REVIEW: ‘Your Lie in April’ evokes existential voyage

Staff Writer Henry Zhang writes that immersion into the outstanding cinematography and heartwarming storyline of 'Your Lie in April' can be the experience of a lifetime.

Courtesy Netflix

Staff Writer Henry Zhang writes that immersion into the outstanding cinematography and heartwarming storyline of 'Your Lie in April' can be the experience of a lifetime.

Henry Zhang, Staff Writer

Over the course of 22 episodes, the anime “Your Lie in April” took me through everything life can give you, from the timeless little moments to the deepest, most sincere emotions.

“Your Lie in April,” released in 2015, is a melodramatic slice-of-life-esque anime directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro. It is centered around middle schoolers Kosei, a troubled piano prodigy, and Kaori, a free-spirited violinist. After a family tragedy, Kosei had quit piano, but it was a painful and incomplete separation. He harbored deep conflictions about the instrument, a competition between his lifelong attraction to the instrument and the weight of his past traumatic experiences. In a fateful moment, he meets Kaori under the blooming cherry blossoms, and his life begins to change forever.

What comes next is a transcendental voyage about loss and life with absolutely stunning visuals, blissful music, and a story that is distinctly inspiring and relatable. It all comes together to leave an impression that will leave you deeply reminiscent.

When this anime first came out, it was hailed as a masterpiece–a show that invoked such a primal response that it was in a league of its own. Five years later, the show still has so much to offer and is no less enchanting, with its touching story, heartfelt music and gorgeous visuals.

Sometimes it is overlooked, perhaps due to its genre as an anime. But given its universal acclaim by critics and casual viewers alike, it is a worthwhile watch for anybody, regardless of taste.

Much of the story is centered around music, particularly classical, with the two protagonists developing and bonding through music’s power. This creates a fantastic appeal to musicians like myself, and brings the show even closer to our hearts. It gives our passion meaning, and although it’s only a TV show, the soul-wrenching power of music is given flesh and inspires. 

Despite its musical theme, the show is not limited in its scope. Its heartfelt messages about love, friendship, and loss are arguably the show’s main themes, which mesh beautifully with its visual and aural environment. This show demonstrates how to embrace the little moments, how to live with no regrets.

The show dilutes fundamental human experiences in a way that almost seems to answer the meaning of life and makes the series nothing less than a masterpiece.

The story is not perfect, and initially the pace, character development and sudden mood shifts can be awkward. In fact, I nearly stopped watching it in the beginning because of how inconsistent the mood seemed. However, now that I can judge it in its entirety, I am glad that I gave it one more chance. The show has its moments of sheer excellence, and the imperfections help make them shine even brighter.

So much of the experience comes from the immersion into the ambience, the environment, the music and the scenery. The quality and nature of the story guarantee that no amount of embellishment or meticulous word-play will ever do it justice, leaving the full experience only up to you to seek. 

It pulled on my heartstrings with no regret. The anime whisked away my emotional baggage but left me with something heavier.

It is, quite literally, the experience of a lifetime.

“Your Lie In April” can be streamed for free on Crunchyroll or with a subscription on Netflix. Each episode is about 22 minutes long. There are sub and dub options.