OUT OF THE COLD…?
Kosei and Nagi’s duet has carried thoughts and feelings to the most precious people in the musicians’ lives. The words, “please play with me again” from Kosei give Kaori a small ray of hope. As Kosei competes to qualify for the Eastern Japan Piano Competition in December, Kaori begins her difficult rehabilitation. Each of them starts a challenging walk forward. Will the coming winter bring healing or hardship?
Kosei’s road back to playing the piano has been rough, but he’s finally beginning to regain his confidence, even though he still has trouble hearing the notes. But as his first solo competition in years closes in, Kosei will have to deal with reentering a cutthroat world, where old rivals still remember – and resent – Kosei’s younger self, the precocious Human Metronome. Kaori’s support is unwavering, but will it be enough to push Kosei through all the toxic memories this experience dredges up?
DROWNING IN MELODY
The music competition is in full swing, with both of Kosei’s old rivals – the genius Takeshi Aiza and unstable prodigy Emi Igawa – energized by his return. When it’s finally Kosei’s turn, he lives up to his reputation, playing precisely and flawlessly – at first. But before too long, the phantom of his mother reappears, casting him back into the dark, uncertain abyss. Can Kosei feel his way back to hearing the music again?
Spirits are still high after the Maiho Music Competition when Kaori receives a letter in the mail: There’s going to be a gala concert to celebrate the winners, and even though Kaori and Kosei didn’t advance, they’re invited to perform! Confident they can leave a lasting impression, Kaori seizes the chance to order Kosei back onto the stage with her. The ultimate duo that moved an entire audience’s hearts will perform once more, and people are buzzing with anticipation. Yet Kosei seems listless and uninterested in the festivities. Can Kaori and Kosei get their act together in time?!
With Kaori nowhere to be seen at the gala concert, Kosei is forced to perform alone. As he plays, he confronts painful memories and finds a link connecting him t the audience, his late mother, and even himself. Meanwhile, Tsubaki struggles to find truth within her complicated feelings for Kosei—is he like a little brother to her, a childhood friend, or something more…?
After successfully performing a piece imbued with his mother’s memories, Kosei overcomes his trauma and seems stronger than ever. But for Kaori, the gala concert was spent bedridden in the hospital. Her second hospitalization, nearly back-to-back with her previous one, exacerbates Kosei’s fears. Even then, he continues to practice piano. But one day, on the way to his music lessons, a strange girl falls into Kosei’s life–what will he do?!
“Want to commit double suicide with me?” Kaori’s words echo in Kosei’s mind. What can he do for her now, while she is still hospitalized? At the Aiza home, Nagi sees her brother Takeshi fall deeper and deeper into a slump and wonders how to cheer him up. Amid their worries, the teacher and student form a surprise duo for Kurumigaoka Middle School’s festival. What will happen with two pianists on one piano?!