Death Parade Episode 12

Friday, March 27, 2015

During the part where Chiyuki was watching her mother from outside the house, the glass panel was used as a visual motif separating Chiyuki and her mother. This could be interpreted as an imagery of the lack of understanding and the disconnect between mother and daughter. It also can be seen as a symbolic barrier between the living and the dead.

The interesting thing about this sequence was the restrained use of the glass panel as a visual motif. In the beginning of this sequence, Chiyuki, her mother and the glass panel were not shot together. The feeling of separation between the two was mainly expressed through eyeline matches of Chiyuki watching her mother from behind the glass panel. The four pairs of images above are shots of these eyeline matches paired together.

In the first three pairs of shots you might notice a shot size progression of Chiyuki. These shots progresses from a medium shot, close-up, and finally to an extreme close-up. This progression served both as a build up to the drama and the symbolic nature of the glass panel.

In the extreme close-up, Chiyuki was watching her mother walk to her shrine with her favorite food. This sequence finally led to a shot of Chiyuki, her mother and the glass panel between them (1st above image). At this moment the glass panel’s symbolism as an emotional barrier and a barrier between the dead and the living became more apparent. The build up to this moment made the imagery more tragic. This is relevant because after the mother expressed her feelings of guilt, Chiyuki deeply regretted her suicide and wanted to rectify her mistakes. She wanted to break the barrier separating them by living again, by fixing her wrong doings, and by coming to an understanding with her mother. The establishment of a symbolic visual motif made her desire for a second chance feel stronger and consequently made her decision not to do so feel more difficult.

6:45 a.m. SUN 31 August 2014

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This short movie conveys the nostalgic sentiments for old-fashion style and technology in a time of rapid progression. The vivid visual presentation has a comforting atmosphere that can be likened to visiting an old grandparents’ house.

Watch the short below:

The most impressive thing about this short is the finely detailed and wonderful background art that helped create a nostalgic mood. The excellent background work is brought to life by the immersive use of camera movement.

The short movie aimed to immerse the audience both with the use of subjective (participant’s viewpoint) and objective (observer’s viewpoint) shots. Subjective shots were used to give the audience a first person point of view of the subject’s action. These shots created an illusion of trading places with the subject. Swiping the tablet to turn a page and going down the stairs to pick up a newspaper were seen through the subject’s eyes. Seeing these contrasting actions from a subjective view point made the antiquated morning routine of picking up a newspaper feel genuinely nostalgic. It is later revealed that the newspaper was a tablet all along and these actions were seen through the eyes of someone emulating a morning routine that is a relic of the past.

The objective shots were mostly used to display the surroundings but what made them immersive were the use of languid and meticulous panning and tilting movements. The slow panning and tilting around the house let the viewer absorb the detail and beauty of the artwork little by little. By not revealing everything at once it allowed the viewer’s imagination to construct the whole scenery in their head as if it was something real. The best example of this camera movement was the panning shot starting from the kitchen. We get to carefully observe and realize how old fashion  everything are, such as the architectural style, the designs of the furniture, the sparse amount of electronic devices and the old-styled appliances. By immersing the viewer into the outdated surrounding it made the little twist in the end pleasantly surprising.

Death Parade Episode 11

Friday, March 20, 2015

The ice skating scene was absolutely fantastic and beautiful. I also liked the subtle sentimental moment between Decim and Chiyuki right before the performance. No words were said; it just used the piano in the background to connect the two characters.

It started with a wide shot of Chiyuki with the piano in the background. This established the piano’s placement in the scene, in relation with the ice rink and the character. The shallow focus close-up shot of Chiyuki put a bit more emphasis on the piano. Its importance was still unclear due to being out of focus but this shot served more as a build-up.

The gif showing the eyeline match between Decim and the piano is what established the piano’s significance. The camera zoomed out to finally put the piano in focus and then cut to the dummy playing. The sequence shown in the gif was important in connecting Decim and Chiyuki. The piano music was a sincere gesture of Decim’s desire to understand Chiyuki’s emotions and memories. He wanted the ice skating performance to feel as genuine as possible in order for Chiyuki to relive what she loved and to also reconnect with old emotions and memories.

The last shot is similar to the first close-up but now the piano is more in focus since its role has been established. The piano being more in focus also put more emphasis on Chiyuki’s reaction to it. She was slightly surprised by Decim’s sincerity then looks back at him with an appreciative smile.

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 21

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This was quite an emotionally heavy episode. The moments that emotionally stood out were the Kousei-Hiroko and the rooftop scenes but what really caught my attention was the hospital room scene between Kousei and Kaori. This scene effectively used framing and other compositional elements to create a distant mood that then shifts to one that’s more intimate.

The scene starts off with an awkward and detached mood. Kousei avoids conversation and eye contact to distance himself from the pain of seeing the deteriorating health of Kaori. The two “two shots” above reflect this feeling of detachment. The three-quarter angle shot (first image) and the wide shot created distance between the two characters that conveyed a feeling of disconnect. This feeling of disconnect was further reinforced with the use surface division and dividing lines that visually separated the characters. The three-quarter shot staged Kousei against a white surface while Kaori was against a brown one. The wide shot used the pink hospital curtain as a strong divider.

The single shots (primarily medium close-ups) used off center framing and had the characters looking completely away from the camera to maintain the mood of detachment. While off center framing (rule of thirds) is quite conventional, in this instance it functioned to reinforce the detached mood by creating distance between successive single shots.
By having the characters completely look away from the camera it purposely made this part of the scene feel impersonal both between the characters and the audience. Additionally, the eyeline strongly angled away from camera combined with the off center framing added strong visual weight to the characters’ eyeline. Eyeline visual weight is usually helpful in connecting two subjects but since Kousei was looking away from Kaori it functioned more as a separator.