Your Lie in April Episode 1: From Monotone to Color

Grace is one of those terms people use without really knowing what it means.  We know there’s something special about it – we think of graceful people or gracious words, and they bring light, fluffy, angelic images to mind.  The meaning of grace is even better than those thoughts – it’s an undeserved love.  The word in action has the power to change people and to make them see the world in a different light.

In episode one of Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso), Kousei is a young man living in ungrace.  Life has been hard on him – he lives without his father, absent due to work, and without him mom, who died several years prior.  And before that, his life was centered around being a piano prodigy whose performance determined how much love he would receive from his mom.  He was earning love, in a transaction relationship with the person that he cared for most.  It was the exact of opposite of grace.

Years later, Kousei no longer performs on the piano.  But as his best friend, Tsubaki, mentions, he still desperately clings to it.  All he’s known is approval through music, so what else can he do?

But if I’m still clinging to it, it must be because I have nothing else  Take away the piano and I’m empty.  There’s nothing left but an ugly resonance.

Though maybe not as obviously, we, too, try to earn the approval of people and things.  Our relationships are often based on this idea of earning – we’ll be friends with people who reciprocate, and visa-versa.  Certainly at work, we meet ungrace – if we don’t perform, we’ll be fired, and if we perform well, we’ll be promoted.  And how many of us have parents who don’t seem too far from Kousei’s mom, showering us with love when we do what they expect, but expressing disappointment otherwise?

The major problem with these relationships, which emphasize results, is that we’ll ultimately fail.  We’re imperfect.  So what happens when we let the most important people in our lives down?  Kousei’s reaction perhaps isn’t too far from what we might experience, a loss of feeling, sadness, anger, loss – a seeing the world in “monotone.”

Ah, but what happens when we instead experience grace?

kaori miyazono

The moment I met him, my life changed.  Everything I saw, everything I heard, everything I felt, all the scenery around me started to take on color.  The whole world began to sparkle.

When Kaori plays the melodica, Kousei’s eyes begin to open.  Her beauty opens his eyes further, and when she takes his hand, well, that’s it.  Kousei is gone.  His world is no longer monotone, but vivid and colorful.  He’s experienced something that he didn’t deserve – immense beauty, both audibly and visually.  Kousei did nothing to earn this beauty – it was just given to him.

And so begins a journey for Kousei – one that I imagine will open his eyes, that will cause his “whole world…to sparkle.”  His tidy and self-contained world, painted black by despair and legalism, will be shaken by something unexpected, by beauty and love that he can’t earn.  It’s something he desperately needs – as do we all.


10 thoughts on “Your Lie in April Episode 1: From Monotone to Color

  1. Thank you for writing this article; it really resonated. As someone who grew up in an emotionally abusive household (whose parent ALSO grew up in one, whose parent &etc.) it’s so difficult to fight against this mindset — that your worth is dependent on what you can give to a person or how little you disappoint them, that some people are worth more or less than others. The undeserving love that God gives is so hard to believe in most days — it feels like it’s meant for other people, people that can measure up. But that misses the point, doesn’t it? He wants to love all of us, to see the potential and good in us, to get to know him and be as close to him as possible. It’s why Jesus, someone who might otherwise be a stranger but cared so much for a person who hadn’t even been born yet, died in suffering. Just to show how much that was true.

    It’s really hard to believe most days, but it’s words like yours that remind me to never stop asking for the faith to love and live and grow. Thanks.

    1. Indeed, I sometimes think of how Jesus painted the Heavenly Father through the parables, and especially in the one about the Prodigal Son – a father who runs to his son, throws a festival for him, lavishes him with love, even though he did awful, hurtful things AND only turned to his dad out of necessity. That’s the God that loves us.

      I’m glad the article was helpful. God bless, and take care!

  2. Wow really great review here. I’m checking out this anime now, just watched the first one today and enjoyed it. I love the animation and music, it really keeps you engaged. The characters seem unique, like real people going through real emotions in life so that’s always a plus (not seen in some animes).

    Yes, we need God’s grace in our lives, I agree. It’s through Him that we find healing, peace, and not feeling like we have to “work” for His love, because it’s already there, we just have to receive it. It’s unconditional.

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