"If you don't know what to do next, slowly pan the camera and shoot the sky..."
A camera trick
used at the end of an episode or movie, wherein the view pans up to the sky upon conclusion of a story arc. The characters usually look up along with the viewer, too, or are implied to.
The sky is a powerful symbol in itself. Here are just a few uses:
- Clear blue sky (white clouds optional) promises happiness and freedom, just the things you expect from a Happy Ending.
- Stormy, ominous sky, on the other hand, indicates that trouble is brewing.
- Sunrise sky stands for renovation and a new beginning.
- Sunset marks a conclusion and definite ending or death.
- Night sky with visible stars has a similar meaning to clear daytime sky with an additional touch of eternity.
- Shooting stars promise the fulfillment of wishes.
- Birds and airplanes stand for unreachable things but also, freedom.
Compare Grasp the Sun
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Anime & Manga
- This was one of many tropes mocked by Haruhi Suzumiya episode 00, with Kyon sarcastically commenting on the frequent panning up towards the sky.
- Cowboy Bebop does this for its finale, which was ambiguously either Bittersweet Ending or straight up Downer Ending.
- Both Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's and Nanoha StrikerS use the clear blue sky version, with the added touch of the show's title appearing in the sky like it does in the intro.
- Likewise, Strikers Sound Stage X ends with Subaru looking up to the sky, reminiscing about Ixpellia. Particulary impressive, since this is a Drama CD.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this to cap off the Distant Finale, showing Gurren Lagann spiralling of into the night, piercing the heavens still.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ends this way while Ed speaks his final monologue. It's then followed by a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue Photo Montage for ending credits.
- Chirinno Suzu
- Invoked in Yu-Gi-Oh! right after the final duel concludes and the characters are left in the desert, with the camera rising to the sky. However, this isn't the actual final scene, but the 4Kids Entertainment dub pulls another whammy and cuts out the last moments of the last episode. Gee, thanks.
- Bleach uses the clear blue sky version at the end of the Arrancar arc.
- The anime Death Note ends with panning up to a night sky and crescent moon.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World gives us the sky with a "Continue?" and countdown, evoking arcade games. At zero, the credits begin.
- Nashville ends with a pan to a blue sky.
- Most of the Harry Potter films end this way.
- The film of City of Ember ends with the sun rising into a bright blue sky, which is especially meaningful because the characters have spent their entire lives living in an underground city, never knowing there was anything different or that there was such a thing as the sun or sky.
- The Nativity Story ends with the sun and clouds on a bright day.
Live Action TV
- Several endings of Tsukihime contain this (Akiha True, Hisui True, and Hisui Good, possibly others), as well as the Epilogue.
- The nighttime and shooting star* version of this is part of Mega Man Zero 4's ending.
- Wild Arms 1 ends in this manner, complete with all three protagonists looking up to the sky.
- The nighttime version of this is the final shot of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)'s ending.
- The Golden Ending of The Reconstruction ends with the camera panning up into the night sky.
- The ending of Super Mario Galaxy 2 (first time only) ends with a shot of a blue comet streaking across the night sky. Further completions of the final Bowser level results in a green comet in the ending.
- A few of the endings of The Legend of Zelda end like this. Specifically, Link's Awakening (with the Wind Fish flying away), Wind Waker and Skyward Sword.
- Both Kirby Super Star and Kirby's Return to Dream Land end with a long pan across the blue sky (and eventually into space).
- The true ending of Date Warp
- The Cut Scene animation created for the PS version of Chrono Trigger does this twice in the perfect ending—once after Chrono and Marle's wedding when she throws the bouquet, and again after Lucca finds baby Kid (Schala's clone from Chrono Cross).
- Chrono Cross itself also has this in its perfect ending—after you free Schala from the Time Devourer and the two worlds are reunited and restored, but before the end credits roll, Serge ends up back on Opassa Beach with Leena right when he passed out at the start of the game, and as he's asking about things he wasn't supposed to remember from his adventures, you get the pan.