Friday, May 6, 2016

Anime Review: Your Lie In April Season One

When it comes to anime, I have a lot of different series saved in Netflix and Hulu to watch but I've either only watched the first few episodes of them or haven't had time to start them at all.    To say I have more anime in my "watch list" than anime which I have actually watched is a fair statement, but I feel like if it was any other way it might make me sad so I'm fine with it being like that.    "Your Lie In April" was something I found while browsing Netflix earlier this year and decided I would watch in April.   A few days into the month I was reminded of it and began to watch throughout the titular month.

Any sort of website or IMDb can give you a brief overview of what this series is about in terms of it being kids playing music at massive levels, but what you need to know about the series is actually what is inside of that.   I do believe that, initially at least, I was drawn to this anime simply because of the musical side of it- and these kids are so damn good at playing piano and violin- but it was that theme of music and how it was represented which made me stick with the series and really get into it.

To say that a lot of anime follows the same pattern would be unfair, but really any story out there seems to follow the same pattern when it comes to boy meets girl and it shouldn't really be restricted to just anime.   However, "Your Lie In April" breaks down those barriers and begins to form its own rules for the show which, again, come back to music in a lot of ways and not the typical boy-girl crush.

There is a scene when the two main characters are going to perform and the boy is having this revelation.   As he remarks something to the effect of "You are freedom" to the girl, she turns around and says something in reply like, "No, I'm not.   Music is freedom".   I've actually screen-grabbed the whole sequence and turned it into a nice meme, so that really explains it a lot better than I can, but it is just so refreshing to see.

Of course by the end of the series- as the second act begins because it is 22 episodes but at Episode 12 they get a new theme- we begin to learn the truth and a lot of shocking ideas come out.    It's not shocking in the way that everyone is revealed to be an alien or living double lives or something, but it's the sort of reveal you want from the show but really began to doubt would happen.
I'm not sure what the best way to compare this is but I like to think of it as how I play with cats.   I will have a feather on a string and I will fly it around the room, the cats watch and jump, try to get it but because I put it up so high they simply cannot reach it.   Before the end of the playtime though, I do end up lowering it down so they can finally get their hands on it.   And that's how I felt at the end of this series.   Well, that and I cried like a baby during the final episode.

It's not the sense of "shock" I feel in other things and it's not the sense of predictability either.   It's somewhere in between.    If this had not been the ending I think I would have been okay and not felt like I was ripped off because it wasn't.   But at the same time, I think it was the ending we had all hoped for (even if we didn't know it) and needed, and as such it was the ending we deserved.   This is truly one of the most emotional anime I have ever watched but I blame the music.

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