Hibike! Euphonium - Episode 8

Saturday, May 30, 2015

During the festival Kumiko and Kousaka decided to go hiking which lead to a beautifully executed scene of the two characters sharing a moment that cemented their friendship. The most apparent visual aspect of this scene was the strong usage of lighting on Kousaka in comparison to Kumiko. The lighting on Kousaka made her look ethereal and created a sense of reverence that epitomized her desire to be special.

Another visual aspect in this scene that was not as conspicuous as the lighting was the meaningful use of the city lights backdrop. It was used to both differentiate the characters and connect them towards the end of the scene.

The city lights backdrop were used for Kousaka’s solo shots, while Kumiko’s were set against a dull background. This contrast in vibrancy formed a perception of differing personalities between the two. The colorful city lights reinforced Kousaka’s ambitiousness. The bland background complemented Kumiko’s understated and reserved nature.

As the scene progressed Kousaka pointed out the similarity that they share, which is their indifference towards conformity. Kumiko attended a high school away from her former classmates in order to have a new start. While Kousaka decided not to join a school with a more relevant music club in order to shine on her own. Coming to this mutual understanding established the bond between the two. This moment of burgeoning friendship was wonderfully captured with a wide shot of Kumiko and Kousaka finally sharing the vibrant city lights together. The city lights were once used to differentiate the two but in a single shot it became an imagery of their connection.

Hibike! Euphonium - Episode 5

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

To Kumiko high school is a new beginning, a way to make new friends and perhaps to experience the concert band club in a more gratifying way. In the scene where Kumiko gets reacquainted with an old bandmate, her pursuit for a new beginning was demonstrated in a way that earnestly expressed her feelings.

When Kumiko was invited to meet with other former bandmates, she stopped and looked back at her new band club and new friends. As Kumiko looks on you might notice a slight shaky cam effect and shimmering movement in her eyes. The shaky cam and shimmering effect were obviously done for dramatic effect but more importantly the similar movements visually connected the close-ups of Kumiko and the shots of her new bandmates. This visual connection conveyed her attachment and commitment to her new bandmates and to this new experience.

The sequence above is when Kumiko finally told her old bandmate that she attended Kitauji to have a new start. This sequence made use of centered and off-centered shots in an interesting way. Often times centered shots are used to add emphasis to character reactions and lines but in this sequence it was the opposite. The centered shots along with inserts were used for the build up and the off-centered shots were used for emphasis. Off centered-shots were used to emphasize Kumiko’s delivery of “Afresh, from scratch” and the emotional looks the two were exchanging.