Resolutions in anime: Your Lie In April and the resolve to go on
From time to time we all get a chance to reset, start anew or pick up things where we left them. Resolutions are especially peaking around new year and can guide us in our daily life and help us keep a perspective. Sometimes they can also feel like a burden or restrictions, but if you make one you should at least try to stick to it as long as you can. Or so the common thinking goes, …
Resolutions in anime
When I first read the weekly topic for January and saw it was about resolutions I got worried. I couldn’t think of a single anime that would include them. At least not in the way I see and understand resolutions. But then Your Lie In April kept coming to mind. Kept rolling and evolving and the threads connected and finally made sense. If you haven’t seen this anime, you really should! It’s not a classic “let’s make a resolution before starting a new year or a new school year or whatever”. However it includes a resolve stronger than I’ve seen in a while. The episodes flew by and usually I consider that a hallmark of a great anime. The show is not without its faults, but in this post I’ll be focusing more on the main characters and what made me think of them when I heard the word »resolution«.
Determination to try harder
Arima Kousei, our main protagonist is, or rather was, a musical prodigy. Often called even human metronome, thanks to his off the charts piano playing skills, he’s was on a good path to become a world-class pianist. Passing of his mother changed everything for him and left him in a dark, colorless world. His personality is one that we have seen in many shows – he start’s weak and doubting himself. We never get to see if he truly managed to get out from this dark world he’s in. Will he make it or not is left open to interpretation even after last episode. What we do get to see is a wonderful display of every fall he has and how his resolve to try harder always prevailed. Nothing is magically fixed, you need to work for it.
Keep your promises
His best friend and neighbour, Tsubaki, plays an important role in this story. She loves deeply, stands by them no matter what and is fierce in protecting them. My perception of her is that she’s rough around the edges but with a wonderful golden heart. She doesn’t really undergo many changes at all and some see that as a bad thing. She always seems like same old Tsubaki, but I think that’s a sort of point here. Her resolve is to always be there for Kousei. To look after him and to help him, to stay his friend no matter what. Even when she suffers. It’s stability and strength of her promise that make her seem very endearing.
Live your life to the fullest
Kaori Miyazono ended up being turbolent and impressive, someone who will stay in my mind forever. She made Kousei play with her and accompany her violin. Thus began his long path to recovering back the love for piano. Along with resolving his own issues with it and the memories of his mother. Her character is really chaotic, she is similarly brash as Tsubaki, but it’s obvious that there’s more to her than just what she’s saying. Being the key that released Kousei back into the world, she is the reason he decided to give the piano another chance.
Your Lie In April and spring resolutions
Not an anime that I would connect with resolutions right away, but each of the three characters has its own path and story and each one of them struggles on his own. Why I like these three so much is simply because their story resonated with me. It’s not just a sad, tearjerking story, it gives you a little something to think about.
I’ve already mentioned how Tsubaki managed to stay true to her resolve. No matter what happened between her and Kousei, no matter how much time has passed she never stopped doing what she promised. She stayed true to it and in the final episode we get another confirmation of it. Staying true to your own promises and intentions is the tricky part when it comes to resolutions. Most people give up within a couple of weeks and maybe end up picking it up some time later and trying again. Even Tsubaki had a moment when she gave up on trying herself and wanted to send her friend instead to check on Kousei and his wellbeing.
Kousei and his inner fight
With Kousei I admired his determination to try harder. To try again and again until he played a piece excelently. He quit, he was lost and had to climb out of that self-doubting zone. Plus to accept his mother’s death and move forward as well. From trying to play perfectly to make her happy and healthy he went to trying to play perfectly for the one that helped him get back up again. If he’ll ever climb on top of the mountain and start playing for himself and his own enjoyment is open to interpretation. Seeing him trying and repeating similar mistakes and then finally overcoming them sends a strong message to everyone, no matter the age group. Nothing will change unless you make it happen. But if you really want something, if you try hard enough you might just make it.
Struggle and struggle like there’s no tomorrow
When it comes to Kaori and her commitment we can only sense what prompted her to live her life to the fullest possible. Without spoiling too much about her, she for me represents people who have stayed in one spot for far too long. People who have realised they desperately need to change when it was almost too late. Not that this is the case in the anime, but it’s close. Kaori realizes that she can never know how much time she truly has and consciously decides to live her life to the fullest. Doing things she’s good at, things that make her happy. Along the way she ended up helping others. She understood her place in this world and her words have rang true many times. Prime example of that would be when she says »I’m just someone who’s passing through, who’ll be gone«. And as much as that might sound depressing, it’s also a good start. True, this is very general example of how to make a resolve and stick to it, but it’s also universal enough for anyone to connect with it.
Should you make a resolution?
Not every resolve is heroic and grand and results in great deeds. Some result in making your life what you wanted it to be in the first place. Or sometimes making other peoples lives better and happier. This anime is full of subtext and it’s hard to describe everything that one feels and thinks while watching it. But that subtext is what hints at intents and promises of the cast and how much they are willing to fight for it to make it true. So no matter what resolutions you made, struggle and struggle like there’s no tomorrow.
»Even if we’re sad, or a total mess, even if we’ve hit rock bottom, we’ve still got to play.«
– Kaori Miyazono