Ep1 – Monotone/Colorful

The first episode post! In this episode we learn about Kousei’s monotone world, and the sudden change that brings color into it.

So as I stated in the introductory post, these are going to be random thoughts I had while watching the episode, but they will be in sequential order. In any case, I won’t waste time with details. Let’s get to talking about the episode!

Image of Kousei on the ground after being hit with a ball

Right off the bat (lol) we see our protagonist lying in a pool of his own blood. That wraps up this show, everyone. Thanks for watching!

Image of Tsubaki's hand grabbing Kousei

He’s okay, of course. As Kousei goes to pick up the glass Tsubaki stops him. Notice how rough her hand is compared to his? They draw it like that a few times, and not just after she’s been playing softball. She’s concerned because pianists need to take such care of their hands. But Kousei doesn’t seem to see the point in protecting them anymore.

Tsubaki looking surprised

Yeah, Tsubaki gets on his case a lot. But here she is getting blushy when he notices her eyes sparkle the way she’s talking about. Kousei’s point is that Tsubaki has passion in life, but he doesn’t. She doesn’t seem to know how to take the compliment.

Image of the dusty piano room

The first real clue that Kousei doesn’t play anymore. That piano hasn’t been touched in ages. The whole state of this room says a lot about Kousei in one frame. It’s too painful for him to approach it, even to tidy up. So it stagnates, like he has.

Image of an empty wheelchair, with its shadow showing a woman sitting in it

The reason is hinted at soon after. This image says a lot too. The empty wheelchair means his mother is gone, but her shadow shows that he’s still haunted by her. Indeed, Kousei’s life for the past two years has been governed by the ghost of his mother.

Image of Kaori playing melodica with pidgeons flying around

The next scene is far more upbeat. His early arrival at the park has him catching sight of the show’s co-star. I love this scene for a couple of reasons, the first being the admittedly cheesy way that the world gets more colorful as Kousei approaches her. From what Tsubaki said, we know that means he’s fallen in love.

The second is because that tune she’s playing is beautiful. I watched Castle in the Sky sometime after I saw this show, so I had no idea at the time she was playing Pazu’s theme. The bit about the pidgeons made a lot more sense after seeing that movie.

Tsubaki introduces Kousei

The situation escalates quickly, and Tsubaki puts Kousei in his place when she introduces him as ‘Friend A.’ Kaori doesn’t need to know his name, since she’s here for Watari after all. Tsubaki kind of belabors this point here, but Kousei claims she isn’t his type anyway. How do you explain the vivid colors then, Kousei?

Kaori holding her violin case over her back

The iconic picture for this series, and rightly so. It’s well constructed and popping with color all around. What might be even better is the way Watari is so impressed that she can play violin. Did he forget his best friend was a piano prodigy at 11?

Animation of Kaori grabbing Kousei's hand and staring in his eyes

This was something I only realized during this rewatch. The camera focuses on Kaori’s eyes after she grabs Kousei’s hand, right before she drags him toward the concert hall. There’s no dialog as he stares, and it seems like he’s remembering what Tsubaki said about sparkling eyes. He probably thinks she’s very passionate about something as well.

The soundtrack sample for today is Watashi, Violinist na no, played near the end when Kaori reveals herself as a violinist. It’s upbeat, and energetic, and effervescent – a perfect track to express how Kaori comes off to this group. Have a listen!

Tsubaki answering a call from Kaori

One thing to keep in mind as you watch the rest of this series is this scene, where Tsubaki answers her phone after walking home with Kousei. We learn soon after this that it was Kaori who called her, and she’s pretty insistent that Tsubaki ask Watari about the date. What is her urgency?

That’s all I had this week. What did you all think of the episode? What stood out the most to you? If this is your first time watching it, do you love this already?


25 thoughts on “Ep1 – Monotone/Colorful

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  1. The first thing that I thought when I started watching this episode, was this reminds me a lot of Orange in some way. Even though the tone at times is ofcourse completely different (especially during the comedy parts). I think I am going to be enjoying this series. I don’t exactly know yet where this series is going to head off to, but I am going to go along with it. Honestly I could do without the over the top comedy parts as I don’t think it fits the overall tone of the show. But it is not a reason to stop watching this, so my overall first verdict for this, is that it I like it. Looking forward to the next episode 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not a bad comparison to make. This can be a lot like Orange sometimes.

      Kousei is like Kakeru in that he lost his mom and it affected him greatly. His dad isn’t really in his life because he works all the time, so Kousei is more or less alone. The difference here is that he’s not really suicidal and he’s been friends with Tsubaki and Watari since they were kids, but the feelings of loneliness and regret are definitely still there, as you will see.

      The tone changes are a big complaint about this show and I agree that they break the mood sometimes. The comedy is intentionally over the top as that’s the way the mangaka drew it. This series is very faithful to the manga actually, and covers 2 chapters per episode. For whatever reason, A-1 decided to keep the manga’s style almost shot for shot when making this, so it is what it is. Good to hear that it didn’t turn you off from the show!

      I’m beyond excited that you’re watching this as it’s not often I get a “fresh” mind to expose to this show. Avoid spoilers as much as you can and just enjoy the experience 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am one of those people that never quits a show, even if turns into something bad (mind you, I don’t have that feeling right now for this show, as said, so far I am enjoying it). That said, I could see how the abrupt tome changes can turn people off from this. Your comparison with Kousei to Kakeru, is spot on. It is one of the first things that went through my mind as well. I have just finished episode 2, so looking forward to sharing thoughts on that on, when you post the next installment 😀

        Liked by 2 people

  2. it’s happening! it’s happening! It’s officially started. I am beyond excited to follow along with this re-watch! I wanted to post a .gif, but I have a link..(see below) I actually painstakingly took the time to create this .gif because it’s the exact moment that completely captured my heart for this series! It was magical! When Kousei approaches the sound of the melodica and Tsubaki’s voice over about how the world took on color as meets Kaori. That one step towards something new for Kousei. He needed a change. Ah so beautiful and so symbolic in this one step

    ( this was when I first started to blog about anime on a friends blog before I switched to my own)

    I got emotional watching this episode again. T-T That background OST is too pure ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s happening!

      I thought about highlighting that moment too, but I went through enough trouble to create that one gif, so I’m glad you had this one on hand 🙂

      That was beautiful how they had the color change coincide with that step he took. Very symbolic, and as you said, one of those things that really catches you in this series. Thanks for sharing it!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I posted a response to you before I was actually said everything I wanted to 😛

      This series will make me randomly emotional all the time. I could be sitting at work and I’ll see that image from the OP in my mind of Watari and Tsubaki with the two empty seats next to them and I’ll feel like crying.

      Gah, before I watched this show my heart was a piece of coal. Now I’m a mess!

      Thanks again for sharing the gif. I went to levelpotato just now and read your article too. You get this series the exact same way I do!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. HAHA I nearly cried with every episode when this was originally airing. YLiA was what pulled me back into anime after soooo many years. I was really floored by this series’ use of music and color; the OST really pulls on your heart (but you saw what I wrote about it on my friends’ blog). I actually went and bought the OST too – seriously so beautiful! I wish I could buy the DVD’s but damn they’re crazyyyy expensive. I have to save for it.

        I recently made my mom watch this because I told her how much of an emotional wreck it made me. She binge watched it solo, and whenever I checked in she was like I don’t know why you would be so emotional over it. LOL. BUT, I made one of my closest guy friends watch it, he called me a monster at the end of the series. LOL, now it’s his absolute favorite anime too. I made him watch it because he reminds me of Kousei a lot; we both were in band together and he plays piano so as musicians I think this really resonates with us.

        I’ll have to wait till this evening to get to episode 2. I’m so glad you’re doing this! It also seems this is a really great way to go about it! I’m loving all the comments you’re getting here! Now I can’t wait to do something similar to this at some point! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I uh… did buy them. Full story here: https://weekendotaku.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/an-impulse-buy/

          Forcing people to watch this is an anime pastime. I made Kimmie watch it and she still hasn’t forgiven me. If you can connect with this show, it is like nothing else. I never played piano (though I did play violin a number of years), but so much of what these characters feel resonated with me.

          That’s why I am always eager to share this with others, and I’m floored by how much people are getting into it. You guys are seriously the best.

          Also, I’ll even make myself watch Haikyu! if you do something like this on your site 😀

          Liked by 2 people

          1. LOL let’s be real, I’m pretty sure I’ll end up buying this series sometime this year, thinking maybe at the con, but we’ll see. I already started saving money to blow at the con. LOL.
            Rightstuf, had an amazing sale on Utena over the weekend, so I picked that up. lol

            Yes everything about this resonated with me. I actually started picking up the piano again because of this movie! I try to play every Friday after work just because it’s the only time the house is empty enough to not feel shy about playing. LOL

            Liked by 2 people

  3. Here we go!

    First thoughts: nearly everything is so saturated in colour! We’ve got spring, a good time for anime new beginnings which makes it a nice jumping off point for the story (also being called Your Lie In April, I guess it makes sense it’s set in April). I’m still having trouble keeping track of everyone’s name in my mind, but thankfully you’re referring to each character in the post so I can figure it out, and I know that in a few episodes this won’t be an issue.

    Standouts: Kaori’s yellow shoes! I love yellow, and her shoes are really cute. The OST. People have definitely said how much they love the OST, and I can see why. It seems to be full of a really vibrancy so far.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad someone mentioned this. Yes, the use of color is amazing here. They do a really good job of using it in both overt and subtle ways. Not to mention that there’s sakura petals falling almost all the time. This “Spring” phase is really magical for these reasons. A small spoiler alert: This doesn’t take place just in Spring, but the animation remains superb throughout.

      You’ll get the names soon enough. The anime doesn’t have too many people outside these main four, and yes, I’ll remind you all of who everyone is.

      The OST covers the entire range of emotions and it does so beautifully. If one person can walk away from this with an appreciation for it, I’ll be happy. I’ve seen a lot of reviewers say that while the performance pieces were great, the OST was unmemorable and that just burns me up. I’m sure no one watching this with us will feel that way once this month is over!

      And I agree Kaori’s shoes are great. I’ll bet Kousei loved them too 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that people in general are either not that aware of OSTs or aren’t confident about how to speak about them. I wish that I was better at expressing what goes on musically during anime, as I definitely think sound is a part of the big picture and it can be interesting how it affects our mood and ties scenes together. As a show which I know ties in a lot of musical elements in its plot, I’m hopeful that the OST continues to complement the storytelling. 🙂


        1. I can understand not having a sufficient background. I mean, I don’t have any formal education in music (or literature, or journalism) to help me analyze anything fully. I do know what I like though, and I love this OST. We’ll have fun exploring how it complements the series.


  4. Watching this again I really like how much foreshadowing is taking place. I forgot how much I loved the music, like the opening piano piece was great! I didn’t really like Tsubaki when I first watched it but knowing her story arc I like her a teeny bit better lol. Kaori is still the best though~

    I love all the visual stuff you’re pointing out, it adds a lot of enjoyment to watching the show for me. It was cool knowing a lot of the visuals going on in the scenes, made the anime even more magical than the first time I watched it 😀


    1. To be honest, I was skeptical about my format with this. Since I’m doing a lot of pictures and talking a little bit about the scene they’re in, I was trying to figure out if I was doing this in a way that was engaging for you. I’m glad that my talking about visuals is actually making it a better experience though. It’s a real relief hearing that it helped instead of detracting.

      Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata is indeed great. Was that the one you were talking about?

      And yes, they foreshadow all over the place. It’s my 3rd rewatch and I’m still catching new hints that they drop.


  5. The series seems to be quite vibrant. With all of this talk about color and love and passion, I’m led to believe that the show is going to get emotional and intense later on.

    I’m not sold yet, though. The female characters are already slightly annoying to me, unfortunately. I’m curious as to what made the main character act so broken. The way you mentioned how he has stagnated made me think of Rei from Sangatsu no Lion (they even look sort of similar). Guess I should give it time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha, what goes up must come down? Well, you’re not wrong.

      I can completely understand the female characters coming off as annoying. Kimmie disliked Kaori for many episodes because she can be pretty overbearing. I mean, attacking someone with a melodica requires a special level of crazy. They get a lot better though, once you understand where they’re coming from.

      Rei isn’t a bad comparison to make, and yes, they do look alike. Rei felt a crushing loneliness too, but in his case it was because he felt like shougi was all he had. Kousei’s problem is a little different. I’m not sure you’ll like his reason very much, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it 😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s an universal law! Alrighty, should be interesting to see.

        Mmm fair enough. I shall try to be patient.

        I guess I shall have to wait to know about his reasons! That’s always one of the exciting parts in regards to picking up a show for the first time.

        Liked by 1 person

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