I connected with Kousei and Kaori really strongly in this episode.
Kaori has a junior high violin competition. This is a smart plan because it will showcase her talent in front of her crush Watari. To be fair though, she wants to impress the rest of the audience too. This also reflects in her performance style. She does what she wants and not necessarily what’s written in the music. The judges mostly don’t appreciate it, one having an almost violent reaction. But the crowd goes wild.
I connected with Kousei because of his bad reaction at first to being back in the concert hall and his friends mostly ignoring it. I also related to him itching to play accompaniment with the first student and then Kaori. At the same time, I could relate to Kaori as a performer wanting to get a positive reaction from the crowd. (In my singing competitions though, I didn’t have to choose between impressing the crowd and impressing the judges. Most of the time the judges and other music people in the room were judging on the same criteria. They wanted to see my techniques and skills plus my individual interpretation of a piece. But this could be a commentary on the more conformist nature of Japan’s education system.)
Then we have the end of the episode where Kousei is walking home and runs into Kaori waiting for Watari. Kousei knows that Watari is walking a different girl home and doesn’t want to tell Kaori, then he starts saying that she shouldn’t disturb him at practice. I’ve been both people in this scenario.
There was a weird framing to the one shot though. It was just the tops of their hair and the focus was the building between the cherry trees… I’m not sure what that was meant to do… It would have been better to see their faces. I’m sure Kousei’s was interesting.