There’s no way I could ever forget, because I’m a musician, like you.
One thing that anime does well, and which Hollywood does, too, is to stir these emotions within us that make us feel like humanity glitters, that people are capable of wonderful, amazing, earthshaking things, and that we just need the right spark to cause us to glow. There’s something powerful inside of us – a hero, a warrior, a musician. As Kousei comes to see in episode five of Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Osu), for him, that spark is Kaori.
It’s funny, then, that he describes her not as something glorious, but instead as merciless. That’s not the usual adjective you might ascribe to someone you admire. And yet, it’s the perfect word for Kaori. She continually pushes him, both with force, as when she compels him to join her as an accompanist, and more gently, as she does on the bridge in this episode. But whatever way she does it, Kaori is relentless – she refuses to give up or to even slow down in her pursuit, even when Kousei avoids her and stays in his depressing cocoon.
Have you ever had a person in your life that resembles Kaori, who pushes you to be more than you ever could? Some of us might have, and perhaps for just a brief period of time. Those that have can tell you that there’s nothing quite as amazing as someone who is on your side even more than you are.
It’s no wonder that Kousei is unsure of his feelings toward Kaori. He admires her, he’s in awe of her, but does he love her? It’s a dynamic, amazing relationship, and he feels something around Kaori that he doesn’t around others (at least not as consistently and powerfully). And in that way, to me it resembles the possibility of one’s relationship with the Creator.
God paints his relationship with humanity as romantic one. He loves us and wants our love in return. And as with Kaori, he is unrelenting. Time and time in the Bible, He demonstrates this as He returns again and again to his unfaithful Israelites. His love knows no bounds. And when a believer comes to understand that, we feel toward him something that remarkably seems a lot like those lovey dovey feels we get for crushes. The relationship feels like a romantic one, and it shares some similarities, though of course it’s also different. After all, unlike a marriage, for instance, our relationship with God is not on a level plane.
And so it goes with Kousei ‘s relationship with Kaori. He is amazed by and smitten with her. Tsubaki, on the other hand, feels more like the usual object of affection (and perhaps will become that), while Kaori is on a whole different level.
She’s there to mercilessly mold Kousei into all he could be. And boy, could Kousei be great! It feels like there’s no limits on where he could go if he rose above the miasma that chokes him.
Humanity is the same. In the light of our failures, we understand ourselves as sinners, as imperfect. But we – and this certainly applies to me – often forget what we were meant to be and what we’ll be one day. We’re meant to be so much more than what we are. After all, we were made in God’s own image. When we examine the best qualities of humankind – kindness, passion, artistry, brilliance, empathy – we’re seeing the very image of God. It’s his kindness we adorn – his love, his compassion, his grace.
These are some of the same qualities Kousei admires in Kaori – that he wants to emulate. And when he surrenders that which is holding him down now – the guilt, the pain, the avoidance – and accepts a better way, he’ll blossom, not only as a musician, but in the ways that Tsubaki hints at, fully becoming someone who is so much more than he is now.
We, too, have that chance – a chance to shine. Our violinist is patient and beautiful and kind – we only need accompany Him. And when we do, we’ll “sparkle so brightly.” We only need remember that we’re created in someone’s image.
How could we forget? We’re musicians, too.