As of April 19, I just finished the series Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso, also known as “Your Lie in April”. This anime helped me realize that music is more than just notes on a page. There is a distinct difference between playing a song, and being part of the song you are playing. It was easy to connect to the show because one of the characters plays violin. The freedom in which she plays the violin is exhilarating. I hope that someday I could put as much emotion as Kaori does into her playing.Anime Review
Anime: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April)
Episode Count: 22 Episodes
Year: October 2014 to March 2015
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance, School, Shounen
You can watch it at: Crunchyroll
The main character Kousei Arima is a prodigy at playing the piano. At a very young age, he played in multiple piano competitions and won. After his mother died, so did Kousei’s ability to hear himself play the piano. Because of this disability, Kousei vanished from the piano world and took up musical pass times to try and replace the piano. One day, his childhood friend, Tsubaki Sawabe, tells Kousei he is going to help their other childhood friend, Ryouta Watari, hook up with a girl. Kousei gets to the meeting point a bit early and hears music playing off in the distance. Following the sound, he meets the girl that will change music for him forever.
I would highly recommend this anime to anyone who enjoys music, romance, drama, or any mix of these genres. The build up of the character and the music in this anime was magnificent. Even if you don’t understand music that well, there is commentary and visual that help the views understand what is happening.SPOILERS AFTER THIS POINT
The animation in this series was gorgeous. There is a lot of detail and work done into every scene. I loved the way they made the backgrounds. The attention to detail was amazing. The characters themselves moved smoothly. Between the playing and every day life, the animation of the characters was carefully done too. This anime had great animation every episode from start to finish.Characters: 10/10
All the characters in this series were different. This difference could be seen by them all headed towards the same goal, but reaching those goals in different ways. It was amusing in the end how many characters Arima affected without realizing it. It was also interesting how each character interpreted their encounter with Arima differently and how that shaped who they were later in the series. The switch between the childhood and current time helped build the characters throughout the show, and the creators did a good job of mixing these moments together.
Main Characters:Arima Kousei:
Arima Kousei is a piano prodigy known throughout the music community. When his mother realized that he had potential with piano, she started pushing him to practice, and Arima became like a machine playing music. He played the sheet musicperfectly, following every instruction the composer wrote. His mother soon became terminally ill, and Arima believed that if he played piano well enough that he could cure her. Arima’s mother continued to push him, and after one competition, Arima couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. He lashed out at his mother, and she soon died after. This encounter hurt Arima psychologically. Not only was Arima not able to resolve that fight with his mother, but he also wasn’t able to save her with his music. The haunting of his mother affected his playing and soon Arima was incapable of hearing himself play piano, if he played for longer than a few seconds.
Arima passed the next few years outside of the music community because of his disability. Pressured by his friend Tsubaki, Arima is forced to go on a group outing with Tsubaki’s friend, Watari, and Tsubaki to try and hook up Tsubaki’s friend with Watari. Arima goes early to the meet up and hears music in the distance. He ends up meeting Tsubaki’s friend, Kaori, early. Kaori helps Arima find music again in his life. She tricks him into being her accompanist, because she plays violin, and later has him play in competitions. Throughout this journey, Arima is able to get over the loss of his mother, and starts to put feeling back into his robotic music.Kaori Miyazono:
Kaori Miyazono is a beautiful talented musician. Her specialty is the violin, but she can play a few more instruments too. Kaori joins the three child-hood friends by telling Tsubaki that she has a crush on Watari. The two hit it off quickly.
The first day Watari, Arima, and Tsubaki meet Kaori, they watch her play in a violin competition. Kaori gets a mixed response at the competition because of her creative playing. Kaori doesn’t follow the sheet music, which is the only way judges can give a comparative score between musicians. Instead, Kaori follows what she believes how the music would want her to play. The audience loves her performance, but the head judges finds her playing to be an absolute disgrace to music. Kaori ends up going to the next round because of popular audience vote, and chooses Arima to be her new accompanist. This is the start of her pushing Arima to enter back into the music world, but not as the robot he has trained to be. She wants Arima to play how he wants the music to sound for himself.
It is later discovered that Kaori has a terminal illness, and this causes Arima some pain because he starts drawing parallels between Kaori and his mother. Kaori’s next few months are difficult, but she continues to push Arima back into doing what he loves.Tsubaki Sawabe:
Tsubaki Sawabe is childhood friend and next door neighbor of Arima. She has been by his side since childhood and has always worried about him. Tsubaki is torn between loving and hating music because watching Arima play piano brings her joy, but piano is also the thing that draws the two apart.
Tsubaki knew as a child that Arima was being physically abused by her mother, but probably didn’t understand at that age. She constantly tried to get Arima to have fun as a child by jumping off bridges or playing sports. After Arima had given up piano, she tried to get him back into playing piano but to no avail.
Later in the series, Tsubaki understands that Kaori has become a positive influence on Arima, but she becomes jealous by the way Kaori can help Arima in ways she can’t, because she isn’t a musician.
Tsubaki definitely has feeling for Arima throughout the whole show, but she plays them off by claiming he is like a little brother. These feelings become more clear after Tsubaki tries dating a sempai that she had a crush on, and only wanting to go back to Arima.Ryouta Watari:
Ryouta Watari is Arima and Tsubaki’s childhood friend. He is the captain of the boys soccer team and is popular with many girls because of his charm and good looks. He is known for going out with many girls at one time. He is a smooth talker, but inside her gets excited like a child.
Ryouta helps Arima when he can, but the competition of love interest between the two is where some messy things occur. Ryouta knows that he is cooler than Arima, but he still finds things about himself that he with he could do like Arima.
I believe the anime has a smooth plot. It really draws out the plot at the right tempo by giving a lot of character information and background information because jumping through each event. The mix might feel a bit slow to some, but I think it helps the viewers feel closer to the characters and story being told.
I liked the first ending and the second opening better than the seconding ending and first opening. The two that I liked I would probably listen to in my free time. The latter two are songs that I would add to an anime playlist, but probably forget what anime they came from. They were all good songs, but only a few I would add to my favorites list.
How well the anime fits the main genre(s) (Drama/Music): 10/10
If I didn’t make it clear before, this anime is a terrific mix of drama and music. The music helps bring out the drama within this show. The way the story progresses, you can’t help but feel connected to each character. The creators didn’t hold back on the ending either and let that hit the viewers right in the face.
Overall Opinion: 49/50
I honestly didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this anime. I feel a bit of regret about not keeping up with this anime as it came out every week. It has quickly jumped to being my second favorite anime and favorite anime drama, although I am a huge sucker for music anime. I loved how intertwined all the characters were in the end of the anime. I also loved the title of the anime. SPOILER ALERT: (Highlight next section to read) [I loved the whole title of the anime being based off the lie Kaori told Tsubaki, in April. Although it was sad to see Kaori die, especially before Arima and her could play again, it was nice that the creators didn’t hold back on the ending and bring her back.]~Feiyon