This show is bittersweet–depicting the lives of middle school students enjoying their youth and experiencing hardships. Noitamina picked a wonderfully written manga to adapt and the music sells this show a ton!
A-1 Pictures adapted Naoshi Arakawa’s manga faithfully. It’s beautifully drawn with very detailed character designs by Yukio Aikei! This is a wonderful series that ties the bonds between friends together through music and love. Arima Kousei’s growth is one of the big highlights of Shigatsu as we see him placing fear onto himself due to his mother’s death. The contrast that gets him out of his shell is Kaori Miyazono. She’s free-spirited and much like his childhood friend, Tsubaki Sawabe, she’s got this drive to fix Kousei out of his slump. The connection is that they are both musicians and this is how the romance develops between the two of them. They’re both learning their own sounds by practicing together and discovering they’ve got strong chemistry!
Masaru Yokoyama’s soundtrack fits extremely well into this– picking from a range of popular classical insert songs to a collection of original pieces that are just as emotionally moving as the animation and its engaging characters! When it comes to a series about music it’s pivotal that you need sound to get this story moving and it doesn’t let go of this idea ever. This is one series I would highly recommend to anyone that’s a fan of music or romance. It touches on parental loss and the huge respects are paid to this theme throughout as Kousei goes on his journey discovery that in order to get over his mother’s death and realize his feelings for Kaori he must find his own way of voicing it out even if its through playing piano.
If you like Nodame Cantabile‘s focus into music than I’d say you would enjoy this series. A lot of criticism from Shigatsu stems from its overdramatic scenes and moments where the show at times leans more on a characters’ emotions rather than the musical performances themselves. In my opinion I find this to be a pretty big success to the series’ way of reminding us that these are middle school students and they need all the room to grow up in their own ways.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: [91/100]