Anime review – Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your lie in April)

It’s not often I would write a blog entry on an anime review – an old anime, but I just want to share my thoughts about this anime.

Usually the type of animes I watch are mecha hero types – all will end well.

Or comedies where nothing is serious and if there are moments of tense excitement, it would end on a positive note.

I avoid serious dramas because they exhaust me – so much that is can take me days to mentally recuperate as my brain racks through all the emotions. But for the past 2 weekends, I have decided to sit down and watch one.

And wouldn’t you know it? I picked¬†Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso¬† or translated as “Your lie in April”.

The synopsis was just so interesting.

Taken from the wikipedia entry:

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.

Who knew it would send me on such a whirl wind. There were no super power mutant abilities, mecha fighting, or power plays. This anime was about personal growth and the things we all had faced before (or at least some people would encounter) as teenagers. No doubt we all at least had better family support than what has always been portrayed in animes.

The story is about growing up or the struggle to grow up, set against the background of expressing yourself through classical music – the serious kind. I have no background on classical music and I suspect nor most people watching this will not either, but the emphasis is not on the music, but rather how is one creative or mental state is expressed through the music.

For me, the first 10 episodes had me wanting to smack the protagonist (Kosei) due to his many episode of crashing on stage. But I had to keep in mind, this was a teenager whose had a traumatic past and was suddenly thrust back on stage at the whims of a whirlwind violinist on one fine spring day.

At one point I was worried the story would become someone like a card battle anime when Kosei’s old rivals (not enemies) were introduced – thinking this is the point the story would nosedive into a pseudo card battle using music. Luckily I was wrong, just as the story is about the struggles or joy of Kosei, the story finds time to also explore about the state of mind of others around him and those that have affected him in the past such as his mother.

I couldn’t help but kept watching it – hoping that the next moment would spring what I thought would be a cliche ending (I suspected the story would have ended on Kosei admitted his feelings to her and we have a happy ending). But such a simplistic or cliche ending was denied to me.

The pacing and flow of the story is definitely reminisce of a classical piece – with it’s ebbs and flow following the high points and low moments in the anime. For this I am grateful the writers did a wonderful job unlike some animes where the low points is all there is or the anime apparently appears to be stuck in high pitch – going up and up.

I just finished the ending.

No doubt it will leave some with the feeling of wanting more – hoping for more – but such stories are in fact a success when viewers are left with either a feeling of satisfaction or with the lingering sense of wanting more. The latter I favour more because these are the stories that will not be forgotten for a very long time.

I would definitely rate this as an “A” class anime. Give it a try – just be prepared for the emotional moments.


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