Ping Pong The Animation Episode 8
The use of imagery to create analogies for characterization is something Ping Pong have excelled at.
A close up of Kazama contemplating about Yurie's advice to play Ping Pong for himself.
The camera then pans to "The Thinker" statue. An imagery of Kazama deep in thought.
An extreme close up of a plane reflection on Kong's sunglasses. The plane has been the symbol for Kong's self exile and desire to come home. The imagery and the character it represents being in the same shot really drives this point home.
The camera then pulls back to reveal his coach/friend who asks if he's homesick.
Kong answers "You could say that" but the imagery of China on his coach's back and the plane in the background is a better reflection of how Kong feels.
The next images show the use of closeups of Ping Pong balls to represent the characters and establish a tone.
A closeup of a spinning ball to open up the scene.
It then cuts to a medium shot of Smile.
A closeup again, this time following Smile's line of sight. This is a simple scene but it shows how meticulous Smile is with Ping Pong balls to a robotic degree.
With Kong, closeups of Ping Pong balls were used to express intimidation.
A couple of more closeups with an intense looking Kong in the background really establish the tone of the match.
A nice use of the push/pull effect from the low angle. It gives the feeling of discouragement which the outmatched opponent was feeling.
Another set of plane imagery but this time with different symbolism.
The juxtaposition of the plane and Kong's teammates. This illustrates that the plane now represents what he has gained in Japan, which are supportive teammates and friends.
This closeup shows Kong's intensity despite knowing he's going to lose. This is a contrast from his look of desperation in his matches against Kazama and Smile. To him Ping Pong is now more than just winning and losing.