With the Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) manga coming to an end, the birth pains are being felt in the anime version as well. In episode 16, more than in any other, we see how debilitating Kaori’s illness is to her, and become more assured that her disease is fatal.
In recent episodes, Kaori has been largely absent; she’s been relegated to background. The action has been proceeding without her (even in this episode, the story development is as hurried as ever, as we find out more about Nagi’s personality and a surprise, that she’s Takeshi’s little sister) as she literally withers away. But in this episode, Kaori retakes her place as a center of the story, and where we once saw brief hints and images of her frailty, we now see her quickly losing her motor skills, including in the image that struck me most, of Kaori dropping her bow, unable to hold her beloved instrument.
I was reminded of a friend of a friend who recently and suddenly loss her husband to a heart attack. He left behind two children with disabilities, including one has profound physical disabilities associated with a disease that will eventually take his life. More than ever, that family has to deal with the painful message that life is short; there is no time to spare.
Certainly there’s a message to be seen here – one we encounter in plenty of different shows and movies: we don’t know how much time is left, so live life to the fullest.
For the Christian, that idea is as true as it is for everyone else, but we also must take into consideration another part of time management – that our years here on earth are but a foretaste of eternity in Heaven. Our souls will live on. There’s more than this earthly plane. Arima and Kaori hint at something more than the physical during a short conversation where Kaori tearfully wonders if Arima will remember here, and he declares that he will, even should he die.
But as with Arima, who I think is coming to realize that he must treasure his time with Kaori, we, too, have to treasure our time here in light of eternity. We only have so much time here to live, love, and to share the gospel to a dying world. We should not – we cannot – waste that time. Like Kaori’s symptoms, the signs are all around us that life is fleeting – it’s up to us to take this message to heart.