Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Your Lie In April: Anime Review

I occasionally watch anime.

Love is a strong word.

Yeah, okay, okay, maybe I watch it a little more than I let on. I'll be perfectly honest; the only reason I watched this anime was because a friend of mine whose opinion and intelligence I value highly suggested it to me, so I felt obligated to see it.

And I hate it.

Well, maybe hate is a strong word. I dislike it. And here's why.


Your Lie in April is about a fourteen year old boy called Kousei Arima, a pianist who has mommy issues.

It probably didn't help that his mom didn't have eyes for half the show.

No, but seriously, he has some bad mommy issues. Like his mom abuses him and makes him stay up late and/or go without eating so he practices piano. She dies of illness fairly early on, and Kousei is left to fend for himself because his father is out on business trips. Bad parenting, much?

It is revealed later in the anime that his mother was just extremely concerned about how Kousei would earn a living after she died, which is why she pressed him so hard. But that does not excuse the abuse she heaped on him. You are a terrible parent, madame.

Anyway. Kousei meets this girl called Kaori Miyazono, a violinist, who helps him get out of the trench of his depression and inability to play the piano (ever since his mom died, he apparently can't hear the sound of the piano). He learns to express his feelings through how he plays, and becomes one of the most successful pianists in the world.

I think. The anime cuts short right after (Major spoiler alert) Kaori dies of illness. Which you can, admittedly, see coming from miles away - but the anime does its absolute darnedest to keep you in denial until the very end.


Here's where I dislike Your Lie in April. I sat down with it for a nice cup of tea. I looked it in the eye and said "I dearly hope this is going to be worth it." Your Lie in April gave me a smug look and said, "GIVE ME YOUR FEELS."
I said, "No."
We then engaged in a furious tug-of-war, sometimes with me winning and sometimes with the anime ripping them feels right out of my hands and grinding them into the cold, hard ground, laughing while it did it.


That's reason #1 why I don't like it that much; Your Lie in April is so obviously tugging at your heartstrings it's painful. Admittedly, that's the point - it's a dramaish - but I do not like it when media begs for my emotional investment to my face.

Reason #2 I don't like Your Lie in April: teen drama. I hate teen drama. I used to be part of teen drama, and to some extent I still am, seeing as how I have a few teenage siblings. But what I especially don't like about teen drama is when 14 year olds get into relationships. Seriously? You're fourteen. This is not the time, nor the place, nor most definitely the person. Stay away. Stay far away.
You don't love him/her. You've fallen in love. That's emotional love, the kind of love that flickers and eventually fades. You need unconditional love, and you're far too young to understand how that works.

Reason #3 I don't like Your Lie in April: type of anime. I'm not into slice-of-life/musical/romantic dramas, which is why I hated Pride and Prejudice so much (just take away the 'musical' and add 'airheaded' in there). I'm more an action/adventure, thriller, mystery kind of guy. 

Ultimately, though, all those reasons come down to mostly personal preference. Your Lie in April is a great anime. The characters have great depth and development, the art style is amazing, the story enthralling (I watched all 22 episodes in one day - don't worry, I still had time for work) and the music enchanting. 
It's a solid, well put together show, and if you don't have the preferences I have, you should definitely watch it. Just because it's not my type doesn't mean it isn't an outstanding piece of media. Even if it isn't your type, you probably owe it a watch anyway. It's just one of those classic-genre works, like Pride and Prejudice or The Scarlet Letter. You may hate them, but they're still masterpieces, and they still deserve recognition.

10/10, give me my feels back.

Peace out.