Your Lie in April, Episode 20: Hands

The visual of a pair of hands can evoke a great many emotions; they can mean a lot of things – steadiness, strength, warmth.  In Your Lie in April, they certainly reveal ability and talent, but in episode 20, the imagery of hands means so much more -they represent both power and powerlessness, the ability to create and the inability to aid.

The episode continues to develop Tsubaki’s storyline and she kinda confesses to Kousei in her tomboyish way.  But as is usual, the plot returns to Kousei, who continues to grow, overcoming his discomfort of visiting Kaori with Watari and deciding to go along with him (and even further, telling his friend that he likes his girlfriend).  When they arrive at her room, however, they find Kaori convulsing and in need of dire attention from medical staff, as Kousei fixates on her hand, which at first grips onto the railing of her bed before falling away.

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Hands are so meaningful in music.  They, of course, are vital tools for the musician – injury or disease to them can destroy a musician’s career.  As Kaori loses control of her hands, Kousei still has his, and with his dexterous fingertips he creates beautiful music.

But even with that ability, a realization hits Kousei in this episode – his hands are useless to help Kaori.  There’s nothing he can do to help her during her episode, and in fact, he’s in the way, as a hospital staffer declares.

Even worse, not only can Kousei do nothing to help Kaori this very minute, there’s nothing he can do to stop her impending death.  This is demonstrated through his attempt to save the black cat; a metaphor for Kaori and reminiscent of Chelsea, Kousei feels that he is again unable to save someone dear to him, and as he stares down at blood-covered hands, he further thinks because he lacks this power, it’s his fault.

The blood on his hands is as obvious an image as can be – death is coming to Kaori, and there’s nothing he can do. 

We might be able to relate to Kousei, because even though we may not have felt the same inability to help a loved one that he does, we do all have this is common – we have blood on our hands.

Always used in negative fashion, and often used in a hateful sense, the phrase “blood on your hands” refers to the responsibility one has in someone’s death or another wrong-doing.  We may not have been involved in some person’s murder (I certainly hope not!), but we did have a direct role in an execution.  Our sins are why we are doomed to die; and God’s love is the reason Jesus came and paid our penalty.  His blood is on our hands.

And with this knowledge, it might be easy to become like Kousei is – dejected and guilt-ridden.  But blood on another’s hands shows us different.  A reversal has occurred.  Christ’s nail-driven hands (or wrists) reveal that the blood is not on us, but on him instead.  He’s taken the sacrifice and he has bled for us.  He chose to go to the cross out of obedience, and through his blood we are saved.

Our hands can help others.  They can create, build, and play.  But they are ultimately powerless when it comes to life eternal.

Thankfully, a stronger pair of hands takes care of that.

3 thoughts on “Your Lie in April, Episode 20: Hands

  1. I suspect you are right and that Kaori is one of the most powerful animé tropes – the sick girl who will not survive. I would dearly love it to be otherwise because although they aren’t real I do care about these characters which is, on the face of it, a little odd.

    But that’s the thing about archetypes – they resonate with us because we will often have had those experiences, although most likely without the clarity, the purity that you get from a story. Our experiences of death will have been clouded by youth, age, distance, immediacy or lack of it leading to an inability to understand the thing that has happened to the person we know and care about. In Your Lie In April we can – we must – just wait and watch, as powerless to affect the outcome as Kousei is.

    In this past week both of my children have lost friends to illness or mischance. It’s been a tough old week and the resonance to me from Your Lie In April has been especially strong. But for them, in addition(?) to God’s hands there has been a frankly inspirational response from the community, and particularly from the young people of the area. This has been both in real life and on social media (which is also quite real, it turns out – have a look on Twitter / FB for #thingsBidDid if you care to see some evidence of this). These are not (exclusively or even in the majority) Church kids but they are definitely “Church” to the community round here and to the family.

    tl;dr? Archetypes resonate with our lives. God is in the community (even if they don’t acknowledge this). I wonder how this will be reflected in YLIA.

    1. I’m sorry about the tragedies that have occurred – I hope that your kiddoes are able to move past them well. It is encouraging, though, to see a bit of how your community has responded. With the bad wrap social media gets (and often rightfully so), it was awesome to go through the #thingsBidDid hashtag and see the positive, heartwarming response.

      As for achetypes, that’s a great way of looking at them. And I’m glad you brought up the idea of God in community – that’s a theme I’ll be looking for as the series comes to it’s (probably tearful but maybe not?) conclusion.

      1. The kids’ll cope but it’s hard for them. It does help everyone to see the hashtag and the RL responses such as the candle ‘M’ memorial and flowers – all in the local Youth Remembrance Garden which is a space set up specifically for the local young people to remember their friends.

        That garden came about after a local girl was run down on a busy road and back then her friends and fellow students kept an informal garden tended and with a lit candle in it by the roadside for over a year. That made a heck of an impression on some people round here who would have said that kids forget things like that really quickly…

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