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Anime Review - Your Lie in April

Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)
Manga author: Naoshi Arakawa
Animation studio: A-1 Pictures
Episodes: 22 (two seasons)
Genre(s): Drama, Music
Recommended audience: 13 and up
First aired: October 9, 2014
US distributor: Aniplex
US streaming: Crunchyroll, Hulu

Popularity outside of Japan
Top countries: 
1. Philippines / Quezon City
2. Chile / Santiago
3. Indonesia
4. Canada / Toronto
5. United States

Review by Judy Winters
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Adapted from Naoshi Arakawa's manga series of the same name, Your Lie in April tells the story of piano prodigy Kousei Arima and his struggles to discover the beauty of music and life.

Synopsis

Although Kousei has played the piano since he was little, he has never truly enjoyed the music he produces. He was playing the piano to his mother's wishes. As a result, his performance was often too perfect - lacking any sense of joy or inspiration. When his strict and demanding mother died, Kousei felt responsible for her death since he was unable to meet his mother's lofty expectations. The psychological scar left him unable to hear the sound of his piano. Consequently, he decided to give up on his piano career. Two years later, Kousei meets a free-spirit violist named Kaori Miyazono. With Miyazono's help, Kousei is able to overcome his past and looks forward to the future. However, there is something about Kaori's past she has kept it hidden from Kousei.

Plot 

Unlike most shows adapted from manga, Your Lie in April has a proper ending. In my opinion, the series has one of the best endings for this genre. It is emotionally powerful yet conclusive. What is so captivating about the story is the characterization. People could relate with everyone of the main characters. Moreover, the screenwriters did an excellent job with the pacing. There is hardly any filler episode. The show could be quite emotional at times, which may be a problem for people who tend to be too emotionally invested.

Art Direction

The show is excellently animated with beautiful but unassuming visuals and colors. The character models are nicely detailed and are rarely off. The key scenes are solidly depicted. Overall, I can say the series has above-average production values.

Sound/Music

For a show about music, it does live up to the minimum expectations. Could the piano and violin pieces be better? Sure, but they are certainly adequate and do not distract you from enjoyment. I do like the final ending song. It is a little sad but memorable.

Verdict

Two thumbs up!

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