Although once a child prodigy in the music world, pianist Kousei Arima is left in a downward spiral after his mother’s death, unable to even hear the sound of his own piano. Even after two years, Arima has all but left the music world behind, disappointing fans and rivals alike, and living in a colorless world. Then one day that that all changes when he is introduced to the beautiful violinist Kaori Miyazono who brings color into his world once more.
Throughout its long run, Your Lie in April introduced us to a wide cast of characters that gradually changed and evolved around us. While the romance is bittersweet, the different themes explored kept fans begging for more. Need more anime like Your Lie in April in your life? Try these wonderful anime recommendations.
For Fans of Tortured Musicians
Shinichi Chiaki is a first-rate musician that has dreams of playing among Europe’s elite. However, due to his fear of flying, he has remained firmly grounded in Japan. In his fourth year at Japan’s top music university, he meets Megumi Noda, or Nodame, as she prefers to be called. At first she seems unkempt and without direction, but when he hears her play, everything he thought he knew about her was wrong.
Naturally, the most obvious similarity between these two series is that they both focus on music and prodigal performers with problems. However, in Nodame Cantabile, no one stops performing but rather the show focuses on comedy, the love of music, and the love between two people. However, Your Lie in April uses music and tragic stories to tug at your heart strings.
Kids on the Slope
After moving around his entire life, classical pianist Kaoru Nishimi has abandoned all hope of fitting in as he arrives in Kyushu for his final year of high school. However, that all changes when he meets the thuggish drummer, Sentaro Kawabuchi, a man with an immeasurable love for jazz. Over the music they bond together and Kaoru learns that music should be something to bring joy to others, not something dictated by hundreds of years of technique.
Both anime series revolve around the main character finding and expressing themselves through music. Your Lie in April is about dealing with trauma while Kids on the Slope is more about the main character breaking out of his shell. Love polygons exist in both, but Your Lie in April is much more drama packed.
White Album 2
Haruki Kitahara’s light music club is on the verge of disbanding due to lack of interest, an event that will crush his dream of playing at the school festival. However, as he solemnly plays “White Album,” the first song he ever learned to play, an angelic voice suddenly harmonizes with his lonely guitar.
In both series, the major way to develop the characters and push the romance forward is through music. They are also both a huge rollercoaster of feels. However, White Album 2 is much more oriented towards romance while Your Lie in April explores a number of different themes. Surprisingly, White Album 2 is also more serious.
Ef: A Tale of Melodies
Ef tells two stories. One of the studious Himura Yuu in the past who cares only about his grades, only to have memories of his past dug up by a girl who recognizes him. The second tale takes place in the present day where Kuze Shuuichi uses his womanizing to keep people away. However, after hearing the sounds of his violin, Hayama Mizuki won’t keep away no matter how hard he pushes back.
Both series feature musicians that either quit music or want to quit as well as someone to support them continuing to create music. Both tackle difficult emotional situations like death, abuse, and illness. Both series kind of get lost in their own drama for awhile, and both also feature superb scenery shots.
Honey and Clover
Honey and Clover follows a group of college students who meet Hagumi, an artist with a tremendous amount of talent that transfers to their school. From there on, Honey and Clover tells stories about the joys of falling in love, the pain of letting go, and the journey to discovering who you really are.
Both are essentially the same type of story. One is about music, the other is about art, but both are about new friends, new memories, blossoming love, and overcoming the past. While both anime series have excellent insert songs, monologues, and complex character relationships, You Lie in April tends to be more dramatic while Honey and Clover has more comedic moments.
For Fans of Relationship Struggles
5 Centimeters Per Second
Takaki Toono and Akari Shinohara became close friends during their time together, but their relationship is tested when Akari moves with her family. Despite the distance, they continue to keep in contact. As years pass by and they drift down their own paths, the distance grows wider, but they keep the memory of one another alive in their hearts.
This was the original bittersweet romance before Your Lie in April. Although only three episodes, it manages to capture everything that Your Lie in April does in 22 episodes. Both series ultimately explore the struggles in a relationship and how humans connect and disconnect over time.
Blue Spring Ride
In junior high, Futaba Yoshioka was attractive to all the boys, and thus ostracized by her female peers. However, she was able to endure it because the only opinion that truly mattered was that of her shy classmate Kou Tanaka. However, one day Kou moved away. Now in high school Futaba shuns all male attention to be liked by her female peers, that is, until Kou finally returns.
Where Your Lie in April tells the tale from the perspective of the male protagonist, Blue Spring Ride tells the tale of the female protagonist who has to try to figure out what wounds the male protagonist in her series. However, both are about the main characters becoming who they really are through a character driven plot with a healthy dose of symbolism.
Banri Tada has finally been accepted into a private law academy in Tokyo, but due to an accident, he is without all his memories. During his freshmen orientation, he meets Mitsuo Yanagisawa who is consummately stalked by a girl from his old school. Banri begins to hit it off with both of them. As they spend more time together, their fates seem intertwined, but for better or worse?
In both series, the main character falls for a girl that, by all appearances, seems to have a thing for his best friend. Both main characters also suffer from some emotional turmoil because of a past that haunts them. It is something that eventually comes to manifest physically in one condition or another. However, the major difference between both series is that Golden Time maintains a more upbeat attitude.
Welcome to the NHK
College dropout Tatsuhiro Satou has been living as a hikikomori shut-in for four years now. In his extreme isolation, he has come to believe a number of conspiracy theories, primary among them is that the Nihon Hikikomori Kyokai (NHK) is responsible for his isolation by spreading hikikomori culture. However, while struggling to go out into the world and get a job, he has a run-in with the mysterious Misaki Nakahara, a girl who might signal a great change coming to his life.
In both series, the main character has his deep-seated emotional scars slowly soothed by the entrance of a new woman in their life. Both ultimately are trying to avoid something in their life, but the girls, as well as their very tight group of friends, slowly help them crawl out of their shell.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Your Lie in April? Tell us about it in the comments section below.