Pinkie in Search of a Waifu (Part I): Liz and the Blue Bird

When I wrote my latest real neat blogger award, I confessed I did not have a waifu. Being a female identifying person with interests in girls, in a sexualy postive – asexual kinda way, I just never found someone that truly gelled with me. I had anime crushes but on girls out of reach, with them either being straight or taken. So I stated I was Waifu Single. Looking for a lesbian girl, who wasn’t overly lewd and someone who would have a hint of crazy or awkwardness about them. Fred from Au Natural told me he could find me a waifu and recommended me few anime. Since I dedicated my blog to love, I thought finding myself a Waifu could make a great special! So over the next few installments I will search Fred’s anime’s and potentially your suggestions as well for my 2d dream girl. I never expected to find a contender for my favorite anime movie however.

A story about about a story about a Story.

Liz and the Blue bird is produced by Kyoto Animation and is a very peculiar little thing. It is set in the universe of the light novel and anime universe of Sound Euphonium. Yet it doesn’t follow the main cast. Instead  on one of the background characters. Mizore. A extremely shy introverted oboe player. A small sub story in the light novel universe sort of speak. We follow her journey to prepare for a big music competition while she deals with her feelings for fellow band member Nozomi, who plays the flute. For the competition the band has selected a music rendition of the story of Liz and the Blue Bird. A fairly classical folktale about a lonely woman meeting this bright and beautiful girl and the two hit it off right away. It is immediately made clear that the story of Liz and Blue Girl is almost a mirror image of that of Nozomi and Mizore.  Nozomi is bright and bubbly and super cheerful, while Mizore is very much a loner. So if we consider Sound Euphonium the main story, I guess this is about a story in that universe but that story is totally build around a fictional story inside that store. Woosh! That’s some levels already. 

So let’s make this a bit more shallow. Let’s talk design of the four main girls. First we have Mizore, who looks like your typical japanese school girl, her hair a bit disheveled and frizzy, but she has beautiful eyes. Her movement is a bit awkward and she looks a bit like an unpolished gem! She has a pinkish eye colour and a cute whisper soft voice.  (I watched it in japanese) She is definitely something I could go with appearance wise. Nozomi looks a bit like a counterpart, her hair is much more defined and in a popular style, her eyes are a grey, that still somehow shine brighter than most of the coloured iris characters. Conveying how much strength there is in there. Her design is a bit generic but cute enough! Liz is my favorite character design of the lot. She has this distinct older feeling, which makes her a bit more romanceable for my age of double digits that is not 22 but lower than double that.  She has this mundane /average look I like. Like Mizore she doesn’t feel overly pretty but conveys sweetness and care. . Blue girl is a hyper energetic girl with a somewhat tomboyish short haircut and an overly long blue dress. Somehow that clothing style kinda annoyed me. It felt very unshapely and kinda unfitting as if it washed out her personality. I wouldn’t reject her for it but so far she is ranked last.

A story about music about a story

While I am not going to spoil this amazing story much like always the first five minutes are free game. Nozomi and Mizore are the top contenders for a solo in the competition where the flute represents the blue bird and  the Oboe represents Liz. Much to Nozomi’s dismay however the story ends “badly” where Liz eventually has to part ways with the Blue Girl. However she knows Mizore would never let her go, because she is simply unable to. Mizore realises this as well and has difficulty to relate to Liz. This leads her to not perform as well with her music as she possibly could. Since Mizore wants to go to music school however it is very important  that she performs well. So we get an interesting form of dilemma. Mizore needs to grow, but she is terrified that she will realise that she eventually has to let Nozomi , her only true friend go. The entire story seems to reflect this imagery through very small and silent scenes. We see the two staring through each others at windows oftenly for example. Either Nozomi spots Mizore being lonely or Mizore spots Nozomi having fun with her other friends and not being able to give Mizore the attention she seeks. During these scenes we don’t get any dialogue we just get subtle hints of Oboe and flute music, Which perfectly tell us the feelings of both parties involved. Very impressive.  Every so often one of the two reads from the story book of Liz and we move to the fairy tale world where Liz and the Blue Girl live. Drawing closer and closer to their inevitable goodbye (which is stated that’s how the story ends in the first minutes so this is not a spoiler).

That fairy tale world once more is beautifully orchestrated from beginning to end.  The music the girls have to play for the concert takes center stage in these scenes. Drawing ever closer to the third act. .. the dreaded part where the two part ways. However in this fairy tale world is also my biggest gripe with this movie. The backgrounds are done in this soft hand sketched story book style, while the characters are a much brighter anime style. The issue I have with these is that the characters are very much on a different layer, almost as if they are part of one of those pop up books. It’s very noticable and something I could not get into myself. While I love the esthetics of the world and most of the characters the way humans stick out of the shots at times kinda feels like a badly blurred green screen to me. It feels intentional but I found it to be kinda ugly looking, which was the only thing that kept me from being 100% invested in this beautiful tale.

Each time we exit the story book time will jump a bit forward in the real world and those notes of the next act draw closer to Mizore’s theme and that of Nozomi as well. Which give the movie a sort of tension.  Will we get a happy ending? Or will their story be to paralel and will we see the end of a friendship? It seems Mizore wants a more romantic relationship and the flutist seems to friendzone her, but if we have to believe the music there is many more layers. Blue girl and Nozomi are first being depicted as  fairly simple happy go lucky characters without many layers. Very free in the way they go about. Childish to an extend almost and while they do get a lot more depth towards the third act of the movie…such a coincidence… I’d put them both out of the running for my waifu competition. I’d have some issues with people who solve their problems by kind of smiling them away rather than dealing with them.

A story about Freedom, Setting Free and Freeing yourself by setting free.

The story of both the fairy tale world and the “real world’  ask a lot of questions of you. Is it okay to be happy if I am holding someone back from being their truest self? Can I even be happy when I know I am in the way of their truest potential. Does that feeling change when I realise that they desire only to be with me? This movie highlights important questions we have about our relationships but also shows us some answers. As a bit of a loner, but not to much I find myself easily transported into Liz her mindset.  I can socialize with people in town fairly okay, but when push comes to shove I can still feel a tad bit lonely. The way the movie depicts it in the first act, I could relate to it so , so much. The way Liz puts her own needs below that of Blue Girl..even if she is just making assumptions is a process I am working on with my psych a lot. I did it too. We sometimes feel we are bad for someone, thus we have to set them free, but are we REALLY doing them any favors?  This movie made me think a lot, and cry as well. Throughout music and visuals , we are told two stories, what is the right thing to do there? When do we set someone free? Are we really the person who needs to set someone free? Or do we ourselves need to be set free from those ideas? This movie makes you think in a fantastic and very real manner. These issues are real and never really “enlarged”. Sure.. I never had the magical encounter that Liz or Mizore had  but I can still feel for them. The ending also doesn’t go for the cheap route. It again invites for thought! Good for them! And such a great movie with so many relatable characters. This movie is truly one of the most touching and well directed and detailed anime films I have seen in recent times. There’s plenty of gems out there but rarely does one strike this close to the heart. This one a deadshot straight in the kokoro for me!

Now that we found out the show has relatable characters let’s find out how many characters are datable. Like I said Nozomi and Blue Girl are out. I like them fine as characters but  they aren’t a great match for me. Mizore and Liz are much more my thing, but how about availability? I mean I would not take someone away from their promised lover. Is Mizore a contender? Well I am not spoiling. You will just have to see if she will make my list. Liz however is a contender. We know she sets the Blue Girl free and remains alone. So my first waifu is 2d in a 2d world. Jeez… this feels like Dark Magician girl all over again. Can’t we do better?! Yes we actually can.  A minor character in the anime series as well as this movie is called Ririka Kenzaki, an Oboe player that does seem to display some romantic interest in Mizore but that might be me, She also seems socially awkward, and has the same low energy geeky humor as me. Her favorite colour is Dahlia Purple which is a good match with pink. Her second favorite colour Mimoso could be nice with Pink in spring and both more or less fit in my blog colour scheme. Ririka seems like she is just a bit crazy and devoted in a good way. Being 16 or so she is kinda young. Liz is compasionate and caring and like i said earlier I can relate a lot to her, she seems age appropriate and I do like her style of living ( as long as we’d get wifi) the animals may scare me at first but I’d love to a bread eating racoon. Mizore might be a bit timid for me, she would not do well among my friends I think. My gay best friend would eat her alive.

So lets do it like this let’s cast a vote on who is the best Waifu and they will move to the next round! If you think you know a better waifu for me suggest an anime (but please not the waifu itself) in the comments and I will investigate for another episode of Pinkie in Search of a Waifu! Jaa Ne Mina!