Episodes 4 and 5 of Your Lie in April were crucial ones in terms of how the series would develop. Episode 4 was a very important episode in the series as we see Kousei reintroduce himself to the music world after his mother’s death left him unable to play the piano. How the writers would handle this situation was extremely important. I was personally worried that Kousei’s and Kaori’s performance would go too smoothly, almost belittling Kousei’s trauma. Instead, the writers took a more agreeable path than that in which encouraging signs for Kousei’s progress were mixed with frustration and familiar problems that showed that he is definitely not out of the woods yet.
After the performance, we’re left with Kaori’s sudden collapse. I was immediately worried that this was going to be an extremely cheap use of melodrama to inject some drama into the show that would ultimately be completely negligible to the series as a whole, but we learn in episode 5 that this has been a recurring issue for Kaori and will almost definitely be a very important part of Your Lie in April going forward. The rest of episode 5 showed a stronger focus on the relationships within the show with some monologues from Tsubaki and Kousei as they ponder their feelings. Episode 5 ends with Kaori pushing Kousei to enter a piano competition, which will be another important step in Kousei’s progress overcoming his trauma.
The good from these two episodes is that the pacing and production values have remained very strong. Good pacing is always nice since it feels rather rare in the medium, and especially rare in the drama/romance genres. The show also managed to beat out my worst expectations that I detailed a little bit in the above paragraphs, relating to how Kousei’s accompaniment of Kaori would go and Kaori’s collapse. As for the bad… I really wasn’t a fan of the writers hanging the botched performance over Kousei’s head. I can understand Kousei being hard on himself, even if he was pushed into the performance. I think it would be a natural reaction. I was less understanding of Kaori bringing it up at the end of episode 5. At the end of the day, I think it was merely to get him to do the piano competition, continuing to try to help him overcome his issues, but I’m still iffy on hanging that over his head to get him to do it. This is also a good time to mention the sappy lines I forgot to mention last time. They’re back in full force, particularly during the monologues. The biggest issue with these lines is that they really just suck me out of the show. Nobody talks like that.
Overall I’d say the quality has remained fairly consistent through these five episodes. Kousei’s upcoming piano competition should be the next major event and it’ll be interesting to see how the writers choose to move along the plot from where we are now. Also, of course, it’ll be interesting to see how Kaori’s health develops going forward.