Sometimes a gesture, or a facial expression, is all that’s needed to convey a powerful moment of characterisation.
I’ll be writing about Hibike! Euphonium tonight but there was a moment in the finale this morning that called one of my favourite ARIA the NATURAL moments to mind.
It is the moment when Alicia smiles and waves Akari off on her “farewell gondola” tour.
But as soon as Akari’s back is turned, Alicia’s face falls. For that was Alicia’s training gondola as well, and Alicia cannot bid farewell to it in the same way.
For Alicia is a prima undine, bound by her status to the white gondolas of the primas, and can only ride the black gondolas when instructing Akari.
One of the best things about this moment in ARIA is that it happens before a flashback shows this to be true, but any viewer will know the truth of it as soon as Alicia’s face falls.
The Hibike! Euphonium moment is, structurally and emotionally, quite different but still brought the ARIA moment to mind almost immediately.
Hence writing this on the phone (which I’m normally loath to do) before I lose the thought.
So, what moments without dialogue in anime have carried the most meaning for you?