Episode 22: Spring Wind
Be warned, this review is made of spoilers. Turn back now if you’re not entirely up to date on Your Lie in April.
I wanted to note a few things before diving in. First, this turned into a bit of series review as well as a review for the finale. Because of that, this review is pretty lengthy. Lastly, Your Lie in April resonated with me but I don’t believe its for everyone, so this review may be more relevant to some than others.
“Spring Wind” brought the Your Lie in Aprili to its end with a grab bag of emotions. For a long time now, we’ve known that Kaori was going to die but hoped that somehow things could end on a happier note for the young violinist. But Your Lie in April isn’t about happiness. It’s about how terrible things can happen in life, how difficult it can be to cope with loss and about finding the silver lining that gives the strength to keep going. Still, Kaori’s death was crushingly sad and even though we knew it was coming, it wasn’t something you could really be ready for.
Kaori’s departure was masterfully done. Even though Kousei and Kaori were unable to play together once more in reality, the duet performed by the two as Kousei bid his farewell was outstanding both musically and visually. The song, Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23, was a perfect choice for this last concert. From start to end it matched the emotion of the scene, from Kousei’s joy to playing Kaori again, to his realization that she was leaving him behind and ending with his solemn farewell to the girl he loved that brought color back in to his life.
To say nothing of the visuals of this final song would be a crime, as Your Lie in April pulled out all the stops (and likely what was left in the budget) to make this final scene absolutely fantastic. The duet took place on top of the water that Kousei had been drowning in for so long, showing us one last time how far Kousei has come throughout the show. The changing of the seasons summarized Kousei’s life in the past year and the feelings that had come with it perfectly; from a solemn winter to Kaori appearing in the spring, onto a summer to play together and grow closer, only to fade back into the current harsh winter that tore the two apart. Additionally, it went from night to day and back to night as the seasons changed. Overall, it was everything I could have wanted from the setting.
The whole scene was fantastic and I’m really glad we got to see Kaori looking happy and dress to perform one more time, but the biggest spectacle was Kaori’s “death”. It was done in a way to show us that she had died without having to have a cut to the hospital, which would have taken away from the performance and changed the emotions that came from it. Her change to her ethereal form was beautiful and the explosion of light, color and flowers that came from her was the best way possible for such a lively character to leave the stage. Personally, I lost it when Kousei and Kaori began to tear up at their farewell in that hurricane of petals. While Kaori’s death made me so immensely sad (I’m still sad honestly), I couldn’t dream of a better way to see her go.
That was until we saw Kousei read Kaori’s letter anyway. I was so taken by the music and visuals of the first half of the episode I had forgotten that there was so much left unsaid between Kousei and Kaori. And damn, that letter really said it all. Well almost, I wish Kousei had told Kaori he loved her directly. Kaori’s confession was fantastic and heartbreaking, as she was able to tell Kousei how she felt only after she was gone.
The lie being that Kaori said she loved Watari when she actually loved Kousei wasn’t really surprising. We knew that Kaori loved Kousei at this point. Credit to the title, Your Lie in Apri, it’s that the lie was told in April the year before and Kaori had always loved Kousei that was surprising. Seeing that there was some history between the two from long before (unbeknownst to Kousei as well), how different Kaori was before she fought against time to reach Kousei and how intricate her plan was made me look back at the entire series in a different way. Knowing that she loved him from the beginning makes some things throughout the show clear. I had wondered for so long why she was crying when they met way back in the first episode and now I at least have an idea. That scene is one of many that feels quite different when you go back and watch it after knowing all that we know now.
While there was a prevailing feeling of sadness, I’m glad to say that Your Lie in April left me with some positive feelings as well. While Kousei is going to be hurting for a long time, the lingering feelings he has about and for Kaori don’t seem to be the type that will cripple him in the way those about his mother did. Those feelings and the changes Kaori caused within Kousei seem like they had an opposite effect, leaving me with the feeling that Kousei would end up going even further in his pursuit of music than he would have otherwise. I guess Hiroko was right when she said that to be pushed even further, Kousei would have to lose another thing precious to him.
Tsubaki finding her way to him to remind him that he’s not alone made me very happy and left me feeling happy about their relationship in the end. It would have been weird (or just fucked up) to see Kousei and Tsubaki come together at this point but I couldn’t stand it if there wasn’t a resolution either. The way “Spring Wind” went about it really was for the best. Kousei didn’t have to be alone, nothing happened between Kousei and Tsubaki right away but we what we saw left us with hope for the future.
“Spring Wind” was hard to watch and crushed me with sadness. But I was also left extremely satisfied by the finale and Your Lie in April as a whole. The finale was entirely focused on Your Lie in April’s greatest strengths. “Spring Wind” gave us immaculate visuals and audio, answers to all the questions I had and a bittersweet farewell to these characters I’ve grown so fond of. My one complaint is that I feel like I need more of an epilogue, as “Spring Wind” didn’t really touch on anyone but Kousei, Kaori and Tsubaki after the first 3 minutes. Also, I’d kill to see these characters down the line just to know they ended up alright.
Through it all, Your Lie in April stayed true to what I believe to be its message: Life isn’t perfect. Life isn’t easy. But you have to keep going. It’s worth it to go through the pain to find those silver linings. Because the good things are worth all the pain, they make life worth living. Or something along those lines. Anyway, I want to say thank you to those of you that came along on this journey with me. Your Lie in April was an emotional rollercoaster and a story I’m glad to know many others enjoyed it like I did.Tweet