Kousei runs into his mother’s old friend. Elsewhere, Takeshi has a crisis of conscience as his image of Kousei is shattered by the competition. With his spirits renewed, Kousei resolves to keep playing just as Kaori gets an invitation to a new event.
So my fears are somewhat assuaged by the new character, as at least Hiroko does have some relevance to Kousei’s past. Unfortunately, while that fear is gone a new sense of moves in its place. Are we really to expect that this woman actually cares about Kousei? Not only does it seem to be implied that she knew about his abuse and did nothing, it seems apparent that she has had absolutely no contact with him since his mother died. How are we supposed to believe any supposed care for Kousei when she didn’t even bother to stay in his life? Are we going to get some kind of sappy revelation that she felt ashamed for encouraging his growth as a pianist? The more I think about the implications of this new character the more I don’t like where this is headed.
Man, rough day for Takeshi I guess. It seems really weird just how invested he was in this hero worship of Kousei. The rumors seemed to be so widespread that he must have heard of his mother’s passing. Was he assuming that, just because he entered a competition, he would magically be at his peak again? Then again, the curmudgeonly contest judge did have a point: Kousei should have come into this competition to compete, not to answer any crippling existential problems in his life. What he did was a bit disingenuous to the audience, and must have driven the competition organizer up the wall taking more time than he was supposed to. When Kousei comes back into the spotlight with this gala, he should perform for the audience, as that is what is being asked of him. When he returns to a competition he should do it when he knows he’s got a chance to win.
It’s still kinda hard to buy the Kousei Kaori relationship. My biggest fear now is that in traditional anime romance fashion, that line by Kousei at the end isn’t going to have much an effect on the plot immediately. Kousei has definitely shown his fair share of infatuation with the girl, but what really does Kaori feel? It’s been a while since she and Watari have been introduced, and yet it seems like she hasn’t made any overt gestures of love for him. Since the entire crux of Kousei’s apprehension is based on this supposed fact, I would like to actually see her pursue Watari. She doesn’t have to be Kaga Koko all about it, but at least something. The moment was at least well done, if a little overblown. The music was emotional in the right ways, but felt far too strong as it went from a quiet lullaby to a love ballad as he made his half-assed confession. To add on top of that, the end of this episode also seems to make it painfully obvious that Kaori has the kind Anime Wasting Disease® that will actually kill her. There’ve been hints of that since her fainting spell, but it doesn’t make the idea any less silly or contrived. I’m hoping this show can pull it off, but I’m not holding my breath.