Cozy to Cold

Cozy to Cold – An Isshuukan Friends Analysis

You might have seen my first Isshuukan Friends analysis last week where I focused on directing. All those scenes we looked at last time are supported by the show’s warm and cozy atmosphere. Actually, in the case of Episode 4, we should probably say that the scenes are supported by a contrast against the show’s usual warm and cozy atmosphere. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We have to set the metaphorical table before we flip it (or maybe we wouldn’t want to do that…?).

Oh well. Let’s figure out how atmosphere can influence drama.

The first thing you notice when you turn on an episode of Isshuukan Friends is the watercolor-like background, coated in a pastel color palette. While Isshuukan is far from the first animation (Japanese or otherwise) to utilize a soft, brush-strokey background, it might be the one that benefits the most from it. These backgrounds (combined with a couple other elements we’ll get to in a second) create a relaxed atmosphere that meshes perfectly with Hase and Kaori’s interactions. These characters are timid in their friendship—especially Hase.

Psycho Pass, for comparison.

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