Pan Up to the Sky Ending

"If you don't know what to do next, slowly pan the camera and shoot the sky..."
Kyon, Haruhi Suzumiya, "The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina: Episode 00"

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 and Flyaway Shot.

Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time ends this way, though there is another quick scene on the baseball pitch after that.

    Film 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Easy A begins and ends this way, with the Screen Gems logo.
  • You've Got Mail pans up to a bright, clear sky at the end.
  • A bittersweet ending to The Barbarian Invasions, as the protagonist dies: the camera pans up to the silhouette of tall trees against a bright sky.
  • How Into the Woods ends.
  • At the end of The Professional the camera zooms up from Mathilda onto the skyline of New York.
  • Ballad of a Soldier, which establishes in the opening scene that the young soldier protagonist will be killed in combat at some point after the movie's time frame, pans up to the sky at the end as the voiceover muses that he could have done many things with his life if he'd lived, but in the end will be remembered as a Russian soldier.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s):

Look Up The Sky Ending