Ao Haru Ride Episode 1
The first episode uses distance and surface division to convey the mood between the characters.
Usually distance and surface division are used to express emotional separation between two characters. The shot above uses them to create a rather charming interaction between the characters. The use of bloom and watercolor texture softens the lines of division and gives the scene a dreamy look. This makes the use of distance as an effective way to express the innocence and awkwardness of young love.
Without the bloom and watercolor look the surface division becomes sharper, which changes the mood between Futaba and Mabuchi. Three years has gone by since they’ve talked, and they’re different people now (at least that’s the act they’re putting on). The alley way, the column and the window panes visualize this emotional separation between the two. Mabuchi also expressed the notion that they can never go back to past and these surface divisions can symbolize barriers to the past.
There are also constant images of Mabuchi’s back and Futaba always seem to be looking at him walking away. This reinforces Mabuchi’s view that they can never go back, he’s turning his back and walking away from the past.