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  • Acceptable Targets: It's generally frowned upon to wish death on a parent in any culture, but there's hardly a soul who'd fault Kousei for saying that he wished his mother would die already after being publicly screamed at, guilt-tripped, and hit so hard that he bled. Keep in mind this was also the latest of countless instances of her nightmarish abuse.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Kaori says "Want to commit double suicide with me?" in one episode. Sure, she was quoting a book, but it's not unknown for terminally ill people to feel suicidal.
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  • Author's Saving Throw: The live-action movie tones down some of the manga's more controversial aspects, like Kousei's Amusing Injuries despite his past as a child abuse victim. In particular Saki's infamous beating where she made him bleed was toned down to just her slapping him, which, while questionable, was much more forgivable.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Kaori. One group believes that her bratty, selfish, and manipulative attitude toward Kousei can't be tolerated, while another group views all her actions as justified since the purpose is for Kousei's own sake: to get him playing the piano again, especially since he's her idol all along and she doesn't have much time left to do it.
    • Tsubaki. Her character was initially well-liked as the tomboyish Girl Next Door and childhood friend who was trying to get Kousei to play piano again. As the series progressed, a good part of fans started to dislike her, thinking she had became way too selfish and whiny once she realized her feelings for Kousei and started wishing Kousei would stop playing piano so he can pay attention to her. The way she discouraged Kousei's feelings for Kaori, outright told him that he didn't have a chance with Kaori and wished him to suffer for not reciprocating her feelings doesn't help.
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    • Kousei's mother was abusive and deeply traumatized him however her reasons for being like she was stemmed from fears of how he would be without her. Whether she's a monster unworthy of any pity or an all-around tragic and damaged character one can't help feel a little sorry for varies greatly depending on who you ask.
  • Broken Base: The Mood Whiplash between comedy and serious drama is one of the things that gets disagreement over. Do the slapstick moments bring some much-needed levity, especially in the heavier latter half of the story, or are they just disruptive?
  • Catharsis Factor: Kousei telling his mom, Saki Arima, that he wishes she was dead is seen as this by many fans, due to how cruel she was to Kousei. Hiroko in turn sharply calls her a terrible mother straight afterwards. Saki dying in despair can also be seen as this too for the same reasons.
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  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Kousei's misery is the foundation for this series. When it's not being Played for Drama, it's being Played for Laughs. Even when things seem to be going well for Kousei, like him overcoming the trauma of his abuse to play piano again, the story punches him square in the balls with Kaori's death. That combined with everybody besides Kousei being huge jerkasses is enough to utter the Eight Deadly Words.
  • Designated Hero: Kaori's actions throughout the story are largely built around serving her own dreams and aspirations with little regard for those who stand in her way, or even why they stand in her way. Not only does she pressure Kousei into returning into the world of music despite his very evident trauma revolving around music (and his unresolved familial issues), she lies to him by never once admitting that she crushed on him, all the way to her death, saddling him with a whole 'nother round of emotional trauma.
  • Designated Monkey: Kousei can be seen as one. Most of the comedic and funny moments of the manga and anime come from him suffering several Amusing Injuries (usually at hands of Kaori and Tsubaki). However, given that he is a Nice Guy and he has a very sad and traumatic backstory which involves getting beaten by his mother, most of these moments seem only to add more pain in his life and it's dubious whether they can be considered funny actions.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: A gifted musician retires because music is heavily associated with his traumatic childhood? Well, that's nothing harassment and bullying can't fix.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Almost no one ships anything but Kaori/Kousei.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Every moment where Kaori says that her chances of becoming a bride/having a successful marriage are ruined due to Kousei (and in one moment, Watari) seeing her private parts (accidentally, of course) were supposed to be comedic.note  However, it becomes sad when you realize that she indeed will never be anyone's bride because of her terminal illness that leads to her death. Even worse, she was aware the entire time she wasn't gonna live long.
  • Glurge: Kaori's overly saccharine actions towards Kousei can come across as less heartwarming and more manipulative. Despite having understandable reasons for being actually, invoking a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, her more forceful behavior towards Kousei (especially in the beginning, where she relentlessly coerces Kousei into returning to music despite knowing his issues with playing the piano in the first place) has come across to certain viewers as unjustified and, at worst, horrendously selfish.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Charlie Brown quote becomes funnier when you remember they made a special where it too focused on the romance (well, friendship) between a guy and an Ill Girl. Even funnier/sadder when you remember that the girl in that special is a survivor.
  • Hype Backlash: While the show has a large fanbase, it also has garnered not an insignificant amount of contention for its inconsistent tone, as well as Kaori's character coming off as too manipulative and selfish for her to be likeable.
  • It Was His Sled: The ending quickly became this. Kaori's death spread like wildfire.
  • Memetic Loser: Poor Tsubaki...
  • Misaimed Fandom: There are actually some fans who defend Saki's treatment of Kousei, thinking that she was justified in what she did. They ignore the fact that her abuse torwards Kousei caused him serious mental trauma and prevented him from playing the piano for a long time, until he met Kaori.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Many accuse this series, even on this Wiki, of poorly handling the subject of abuse. Kousei is more or less bullied into going back into the source of his trauma, despite his objections. The narrative paints his abusive childhood as just him making excuses, and Kousei ends up wishing his mother would forgive him despite what she had done.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Many who've watched the show understandably refuse to forgive Kousei's mom for her horrific abuse of him, and see her justification as just too flimsy compared to the cruelty she showed. It doesn't help that the abuse is front and center for almost half the series, with the justification only coming in well after the abuse is firmly cemented in viewers/readers' minds. Also the fact that there were other options available instead of abusing Kousei into making him good at piano playing (like getting someone else to teach him to play the piano or just help him find another career) only makes her treatment of him even more unjustified.
    • Likewise, Kaori herself has received some backlash for being generally manipulative towards Kousei and practically forcing him back into the world of music...when his whole traumatic backstory is centered around music.
    • It says something that so much of either's characters are revolved around their treatment of Kousei that their parting words are pretty much just lamenting what awful people they were to him. Making them aware of their flaws without actually doing anything about them doesn't make their actions tragic. It just makes them even more awful.
  • The Un-Twist: The show spends a couple of episodes after Nagi's introduction trying to pretend it's not obvious that she's Takeshi's little sister.
  • What an Idiot!: Saki Arima. Seriously, how on earth was she not aware that there were so many other options to make sure her son, Kousei, has a good future instead of resorting to abusing him into becoming a good piano player? she could have easily helped him find another career, or get somebody else to teach him how to play the piano, or an even better idea, she could have NOT abused him. Especially when you consider that there are so many great pianists in the world who didn't get abused in order to become an excellent pianist. And if those options really were unavailable, then the story does a very poor job at making that clear.
  • The Woobie: Kousei, but especially as a little kid, due to his mother's abusive behavior.

Alternative Title(s): Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso

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