Your Lie in April, Episode 17: Playing for Someone Else

When you’ve shared those sounds with tons of people, when you’ve reached tons of people with those sounds, when your hearts come together, it might be that music transcends words.

If a few of the past episodes of this second cour of Your Lie in April were a mess, episode 17 is the opposite, weaving two storylines together nicely.  Kousei is struggling with the realization that Kaori’s condition is likely terminal, and in his struggle (and through it, growth), he helps Nagi grow, pushing her to prepare with him a special piece for school music festival.

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This entire show sometimes feels rushed – for instance, during this episode, I wondered if the series could have been helped by more episodes featuring Kaori and Kousei simply interacting – but one thing it’s done slowly and patiently is develop Kousei’s character. Though he’s already has his epiphany, Kousei is still growing.  Like a new believer in Christ, you don’t become a lovely person over night – it takes time.  The same is true with Kousei as he learns to trust others and become stronger.

Kousei is also learning how to live outside of himself.  As he tells Nagi, playing music for others is best.  As a metaphor for love, music indeed is best when it’s given to others.  But for years, Kousei had been unable to do such.  In fact, he hadn’t even been able to give music (love) to himself.  Like anyone going through depression, loss, or some other painful condition, love becomes a distant thing, while self-destructive tendencies become much more intimate.

But now, having experienced grace, Kousei understands the power of love and what it truly is – something that’s to be given.  And so, once he begins to move forward again after briefly retreating back into his shell, Kousei immediately thinks of how he can give music (love) to Kaori.

And when Kousei decides to move forward with his plan, he helps someone without even intending to.  As love can spread beyond the object of affection, Kousei’s grace infects Nagi.  His kind and patient heart is in direct opposition to a cold, unforgiving world that judges the young girl. And by episode’s end, as Kousei takes his student’s hand, we’re again faced with a most marvelous truth: whatever the world throws at us, whatever the condition of our hearts, grace has the power to set us free.


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