Is music something solely technical, something above that of common folk? Can a person truly be defined by their past, even their own failings? The answer is and isn’t yes.
Your Lie in April is quite an interesting show. It grasps the complexity of depression from all sides, and even delves into the intricacy of music. Each core character is given enough development to feel real, and for a show so vibrant, for every feel-good scene there’s a bitter sweet moment of complexion.
“Piano prodigy Kousei Arima dominated the competition and has become famous among child musicians. After his mother, who was also his instructor, died, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a piano recital at the age of eleven. As a result, he is no longer able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing is perfectly fine. Two years later, Kousei hasn’t touched the piano and views the world in monotone, without any flair or color. He has resigned himself to living out his life with his good friends, Tsubaki and Watari, until, one day, a girl changes everything. Kaori Miyazono, a pretty, free-spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her personality, helps Kousei return to the music world and shows that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kousei was used to.”
Perhaps it’s from my lack of avid anime watching, but there was something that just clicked with this show.
As a musician myself, it struck each and every note of a story perfectly. Your Lie in April captured the sinister side of professional music, one that requires rigorous skill and perfection, but also bought light to the talent needed to make music sound good.
The art of performance is shown to be much more than bland technicality and metronomic-precision. It’s something that must come from within.
The show asks a simple question that applies to everyone, regardless of whether they play an instrument or not. Who are you doing this for? Do you succeed in life to conquer someone, or do you live to make an impact on someone?
Paying tribute to something is a common feature in Your Lie in April, with both Kousei and Kaori having to find their own answers.
Even the darkness of abuse is given a twisted sympathy, with Kousei’s own mother terrified over whether or not her son will be good enough. She wants to know that her only child will be prepared enough to live alone in this world, knowing fully that she’ll never see him grow old.
Each character is running from something, whether it be Kousei from his mother, Takeshi from his long-gone idol, or even Tsubaki, an isolated girl who only wants her beloved childhood friend to succeed, though it mean losing him.
For a show with such a bitter sweet ending, it still makes you happy. The viewer grows with the characters as they develop over the show, with each and every small interaction feeling human. It’s now that I look back on this show, as a fan of big-bang action scenes and whatnot, and realise that Your Lie in April did not come close to any of the blood-pumping awe.
What it did however, is something simple but complex.
It made me care for these characters in a way that I haven’t felt for quite some time, going all the way back to my first viewing of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shows like Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Steins;gate, Trigun and so on were cool, but I wasn’t involved with the characters. I don’t feel like their journeys could hit as hard as they did in Your Lie in April.
As a writer, I strive to write characters even half as emotional as the ones seen in Your Lie in April. As a viewer, I’d love to see much more of what the Your Lie in April team has to offer.
Your Lie in April gives the simple premise of music an overwhelming depth of characterisation, and even if you don’t care for the classics, the body of this fine show is much more robust. And that’s something I can’t say for a lot of shows.
There is certainly a lot more I’d love to add, but I don’t feel as if words alone can justify the connection I had with this show. The one thing I can recommend is that you watch it.
But until then, this is ZeAnime sounding out.