weeks a couple years back. When I got out, I lacked strength, and would have shortness of breath just speaking for a while. If Kaori is really as sick as she is (being on IV drips and all that), how could she managed to go shopping and visit town/school the entire evening?
I know its anime, but for a series that’s supposed to be based on reality, I think this was poorly executed.
I wouldn’t say this is unrealistic. If she has what I think she has, there are days where she is well enough to walk around although there are rare and it’s only after an immense amount of treatment. It’s like her brain forgets that she was sick in the first place. It’s her body fighting back. All is good for a while until the symptoms return and it’s back to reality. An abrupt awakening from their dream state. Plus, we know kaori is headstrong so if there is even a small chance of being able to go out, we all know she’s going to take it.
I wonder, when I was young and stupid I had very serious spine surgery, spent a week in the hospital and about 10 days later I was back out on my bicycle. When I proudly told the surgeon, I got the riot act read to me like I had never had before.
Is anybody not going to call out Nagi? Didn’t anybody think that Nagi even considering breaking Kousei’s hands with the piano lid is not cool?!
I’m pretty sure she was imagining that. Arima was still sitting next to her and the next second later she sees Hiroko-san giving her a death glare.
I think Kaori snapping like Kousei’s mom was the best moment in this episode. Nothing needs to be said more on where this is going.
i saw the FINAL chapter… and i can say that, MIRACLE OF MUSIC is just a EFFING HOAX.
Spoiler tags, bro. Use ’em.
Is it me or her colour palette is getting more paler?
Kaori probably has ALS. An advanced-stage patient often has only half a year to live.
Good thing I’m stockpiling Gintama episodes. I am sooooo going on a comedy marathon once I finish this series. T_T
Based on the what I have seen in the scenes with Kousei’s mother, it appears to me that rather than a neural-muscular disease like what Kaori appears to be suffering from, she appears to have succumbed to something like lung cancer.
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