Well, it's Review Rednesday again! Since we finished our last batch of titles that were released on the same day, our next batch is Your Lie in April and My Little Monster. So in honor of Naoshi Arakawa coming to Anime Expo, we'll start with Your Lie In April! Spoiler level: moderate?
If we don't write this Your Lie in April review fast, we're going to forget all about it in favor of Noragami. We've already forgotten most of it...it's just like Chapter 30 of Noragami [the one where Hiyori is at Capyper Land with Koto], only Noragami is Koto, and Your Lie in April is Yato.
But anyway, when I stop and concentrate, I remember that there weren't so many events in this manga, but a lot of really big important stuff happened. First, Kosei found himself. That's the main one. I was very happy for him. I think he could probably still use therapy, but of course by the end of the series, I'm sure he'll mostly overcome his problems. Other than his grief over the loss of Kaori, of course. [That last part is speculation.]
Speaking of Kaori! She had that sign on her door that spelled her name with a W, and we were like, "Nooooooooooooooo!!!" I don't know why we didn't spell it with a W, since there's Kaworu in Evangelion, and thinking about it, the manga artist is clearly a fan of various anime and Evangelion would have to be one of them because they both have trippy mind trip trippiness, and it's super mainstream so who doesn't love Evangelion, am I right? (We actually haven't seen any of the new movies, though. Despite our Japanese penpal being very much in love with them.)
But it's like...sometimes the name is spelled with a ho instead of an o, and you just ignore it, because it's a remnant of Classical Japanese and you just don't translate it in. I don't know. It's probably not important. And we learned at Anime Expo that there is somebody in charge of name spelling approvals.
In a sort of related note, we're starting to think maybe we should get a collection of Peanuts comics. We're bummed out, because in volume four (was it four? I think it was four, but Athena thinks it was two or three; I'm pretty sure it wasn't two, but it could have been three) there were some Snoopy quotes, and we were able to find a website that told us exactly which comic the quotes came from so we could look up the English version on an online archive and get the quote right. But by the time we translated volume five, the site that told us which comics the quotes came from was nowhere to be found...but anyway, writing this helped us realize that there's an online archive, so if we just want to read them, we can already do that. Maybe what we need is a Japanese Peanuts collection...but then how will we know where to look for the quotes?
Anyway, this volume also has some interesting things about Kosei's mother. Here's another interesting(?) thing about Kosei's mother: until volume four, we didn't know her first name, so in the script, whenever I needed to type who was talking, I typed "Mother." Then we learned her first name, and I thought she was really evil and bad and didn't deserve to be called by name, so I left it, but I wonder if that's even worse, because a mother is supposed to be the best thing that ever happened to a kid (for lack of a better way to express my thoughts on the matter), and Saki is definitely not that.
But anyway, to differentiate from before and after the change, I'll use Saki when she's talking to Hiroko. It's very intriguing to find out that she loved Kosei so much and didn't even want him to be a pianist. Even after deciding to make him one, you'd think she wouldn't get so abusive. So I can understand why Hiroko feels responsible for everything (since it was her idea), but there had to be more to it to change Saki into that monster.
I did write down one thing I wanted to mention, as a reaction we had while translating this volume. The way Emi comments on Kosei's performance, it's like she's a piano psychic or something. I call her the Piano Whisperer.
I think Kosei's realization about the feelings people put into their music is important. We read a review of volume one where the reviewer admits to having a hard time reading the series, because of Kaori's utter disrespect for the score. As a musicologist, she learned all the reasons that the judges want the competitors to follow the score exactly, and I can understand that point of view to an extent. The composer wanted the music to be expressed a certain way, and ignoring the directions in the score is going against that. And I think Kaori takes the "put yourself in the music" to an extreme.
But! as I said we might do after translating volume four (or was it three?), we did go ahead and order The Well-Tempered Clavier, and I've been practicing it when I've had spare time (ha ha ha... (that means it doesn't happen very often)), and Bach actually didn't give...any dynamic markings, really. Even the suggested tempo was added by scholars later (according to the introduction in the book). But even considering composers who do direct the musician to play a certain a emotion, different people are going to express that emotion in different ways, and if you're just a mirror of the score, it's probably going to sound mechanical (as this manga suggests). So I think the answer is a little of both. Follow the score, but put some of yourself into it, too.
Also, the chapter where Takeshi has to come to terms with Kosei's performance was really good.
Today I'm thankful for getting to watch another great episode of Bungo Stray Dogs, our photo book coming in the mail, making better progress on our Livingstone edit than our first hour of work on it led us to believe, unlocking the Coliseum in Kingdom Hearts Unchained Chi, and getting to watch the Sailor Moon finale two nights ago.