Even if you like the show, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso's OVA is an in-coherent mess, with events and backstories that should have been elaborated on in the show.
Animation - 5/10
In the show, the animation (besides the atrocious CGI hands) was beautiful in places. However in the OVA, most of the scenes are reused, and when a scene ISN'T reused, it's probably a still frame. There were still an overabundance of chibis, and some very awkwardly animated scenes. Some examples are when Takeshi Aiza was riding on his bike, and there was a very oddly place perception shot. The animation while he was riding was
also just a loop, which would be fine, if the animation was so awkward and didn't repeat for as long as it did.
The art was ok. Just about the same as the show but with an issue that I need to bring up. These characters are approximately 12 years-old in the OVA, and at this point of the story. Yet, they all look as if they are 3rd graders. It's a really big pet peeve of mine, that I feel was undermined for the sole purpose of making the characters "easy to connect to" or "kaaaawaaaa---eeeeeee".
Sound - 6/10
Voice acting was exactly the same. Nothing stood out in the OST other than the remix of one of the songs in the show. I had a big issue when Aiza was listening to Kousei play the piano at his house...yet I couldn't hear the piano...at all. Would have been nice to experience what Aiza was listening to.
Story - 3/10
An absolutely incoherent mess. The story is supposed to give background information on the relationship of Aiza, Emi, and Kousei, yet we see no interaction from Kousei. He's simply...not apart of the relationship. It felt as if the OVA was just screaming "NOTICE ME SENPAI! NOTICE ME!", and Kousei never noticed.
Aside from Kousei's involvement, the story just jumps around too much to really understand what's going on. One moment they're at a concert, next moment, Aiza is sitting outside Kousei's house. The pacing is atrocious as events go by waaaaay too fast to comprehend what's actually going on. This all just felt as if it was supposed to be an arc IN THE SHOW, similar to how Kuroko no Basket has arcs dedicated to flashbacks to develop the characters.
Characters - 3/10
Emi and Takeshi both have the same, typical cliche'd "I'M GONNA BE THE BEST!" mentality, that isn't even somewhat heartwarming due to the pacing of the OVA and the lack of amount of time to establish a connection. Even if you are to watch this after marathoning the show, you won't feel anything, as these motivations were established in the show.
As stated earlier, Kousei is very bland and has no involvement in what was SUPPOSED to be a 3-way development triangle of sorts. Due to him being the most interesting character in the show, by far, it makes no sense to have him act completely bland, other than to be an excuse to have the "NOTICE ME SENPAI!" mentality with Takeshi and Emi.
Aiza and Emi are generic. Nothing happens with these two as neither of them really grow...well Aiza does to an extent, but in the end, he has the same mentality as he did at the beginning of the OVA. There's no development here, and the characters are very generic.
Enjoyment - 1/10
I'd give it lower but I physically can't.
Value - 1/10
There's no rewatchability here, that's for sure. This was also built off of many typical shounen cliche's, and the OVA brings nothing new to the show.
Final Verdict - 3.17/10
The OVA/OAD is very hard to watch. The amount of reused clips is disappointing, but it's an OVA, so I guess that can be excused to an extent. The sound is average, and the characters are just...there. Nothing is done with them, and they don't develop. Even if you like the show, there is no point in watching this OVA, other than for the sake of watching something short.
If you are a self respecting human being, don't watch this. This is more of a incomprehensible mess than pretty much anything I can remember in recent memory. They reuse many clips used in the show and the the stuff that isn't reused does not correlate with the story the presented in the show at all. Maybe this is the story from the manga but it is directly tied with the show so I am judging it as such. If you want my thoughts on the whole series I have written my thoughts on that so you can do check that out. Now, I will
briefly say what I think about each area you usually find in a review.
Makes no sense with the one presented in the show. This would have been a great way to start off the show but then Shigatsu would have had to actually have had a budget since it relied heavily on reused flashback scenes.
As stated they reuse more footage than even the show does and its truly disgusting to see how lazy A-1 was being with this OVA. The OP does look much better than it originally did and so does the ending song but I think they were cleaned up for the Blurays. The newly animated scenes mostly looked really cheap and the one or two that didn't probably were reused from the show that I didn't pick up.
Nothing new here. Same old show. They did remix one track from the OST. There was one scene of note that had an insert song blaring over an important scene with Aiza eavesdropping on Kousei practicing his piano. That scene was extremely frustrating as we wouldn't have even known that Kousei was playing if it was told to the audience.
It was like getting stabbed with a rusty knife.
This could have been an interesting episode or arc in the show if it was handled in the show but it wasn't. I think that if they were more accurate to how the show presented his past, the OVA would have been much easier to watch. I would have actually been more interested to see his past in a much more grimdark manner. One thing I forgot to mention is how happy the OVA is.
Tl;Dr Shigatsu shot itself in the foot. A bad show now with a worse backstory.
"Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso", or "Your Lie in April", was a series that was in my opinion, oddly divided among the anime community. (Honestly, I don't get why people hate this show so much.) On one hand, many people praised the show for its themes and storytelling, while others thought of it as a piece of entertainment that was WAY too overhyped for what it actually was, essentially dumbing down the opinion of anyone who gave it positive feedback. So, even with all of that, what did this OVA of one of the more recently debated anime give us?
Story (7.98/10): For
the most part, OVA's of anime usually give us, the viewer, a little side story or comedic bit of a series that we have already watch before, acting as a little bit more of a series that we either enjoy, or hold dear to our hearts. However, Shigatsu's OVA takes a different route than most OVA's.
In this OVA, Shigatsu takes a step back in time, going all the way back to the time of Arima's first concert. Acting as a precursor for the original anime's time, this OVA tells the story of the two piano rivals that Kousei has, Takeshi and Emi, and how they became the the rivals to Kousei with the ever growing musical bloodlust they have for going forward and beating Kousei in a music competition, as noted by the original 22 episode run of Shigatsu. (Also, it throws in a little bit of Kaori in there as well.) Personally, I find this to be a good use of an OVA for the anime, as it takes a step back and shows the viewer in greater detail, what happened before the original run of the series, and why some things and character relations are the way they are.
In addition, the OVA shows a couple little small details, showing little tidbits of places, actions, and people from before the time the original series, which I personally thought was a nice touch, as it shows just how much things can change as time goes on. Overall though, I thought the story of this OVA was a very fitting one in order to give the viewer more detail as to what happened before the "present day" time in Shigatsu. While there were some imbalances, like Emi's story and motivation not being as prominent as Takeshi's (reminds me of what happened in the original series. Yeesh.) it was overall, a good story that ties in well with the overall series.
+ Flashback OVA that tells the events that lead up to the story
+ Deepens some characters a little more
- Character stories still had imbalance in screentime and attention.
- Kinda bounces back and forth perspective
Characters: (8.00/10): The characters in this OVA are very different in terms of importance, than in the original series. As I had mentioned before, the piano rivals Takeshi and Emi are put forth in center stage as the viewer gets to understand and learn why and how Kousei is what he is to them. You get to see them grow up and go through the years leading up to the fated 2 years ago moment that centers around Kousei's character, thus giving a bit more detail to their characters and allow a bit more understanding to their motivations.
In contrast though, the main four characters Kousei, Tsubaki, Watari, and Kaori, are pushed to the back, only having momentary appearances throughout the 30 minute runtime of this OVA. (This is to be expected from having character importance shifted.) Overall though, I appreciated the development that we got from this OVA, on account of the fact that the characters who got it were characters we as the viewer knew somewhat little about. (Watari still gets jack. Poor Watari, always forgotten.)
+ Other characters gained development and importance
Art and Sound (8.75/10 and 8.80/10): The visuals for Shigatsu seemed to have dipped slightly in quality (though this is to be expected in an OVA.) Similar to its full length predecessor, all manners of its artstyle are utilized, ranging from its symbolism backgrounds when Kousei is playing, to the over exaggerated facial expressions when someone is having a "comedy moment." But compared to the original series, they didn't seem as grand as they could've been, so there's that to take into account.
On the sound department, this OVA takes form the beautiful stylings from the first half of the show, using "Hikaru Nara" and "Kirameki", the first OP and ED as the beginning and ending song for this OVA. Both are wonderfully beautiful pieces, and my personal favorite duo of the two OP and ED combos, using a very cheerful and bright sound and tone that for me, warms my heart.
+ Art is rather consistent
+ Uses the beautiful tracks from the original series (my personal favorite tracks)
- Art quality has dipped from the standard of the original series
Personal Enjoyment (8.00/10): While many people argue that Shigatsu is a series that doesn't deserve the credit that it gets, I personally believe it is a beautiful piece of work and deserves at least the majority of the praise that it gets. As for this OVA, well, it doesn't stack up to the original in my opinion, (I was actually hoping for a timeskip OVA where Kousei would be like 21 and in college, coming back to visit Kaori's grave or something like that.) I still believe that this OVA was a good experience.
What did I like about this OVA?
I liked more or less the fact that it was a development OVA. It wasn't a generic OVA where comedy or a ridiculous plotline was used to fill up the time, but rather one that had to do with the story that was being told, and contributed, even slightly, to the grand scheme of the anime that it was tied into. It gave the viewer greater detail on the events that took place before the period of time when the anime started, and gave a bit more backstory to some characters whose pre-existing backstories were lacking quite a bit of detail.
What didn't I like about this OVA?
The character importance really irked me quite a bit. Similar to the original series, Emi doesn't get as much screentime as she does, losing out to her male rival counterpart, Takeshi, in detail, screentime, and overall importance. In addition, the art quality drop wasn't something I took as kindly to since the show didn't look AS stunning as it was before.
Would I recommend this OVA?
If you watched Shigatu wa Kimi no Uso, and liked it, you might like this OVA. If you didn't, I wouldn't recommend this. Like all OVA's, this one is tailored to fans of the show, giving more of a series to viewers that liked the original show. While this OVA isn't perfect as there are quite a few flaws with its execution, it should provide a decently enjoyable experience to those who have a more positive reception of this series.
Fans of the main series, be warned. Your enjoyment of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso: Moments (Moments) will largely depend on setting appropriate expectations going into it. If you are expecting Moments to shed new light on the characters and story while maintaining the superb quality of the main series, then you will likely be sorely disappointed. If, however, you are fine with revisiting familiar sights again and again, then you may find Moments to be a somewhat pleasing look back on the show.
Set prior to the events of the main series, Moments recycles many of the main series' flashback scenes in one form or
another; some are merely extended scenes, while others are previously seen events from slightly different perspectives or events that were previously only alluded to. The few new scenes scattered throughout Moments feel very much like deleted scenes that did not make it past the cutting room floor of the main series—and for good reason: they provide absolutely nothing of consequence in terms of character and plot development. Even worse, many of the scenes feel stitched together in an unnatural way, resulting in sudden and even harsh transitions, which impedes the general flow of the episode.
The magic of the main series is in the storytelling through its thoughtfully crafted synthesis of cinematography, music, and dialogue. Individually, these components in Moments are merely adequate, and never once did it feel like the same care and consideration went into making the three perform harmoniously. Much of this can be attributed to the mishmash nature of Moments. Just as scenes fail to sufficiently build from one to the next, the individual components of each scene fail to effectively play off each other.
Still, even with all that said, Moments follows the same characters that were loved by viewers for twenty-two episodes. It may simply be enough for some fans to join Kousei and the gang for one last ride, but please heed the warning from the beginning of the review: understand what Moments is and is not before watching it.