I call this one of the most perfect episodes in Anime. A sign of a good work is one that ends with you feeling fulfilled, rather than emptied. A good work of Art is like a talisman that constantly replenishes, no many how many times you come back to it, rather than leaving you aching for more.
1. Black and White ‘manga’ shot of Arima with voiceover. Pan matches piano music.
2. Blue sky & clouds. Cicada chirping. Voiceover.
3. Comedic quick recap of following dates. (Miyazawa)
a. Uses a lot of ‘manga’ shots and drawings. Doubles as a way of adding the extra jokes in on text.
b. The beginning of the psychoanalysis of both sides viewing the same situation.
c. When it breaks out of the manga style it’s to show a sideways close-up of Miyazawa looking at Arima and wondering about his looks.
d. The manga scrolls always fit the tempo of the music in their slowness and syncs with the psychological analysis as well.
e. End of songs fits perfectly the end of the scene
4. Comedic quick recap of following dates. (Arima)
a. Like Coupling, also uses dual-ling for comedic effect. (Arima finds Miyazawa weird)
b. Unlike the first recap, this one is darker, never making it ‘just’ a doubling. When Arima ponders on whether he’ll be able to read Miyazawa’s thoughts, the dark background and white manga art is used as stark contrast.
c. Though tempo is a perfect pitch replication, narration is darker.
d. Cuts into a very dark shot of a tunnel, with sounds of train at the end of the music. Very distinct alienated atmosphere. Elliptical shots follow as narration continues until classroom.
5. Comedic interlude with Asaba (Miyazawa)
a. Manga, 4koma-esque format. Downscreen slide transitions with sound effects.
b. Ends with elliptical shots.
6. Comedic interlude with Asaba (Arima)
a. Doubling effect for comedic, but also dramatic purpose. Arima ponders on his own boringness as music ends off.
b. Ends with elliptical shots of classroom this time.
7. Begins monologue Arima on elliptical shot of classroom window.
a. Drawing shot then transitions into various cuts of Arima looking out window before falling into dark flashback. Displaces face on last cut before fading to black, exactly when Arima talks about being human and emotional. Very melancholy feeling and piano.
b. Sudden dark door. Psychological landscape built with text on screen and stills. Text fade out on same note as dialogue to have lingering feeling.
c. One second or so of blackness before cutting to next section. Stark silhouettes in daylight. Lingers on Arima after Miyazawa leaves. Side view to emphasize alienation. Ends with a ‘silent interlude’ same as Evangelion.
8. Comedic interlude with Miyazawa’s family. Shot from back of family. Heads allow space for manga bubbles on screen.
9. Arima’s dinner. Doubling two dinners. Begins with dark mansion shot. Then ‘squeezed’ shot of distanced dining table. Silent with sounds of eating high contrast with last scene.
10. Cloud scrolling with piano again. Camera elliptical shots, probably to indicate voyeurism or ‘journalistic tone’. Cut into deformed Miyazawa with Asaba comedic interlude.
11. Shot of sports event with Arima. When he notices Miyazawa talking to Asaba in the distance cuts to bottom up shot with heavy darkness over face and hair half covering eye. Emphasizes jealousy and distance of feeling. Cut to very distinct silhouette of tree with white over-exposure behind.
12. School shots transition to Far off shot of Arima in classroom. Arima at corner leaving huge space of empty tables. Begin monologue. Repeat far off shot with text over screen.
13. Kiss in the Rain scene
a. Setting, dark corridors and rain. Like Shaft, uses a high amount of scenery shots in between conversation. (classroom shot when Miyazawa talks about going home together, rain shot on talking about rain)
b. You can feel the perspective is more centered on Arima since we’ve just come out of the monologue with him. His eyes opening onto Miyazawa and the shots are focused around his view of her and with the rain shots you get the feeling of him waking up and taking stock of his surroundings.
c. After a series of elliptical shots come to a shot of Miyazawa in classroom form decentered to the side with 2/3 of the shot more focused on the window and the rain.
d. Actually why we feel that this scene is centered on Arima’s perspective is because the animation seems to curve around his viewpoint, especially on the POV matches. The first shot of Miyazawa is synced with POV when his eyes open and it’s a closeup of her face when she smiles. The 2/3 above shot is also his point of view. When Miyazawa comments on Arima it focuses on his reactions to her talking about his sleeping figure. When Miyazawa comments on her sister’s cuteness (with a wide pretty grin) it’s an Arima POV of her. The camera always seems to focus on things that Arima has more psychological stake in.
e. The psychology seems to orient around Arima until the distanced silhouette shot which puts both of them at an equal level. He also starts to speak more.
f. Music starts with elliptical shots of classroom. Brilliant shots of Miyazawa humming and running but centered on her shadows rushing across the scene. Then Arima sitting on the staircase half covered in darkness. It returns to his perspective with a lot of stills of Miyazawa brimming full of life. His monologue also starts with a red black sudden cut of a silhouette of an oil refinery (one of the motifs).
g. A very beautiful series of stills of Miyazawa ‘dancing’ around the corridor which matches with the music. Focus on her lips when she talks about depending on Arima. Then cuts back to his surprised look.
h. The buildup of ‘I want to be with you’ to the hug is the release point of the entire episode.
i. This time the camera is more on Miyazawa’s perspective, showing her blush until the lightning strike. Then breaking into the comedic moment (transition from his darker point of view to her brighter point of view).
j. Cuts back to his point of view as he washes his face in the bathroom but this time her comedy has injected itself into the moment. The song becomes more muted as the atmosphere returns. When the thunder comes back the air of alienation returns, as if now the two are dealing with the awkwardness of the moment. Then it’s broken up by the slapstick moment again. But this time it’s both comedic and heartwarming because the awkwardness is dispelled allowing them to finally kiss.
k. The buildup to the kiss is an objective shot, having a lot of shots of Miyazawa and Arima in the same frame on equal levels. The ‘manga’ shot may be slightly oriented towards him but otherwise it’s a full dispelling of perspective.
l. The manga scroll that ties the two together also begins at the end of the kiss, playing until the piano music ends on the picture of the two.
14. The add-on to the narration at the end of them being okay while it pans up to the clouds seems a bit extraneous. It may have been better if Anno did a ‘silent ending’ on Arima’s ok sign and muted the comedy and used real backgrounds in the last shot.