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« Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – 20

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso – 21, 22 (END)

「雪 & 春風」 (Yuki & Harukaze)
“Snow & Spring Breeze”

Seeing how episode 21 and 22 could be lumped together as one SUPER episode, it makes sense that the post would come out that way, right? In all seriousness though, Takaii here, back to cover the final two episodes for Shigatsu due to some unforeseen technical issues. With that out of the way, let’s jump straight into the final impressions as soon as I get a chance to wipe all the tears off my face and keyboard.

Final Impressions

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso has been one hell of a ride for those of you who managed to hold on. What started as a simple slice-of-life that revolved around Kousei and his piano playing antics quickly turned into an anime that dove straight into the depths of what it means to come to term with death as well as the immense ripples that come from losing someone extremely important to you. Along the way we also got to see what it means to really be true rivals who are in it to better themselves and even got to see some of the sticky situations that can come about when your emotions just become too much to handle. But before we dive into this final impression, I just wanted to give a huge thanks to everyone who’s been coming back to read these posts every week! There haven’t been a huge number of you but I (and Zanibas) appreciate the time you spend here reading and leaving comments.

Emotional Rollercoaster

If you asked me how I would describe this show (or what my favorite part about it is), I would instantly say it’s the best kind of emotional rollercoaster you could go on. With twists and turns that don’t push the envelope of reality too hard, the show preps you during the first twelve or so episodes by getting you attached to all the characters and their respective struggles. Then without any warning the story starts to hit you in the feels over and over without giving a damn about who’s in the room with you.

Using Kousei’s mom Saki as a prime example, I nearly died inside when we hit episode thirteen and the story revealed just how much of a doting mother she was. After being introduced to us as a slave driver pianist who pushed her son to the point that he nearly had a mental breakdown, I was very vocal to friends about how much Saki fit into that typical tiger mom but worse type of mentality. But as the story progressed and we learned that she was fighting an illness that she knew was going to take her life, things rapidly started changing as the truth slowly appeared. Her cold demeanor wasn’t a lack of love but her disgust with her inability to give her one and only child all the love in the world, her forceful ways not out of spite but depression from knowing she’d be unable to fulfill her role as Kousei’s mom, but most importantly the dark figure we saw in Kousei’s mind was just something from his imagination and the true person was a loving mother who would do anything for her child.

All of which came together in a one powerful episode and had me bawling like a little baby as I realized just how sad the whole situation was.

Powerful Side Characters

While this is a show that’s mostly focused around Kousei and Kaori, there’s no denying that all the people surrounding them were important in their own right. As time passes and people start to forget about everyone besides Watari, Tsubaki and Hiroko I thought it would be nice to highlight some of things that the minor characters did that really pulled the story together. From Hiroko’s daughter Koharu and Nagi who provided some relief when the story was getting too emotional to Kaori’s Mom and Dad that managed to express volumes with only a couple of lines, all the way to Emi and Takeshi being a source of conflict when the story was in an awkward period as the focus started to transition to Kaori’s illness, they all played a role in making this show as great as it was.

Team Tsubaki

I know what the true OTP should be, but I’ll be the first to let you know that I was cheering for the osasanajimi the entire time. Had we known a little earlier that the title of this anime was based off of the single lie Kaori told and what that single lie meant, I might have been Team Kaori. But as things stand, TEAM TSUBAKI!

Final Words

After watching the final episode and getting answers to all my burning questions, I’m almost at a loss for words. I wanted to write something about Kaori up in the emotional rollercoaster section but I don’t think I could earnestly write my feelings about her without addressing some of the problems I had with her character. Honestly, I was never a gigantic fan because of how she behaved but was always appreciative of how she managed to get Kousei on his feet and had him moving forward with his head up. But when you realize that part of it was the fact she really didn’t have much time left, can you really blame her? Anyways, thinking about all of it gets the residual tears rolling so I’ll leave it at that for now.

All in all I was extremely satisfied with this show. With its spectacular execution with nearly everything and only a couple spots that felt a little too drawn out (typically in-between the heavy hitting emotional sections), I would have no reservations recommending this show to anyone. That said, it is a show focused on the lives of teenagers so those with low tolerance for a little bit of nonsense and whining may have difficulty making it through the first few episodes. But even if that describes you, I would probably pester you and say it’s all worth it in the end.

So before this post gets any longer, let me end with another thank you to everyone who’s been keeping up with the posts for this show. I know this finale post is coming out a little late but better late than never, right? Anyways, I’ll catch you guys around the bend when spring rolls around once again!

March 26, 2015 at 9:28 pm
45 comments »
  • March 26, 2015 at 9:38 pmdimasok

    I want more. Give me season 2, 3, 4. Hell, make it longer than Naruto, Bleach and One Piece combined :)

    • March 26, 2015 at 10:52 pmdanes256

      sorry to break the new but the manga have ended in the same way

  • March 26, 2015 at 9:42 pmdemi

    this series = wait over 12 episodes for her to die

    • March 27, 2015 at 2:26 amWarriorsHeart

      Just like a Korean drama.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:21 pmanothercat

    It’s unfortunate that they skipped how entranced the audience was during and after Kousei’s performance, because it emphasized even more how powerful and intense his performance was, how his feelings and emotions came across, and how deeply moved all the cast was. Almost everyone was overwhelmed and in tears. So as a manga reader, I was just a bit disappointed in that regard, but of course the end was still outstanding nonetheless.

    • March 26, 2015 at 11:46 pmShocked

      Yes, they should have included those scenes, it emphasize greatly of Kousei’s ability, as well as his feelings during his piece. I was moved when I read the manga.

    • March 27, 2015 at 12:51 amricz

      Same here… I’m kinda disappointed w/ the first half of the last episode but overall I still love it

    • March 27, 2015 at 9:57 amRLeo

      I agree.

      Actually I feel that some parts were a little bit rushed (e.g., Nagi arc and the final performance).

      But we always have the manga.

    • March 27, 2015 at 3:45 pmsealouse

      About that. I’m assuming he took 1st place in the competition yes? Did they elaborate on that in the manga?

      • March 27, 2015 at 9:46 pmRLeo

        Nope. But is implicit, given the outstanding ovation he received, and also the reaction from Takeshi and Emi.

    • May 17, 2015 at 10:34 pmALEPH

      I don’t think it would have been a good idea. This series was never about the competition really, and those scenes you talk about would have put the relationship with Kaori in the background, making it feel that it was more about the contest than his dying friend, almost like Kaoris death served the purpose of elevating Arima to music perfection and to arouse the audience. Arima played great and that was enough to show his development.

      In the manga things are different because you can take the time to reflect and pace yourself, but in the anime the transition from the praise of the audience scene to the letter of Kaori would have felt kinda frivolous. I think the scriptwriters realized this. That is my opinion at least.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:28 pmsmokex365

    I was holding back tears that whole episode. While I’m sad that Koari did lose here fight in the end I’m satisfied with how it all played out. At the very least she died “her own way” with a few regrets as you could have in that situation.

    I think the biggest flaw in the show way that is way too separated into two halves, both story wise and airing wise. Blending the two halves better would have made for a better show but at the same thing the distinct separation of the two cours might have been what made it so addictive.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:34 pmCherrie

    I’m also quite conflicted with how I feel about the ending. On one hand, I don’t want to bash on Kaori because that’s just really bad taste =S. On the other hand, I never truly felt the love and relationship that bonded between Kaori and Kousei. Even at the very end, I get that she loves him but it’s almost too little too late for me and although I empathize with her and definitely feel a lot of sorrow for her, I feel like they’re just not meant to be. Like Takaii, I was a Tusbaki fan until the end and even though a lot of people might not see it, I felt like her feelings for Kousei were more justified and came with a proper development and back story. I thought her reactions to what happened were very natural and she had the guts to admit that she liked him. I know they’re not OTP or canon, but to me, Tusbaki is going to be that person for Kousei in the future and I hope (in my own fantasy) that she’s the one he’ll inevitably end up with.

    Overall, I can’t complain too much other than that lack of connection I felt towards Kaori and Kousei’s relationship. It should be the backbone of this series but I wish they spent more time demonstrating why HE meant so much to HER without saving it all to the end. It has the shock factor, but doesn’t solidify that relationship for me. It was great work on the title though – now we know why it’s called Your Lie in April =)

    • March 27, 2015 at 1:25 amTakaii

      http://randomc.net/image/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso/Shigatsu%20wa%20Kimi%20no%20Uso%20-%2022%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

      Team Tsubaki. Can you imagine how mad we all would have been if Kousei didn’t play? >:(

      • March 27, 2015 at 9:40 pmRLeo

        Yes! I’m totally Team Tsubaki. She was there always, from the very beginning. She knows him better than anyone. She asked for help for him when nobody else did (and because she was aware of her own limits).

        And Kaori knew that, and was jealous, and was prudent enough to interfere.

    • March 27, 2015 at 3:22 amMentar

      You’re not alone.

      My main problem is that I have difficulties squaring Kaori’s outer and supposedly “inner” personality. We have an extremely outgoing girl, who is literally browbeating Kousei into doing her bidding. However, at the same time she is unable to honestly approach him because “there didn’t seem to be the space around him”. Really?

      Unfortunately, this is the idea that the whole story revolves around. And if this idea lacks credibility in the eyes of the viewer, the whole story takes massive damage.

      I was very happy with the beginning, got my doubts in the middle where more characters were added which in the end were irrelevant and didn’t _really_ bring the story ahead, and the ending… sorry. I was unable to suspend disbelief. The Kaori I’ve come to like would have been able to pursue Kousei openly.

    • March 27, 2015 at 6:17 amMgMaster

      Romance ain’t exactly Shigatsu’s strong point but it wasn’t exactly it’s main appeal either. I think should’ve touched the subject even less tbh, as in…I could’ve done without Kaori saying how she loved Kousei at the end and her whole plan of getting close to him – she never struck me as someone manipulative. Kaori can be seen as a plot device that greatly contributes to Kousei’s development and but hey, at least she’s a great plot device!

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:45 pmTopboy

    Would it be better if she don’t lie?

    I known it easier for her to ask Tsubaki to help introduce her as Wataru Gf and Kousei friend A.
    But She could just introduced herself to Kousei (same situation as in Ep 1)
    Start as friend developed to Gf without Lie.
    I known Kaori still sick and passed away but at less both Kousei and Kaori could have great moment together.

    You lie in April —> My love in April.

  • March 26, 2015 at 10:57 pmbossarvin

    This series had some shortcomings along the way but that ending… that ending is probably the most wonderful thing I’ve seen. Almost a week after and I’m still hurting when I think about it. The final episode is just perfect. I hate it because Kaori had to die but there is no denying that it is beautiful. I want Kousei to be happy and I would have wanted to see Kaori and Kousei perform together but that’s just how it is, life doesn’t give you what you want. One week after and now as I’m typing this I’m really fighting off tears (I’m a t work). Really great ending and I’m happy there are people who watched it. Thanks for covering RC!

  • March 26, 2015 at 11:00 pmsnail on a tour

    Ugh You could really feel Kousei’s emotions emanating from the piano T_T just like a story being told. I’m quite sure even if I closed my eyes I could tell what was happening.

  • March 27, 2015 at 12:06 amTehJawknee

    Personally, I have to put this up there with Air and Clannad in terms of emotional rollercoasters. Yes, we tend to root for the mega happy ending, but a sad end like this is just as if not more powerful. Yes, Kaori treated Kousei like a punching bag half the time, and she wasn’t honest with him until after she does, but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. To Kousei, this will be the one girl he connected with most in the world and she’ll always live in that little corner of his heart. Tsubaki may have won in that she’ll end up with him in the end, but he will always think of Kaori when he’s on the piano. And no matter what she does, Tsubaki can’t change that.

  • March 27, 2015 at 12:59 amricz

    Hands down to Kaori who struggle with all her might even knowing that the chances are extremely slim and because of that she manage to experience a colorful life w/ Kousei and the gang

    Thank you for everything Shigatsu

  • March 27, 2015 at 1:02 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    Yeah, the first 9-10 episodes were a bit rough for me to watch due to Kousei’s treatment, but the rest of the series after definitely made up for it. I’d say the hardest bit was with Kaori’s image during Kousei’s performance and seeing “her heart explode” into those lights, followed by showing her clearly gone in the hospital, and Kousei begging her not to go in his mind…definitely an emotional roller-coaster…

  • March 27, 2015 at 1:10 amIgniteous

    I’m sad now.

  • March 27, 2015 at 1:21 amKaba

    Thats an ending I will never, ever, EVER watch again.
    I don’t need to cry that much.
    I am a grown ass man and I sat down wiping away tears while holding back some more.
    Nah
    Also, childhood friends are played out Kaori ftw.

  • March 27, 2015 at 1:23 amTakaii

  • March 27, 2015 at 2:22 amSynic

    Thanks for covering the show! It’s been awesome keeping up with the show just to come here and read the comments.

    I loved this show. For me, it didn’t matter who ended up with who. I had a small glimmer of hope that kaori would indeed be saved but having that swiftly taken away during Kousei’s performance basically left me sobbing uncontrollably. I definitely sat with team Tsubaki during the course of the show but I’m left to wonder who Kousei is thinking about if he’s playing “sensually” now. Truly a bittersweet ending.

    As far as believability goes, I can take Kaori’s backstory as is because I KNEW she somehow had something to do with Kousei’s first performance as a kid. Switching to violin and dreaming of playing with him… It makes my eyes water thinking back to when she started dreaming of waltzing with him “again” – because she was dreaming as a kid…and then the scene on the hospital roof… Ahh… It stings.

    I’ll be honest, I wanted a happy ending. But bittersweet endings that are done right are much more memorable. Shigatsu was one of those anime/manga that I found by chance and after experiencing it with you all here at RC, it’s definitely moving its way into my favorites. This show exceeded my expectations.

    Thank you again for picking up this show during the second half!

  • March 27, 2015 at 3:29 amErimaki

    This was a show I really, really wanted to like. Heck, there were several scenes that made me think I would normally have fallen in love with it… By the end of it I recognize the show as good, but I can’t honestly say I completely like it…

    The unfortunate problem for me was Kousei’s friends (Kaori and Tsubaki mostly) unintentionally bullying him emotionally and that being portrayed as a universally good thing. Or rather, the second part of it, because the first can still be explained as them being kids and not fully understanding their actions.
    Kaori was the strangest case, because her actions do make a certain kind of sense now after the story, but during the course of it, she could really get aggrevating at times.

    But to focus on the good parts, the musical parts were always top-notch (the first few times seeing awkward CGI hands excluded) and all the characters were great and enjoyable most of the time. For the record, this does include Kaori, Tsubaki and Watari despite my above complaint about them. I especially liked the rivalry between Aiza, Emi and Kousei and the pure cuteness provided by Hiroko’s daughter (didn’t remember her name was Koharu).
    And of course, the emotionally taxing parts of the story were handled really well, all them feels in the last episode…

    In short, to me Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso was a great series that was unfortunately brought down by some unfortunate implications that haunted it until the end.

  • March 27, 2015 at 5:13 amchad28_69

    I gave it a 10/10 and it went to my favorite tv anime list. It was amazing.
    Even if I knew from the start that she was going to die, I don’t recall exactly why or in what moment but I knew she was going to die.
    His mother died, he can’t play the piano and the girl he likes, likes his best friend (apparently)if he doesn’t have a right to complain who does? I would never in a million years classify that as whining. But, then again I wouldn’t classify the early show as bullying so…
    I loved the show. Thank you Takaii and Zanibas for covering it.

  • March 27, 2015 at 6:20 amMgMaster

    My thoughts on Shigatsu:

    + Fantastic character development for Kousei with a proper closure
    + The supporting cast serves it’s purpose well, to help Kousei move forward
    + Kousei’s trauma is well portrayed, making for some good drama
    + Overall a well-structured story that didn’t loose track of it’s main purpose, a.k.a. Kousei’s development
    + Good/great classical music performances
    + Good visuals when it matters the most
    + Great atmosphere overall

    - Bad and random comedy that ruins the serious dramatic moments
    - Show can get awfully melodramatic quite often
    - Lacks subtlety when it’s the type of show that’d benefit greatly from it, even in some of it’s better, non-melodramatic moments
    - Obvious emotional manipulation by using the sick girl trope with Kaori, instead of letting the audience decide how they should feel towards her
    - Heavy usage of the manic pixie dream girl trope early on in a show that takes itself very seriously. I ended up accepting it in the end but they could’ve at least tone it down a notch.
    - Character interactions weren’t very good most of the time, the main offender here being between Kousei & Kaori, which should’ve been a given

    For a while now I’ve come to embrace the fact that it comes down to how much do the pros & cons weigh for each of us. I value character interactions a lot, and Shigatsu kind of failed at that so it was a big downer for me. I also value the main character(s) development a lot, and Shigatsu did a damn good job at that, so a big plus there. I don’t think I need to go on with this, you guys get where I’m coming from.

    Now let’s talk about teh feelz:

    Shigatsu relies a lot on how much feels you’ll get after all, way too much I’d say. But it’s fun to get lost in the feels, IMO, so just going with it might not be so bad. I enjoy all teh feelz as well and have no intention of turning into a cold logic bastard – tried it, it had it’s charms but then I tried the former as well, it was way more fun.

    Alas, feels alone won’t make a show great for me and even then, Shigatsu has the problem where the feels you get aren’t really genuine in that if you don’t deliberately let yourself be emotionally manipulated, you might not even get them, or not as much anyway. I did let myself be emotionally manipulated because my purpose was mainly to enjoy the show, rather than criticize it. It worked but there’s a limit to how well it worked.

    Oh and I do think it’s incredibly overrated on MAL but overrated =/= bad.

  • March 27, 2015 at 10:04 amRLeo

    Few words to say after that ending. I love Kaori’s letter. I was entranced during last Kousei’s performance (and bawling at the end).

    Thank you Takaii and Zanibas, for all your work posting this show.

  • March 27, 2015 at 10:21 amPrimehector

    • March 27, 2015 at 5:40 pmweasl

      I actually went back to look for her in the manga and she was there as well.

  • March 27, 2015 at 11:25 amThePointman

    Again!

    -Kaori

  • March 27, 2015 at 11:33 amMormegil

    I think the ending was very cruel, in a long string of cruel things happening to Kousei. I feel like this is one of the few times where a happy ending would have worked better. Instead, it just feels like it’s set up to be a tragic, sad tale for the sake of being tragic and sad. Kousei already lost his mother to the same disease. There wasn’t any point in Kaori dying.

    • March 28, 2015 at 6:12 amHanabira.Kage

      No one ever said they had the same disease.

  • March 27, 2015 at 2:25 pmNico

    Breaking through my Top 10 list and reaching a marvelous number 5.
    Best series by far lately.

    Just to say something bad about it, chapter 43 was too music oriented in the adaptation, leaving behind several reactions that I’d like to see animated (Emi & Takeshi reaction and that EPIC sentence… “We are still on a journey… We continue to chase his back”).

    But then we got an AMAZING last chapter adaptation, with that incredible Kirameki song from Wacci (Kôsei & Kaori version). Tears rolling down.

    Kimi ga… suki desu!

  • March 27, 2015 at 5:39 pmweasl

    Loved the manga and loved the show.

    A couple of quick comments about differences from the manga that erk’d me in the last 2 episodes

    First off the toned down Kousei’s impact on the people around. Things that I missed were
    1) Short scene between Nagi and her brother (would have been opening to episode 21) where Takashi asks about Kousei’s condition and Nagi gives this tearing up none response
    2) Tsubaki’s plea to Hiroko and is a lot more desperate mentions Kaori
    3) Hiroko’s confrontation of Kousei is more painful with his monologue about music taking the things he cares about and Hiroko having a real pained expression with the realization the he’s regressing

    Second the mulled over the impact of his performance. I really did love the expanded stuff with Kaori playing but his impact on the audience plus his tear filled goodbye as the audience cheered just wasn’t handled as well.

    Third was minor but one of my favorite parts of Kaori’s letter. When she talks about leaving an impact there’s a frame of the girls who gave her flowers after that first performance who are learning to play violin.

    All and all this is still one of my favorite series of the last 5 years highlights for me being Nagi and Kouesi’s duet and Kaori’s final letter. Really did love the tie back to Kaori’s first tears when meeting Kousei.

  • March 29, 2015 at 10:35 pmAniCurtis

    Team NAGI!!! So cliché. That is all.

  • March 30, 2015 at 9:21 pmAseel

    this anime was amazing … you know when you watch anime and think that you knew almost everything then comes that second half of last episode and change everything you thought

    Kaori’s letter changed everything about the story

    that the first thing I thought was (ah … this is just too much … this anime will forever be one of the best ever )
    and (if I want to re-watch it , then there is no way that the second time will be similar to the first, when we had all these questions in our mind )

    and I would really like to thank the anime adaptation that remained very loyal to the manga to the very end

    which made the anime one of the best anime adaptions based on manga

    and finally from the very beginning I was Kaori’s fan … and will for ever be … I always wanted to know what was her lie … and to tell the truth it was a very honest and pure lie

    thanks for ur review ..

  • April 1, 2015 at 7:29 amrimedio per Non Russare

    Appreciate this post. Let me try itt out.

  • May 3, 2015 at 5:58 pmSpeds

    I just finished watching this and it is just beautiful. Watched it from beginning to end for the last few days. This is why I watch anime, for the stories and what they leaves us. Awesome.

  • May 17, 2015 at 9:54 pmALEPH

    Great series, not perfect, but which is? I would say that to appreciate this series is fully required to immerse yourself and participate in an emotional way. Most of the critics I have seen arise from the fact of analyzing logically this plot, when it was never meant to be. Anyway I had two issues that left me with a feeling of discomfort after finishing the series:

    - The main character never mans up in his relationship with Kaori in any way. He is always hiding himself from her, always waiting for a sign of her to make a move, till the very end. I think that this is a both a writing problem with overly introverted or traumatized characters and a cultural thing. Japanese are known for their passiveness, while me as a latin find it hard to understand too much of not doing anything.

    - Secondly, the ending interactions with Kaori where too cold, too focused on what it meant to Arima and not on what Kaori was actually going through and needed. At the end, she was to close to being only a device plot.

  • May 22, 2015 at 10:11 amLeiss

    The first episodes were the ones that made my day watching this anime ..as the series progressed so did my sadness and the dreadful scenarios my mind started to think of.
    It was a superb story, one that made me cry, made me sad, made me angry as hell, made me feel their pain and destroyed me. One might say it’s a cartoon, but i lived it and watched it like i was made ..a man, with a strong sense of emotions, one might call me unworthy of being a man but ..fuck, it’s who i am and the fact that i can feel and understand pain this way makes me me.

    I LOVE THIS ANIME, I ADORED THE LOVE STORY THEY HAD AND SHARED AND I ABHOR THE WAY IT ENDED.

    As i was watching it i wished for a happy ending, to give me peace, to bring me happiness by thinking others are happy, can be happy but ..it wasn’t meant to be. Now, i hope that i can pass through this period marked by the experiences of other sad anime that still make me sad and muster the strength to watch it again in the future.

  • September 10, 2015 at 3:54 amYuki Howaito

    I don’t agree with all this tsubaki fans.. I really dislike her.. She looks like a total spoiled child and envy.. Envy about music who was bringing away kousei from her and about kaori too who arrived in between his friendship with kousei.. And also omg how can u take so much time to realize u like kousei.. Really she looked damn stupid.. About everyone disliking kaori i don’t really get i, i mean she really wanted to help kousei to play again and maybe she behaved badly sometimes but really can’t u see the similarity between her and saki? They both wanted kousei to be okay after they are gone.. So maybe the means were too tough but had a lovely purpose.. And about kaori lying to kousei well i totally get it cuz she didn’t want to be with him and break his heart even harder when she will be gone.. At i think she used him a sort of pushing to keep living.. It was like they were both helping and pushing each other to keep going.. I cryed soooo much for this anime but it’s one of the best i’ve ever seen specially on the emotional side! Thumbs up and thumbs down for tsubaki i can’t stand her at all! :3