I found it hard to believe that 12 minutes passed by that quickly. I was completely mesmerized by Kousei’s playing and didn’t even realize the show was almost over!
We learn that it was actually Hiroko who got Kousei into performing. Having never been taught piano, he managed to play it after listening to his mother all those times. His mother never really thought about him playing piano, but being so gifted, she decided it would be best for him to pursue it.
Even without Kaori, Kousei still takes the stage to perform a solo performance (during a violin concert). Since he began playing piano again, he’s always been playing for Kaori. While he’s only performing because of her, not having her around has allowed him to play for himself. Being alone up on that stage gave him all the time he needed to reflect on his mother, and finally overcome his curse.
Kousei’s mother was hard on him because she was angry with herself. I still don’t think her extreme abuse was excusable, but I can sort of see her frustration. If Kousei was going to be a pianist, he had to be a damn fine one. Musicians live a rough life if they’re unable to stand out. She poured all of her passion into setting him up for success, but in the end, she only hurt him. She knew she didn’t have much time left, and tried her hardest to make Kousei perfect.
In her final moments, you could feel all of her regret. Being unable to watch Kousei grow up, and not being able to protect him. Parents watch over their kids for their entire life, but here she was, leaving far before that. In the end, she always cared for him, even if it didn’t seem like she did.
Kousei finally realizes that everything was just in his head. His mother is dead, there’s no way she could possibly be cursing him from the grave. Especially someone who had shown him so much love and taken care of him growing up. After playing the song that his mother loved, he’s finally able to let go and move on. By playing her favorite piece, he’s able to receive some closure, and say goodbye.
Once again, Kousei leaves his audience dumbfounded. His farewell to his mother moved all of them, and they have no idea how to react. Even little Miike was touched by his performance.
Tsubaki is starting to feel distant from Kousei. She grew up into sports, and music is his world. She doesn’t understand that side of him as well as someone like Kaori. It seems like Kousei’s maturing right before her eyes, and she doesn’t know how to react to it. She’s had some feelings towards him, but this Kousei doesn’t seem like that helpless younger brother of hers.
In the end, it seems like Kaori has fallen ill once again. They’ve been constantly steering the story towards a tragic route, and after this episode’s events, it seems like it may be a reality.
You can watch Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Episode 13 on Crunchyroll