The Finale of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Note: Spoilers for KimiUso. Don’t read this post especially if you haven’t watch the final episode.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, or KimiUso for short, had been one hell of a ride, and I don’t mean that in a good way. While it prides itself being a slice-of-life drama with a musical theme, the anime felt like just colorful eye-candy to me. It had an interesting premise, but the drama felt forced, characterizations felt like they were shoved down to my throat, it’s misplaced humors, it’s poor attempts at being something special-all these elements combined together turned KimiUso into an anime with barely any substance. Because of this, watching the beginning to middle segments of the show was an especially frustrating experience.
KimiUso is just a stereotypical melodramatic love story at first glance, but at it’s heart, it is a musical anime. There is no need to tell a story through direct information, we can tell a story through music-and this is exactly what the final episode did. In the contest, Kousei chose “Chopin’s Ballade No.1 in G Minor, Op.23” as his performance piece. The intro started with a slow and soft melody and everyone was anxious; it was the epitome of pesante. This slow start was also a reminiscence of Kousei’s dull life at the start of the show, the part of his life when he was just slowly prowling himself along the way. The tone while slow however, sounded optimistic, as he remembered the things he learned from people he met throughout his life. However, this slowly developed into a more stronger, but sorrowful verse, meanwhile, also showing us flashes of Kaori’s surgery in the midst of his performance.
The one who undoubtedly effected his life the most-Kaori, as she joined him in a duet here, despite imaginary. This particular verse where the violin joined in; while due to the blending effect of the previous tone, it still felt just like before, emotionally strong, but slow and sorrowful; as Kousei somehow knew-Kaori didn’t have much time left.
But at the apex of this verse, it slowly shifted into a more happy tune. This happy-go-lucky tone completely embodied the time Kousei spent together with his friends, and most notably, with Kaori after his re-discovery of his love with music. It was tough, but the most boisterous part of Kousei’s otherwise mundane life. Both Kousei and “Kaori” had a lot of fun, just for this moment, they wanted to forget and indulge in the magic of their duet during this momentarily lapse of reality.
But happiness do not last forever, the tone switched gradually back to the somber mood-symbolized by the imaginary scene slowly turned from day to night; only this time, with a much more stronger sound, more notes and quicker tempo. The tone was painful, but powerful as if literally screaming out of solitude-all the while, the imaginary image of “Kaori” slowly dispersed into nothingness. It’s a beautiful scene, a beautiful tone, albeit very forlorn; and also extremely symbolizing.
The emotions exuded from the episode felt so organic and powerful. As you can see from the above, whatever Kousei had experienced all the way from episode 1 to now-his keeping a distance from the piano, his meeting with Kaori, his struggles to return to the world of piano again, the discovery of his affection for Kaori and his suffering of not wanting to part with the terminally ill Kaori; it felt like all these feelings Kousei had felt throughout his emotional journey were all merged together in one performance-it’s one of the most beautiful scenes I ever had a chance to come across recently. It’s even more awesome that the narrative never once told us Kaori’s surgery failed, at least not directly, but musically and aesthetically. While Froggy claimed KimiUso is a poorly directed anime-just for this episode though, I very strongly disagree-it’s a pure work of art.
KimiUso as an anime, had reached a consensus of having forced, manipulative drama but was it because the author had this idea for the ending long before this? I would assume so; every dramatic aspects of it’s story and character developments felt forced, and every plot elements felt like they were just a build-up for this. When I realized all these were solely for the culmination of Kousei’s emotional journey in this episode, I’m willing to be (just a bit) more forgiving. The choice of the classical piece was so perfect for the episode. The ballade isn’t meant to be a piece to showcase complicated piano solos with thousand of notes, but a piece which appeal on expressing emotions with minimal notes-and the way the piece expresses mood swings; very periodically switching between gentle to powerful tones, is the perfect reflection of Kousei’s emotional turmoil.
Once again, this last episode of KimiUso is a legitimate beauty. From apathy to empathy; with just around 20 minutes, it was able to transform that stereotypical notion of the anime into something special.
If you finished KimiUso as well, what are your takes on it?