Looking back on 2014, part 9: I’m a human being, just like you!

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It’s frustrating…this was my last chance!

The first cour of Your Lie in April (aka KimiUso) has had an incredibly mixed reception. At one extreme, some of the key musical moments are absolutely glorious; at the other extreme, a lot of people both in Japan and overseas have been taken aback by the bullying and abuse that the main character, Arima Kousei, has been subjected to. There has also been a backlash amongst Western anime fans over the messages that the show seems to be backing with regards to musical genius and gender. I, too, was somewhat uncomfortable with the comic violence, though perhaps I am slightly more forgiving about how it’s used in ACG media than other people are. And I won’t lie: watching this show immediately after Psycho-Pass each week made its bright cheeriness more enticing than it might otherwise have been. But with regards to at least some of the complaints and criticisms, I personally feel that viewers have tried to judge this story far too soon. Every step in Kousei’s journey back to the stage so far has revealed more and more details about why he stopped playing two years ago. And as he tells Aiza after his messy return performance, he’s still in the middle of that journey: I honestly think that we should allow him to find more solid ground before we make up our minds on the messages that mangaka Arakawa Naoshi is trying to convey.

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We lost… I’m so frustrated that we lost!

That’s basically how I’ve been approaching this series, and at the end of this first cour, I would say that KimiUso isn’t about Kousei overcoming abuse and bullying to stand on stage again: it’s about him stepping out of the role that everyone else had pigeoned him into, that of the emotionless, technically perfect ‘human metronome’. And that’s why Kousei’s realisation in episode 11 is the moment I hold above everything else so far, for it speaks to what makes us human: the desire to rise from failure and try again.

12days9_KimiUso-4
I’m a human being, just like you!

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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