Your Lie in April Review

Review Header Shigatsu

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso | 四月は君の嘘 
Kodansha, Naoshi Arakawa
A-1 Pictures, Directed by Kyōhei Ishiguro, 2014


Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is a shounen manga by Naoshi Arakawa. It has been adapted into an anime of 22 episodes.

The story is about a fourteen year old boy suffering from the trauma of childhood abuse. He is a piano prodigy and his terminally ill mother abused him and pushed him too far. After his mother dies, Arima, Kousei  can no longer hear piano notes.

He has two best friends named Sawabe, Tsubaki and Watari, Ryouta who try to help them in ways they can. However, his mood becomes better when he meets Miyazono Kaori, a violent, carpe-diem violist!

I prefer the anime over the manga. The manga is obviously at a disadvantage, because music plays a key role in the story. There are a few concerts in the manga, and you’ll have to trust on the narration . But this isn’t the reason I prefer the anime.

I prefer the anime, because it has a beautiful way of portraying emotions and images that the manga doesn’t quite match. The manga has beautiful panels, but in the anime these are replaced with beautiful scenery and animations of expressions. I think that it adds more atmosphere when you can see the expressions of the characters change and watch them move. However, the comedy cuts with weird expressions sometimes feel too awkward right after an emotional scene. In the manga these are just small panels, so it doesn’t disturb the weight of the scene.

The anime does a great job at expressing the feelings of Arima. He feels trapped and depressed. The colours of the anime are usually less saturated when he is narrating, especially at the start of the story, when he is still feeling extremely depressed. Then comes Miyazono, who is portrayed with saturated colours in many scenes. Her cheerfulness is displayed through the use of colour and composition. So, it seems as if she literally brightens up his world. This use of colour is used throughout the rest of the anime, so keep an eye out for it!

The manga and anime follow the same plot, so if you would rather indulge in just one medium, you won’t miss out on anything. The plot is narrative has good pacing. It’s impressive and realistic that Arima doesn’t magically start playing the piano again, because the plot requires him to do so. Instead, you really see him fighting against himself and his feelings to overcome whatever is holding him back. The scene where he finally accepts everything is beautiful in both the manga and the anime. Whatever tragedies can happen afterwards, he feels ready to deal with these without the same feelings.

It is quite an emotionally heavy show, but it sticks to the “realm” of the fourteen mind. Arima, for example, has much heavier feelings and darker thoughts. However, Sawabe does not have such traumas and her problems and feelings are different, but they’re still treated as valid, and such her feelings are heavy too.

Overall, it’s a good manga and I would recommend it to read it and it’s a beautiful anime.


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