The Cinematography of The Perfect Insider Episode 1

October 9, 2015 § 1 Comment

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As the recognizable arpeggiated chords of Bach’s Prelude from Suite No. 1 for the cello deliberately and slowly play, the premiere episode of The Perfect Insider introduces us to two women. The first, Shiki Magata, is introduced through one scene and a monologue. The second, Moe Nishinosono, through specific framing of in-between spaces.

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Rie Matsumoto at the End of All Things

October 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

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“Myoue, I’ve been wondering, can we stay together a little longer? We’ve come all this way, and even came back to life and all. I can promise I’ll finish everything off. Let’s stay together just a little longer.”

-Koto to Myoue, Kyousougiga, Episode 10

A common thread in Rie Matsumoto’s directorial work is the inevitable destruction of whatever world she has spent the majority of the series or movie building. There is a ruined garden, structures flying everywhere, and an overall sense of disorientation in the face of the work’s respective protagonist coming to terms with what is most important to them.

As it turns out, what is most important is also wholly mundane and unquantifiable.

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Koyomi Araragi and the Locked Room Mystery

October 4, 2015 § 2 Comments

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“Beautiful. So beautiful, it just makes me swoon. The most beautiful part about it is that the answer is zero. That said, someone like me thinks that if the answer is going to be zero, there’s really no need to go out of your way to make the calculation.”

-Ougi Oshino to Koyomi Araragi, Owarimonogatari, Episode 1

A locked room mystery plays on the idea of the impossible. The crime scene is isolated with a set amount of variables: a vanished culprit, and information given to both the detective and the reader of that respective work. In a way, a locked room mystery is an equation or a formula. After a while, the reader learns what to expect and when, eagerly anticipating the detective’s incoming speech. This subgenre of detective fiction is responsible for some of the most famous, influential, and bestselling works of all mystery novels, most notably John Dickson Carr’s The Hollow Man and Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.

The insatiable appetite humanity seems to have for these types of mysteries is intrinsically tied to human nature itself. When presented with a seemingly insolvable situation, we crave rationality and an explanation.

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Voices at the End of the World: Gakkou Gurashi

September 29, 2015 § 10 Comments

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“There are days when nothing goes right. There are days when you stumble and fall. There are days when you just want to cry. To cry a lot. To sleep a lot. Or even to eat a lot. It’s alright as long as you pick yourself up again. Until the day you no longer draw breath.”

-Gakkou Gurashi, Vol. 5, Ch. 28

Mild manga spoilers to follow.

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Fireworks: Gatchaman Crowds insight Episode 12 [END]

September 26, 2015 § 1 Comment

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In the first season of Gatchaman Crowds, Hajime Ichinose had her collages.

Not only were they a cute hobby that tied Hajime to some influential Tachikawa locals, but they acted as a metaphor – albeit a heavy-handed one – for the way Hajime herself acts. Repeatedly in the first season, she would express how wonderful it was when everyone “came together,” combining their respective talents into something different, exciting, or meaningful, much like a collage. Hajime was always slow and dawdling, sometimes to a fault, but her personality also brought other large personalities together, creating something entirely new.

It’s only fitting that Gatchaman Crowds insight‘s finale allowed its new heroine, Tsubasa Misudachi, to show off her own creative talents in the form of a fireworks show. Fireworks are an easy shortcut to Tsubasa’s personality – emotionally-charged, quick to anger, and fiercely passionate – as she’s naturally intense but also acts before she thinks. Unlike a collage, fireworks immediately impress and often inspire an emotional response; however, they’re also fleeting. For Tsubasa, fireworks are also the tradition of her family that she carries with pride.

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