“Liz and the Blue Bird” is a 2018 Japanese anime film based on the novel “Sound! Euphonium: Kitauji High School Concert Band, Stormy Second Movement (Hibike! Euphonium: Kitauji Kōkō Suisōgaku-bu, Haran no Daini Gakushō)” (2017) by Ayano Takeda. It is a coming-of-age film set in a concert band club in a high school. 90 minutes.
Mizore Yoroizuka (an oboist) and Nozomi Kasaki (a flutist) are in their last year of the Kitauji High School. They belong to the school’s concert band club.
Mizore had been a lonely girl in her middle school days. Nozomi invited Mizore to join the concert band club at that time. They have been friends since then.
To Mizore, Nozomi is her only friend, and the world itself. Mizore is afraid that Nozomi will go away from her.
For their last concert band competition in high school, a musical piece “Liz and the Blue Bird”, which is based on a German fairy tale, is selected as the free program of their school.
The fairy tale “Liz and the Blue Bird” is a story about a lonely girl named Liz and a mysterious girl with blue hair, who is an incarnation of a blue bird.
The piece “Liz and the Blue Bird” includes a duet of oboe and flute.
Mizore and Nozomi rehearse together “Liz and the Blue Bird” for their last competition, identifying themselves with the characters of the fairy tale.
One day, Satomi Niiyama, who is a teacher of a college of music and has worked as a temporary woodwind instructor in the Kitauji High School, recognizes Mizore’s talent, and she recommends Mizore to go to a college of music. Then, the relationship between Mizore and Nozomi begins to change.
“Liz and the Blue Bird” is a spin-off sequel to the TV anime series “Sound! Euphonium” (2015, 2016) based on the novel series by Ayano Takeda. It focuses on the two supporting characters: Mizore Yoroizuka and Nozomi Kasaki. The style of drawing and direction of the film are different from the TV series.
It can be enjoyed as a single film without knowledge of the TV series.
The film is an excellent teen drama depicting complex and delicate feelings of friendship at puberty, including dependence, possessiveness, and jealousy, with subtle expressions like live-action films.
It is composed of three parts: a real part almost entirely set in only a high school, a fictional fairy tale part, and Mizore’s imagined scenery like watercolor painting.
It was produced by the main staff of the anime film “A Silent Voice” (2016). Directed by Naoko Yamada. Screenplay by Reiko Yoshida. Animation produced by Kyoto Animation.