Your Lie in April is an anime series based on the manga of the same name and follows Kousei Arima, a young piano prodigy who, at one time, dominated the competitive classical music scene, until the death of his mother caused him to suffer a mental breakdown, leading to him losing the ability to hear the music he played.
From that moment on, Kousei’s world is remarkably dull as he goes through the motions of high school with an absent father and a life that sorely lacks colour. That is, until he meets Kaori, a happy, free spirited violinist who takes it upon herself to ignite the musical fire laying dormant within Kousei and to inspire him to return to playing classical music on stage.
This anime is unlike most romantic dramas I’ve seen in the past. Heavily focused on the ideas of post traumatic stress and tragedy, Your Lie In April illustrates the idea of love both destroying us and saving us. Kousei’s love for his mother and the hatred he feels for his mother’s cruel and harsh methods of training him in the art of playing the piano, causes his struggle to return to the classical music world. Being unable to hear his own music causes him a great deal of stress and the resolution to live a rather boring life. Meeting Kaori, however, sparks a change within him as the desire to play the piano returns, as do the bright colours of his world.
Much like other slice of life, high school drama anime, Your Lie In April is slow to begin with, developing the world in which the characters exist. While it’s easy to get disillusioned by the slow pace, this anime is one that is made to hook you and ignite feelings within you.
What truly enchanted me about this anime is the music and the colour pallet. Bright, attractive and so full of life, this anime’s visuals simply caught my eye and drew me in. What really hooked me though, was the soundtrack. The music in this anime is brilliantly peaceful and beautiful, so much so that I found myself humming some of the pieces from time to time. These additions to the story add a sense of liveliness and beauty to what really is a dramatic anime. With such spectacular vigour, the visuals and soundtrack of the series creates an odd sense of fantasy and moves away from Kousei’s pain and focuses more on healing.
Character wise, I loved the way each character grew and matured throughout the series. It is this character development that made the slow pace tolerable. Kousei started off as a character that I just couldn’t find myself to like initially, but his slow progression back into classical music and the wonder in his eyes whenever Kaori was around made him more likable. As for Kaori, her lust for life and care-free attitude really spoke volumes about her attitude towards making the most of every moment, though the reason and her motivation behind this got to me in the end.
An anime that is masterfully made with such beauty and a story that’s truly bittersweet, You Lie In April will have you re-examining your own priorities in life. Just be sure to have a box of tissues in hand when watching this.