I’ve taken the first steps.
– Kousei Arima
Much of the first half of Your Lie in April’s (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) first season revolved around Kousei’s unwillingness to move forward, like a rock in the earth, unable to shift from it’s place – not until Kaori, of course, changes his world. Now, by episode 11, Kousei has not just realized his condition, he’s embraced it. Kousei doesn’t mind the uneven performance he gave at the competition, because it was a beginning of something substantial.
Episode 11 of Your Lie in April begins to move us toward what feels like a new arc. Changes and new challenges are occurring, including practice for a gala and the introduction of a new character, the family friend and pianist, Hiroko Seto. The episode also offers us some resolution for the piano competition, even somewhat for Kousei’s competitors, as Takeshi now realizes that the “hero” he looked up to has fallen to earth.
Many of us live like the hero in Takeshi’s imagination, like the Kousei of old, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but unable to play music with our hearts. Church is sometimes full of individuals like this – spiritual supermen and women who do all the good deeds, say the right words, and even do so with the right intentions, but who never really abandon their lives fully for Christ. Kousei was lucky (or blessed?) to have grown through hardship and moved through prodding by Kaori, but even if we don’t have experiences or people like that in our lives, we have no excuse, because scripture tells us again and again that playing Christian isn’t enough – God demands all of us.
This is the kind of experience Kousei is now having. He’s abandoning what he knew, risking embarrassment, to truly find what matters. His goal is to reach Kaori – not because he wants to surpass her, but because what she has is beautiful. And he’ll get closer and closer by giving up his all, by practicing at his craft, and by being nurtured by those more mature than him (enter Seto). And in giving up all that he knew, Kousei will find the treasure that’s most important.
The Christian life isn’t merely about doing good or loving others or even worshipping God. It’s about abandoning all at the foot of the cross because what God has to offer is better than anything else – it is life. If we keep going through the motions, no matter how good our lives seems to be (to others and ourselves), we’ll be left as hallow superheroes, when what we should be is this: a broken, but beautiful, Kousei.