Your Lie in April, Episode 13: Who Are You Playing For?

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 sobbingPicking 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.

baby arima

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.

TWWK

Husband. Dad. Occasionally Korean. Enjoys Star Wars, ASOIAF, and Meg Ryan movies. Tweets before proofreading. Ghibli. Oregairuuuuu. Jesus is King.

4 thoughts on “Your Lie in April, Episode 13: Who Are You Playing For?

  1. I completely agree with this assessment of Arima’s motivation in this episode. One thing i would say was huge for me, is seeing his mother was trying to love him through giving him a career in music.She may have had misguided love, but her love for Arima never stopped even after he yelled at her.

    1. Actually, it seems – with Hiroko’s viewpoint added in – that his mother was desperate to try to protect him because she knew she wouldn’t be able to for much longer. And, to keep him from the pain of waiting for her to die (although he must have known on some level I guess) she couldn’t tell him that that was what she was doing. All she could do was try harder and more desperately to give him what she had – her music.

      How very human this story is… 🙂 And what a revision of thinking for all the people commenting on the show’s earlier episodes who just thought his mother was a devil, a monster, someone of no worth and a fit subject for hatred. (Hmm, something about judging? Could probably write up a paragraph or two on that subject just based on my observations of this series alone…).

      So whose interactions and motivations do we each need to revisit in our lives, to seek out the whole story before we complete our judgement and hand down our sentence?

      1. What a terrific point about judgment! I didn’t specifically see what was written about Saki, but I was aware there was a large portion of the fandom that was up in arms. More patient viewers – and perhaps more thoughtful (or experienced) ones – would have understood that the story was not over. And neither are ours – thanks goodness for all of us, and maybe especially those among us who are so quick to judge!

    2. What the show’s done nicely is this – they’ve set up Saki as a mother who looks horrible and villainous, but have given her so many beautiful (if brief) flashbacks that we absolutely buy into her as a loving if “misguided” mother. This major turn in the story is believable, and that makes the emotional impact that much stronger.

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