Mushishi Zoku Shou 2nd Season - Episode 5
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.
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.