Your Lie In April (volume 2) [2016]

Your Lie In April is a Japanese animated series, based around a coming-of-age / first-love story intermingled with competitive musical ambitions. Volume Two is released on DVD and BluRay in Australia by Madman Entertainment.

The amazing story of Your Lie In April continues in this second DVD set, concluding the story set-up in the previously reviewed Your Lie In April – volume one. Episodes 12 – 22 are contained in this 2 disc collection and it is every bit as satisfying as the first.

This story contains the most amazing story telling of a teen “coming of age” tale as Kousei comes out of his shell by reconnecting to music after the trauma surrounding his mother’s death some years ago. Meeting a vibrant girl, Kaori – a violinist – he learns to address his feelings by trying to reach her through their musical connection.

The story progresses to emotional highs and lows throughout this las half of the series, smoothly pumping you up with joyous moments even after experiencing heartache and tragedy with the characters.

The musical themes are the perfect avenue to channel the  great emotional surges, backed perfectly by the superb animation. The quality rotoscoping / 3D animated effects of the concert pieces are as strong as in the first half of the series, and even develop further with more artistic imagery infused as things intensify.

The cast should be given high praise as much as the production staff for bringing this world and its characters to life. They are engaging and sweep us along on their emotional journey. The English language cast also do an admirable job in translating this story for Western audiences. Their only let-down is the subtle changes to the script to make it more “American Friendly”, as this seems to take away from the purity of the story, somehow distracting things slightly and making it a little less “natural”. Apart from that, I admire the care they have taken to distinguish their characters’ voices at different ages.

The DVD contains the usual textless opening and ending animations as well as US cast commentary on the final episode and a silly blooper reel. I always appreciate a commentary track on DVDs, buy some of the bloopers felt like a bit of “forced” filler for the DVD.

I cannot reiterate enough how powerful this series is. Expect tears, laughter and musical delight. I highly recommend watching this series for the impeccable quality and incredible emotional journey.

4.5 out of 5 black cats.

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