On paper, there’s a lot to like about Kimiuso. As a burnt-out musician myself, I can relate to Kousei’s struggles. The concert scenes are particularly beautiful. But the anime is torn between being a teen melodrama and a silly romcom, and second-time director Kyohei Ishiguro can’t seem to pull off the right balance.
The biggest problem with the directing is that it lacks restraint. It’s clear that Ishiguro understands the basics of his craft, but he makes the common inexperienced director’s mistake of using these techniques in a heavy-handed way without understanding their deeper purpose. Kimiuso piles on the artistic effects in every single scene, regardless of their actual narrative weight, to the extent that it comes off as a distraction.
Now, I’m no expert when it comes to direction, cinematography, photography and all the other tricks of the visual trade. Deadlight knows a lot more than I do. That’s why this post is a collaborative effort. The two of us thought it would be a great idea to discuss how visual direction can alter the mood of an adaptation.
Most importantly, we both agree that the animation is detailed and there is a lot about the visuals that is beautiful on the surface level, but underneath that, the direction is messy and Ishiguro doesn’t seem to understand what sort of story he is trying to convey.