This plot and story line is one of the select few where both the anime and manga are very well done. I will do a review of the manga in the months to come but for now… let’s get right into the anime.
This is a 22 episode anime from the fall 2014 anime season. I didn’t start this show until the first half was done. I thought this show was gonna be 12 episodes so i sought to just binge watch it over winter break. Little did I know that it was 22 episodes and I was hooked after the first half. I hated myself for starting it at first because it was so good that I wanted to watch it all now! It sucked that I couldn’t finish it all in one sitting.
This show first got me hooked with the visuals. They were so different from what I had been watching at the time that it was very refreshing and beautiful. This caused me to go into this anime with a very calm and open mind. An anime this peaceful will definitely be up my alley. It wasn’t peaceful at times but it still really impressed me. Bonus: the art style is kept the same from the manga!
The story was beautifully done as well, the plot at first felt very generic, what with the sad backstory, token childhood friend, and romantic comedy feel. But as the episodes progressed, I found myself really connecting to the characters and what they were all going through centered around the main story line. I am a fan of classical music, I played the piano for 2 years of my life before eventually switching to the saxophone (I don’t even know why, it was a dumb decision, now I want to relearn it and it’s taking forever!). So seeing how Arima, this genius, fall from grace kid looking for solace in the same music that causes his depression was very beautiful. The atmosphere of this show is addictive as well, you begin to see the beauty in everyday life (Hippy much?)
The way the personalities of the characters where construed was well done as well. There were some things about the characters I was disappointed about. Like with Watari being the best friend yet no real development happens for him, then for plot convenience he is thrown in to help the MC understand his true feelings. It felt forced and lacking, watari as a character. Kaori is the main female character of this series. She is a crazy violinist who wants Arima to play the piano with her. She is a girl who likes Watari, Arima is just “friend A”. Arima is the main male character with a sad backstory. He has been playing the piano for quite some time and he is a genius at it. At an early age he was regarded as a famous piano player. His mother was also a very good piano player but became ill and soon became very hostile toward Arima, causing him to harbor resentment toward her that traumatizes him enough to develop a sort of deafness to the sound of himself playing the piano. Leading him to quit playing. He is severely broken and in pain. The last character to talk about is my favorite, Tsubaki. She is my favorite because she likes baseball (I love baseball!) and she broke a few cliques I see too much in the anime industry today. I don’t want to go into detail for risk of spoiling certain aspects.
There are a plethora of good characters in this show. Arima’s piano opponents in the competitions, his piano teacher and friend of his mother, and Arima’s pupil that he is teaching. All play an interesting and relatively good role in Arima’s life and how the story pans out. This was nice to see as well, secondary and tertiary characters being able to affect what is happening in the story and build on it.
The story follows Arima on his journey to uncover the pain in his heart and why he clasps so much to something that causes him tremendous pain. The story itself has been done before but the way the author goes about it kept me interested. I loved how the pacing went throughout the series.
What hit close to home for me in this anime was Kaori’s desperation to want people to remember her. I think everyone eventually starts thinking about this, remembrance. What have I done in my life to make anyone remember me? Have I done enough to warrant a place in someone’s heart? These are questions that she is constantly looking for answers for. I think everyone can relate to that.
This anime has flaws, all do, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing. So because of how much I enjoyed this anime and how well I was able to relate to this anime, I give this a 10/10. I give this high of a rating to only a few shows. This is a show that I would recommend to anyone and tell them to really go in with the intent of learning a little about yourself too. My goal in a lot of things I do is to always gain something from an experience, watching anime is no different. I go into every anime I watch hoping to get something out of it, it may be just a little tidbit here and there and it could be good or bad. Regardless of the outcome, I want to walk away from every show feeling a bit different. This show definitely accomplished that!
I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!