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Hibike! Euphonium S2 - Episode 9

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There was a part of the episode where Asuka opened up about her mother and described her as crazy, possessive and hysterical. These are words with strong negative connotations and yet Asuka uttered them in a nonchalant and cold manner. She even rationalized that she didn’t hate her, as if putting on a façade. Fittingly her dialogue was shot as a direct overhead shot. This type of shot tends to be flat and minimizes perspective lines. This visual, depending on context, can feel cold, sterile and unengaging. The coldness and sterility of this visual captured her tone and demeanor. The unengaging flatness accentuated the sense of disconnect presented by her façade.

Kumiko saw through this façade and didn’t mince words. She immediately insinuated that Asuka actually hates her mother despite her calm and carefree demeanor. The façade was broken as reflected by the drastic transition from the unengaging overhead shot to the more emotionally engaging close-up and extreme close-ups.

Hibike! Euphonium S2 - Episode 3

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The beginning of the discussion scene between Kumiko and Asuka purposely broke the 180 degree rule in order to build tension. The 180 degree rule is designed to maintain the camera on one side of the line of action so that the subjects stay on their side of the frame consistently. This is done for visual continuity, which makes it easier for the audience to follow the scene. The rule is broken when the camera jumps the line and the subjects suddenly switch sides on the next frame.

There are times the rule is broken for either practical or narrative purposes. The scene between Kumiko and Asuka broke it for the latter reason. The characters switching sides multiple times created a subtly disorienting and jarring visual that enhanced the tension of the scene. This disorienting visual also reflected Kumiko’s feeling of unease and nervousness throughout the entire exchange.

The first and third examples above broke the 180 degree rule. In the next shot for both examples the characters are …

The Case of Hana & Alice

When the camera moves it’s always good to have a reason behind it whether it’s practical or narrative driven. Camera movement with perspective changes is even more dynamic in traditional animation since it’s a lot rarer. This rarity makes the camera move a powerful visual storytelling tool and The Case of Hana & Alice made use of it to a great effect.
The Case of Hana & Alice is a story about two teenage girls dealing with significant changes in their lives. The movie conveyed these changes through camera movement and perspective changes. Horizontal tracking shots were utilized as a visual metaphor for the pivotal transitions in the story and the characters’ development. The rare perspective changes in these shots aided in giving more emphasis to the visual metaphor.
The first horizontal tracking shot of the movie is Alice and her mother walking to her new school. Transferring to another school comes with the challenges of getting to know new people, getting accustomed with a…