Your Lie in April: If you have a tendency to get emotional with dramas, I’d advise you don’t watch this unless you want to drown in your own tears. However, you might still want to go through the pain if only for the beauty of the story, the music, and its message.
In A Nutshell
Your Lie in April follows the story of prodigious pianist Kousei Arima who, after the passing of his abusive mother, becomes falls into a downward spiral that leaves him unable to hear the sound of his own playing. From then, Kousei avoids playing the piano and lives a colorless life alongside his friends Tsubaki and Ryouta. Two years later, he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who stirs up his world and sets him on a journey to face and enjoy music again.
Meet the Characters
Kousei Arima is the main character of the story, even if he doesn’t feel like it. Kousei suffered emotional and physical abuse from her deceased mother. Because of this, he has a tendency to look down and basically drag his body through life. He’s often very calm about everything, and likes to spend time alone with his own thoughts. Because of his mother’s teachings, he associates music with “perfection”, and he was known as “the human metronome”.
Kaori Miyazono is the female main character of the story. Opposite to Kousei, Kaori sees music as “freedom”, something beautiful that’s there to be cherished, and not a score of rules that need to be obeyed. Kaori is lively and full of life. She likes the unpredictable and she reflects her philosophy in her violin playing. Kaori also has a bad temper, and she often calls out Kousei for his pessimistic attitude.
Tsubaki Sawabe is Kousei’s childhood friend, and the one who introduces Kaori to the group. Tsubaki is a very active girl, and she’s into sports. She’s especially good at baseball. Unlike Kousei and Kaori, Tsubaki doesn’t have any interest in music. In fact, she resents it because she feels like it consumes Kousei’s life. However, she still wishes the best for him and wants nothing more than for him to be able to enjoy playing the piano again.
Ryota Watari is a friend of Kousei and Tsubaki. Just like Tsubaki, Ryota’s very good at sports (he’s the captain of the soccer team) and has no interest in music. He’s also very popular, handsome and a bit of a play-boy, which makes it very easy for him to get any girls she wants. In particular, he has a crush on Kaori, which is the main reason why she’s introduced in the first place.
A Brief History of Your Lie in April: The When, Where and How
Your Lie in April is a manga series written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa and serialized in Kodansha’s Monthly Shōnen Magazine from 2011 to 2015. A 22-episode anime adaptation by A-1 Pictures aired from October 2014 to March 2015.
A live-action film adaptation of the same name came out in 2016.
Why It’s Awesome
Just like “Sports”, “Music” is a genre that can often be a deciding factor when choosing which series to watch next. Musical anime are usually regarded as stories that will only be enjoyed by those who also have a passion for music. And, while this is true in many cases, every once in a while comes along an anime that challenges that notion by managing to unite all audiences in one story. Your Lie in April is as much about music as it is about human drama, overcoming trauma, and subtle romance.
That’s not to say music is not a major element in this series, because it is, but it’s not in a way that could potentially alienate viewers. The truth is we all have something that drives us in our everyday life. For Kousei and Kaori, that thing happens to be music. And even if the music in this is breathtaking (and it will even educate you on classical music if you’re not familiar with it), it’s not so much about the playing itself, but about using it to contrast different life perspectives. Granted you will enjoy this story much more if you play an instrument, but it’s not necessary at all.
Your Lie in April is a story about retaking control of your life, overcoming trauma, and learning to see things from a new different perspective. And even though anime has a tendency to have characters overcome their problems through the power of friendship, Your Lie in April does an excellent job at showing that, at the end of the day, those changes have to come from within. It’s also a story about trying again, and about showing that, once your fear, anxiety and insecurities are gone, all that remains is wonder towards everything that surrounds you. The way Your Lie in April shows these differents life perspectives by having the characters communicating and reaching each other through music is what makes this story both tragic and beautiful.
The visuals are consistently breathtaking throughout the 22 episodes. Seeing life in black and white or in bright colors is a major theme in the series, and the anime plays this idea subtly, choosing a different palette for each character to compliment how they are feeling at a given situation. Putting the classical music aside (there’s Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Saint-Saëns…), the anime also has very beautiful tracks in its OST that will instantly take you back to the
sad feelings you felt while watching the anime.