OP Sequence

OP: 「光るなら」 (Hikaru Nara) by Goose House

「モノトーン・カラフル」 (Monotōn ・Karafuru)
“Monotone ・ Colorful”

One thing’s for sure; April is Your Lie is one of the more gorgeous series to premiere this season.

This season I seem to be in good luck as far as anime adaptations go; both Shigatsu and Yona (which I’m now covering, yay!) are manga I read and enjoy, and both are series with solid premieres and beautiful art direction. Of the two shows, however, Shigatsu is certainly my favorite.

The premise revolves around a fourteen year old former child prodigy, Arima Kousei (Hanae Natsuki), who stopped playing the piano at age eleven after the death of his mother. He lives alone and spends his time with his friends, Tsubaki (Sakura Ayane) and Watari (Ohsaka Ryouta), though he clings to music in small ways here and there. Nevertheless, he refuses to pick up the piano despite Tsubaki’s encouragement and continues to live in a “monotone” manifestation of his depression. One day, however, he stumbles upon the beautiful Miyazono Kaori (Taneda Risa) playing a melodica (attempting to imitate the trumpet from Castle in the Sky in order to attract pigeons) in a park while waiting to meet with his friends. After a misunderstanding in which Miyazono mistakes Arima for a pervert, it turns out that she’s interested in Watari and being set up with him by Tsubaki, and as a result, all of them have been invited to see Miyazono play a recital.

This premiere was, in a word, gorgeous, and astonishingly lush in the art and in the direction as well. The color palette is warm and absolutely breathtaking, and it really helps highlight the character’s youth and, for the most part, their bubbliness. I loved the way the series approached Kaori’s free-spirited personality with plenty of nature motifs, and also the way it didn’t shirk away from much darker tones for use with Arima’s abusive treatment and subsequent depression. It’s a great work of contrast, and really helps to visually depict just how isolated Arima feels from everyone else’s normal lives.

More so than the visuals, however, I love this story. Arima has a complex problem with music; it doesn’t just stem from the grief at losing his mother, though that is certainly part of it. In playing music, Arima thought that he was doing something for his mother. He believed he was making her happy by playing the piano how she instructed him to, and no matter how much she hit and reprimanded him, he childishly hoped it would somehow heal her. On top of that, his mother imposed a very specific musical philosophy on him, one that he has been unable to break away from, and one which Kaori ultimately rejects with her entire being. It’s no wonder then that meeting Kaori is such a striking moment for him, and no wonder that a vibrant and happy person like her would shake up and color his world.

That being said, I’m ecstatic to see one of my favorite manga adapted so nicely, at least for now. I fervently hope that the two cour format will help do it some justice and, so far, this is running as candidate for best anime premiere of the season in my book.


ED Sequence

ED: 「キラメキ」 (Kirameki) by wacci


End Card


  1. This series… I’m going to need more than a few tissues in the coming months. I mean did you see that opening? Did you see all that water? It’s foreshadowing. Those are the tears of the fans from the future.

    1. It’s on CrunchyRoll.

      Loved this first episode to bits. The great thing about this is that the manga and anime are going to finish around the same time so hopefully with 2 cours we’ll have the complete story told well. Really looking forward to it and so far the anime has more than done the manga justice.

  2. Imagine my surprise when I heard Goose House doing the opening! They’ve come a long way from when I first discovered them covering RADWIMPS a few years back.

    And damn, is this show pretty.

  3. having read the few chapters than are scanlated of the manga i was looking forward to this as much as parasyte and wasn’t disappointing in either, however i found myself getting more annoyed at the cast near the end (during the introduction of friend A) than i did of it’s manga counterpart.

  4. I read the premise on myanime and was totally impressed when it turned out that his issue with his mothers death is actually pretty atypical and complex.
    I have a feeling if I truly pick up watching this series I’m definitely gonna be boarding the feels train…
    Oh well, why not?

  5. personally the pilot episode that stood out the most this season. me being a sucker for this genre doesnt hurt ;p

    i rarely pick up a series per season but to have at least 4 catch my interest this season…my fall is gonna packed XD

  6. As much as I love the manga, I have a feeling we’ll get a bittersweet ending in March, probably a sweet one in Arima’s musical career and a bitter one in his love life.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    The Story You Don't Know
  7. Beautiful show indeed. They definitely weren’t stingy with the usage of colors and contrast. Never read the source material but judging from the above comments and bits and pieces of foreshadowing it probably looks like this just might be my drama fix for the season.

    Thanks for picking and blogging this Kairi!

  8. Talk about a pleasant surprised, there’s definitely potential for a great character-driven story here, one with good visuals & music to boot. Also,that was some good characterization we got there in this 1st episode which further reinforces my belief that shows truly want present some well-written characters will at least give signs of that from the very beginning.

    You got some fine picks this season Kairi 🙂

  9. My annoyance with the accidental pervert scene was really high, though that’s only because I loved the rest of the episode so much. The male protagonist was introduced well: In fact, he already seems to have a bit of depth to him. How his mother treated him, and turned something beautiful into something dark… it’s just awful. The only part I didn’t care for was the comedy (including, again, that horribly annoying pervert cliché).

    The art and music are top notch as well. It was an audiovisual treat! The character designs in particular are striking. They’ve made a good balance between “realistic” and “moe”, retaining the distinctiveness and cuteness of each respectively. I hope to see more of this style in the future.

    Overall it was definitely the best first episode I’ve seen this season.

    I’m glad to hear you’re covering AnY as well, Kairi. It looks like I’ll be reading a lot of your posts this season. 🙂

    1. It’s good that the protagonist’s past is shown from the start. I always got annoyed when a character’s back story gets told in the middle of the series with no indication of it in the beginning. It always felt like a cheat to make me sympathize with a character.

  10. this is so pretty it’s almost physically painful to look at. I have been itching for a new romantic anime to sink my teeth into and A-1 Pictures is literally salting the steak with this one.

  11. Visually breathtaking, the colors are really lush and some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen in anime, this is a series I would have expected to be released in Spring but what the hell, we are very much happy with it now!

    As far as slice of life and music goes, I think I won’t be disappointed by this anime, but as far as romance goes…I have this terrible feeling we will have our fair share of angst, disappointment and tears when watching this…gah! I already feel nervous in advance!

  12. A1-Pictures and romance do not match. Traditionally, shows like that are under the purview of JC Staff. But I guess A1-Pictures is trying to cement its position by exploring different genres.

  13. Huge contender for AOTS for me right now. I don’t know the story, but even after an amazing first episode, I don’t feel inclined to spoil myself the details either. After watching the first episode, I read the first chapter, and it’s pretty much the same 1 for 1; but the anime truly breathes life into it by adding the musical scores, the characters gleefully moving along with the tune, and all the snappy and smooth animations in between. Especially if you compare the artwork, I really think the anime has really outdone itself– the manga is not a viable substitute for me right now.

    And holy shit! Did anyone else catch that Kaori is basically Ayaya’s gaijin-Karen impression? That voice is just way too cute!! The only other thing that has really stood out to me after that is the fact that GOOSE HOUSE (Oto no Naru Hou e→ from Gin no Saji II ED) is doing the opening!! I can’t stress how big of a dream match-up this is for me right now, this shit is succeeding way too hard in my eyes.

  14. The OP sold me. This is probably my #1 show of the season. I’m a sucker for music, especially violins/pianos! I felt the tears welling up during this first one. I’m strapped in and ready to go!
    Looking forward to watching this with you, Kairi!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *