Anime Review

Your Lie in April*

Genre: Drama, Music, School, Romance, Shounen

Released: 2014

OVERVIEW

Your lie in April is the story of pianist Arima Kousei, and violinist Kaori Miyazono. Arima is a prodigy of the piano, he has been at it since he was a fetus, well not exactly but you get it. However, his mother was terribly abusive, she would beat him if he got a note wrong or couldn’t follow the tempo, young Arima would be covered in bruises when his friends would come over, only to have him tell them that he can’t play cause he has to practice.
Kousei’s mom used to be a very loving mother to Kousei, his mom was also a pianist and she would always play a lullaby for him. However, one day she got sick and became disabled. Since then, she started to change with Kousei, and became abusive.
Kousei always wanted to make his mom happy, he would endure all the hits and keep playing because he wanted to make her happy and proud. Came the day of the event, Kousei played his heart out, he poured his soul into the music, confidently thinking it would reach his mom in the audience and leave her enthralled. After Kousei’s performance, he happily runs to his mother expecting the praise, only to receive a vicious hit to the face with her cane, and a verbal waterfall of rejection. Little Kousei was so shocked, but most of all, hurt to his core, the people nearby and the nurse restrained the mother to stop her from dealing additional damage to her son. Ever since, Kousei suffered post traumatic stress disorder towards the piano, something that meant so much to him, he was now unable to hear the notes when he played. After his mother passed away, whenever Kousei tried to play, not only was he still unable to hear the notes, but the words of his mother would haunt him as he did, so he stopped playing altogether.

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A few years later, same friends, same life, without the piano however, Kousei is now in Junior high school, and he is hanging out with his friends. As he was walking down a path in a field near his school, a beautiful melody from a melodica caresses his ears, intrigued, he began to search for that music, and tumbles upon a mid-height, striking blond girl atop a concrete dome, playing her heart out, even crying in the process. Kousei is mesmerized by the melody coming from this mysterious girl, she suddenly stops, turns around and sees Kousei, gazing at her. The kids in the park start playing their instruments to accompany the girl’s music, Kousei found that little orchestra pretty amusing and as he was turning on his phone’s camera to snap a picture, a gust of wind suddenly picks up and lifts the girl’s skirt and exposes her undies to onlookers, Kousei’s camera snaps at that exact moment. She throws the harmonica at Kousei who was stunned by the wind’s devious move, as she thought he was lusting after her. That was how Kousei and Kaori met.

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Later that day, Kaori had a violin concert to perform at, Kousei’s female friend, Tsubaki, was already acquainted with Kaori, so she brought Kousei and Watari, Kousei’s other best friend, to see Kaori perfom. When Kaori starts perfoming, the entire audience is shook. Not only was she an amazing musician, but she was playing the music, Beethoven’s Kreutzer, in her own way, which surprised and pleased liberal music connoisseurs, but infuriated conservatives. Kaori couldn’t care less, as she kept performing to her heart’s content. Kousei was even more absorbed in her then he was during her harmonica impromptu in the park. Kaori was starting to knock on the door Kousei had banned in his heart, and she was determined to get it open.
The story goes on about how Kaori will get Kousei to start playing again, unraveling all these years of fear and rejection, to re-install love and passion.

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HIGHLIGHTS

Any of you a musician? worry not, this anime will turn you into one. The musical aspect of this anime is only focused on the piano and violin, but it makes them really prominent in the series, and ultimately makes them a symbol of their characters. Also, there is a lot work put in the concerts, the performances are portrayed in great detail, even those of the secondary characters, are portrayed with great significance. The animation is gorgeous, and so is the music.
The main characters are certainly interesting, a lot of focus is attributed to Kaori and Kousei, but Tsubaki and Watari also play an important role. Kousei has a major conflict with himself that is very hard to even confront, much less get over. Kousei is battling depression and PTSD, because of his childhood trauma, the entire series revolves around that internal conflict and the impact it has on him, his rivals, his friends, and Kaori.
Kaori is an amazing character, she is a strong, independent woman, with a big heart. She pushed her problems aside for the sake of Kousei and spent a lot of time and effort to help him. The relationship between the two is very deep, Kousei gets shy and loses confidence at times, but Kaori is still there to give him a push. Kaori is not the “iiye-s-s-s-senpai, yamete kudasai” type she is the ” I’ve been waiting for you ! why haven’t you come see me??” She is such a straightforward, genuine, and loving character, you’ll love her.

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Tsubaki and Watari are also main characters, but a little less focus is attributed to them. They have their moments where the plot is all about them, but Kaori and Kousei is really where it’s at. Both Tsubaki and Watari’s personality add fun, humor and camaraderie to the series, they help the series come together. At points in the story, they either say or do things that later prove to have a significant impact on their friends. They’re like those characters who, if they aren’t shown in an episode, you’d notice it. Their input really makes a statement. In addition to all of that, the shows theme, which is most likely passion, is observable in every single important character, passion drives the characters who in turn, drive the story.

The secondary characters are Kousei’s rival. Being a piano prodigy so young, Kousei won many competitions, and inspired a lot of kids to become as good as him. In the later years, these kids grow up to become very skilled pianists eager to go up against Kousei in a competition. When the moment arrives, the rivals’ backstory are depicted in detail and helps you see the rivals’ personality, ambitions and passion for music. Their portrayal is pretty substantial, not really because they are challenging Kousei, but because they are re-discovering themselves throughout their own performances.

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The next highlights we have are the soundtracks and the FEELS. Okay this anime has its moments guys, get ready. It has beautiful tunes of piano and violin and the animation that goes with it during performances, is just gorgeous. The anime is also a slice of life genre, and that’s one of my favorite genres especially when it’s really well made, this anime doesn’t bias or make things happen out of thin air, it’s realistic and whatever happens, happens, and well, that’s the purpose of a slice of life genre.
Like I said, this anime has moments where the Kleenex box is needed.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

This anime is absolutely beautiful in so many aspects, it was really enjoyable to watch. The characters make a statement, the theme is great, and the plot really brings all of that together, the story is beautiful and sad, but definitely worth it.
RATING: Story: 10 Plot: 10 Main Characters: 10 Characters: 10 Action/Splendor/Feels: 10 OVERALL SCORE: 10 SirMeliodas Approved

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