At the start of the Fall 2014 anime season, I was slightly disappointed. Unlike previous seasons, I had yet to find a show that I felt I could attach a decent amount of emotion towards. Then Thursday I found what I was looking for. mdubs had been hyping Your Lie in April before, so I had marked it as a 'must watch' on my list. Two things stuck out to me from the initial description: firstly, the focus was on a young pianist with a tragic past, so music would be involved. Secondly, the PV had some excellent music, so there was DEFINITELY music involved.
What I didn't expect was something that had such layered emotional effects. There are so many ways to empathize with the characters of Your Lie in April, it's not even funny. Kousei Arima, the once-brilliant pianist, struggles to hear the notes and has done so ever since his mother's death. One would think that this is because of his feeling of loss following such a tragic event, but that's not even close to the full story. Much like in real life, nothing is so straightforward. His mother was the driving force of his piano playing, but not in the most positive of ways. She would hit him, and forced him to practice for hours every day. So why is he so distraught by her death? The death itself is troublesome for Kousei because he IS the piano. His mother may have pushed him, but he WANTED her to. She may have abused him, but that wasn't enough to drive him away. In reality, he is dealing with his mixed feelings of regret and sorrow, but the piano is forever a part of him, whether he likes it or not.
Enter Kaori, who is the strongest part of the show for one reason: she is every musicians' desires, personified. She wants her music to reach the audience and to make it her own, and conveys this understanding to Kousei, who missed that element during his years with his mother being a 'slave to the score'. As a musician myself, I can understand this desire. Music is just as important emotionally as it is audibly, and in order to truly appreciate it you have to feel both. When I see the characters onstage, desperately appealing to themselves and hoping it reaches their audience, my first thought is, "This writer understands music". But its not just the events that showcase this, it's the actual music itself. The opening and ending themes have all been fantastic, and the soundtrack is one of the best I've heard in years. That's really saying something, considering all the music I've listened to.
Overall, Your Lie in April has thus far proven to me to be an extremely heartfelt tale. The complexity and depth of the characters combined with their musically oriented struggles have formed an emotional bond with me and, I'm sure, many others. If it keeps this up, it could end up being one of my favorite anime of all time.
Your Lie in April is currently available for free and legal streaming on Crunchyroll, with a new episode every Thursday.
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