Kousei continues to be kinda a jerk. His performance with Nagi rekindles the rivalry in Takeshi’s heart, and an open challenge is given to him for the next big piano competition. Nagi’s performance helps her understand her feelings, and Kousei goes to Kaori to finally make some demands of his own.
After landing a bombshell on him, Kousei is understandably shaken. Badgered by his friends to see her again, he is reminded of his mother. To clear his head, he decides to play with Nagi at her festival.
Kousei quickly adapts to his new roll as teacher. Kaori’s illness seems to be getting worse and worse, affecting her already capricious personality. Losing the last thing worth living for her, she becomes incredibly distraught.
Tsubaki is dumped and continues to angst about her feelings for Kousei. Meanwhile, Takeshi’s sister engineers an audition with Kousei’s famous teacher, and Kousei gets saddled with handling her. Back at the hospital, Kaori catches magical leg paralysis disease and it’s super hokey.
Kaori is in the hospital again, and Kousei is incredulous of her reasons why. Thinking about his renewed future as a pianist, Kousei decides he will join a musician’s academy. Meanwhile, Tsubaki is challenged about her commitment towards her boyfriend. Learning of Kousei’s decision, she is overcome with emotion.
Kousei goes on to play alone. Meanwhile, his mother gets a bunch of flashbacks that try to make her seem sympathetic. The attempt fails. The show goes on to further cement itself as a bad melodrama as more allusions to Kaori’s death loom in the final minutes.
Kousei and Kaori are hard at work practicing for the gala, but Kousei is struggling. Still bogged down by memories of his mother, only amplified by playing this particular piece, he still cannot hear the notes. After basically being lied to by Hiroko, Kousei starts to look at playing in a different light. On the day of the recital, Kaori is missing. Despite this, Kousei still intends to play, even if it is alone.