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It would be easier if Your Lie in April (aka Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso or KimiUso) was filled with fanservice.

I could dismiss it and move on to the rest of a full anime season.

Unfortunately it isn’t that easy since there’s no fanservice to speak of.

NB: There will be potentially triggering material later, so enjoy the fabulous opening before we get to the hard parts.

Instead KimiUso is filled with traumatic pasts, abusive relationships, and a male lead Kousei Arima who desperately needs the psychological help that he’s not getting.

The pianist Kousei has caught the attention of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl Kaori. As of episode 9 Resonance there are signs that the growing relationship is helping Kousei deal with his issues and reclaim his music.

Kaori has problems of her own that have only been hinted at yet, and keeping those secret is likely to damage Kousei all over again when they come out.

This post from Mage in a Barrel quite effectively discusses whether Kaori is the right way to deal with Kousei’s issues, and explains a fair bit of my discomfort with KimiUso. You may have seen that post already – I reblogged it a couple of weeks ago.

But that post, excellent as it is, does not explain not all of my discomfort, nor all of my enjoyment.

Resonance is a case in point. When KimiUso hits its high notes it is fabulous. This is particularly true of the recently introduced rivals for Kousei[1], Takeshi and Emi.

Takeshi is the classic shounen rival.

Emi, oh Emi, is something else, something special. Emi was inspired to truly love the piano by an early Kousei, before Kousei became the Human Metronome. Emi’s turns in Let it Ring and Resonance were born of this, and she effortlessly dominates the screen.

So much so that I said this on twitter earlier:

Then Resonance turned to Kousei’s performance, and to Kousei’s inner demons. Some of this was good, and well handled, but then…

Kousei’s mother was horribly abusive, and Kousei’s justifiable rage for one moment has since turned into crippling survivor’s guilt.

The last two or three minutes were extremely discomforting, and once again I’m left not knowing what to think about KimiUso.

Can I recommend KimiUso at this stage?

I don’t know. I’m still watching KimiUso , and I’ll be watching it next week if that counts for anything with my readers.

Other than that? Your Lie in April is still a show I want to like more than I do.

On the bright side, if you found the vocal dynamics of the OP as fascinating as I have been, here’s the band Goose House[2] to show you why:

[1] Kaori is a violinist, and therefore not in direct competition with Kousei.

[2] They also have a PV version of Hikaru Nara on Jpopsuki here, but for all that it sounds better it lacks some of the charm of the YouTube version.