It’s time for another big performance. The weeks of practice have been building up for this one moment for Nagi, but of course Kousei has to try and steal the spotlight!
In all seriousness though, this was a beautiful episode that showed a lot of character growth for Nagi, Kousei, and even Takeshi.
Nagi’s performance started off just as planned, following the score beautifully. Kousei decides to push Nagi out of her comfort zone, and helps her develop as a musician. He plays with his own rhythm, throwing her off and making her fluster. At this point, Nagi’s left with two options, get left behind and let Kousei steal the show, or play her heart out and match his style. She feels like she’s already been left behind by her brother, and she refuses to let Kousei escape as well.
She transforms her playing, and sends a message to her beloved brother. Pouring all of her feelings into her performance, and conveying all of the emotions she’s endured the past few months. A song will sound the same when played by anyone if they follow the same sheet music, but it takes skill to own it, and make it your own.
By the end of the performance, Nagi has completely grown as a person. When she first came to Kousei, she was just a little girl who missed her brother. She only wanted to play piano to capture his attention. But now, here she is, smiling and owning the spotlight.
Nagi definitely grew on me as a character. With the timing and way she was introduced, I just wrote her off as a bratty character. She ended up being a very fragile girl, who had gotten herself into this mess. She wanted to play piano to impress her brother, but then all of these people started hyping her up and she couldn’t deal with the pressure. After playing with Kousei, Nagi has become very sincere, and actually holds a lot of respect for Kousei.
Takeshi was moved by his little sister’s performance. He had lost sight of her after these few years, and was shocked to see how far she’s come. He aspired to be like his hero Kousei, and played piano to perfection. After seeing how powerful Emi, Kousei, and his sister’s performances were, he strives to leave a lasting impression on his audience.
Kousei has grown a lot as well. In the beginning of the series, he was the one that needed to be pushed. Kaori forced him into a corner by making him her accompanist, and it was make or break. Now he’s the one pushing others to their limits, helping them find their way.
Him and Kaori have reversed positions. When they met, he was in a dark moment in his life. Now Kaori is in a similar situation, having her life robbed from her, she resides in the hospital waiting until the day that she succumbs to her illness. She saved him in the past, and now it’s Kousei’s turn to reach out to her.
Kaori’s first performance left a lasting impression on Kousei. Similar to Takeshi, he struggled to reach that level of a performance once again. Everything that he’s done in these past few months, have been because of Kaori. He threw away everything he knew about piano playing, in order to chase after her, and hopefully be able to play by her side once again.
You can watch Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso Episode 18 on Crunchyroll