Just after “Your Lie in April” concluded, out came their OVA. This is a rare OVA, in that you have to see the series all the way through before you can honestly watch the OVA. The entire OVA is referenced throughout the series and it makes a caliber of sense when you see this, as you were given all the clues. I am assuming it is about four years earlier, so everyone is 10 or so, although the picture may give an indication of being eight. It’s hard to tell. We have the three main players on that bench, each noshing on their favorite treat.
Left to right, Emi Igawa, Kosei Arima and Takeshi Aiza, are all the same age and are all tremendously gifted pianists, but everyone takes a back seat to what Arima does. He is the Human Metronome, in that he plays the music perfectly. There isn’t much color or spark in what he does (unlike his rivals), but the judges look for technical perfection and Arima has that in spades. Here’s the funny thing: Arima is in competition against himself, trying to win over the love of his dying mother, who is as rough as they get. Emi and Aiza are chasing Arima and always coming up short. For the most part, there are your medalists, so to speak, as the rest of the competitors are left with scraps.
Arima isn’t even aware of these rivals as rivals. It’s not anything self-serving or condescending; he is just wrapped up in the music and how best to play it. He goes out and tickles those ivories and they respond in kind. Meanwhile Emi and Aiza are beside themselves with apoplectic envy, as the very best that they can do is still miles behind what Arima does with almost egoless perfection. It drives the two of them bonkers.
We also see an early appearance of Kaori, who was a pianist as well, but switched to violin after hearing Arima play, as she wanted to play with him at some future date. We observe all the pieces put into place for the end results that arrive four years later (or so). It is a more effective OVA than I imagined, as since we know who these people are, we can take a bit of time to understand their personalities better and the drive that pushes them onward and upwards as well as how they became to be the folks we see in the series.
It’s also rather heartbreaking, as we know what the future holds for these folks and you want to change or alter it, so they could be happier than when we see them in the series. Still, this is a fine OVA and I am loathe to disclose anything more. Much like a Mozart piece, I can describe it, but I can’t help you see it and take in all in. You must experience it for yourself. I would strongly suggest that you see this immediately after the series concludes, while everything is fresh in your memory. And we’ll just ignore the fact that it appears Arima’s sheet music says “Mozirt”.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Slips into anime tropes a bit)
Plot 9 (Very nice overview of them)
Pacing 8 (Moves along consistently)
Effectiveness 8 (Lots of clues for us to gather)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler’, but it has really just begun)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 8 (Superb)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Want an egg sandwich?