A Review of "Your Lie in April"
It was a quiet Saturday night, and with a clear schedule and a mug of tea, I decided to take my first journey into the world of Japanese cartoons, also known as anime. My friend had recommended an anime titled Your Lie in April to me, and because of their enthusiasm, I decided to give it a shot. Little did I know that over a week later, I would be wholeheartedly invested in the show’s plot lines and attached to its characters. For a first anime, I could not have been more satisfied.
Easily the biggest reason why I loved Your Lie in April is the incredible characters. As I mentioned, I quickly grew fond of them and was celebrating their successes and grieving their losses throughout each episode. The main character is Kousei Arima, a fourteen year old piano prodigy. He meets a talented violinist and free-spirited girl named Kaori Miyazono, and the plot revolves around how they help each other (namely with Kousei’s struggle after the death of his mother). Throughout the show, I was repeatedly pleased with how real these characters felt; even the side characters like Kousei's childhood best friends, Sawabe Tsubaki and Ryota Watari, feel fleshed out and whole. None of the characters are one dimensional, as the protagonists are flawed—Kaori is fiercely stubborn, for instance—and the antagonists have good in them, shown in Kousei’s competitive piano rival who checks on him and supports him before a nerve-wracking competition. This recognition of multitudes within the characters makes them feel genuine and realistic, as real people are far from one dimensional as well. The show also uses the dynamic between characters’ personalities to create intense segments that are actually nerve-wracking, heart-wrenching scenes that are honestly painful, and comedic moments that are genuinely funny—I mean, I laughed out loud as I watched Kousei and Kaori argue, as he’d just become more flustered and she’d grow louder and more aggressive. Healthy doses of comedic relief came at just the right time in just the right amount, because this anime actually got pretty sad; I’ll admit, I cried twice; and, while I’m dedicated to preventing major spoilers, I will say that as the story progressed, these characters are forced to face their fears and weaknesses, meaning that by the end of the series they have made recognizable change and growth. That is incredibly satisfying.
It can be argued that you can see the end of Your Lie in April coming from a mile away. I did correctly predict the ending quite early on, and usually this is a huge disappointment for me—predictable plot lines usually bore me and I like the surprise plot twists offer. However, for once, I wasn’t too bothered. Regardless of the ending, the journey Kousei and Kaori were on was enough to keep me invested and watching, and that is the biggest compliment I can offer. Combine this with a beautiful soundtrack, gorgeous scenery, and incredible animation, Your Lie in April is more than a story—it’s an experience.