What anime destroyed you emotionally?
*Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t watched Your Lie in April.*
It has finally arrived! The question that I was not looking forward to answering because it was going to make me reopen some wounds that I was not ready to open. And yet, here we are on Day 10. You sure you want to do this? You are going to want to watch the show again. Yeah, I know. I’m sure.
I believe that everyone has an anime that was able to cut deep. As if the blade ignored the flesh entirely and stuck the vitals clean and true. The story was a journey that felt like was directly talking about you and because of that connection, the ride took you home. Your memories were brought to life by the characters on screen and some of the characters were indistinguishable from their counterparts in reality. It doesn’t always fit together perfectly, but it does so in such a way that every episode is an emotional journey towards self-discovery.
I have watched several shows that has managed to capture and invoke that type of emotion, bringing me to tears and ultimately reshaping my life in some fundamental way. Almost as if I needed to watch that series for something important. Violent Evergarden was on of those shows, particularly episode titled “Aisuru Hito wa Zutto Mimamotteiru or A Loved One Will Always Watch Over you”. Toradora was another, episode titled “Seiyasai or Holy Night Party”. But the anime that completely wrecked my soul and left me weeping for days internally after finishing it was no other than Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or Your Lie in April.
There is so much I can say about how this anime changed my life that I am literally struggling to figure out a starting point to begin with. I will start with the music because as a huge fan of classical music, this anime spoke to me in ways that no other anime had before it. After each episode, I looked up the songs play and saved them to my phone. I downloaded the soundtrack before I even finished the series and supported the show by also going out and purchasing the CD from Amazon. The original score is nothing short than brilliant if you love classical music. My favorite two instruments to listen is the piano and the violin so imagine how much of a treat this was for me.
GooseHouse’s opening theme Hikaru Nara is by far the best of the series but the second opening Nanairo Symphony by Coalamode is nothing to sleep on. It is just something about Hikaru Nara that I feel captures the theme of the series better. I was enthralled by the song that I found the original music video, the album this song came on and purchased it to support them.
But seriously, Kousei and I shared similar situations. My life two years ago basically consisted of work and home. I had no desire to do anything. Writing became impossible without some sort of inspiration and I was tired of writing what I felt subpar depressing stuff. Games were fun but I knew that void couldn’t be filled. That was something that this anime did very well. It showcased what a traumatic experience can do to a person. Whenever he started to play the piano and fell back into not being able to hear the keys, it was truly horrorifying.
I also had met someone shortly doing that bad chapter in my life that brought color into my life. Like Kaori, she dragged me around to poetry slams in the same way that Kaori dragged Kousei to events. They were both filled vibrant and filled with energy. So with Kaori reminded me like her, I became extra attached to Kaori as she reminded me of someone very dear to me.
So imagine the weight I felt when it was hinted that she wasn’t to make it. Kaori only has two options. A life threating surgery or inevitable death. I stopped watching the show when that revelation came to light. I knew if I did not watch the series, that ending would never come and I wouldn’t have to deal with it afterward. My brother was the one who edged me on and the scene that crushed my spirit and broke into a sea of tears was when Kousei and Kaori were on the roof. When she finally revealed that she was scared after remaining positive and strong for so long. That burden and knowledge that she had been carrying for the whole series finally couldn’t be ignored and weight of the situation finally made her crack into tears. It was dreadful.
By this point in the story, you have been through so much with the characters. Kousei has developed deep feelings for Kaori and because of her, he was playing with a new sense of purpose even if his inspiration and motivation were essentially Kaori. The news almost shatters him, causing him to doubt himself again. He did not want to lose the new most precious thing in his life again and stopped playing the piano to avoid it, allowing fall back into the same depths. And can you blame him?
And that happens on the cusp of Kousei reconciling with his past in regards to his mother. As someone would did not have his mother in his life and was scarred, it was really meaningful for me to have him understand what drove his mother to her rigid behavior and how it benefited him in the end. She put him through the wringer to ensure he would have the skills to make it the best way she knew how and though it pained her dearly to treat him that way, she knew it was the only way she could pass on what she thought was necessary for him. For Kousei to not resent his mother, brought me to tears.
Not only that, you are emotionally wrecked by the fact that Tsubaki knows Kousei’s feelings for Kaori, watching it flourish right before her eyes when though Kaori was supposed to be linked with Ryota. Tsubaki even confessed indirectly to Kousei only to have Kousei not acknowledge them which felt like a dagger wound reopening. I think everyone has experienced that before. Unrequited love. Confessing only to not receive the happy ending. I learned that Tsubaki means Camellia and that flower symbolizes with transience or one who longs and waits in terms of emotions.
Dude… I was a wreck by episode 21… completely gone.
A quick mention of how Your life in April was so genuine and raw with how they dealt with relationships. The advice that usually came from Ryota and Nao was some of the realist advice you could possibly get from your friends. They truth wisdom and just like in real life, it was hard for our characters to take and accept that advice because of their own feelings.
But the moment that sealed the deal was the last performance. I cried doing the entire thing, curled up on my couch clinching my shirt as I watched their duet. I couldn’t look away. I would honor their performance and sticking it out to the end even though my heart was severely wounded each moment that went by. I will never forget the feelings that coursed through me during that last episode. The pain, the sadness, the joy of the playing, the happiness that came from it, and the overall sense of closure I felt when the last key was placed.
I thought I might share this because this is a very interesting perspective on the performance. I teared up when I re-watched this with this passage in mind.
I think Kaori has Friedreich’s Ataxia which causes heart disorder, that means the surgery performed is most probably a heart surgery. This also explains the difficulty of the surgery and the following scenes of the surgery.
In the last scene of episode 21, Kousei’s performance was represented by an image of cherry blossom. Cherry blossom and Spring represents Kaori as it was the scene when Kousei first saw Kaori. This implies that Kaori exists inside Kousei and is shown when he’s playing the piano. There is also a scene was Kaori’s heartbeat rate at around 80 bpm, and the nurse stated that her heartbeat is stable.
In episode 22, the scene of Kaori’s surgery was briefly shown again, stating that Kaori’s heartbeat rate is around 90 bpm. Then, the next scene is a pair of scissors with blood stains. This suggests that the doctor accidentally cut a crucial blood vessel from near the heart, leading to fatal blood loss and hypovolemic shock, thus explaining the rise in heartbeat rate. Later, Kousei’s performance suddenly turned from cherry blossoms to snow. This can mean ‘the end of spring’ or ‘withering of cherry blossom’, implying that Kaori is dying. The next scene from the surgery shows that the heartbeat rate of Kaori fell to around 80 bpm, which is probably due to the fatal blood loss. The last scene of Kaori, is that she leaned back and having cherry blossoms rushing out of her chest. This scene looked like Kaori is laying on a bed with blood rushing out of her chest. Kaori then died due to blood loss.
When I first watched episode 22, I thought the scenes of Kousei’s performance are just showing his emotions, but the more I think about it, some scenes are somewhat out of place. I then rewatched the anime again and realized these scenes just aren’t that simple. This is what I think after I rewatched the anime as there is a lot of implication throughout the series and this explanation makes a lot of sense to me.
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I talked in depth about that episode for an entire month. I watched it constantly, coming to a similar conclusion as the passage above. Nevertheless, the episode was purely magical. One that sent me through the entire spectrum of emotion in a matter of minutes and left unable to really comprehend any of it as I sat curled up on my couch, hands wiping away the tears.
The closing letter was gut-wrenching even though I thought I had come to the terms with what had happened. (Mind you, I waited several days before I watched the episode.) And yet again, I cried when I heard Kaori’s voice, knowing that would be the last time we would hear it. That these were her final words to Kousei and us. It was endearing and cute to know that she idolized him and that she did everything in her power to reestablished the color that Kousei had lost. It was so bittersweet and a beautiful way to end the series.
Well, that was the anime that destroyed me. That anime will probably be with me until the day I leave this earth. The characters were just that memorable to me. I will probably always cherish this show for its impact on my life.
Thanks for swinging by reading. You gals and guys are awesome.
Until the next post…