Today’s guest post is from a longtime friend of the blog, Micah. A former anime blogger for Otaku Collision, Micah is an aspiring writer from Tennessee who has a passion for fiction and storytelling. He also enjoys listening to Kendrick Lamar, playing Pokemon, and doing both at the same time.
The smell of fresh-grounded coffee and strawberry perfume fills my nose as I walk inside a local coffee shop and talk to the barista, the girl I have been crushing on. She smiles at me with a genuineness that melts my heart. This girl is so cute I can hardly stand it. The way she strokes her gorgeous braids behind her slender shoulders and flips them back in front of her is intoxicating; I am drunk on her captivating presence. In moments like these, it’s as though time stops and I am taken to a new plane of existence where everything is wonderful and rich. I begin to see the world differently because of the beauty I have witnessed, and fall in love immediately. After watching the romantic slice of life anime, Your Lie in April, I discovered that the protagonist has experienced the same.
In episode one, while Kousei and his childhood friend, Tsubaki, are walking together after school under the rays of twilight, she asks him whether he has any crushes, secretly hoping that he is falling for her. He tells her no with indifference and she responds that her friend, Kaori, had told her that “when you’re in love with somebody, everything looks colorful.” She rebukes his lack of understanding by asserting that he should have “a sparkle in his eyes” during his high school years.
As he contemplates her words, they don’t resonate with him. The world around him is dull: Everything is black and white. To Kousei, the world is the same as the ancient music scores of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven that never change due to age. It is the same as the objective keys on the keyboard that always play the same sound and no other. The world, as Kousei puts it, “looks like it’s in monotone.” It is only after he meets Kaori for the first time that he begins to grasp the romantic wisdom of her friend.
Later, Kousei finds himself dragged along to a park with Tsubaki to introduce Kaori to Watari. He knows as well as she does that it’s going to get “as romantic as heck” and comes along to backup his friend, half-forced and half out of sympathy. Arriving early on his own, he notices the sound of a instrument in the background and follows the score where it leads.
Surrounded by a sea of cherry blossom trees and the pleasant music of the melodica, they sprang to life in an instant as he sees the girl playing it. Kaori passionately blows on the mouthpiece of her instrument while gently pressing the keys to a nautical tune. Imaginary seagulls are taken by the wind just the same as the cherry blossom leaves, flying around the subject of their affection. He is able to perceive the world and all of its beautiful intricacies: This is only the beginning of falling in love.
“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.”
Although my relationship status remains single, my eyes have caught the sparkles Tsubaki admires. I have fallen head-over-heels in love, but its a crush that is more than the rush of hormones when I talk to cute girls at coffee shops. The butterflies in my stomach and blushes of embarrassment I experience when I am lost in my emotions are mere reflections of this deeper romance. When I first met Jesus, He was mine and I was His: My world was suddenly filled with color.
The Gospel accounts in the Scriptures were my introductions to His love for others, His gentle spirit and His meekness. Yet at the same time He was flipping money changers’ tables in the table and rebuking the Pharisees for hypocrisy, proving that He was not a weak man. He showed compassion to sinners and ate with them, befriending tax collectors, prostitutes and beggars. I saw Jesus for who He truly was and I knew I was falling for Him.
What set in stone my affections and solidified our marriage was His proposal on the cross, sacrificing Himself to save me. My sin had offended God and broken moral boundaries that were not meant to be broken. I deserved the Father’s judgement to make right what I had made wrong, yet He bore my punishment. He allowed Himself to be beaten by the Romans, mocked and killed.
When I feel at my worst, He reminds me of my value by reminding me that my value is determined by the price He paid with His life. When I remember how addiction had once controlled me, He reminds me that those sins have been washed away by His blood. When I feel unworthy, He reminds me that He took my unrighteousness and gave me His righteousness so I would be worthy.
The cherry blossoms and seagulls cannot compare to the beauty of the implications of the Gospel. All I could hear were the never changing notes of sin in the midst of a black and white world. Like Kousei, I was lost and my world was crumbling, but when I fell in love with Christ, it changed everything. Now, when I strike up conversation with the cute barista behind the counter, I am reminded of how I’m already head-over-heels.
Your Lie in April can be streamed on Crunchyroll.