Your Lie in April, Episode 18: The Love You Take…

Typical shonen series build up a protagonist until he is able to overcome an obstacle, at which point he may be able to save everyone, often at great risk and sacrifice.  Even though friends and mentors help along the way, the hero always has something within him, and it’s ultimately through determination, skill, and talent that he brings out his true potential.  But in Your Lie in April, the formula isn’t quite the same.  Kaori Miyazono is no mere helper along the way – she is the grace that instead of bringing out the best in Kousei Arima, changes him forever.  It’s not the inner Kousei that comes out – he’s a new person entirely.

In episode 18, Kousei and Nagi perform their duet for the world to hear, and more importantly in the case of Kousei, for Kaori to witness.  When he confronts Kaori later, she tearfully has to admit that he’s done what she had closed her heart to – that he brought warmth back into her life and again made her dreams come alive.

april 18a

Although it may feel as much, this storyline is no attempt at showing a relationship coming full circle – it’s more than that.  When Kousei comes to Kaori to demonstrate grace to her, it isn’t a high emotional point built upon her first loving him.  Kaori is never the focus of the show – for all her personality, she remains a bit unreal and detached.  Kousei is squarely and plainly in focus – it is his story, not her’s; she doesn’t even share it with him.  But more than being Kousei’s tale, the series is about the way of grace, of a love that is powerful and rushing and undeserved.  Not only does it change the person for the better, it is also something that, when received, compels the transformed to give it back, not out of some mystical cyclical reasoning or because of guilt or legalism, but in a response made purely out of love.

We experience little moments of grace all the time – a hug from a mother who should be angry with us; a phone call from a friend who we were supposed to call instead; an extra M&M at the bottom of the bag!  These little moments bring us glimmers of happiness, and in turn, we sometimes pass on the love without any great intent.

Kousei has been pounded by a measure of grace so great that, like a tidal wave, it has washed him away, leaving in its wake something unrecognizable, even to the musicians who once competed against him.  When such ferocious love hits us, it can take time for us to turn ourselves upright, but once we do, if we comprehend what has happened to us, the reaction we give is almost universal – it’s to rain love back upon the giver.  And in doing so, our love becomes a language of it’s own, much like music, conveying a feeling, a devotion, that as Kousei tells us, words could never do.


13 thoughts on “Your Lie in April, Episode 18: The Love You Take…

    1. Oh gosh, now I’ll feel bad if you don’t like it! But I do think it’s a very good series – it’s not a 10/10, but the message and emotions and music make it far better than it should be.

  1. So true!! What a great perspective; it is most definitely Kousei’s story, I’d not notice the formula change there! This show is so good! 🙂

    1. It’s so enjoyable! And I’m glad that the show is from Kousei’s perspective; as much as I love Kaori’s character – she would be my favorite in the series – it just works so much better at a “I can relate to that” level going through Kousei.

  2. This was truly one of my favorite episodes from one of my probably favorite series. The duet they played was amazing to listen to (by the way, I forget what the original composition was called >_>) and seeing nagi’s brother and Kaoru change as much as they did, it felt…right (XD) I certainly do see grace abound in this show, and the beauty only makes me praise the Lord more.

    1. It’s one of my favorite pieces by my favorite composer, Tchaikovsky – “Sleeping Beauty Waltz.”

      I’m glad to see you having that reaction to the series! Right in line with how I feel. 😉

  3. This will be one of those rare shows I will be waiting to buy the BluRay of so I can rewatch it as much as I like. Only Ef – Memories and Kids On The Slope (another musical show 😀 ) have been as keenly awaited by me. It’s the one show this season that has me wishing the week away…

    1. It’s a beautiful series – worth rewatching both for the animation/music and the deeper elements. Kids on the Slope is a favorite of mine, too, and one I own on Blu-Ray – beautiful! I’ve heard some comparisons between the two series and have thought about them some, wondering if there are similar elements besides the skin deep ones.

  4. you know I love this series, but the posts you make always make me look back over it and like it even more! its amazing i think i’ll make a post relating Kids and this.

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