Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – 10

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso-Finally Over

One kind of spring finally comes for Kousei

spring14-highwKousei’s big finish, but I have to say that it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. How so? Let’s find out.



Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso-Punishment

We finally get the rest of Kousei’s performance… well as much as it is. After last week’s breaking down, this week continued the failing of his ability. His perceived punishment for forsaking his mother is his inability to get through it, to hear the piano. Reduced to pounding and hoping for the best, he finally reaches the same point that he did in his accompaniment of Kaori: giving up. Once again, it’s the unthinkable. The other performers, the judges, the spectators, none of them can believe that he’d stop playing. But from the beginning, from the beginning of the show even, this hasn’t been about Kousei winning. No matter what Watari said to him in this week’s cold open, the pressure isn’t on Kousei to win. It never was. The pressure on him is to reclaim himself. To work through that ‘punishment’ that his mind has imposed on him.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso-Lost

Hitting the bottom

“Again.” The same word that Kaori used is his talisman for changing… again. And this time he figures out who he’s playing it for, and what image he’s going for. As we’ve known throughout, the person that he’s transfixed by is Kaori, the person that he’s inspired by is Kaori. And thus, the person he’s playing for is Kaori. Have we finally reached the point where Kousei has broken away from his mother’s oppression? It would seem to be, given that he’s finally acknowledged Kaori’s “Music is Freedom” mantra.


Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso-The Last Hope

Watari shifts the burden to Kousei

And now for the complaining. I know I rarely complain about the production of a show when I’m covering it, but I think this time, the show actually got in the way of the message. Or maybe that’s not quite correct, because there was no way we could miss the message, what with the constant talking ramming down our throats. I found that any impact from Kousei’s transformations was attenuated by the directorial choices made in this episode. When Kousei is supposed to be charming the whole audience with his music, we don’t get the same opportunity. The show could have tried to convey all those feelings, to convey all those reactions with visuals and music. It would have been risky, and there would have been a lot of people who don’t get it, but I think it would have been gutsy to try, and sublime if it had worked.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso-Finding his image

The imagery, even in reuse, was great. It was the other stuff that detracted

But instead, I kinda felt the whole thing was ruined by the constant jibber-jabber. Like the point about Kousei’s transformations: instead of showing us and letting us interpret it, they just have Takeshi’s teacher blurt it out. Instead of letting us absorb who the source of Kousei’s inspiration is (like we couldn’t figure it out), we get it pounded at us. It felt unartful, inelegant, and kind of amateurish. I was waiting for the point where they’d get on with it, get past the preamble, but it turns out that’s all there was. Although to be honest, after about 6 minutes of Kousei’s four minute piece (helpfully timed for us by the cutaways to the clock backstage, another completely unnecessary thing, I thought) I was just tired of the whole exercise and thinking “let’s get to the reactions.” And the primary reaction we get is Kousei’s ghost mother finally bowing to him and smiling.


Perhaps the climax of the first half of the series, I ultimately found this episode to be disappointing due to what may be an inability to trust the audience on the part of the director. This show is in a timeslot and branding that was originally conceived to try to bring anime to non-anime audiences, or at least expand the audience. And yet, I felt like this treated us like a typical shounen audience, to whom everything is explained ad nauseum. And I can’t resist one more nitpick: They made a fairly obvious play of having Watari, Tsubaki, and Kaori sit in the middle of the concert hall. And when they panned front to back from the side across the audience later, they were there. But in every other shot of the audience, nope. Are continuity checks like that that hard? They used the same static image for those cuts. Would it have been so hard to put your other three main characters in where people would be looking for them? Just three people, one with bright blonde hair. Nope.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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6 Responses to “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – 10”

  1. akagami says:

    I actually didn’t mind the conversations and monologues… while you thought it was typical shounen explaining to the audience, it didn’t really strike it that way to me at all.

    I think the three different performances was pretty obvious, having the audience try to comprehend the three vastly difference performances internally helped underline the incredulity the audience had towards the former prodigy. “What was that? Was that good? Or was it bad?” We saw Takeshi’s dream come crashing down, while Emi’s hopes were lit from a worn down match. And the tie in with chibi-Emi of years ago ^^

    Personally I found the audience’s reaction very interesting, especially Takeshi’s sensei.

    I think I’ve watched this episode alone 4+ times… and teared up each time :: ˓(ᑊᘩᑊ⁎) ::

    I wasn’t sure how they were going to end Kousei’s performance, but all-in-all, I think it was rather well done. Shigatsu ranks in my top 10 for sure ^^… well, depending on how they end the show. But it’s one of two shows that I’m up-to-date on. The rest are backlogged with everything else.

    • Highway says:

      You’re not alone in liking it. I’ve talked to others that adored the episode as well. I would have found the audience reaction more interesting if they hadn’t explained it all to me. I just found it overdone, and felt like they didn’t trust me to even try to understand the show.

      Now, given the reaction that PA Works got with Glasslip, a show which I loved because it gave the audience that space and let us figure it out, maybe we can’t blame A-1 too much, but they’ve given the audience space and credit before, with Shin Sekai Yori for one, and the result was an excellent show. I think that if there’s one thing that prevents Shigatsu from reaching that level, it would be the way they did this episode.

      • akagami says:

        I couldn’t really get into Shin Sekai Yori. While I respect the direction and style the show took, somehow it never clicked for me. I managed to get past halfway before giving up. Not for a lack of trying though.

        I haven’t finished Glasslip (only around episode 2 and enjoyed it so far), but I don’t think I’ve ever met a P.A Works film I didn’t enjoy. Shirobako is probably my least favorite, mostly because I’m not that interested in the production of media (anime, manga, books, movies) storylines.

  2. akagami says:

    But yeah, I noticed the lack of Kao-chan, Watari, and Tsubaki in all the audience shots. Although having the one person with vibrant blonde hair would probably distract from the stage… although with the dark lighting in the audience, her hair would normally not be as noticeable.

    They probably thought it would be too much effort to point them out from the view at the stage, and then they’d have to be consistent with all the people around them, haha.

    • Highway says:

      Given that they’ve just used one image for that crowd, it wouldn’t have been too hard to put them in. All I can chalk it up to is poor continuity.

  3. skylion says:

    Well, it took me some time to get my thoughts down on what I loved about this one. Yes, it was way oversold, but I think that was the purpose. Kousie is becoming absorbed by Kaori. At least his vision of her. Now yes, she enforced that vision on him, but that’s the way these things play.

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