Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Episode 21
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.
When Kaori amusingly got tired of Kousei’s gloominess and threw a stuff toy at him, the scene’s mood changed. Kousei woke up from his gloomy trance and the interaction between the two became more endearing and personal. The change in mood was reflected by the change in framing and composition. As you might notice in the “two shot” above there’s less distance in frame (not physically) between the two characters. The more direct over the shoulder shot also eliminated the surface division and dividing line that were previously separating the characters.
After the mood change the single shots were more centered and the characters were only slightly looking away from the camera. The centered framing decreased the distance between the single shots and brought more focus to the characters. The eyeline slightly angled away from camera combined with eyeline match cuts made this part of the scene more personal between the characters and more engaging to the audience.