Kousei’s performance ends. When he returns to the waiting room at the competition venue, his late mother’s friend, Hiroko Seto is there. Hiroko, Japan’s leading pianist, has picked up on the emotion in Kousei’s playing. “The piano will drag everythin... (more)g out of its performer.” Kousei is perplexed by her words. Finally, the results of the competition are posted, but Takeshi and Emi, seeing the strangely cheerful look on Kousei’s face, are struck by how he’s changed and matured.