That Serene Snowy Feeling…

After watching a wide variety of anime, I have noticed that there seems to be some scenes that are far more common than others. Some very popular scenes used are some of the most cliché scenes, such as a beach scene and a hot spring scene. We know much about these scenes, so I won’t bother going into much depth into those. Instead, I am entertaining the thought of seeing some more different, rare scenes implemented in anime more often. One of those scenes that I would love to see implemented in anime series more often involves winter, my favorite season.

Snow

There are so many anime series where, at some point, main characters go to the beach to swim in summertime or go to flower-viewing picnics in springtime. But only very few series have winter episodes, or a whole series set in winter (Kanon 2006). That is to say, scenes with snowing weather in them. Why is this so? From an animation perspective, it could be that it would take a lot of work just to be able to draw the snowflakes or create a snowstorm. Sure, some scenes can have looping snowstorms, but each scene has a different perspective and thus have a different perspective of the snow. But, on the aesthetic whole, it would be absolutely stunning and gorgeous. Take a look at this scene below for example.

Fate/zero snowy castle

The pure, vibrant white snow lends a gorgeous atmosphere to this castle scene. It is certainly fitting for this grand, majestic castle. If this castle was not covered with snow, we would see an old musty grey castle surrounded by a dark green forest. This would give a very different feel, would it not? So, how does adding snow change the whole atmosphere of the scene? (By the way, this scene is from the 1st episode of Fate/zero, if you’re clueless about which anime series this is from.)

5 Centimeters Per Second snowy scene

Snow has a spiritual meaning and beauty about it. After all, who has not been awed by the beauty of the city or countryside covered in snow? The serenity and pure whiteness of snow attracts us. We can sense the purity of snow when we wake up in the morning and see that the streets, which are so often filled with grime and soot, are all covered with a white blanket of snow. Snow also does not discriminate. It covers everything equally, whether it be a car, a bike, a house, or a skyscraper. So, in a spiritual sense, snow has the ability to cover the impurities of life and remind us of our own purity, hidden deep within ourselves.

Revolutionary Girl Utena warm scene

For all its beauty, we also must not forget that snow has a darker side to it, being a great force of nature. Blizzards, extreme coldness, and avalanches are all forces that can endanger us. These forces of nature are what also keeps us close together, as we attempt to survive through these forces. We also know that warmth is very important for us to keep alive, else we die of hypothermia, so we, of course, are naturally drawn to fires or other sources of heat. Here, I shall give another great example of a scene that would be great to see: a scene of people in a small building or a room warmed by a fireplace in the midst of a blazing blizzard. Such a scene would bring nostalgia or a strong emotion of closeness to us viewers, and it is a timeless classic that brings us all closer.

Snow landscape

Snow is an ephemeral beauty, one that conceals the impurities of life, and we all admire it in all its grace and serenity. Yet, it is also a terrible, great force of nature, one that knows no limits when humans are up against it. Winter is a time of change, when autumn leaves falls and the trees become barren, and when spring flowers emerges amidst the receding waves of winter. This transition is quite possibly one of the harshest times when we humans must survive against the extreme forces of Mother Nature and we feel a great emotion at the end of it all. To put it simply metaphorically, it is that light at the end of a tunnel, where all the hard long work bears fruits and we can live to see a day where spring arrives. The wintry scenes would surely garner more emotional responses from viewers, and I’d love to see more of these kind of scenes. Winter is a hauntingly beautiful season that tests our limits, bringing us closer together.

How do you feel about snow in real life and anime alike?

P.S. This post was actually conceived nearly two weeks ago, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that it’s snowing today, my planned post release date. So, here are some extra nice snowy pictures! ^_^

Shoveling snow

Snowy village

Snowy shrine

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9 Comments

Filed under Anime, Editorials

9 responses to “That Serene Snowy Feeling…

  1. Funny you should post this today, considering there’s an incredible blizzard here, too.

    I think snow does capture an great sense of emotion that more anime should take advantage of. Of course it doesn’t snow a lot in Japan, so they may not think of it as much.

  2. hippiefreak12

    Get your flushots everyone! It’s my second time being sick already…
    Anyways, BEAUTIFUL pics, oh gosh they are so pretty
    Mind if i use a few?

  3. In anime and real life snow is always magical for me. Try to magnify a snow crystal, it’s so interesting to see its ice form. I like when you said how “snow covers everything equally…so, in a spiritual sense, snow has the ability to cover the impurities of life and remind us of our own purity, hidden deep within ourselves.” –so true~

    Also, I noticed that snow storm can be so brutal, but unlike typhoons, it leaves a very calming and heaven-like scenery.

    • The big contrast of a harsh snowstorm compared to the gentle peaceful aftermath is just so beautiful as well, and it really does make you feel like all the terrible things have been forgotten and only the purity of the pure white scenery is left. Heavenly~ ^_^

  4. People around here think I’m crazy, but I love the snow. Our city is blanketed in snow for 6 months of the year so most people hate it, but I’ve always found it to be beautiful and calming. The first time I fell in love with snow scenes in anime was after watching Kanon 2002. The whole town in Kanon looked like my city in winter and I was really impressed with it.

    • Snow is really beautiful, and I suppose that it’s even more precious to those who lives in areas that rarely get snowfall. That said, I’m rather jealous that you get to live in a city with regular snow.

      The first time I fell in love with snow scenes would be when I first watched Kanon 2006, since the city looked nice as expected from KyoAni. We really need more series dedicated to winter! ^_^

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