Liz to Aoitori

Title:Liz to Aoitori
Liz and the Blue Bird
リズと青い鳥
Overall:Buy
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - KYOTO
Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki are two close friends who are part of the Kitauji High School music club. Quiet and reserved Yoroizuka plays the oboe while lively and popular Kasaki plays the flute. The group has decided to play Liz and the Blue Bird, a song inspired on a fairy tale about the relationship between a girl and a bird. The musical piece puts both Mizore and Nozomi on the spotlight due to a solo part by Yoroizuka and forces the two girls to reexamine their friendship.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)


90-minute movie released on April 21, 2018.
Animated by Kyoto Animation.
Licensed by Shout Factory.
Spinoff of Hibike! Euphonium 2.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 9 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3692#1552]
Liz and the Blue Bird is a spinoff film of Sound Euphonium's second season that is focused on supporting characters Nozomi and Mizore as third-year high school students. The friendship between the two girls becomes noticeably strained, with Mizore feeling disillusioned in her participation in her school's band club after Nozomi chose to leave the club on a whim the previous year and the two trying to collaborate together for an upcoming concert after Nozomi chooses to return to the club.

This film is quite a bit different in mood, atmosphere, and story structure compared to Sound Euphonium as it is quite a bit more nuanced and minimalist in its story focus, with Liz and the Blue Bird largely being told through Mizore's perspective. Liz and the Blue Bird is more focused on visual storytelling through the subtle, delicate changes made by its characters that include how things like personal space and body language effect how characters are able to relate with one another, most notably Mizore trying to work up the resolve to confront Nozomi on the insecurities she has felt with her friend's sudden changes in participation within the band club. These unique storytelling elements allow the viewer to immerse into Mizore's shy, insecure character as she struggles with her oboe play and relating her feelings to Nozomi.

The Blue Bird fable used for the band's concert also serves as an effective framing device to show the problems effecting the two girls. Focused on a human girl named Liz and a blue bird taking human form living together, the story is visually depicted at points throughout the film to parallel and symbolically compare the personal conflicts effecting Mizore and Nozomi. Without spoiling too much, the film is focused on growing pains faced by the two girls and the two learning to personally overcome their own dilemmas to support one another.

The more nuanced storytelling also carries over into the artwork for Liz and the Blue Bird. Unlike Sound Euphonium, the film goes for more subdued color toning and less thick lining in designing its scenery and characters, being deliberately careful in the application of visual details for both reality and the Blue Bird fable. The Blue Bird fable world details particularly sticks out with their watercolor and pastel-like visuals that symbolically show the rich creativity that Mizore has within her beyond her introverted outer shell.

Just as a fair warning, Liz and the Blue Bird may not be for everyone as its storytelling is more nuanced than the norm and Sound Euphonium fans may be disappointed by the difference in visual and storytelling style compared to the two TV anime. Still if subtle dramas like this grab your interest, I'd at least recommend checking the film out at least once.

Last updated Wednesday, May 15 2019. Created Wednesday, May 15 2019.

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