Saturday, July 4, 2015

MARIAH'S TAKE on Your Lie In April

Genre:
Music, School, Shounen,
Drama, Romance, Anime
Series:
TV series
Rating:
PG-13
Episodes:
22
Run Time:
22 min per episode
Release Date:
September 1, 2014
(Japan)
October 10, 2014
(US)

Directed by:
Kyohei Ishiguro

Producers:
Aniplex, Dentsu, A-1 Pictures, Kodansha, Fuji TV, Aniplex of America

Plot Summary:
Piano prodigy Arima Kosei dominated the competition and all child musicians knew his name. But after his mother, who was also his instructor, passed away, he had a mental breakdown while performing at a recital that resulted in him no longer being able to hear the sound of his piano even though his hearing was perfectly fine. Even two years later, Kosei hasn't touched the piano and views the world in monotone, and without any flair or color. He was content at living out his life with his good friends Tsubaki and Watari until, one day, a girl changed everything. Miyazono Kaori is a pretty, free spirited violinist whose playing style reflects her personality. Kaori helps Kosei return to the music world and show that it should be free and mold breaking unlike the structured and rigid style Kosei was used to.

Cast:
Natsuki Hanae, Ayane Sakura, Risa Taneda, Ryôta Ôsaka



*My Thoughts*
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso in English known as Your Lie in April is a recently completed anime series with a manga of the same name but the anime is much more than a school show. The anime required only 22 episodes of vibrant colors and well placed music, classical and OST, to bring the story to life. While an avid fan of Your Lie in April would crave more out of the anime, the 22 episodes was all that was necessary tell the story of 4 junior high kids. Kousei Arima, the main protagonist, is a quiet and shy boy that needs to learn how to move on. His friends, Ryota Watari and Tsubaki Sawabe, help Kousei learn to leave the past behind especially from the crash entrance of Kaori Miyazono. I wouldn’t consider this anime to have any antagonistic characters but simply rivals and competitors in competition with each other. There’s no sabotage involved or damaging of another character during the present story that’ll leave scars or painful memories. While the elements in Your Lie in April are typical to the School Life anime genre, uniforms, club activities, and school crushes, it makes full emotional impact.
Although bit and pieces were cliché and the ending is predictable, I wanted to watch ‘til the very end. At first I really disliked Kaori because she represented a personality I wasn’t comfortable with: loud, hot-headed, then happy the next second, and an overall Tsunshun type of dere, the kind that insults a lot but it is revealed they are sorry for it later on. This anime was passionate, encouraging, and tear jerking. It offers inspiring words to follow your passion, live life to its fullest, and to never give up with a story in which you could say, “I’ve seen it all before.”
The symbolism is heavy in this Your Lie in April from the opening theme to the sounds, animals, and especially the classical pieces chosen in the competitions. The cherry sakura blossoms an obvious representation of spring, death as a release, and friends just popping up everywhere like daisies representing the very common message “Friendship can defy anything.” The first opening theme song, Hikaru Nara, pumps up the first season’s episodes for a fun time despite the inevitable end of the series. The second opening, Nanairo Symphony, begins to slow down the series for the finale. You can’t forget the representations of the main protagonists: Ryota is a soccer superstar, Tsubaki is an annoying big sister, and Kaori is a wild and free-spirit that comes and goes, like the dove in the opening theme song or the cats throughout the series. As for each song played by Kousei on the piano, as the view progresses through the story, the songs play a critical role in defining Kousei’s emotions and mental state therefore tracking his growth.
A word from Kousei: "Spring will be here soon. Spring, the season I met you, is coming. A spring without you...is coming."
I found this quirky as coincidentally, Your Lie in April stopped airing on the first day of spring, March 20th, in the U.S. and therefore had become “A spring without you…” even though Your Lie in April started airing in fall of 2014.
The animation of this anime is absolutely beautiful and helped Your Lie in April become my favorite anime as opposed to the usual action shonen I’m used to. Every detail is taken into account, especially during up close scenes on the piano; the viewer can see each string of the piano vibrate and every screw that keeps the piano together. The fingers of the pianist look like motion capture used in the cinema. To emphasize the realistic animation of the musicians, a musician friend of mine personally dislikes music based anime because the movements of the characters in the anime don’t sync right with how a song is played in real life but is excited to give Your Lie in April a try. Each value of color is distinct from the lightest light to the darkest shadow.

My rating:

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