I haven’t perused other Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) posts, but my guess is that bloggings about this series, and maybe especially episode three, are full of personal accounts of anibloggers reflecting on times when they performed at musical competitions with accompaniment. I participated in recitals and such when I was young, too, and that connection is really nice to relate to in the show.
But perhaps even more relatable, and certainly more universal, is Kousei’s reason for not wanting to accompany Kaori – for not wanting to play piano at all. On a surface level, if you’re like a lot of my friends, you might remember music lessons as harsh or unenjoyable. Or striking a deeper nerve, you might remember disappointing others, like your parents. You might even recall a major failure in your life, as when Kousei broke down in the middle of a competition.
Kousei, of course, reveals in this episode another reason – fear. He’s afraid to move forward, paralyzed into resting position, as it were, and unable to keep moving forward because he fears what it will eventually lead to.
All these things that Kousei is dealing with are real problems. Just as with you and me, they are obstacles that he’ll have difficulty overcoming – if he chooses to overcome that at all.
Thankfully, Kousei has loving friends – especially Tsubaki. And I think she really hits the nail on the head when she tells Kaori that it doesn’t matter to her whether Kousei plays piano again, as long as he’s the one to make the decision. It hurts her to see that Kousei was forced into it. His piano playing was stripped away from him just as his mom was – he could do nothing to stop it.
Kaori sees all this as very sad, without even knowing about Kousei’s mom, because in the prodigy he sees someone incomplete. She compares him to herself, as someone who needs music to be whole. Without it, they can’t be all they should.
Kaori is offering Kousei more than a chance to play again – she’s offering him life itself. He’s living a half-life now, walking around without a full heart, without a full soul. He doesn’t know it, but the thing he fears is what can make him complete. Kousei is free to reject the offer, but Kaori is sure it’s what he needs, because they are peas in a pod. They’re made in the same image:
I’m going to play with everything I’ve got so that the people who’ve heard me will never forget me. That’s my reason for existing. I’m a musician after all, just like you.
Kaori is telling Kousei that here it is – here’s what you need. Just move through the fear. Move through the doubt. And join with me. She tearfully begs, “Please be my accompanist!” She, the one who is bringing beauty into Kousei’s life, the one who’s competing, the one in the center of it all, pleads for her accompanist, someone relegated to the background, someone who’s there to support, adjust, serve. Yet he is so important to Kaori, that her tears tumble down when she goes to him.
In that moment, Kousei can make one of two choices. He can stay in his fear, something he’s become comfortable with. Or he can move into the great unknown, right into the face of fear, to follow even so because he has the chance to be a part of something beautiful and spectacular and amazing.
We are all called to make the same choice – we’re called right now. God is the great musician – creating a symphony in the physical things of the universe and in his love for creation. He wants accompaniment, though – children to join in the beauty, to become part of the music and live full lives.
Grace, beauty, love – it’s all there, it’s all in the form of a Father described as loving us so much that he runs to us, unashamed, ready to embrace us even though we deny him. And he wants us to accompany him as he plays his opus.
We need only to say yes.