Your Lie In April? More Like Your Lie For All Eternity

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I’m crying! Sympathize with me! – college girls trying to convince their professors to bump their grade up¹. And it’s even more pathetic when this anime does it.

I was trying to watch the third episode of Your Lie In April recently and I just couldn’t finish it. For all its prettiness, this show is boring, stupid, and most of all, it’s tasteless. I’m not even going to perform my usual spiel regarding how A-1 Pictures can’t make a good anime to save their life, because this is the first time since Tsuritama that they produced something that didn’t look like it was made by colored farts, so it’s clear they care about this product. My problems go more towards the fact that the product they’re adapting is more Catherine Tramell than it is Jessica Rabbit.

I’ve been reading some of the positive word that’s been thrown around regarding this show and I haven’t found a single one that isn’t grounded in anything resembling logic apart from some people relating to these kids (in which case I’m sorry you had to go through what Kousei does). They’re always fueled by emotion, praising the visuals and the innocence with no regard to what’s actually happening on screen. Yes, a good chunk of what makes anime good comes from the visuals. Yes, making sense is overrated. But whilst a good chunk of what I love about, say, the Speed Racer movie comes from the visuals, the actual story has to be passable at the very least. It has to have some grounding in a logical sense. Even obtuse stuff like Paranoia Agent had grounding to its mindfuck nature.

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And Your Lie In April’s biggest problem is that the core story is inherently flawed when even the slightest bit of logic is applied to it. It’d be one thing if there was some actual grit (not the same thing as dramatics) to the situation between Kouhei and his magical girlfriend that takes an interest in him for the most contrived of reasons, Saturday Night Fever-style, but there’s none. It’s more along the line of manipulative crap like Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora. You know. That short hospital drama anime that was supposed to be a touching love story between two hospitalized teenagers, and yet she nearly kills the main dude when she catches him with porno mags (amongst other things) because she’s the one who’s going to die, and thus she has the right to do whatever she wants?!

– Oh, and don’t think I didn’t notice that girl getting off at the hospital. If that means what I think it does, it’s proof that Your Lie In April has even less taste than Kanon. At least Ayu didn’t realize her condition when she was leading the main dude on, y’know?

The show is desperately lying to both itself and the audience that it can pull off the troubled teenagers falling in love story, but it’s using elements that are out of its league. It’s possible that these childishly stupid methods that the other characters use to try and get Kousei out of his slump will end up backfiring on him later, but why not have it happen now? Why have the dude fall for Kaori’s shitty sobfest? And I don’t buy the “using music to run away from problems” excuse either, because Kousei’s trauma is inherently rooted to music itself. None of the trauma that John Travolta suffered in Saturday Night Fever had anything to do with disco, and that’s why he uses it to run away from reality. Don’t even get me started on what this anime thinks qualifies as comedy. Family Guy levels of tasteless is all I have to say regarding it.

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It’s almost like this anime is trying to have its cake and eat it too in regards to being a serious story whilst still being “fun” for the audience, and it’s doing a far worse job of compromising than Amagi Brilliant Park. Actually, that’s pretty much exactly what’s happening here. Terrible compromises happen all the time in anime-land, and Your Lie In April drew a really short straw on their end of the deal. And it’s a shame, because all it needs is a little bit of a tonal change to fix its problems. I’m not going to blame people for getting sucked into the atmosphere or anything, but if you try to deny to me that your product is toxic, you’ll just be fighting a losing battle.

– Opening song is still catchy though.

¹ I’m not joking. There were some girls at my university who did the sob fest routine to bump their Cs into Bs. And it worked too.

11 responses to “Your Lie In April? More Like Your Lie For All Eternity

  1. Reblogged this on nolazyway and commented:
    As someone who read the manga before watching the anime, I agree with this point of view (the logical one), since I end up seeing most things the same way.

    However, the quality of “Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso” (or “Your Lie in April” or “April is Your Lie” or whatever you wanna call it) lies in its ability to have the READER completely engrossed. Which is largely dependent on the pace the reader himself chooses to read and take things in at.

    The “story”, as I see it, is not at all important for this kind of work, since I’ve read manga about cooking, farming or just living your daily life, that are similar. And I agree completely, having a 14-year-old kid jump into his trauma under the pretext of “are you gonna run away forever” is simply wrong. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to confront a trauma, especially in this case, since he doesn’t need his ability to play piano to lead a normal life at all.

    In the end, I think the manga is good, but not because of its story, but the way it is constructed. It is extremely absorbing and fun to read. But that doesn’t work in anime-format. And it is completely obvious to me why: The average time i need for one chapter is about 2-4 minutes. That might tell you more about my pace of reading than about the manga itself, but i doubt anyone takes more than 10 minutes per chapter. THE ANIME TAKES 20 MINUTES PER CHAPTER so it is not at all surprising why it feels like crap, because all merits the manga had are thrown out of the window simply by the act of making it an anime.

    Also, as of yet, there is no conclusion to the story, so it’s dumb to make it into an anime. Period.

    Thank you nonetheless for this critique Mr.Flawfinder, and have a nice day.

  2. That opening is the only reason I’m still watching this. That, and it’s a good reliever after watching stuff like Re: Hamatora, Durarara, and Parasyte.

  3. While I watched this episode I kept waiting for someone to point out how unsettling this sledgehammer approach to Kouseis issues actually is; and got dissappointed.

    But I’m still hesitant to condemn the show just yet. Whatever happened this week might get adressed later on, you never know. I mean, the comedic harassment was totally overplayed, even for KimiUso’s standards.

    So, until I can see how self-aware Your Lie In April really is, I’m interested. Maybe it redeems itself, maybe its just stupid hijinks all the way. At least I’m actually looking forward to the next episode, something you cant say about a lot of other anime.

    • While I watched this episode I kept waiting for someone to point out how unsettling this sledgehammer approach to Kouseis issues actually is; and got dissappointed.

      This has been going on since the first episode though. Episode 3 just brought things to a boiling point when Kaori used her tears to convince Kousei to play. If he had refused, I would have had some faith. But I could care less whether he succeeds or fails now.

      At least I’m actually looking forward to the next episode, something you cant say about a lot of other anime.

      I’ve got seven or so other anime I’m looking forward to regarding their next installment. That’s plenty in my opinion.

  4. I think its good . (a lot of feels) . its not that bad . I think it has a deeper meaning than what we are seeing

  5. I’m happy there are people who aren’t completely sold on the story. I was starting to think I’m some sort of heartless btch. I mean, the only thing that elicited any form of sadness from me was the fact that the characters were too thick as to not figure out that Kaori liked Kousei from the beginning. She spends most of her remaining time with him and constantly meddles with his life because he’s too much of a pushover to say “Could you fcking not tell me what to do”. Yet he doesn’t tell her that he likes her because she’s “his bestfriend’s girlfriend”. It really wouldn’t hurt to ask something the lines of “Hey, why do you spend so much time with me when you’re dating my friend?” It must suck to be extremely dense.

    Kousei’s talent is vague. Like, the story spends half the time talking about how “life-changing” his music is and the other time about how it’s “mechanical” and “robotic”. Those things are hard to grasp. I could listen to an average piano player play music and find it life-changing depending on the score he plays. What the story should really talk about is what makes him a great piano player, what is his technique.

    I’m still confused about Kousei’s mother, what happened that made her like that? I mean, “Do she love him, do she love him not?”

    I won’t even begin to talk about how annoying Kaori is. The only “feel” I got from this manga is irritation, really.

    (I’m sorry, I just had to let it out)

  6. I see people questioning many things but there are a few flaws of these arguments you’ve missed. 1. For a little bit you made a whole thing about hating another show and acting like the two were somehow correlated. 2. Their stupid plots are because they’re idiotic middle schoolers (like me!!!) 3. How is it that they’re saying escaping trauma is wrong? It is if you NEVER confront it and ruin your life like Kousei did but honestly facing up to the piano and the emotional package brought with it was the real point. Kousei did not fear music or was in a slump: his abusive mother who beat him so he’d play piano perfectly died, the last words he said to her were “I’ll never play piano to make you feel better again cause I don’t care!!!”, he can’t hear music and has massive panic attacks when performing or trying to focus on playing, and piano actually IS his passion which he doesn’t want to face up to because of his mother and his haunting guilt over basically 60-70% of his life. This rant about sums up the story and why I don’t find it all too bad. I’ve seen some much crazier shit in real life happen.

  7. Coming from somone who plays classical music this kind of story is very relatable. It speaks more of the feeling of music and less of actual technical ability. At first they relate his playing to robotic and a slave to the score but as the story progresses upon the arrival of wataries girlfriend (Excuse name spelling). Not sure how people would get confused by the plot progression of his playing ability. And for the person that said they could listen to an average player play and still be moved depending on score, your understanding of classical music is lacking, you could have two professional players play the same score one after the other and can sound completely different. Emotion plays a huge roll in music and this anime tries to tackle that deeper level that is present.

    I believe that this was a very good and emotion driven anime with a developing plot. Mind you, It was quite fast in its pace but having been based off a manga that is to be expected. I believe more time should have been focused on Kouseis relationship and less on the little blond girl (again excuse my memory) and some of the plot is pretty predictable but foreshadowing is part of the process. Plenty of character development within four of the main/secondary characters. All and all 9/10 potentially my favorited anime to date. Curious as to how much my music background influences my view point though.