Manga / Your Lie in April

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"I met the girl under full-bloomed cherry blossoms, and my fate has begun to change."

"We're all afraid, you know...to get up on stage. Maybe you'll mess up. Maybe they'll totally reject you. Even so, you grit your teeth and get up on stage anyway. Something compels us...moves us to play music."
Kaori Miyazono

Kousei Arima used to be a Child Prodigy at piano. Winning many competitions and earning himself a name in the classical music world, he seemed to have a future that was bright, colorful and full of possibilities. However, after his mother's death, his breakdown at a concert made him stop playing.

Kousei, now in middle school, spends his days living in a monochrome world, having spent two years without playing piano but managing to live every day thanks to his friends, his cheerful neighbour Tsubaki and his best friend Watari.

That is, until Tsubaki introduces him to Kaori Miyazono, a mysterious and beautiful classmate who plays the violin in a way he's never heard before, and that introduces colours into his world again.

Your Lie in April (known in Japanese as Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso note  or just simply Kimi Uso note  for short), is a shounen manga written and illustrated by Naoshi Arakawa and serialized monthly in Shounen Magazine. An anime adaptation started airing in the Fall 2014 Anime season produced by A-1 Pictures. It can be watched legally on Crunchyroll.

The manga ran from April 6, 2011 to February 6, 2015. The anime which adapted the entirety of the manga aired from October 2014 to March 2015 at noitaminA programming block.

A Prequel manga telling the story from Kousei and Tsubaki's childhood, Your Lie in April: Coda is bundled with the DVD releases of the anime. Similarly, an OVA episode telling the beginning of the childhood rivalry between Kousei, Emi, and Takeshi was released with the last collected volume of the manga on May 17th, 2015.

Aniplex USA confirm that there will be an English dub for Your Lie in April from Bang Zoom! Entertainment with Patrick Seitz as the ADR Director. It is noted to be the first non-action anime title from Aniplex USA's catalog to get an English dub (as Aniplex USA has historically dubbed only action shows or titles with Urobuchi's name on them).

A live action film has been confirmed and aired in 2016, starring Kento Yamazaki (L from the Death Note 2015 drama series) as Kousei and Suzu Hirose (Chihaya from the Chihayafuru 2015 live action film) as Kaori.


This series shows examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert:
    • When Kousei first sees Kaori playing music with a bunch of children, his first instinct is to take a picture... but the wind made Kaori's skirt blow up, so he accidentally takes a picture of her panties.
    • Kousei and Watari sneak an accidental peek at Kaori receiving a sponge bath when visiting her at the hospital. So does Tsubaki, but naturally only the boys get hit by Kaori for it.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job:
    • Tsubaki is shown to have bluish hair on the cover of volume 3 of the manga, while the anime gives her brown hair. Also, Kousei says his eyes are brown early in chapter 1 (and in the first episode of the anime), but all of the covers and the anime depict his eyes as blue.
    • Live action Kaori is a brunette rather than blonde.
  • Adult Fear:
    • Saki's main concerns about Kousei are about how he will be able to live decently without source of income and parental advice after she is dead and while her husband is away with business.
    • Also, one of the Real Life parents' nightmares is having their only child succumb to terminal illness at a young age, like Kaori.
  • Age Lift: Whilst Kousei and Kaori are junior high school students in the manga, the live-action film adaptation portrays them as second year high school students.
  • Airplane of Love: In Episode 20. Kaori makes a phone call to Kousei on his way home from his lesson with Hiroko just to inform him there was an airplane flying by on its night flight. According to Kousei, the plane looks just like a shooting star across the sky. This makes him realize his true feelings for Kaori and decides to visit her again.
    Kousei: A lump of steel, like a shooting star. Just seeing the same sky as you makes familiar scenery looks different. I swing between hope and despair at your slightest gesture, and my heart starts to play a melody. What kind of feeling is this again? What do they call this kind of feeling? I think it's probably called love.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: One of the main themes besides the music. Tsubaki likes Kousei, who develops a crush on Kaori, but she's interested in Watari, who is fond of her but also goes after other girls and is oblivious to her feelings. Emi meanwhile is in love with Kousei as well while Watari has displayed attraction towards her. By the end of the series, this trope becomes incredibly depressing. Tsubaki is still in love with Kousei but there's no indication of her feelings being reciprocated. Kaori reciprocates Kousei's feelings...in a letter she wrote that Kousei didn't receive until after she passes away.
  • Always Someone Better: Kousei, Emi, and Takeshi are this towards every other participant in almost every piano competition those three participated in, but Kousei takes the cake by being this towards both Emi and Takeshi.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Kaori's parents show Kousei old pictures of Kaori, including the ones of her naked as a baby, to her great embarrassment.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Kaori makes her emotional confession to Kousei, in the letter he receives after her passing.
  • Anime Hair: Takeshi has very pointy, bright blonde hair. His hairstyle looks even more striking compared to the rest of the cast, whose hair colours and styles are more realistic.
  • Arc Words: "Do you think you'll be able to forget?" was Kaori's question to Kousei, which has about three contexts as the show goes on: the piano in Kousei's life, their duet performance with cheering audience, and finally her short existence in Kousei's life. Kousei returns that question while asking her to once again perform together with him.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The non-fanservice Kaori and Kousei nude dancing scene in the first opening features this.
  • Beautiful Dreamer: In Episode 6, Kousei watches Kaori sleeping while she's accompanying him practicing piano in the school's music room. While covering her with his jacket, he mutters that she looks like an angel...as long as she's quiet. Cut to Kaori suddenly frowning in her sleep. This situation later becomes a Chekhov's Gun for Kousei since he uses this exact scene as his imagery for his playing in the piano competition in Episode 10.
  • Betty and Veronica: Reliable childhood friend Tsubaki and the wild and cheerful musician Kaori play these roles for Kousei respectively.
  • Bridal Carry: Kousei holding Kaori like this in a brief scene from the first opening.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Kaori plays without worrying about being successful in tournaments, and she's kind of an airhead... but that doesn't make her any less amazing at violin.
  • Call Back:
    • When Kousei reads the letter from the late Kaori, she reminds him of various moments when they were together before.
    • Every ending of this show previews scenes of the next episode. The ending of the OVA episode features the scene from Episode 1 when Kousei first meets Kaori.
  • Central Theme: According to Arakawa, the main theme of the manga is a contrast and interrelation between "death and rebirth". We meet Kousei at a time when he's deeply scarred by the death of his mother, and he can't hear the music anymore, but he meets Kaori who puts so much life into her playing, and she pushes him to wake up to his potential. But at the same time that Kosei is regaining his strength and confidence as a musician, Kaori's body is weakening more from her illness every day. Finally, Kaori dies at the same moment that Kosei is reborn on stage as a classical musician. An important secondary theme was to depict the feelings of a person who is jealous of someone else, or envies what they have.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The little girl sitting next to little Emi when she first hears Kousei playing the piano. The final episode reveals she is young Kaori.
  • Cherry Blossoms: Since the series starts in April, there are plenty of cherry blossoms. They serve as a symbol of Kaori and her relationship with Kousei, as they first meet in a rain of cherry blossoms. In the finale their symbolism is bittersweet, since just like the short blooming of cherry blossoms, Kaori's life was over too soon.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Kousei and Tsubaki grew up next door and they have a close sibling-like relationship, but once Kaori shows up and begins to catch Kousei's attention, Tsubaki realizes she likes him as more than a brother.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • Watari, Kousei, and Tsubaki, who have known each other since they were kids.
    • Also Emi and Takeshi who've known each other ever since they started competing in piano competitions as children.
  • Child Prodigy:
    • Kousei used to be one thanks to his mother. He got the nickname "Human Metronome" because of how accurately he played from the music score no matter how difficult it was, despite being a mere child.
    • Takeshi and Emi were also very good for their young age, but got overshadowed by Kousei's performances.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: One of main reason for people who dropped this series (as pointed out in one anime review site that skipped reviewing between Episodes 6-11) is because its traumatic main character, Kousei, is prone to abuse such as being kicked, slapped, or having stuff thrown at him by the girls, Tsubaki and Kaori. This lessens during the latter half of the show, though. Also, in the end, one of them (Kaori) apologizes to him via her posthumous letter for being mean and hitting him all the time.
  • Connected All Along: One of the big twists in the final episode is that Kaori was the little girl sitting next to young Emi when Kousei first played piano.
  • Conspicuous CG: The piano playing shots rely on CG, especially in order to show the keys and the fingers of the pianist moving in detail since this would not be feasible to hand-draw.
  • Cry into Chest: Kaori cries into Kousei's chest in Episode 21 under the snow because she was afraid to be apart from Kousei in case she didn't survive the surgery. She didn't, and that was their final moment together while Kaori's still alive.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Kousei has stopped playing the piano and has become a very cynical boy since his mother died.
  • Dead Man Writing: In Chapter 44 / Episode 22, Kousei receives a letter Kaori left for him before she died from her parents as he visits her grave. There she confesses to him that he's the reason she became a violinist and that when they met in April, she lied about wanting to meet Watari, she actually wanted to meet him all along.
  • Death of the Hypotenuse: The Kousei/Kaori/Tsubaki Love Triangle gets "resolved" at the end with Kaori's death. While Kousei and Tsubaki don't really end up together, she has confessed her feelings for him and promises him to never leave him alone so they might get together sometime in the future.
  • Determinator: Kaori is very determined to be able to do the duet performance with Kousei once again after she was hospitalized due to her growing illness, to the point where she starts walking therapy and takes the high risk surgery, which sadly fails and claims her life.
  • Disappears into Light: The fate of Kaori after finishing her long-awaited duet with Kousei in the final episode. It's unclear whether the Kaori playing alongside Kousei was indeed her spirit before going to the afterlife or just Kousei's imaginationnote , but it makes him realize that she has died.
  • Disease Bleach: Kaori's hair color becomes lighter shades of blonde after she is hospitalized in Episode 13.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Most of the females hit the two main males a lot, with Kaori and Tsubaki being the main offenders. Subverted with Kousei's mom as Seto said she went too far. Subverted with Kaori in the finale when she apologizes to Kousei for hitting him all the time.
  • Downer Ending: Kaori ends up dying from complications during the high-risk surgery and Kousei receives a letter from Kaori posthumously via her parents, thanking him for introducing her to music, for bringing color to her world and admitting that it wasn't Watari she loved but Kousei. Tsubaki tries to comfort Kousei by reasserting her feelings for him and determination to never abandon him, but it doesn't have much of an effect and there's no sign that he will reciprocate her feelings any time soon. The next shot is Kousei lamenting the idea of a spring without Kaori.
  • Duet Bonding: Playing together, and even the prospect of playing together, bring Kaori and Kousei together. As revealed at the end, an intentionally Invoked Trope on Kaori's part.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness:
    • Played for Laughs at the start of episode 5. Kaori's eyes suddenly become this when the gang visit her without knocking at the door and sneak an accidental peek at her while she is naked and receiving a sponge bath from a nurse.
    • Played straight in Episode 20 by a traumatized Kousei on his way home after visiting Kaori only to see her health take a sharp turn for the worse.
  • Elegant Classical Musician:
    • Kousei was already a Child Prodigy pianist that inspired many people with his piano playing before the events in the series began. Though in the start of the series he's in a Heroic B.S.O.D. and has somewhat lost his edge, he starts to become this again when he returns to playing piano and tries to overcome his obstacles with the help of Kaori. He finally fully becomes this after the death of Kaori, making Hiroko, Nagi, and even Koharu stunned by his performance.
      Hiroko: Look how you've gotten more sensual. You've grown up, have you?
      Koharu: So cool!"
    • Though she seems to fit the category, Kaori averts this: she plays violin and has an elegant appearance, but her style of play is wild and full of energy.
    • Both Takeshi and Emi are pianists who play quite elegantly, although Emi's style is also very personal and energetic.
  • Everyone Can See It: Kousei and Tsubaki - even Kaori knew about it, and apologized in her final letter for getting in Tsubaki's way.
  • Evolving Credits: The second opening changed a bit of its lyrics after episode 17. From "boku wa ame, kimi wa taiyou, te o tsunagou" note  to "nee, ima kono isshun o dakishimeyou" note . Some scenery also changed. This includes:
    • The changed lyrics part initially features Kousei, Tsubaki, and Watari playing together, but after Episode 17, it features Takeshi and Emi smiling at the sky.
    • The scene while Kousei plays piano and Kaori plays violin accompanied by flying birds changes to a scene of Kousei and Kaori double riding on a bike together.
    • The scenery with both of them playing in the opening changes from a sunny sky with white clouds into a clear night full of twinkling and falling stars.
  • The Faceless: We never see Kousei's mother's face, even when shown from a first-person perspective, until episode 13 where we're given more insight into her character and past.
  • Family Business: Kaori's parents runs a cake shop named "Ma Fille", French for "my daughter", as revealed in an OVA episode.
  • First-Name Basis: Tsubaki Sawabe is very rarely referred to by her last name.
  • Foreshadowing: Several in the first half of the show. It becomes more and more obvious as the show goes on, especially on a second watch.
    • Episode 2. Kaori's shaking left hand after asking for Kousei's opinion about her performance. She is also the fourth performer to play. Four is Death
    • Episode 3. Kaori's stop at a hospital.
    • Episode 4. Tsubaki is stunned by Kousei and Kaori's performance and realizes Kousei's passion for music has finally been reignited because of Kaori, starting her jealous streak. Later, Kaori collapsing after finishing said performance.
    • Episode 5. Kaori's words after finishing their duet performance: "I won't forget, even if I die".
    • Episode 11. Kaori embracing and apologizing to her violin because she dropped it when she collapsed.
      "I'm sorry. As someone who dropped you, I don't deserved to be a violinist. I'm sorry, please bear with me for just a little longer."
    • The scene featuring two hands holding each other and an opened envelope on a piano in the second opening. Both of them revealed in final episode: Kousei's love for Kaori is indeed reciprocated, and the opened envelope encased Kaori's letter explaining it all.
    • Episode 12. Kaori's parent's attitude toward Kousei. Despite Kousei just meeting them for the first time, they already have a very good opinion of him because Kousei is the only reason Kaori is still motivated to live her short life.
      • When Kashiwagi asks about what kind of high school Kousei and Kaori will be attending, Kaori replies with an uncertain answer about her future while her handheld fireworks shut off prematurely compared with the others' fireworks which remains lit.
      • Also, Kaori missing the gala concert.
    • Episode 13. Kaori is hospitalized again, with her faded hair color and paler skin indicating her disease is getting worse. Later, the gang visits Kaori and brings her a bag full of books to read, but as they leave, she says: "I don't have time to read all these..."
    • Episode 16. Kaori dropping the drink Kousei gives her.
    • If you listen to full version of Kirameki (first ed song), you'll come across these lyrics foreshadowing later events:
    You're no longer here by my side, I'm well aware of that. Even then, I glanced back once more, thinking that you called out to me. And the times we spent together, are all irreplaceable in my heart, I'll treasure these memories you gave me, so thank you, and good bye
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The main characters' quartet. Thoughtful Kousei is the Melancholic, passionate Kaori is the Choleric, lovable Casanova Watari is the Sanguine and friendly Tsubaki is the Phlegmatic.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Episode 9, Little Kaori can be seen among the audience (behind Tsubaki's seat) watching Kousei's first performance just after his mother's death. The same scene was already shown in the first few minutes of first episode, but at that time the audience has not yet been given any clue about the context of the scene.
  • Friend to All Children: Kaori. She's playing the melodica with a group of children when she's first introduced, and later we see she's very good with kids.
    Kousei: She sure knows to get along with kids, I guess her mental age is low?
  • Geeky Turnon: Part of why Kousei is attracted to Kaori is because of her ability with classical music.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The main characters, two boys and two girls. Even if you add Takeshi and Emi, this trope still applies.
  • Giligan Cut: In episode 11, Kousei's mom tells Hiroko that she doesn't want to turn the infant Kousei into a pianist... then immediately cuts to Kousei's mom telling Hiroko to make him one... and then cuts to Kousei curled up in fear of his mother's abusive methods.
  • Gratuitous English/Gratuitous German: Kaori loves throwing random heavily-accented English and German words into her conversations.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Tsubaki doesn't seem to realize she likes Kousei until she starts to become jealous of Kousei hanging out with Kaori. She thinks of him as her younger brother up until then.
  • Hair Decoration: Kaori wears a flower hairpin as part of her performance outfit.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Kousei had one two years before the series began when his mother died and it left him very depressed.
    • It happens again at the end of Episode 20 when he and Watari come to visit Kaori and her health takes a turn for the worse. He stays in a depressed state for a whole week, especially after he visits Kaori after that event and realizes that she's getting worse and worse.
  • Ill Girl: Kousei's mom, Saki, who already passed away before the series began. Also Kaori, first hinted in Episode 4 when she collapses after her performance and further shown in Episode 9 when a lot of pills can be seen in her bag. Then in Episode 15, her legs give out in the middle of the hospital hallway at night. And in Episode 16, her arms can't hold up her bow or even a bottle of juice Kousei hands her. While her disease is unnamed, it's explained that she will lose control of her legs and her limbs and suffer from seizures that will lead to heart failure. Most fans have suspected that due to the symptoms, Kousei's mom and Kaori as well suffered from ALS. However, there is no surgery for ALS, so it could also be a carcinoma which metastasised to the spinal cord/cerebellum. Other possible diseases include multiple sclerosis and Friedreich's ataxia.
  • Informed Attribute: More of an 'informed crush' - we're told Kaori likes Watari in the first episode, but by Episode 7, they still haven't shared so much as a one on one isolated on-screen conversation, and Kaori hasn't made so much as a longing glance in his direction. Discussed in the finale: the titular lie is that Kaori liked Watari instead of her actual crush, Kousei.
  • In-Series Nickname: Kaori "Kao-chan" Miyazono. Kousei's nickname, "Human Metronome", is a more Red Baron-styled nickname for him.
  • I Wished You Were Dead: Kousei told his mother to die after being fed up with her abuse and harsh critique of his playing. She died showtly afterwards, and Kousei always regretted that he had said that to her.
  • Last Name Basis: Ryota Watari and Nao Kashiwagi are rarely referred to by their first name, not even by their close friends.
  • Like a Son to Me: Hiroko to Kousei. Even though she doesn't make an appearance until The Stinger in Episode 10, she's been established as something like Kousei's second mother and even refers to him as her son.
  • Like Parent, Like Spouse:
    • In Chapter 32 / Episode 16, Kousei begins to realize that Kaori and his mother are quite similar; they're both obsessed with music, they're constantly pushing him into becoming a better pianist and are prone to drastic mood swings. They also both suffer from unnamed but fatal diseases.
    • This is lampshaded in Episode 16 when Kousei, Watari and Tsubaki visit Kaori in the hospital and Kaori yells at him for not practicing for the upcoming competition in such a way that in Kousei's eyes, the room begins to glitch and Kaori turns into his mother.
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Because they're also Childhood Friends, Tsubaki's feelings to Kousei eventually become this, but she always assumed it's just a Like Brother and Sister-type relationship until he meets Kaori and Tsuabki starts to get jealous.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl:
    • Played straight with Kaori towards Kousei. As he explains, she's the one who introduces colours back into his life. Then it's played for drama.
    • It's revealed that this was invoked by Kaori because it turns out, just like Takeshi, Nagi, and Emi, Kaori was also moved by Kousei's music and it brought colours into her world, prompting her to immediately swap to violin because she wanted to be able to play a duet with him.
    • As shown in Takeshi's and Nagi's flashbacks, Kousei himself was a gender-flipped one for them - he inspired them to become excellent musicians as well. Kaori admits in her final letter that she was similarly inspired.
  • Megane: Besides Kousei, there are few male characters who wear glasses on a regular basis: Takahiko Arima (Kousei's father whose face is revealed very briefly in an OVA episode), Akira Takayanagi (Takeshi's piano mentor), Toshiya Miike (the kid that insults Kaori's playing to Kousei in Episode 13). The latter two can be counted as Nerd with their Nerd Glasses.
  • Meganekko: Kaori, before she starts her "change" as she said in her letter.
  • Mood Whiplash: This series can swing from happy romantic comedy to tragic and tense drama in mere seconds.
    • At the end of Episode 4, Kaori and Kousei finish their performance to massive applause from the audience... and a few seconds later, we hear Kaori collapsing. This is the start of Kaori's declining health.
    • In episode 16, Kousei explains to Nagi the kind of person Kaori is, calling her a "strong person". Cue a scene of Kaori crying because she can't hold her violin bow properly anymore. Seconds later, we cut to a scene of the gang visiting Kaori at the hospital, with Kaori's anger at Kousei for not bringing her any gifts entirely Played for Laughs. After Kousei reveals he's giving Nagi piano lessons, Kaori's further enraged because she thinks he's not taking his upcoming competition seriously to the point she starts crying and makes everyone in the room speechless. The next scene has Kousei visiting Kaori alone at night, her attitude beforehand drawing parallels to his own mother's behavior shortly before her death, further foreshadowing Kaori's eventual demise.
  • The Namesake: The meaning behind "Your Lie in April" is revealed in the final episode/final chapter of the manga. Kaori lied about liking Watari and used their relationship to get closer to Kousei, the guy she truly loved all along.
  • Not So Different:
    • As the series goes on, Tsubaki is envious of Kaori because she can communicate so well with Kousei due to her vast knowledge of music. It turns out that Kaori also envies Tsubaki because she knows everything about Kousei's life due to their shared childhood.
    • Nagi realizes that Kousei and herself are this; both are always gazing, pursuing, and loving someone they can never have no matter how hard they try. In Nagi's case, it's her own brother; in Kousei's case, it's a girl who likes his best friend. She also realizes that Kousei is afraid because of the sheer pressure before giving their duet performance in Episode 18.
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Kousei trying to take a picture of Kaori while performing with the children, only for him to accidentally take the photo at the exact moment Kaori sees him and the wind blows her skirt up.
    • After jumping in the river, Kousei lets Kaori change into his dry clothes at his house. Kaori, in a fit of rage, slams open the windows in the piano room... and Tsubaki, who lives next door, sees the two of them through her window at that moment. Of course, Tsubaki gives Kousei a good beating.
  • Opposites Attract:
    • The cynical and reserved Kousei and the optimistic and wild Kaori.
    • Also, the calm musician Kousei and the energetic sports girl Tsubaki, as lampshaded by Tsubaki's baseball club senior, Saitou, after he broke up with Tsubaki because he feels their relationship is just a casual friendship rather than a romantic one.
    Saitou: You and I... We should be with people who are the total opposite, probably.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kousei's mother is dead, and his father is usually away for business, so he lives alone.
  • Parental Substitute: After Episode 10, Saki's best friend Hiroko becomes this to Kousei. Though it was implied she already became this immediately after Saki's death, it was just she didn't want to be near Kousei if her presence would bring his bad memories back.
  • Parting Words Regret: Kousei's last words to his mother were that he wanted her dead. His guilt over it is an important part of the trauma that keeps him from playing piano.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Tsubaki is in the baseball club and is much more passionate about it than her studies.
  • Pastel-Chalked Freeze Frame:
    • Done in the first opening featuring Kousei and Kaori performing together with their respective instruments. Used again in the finale, but it's later revealed that their final duet performance never happened, since the real Kaori was in surgery during that time and it's suggested the Kaori playing alongside Kousei was either her spirit before leaving for the afterlife or just Kousei's pure imagination.
    • Also done in Episode 10, with the Beautiful Dreamer scenery.
  • Patient Childhood Love Interest: Tsubaki has liked Kousei since childhood, but their relationship has always been sibling-like. She's fine with it until Kousei begins to become closer to Kaori.
  • Piggyback Cute:
    • Kousei carries Tsubaki on his back after she injures her leg during a baseball game.
    • He also carries Kaori like this when she asks him to carry her out of her hospital room, since by then her disease has become so serious that she can't walk anymore.
  • Product Placement:
    • It seems that the only piano manufacturer in this series are Steinway & Sons.
    • Glico also referenced in some scenes in the anime.
  • The Promise: Kaori makes a promise to Kousei that they will perform together once again, which fuels her determination to take the high-risk surgery. She fails to keep it.
  • Ray of Hope Ending: Show shades of this, as Kousei is still surrounded by loved ones after Kaori's passing, and as Tsubaki puts it, he isn't or ever will be alone, something she promises to see to. So in a way, while it will take time for Kousei to move on from Kaori's death, his future is still far brighter than when she first meet him, which was her greatest final wish for him.
  • Real Place Background: According to this blog, much of the series takes place in Nerima-ku, Tokyo.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Playing music with passion versus following the score, multiple examples.
    • Kousei "the human metronome" is blue and Kaori the feisty and erratic violinist is red, and people make comments on how badly they're matched when they first play together.
    • Igawa is red, and Aiza is blue. Igawa plays differently depending on how she feels each particular day, and Aiza is much more consistent. Episode 9 of the anime color codes them this way for us, before Kousei's recital.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • In Episode 20, Kousei and Watari visit Kaori only to see her health take a sharp turn for the worse. Later, a traumatized Kousei on his way home sees the black cat that Kaori usually plays with fatally run over by a car, symbolizing Kaori's untimely death two episodes later. Another black cat appears at the railroad tracks in the final scene of Episode 22 and disappears behind a passing commuter train symbolizing the loss of Kaori.
    • In Episode 12, Kaori's handheld fireworks shut off prematurely just as she answers Kashiwagi's question about her future with uncertainty.
    • During the first half of the series, Kousei symbolizes his inability to hear his own piano playing as being dragged and forced to playing piano under the dark ocean.
  • Running Gag: The bruise Kousei got on his forehead after being hit by a baseball in episode 1 keeps opening at various points in the series, and nobody seems to care despite the stream of blood on his face. It soon becomes Harsher in Hindsight when we first see that it really started when Kousei's mother beat him over the head in a fit of rage in a venue lobby, opening the wound on his forehead and knocking off his now broken glasses.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Kousei is the cynical Only Sane Man while Kaori is a cheerful Genki Girl.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses:
    • Kousei's glasses become this after he decides to go into serious playing mode while he's accompanying Nagi in a four-hand piano duet in episode 18.
    • Kousei's glasses also become this in episode 17 when he initially refuses Watari's invitation to visit Kaori together because he doesn't know what he should say to her, or how he should act when he sees her after she starts losing hope in life.
  • Shopping Montage: In episode 16, Kaori has Kousei accompany her to the mall, shopping for various items ranging from clothes to dolls to stationery for her one day out of the hospital. She makes him bring a lot of her belongings and miss his lesson in the process.
  • Second Year Protagonist: Applies to Kousei and Kaori in the live-action film adaptation.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The tune Kaori plays on the melodica in the first episode is A Morning of the Slag Ravine from Castle in the Sky. This seems to be what she's playing in the manga as well, since the kids who are with her lament that her playing isn't attracting any birds and Kaori says it worked for Pazu.
    • There are some references from Peanuts Kaori quotes throughout the series:
      • In episode 6: "It takes courage to sail through uncharted waters" by Snoopy.
      • In episode 7: "When you're depressed, it always helps to lean your head on your arms. Arms like to feel useful" by Charlie Brown.
      • In episode 11: "You know, I'm not always going to be around to help you" by Charlie Brown again.
      • In episode 21: "We all need someone to kiss us goodbye" by Marcie.
    • The dub slips in a sly reference to the first opening's music group when Tsubaki realizes a song Kousei's listening to in the first episode is by Goose House.
  • Snow Means Death: Kousei retrieves Kaori's letter from her parents in front of her cemetery under the raining snow.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Kaori's is usually romanized as "Kaori" but in Japanese, instead of "かおり/カオリ", it's spelled "かをり which is romanized as "Kawori" and is even romanized that way in episode 11 on a sign on Kaori's door saying "Kawori's room".
  • Spiritual Successor: Of Nodame Cantabile. Both are musical series featuring a prodigious yet cynical male pianist whose life changes when he meets a talented and wild female musician.
  • Stage Mom: Kousei's mother wanted him to become famous and perform in Europe, which she couldn't do due to illness. She demanded he play the piano to perfection and made him practice for hours, often beating him for small mistakes. Turns out she actually wanted him to become successful so that he could live on his own when she was gone.
  • The Stinger: Done in episode 10, to show audience reaction toward how Kousei's piano playing has changed since his last piano competition from robotic, down to the notes becoming more colorful; and also to introduce Hiroko, his mother's best friend that later becomes his Parental Substitute as well as his mentor.
  • Stunned Silence: The typical reaction of an audience once Kousei finishes a piece that he plays, rather than simply recites.
  • Tears of Remorse: As part of her My God, What Have I Done? (see Was Too Hard on Him), Saki's crying after hitting Kousei to the point he was bleeding can be counted as this.
  • Technician Vs Performer:
    • Kousei is the technician, since his mother drilled into him that he must always stick to the score and memorize it inside and out, while Kaori is the performer whose wild and energetic playing greatly deviates from the sheet music.
    • The show as a whole focuses on the importance of technique vs performance while advocating the latter, with the emphasis about "Speaking to the audience" through the music, and the only reason Kousei's mother pushed him so hard on the technician front was due to not having enough time left in her life to emphasize the importance of the latter.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • The more Kousei rejects the similarity between Kaori and his late mother, the more relevant those similarities become.
    • Also, shortly after Kousei wished his mother would just die, his mother passed away due to her illness, making him felt guilty and traumatizing him to the point he can't hear his own piano playing even after the main story begins a few years later.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: In the final episode Kaori's goodbye letter reveals that she was inspired to become a musician by Kousei during his Child Prodigy days, that she had wanted to play music with him ever since she was a little girl, and that she lied about liking Watari in order to get close to Kousei.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: The music Kousei is transcribing in the first episode is the opening song, Hikaru Nara by Goose House.
  • There Are No Therapists: Just from the backstory alone, Kousei loses a parent, then develops a condition where he can't hear his own piano playing. Nobody even thinks to suggest that he see a therapist of any variety. (Possibly justified in that seeing a psychologist is widely regarded as a tabu in Japan.)
  • Tragic Keepsake: Kousei keeps one from Kaori. It's an old photo from before Kousei gave his first performance, featuring Kaori and her friend, with Kousei walking by behind them, making it the first and only photo Kaori has with him.
  • Training from Hell: It's suggested that Kousei received this from his mother in context of piano practice. In an OVA episode, Takeshi secretly spied on Kousei practicing from Tsubaki's house only to hear repetitive practice from Kousei since he finished school in the afternoon until about sunset.
  • Tsundere: All four of the girls that are attracted to Kousei, either because of his Nice Guy personality or because of his piano playing note  have this in some form towards him.
  • Unknown Rival: Emi and Takeshi are this to Kousei, at least before they reunite in the story. Surpassing Kousei, who always took first place from them as a child, seems to be their only motivation to compete in piano competitions at all. However he never noticed them back then and doesn't recognize them when they reunite.
  • Unreliable Voiceover: In the final episode Kaori states in her goodbye letter that Watari will probably forget about her. As her voice says this, the viewer sees that Watari has a picture of himself and Kaori on his cell phone.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Hiroko was the one who convinced Saki to make Kousei a pianist after seeing his great talent. After Saki became sick, she became more demanding and abusive towards Kousei, eventually damaging their relationship beyond repair and leaving Kousei with deep emotional scars. Hiroko always blamed herself for Kousei's problems because of it.
  • Was Too Hard on Him:
    • Kousei's mother, also a My God, What Have I Done?. In episode 13, we get a look at the situation from Hiroko's point of view and despite the numerous instances of abuse she put Kousei through, Saki loved Kousei and only wanted to make sure that Kousei would be able to live on his own after she was gone. Her last moments in the hospital were spent lamenting that she wasn't a better mother to him and that she hoped that "her treasure would find happiness."
    • In a way, Kaori towards Kousei. In the posthumous letter she wrote to Kousei, she tells him how much she loves him and that she is sorry for being so mean to him and hitting him all the time.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • Despite the abuse he suffered from her, Kousei's motivation for doing well at piano competitions as a child was to please his mother and make her feel better. Then he snaps after being publicly beaten and says that after doing so much to try and make her happy, including not playing with his friends, practicing, and getting beaten up by her, he just wishes that she'd die already.
    • In a way, Takeshi and Emi to Kousei. Takeshi and Emi have been in the same competitions with Kousei since they were children, and Emi even became a pianist after being emotionally moved by Kousei's performance, but they could never beat him and he never paid them any attention (justified however, because he was busy being abused by his Stage Mom). After Kousei left, they spent two years becoming amazing pianists with Takeshi getting ready to go overseas and when they find out that Kousei is returning, they're excited and sign up for the same competition that they've gone through year after year, just to show Kousei how much better they've gotten and how they believe they can stand side-by-side with him. And when Kousei praises Takeshi on his performance, he is incredibly happy.
  • Wham Line:
    • Kaori in Episode 5: "I won't forget, I won't forget even if I die." Also in the same episode: " Ah. I passed out again.".
    • In episode 11: "'You know, I'm not always going to be around to help you...' -Charlie Brown."
    • Episode 16: "Want to commit double suicide with me?" Admittedly, Kaori is quoting from a Japanese novel named Ichigo Alliance, but Kousei is frozen in place the instant he hears it.
    • The final episode/chapter has one that even shocks Kousei in-universe. " Kaori Miyazono was in love with Watari Ryota... that was the lie I told." See The Ending Changes Everything.
    • " Goodbye."
  • Wham Shot:
    • Kaori collapsing at the end of episode 4.
    • Kaori in the hospital 'again'' at the end of episode 13.
    • The last two minutes of episode 15 in which Kaori, walking around in the hospital at night alone, suddenly falls because she loses all feeling in her legs.
    • The first sequence of episode 16 has the moment where Kaori's limbs give out again when she's walking around her house while reading sheet music. She falls on her head, opening a wound she doesn't notice until she sees blood on her hands and sheet music. Then she passes out, making her miss the gala concert in episode 13.
    • In Episode 20 the black cat that's been around the whole series gets fatally run over and all Kousei and the audience see is the cat lying lifelessly in a pool of its own blood.
    • Episode 22. Kaori disappearing in front of Kousei during his performance, symbolizing her death.
  • Woman in White: Kaori's performance outfits always consist of a white colored dress as seen in episode 2, episode 4, and also her "imagined" final duet performance with Kousei in episode 22.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: In the final episode, Tsubaki asks how Kashiwagi is so versed in romance, and reveals that her knowledge comes from her collection of BL doujinshi. In the manga, however, this is revealed to the reader through a gag strip where Kashiwagi fantasizes a gay relationship between Watari and Kousei.
  • You Are Not Alone: Tsubaki is certain to make sure that Kousei knows this after Kaori's passing.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Two of the characters close to Kousei have this in their backstory. How they act regarding this builds the main story of the series.
    • Saki (Kousei's mom) realizes she doesn't have much time left in her life due to her unknown illness, so she teaches Kousei as much as she can about how to play piano accurately according to the score, despite Kousei being a mere child, giving him the nickname "Human Metronome". She's doing this with the hope that Kousei will be able to make income and have a decent life with his piano playing after she was dead while her husband is away on business. Her plan backfires horribly after Kousei gets fed up with her abuse and harsh critique following his one special performance, dedicated to her purely from his heart and ignoring the music score in the process. She died shortly afterwards, leaving Kousei dealing with trauma that makes him unable to hear his own piano playing at the start of the series.
    • After seeing her parents crying in the hospital waiting room one night, Kaori realized she didn't have much time left to live. She decided to live a full and happy life before passing away. She put on the contact lenses which she never had the courage to wear before, ate a lot of foods (particularly cakes) since she was now ignoring her weight, ignored the appearance aspect of her performances and played the music the way she wanted to. Finally, she told the titular lie about liking Watari, for the sake of approaching Kousei, the guy who becomes her reason to become a violinist and also to help him overcome his trauma so that he could return to the music world once again and continue his journey as a musician.


Alternative Title(s): Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso, Your Lie In April

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/YourLieInApril