I’ve managed to watch a significant amount of anime in the past year alone, whether it be horror, mecha, or slice of life, and I have enjoyed them all. I put a great deal of emotional value in the characters and new experiences with each coming show, however there was something about Your Lie In April that changed something in me.

Before I dive into all of that, I should give a brief history of my background. As it may make more sense as to why I, of all people, fell in love with a simple slice of life show about music. Ever since I was a small child, music has been an integral part of my life. And I mean integral. Ever since I acquired my first computer I started compiling my music library. Since then, I have transitioned into a point where I listened to pretty much every genre (excluding Country and Classical). Every song I listen to each layer and conceptualize what it means and how much effort went into creating that sound. On top of all of that for five years, I worked in the music industry. And not the whole “I’m a promoter” crap (because everyone is a promoter), actually doing projects outside of investing money. I worked in booking music (contract negotiation and picking the artist), running the production (sound and lights), overall venue management, and was even a marketing intern at one point. I even play the drums and guitar. So music means the world to me. It is effective in everything from communicating and portraying emotions to just providing an outlet for fun. I would go so far as to say it is the perfect medium. That being said, let’s dive into the show.

For those who haven’t seen Your Lie In April, the show is based around Kousei Arima, who is arguably the best piano player among the youth in Japan. But his mother’s death led to Arima having a mental breakdown, rendering him incapable of hearing the notes when he plays the piano. Since then, Arima has only seen the world though a filter of dull grey. This all changes when he meets Kaori Miyazono, a young violinist who forces him to pick up the piano again. Throughout the show Kousei starts to change and develop, primarily due to his exposure to Kaori’s free spirit and drive.

There are a couple pivotal moments in the show that have happened so far which have really resonated with me as a musician and as person who enjoys stories about inner struggles. Not only were they transitioning moments for the characters, they had a similar transitioning sort of effect on me as well. Without sounding ridiculous, I put a lot of emotional investment and empathy into characters within any show that I watch, and Your Lie In April is no exception. Which is why when characters experienced hardships in the show, it felt as if I was experiencing it with them. The first key moment was within the first episode; the transition from seeing the world through the dull filters (similar to the perspective of the main character in Draußen vor der Tür by Wolfgang Borchert) to the vibrant colors of the show that so impressive. In this moment alone, I knew I was going to love the show. I feel as if I perceive the world in a similar manner, it’s only when listening to music am I able to perceive the world and it’s beauty around me. From that moment forward the show had me hooked. To go with this theme, the show has quite an impressive and vibrant color palate to match. Every scene is riddled with impressive colors that draw your eyes all over, not just to the characters.

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“Everything I saw, everything I heard, everything I felt, all the scenery around me started to take on color. The whole world began to sparkle.”

Now, I also happen to be a sucker for romance within any story. Which is why I thoroughly enjoyed shows like Nisekoi, My Little Monster, and When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, which all deal with romance and the conflict involved with it at a certain level. Your Lie In April has (in my opinion) the best balance of romance of any show I can think of. It is isn’t your typical love story or a harem; instead it focuses on a more realistic perspective on what would happen in a situation like this. Seeing the characters struggle and go through that period of “who am I?” and “what do I want?” really humanizes the show as whole (if it wasn’t humanized enough already). It also does a great job of maintaining your interest what will happen next.

In the past I have managed to avoid classical music if I could. Outside of select music scores for movies, I steered clear of it. But this all changed when hearing Kousei play Chopin, Etude Op. 25 No. 5 in a later episode. Having the exposure I have had in the past towards emotional music, this was the first time I had heard a classical piece being utilized in a way to reflect the pianist’s emotion. For me, this was turning point, not just for the show and plot but in my own life as well. During Kousei’s final attempt at the score, I experienced the music like those within the audience of the show. I felt it, with each touch of the key and subsequent note, I felt raw emotion. It was like nothing I have ever heard before in my life. The music was so emotionally charged that up until then, I never could quite grasp how emotion could change classical music. But it all became very clear, I had been struggling with my own music and issues and the answer was there.  I knew what I had to do following that episode, I needed to dust off those old CD’s I had been avoiding and give it a second shot. And by doing so felt a whole new flood of emotions that I had only experienced with other genres. What I found was comfort and emotion within the serenity of the various compositions. I don’t believe I’ll be able to view the genre of classical in the same way ever again (or be the same person I used to be) all due to one moment in a TV show.

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I currently already play two to three instruments, but because of this show I will be picking up another: the piano. Because of this show, I plan on being capable of portraying my emotions utilizing all the instruments within my repertoire, and adding the piano will be a wonderful addition. I’ve had a pretty shitty year (lost my job and was unemployed and getting rather defeated emotionally), but I believe that something like this could be my answer to it. I too will try to find solace within the white and black keys, and maybe one day be able to spark the same type of response that Kousei had on me with someone else.

To think that I would experience all of this by simply clicking play on a show is a testament to those hardworking people who made this story and show come alive. I never buy anything on Blu-ray or DVD, but this show is something that I want to carry with me and experience over and over again. If you aren’t a musician and just into anime (at least I hope you are into anime considering you are reading this) then pick up an instrument, because it might help you find something within yourself that you didn’t realize was there.

Essentially, this is a roundabout way of saying check out Your Lie In April. It may not cause the same existential crisis and revelation within you, but it is certainly worth your time.

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Patrick Moore

About Patrick Moore

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is a co-founder of BentoByte. He is an audiophile with a predilection for every type of media. He enjoys playing music, going to shows, being active, good beer, going on adventures, and of course gaming and anime.

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