After the Rain – Episode 7

Distinctly manipulated lighting and shadows, fog and smoke effects, rain, stylized use of contrast and desaturation, and a myriad of image processing – these are often used to create visual textures that can capture a mood, an atmosphere and a certain emotional tone. Visual textures definitely tell a story but often a singular one strongly befitting a scene or even an entire movie. What stood out in this episode of After the Rain is the use of visual textures as a narrative device in an almost shot by shot basis. Various visual textures were used to accentuate the characters’ emotions and to mirror the dialogue.

After a tense interaction with Kondo in which he said (to Tachibana), “You know nothing about me,” the characters then faced their emotions in Kondo’s apartment. The scene started off neutral in terms of lighting, color and texture. When the two started to express their feelings more, the visual texture changed to reflect the emotional shift. The above screenshots show the change in texture to something akin to an old faded paper with lower contrast. A visual texture change that emits nostalgia as Kondo talks about youthful feelings, which for him are from the days gone by.

Kondo's visual texture of imagery of rising shapes
Rain visual texture for Tachibana
The light then goes out which was convenient for allowing more creative use of lighting and shadows for texture. It also marks the point where Kondo really opens up.

The above shots also show the visual texture associated with each character in this scene. For Kondo, the texture are the imagery of rising shapes in the form of glowing lights, light bokeh or bubbles. Perhaps this texture is to convey the uplifting feeling he gets when in the presence of Tachibana.

The visual texture for Tachibana are the shadows of rain water dripping down the window. Her visual texture is a more physical one as it is a product of light/shadow interacting with an object as oppose to Kondo’s which is pure imagery. The rain texture also directly mirrors Kondo’s monologue about Tachibana.

More rising shapes
More rain shadows
The two visual textures combined
More examples of visual textures for Kondo and Tachibana. In the shots where they are hugging you will notice individual rays of light, giving the scene a more dramatic texture, which is suitable for the most pivotal moment of the show so far. In the third screenshot the visual textures are combined; Tachibana’s rain and Kondo’s imagery of rising shapes (light bokeh and bubbles).

Comments

  1. I really appreciate your thoughts and deep analysis on the overall incredible visual design of this anime. From what I have seen so far, this show has some really interesting directing techniques and styles that definitely add to my enjoyment of this refreshing romance story (if you can even call it romance, that is). Not to also mention the masterful pairing of the orchestral soundtrack of the show's ED and visuals to create this emotionally poignant scene that makes it one of my favorite scenes of this season by far.

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