372nd G-View: Liz to Aoi Tori

The wait for dem subs was a long one but at long last we are here to talk about a very interesting movie starring a highlight duo from the second season of the following series. I will say this right now. This movie is mainly about their relationship. I will elaborate as we take a look at the Hibike! Euphonium movie: Liz to Aoi Tori/Liz and the Blue Bird. Starring Mizore and Nozomi.

Note: While not necessary it is recommended to watch the first two seasons or their recap movies to better understand this one. Check out my reviews of both seasons HERE.

Liz to Aoi Tori Cover.jpg

Alternate Title: Liz and the Blue Bird (EN)

Genres: Drama, School, Yuri

Themes: Band Club, Brass Band

Length: 90 Minutes

G-Rating: 9/10 (Will require repeated viewings to potentially agree with this rating). Otherwise 8/10

Plot Summary: Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki are a pair of best friends in their final year of high school. They’re both obsessed with the school’s brass band club. With Mizore on the oboe and Nozomi on the flute, they spend their days in happiness–until the club begins to practice songs inspired by the fairy tale Liz und ein Blauer Vogel (Liz and the Blue Bird). Immersed in this story, Mizore and Nozomi begin to realize that there may be no such thing as being together forever.

Mizore the protagonist.jpg

While Nozomi and her are the main characters the story mainly follows Mizore.

The first and most important thing readers must know about this movie is its pacing. Like Mizore it takes its time giving everyone enough to take in the beautiful scenery because…this is a Kyoto Animation movie we are talking about so expect the presentation to be excellent.

Liz and her animal friends.jpg

We will talk about this girl later. She, along with a certain someone are also important characters.

As I mentioned in the description of the Mizore pic the movie mainly follows her. It is not up till the second half where Nozomi starts getting more screen time. Because of this for most of the movie viewers experience how Mizore is feeling. That is the one of the biggest reasons I recommend checking out the anime/recap movies, especially the second season/recap as they debuted there, before this movie. Contrary to Blue Bird season two mainly followed Nozomi whenever their subplot was brought up, meaning to get the full experience viewers are recommended to check out the whole thing, even season one (Two is better but one is also quite enjoyable). The movie is set during the second season so there are several moments and scene brought up from that period in time so viewers who did not see it may feel lost at some points. Not entirely but it could happen. That or be encouraged to check out what they were referring to after finishing the movie.

 

Mizore and Nozomi's dilemma

The two standing far from each other is a theme.

So what is the story about exactly? First of all it is a continuation of their dilemma from season two, that being them having difficulties saying what they really want to say to each other. Despite the two resolving things at that point in time it eventually became clear that there were still things left unsaid and with the two graduating soon time was running out. Nozomi is an upbeat girl who is friendly to everyone but there was always a sense of her not always being honest. She was cool yet cold without showing it. Mizore on the other hand is as socially awkward and timid as she was in her debut. So much so at times she seemed to react slowly, leading me to see them as a “tortoise and hare” duo. She was always soft spoken, having a distant gaze on her face and lost in thought. We will get back to our heroines in a bit. Let us briefly talk about everyone else in the movie.

Natsuki and Yuuko.jpg

Natsuki and Yuuko’s appearances were brief but they were still wonderful.

Our delightful bickering duo of Natsuki and Yuuko were the most important side-characters who once again helped and supported their respective childhood classmate. When not doing that they were doing their usual “NibuDeko lite” sweetness. Not to give anything away but at one point we were given a small hope that maybe one day…Just maybe…We will have to see if this is followed up on in the next big Euphonium movie.

Other favorites from the main series also appeared, including the lead duo themselves. One of whom had an important moment of her own. Other familiar faces either had a few lines of dialogue before disappearing into the background or had a “blink and you missed it” cameo. There is one newcomer who had some interesting interactions with Mizore. I liked her.

Liz and Blue.jpg

The second most important duo in the movie.

As shown in the main movie poster there was another important duo, Liz (brunette) and the blue haired girl whose identity is not meant to be a big surprise. The reason their story is important is because of how closely it is tied to Mizore and Nozomi’s. HOWEVER, it is not as simple as (Oh! She reminds me of myself.). There is much more to this fairy tale than intertwining it with the main plot. Let us go back to the presentation. As I said above it is a Kyoto Animation movie so it is no surprise that the presentation is superb. Personally the most visually appealing scenes, unsurprisingly, were the ones with Liz and her blue “friend” (Quotations have an ulterior reason behind them). I have not talked about it yet but like in season two the music was secondary to the main plot. Even so it remains as joygasmic as it has been since the series first aired. The movie has another excellent mega performance near the climax but my favorite tune was the one that played at the beginning when Mizore first appeared. The way it started and ended were perfect. It starts around 3:10 after Mizore’s soon to be nemesis passes her by.

Ah yes. Before we get to the main event there is one more important detail I must point out. Remember when I said the movie was slow paced? It is also full of symbolic messages with deeper meanings behind them. Basically I imagine most viewers may need to watch this movie more than once to get the big picture.

Mizore trying to make a move.jpg

This is early in the movie so I am not spoiling anything.

Now on to the main event. The following is something viewers do not need any deep analytical video or essay long analysis explaining it. The REAL story this movie is trying to tell…is Mizore having romantic feelings for Nozomi and trying to make sense of it all in her own way. What about Nozomi? Again viewers may be required to watch season two to get a better idea of her mindset and approach to things. We are not left in the dark on how she feels but some viewers felt like they did not get enough of Nozomi’s viewpoints up until the second half to fully understand her side of the story. As for the conclusion…it is worth the wait. I will say that much. How I felt about it? One expression: GRRRRRRrrrreeeeeeeoooOOOD.

Overall Liz and the Blue Bird is a visually stunning with excellent presentation and a story that rewards the patient. The movie is not Ikuhara level deep but there are instances of deep symbolism or viewings of the anime/recap movies to better understand some things. Mizore is wonderfully adorable, Nozomi is a nice knucklehead, Natsuki and Yuuko still rule, it is nice seeing familiar faces again in preparation for the next big movie and THE REAL STORY is worth the time of Euphonium fans from these neck of the woods, specifically ones who are not salty about “you know what”.

Speaking of “you know what”, still have my fingers crossed that against all odds they do the right in the next big Euphonium movie…and it ain’t KumiRei.

About OG-Man

Yuri and Slice of Life are my anime passion.
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10 Responses to 372nd G-View: Liz to Aoi Tori

  1. Red says:

    still have my fingers crossed that against all odds they do the right in the next big Euphonium movie…and it ain’t KumiRei.

    Amen to that.

    Like

  2. Mauron says:

    I caught the limited theatrical run of this, and I loved it.

    It was the first thing I’ve seen from the Euphonium series, and I found it quite enjoyable despite not having seen anything of it before.

    I’m not entirely sure what the “you know what” in the series is, but if the series is anywhere near as good as this movie I’ll have to find out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      I’d say it’s a great start for people new to the series.

      I recommend the anime or recap movies. It’s pretty good. You’ll know what I mean by “you know what” as you watch the show.

      Like

      • Mauron says:

        Yeah, there might be a little more to catch if you’ve seen the show, but it stands on its own really well.

        So I don’t need specific instructions like “skip episode 11, and never watch a season 3 if they make one” to get the most out of it? Cool. I’ll add it to my to-watch list.

        Liked by 1 person

      • OG-Man says:

        Righto.

        I say watch both seasons, check out what I had to say about season 2 then come to your own conclusion.

        Like

  3. Joey says:

    That was a beautiful movie. I loved the Hibiki series. I’m very eager for the next story. Although I think kumiko and Reina are fun together, they aren’t the OTP of Asuka and Kumiko. They just got to get over their crushes on the trumpet players.

    Like

  4. LuzeriP says:

    What a beautiful movie. I watched like more than ten times already. It’s my second best movie this year after Kase-san. Mizore x Nozomi is my favorite couple from the franchise. I was so ecstatic when they announced the movie. And the long wait was worth it. It shows how much they love each other. They were afraid that their loved one might be leaving if they don’t keep up. Again all they have to do is talk. Like in the second season. Mizore and that first year, Ririka were cute too. I never planned on watching all the movies but right now I wanna. Ririka is so funny. Even if the other movies weren’t so good, I always have this one to recover.

    #ILOVEYOUHUG

    Liked by 1 person

    • OG-Man says:

      Both are wonderful movies. Oh yes indeed.

      Yup. It’s a continuation of the dilemma they had in the anime with a much bigger bang.

      Ririka was a cute newcomer.

      The 2nd recap movie has an extra scene at the end. Hope the next big movie ends up being favorable to the Nation. Like you said though, we’ll always have this movie to come back to should the next one not give us what we hope for.

      Like

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