Monday, November 02, 2015

Production Elements Harmonizes in 'Your Lie in April' to Deliver an Emotional Tale of Love and Loss

As far as musical anime series I’ve seen this year goes, I liked Kids on the Slope more than Your Lie in April, probably because I like jazz more than classical music; but also because I found that the former has a deeper and more meaningful drama.  But between Your Lie in April and Sound! Euphonium, the former has a far richer quality.   

Your Lie in April (also known as Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) tells the story of a junior high student named Kousei Arima who used to be a child prodigy in piano.  However, he stopped playing after he was traumatized by the loss of his mother (who also served as his piano teacher) to a terminal illness – which caused him to be incapable of hearing the sound of his piano playing.  A few years later, a damaged Kousei meets a free-spirited, quirky girl named Kaori Miyazono, who happens to play the violin.  And from the moment on, with Kaori as his muse, Kousei begins an emotional and colorful journey of healing, learning, coming to terms with loss, first love, and rekindling his deep affinity for music and performing.

It took me until the end of the very last episode before I could conclude that I really like this anime.  The climactic last episode really moved me and made me misty eyed, but, as all the pieces laid on place, I still needed a moment after watching it to let everything sink in… and only after some reflecting did I fully grasp how well-made Your Lie in April truly is.

The music is delightful, the animation is gorgeous, and the script is well-written.  But what makes it magical is how these three – music, animation, and script – seamlessly collaborate and complement each other in delivering an emphatic impression in every sequence and enhancing the storytelling.  It’s likely to be an indication of how great the direction is, I guess, so kudos to the director.

The romantic angles are a bit annoying at times, for it features teen romance clichés.  However, it turned out to be more profound than it was letting on, and I was satisfied on how the love story played out in the end.  However, Your Lie in April is not only “teen romance” at all; it actually explores a wide range of deeper themes, which make this anime more worthwhile and insightful than other teen dramas.

In summary, Your Lie in April is a first-rate production in all fronts.  Benefiting from strikingly vibrant visuals and eargasmic musical pieces and well-directed storytelling, it overcomes its choice of familiar teen drama tropes to tell a beautiful, tragic story with an optimistic message.

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