Kousei is shown the power that his words have had in giving hope to Kaori. Tsubaki’s devotion to the dork has also paid off, as her studies have landed her at a school near his conservatory. Finally, the time of preliminary auditions has come, and Takeshi comes out fighting with one of Chopin’s most challenging etudes.
Once again, I’m at a loss as to the dissonant gap between how Kaori treats Kousei when they’re face to face and how Kaori appears to hold Kousei in esteem. This week, we seem to get the implication that if it weren’t for Kousei pushing her forward, Kaori would have already given up on playing music again. Coming from a girl who used to be nothing but energy and aggressively can-do attitudes, it seems strange that she needs Kousei to hammer that idea home. It still just seems like we’re suppose to take what we’re told as fact despite the physical evidence of their relationship telling otherwise. Some development in that particular area would really help end this feeling of confusion, and honestly for something that was billed as a musically inspired romance show it would be nice to see at least a little romance.
If you ask me the Revolutionary Etude should always be your finishing piece, but it goes to show that Takeshi was really thinking of how to wow the crowd first. The playing was phenomenal, and thankfully had no modulation. As some may know, the Revolutionary Etude was so called because it was a passionate piece Chopin wrote after his native Poland had rebelled against the Russian Empire. In a way, by using this piece Takeshi is declaring his defiance of Kousei, no longer regarding him as his hero. By its technical merit it was a powerful reminder of why he had won so many tournaments in recent years.
I feel I gave Takeshi’s personal dynamic too little credit in the past few weeks. It’s hard to tell if this is because of bad writing or not, but this episode firmly shows that his family is as uptight as their soundproofing-plated house would imply. I suppose the problem is that I’m thinking of this as if both Nagi and Takeshi would be under the same amount of scrutiny, but it could be that this family adheres to a more patriarchal idea of the son of the family alone needing to maintain the prestige of its name. I hope we hear from Emi and Kousei next episode, as the pieces where they just play and monologue can be incredibly beautiful when executed like this week’s etude.