Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 10

Friday, December 12, 2014

The cold intro was my favorite moment of this episode. As beautiful as the aesthetics of this show can be a times with its vivid imagery and stylistic close-ups, the constant usage can dilute their effect. Low key moments like this cold intro function as a breather from both a visual and pacing standpoint. It’s just a plain scene of two friends having a conversation while walking home from school. This simplicity allows the characters’ actions and dialogue to speak for themselves, such moments can even provide a purer sense of sincerity.



The scene starts with a tracking shot of electric lines as Watari laments his delayed journey to stardom. Then it cuts to panning cutaways of the street. Without even showing the characters the scene establishes what’s happening. We know they’re walking due to the tracking shot and we know their surroundings due to the cutaways. Also, by not showing the characters it slows the scene down for the intended subdued effect.

The characters are finally presented with a use of a tracking shot. A good portion of the dialogue was done with a tracking shot at medium close-up or close-up. I think the intention was to make the audience feel like they’re walking along with the characters, which puts more attention to the dialogue. By engaging the audience this way, the simple act of Watari asking “You still can’t hear?” and Kousei lightly squeezing the music sheet results in a genuine expression of pain.  As we continue to follow these characters, Kousei then stops and expresses his fear of not being able to hear music again. Stopping the tracking shot as the audience follows along is a simple dramatic effect that becomes more impactful when actions and dialogue are the main focus.
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The performance scene was filled with unbalanced shots of characters’ lacking nose/lead room. This type of shot is uncomfortable to look at. When intentionally used, it’s to visually unsettle the audience to complement a distressing scene. The show has used lack of nose/lead room before for this intended effect but the difference in this scene is it was also used in the uplifting part of the performance. I think the use of unbalanced framing throughout the scene was done to reflect Kousei’s sporadic and unsteady performance. I’m not sure if I like this usage, especially during the uplifting part but it’s definitely an interesting take on it.

Unbalanced shots when Kousei’s was struggling with his performance.

Unbalanced shots during the tender and heartfelt part of the performance.

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