If you thought episode 10 was a tear-jerker, episode 13 of Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) must have had you sobbing. Picking up from last week, Arima goes on stage at the recital without Kaori to make a point, to make music for his muse, but instead comes away with something unexpected – healing and catharsis.
An accompanist without a performer, Arima plays anyway, pounding at the keys, aiming to show his worth (or Kaori’s), but in the midst of playing, he begins to remember his mom. And in the music, in the lullaby his mom once played (and which he was now performing), Arima remembered her – not the specter haunting him nor the brutal mother from the last months of his life, but the loving, nurturing mother whose music was inside of him.
And so, as the performance continues, Arima realizes this – he is playing for his mom. After finishing and collapsing from the emotional weight of it all, he cries to Hiroko, “Did she hear it?”, wondering if the notes from his heart made their way to his her. Hiroko assures him that they did – after all, Arima’s mom is there beside him.
Arima’s journey so far has been completely centered on love and grace. Kaori broke into his heart first, showing the grace that music has to offer and demonstrating her own grace toward Arima by trusting in him, despite the gap between the two in their musical levels. And if Kaori began to bowl him over by her actions, Arima was completely swept off his feet in episode 13 by memories of his mom, nurturing him with the warmth that we’ve come to only expect from mothers.
And in response, Arima gives this to his mom – he gives her his everything. He gives all that he has, more than he thinks he has. Her love was worth Arima’s all.
This is the pristine picture of love – those who fight tooth and nail, against the odds, against reality, even, to sacrificially care for another. And Arima’s response is perfect – and it’s the same we can offer – he gives everything, because it’s both the least he can give and it’s all that he has.
And there’s no more sincere love than that.