Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 8

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The camera work used for Takeshi’s and Emi’s performances differed from each other in order to present their differing play style and motives. Even though both share a similar desire to overcome Kousei, their approach was different and the camera work reflected that.

Takeshi’s performance was an exhibition of technical excellence and skill; facets where he’s trying to surpass Kousei. The performance had a confrontational and competitive feel to it. To convey Takeshi’s competitive spirit, much of the camera work were zoom in/push in shots that put more focus and attention on his intense performance.

While Emi’s is also trying to surpass Kousei, her performance was less about competing but more about reaching out to Kousei. She wants the old Kousei back, the one who played with emotions and inspired her to become a performer. Emi is a performer that wears her heart on her sleeves and through this she uses music to send an emotional message to Kousei. This is reflected by the tracking shots used in her performance. The lateral and forward movements of the camera felt like an emulation of Emi’s message travelling through her music. Just like her message to Kousei, her emotions travel and flow and this is expressed by the travelling movement of tracking shots.

Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season - Episode 5

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mushishi just does simple and subtle composition so well. Upon first viewing it’s unnoticeable but nonetheless effective in telling the story and quite fitting for the understated drama the show is going for.

The shots above are from the dialogue between Ginko and Gen’s father prior to the flashback about the mother. The first shot is a simple off center shot of the two. The camera is angled on them from the right side. This angle conceals the right side of the room and tells the audience to ignore that area. The dialogue progresses to the second shot, where Ginko looks off screen to his right, suggesting that there’s actually something of interest there. It then cuts to a shot of Gen, showing that Ginko knew all along that he was listening from behind that side of room and he means to reveal the truth to him unbeknownst to his father. This sequence is a good example of misdirection (concealing the right side) and redirection (shifting Ginko’s eyeline to the right) to build drama in a subdued manner.

These shots are after the flashback. As you’ll notice in the first shot, the camera is now angled on them from the left side, effectively showing the right side of room (sliding door). By doing so, it now includes Gen into the conversation from behind the sliding door. This also sets up the emotional part of the scene when Gen finally opens that door and pleads his desire to see his mother.
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The intro to this episode was beautifully done. Not only does it build interest in a key story element but also uses it for an elegant wipe transition.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 6

Thursday, November 13, 2014

This show continues to use lateral tracking in interesting ways. There was the Kousei tracking shot in Episode 2. Then, there’s the tracking shot of Tsubaki in Episode 5 that made use of the lateral movement as a wipe transition to a brief flashback.

In these tracking shots both characters lack nose/lead room and the framing is obviously unbalanced. The lack of balance is uncomfortable to look at. For this scene it was meant to be that way in order to convey Tsubaki’s uncomfortable realization that Kaori’s usage of “we” did not include her with Kousei.

Also, notice how the two are framed at opposite sides to each other and in the overlay (third image) of the two shots they’re facing away from each other. The mismatched visuals of the two reflect their incompatibility and Tsubaki’s lack of feelings for him.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 5

Friday, November 7, 2014

This episode had many captivating moments that pull you into investing yourself into these characters. These moments were primarily constituted of effective use of unbalanced framing, tight/extreme close ups and timely insert shots.

The Hospital Scene



The mini-flashback starts with an insert shot of Kousei pressing the piano key. This drives the point that he did try playing but still unable to hear his own music. The extreme close up of his eyes is to show him envisioning his performance with Kaori that he wants to recreate. Another insert shot of his finger hitting the key shows how out of reach that moment is. Seeing him repeatedly hitting the key only to just hear a thud adds so much melancholy to this sequence. The extreme close up of his ear is a visual of the sound of the piano not reaching him. All of these insert shots and close ups serve as emotional build up to when it finally cuts to an evocatively sad full-shot of him covering his ears. This last shot is also an unbalanced one (small lead room), which creates a visual of his seclusion from his music.

Also, the camera was shaky and was shifting in and out of focus. The combination of these effects, created an unnerving feeling that emphasized Kousei’s struggle and pain.

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis Episode 5

Monday, November 3, 2014

The obvious attention grabber of this episode was the large scale battle scene. It’s hard not to be amazed by a battle that included dragons, trebuchets, sorcerers and a flying castle but what caught my eye was the fight scene between Favaro and Kaisar.



The sequence starts with a worm’s eye view of Kaisar attacking Favaro. The camera actually pulls back in this shot, which makes the shot more dynamic. This is evident by the perspective changes in the background. It almost functions as a follow shot that involves the audience more into the action.

After a couple of cuts, the scene proceeds to a brief shaky cam wide shot. The wide shot establishes the characters positioning which sets up the continuity of the closer shots that follow it. The shaky cam adds a bit of dynamism but also makes the transition from the wide shot to the steadicam-like shots less jarring.

Sora no Method Episode 5

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The last flashback sequence made good use of matching character and camera movements in order to connect the present and the past.

The sequence begins in the present with a static shot of Yuzuki running to meet her friends for the supposed fireworks. It then cuts to the past, where we see different tracking shots of Yuzuki running to meet Nonoka to see the fireworks but ended up getting lost. Even though it begins with a static shot, the forward character movement matches well with the tracking movement in the flashback. This almost acts as a match on action cut from the present to the past.

The similarity in movements between character and camera creates a nice parallel between the present and the past. The flashback shows her running aimlessly and unable to fulfill her promise, which caused her to be lost as a person. The present shows her running with conviction. She has found herself and seeking to reconnect with her friends and finally fulfill their promise.

Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season - Episode 3

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Visual repetition is an effect often used by the Mushishi series to convey the importance of certain story elements. Often times, the repeated visual is related to the Mushi’s affect on humans. When implemented properly, repetition can lead to visually meaningful scenes. In this episode the repeated story element are shadows, specifically during sunset.

The last shot (bottom right) is the dramatic culmination of the repeated images of shadows. The insert shot of the husband’s shadow sets up the moment when he offers to switch places with Akane's shadow as a form of repentance.

You can go back as far as Season 1 – Episode 2 (The Light of the Eyelid) to see examples of visual repetition. In this episode you’ll see repeated shots with bloomy sunlight and sunrays.
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This shot is a well balanced composition that demonstrates the equivalent visual of weight of the two characters. The husband is in the background but draws attention with the use of frame within a frame and by being centered. Mikage provides counterbalance by appearing bigger in the foreground. This balance not only enhances the impact of the revelation but also reflects the burden they’re now equally carrying.