Screenshot taken from: http://www.crunchyroll.com/your-lie-in-april/episode-17-twilight-668295
A word of advice before I begin: never watch two episodes of a show back-to-back without reviewing the previous episode first. I currently have a backlog of shows to watch, and at the end of this episode I couldn’t help but watch the next one. The problem is that it becomes very easy to forget the events of the previous episode, at least to the point that doing a decent review becomes difficult without revisiting parts of said episode. Anyway…
While I have praised this aspect of the show in the past, I feel it deserves praise again: Your Lie In April does a great job of balancing multiple character stories without every taking away from the fact that Kousei is the main character. Even Kaori plays more of a supporting role when you consider the fact that the whole show seems to be centered around Kousei’s wounds and scars. In this episode, we have a very brief foray back into Tsubaki’s story, along with a considerable chunk of time devoted to Nagi’s story, yet neither of these detract from the overall point. Tsubaki has made a big choice about her future, and while we already know the reason for it, it is further reinforced that Kousei is her reason (of course, she covers up her true intentions).
Nagi’s story is a little more interesting. While we’ve seen her mostly as Kousei’s covert enemy with a bit of a brother complex, we really get to see her in a better light this time around as she struggles with her preparations for the school festival. We’re given insight into her daily life as she relives comments that have been made regarding her upcoming performance. While some seem to be loaded with pressure, others are simply derogatory, either stating that she is just a pretty face or that she is “lolicon bait.” While these things are not nice in-and-of-themselves, they none-the-less offer some depth to Nagi’s character. In the end, it all comes back around to Kousei. Her motivation seems to pick up when he asks to participate in the festival, and the two begin working together on a song. Nagi even skips out on spending time with her friends for the sake of practicing with Kousei. Yet none of this would have happened it if weren’t for Kousei’s growth in this episode. Which brings us around to….
Kousei. In a way, his growth in this episode is more like him coming back to where he had fallen from. While his piano playing hasn’t suffered as a result of Kaori’s condition, his attitude has. Kaori has played a big part in Kousei’s life, and he has all but shut her out of it by the beginning of this episode. In all fairness, it would be wrong to be too hard on him; after all, he is essentially reliving his childhood, if the flashbacks to his mom are any indication. The problem is that refusing to face a situation does not make the situation go away; it only creates more hurt feelings. In essence, this was a very positive episode for Kousei and Kaori’s relationship.
In the end, perhaps Your Lie In April is best classified as a show that proves we don’t exist in a bubble. My world is not my own little space where I can do whatever I want without consequence. My actions have consequences, not only in my own life, but also in the lives of others. Kousei’s refusal to face reality had certainly put a damper on his friends’ moods and caused them to worry over him, and when he finally recovers from his poor attitude, his new-found resolve ends up giving Nagi a strong push to really devote herself to her preparations for the school festival. This also moves towards a plan that will ultimately help Kaori. The point is, everything Kousei does seems to affect those around him, and we would be wise to learn from that and to consider how our own actions may affect the people closest to us.
A Christian Perspective:
Honestly, that last paragraph would make a great entry for this section, but it will stay where it’s at. For the “official” Christian perspective, let’s take a look at this verse:
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
Throughout this episode, we see examples of Kousei’s friends showing love for him. Tsubaki has decided to try for a school that will let her continue to be near Kousei. While this may be a bit of selfish love on her part, it is still love. More powerful examples include Watari’s insistent pursuit of Kousei, and Nagi’s intervention. Watari refuses to give up on Kousei, despite the fact that Kousei is doing his best to pretty much cut all ties with Kaori. In that particular scene, Watari shows a much more serious side of himself, admitting that Kousei is really what Kaori needs. When everything is said and done, Watari even agrees to help Kousei with his upcoming scheme, despite having no clue what the plan even is. Throughout the series, Watari hasn’t exactly been shown to be the deepest character, but in this episode he does shine through as a beacon of support for a friend.
Nagi, though she has declared herself Kousei’s enemy, also shows compassion for him in this episode. Near the beginning of the episode, she pursues Kousei (admittedly prompted by Seto), sits with him, and talks with him. We can nitpick at this scenario, to be sure, but generally speaking you don’t attempt to console someone you despise, no matter if you were commanded to or not (although that is the kind of love we are called to as Christians, so let’s reflect on that). Seto herself could even be an applied example of the above verse, as she has worked in the background to help Kousei out in this whole situation.
I’m not really sure how to wrap this up. I don’t necessarily have any way to tie this back to some kind of Christian lesson, other than to say that we should consider these acts of friendship and ask ourselves how we can do the same for our own friends. Perhaps that’s all that really needs to be said.
Language: 1 “d*rndest”, 1 “d***it”
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Violence: Seto hits Kousei on the head with a slipper; Watari grabs Kousei and spins him around, causing him to hit the wall; flashbacks of Kaori kicking and smacking Kousei
Violence: Seto puts Nagi in a headlock; Nagi imagines herself kneeing Kousei in the groin
Other: Nagi is referred to as lolicon bait; Seto tells Nagi to throw out hernon-existant chest; Tsubaki comments that Watari is like a walking hard on
Christian, anime fan, and gamer are a few words you could use to describe me. I've been a Christian since 2012 (and thought I was one prior to that), although I'm far from having the Christian walk down pat. At one point I started thinking about how I could use various things for Christ, and eventually put my thoughts to action, resulting in Cosplay for Christ (my attempt at a cosplay ministry) and Christian Anime Review (my review blog). As you can imagine, I enjoy playing games, watching anime, and going to anime conventions. I also like to build Gundam models, fiddle with the guitar (occasionally), and listen to music (mostly Christian rock and metal).
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