Note: This doesn’t contain any major spoilers from the anime itself so go on and read. Also, I do not own the photos in this entry. Clicking the picture will redirect to its original source.
I was looking for some random music in Youtube when I have come across Pandora Heaven’s 1–hr Anime Mix of emotional songs. And the very first song from the mix which caught my attention was that from Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. It wasn’t familiar at all to me.
“How come I didn’t know about this?”
Intrigued, I looked at the reviews and ratings which were considerably high.
But then, one good person posted a spoiler in an anime site so I have known the ending before I even saw it so don’t scroll down for comments like I did. Since I still haven’t watched it, I gave it a try. And that’s how I discovered this gem.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, or Your Lie in April is a shoujo (romance, comedy, drama) anime that was aired from October 2014 up to March 2015. It was written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa and was adapted to an anime by A-1 pictures.
The story was about a piano prodigy named Arima Kousei. He was known as a pianist who remained ever faithful to the music sheet, who never committed a single mistake with his playing, always topped the competitions, and someone with a heart of steel. However, when his mother (her piano teacher) died, he could no longer hear his own piano playing. Since then, he has stopped playing the black and white keys. But his fate changed as he met Kaori Miyazono. Kaori is a violinist who has a passion for music. With her free-spirited nature, she has inspired Arima to pick himself up and play the piano again. But of course, it wasn’t an easy feat. Both attend the same middle school along with Arima’s childhood friends named Tsubaki and Watari. And that is all I have to say for I don’t want to spoil you any further. Haha!
Going back, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is for me, a special anime because of 3 reasons:
First off, it’s a music anime, let alone piano.
I do play piano but not in a totally virtuoso-level as they are. Just a hobby. One of the few things I do though with such show is to wonder if the characters’ hands are hammering the correct keys (Hahaha!). It is also a good way to be familiar to some classical pieces (and this show made me love Chopin’s Winter Wind [Chopin’s Étude in A Minor Op. 25 No. 11]. You will know once you hear it, especially with the bass and drums in the next episode after it was first played). The only music anime that I have known were La Corda D’Oro and Nodame Cantabille. So Shigatsu was already A+ for me. At first, I thought it was something like La Corda, you know, competitions and stuff. But I was totally wrong. Shigatsu was totally more than that. I think it has a good mix of slap stick comedy (which is typical for a shoujo) and drama. It will let you know that music really does transcend words.
Second, it totally appealed to my senses – visually and aurally.
One good quality of a series or any movie so to speak is a good soundtrack. Some animes with superb soundtrack are Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Naruto Shipuuden (all of which are shounen) and for Shigatsu (a shoujo) to have such is truly amazing. My favorites are of course Kujikesou ni Naru Watashi wo Sasaete Kudasai (the first one I’ve heard from Youtube, but translation is ‘Please support me when I’m discouraged’) and Yuujin A-kun wo Watashi no Bansousha ni Ninmeishimasu (aka Spring’s Melody). The soundtrack just fit in with the emotions that were being portrayed in the series. The opening (Hikaru Nara) and ending songs (Kirameki) were also great.
Animation wise, what A-1 Pictures had was just right. I liked how the characters were drawn (nothing extreme) but what made it extra special was the sceneries.
I have this fascination with sceneries ever since I’ve watched 5 cm per second (and I know that I am not alone in this). It makes me feel amazed to see how the Japanese animators can draw the actual scene and keep it raw as it is. And yeah, who doesn’t love cherry blossoms? Another thing that I have liked is how they have brought imageries into life (from manga to anime). In toto, the anime was visually stunning (You have to watch it in HD 🙂 ).
I liked the script. I like how the characters made use of words to describe their feelings (I’m a bit biased with this one since I love writing and doing monologues
although others may have found it boring).
Those words, background music, and character’s emotions rushing through, all in all it would make you feel nostalgic.
Yeah, it’s really like 5cm per second all over again.
Lastly, I love the message of this anime.
Pondering about it, I think that the main point is about letting go and moving forward. There may be a point in your life wherein you couldn’t get over with your past and you now have dwelt in it. You might not even forgive yourself for what you have done or for what had happened. Everything is just quite painful so you just succumb to it. But somewhere along the way, you would be able to see light amidst your dark past. You would be able to find a reason to continue living, to continue striving, to continue struggling no matter how messed up you are once. And to know that you are not alone in the struggle would keep that light flaring in you. You have been inspired. You then became a source of inspiration. So you now free yourself from a past that has once chained you. You now make those little steps to move on. All of which was learned by Arima Kousei the hard way. This message stings because it is so true and you can relate to it. And it will sting all the more once you’ve seen the final episode.
Your Lie in April is one of those animes that would give you a hangover. As much as I would want to move on with it, I just can’t. The night I finished watching it (that was on May 22, 2015), I was like,
“This is a familiar feeling. Ahhh, I’ve felt this before after watching 5 centimeters per second.”
It took me a while before I can sleep because the Kujikesou song kept playing in my head and it just makes me want to reflect on what’s happening in my life. It made me think of my own struggles too, of my fears, of my resolutions while having that soundtrack stuck in my mind
and hearing it would not make me slightly any better. As I feel some urge of hope, the Yuujin A song comes in the picture. You know, that kind of feels. It was just simply beautiful and sad.
Moreso, it also made me think of how musicians have devoted themselves to practice just for a four-minute show (so you should also watch the OVA).
That behind those calloused hands for plucking or bowing the strings or in hammering the keys were unwavering dedication, discipline, and hard work. And that also goes the same for every athlete who have dedicated their lives to their sport. I would never look at them the same way after watching this show.
So yeah, it will give you a lot of thinking probably because in one way or another, you can relate to it. I haven’t watched Ano Hana, Angel Beats or Clannad so I cannot tell which one’s better. But I did watch the movie 5 centimeters per second. If you love the kinds of 5 cm, you are likely to love this too. (Yeah, I keep blabbering about 5 cm, it’s just one of my personal favorites <3).
Sure, it has downplays along the way (which you will see for yourself somewhere in between
and that I wouldn’t be tackling) just like any other anime. At first, it seemed like a typical shoujo that you have watched before, but it isn’t. It really does have something deep to offer.
For avid anime fans like me, yeah, I’m recommending that you watch this. It did a great job to deliver its message considering that it only has 22 episodes. It is like a breath of fresh air from your usual shoujo series. After you do so, let me know if I am just over reacting with all of these thoughts in my entry. 🙂
P.S. Voice actor of Arima Kousei, that is Natsuki Hanae, is also Ken Kaneki of Tokyo Ghoul. 🙂
By the way, can I just say that:
Eren’s look (just add glasses) (Attack on Titan)
Kuroko’s eyes and energy level (Kuroko no Basuke)
Arima Kousei (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)
Christa’s look (Attack on Titan)
Koizumi’s personality (Lovely Complex)
Kaori Miyazono (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)
And yeah, this one was just so true. Hahaha! (Can’t find its source though)
🙂 ’til then!