Your Lie in April, a Motion Shock Against a Backdrop of Classical Music…

Today I’m going to tell you about an anime that really touched me. Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) is a 22-episode anime that features mature themes, with excellentanimation, graphics and soundtrack quality. Your Lie in April is also available as a manga by Ki-Oon editions (7 volumes published in France, complete series in 11 volumes in Japan).

At the heart of music competitions

Kousei Arima, 14, is a piano prodigy (nicknamed the Human Metronome, envied and criticized by all pianists of his age). However, he hasn’t played for two years now because of the death of his mother who beat him to make him even better. He no longer hears the notes on the piano when he plays, and he thinks it’s his mother’s punishment. Trapped in his bubble, he abandons the piano completely. Her monotonous and grey life will be turned upside down by the arrival of Kaori Miyazono, a talented and energetic violinist, who will perhaps be able to bring some colour into her life?

A very touching story, which goes far beyond the framework of a slice of life (kind of anime that shows scenes from everyday life). There are some funny moments, but this anime is above all a thought-provoking anime that focuses on Kousei’s psychological development. The world of classical music competitions is also very well represented, the passion, the fury, the rivalries, everything is very well portrayed and very engaging. The atmosphere is very beautiful, the animation, without embellishment, is correct (not enormistic, but it is more than enough for this type of anime, no need for big action scenes). The characters are generally very well developed, especially the three main characters. The story is far from being silly and is not on the level of a romantic comedy like we see everywhere now. The anime does not focus on romance, but rather on the progression of the characters. The ending is very touching, melancholic and delivers a beautiful message of love and hope. If you are of a sensitive nature you might even shed a little tear…

Classical music at the centre of this anime

If you like classical music, you will have moments of intense happiness during musical performances. The pieces are splendid, superbly chosen, and are not cut or too much disturbed by the dialogue. The openings and endings are also of good quality. Special mention at the first opening, Hikaru Nara, with a very joyful and dynamic theme that reflects Kaori’s personality and the upheaval she will make in Kousei’s sad life. If you are not particularly connoisseur of classical music, this anime will make you discover very beautiful pieces of exceptional composers, like for example this excerpt from a concert of Kaori, with the sonata No. 9 Beethoven’s Op. 47, “Kreutzer”:

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Personal criticism

I have little to reproach this anime with. The gags that are sometimes too forced. Setting a fun time to relax the atmosphere so that the audience doesn’t go out and buy antidepressants is good, very good even. But putting a gag or a weird expression in super exaggerated in the middle of an emotional scene… It’s a small detail that bothers me a bit. Also, I reproach the exaggeration of certain moments, in particular concerts, where the audience is totally subjugated by a performance to the point of visualizing balls of light floating or cherry tree petals flying in the wind around the musician. Well, of course, it’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING compared to other anime like Yakitate Ja-Pan or Prince of Tennis that make something ultra mundane like eating bread or playing tennis look like a totally epic thing. These effects aren’t annoying, they’re pretty nice to look at, and maybe it also keeps the audience from getting bored with music that lasts long enough.

To conclude, this anime is really a pearl that I strongly advise you if you are looking for a mature anime, very pleasant to watch, with a simple story, without any headache, with nevertheless many strong and touching moments. No big action scenes in perspective, but a real emotional shock when finished. A striking anime that I easily put in my personal top 10.

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