Originally written at 11/11/15
Current mood: Af feels. Shame on you!
《四月は君の嘘》is a sensational piece from 2014 Fall anime, along with Akatsuki no Yona and some others. When I say it’s a sensational piece, I don’t usually watch them *ahemSNKahem* even when the hype is gone. But there’re people out there pestering me to watch it, and it ends with 22 episodes, so I don’t really think it’s a hassle… until when I can’t find time to watch it. When I plan to watch it though, the video format is wrong and keeps crashing my video player (or lag everything ugh) so I had to call my ‘backup’ aka person who pestered me to watch the series for help. And she uploaded the whole 22 episodes for me in a mere hour!
Arima Kosei is your typical plain animu boy with glasses. Not particularly nerdy or bright, but he has one thing that all main characters need: some special talent. Kosei is a piano genius in his own right. However he stopped playing the piano after his mother died, claiming he can’t hear once he starts playing. His childhood friends Watari and Tsubaki, on the other hand, are complete opposites of him, being very athletic. Watari keeps a lookout for cute girls while Tsubaki longs for Kosei to play the piano again.
In April, Tsubaki introduces Kaori, a classmate and violinist, to Watari. She drags Kosei along because she thought it would be good for him to have someone to talk to about classical music. Kaori wants Kosei to play the piano, but he is reluctant. However with Kaori’s cheerful and bright (and sometimes devilish) demeanor, he gives in and tries.
Every time Kosei gets too immersed in the piano, he loses is ability to hear. He thinks it is punishment for not playing the piano according to the score. A curse his dead mother put on him as punishment for not listening to her. He thinks he is doomed to be alone, until Kaori assures him that she is right there with him on the stage. He regains himself and performed moderately on second try. However he ruined Kaori’s chance to be in finals and he feels guilty for that.
Using his guilt to her advantage, Kaori forces Kosei to participate in a competition. Kosei has no choice but to enter and he meets two old rivals, Takeshi and Emi, both who used to look up to Kosei’s ability. When Kosei gave up playing the two of them always hoped to see him again on stage with is magnificent skills. But when Kosei breaks down on stage, both of them were devastated. Takeshi had lost all motivation, but not Emi. Emi was determined to know what made Kosei come back so she attended a violin competition in which Kaori and Kosei were to perform. But Kaori never showed up, so Kosei ended up playing the piano alone, in stead of Kaori, and overcomes his own emotional trauma.
Tsubaki slowly realizes her feelings for Kosei. She constantly denies having any sort of feelings for him other than platonic affection. However whenever she sees Kosei and Kaori together talking about music, she doesn’t like it. When Kosei tells her he plans to go to a music school, Tsubaki breaks down and claims that music had always taken Kosei away from her, be it now or before. When Kosei finds out Kaori has been hospitalized, he goes to see her, but she claimed it was only because she was anemic, nothing serious. Kosei didn’t take it well though. He thought of his mother. Kaori assures Kosei, but he doesn’t fully buy it.
Seto, Kosei’s guardian and mentor, guides him through his piano lessons. She feels guilty for Kosei’s pain caused by his mother, because she was the one who suggested Kosei’s mother to make her son a pianist. Kosei meets Nagi, who is trying to make someone acknowledge her skills. Initially, Nagi wants Seto to be her mentor, however Seto told Kosei to take charge, and so Kosei started (brutally with no mercy) teaching Nagi. Nagi is stressed by all the pressure she has been receiving. Adults’ expectations, sneers from people who envy her skills and looks and friends who look up to her. Suddenly, after what Kaori said, Kosei asks if he could perform in Nagi’s school cultural festival alongside her, and she agrees. The two preform, and Nagi’s brother, who is Takeshi, found motivation to play the piano once again. Nagi is happy to see her brother as his old self again, and thanks Kosei.
Kaori is in terrible condition. She stops playing the violin due to her illness, and to ‘smite’ her, Kosei asks Watari to let Kaori hear his performance with Nagi live. The next time Kosei visits Kaori, he wants her to let him play the piano with her again. Kaori says it’s a promise and goes for physiotherapy everyday. She also agrees to undergo surgery. Watari and Kosei were on their way to visit Kaori, they witness a terrible scene in which Kaori almost loses her life. Kosei is traumatized by the event, thinking about how music had taken away those dear to him. Seto barges into his house to slap some sense into him, but Kosei has already returned to his former self. Kosei receives a note from Kaori stating that she wants sweets. Kosei buys some and visits her. They go to the rooftop just when it starts snowing. Kaori reveals that she will be undergoing surgery on his big day, and breaks down, revealing her inner feelings.
Kosei’s emotions are mixed on the day of the competition. He sits there and flies off to his own world, when Tsubaki’s sneeze breaks him from his trance. He realizes everyone is watching him and waiting for him to perform, and so he does. He feels Kaori there with him on the stage, and feels her leave the world. His emotions overflow at the end of his performance. Soon after Kaori’s parents hand over a letter addressed to Kosei. In it is the revelation of Kaori’s feelings and her motives, and one lie in April that set things in motion. Kaori never liked Watari. It was Kosei all along. When she realized she didn’t have much time left, Kaori told a lie so that she could meet Kosei.
Tsubaki, seeing that Kosei has lost two people dear to him, promises that she’ll never leave him alone. And so, our protagonists start a new spring without Kaori.
My thoughts: It lived up to my expectations and my friends praise. OHHH AND THE FEELS. RITE IN THE KOKORO! I lost count how many times I beat my chest out of heartache! Ugh my experience made me more prone to emotional breakdowns for no reason. I cried more than Death Parade and The Garden of Words combined! Continuously! With no breaks! Three episodes straight! But the ending did not shock me at all cause I read the last chapter of the manga just for the fun of it. And of course I knew Kaori was going to die, but not this soon… I mean I thought she would get to play the violin with Kosei. The letter was the point in which I cried buckets. The thought of reading a letter from someone who recently passed away is giving me goosebumps!
Well, so much for the ‘protagonist doesn’t die’ rule. The whole talk about piano pieces give me question marks all over, and I don’t know which is which because they all sound the same to me. But every piece is enjoyable. However if I were to sit and watch all these performance I might as well go to sleep, like Watari.
The question of life and death is quite significant in this one, considering Kosei had two people lost to him. In most shows we see people raging on about the unfairness of the world and how those close to them always die (hmm, is there an anime about this?) Mostly in tragedy and post-apocalyptic genres of anime and manga. But SWKNU is not labelled as tragedy, so idk?
Everything is as beautiful as it should be. I saw the youth lost, the sense of growing up and leaving your past behind. The pain of falling in love, and acceptance of your own feelings. The fear of losing someone important to you, be it death or just parting. And when everything is piled up, you cry, you cry to release the pain and suffering and express your relief in knowing that someone in this world knows how you feel and you are not alone. Someone will always be there for you, for better times or worse. A person may die but they will live forever in people’s hearts. Memories are a person’s legacy.