「心重ねる」 (Kokoro Kasaneru)
“Hearts Come Together”

In a cast of defeated characters, a new hope is arising within all of them, just in time to give us a final arc that’s worth all this emotional pain.

Nagi and Kousei have come far since their initial character introductions and it reflects in the relationship they share. It was once unfathomable for Kousei to make it through a performance, much less while musically dueling a partner. Here he is though, using his ‘curse’ to liberate himself, allowing him to focus on pushing his partners further. Nagi accepts said challenge, feeling the thrill that was once unknown to her until now. It is thanks to Arima that Nagi found her reason to play and it is thanks to Nagi that Kousei has broken through his own chains to help those around him. Characters that find non-trivial mutual benefit from partnerships like these are great, especially when the implications reach out to a broader scope. Each character grows, but they don’t grow alone, forming plot bonds that help the story feel connected.

In fact, Shigatsu’s way of connecting the characters together is a great strength, with Kaori and Takeshi this week as evidence. For Kaori, her own situation mirrors Kousei’s world just a few episodes ago. We, as an audience, had conflicting opinions about how Kaori and friends’ actions could constitute friendship or the right path, yet here we are once again, with Kousei purposefully taunting a physically weak character to once again take the stage. The parallels from the past as well as the explicit connections in the future help create these characters that are connected, yet distinct from their past. Kaori was there for Kousei in his time of need, and now using similar tactics it’s his time for payback. Whether or not this is an optimal solution for those with physical and psychological disabilities is still up for discussion, but the reversed roles seem, in a literary sense, compelling to explore here. The same goes for Takeshi, whose previous rise and fall feels connected to Nagi’s own success, as he is reminded of the reason why he plays the piano in the first place. All of the main musicians have gone through significant changes as the series progressed, yet there isn’t much of a disconnect between the current musicians and their pasts. The show has done a great job mapping their paths to the present, and as such it is easy to feel for how far these characters have progressed since then.

Finally, speaking on the performance itself today, I personally found it less emotionally engaging as the last few performances, but it was a welcome sight to focus more on the performance itself rather than a series of flashbacks and repetitive monologues. Having listened to the audio CD that has all the classical tracks played in the show, it was refreshing to hear the entire song played in full without many cuts or repeats, as to really focus on how the song’s flow and changes reflected Arima and Nagi’s development over the past few episodes. I imagine we won’t get a repeat of this behavior for the next song involving Kousei and Kaori since we’ll need the backstory to see behind Kaori’s curtain of mystery, but given how much I want to know about her character, I’d welcome a huge amount of monologue from her easily.

However, that is still quite a few episodes away, so now we must wonder what’s going to happen in the interim. Will Tsubaki disrupt things and make a move? Will Kousei still doubt Kaori’s feelings for him? How will those two train if she’s bedridden at the hospital? There are lots of questions to wonder about, yet still so many key pieces of information missing. Let’s cros our fingers that Shigatsu will give us satisfying answers to all these questions before the final performance’s curtain falls.

I’ve always been puzzled by people who break puzzle cubes apart just to put them back together in their solved configuration.




    1. You mean the bit when Zanibas said “I’ve always been puzzled by people who break puzzle cubes apart just to put them back together in their solved configuration.” ??
      That’s a reference to the latest episode (6) of Assasination Classroom. Seems a bit non-sequitur to put it here though, but oh well, haha, I get puzzled by these types of people too.

  1. My oh my Nagi, flaunting your relationship with Kousei?

    However, that is still quite a few episodes away, so now we must wonder what’s going to happen in the interim.

    Filler of course! They’re probably going to go into greater depth at fleshing out Tsubaki’s feelings. Any episode that she’s in is all about her and Kousei and everything else seems to get put on the back burner for those 20 precious minutes.

    Like Zanibas, i found that the performance wasn’t very emotional this time around. I think partly because the performances prior to this one, Kousei hadn’t fully embraced his “curse/gift”. That’s probably where most of the drama came from (his inner trouble). Here, he’s goading Nagi (intentionally or not is up to you) into going beyond what she is used to. Only the two of them were capable of putting on that performance because of the time they spent together.

    Probably the coolest part of this episode was watching Arima get Kaori to dream again. Seeing it in manga form is one thing but seeing it in anime form blew me away. Especially the ending eyecatch where Kaori says she’ll dream of waltzing with him one day. Seizing his weakness, he’s able to force her to cope with hers and get her back onto her feet. There is a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel!

    Oh. The Feels. T-T

    For Takeshi, his “return” to who he used to be doesn’t have me convinced. He used to idolize Arima for being a robot – staying true to the score and because he was unable to match Arima’s level of perfection, he got himself into a rough patch with his music. Then seeing Arima’s first performance shocked him into an even more depressing state as he’s now trying to find out why he’s playing in the first place.

    Then all of a sudden because his idol played a waltz in his sister, he now has a new outlook on his music?? Was the performance enough of a shock to get him “back on track”? i don’t think so. Saying he’ll give Arima a beatdown during the next performance just means that Takeshi is focusing entirely on the wrong thing. He’s been saying that he’ll “beat him next time” ever since he first saw him perform. If anything he’s annoyed his little sister has so much respect for Arima. This betrayal is what he probably focused on. Hopefully Nagi can further smack some sense into him next week. I don’t think Takeshi gets it yet.

    1. Yeah, I found myself thinking that Takeshi had completely and utterly missed the point of Nagi’s playing. But, the title of next week’s episode (Goodbye Hero), combined with the preview image, makes me think that he might come to his senses, or some kind of understanding. Eventually. Hopefully.

  2. I agree that we didn’t really get a full ‘Kousei’ performance. He wasn’t able to fully concentrate and couldn’t get to far into the performance. We must not forget, though, that while he is performing, this week was about not only him giving Kaori a punch but goading Nagi into making a performance that will reach her brother. He succeeded as the one (teacher/reporter?) said being a supporting partner in the piece.

    With that said, I was on the edge of my seat for the entire episode and was extremely gratified. I think this was a fantastic episode. First she listened, then suddenly she was standing… And she couldn’t help but join in the performance, if only in a silent way.

    Fabulous episode.

  3. “Please, perform with me one more time” :C

    Their performance together is one of the reason why I decided to continue this series and read the manga.. it’s really beautiful </3

    and that end card <3

  4. Really enjoyed this arc in the manga and it was nice to see the whole thing finally animated. Already bought my tissues for the next one, and yes a lot of questions will be answered in the end.

    On a side note Kousei isn’t taunting Kaori so much as he’s giving her a desire to live in a time where she’s accepted death.

    Love Freckles weak ass clapping at the end of the performance.

  5. Did anyone notice the changes in the opening song video?? I personally think they make the video a whole lot better-my favourite of these changes being the night-sky scenery and the extra image of Emi 🙂


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