After reading the penultimate chapter of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso's manga, watching today's episode, and seeing the bit of discussion that happened on the AniTAY chat, I wanted to write out something that I've been thinking of about this series for a while now.
I'm about to propose something pretty crazy, so hear me out.
What if I told you Kaori and Saki (Kousei's Mother) are practically the same character?
One of them is easily the most beloved character of the series and the other is very likely the most hated. Yet I'm saying they're pretty much the same person, at least in relation to Kousei.
Hard to believe? Well let's take a closer look shall we.
Unsurprisingly, there will be spoilers for up to episode 13 of the anime.
Easily the most distinct thing that first comes up when you think of the difference between these two characters is that Kousei's mother is abusive towards Kousei while Kaori isn't. But is that really the case? Or have we simply been tricked into believing that some of the things Kaori has done to Kousei simply isn't as bad because those scenes were played for comedy as opposed to drama?
Sure those scenes are comedic, but if you take out the framing and put it in a different light, the tone of these scenes can shift dramatically. Make the colours in those scenes more drab and monotone and replace Kaori with Kousei's mom and look at those scenes again. If it was Kousei's mom instead of Kaori in those scenes, you would call those actions despicable, yet she gets away scot free. In reality a lot of these scenes really aren't that far a step away from these.
What about why they do what they do for Kousei? You'll find that they both have the same motive for why they feel so passionate in helping Kousei. Simply put, they both find him to be a kind of hopeless kid who they can't help but aid him.
Of course both of them realize that what they're doing isn't always beneficial for Kousei and that even though they're pushing him through pain, they're remorseful about it.
Even if they can both be forceful about their methods
They both certainly feel bad about what they've done.
What about how Kousei feels about these two? You'll find that he sees them in remarkably similar ways.
He looks up to both of them as mentors teaching him things about himself. This is encapsulated by the song Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (which happens to only ever be sung together with either Kaori or his mother). It's also fairly clear through various scenes that both of them care and really do support Kousei.
Also another big thing involving Kousei and these two are who he plays music for. A big idea that comes up in each concert scene involves "Who does Kousei play music for?". Especially when you consider his phrase during the concerts "Will it reach her? I hope it reaches her."
Of course the most obvious connection between the two characters is that they're seemingly running out of time. This connects especially with their motives because they both are afraid that they won't be able to stay with Kousei for much longer.
Obviously this is far from conclusive evidence that they're the same character, but just think about it some more as you watch the show. One character is beloved while the other is vehemently hated, yet there are many similarities between them.
I'm not necessarily asking you to agree, but rather to ponder it.
They might not be that different.