Your Theme in April: Ep 15 – Liar

My thematic analysis of Your lie in April continues with episode 15. Read on to see what I had to say about its standout motif.  


Obligatory disclaimer: This post may contain spoilers for episode 15 and earlier. Other readers’ comments are not guaranteed to be spoiler free for the overall series.

Tsubaki is still struggling with her conflicted feelings and laments that the relationship she had with Kousei is rapidly changing. Kousei is also struggling with trying to maintain a close relationship with Kaori and puts off visiting her at the hospital.  A young pianist literally falls into his lap.

I covered this episode in last year’s event here (opens in a new window). Go take a look if you need a recap or would like to see my take on some key moments.

As something of a companion to the previous one, this episode also features a number of lies. One of the major motivations behind these lies, however, is to avoid facing change.

Fear of Change

Aside from the especially driven (or perpetually bored) types, most of us have been guilty of settling for what’s comfortable over what’s uncertain. It’s simple human nature to prefer stability, but this tendency often blinds us from the urgency or inevitability of changes in our lives. This anime shows a keen understanding of this as the allure of the status quo prevent some characters from moving forward, but time has a way of moving with or without them.

The prime culprit of this is Tusbaki, who has become so comfortable with the life she has that she begins to feel almost helplessly stuck. Her first foray into making a change – agreeing to date Saito, predictably backfired. This isn’t because her heart wasn’t in it, though that was absolutely a factor, but because she never actually committed to making a change. Telling herself she’s choosing Saito while filling their time together with stories about Kousei showed an unwillingness to treat him as boyfriend rather than her old senpai. In the end, he helps her come to the same realization in the gentlest way he can.

Saito fake chopping Tsubaki's head when she apologizes to him

While Kousei took a huge personal leap in deciding to actively pursue a music career, he is no better at anticipating or dealing with change. As was pointed out in yesterday’s post, Kousei is still trying to delude himself about Kaori’s condition to avoid a situation that is too eerily similar to what happened with his mom. He uses any excuse to avoid seeing her, including Watari and a number of bad luck omens. What he is actually running from is his growing feelings for Kaori and his inability to approach them. He instead exists in a kind of limbo where he’s always on his way toward or away from the hospital to avoid the possible disappointment of over-reaching in his relationship with her or heartache over her situation being more serious than he realized.

In the final scene of the episode we see Kaori’s struggle to confront what is happening as well. As she tried to delude her friends about her condition she also puts aside her own concerns about her health. Letting her friends know the truth or preparing for the worst case scenario would be an admission that her life may not be the same again – something which frightens her just as much as the others.

Image of Kaori on the hospital floor looking bewildered after she fell down

Your lie in April started with the basic premise that a people stagnate without a source of passion to drive them. Kousei avoided the piano, but was still clinging to music in a way that made him unable to find make something of his life. Fifteen episodes later, that same hesitance to run toward uncertainty plagues these characters. As I said, this is human nature and it might always be this way for them, but we will see them learn in the remaining episodes that understanding and accepting change is a necessary part of life. Focusing their paths around one thing or person makes it all the harder to do that, and being aware of this will be an important lesson in being able to move forward.

This is another ‘heavy’ theme considering the subject material, but what did you think of it? What other themes did you see? Let me know in the comments and be sure to play the quiz for more chances to win.

Your Quiz in April

5 thoughts on “Your Theme in April: Ep 15 – Liar

Add yours

  1. Saito is such a good dude, really enjoyed him in the show. The final scene with Kaori broke my heart so hardcore, poor thing T_T don’t have much else to say on this one honestly, was a really good episode and this was a great analysis that pretty much is anything I’d say about this ep in particular.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, he did stick with her a good while and I get the feeling he made up the story about the other girl just so Tsubaki wouldn’t feel like it was her fault as much. Part of me wishes we could have seen more from him but he served the purpose he was meant to for this story.

      Kaori’s breakdown I think is hard for everyone the first time they see it, just because her behavior is so different from what we know about her. I think this was the first time we see her frightened.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yeah I’m totally in the camp of Saito made up the new girl because he knew Tsubaki wouldn’t break up with him, whether it was because she didn’t realize her feelings towards Kousei/or lack of towards him or not, it was super admirable and really mature. I was thinking around episode 14 that these characters act way too mature to be in middle school/high school lol.

        Sadly Kaori’s break down is another thing I connected on at a personal level lol. Like I’m really surprised at the homework the writer of this show has done towards like…every aspect it covers, really great job.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s that last scene that really does it, I think. As I mentioned to Crystal, the shock of seeing her so afraid and panicked over what was happening to her. I always talk about how this show tends to put you in the characters’ headspace, and I feel like the audience kind of forgets how sick she is when she’s calling Kousei to talk about canelés or skipping down the hall.

      Likewise, the reality check hits us as hard as it hits her and it’s hard to absorb the moment when you first see it.

      Liked by 1 person

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