Oops! It’s been a little too long since I’ve added anything new here. Busy busy busy! Since I’m positive that you don’t want to read about how absolutely suckish job-hunting is, and probably don’t want to have my novel pushed in your face (AGAIN), how about something relaxing to watch, hm?
Well, maybe not too relaxing! At least, not by the time we’ve finished
I’ve been searching YouTube out for new AMVs of exceptionally high quality, and after a futile hunt finally came across a bunch of ‘em! I’ll keep descriptions to a minimum this time out; these are merely posted for your viewing enjoyment and hopefully turn you onto top-notch anime you might want to check out (and hopefully buy). These are clips of both very talented editing and equally-as-important music of quality to match it. (These AMV posts aren’t tagged under “Music Is Life” for nothing!) Instead of going on about these exceptional anime, I’ll simply include a link to the featured show’s Encyclopedia page at Anime News Network so that you can check its synopsis out. More technical info (including credits) can be found at the video’s YT page.
A while back I’d included a True TearsAMV that shortly came down, but happily found it last night. The quality isn’t quite as good as the first, but still is dramatic, thanks to the instrumental playing behind (and with) it. As always, expand the screen to Full-Size, and if available, choose High Quality, then crank up the sound, because the music is the half of it
Next up is a beautifully-orchestrated piece that features the story of Air. This anime is easily in my inner circle of most-precious favorites; such an incredibly poignant and moving series…
Keeping to the same studio as the AIR anime comes the following Kanon AMV featuring Shiori’s arc, and perfectly edited by KholdStare. Kanon is in a virtual tie with AIR as being an “untouchable” fave. Short and very sweet…
Let’s ramp it up a notch with a video featuring Eureka Seven, another excellent series that combines romance, mecha, and character development into a very memorable experience:
Here’s an interesting, if a bit dark, alternate take on the story of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, which is a movie that I’d recommend highly if the genre is your thing. Note how it combines scenes from the movie and then adds its own dark little twist:
Speaking of movies, how many of you have seen (or even heard of) Paprika? What a remarkable mind-bender it is! Really indescribable, so allow this AMV to give you a few not-so-subtle hints:
Another very weird anime was the short six-episode series referred to as FLCL, or Fooly-Cooly, whichever you prefer. You’ll find that its title really doesn’t matter once you’ve gotten into the story (if possible; it’s something of a challenge). Hereyago:
Lastly, here’s a fittingly-disturbing AMV featuring Death Notethat goes a long way towards delivering that peculiar Death Note experience, all in 4:44. Can’t get much darker than this!
That oughta hold you until next time, but please do feel free to leave a comment as I’m always interested in reading your opinions (just click the “Comments” beneath the title) :-D
Hope you enjoyed all the beauty and madness! There’s plenty more where that came from, too…
In this second in the AMV’d series, I wanted to cut right to the chase and get to one of my favorite anime-stories, ef – a fairytale of the two. This is the over-arcing title of the two seasons thus far, namely ef – a tale of memories, and its sequel, ef – a tale of melodies, which were all bundled together into one tale in the excellent game of that original title. This show is definitely for those drama/romance lovers in the audience, because it caters to both equally, tossing in a few tasty mysteries as well as its various triangles. Along with a couple of intense scenes, I’ve chosen some fan-made videos for you to watch, and hopefully will manage to get some of you to try the series out, which is the main purpose of an AMV, right?
For all of you who’ve already seen the series, I hope you’ll enjoy the clips; for others, I have to issue a warning about spoilers: there’ll be lots And try to watch them in Full Screen and highest-quality for added tastiness
So, we’ll try to take these in order, with ef – a tale of memories (hereafter known as efMemo) first up. The cast includes the two main male characters Hiro and Renji, twin sisters Kei and Chihiro, and Miyako, another girl who competes with Kei for Hiro’s attention. Hiro grew up playing with the twins, and how Kei and he view each other is central to their relationship, further complicated by his friend, a videographer named Kyusuke, who is studying Kei as a subject for his film project.
Renji has fallen for aspiring writer (as he is) Chihiro, and their story is complicated (apparently) by her guardian, named Yuu, who is very protective of her, and for good reason: she is dealing with a nightmarish condition brought on by an accident she had as a child where she can only remember events within a 13-hour window; all else before that vanishes from her memory unless she writes it all down in her faithful diary, and reads it before sleeping so that she might remember upon awakening. It makes more sense in the series, I’m sure ;-)
Let’s see how they all play together, shall we? To the tune of “Falling Slowly” from the film “Once”:
The animation and design done by Studio SHAFT is remarkable in this series; the director, Shin Oonuma, really takes control and spins his own web of symbolism, foreshadowing, mystery, despair and delight in every scene. The expert use of color, light, geometrics, storytelling, atmosphere, music and scenery fed every aesthetic hunger I had; I was utterly captivated throughout, and comfortably numb in the end. If you’re a sucker for a truly Romantic tale (in spades!), with just a touch of mysterious goings-on going on, then you need look no further for satisfaction. ef is a masterpiece!
Season two, ef – a tale of melodies (hereafter efMelo) fairly continues alongside and right after season one, focusing on a different set of protagonists, while the previous characters take something of a back seat as these ones do in the first. Here we have Renji’s neighbor Kuze, a professional violinist who’s on something of “a retreat”, and Kei’s good buddy, the bubbly and energetic Mizuki, who’s taken a liking to Kuze. And here we find out something more about that mysterious nun-like figure, who enjoys throwing paper airplanes and handing out keys to the school’s rooftop, which, as it turns out, is a pretty special place… The video is backed up by The Afters’ “My Beautiful Love”, and is most appropriate:
Now that we’ve met most of the cast, how about a little eye-and-ear candy? SPOILERS AHEAD, so if averse to them and are interested in watching the shows, don’t get spoiled! Once secrets are out of the bag, they can’t go back in unless you have a memory like Chihiro’s ;-)
Yuu, Chihiro’s guardian, is seen oftentimes in a cathedral, where he implies that he is “waiting for someone”. Also, as in the first season, we come across a young woman garbed in nun’s attire, also at times in a cathedral, where she is “waiting to meet somone”. Her name is Yuuko. She also appears from time to time to advise much of the cast, when they are at their darkest times. Yuu met her long ago, when a paper airplane that she tossed from a rooftop landed at his feet. And thus began the fairy tale of the two, and the other tales are those that they tell each other…
The tale of Kuze and Mizuki is alternately upbeat and despairing. Kuze, you see, is dying. He is in the process of parting with everyone and everything, his apartment bare except for a wall full of masques and his violin case. That’s pretty much it, until Mizuki comes along, and refuses to let him have his way… Here’s the overview, a video done to Taylor Swift’s “Love Story”:
You wanna change of pace? Here is something completely different, provided in order to focus on the quality of the acting talent: A pair of emotionally-wrenching scenes that are essentially monologues, expertly delivered by Kuze’s voice actor Kenji Hamada. Try to read the words quickly, but concentrate on the sincerity of the voicing of Kuze’s emotional states. Make no mistake, this IS acting; it’s not some guy just reading lines off a script!
When Mizuki refuses to understand his situation to his satisfaction, Kuze decides that it’s time to get serious with her in a blistering verbal assault. Note how the music (courtesy of the immensely talented and satisfying TENMON) subtly supports the emotional pitch, and how SHAFT’s trademark direction and animation takes no prisoners in its intense delivery. So devastating, and so draining! (There are several of these kinds of scenes in ef.) In the second clip, alone as he wishes, he deals with wreckage of his consequences…
Okay. Back to the music
Here’s a spoiler-heavy clip that focuses on Yuu and Yuuko (who from the first season became one of my all-time fave anime-girls), done to the beautiful “Tears of an Angel” by RyanDan:
And last, but certainly not least, is Chihiro and Renji’s ”Paper Image” video done by Koopiskeva in his usual top-of-the-line AMV-making; it’s probably my favorite AMV ever (and something like the fourth time I’ve posted it here LOL). Backed by the sublime “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles, it is breathtaking in its beauty:
I hope you enjoyed this installment of AMV’d; it’s my hope with this series to makeforcecoerceentice Visitors to watch, discuss, and eventually buy the featured animes in these Posts. Hopefully ef – a fairytale of the two will soon be licensed for release in North America so that we can finally purchase it! I would definitely and without a doubt leap on it upon its availability here, and I hope that any self-respecting Romantic would do the same :-D
Just a quick (EDIT: Hah!) little schizoid post to wish a Merry Christmas to the ever-welcome Visitor
This Post is best read late at night, and especially so if you love Kate Bush as I and her many KateFancies and LoveHounds do *waves to Kate fans drifting in like snowflakes* And for those impending winter season anime fans wandering in, a little treat or three for your patience at the end (at least, if you like Kanon and “Canon in D” )…
Since pictures tell a thousand words, and words just… kinda pile up (at least around these here parts LOL), moving pictures must multiply that another thousand-fold! Since I’m feeling lazy (yum… eggnog!) I thought that a few videos would do well in conveying my Yuletide wishes to you. So, light a fire (preferably in a fireplace!), nog your eggs with a dash of brandy (or five), and let’s all get comfy in a warm and soothing room… and for an appetizer, listen to Kate singing “Home For Christmas”:
Nice little ditty, eh? (AND… to those aforementioned Kate-fanciers, you have found the hidden and secret Kate Bush Page here, haven’t you? Hint: you won’t have to go to the Unbound website to find it! Now, no more hints! You’ve got to do your homework, haven’t you? )
Let’s get serious and settle down for the main course, and watch her perform the lovely “December Will Be Magic Again”, taken from her 1979 Christmas Special. Turn up the heat, light up the candle lights, and melt like the snow…
If curious about the lyrics, they’re on the video’s YouTube page, as are those of the following set; many thanks to Symphonyofflowers (a fellow KateFancy from the HomeGround Forum) for the wonderful vids :-D
So, are you feeling warm and soothed yet? How ’bout something to take care of that, hmm? Because Kate is so Warm and Soothing… well, at least when she needs and wants to be! And here, she does indeed…
Man, she even warms up a slideshow! Speaking of, and so as to help keep the cold out from your room and your heart, something to warm your Place up considerably: “In the Warm Room”…
Ah… that was swell! *sighs contentedly*
I think everyone’s feeling a little sleepy now, so to send you off to dreamland… Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” performed against the anime it inspired, called fittingly enough, Kanon. Both the song and the show are among my Most Favorite Things. Coincidence? I think not…
For the uninitiated Kate fans still hanging around, the following slideshow Anime Music Video introduces the Viewer to each of the girls first: Nayuki, Shiori, Makoto, Mai, and Ayu, and then Nayuki again followed by Yuichi, the male lead (lucky fellow!) (well, he is for the most part in this dramatic, funny, tragic, and heart-wrenching/-warming series)…
Hmm… my plan to share a clip from the show where the significance of the Pachelbel piece was explained is foiled; it’s gone! Agh! I’ll have to make it up to you: Last year I made a Post about Kanon/Canon entitled“Changes… in ‘D’”, where I transposed the short-but-critical dialogue mentioned above. And yeah, the actual clip was yanked But please do read it if curious about the deeper meanings in that connection, and the illuminating Comments from Max that follow it ;-)
Well then, a bit of a change in plans; care for a little dessert? Since snow seems to be almost everywhere this time of year, how about a tour around “that snowy city” of Kanon‘s, and listen to the extended version of the beautiful opening theme “Last Regrets” while we’re at it? Oh, and glory at the sheer beauty of this acclaimed masterpiece:
...and since you've been so very good this year, the lyrics in both Romaji and English (thanks to animelyrics.com!):
Original / Romaji Lyrics
zutto shimatte oku
sayonara ha kagerinai
yume no ato shizuka ni oritatsu
I won't say thank you
I'll always keep it inside
It won't be a sad goodbye
Silently, the aftermath of the dream rises
ryouteni ha furisosogu kakera wo
itsumademo itsumademo daite
saiko made waratteru tsuyosa wo
Always, always embracing
The fragments that rained into my hands
I already had the strength
To keep smiling to the end
ohayou mezame ha
bokutachi no yowasa ga yokatta
Waking is dazzlingly sad
I'm glad that our weakness
Wouldn't let us say goodbye
futari ni ha arifureta yasashisa
hana no youni koi no youni utsurou
hikui kumo kaze wo matsu shizukesa
Like love, this routine kindness between us
Blooms like a flower
The low clouds, the silence waiting for the wind
I can no longer hear them
ryouteni ha furisosogu kakera wo
itsumademo itsumademo daite
saiko made waratteru tsuyosa wo
Always, always embracing
The fragments that rained into my hands
I already had the strength
To keep smiling to the end
mou nakanai mou nakanai nakanai...
I won't cry anymore, I won't cry anymore, I won't cry...
Finally (oh damn, my formatting's changed and I forgot what the default is -bear with me!!!)... an aperitif!
Here's Ayu's short (no pun intended!)"Seasons" monologue and scene, voiced by her seiyuu (and my favorite) Yui Horie:
WARNING: MAJORKanon spoilers ahead; don't view if you plan to watch it!
This is, for those who've seen it, a cherished scene, and so this little Christmas present-o
Thanks for reading, and again I'd like to wish a very Merry Christmas to you and yours,
and forward my best wishes for a prosperous (however you may count it) New Year!
May the many days to come bring you Joy, whatever Season you celebrate
I thought I’d start up a new series that features a favorite anime as represented by some of the more readily-available (*cough YouTube cough*) AMVs out there. Today’s initial installment will deal with one of the more unique and incomparable series made, namely 1998′s Serial Experiments Lain. With initial character designs by Yoshitori ABe, who also did those for Haibane Renmei, and at times startling, disturbing and quixotic direction by Ryutaro Nakamura, Lain is a psychedelic cornucopia of visual and aural sensations. The story begins with a classmate committing suicide, and then days later seems to be sending messages via the Internet about now existing in a place called “the Wired” where she claims to have found God. Dealing with (among many other things) reality, identity, and being, it’s probably best not to try to explain what it’s about, as different viewers will come away with their own interpretations. For those unafraid of spoilers, the Wikipedia has an interesting article on it here.
One of Lain‘s elements that is immediately noticeable is the use of sound, both in effects, music, and even silence. Even the ominous and everpresent humming of electrical overhead wires lends much to the atmosphere. While it’s not an AMV, this clip of the initial seven minutes from the first episode will give you a taste of Lain’s apparently-strange world, and introduce you to the theme song, “Duvet” which you’ll hear more of later on (suggestion: watch in Full Screen and High Quality):
It was tough coming up with AMVs of quality in both presentation and especially song choice, as music is so subjective. I wanted to have a sort of progression as well, so that the flow reflects the series movements. So let’s start out with the intriguing character of Lain herself, shall we? A quiet, introspective, and shy girl, she gets a computer upgrade courtesy of her enthusiast-father, who has no clue as to the “monster” he gives birth to. It’s not long before Lain surpasses his own expertise and is soon connected to The Wired. There she encounters… well, let’s let the AMV show you. This one’s quite pixelicious so you may want to just keep it normal-sized; it’s here mainly for the song, “Mad World” by Gary Jules, and the excellent scene choices by its creator:
The next AMV, accompanied by Natalie Imbruglia’s “Smoke,” deals more with Lain’s immediate circle of family and friends, and the increasingly disorienting world which she inhabits. Her parental units and sister are all seemingly detached from her, but her closest friend Alice stays with her through thick and thin; she’s just about the only reliant one she knows.
This next award-winning AMV is backed by “Cells” by The Servant, and depicts Lain’s place(s) in her environment(s), and her shifting sense of self. Or should that be “selves”?
Finally, we have a spoilerish but excellent AMV that focuses on several key scenes from the series: the “men in black” set up as opposition to Lain’s explorations, the harrowing nightclub shooting scene where a deranged gunman takes aim at Lain, and a confrontation near the end with Alice and …?… It’s hard to describe anything as spoilers with Serial Experiments Lain as it will constantly keep you scratching your head and trying desperately to un-blow your mind! This video is backed by Frou Frou’s “Psychobabble,” some might say quite fittingly
That should be enough to entice you, assuming your genres line up accordingly! Needless to say, “psychological” is at the top with this anime It’s really an incomparable series, and as I mentioned above, the sound alone is pretty amazing. For the first third of episode 11 there is no dialogue, and aside from sound effects a feedback-distorted guitar is the only ground you’ll have to accompany the disorienting imagery.
And speaking of music (kind of), here’s the “live” version of “Duvet” as performed by Boa. This song is one of my favorites, and I just can’t get enough of it! First up, the lyrics, written by (and sung by) Jasmine Rodgers:
“And you don’t seem to understand
A shame you seemed an honest man
And all the fears you hold so dear
Will turn to whisper in your ear
And you know what they say might hurt you
And you know that it means so much
And you don’t even feel a thing
I am falling
I am fading
I have lost it all
And you don’t seem the lying kind
A shame that I can read your mind
And all the things that I read there
Candle lit smile that we both share
And you know I don’t mean to hurt you
But you know that it means so much
And you don’t even feel a thing
I am falling
I am fading
I am drowning, help me to breathe
I am hurting
I have lost it all
I am losing, help me to breathe”
Now you can sing along!
I LOVE watching Jasmine dance Think I’ve got a(nother) crush
Hope you enjoyed this installment; now go out and buy it if you like what you can sample here (and there). It really belongs in your collection, if the type is your thing ;-)
I’ve already written about my personal “Master” (other descriptors fail me), Leonard Cohen, in a post entitled “The Reason I Write” (which has an ass-kicking live video of “Who By Fire” with Sonny Rollins on saxophone) but recent events have conspired to provoke another. On his current tour the legendary Poet became ill and collapsed during a performance of “Bird on the Wire”, as reported here by Rolling Stone magazine. It’s a damn shame that this Man, who has worked so tirelessly over the years cannot pause to take a rest without having to undertake a huge tour in order to recoup losses from an alleged pilfering by a one-time manager of his retirement fund. Some parasites are so shameless…
And so, in gratitude, let’s revisit Leonard’s career, one that has produced an overwhelmingly moving and beautiful body of work that is cemented in the annals of music, and branded with fire into the pages of purest Poetry. His gifts to us are immeasurable. He IS our Man.
First, in the early and olden days from when I first discovered him, a live rendition of his “The Stranger Song” from 1967. Upon buying a collection of his poetry at 14 or 15, his writing inspired me to express myself through such careful words and sublime imagery. His poetry struck me deeper than that of any poet I’ve read since; his religious/spiritual/metaphysical symbology spoke to me in ways undefinable, and intuitively connected his words to my soul despite his Jewish mysticism and my Catholic catechism. I didn’t know what he meant; inside I did; I got it. But don’t ask me to explain. It’s like a dream… the firmer you grasp it the quicker it escapes you. So, just Listen. Calm your mind; be not in a hurry; interpret as you will… and see the Man with Vision, and hear the words the words the words the words; the images don’t matter… and see the tear drop from his eye, it’s clear that he can feel it. And so can you you see, that’s why he’s telling you these things, that we all know we share, and we’re all Strangers…
Leonard has an almost hypnotic speaking voice… enjoy this live performance of “Chelsea Hotel #2″ that includes his humorous and poignant little story that sets up the song, accompanied by video of the actual hotel. Old-timers will certainly recognize who this song is actually written about and for, and if you’re patient and slow down and Listen, he will tell you ;-)
’Round about 1987, he gifted us with what is (probably) my favorite L.C. album, I’m Your Man. So many great songs, but this one spoke to me in many ways, both in fore-and-hindsight. This song could be my Special Theme, my driving force, my message just to you. But Leonard beat me to it, as you’d guess a Master might do. Here’s an alternate semi-live video for First We Take Manhattan:
DAMMIT! Several of his videos have been “disabled by request” BASTARDS!!! I guess TPTB don’t want me sharing these videos with you. WAY TO SPREAD THE MUSIC, YOU @#!$%&*^!!!
Ahem. Well, you really have to see this official video for “Dance Me to the End of Love”; it’s so touching and thought-provoking. I was going to type up a treatise on the song’s subject matter, but without the video it’s useless. So, just view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_PIadFsvDk
Yay, another official and quite-different video for it! Perseverence furthers
That felt good.
I’ll wrap this up with what is most likely my favorite song from him, the luminous and transcendant “Hallelujah”. It has everything that has made his music, and his poetry, so special and ever-lasting for so long. Hallelujah is a song that has kept growing richer by the year, and enhanced by the many artists who pay tribute to him by covering it. In a notable contrast to his original work the song seems to have now taken on a life of its own, as seen in this live video from Glastonbury in 2o08:
Such a Remarkable Man, and still so vital, humble, and eloquent even in spite of time and betrayal pressing down on his shoulders. His is a presence that will not be dimmed. Keep it up, Leonard, and stay with us while we abide here together; thank you for making our lives so much richer. Long may you live :-D
One big and unexpected thing that I’m grateful to Koopiskeva (maker of fine AMVs) for is my introduction to Vienna Teng, who does the song “Gravity” on his The Place Promised in Our Early Days AMV entitled “Waking Hour” (which can be seen in Part Two of the AMV series, far below). Since I abhor radio, I miss a lot of music and so am exposed to little, which is very sad since I am a music junkie. I know that Koop is a fan of hers, and I understand why: she is simply amazing, talented, and very lovely. That’s just for starters! “Waking Hour” is also the title of her album from which “Gravity” was taken. Er, “borrowed.” So it’s not only a tribute to the anime, it’s also a tribute to her. I admire your good taste, sir! I’m definitely going to be buying it; to hell with downloading.
Since the full version is already below (and supporting a breathtaking AMV), I thought I’d share a live video of her performing this beautiful song in San Francisco, the so-called “Lake Version.” Ever since seeing Koop’s AMV for the first time, this song has haunted me long afterwards, and rarely can I get it out of my head until sleep comes. Which is as nice a lullabye as you’re going to ask for.
This solo-piano take is a much quieter, more personal piece, which is perfect for getting to know her:
Bonus Time! Here’s a brief interview with her, again from San Francisco (hey, it’s fitting since I just moved back to the area; S.F. is my home town, after all ). It proves her to be witty, intelligent, and funny (and a good sport LOL):
Okay, look: I *know* most of you are too lazy busy to scroll ALLLL THE WAY DOWN to the AMV that features the full album version of “Gravity,” so please allow me to force feed share it with you here, for contrast, comparison, and oh yes, enjoyment! If you’re curious about what the AMV is about, you will have to scroll down to read the short synopsis (I know, so merciless LOL), because this post is about Vienna and the magic of her song and beautiful voice, not to mention the composition. THIS is the version of the song that has completely enchanted me, breaks my heart and brings a tear to my eye… artwork that is so Moving is the ultimate for me:
*sigh* Beautiful music joins with gorgeous visuals: genius overflows! Koop, you made a marvelous choice of music and edited the video to the lyrics so well; Vienna, your voice and soul breathes life into it. Which is fitting, because as I’ve said before, “Music Is Life”… THANK YOU <3
Well, it’s come to this: time to vacate the premises. Dunno if I’m happy or sad about it; definitely annoyed! Pretty damn tired of the whole “selling the house to avoid foreclosure” thing, which has lasted for over a year, expecting it to sell at any moment and also expecting to have to uproot myself in the next. Bloody wearying it is. But I think I won’t go there in this post; if the short-sale doesn’t get approved and my debt forgiven though, you can bet that I will. And call for bloody revolution, lining the bastards first up against the wall, calling for the heads of those “in charge” of the financial industry, raising the rabble and the torches and pitchforks and etc etc etc…
Bitter much? Nah, just cranky. But now I’ll play the game MY way, because theirs is loaded to the gills. Can’t play games with cheaters, liars and scoundrels…
Man. Moving is just about my least favorite thing. Especially moving myself. Actually, I hate that more. $5,000 to have a mover do it vs $500 to do it myself. An especially easy decision when I don’t even have close to five grand. Or TWO for that matter. So yeah: Driving a 24-foot truck myself over 900 miles along with Lily, Pennie and all of my belongings in it, not to mention having to pack up enough stuff to fill a three bedroom house (minus two beds) accumulated over fifty years. I tried downsizing with decidedly mixed results. One minus to living in a small town: an equally-small number of businesses with which to do trade
A few months ago some door-to-door Mormons came by and after their furtive attempt at conversion failed miserably, offered to “help pack” pursuant to my remark that I was probably going to have to move. “Oh, sure, I will definitely take you up on that,” I thought. Well. After finding no-one to assist me with loading the large pieces of furniture onto the rental truck, I thought (yes, again; when will I learn?): “What have I got to lose?”
So I called the number on the little booklet they left and asked to speak to the Elder (which is ironic indeed because none of them look older than 20), and was overjoyed to discover that not only would they be happy to help load, but that they didn’t expect the meager payment I offered them. Which is good because I’m near broke and will need the funds I do have for fourteen hours of traveling expenses (i.e. truck, gasoline, food, and water for Pennie). I said, “But I’d really like to compensate you; how about a little donation to your church?” (God, I hope it’s called a church!) He replied, “No, it’s really okay; this is what we do: we help people.”
Wow! So they really exist!
Anyway, I’m going to leave them my television set, DVD player, VCR, and all the furniture that I won’t need anymore; perhaps they can find a family in need. I’m quite sure that they know some in these awful times. If they want to help people then I’ll be only too glad to help them be of help. Help is good
So let this be a lesson to you (and/or me). Be nice to those fellas (and ladies, if there are any who go door-to-door)! Or at least be tolerant. It’s good practice anyway, because what this world definitely needs is more tolerance. Not for fools though. Can’t stand them
So this’ll be my last post for a little bit. I’ll be moving not only to a new location but a new ISP as well (bye-bye high-speed Internet *sob*). Alastor will remain in place though, patiently awaiting my return (and your hoped-for and kind comments as well), and we should all be back together my midweek next. That is, if I don’t roll my truck into a shoulder, plunge over a cliff, plummet into a ravine and crash and burn and burst into flames. Or something.
Be good to each other
(EDIT:) Oh… what the hell. Since I dislike Posts that are simply all text, something inspiring to tide you over (and me LOL)! And a little “sneak preview” of sorts for my novel Unbound: The “bookend” songs I wanted for the opening and the closing of the story: “Sky Blue” and “Cloudless” by Peter Gabriel. Peter’s the only male artist whom I can equate with Kate Bush’s talent and creativity; they’ve also worked wonderfully together in the past. They both have reached so far into my heart and soul, and to be a completist about it, my mind as well. The Yin and Yang; the real deal; the fullest plate.
Since I’d always imagined the novel as a film while writing it, I also made a soundtrack for it to inspire me while working on it. These songs weren’t heard by me until after I’d finished my first draft, but when I remake the first “OST” I’ll definitely include them, as they capture perfectly the overall ”feel” of the story, at its beginning (which you can read here) and at its End (which you can’t, just yet)…
And because one (version) just isn’t enough, the exquisite “Cloudless” from the film Rabbit-Proof Fence. No video to speak of, but it’s not necessary if you just close your eyes and just Listen to it. And, as Kate says, “Please, feel it.” Do so
Oh, like a serpentine coil of coincidence: a song that really kept my spirit and fortitude together over the past year up to and and including these dark and dreary, yet strangely sunny days: Peter and Kate’s “Don’t Give Up”. You know this one, I’m sure
And for auld lang syne, Kate and Peter perform Roy Harper’s beautiful, poignant, and moving “Another Day”, taken from Kate’s Christmas Special of many seasons past. This is a real rarity, so enjoy it while it lasts -)
Ah, I do feel so much better now, and ready to take on The Road…
Drama, comedy, suspense, horror and wonder: Anime brings all of these to the table, and much more. A successful AMV will manage to capture a series’ primary elements and focus on conveying them to the Viewer. The superlative videos can even manage to tell either a different story entirely, or simply select one or two characters to “deliver the word” in a way not apparent in the original. In any case, the video should cause the Viewer to want to watch the whole series, for without growth the industry is poised for dissolution. There are far too many leechers who are content with downloading content and gobbling it as fast as they can just because it is “free” who have no intention of buying and contributing to the media/hobby/artform. And without profit, who can blame the companies that provide us with anime to simply pull up stakes and get out of Dodge while they can?
So, while I champion the existence of fansub groups, I also chafe at the war between the companies and those who seek to enjoy the creators’ various works. Art is created for the people; nevertheless, the people ought to compensate the artists for their work. But this is a topic for another day, as it’s really a complex problem and a slippery slope as well, so we’ll just focus on the AMV today, shall we?
This entry will deal with the AMV’s attempt to compel a Viewer into trying out its subject’s whole series. With that in mind, I’ve chosen several videos that feature some of my favorite series in the hopes to turn Visitors of all levels on to an anime they may have missed out on. With so much diverse subject matter and genres to choose from, it’s easy to happen! Let’s start out on a happy note (and I guess you know where this will eventually be leading LOL)…
(NOTES: (1) Here be SPOILERS! (2) Links will be either to wiki, or if that article contains too many spoilers, to Anime News Network’s entry. (3) If watching trailers on ANN, and if they have English dubs, bear in mind that all-too-often these are FAR inferior to the original Japanese/subtitled versions… I mean, who wants to hear an anime character spouting lines in a Valley Girl or kiddie-cartoon voice? Ugh. With few exceptions, avoid the English dubs when forming an opinion! Ditto for YouTube “quality”. And (4), as always: Watch in Full-Screen and in High Quality, if available!)
Azumanga Daioh was one of the funniest series I’ve ever seen. Every episode had me laughing, oftentimes quite hard! An excellent blending of humor, reality, surrealism and heart-warming character development, it tracks the fortunes (and mis-fortunes) of a group of high-school girls as they make their journey toward graduation day. The comedic timing is top-notch, and even though quite basic in terms of animation, the style is a perfect fit for the quick-cuts and simplicity of the overall design and story. Told mainly through the eyes of child-genius Chiyo (the short one in the vids), it did very well in relating this happy/sad/wistful experience to the Viewer, and I’m sure will bring back those days, the cultural differences notwithstanding.
Credit for the following vid goes to reoer13, who made this award-winning AMV in 2005. Given that AzuDaioh is a 2002 series, neither are dated in the least
Now for a focus on character: EVERY cast member of AzuDaioh is unique and well-written; even the teachers are quite quirky and funny and (with one notable example) wacked-out. The next AMV focuses on Ayumu, more often called “Osaka” by her schoolmates and fans of the show. Almost constantly in a daze, spaced-out, or daydreaming, and with a unique outlook on life (LOL), she’s really a delight to watch, as she steals almost every scene that she’s in! Normally I dislike subtitles in an AMV but these will help the unaware with a glimpse of her character. SSGoshin4 made this tribute video for her when he/she was in the seventh grade (!) and so is quite close to the subject matter
Okay… got all that light-hearted stuff out of your system? Good! Because now we take a little trip into somewhat darker territory with an AMV for Baccano!,a convoluted thriller of a series that can best be compared to movies like Pulp Fiction. But really… it is incomparable. At times hilarious, confusing, shocking and disorienting, the story displays some unsettling and quite-bloody violence that is way over-the-top! But that’s not the focus. Really. It’s a great example of complex storytelling condensed into a short series despite the fact that there are 18 main characters!
Largely set in the United States in the 1930′s, it takes place (mostly) on a train called The Flying Pussyfoot, where the half-a-dozen subplots involving gangsters, immortal alchemists, and several key mysteries collide like two runaway locomotives (or six), and head-on. The song chosen for the AMV is pitch-perfect, and anyone with a liking for the Stray Cats’ sound will enjoy the fitting music.
From the Earth to the Sky: the next AMV features the futuristic-yet-steampunk, not-quite-Space-not-quite-Opera story of Last Exile. Completely unique in setting, style, and presentation, it takes place on and above the planet Prester complete with air-to-air artillery, steam-powered tech and airships large and small, and violent conflicts between vastly different civilizations and cultures. While not set in space, you’ll feel that you are! With character designs by Range Murata (now involved with the currently-airing Shangri-La), all of these very-human (and more than human) cast members are thoroughly intriguing.
Vanship pilots (and childhood friends) Claus and Lavie encounter a crashed airship transporting a girl named Alvis, who harbors a dark and glorious secret. Being couriers, they agree to take her to the Silvana, a rogue capital ship, where they encounter the Ahab-esque Captain Alex Row, who, with his own crew of talented misfits and experts, is embarking on his own White Whale-like grailquest…
One of the most engrossing anime I’ve watched, from start to finish, and several times at that! Truly defining the term “epic”, it’s entertaining from beginning to end. The following AMV will give you a small taste from the immense pallette of atmospherics you’ll encounter in this 26-episode tour-de-force. To the skies!
From the utopian to the dystopian: Ergo Proxyis dark, in many ways. Gloomy, deep, allegorical, and drenched with symbolism and historical references, it’s another completely unique presentation that is at most times impossible not to watch. Upon seeing a sample of this anime the group Radiohead (a personal favorite) reversed their decision to not allow their music for it, and agreed to permit “Paranoid Android” as the series’ Ending Theme. Another musical note of interest: the heroine, Re-l Meyer, is the spitting image of Evanescence’s Amy Lee (another personal fave), from the “Fallen” era, replete with blue eyeshadow! That couldn’t hurt it any LOL
I’ll allow the above wiki link to serve as background info; here’s the ANN page with access to the in-Japanese trailer. In short, Ergo Proxy was a fascinating journey; more a psychological thriller/examination than horror-show. But there’s some of that too…
I’m going to depart a little from the “chosen song” criteria and offer an AMV done to the full version of the anime’s Opening Theme, since (1) it’s a great song, and (2) fits perfectly with the scene selection. Here is “Kiri”:
Annnnddd… what would an Ergo Proxy AMV be without an Evanescence song to accompany it? Here’s an excellent (if anomoly-marred) video featuring Ev’s “Bring Me to Life” that, again, perfectly captures the essence of this neo-gothic anime. Re-l is just awesome (AND a bad-ass), and as a plus, it’ll show you one of my favorite characters ever, little Pino, with her melodica to boot
Ahhh… Baby’s First Anime! After discovering Elfen Lied, the subject of the next AMV, I became completely hooked on anime. There was no turning back for me after getting through its infamous opening ten minute sequence! I knew then for sure that anime was NOT (just) for kids… in spades. In choosing a fitting video for this series, it literally took hours to weed through those that were too spoilerish while still being able to invoke a theme or two from the story, as well as being good enough to present here. This proved to be most difficult, as there are so many twists and turns that any spoilers would give away that 99% of them were not usable. And since this is an anime that keeps the surprises and shocks coming around every corner, I didn’t want to tip its hand and diminish your enjoyment should you decide to check it out. And “enjoyment” is a term that should be qualified depending on your tastes
Drenched with blood and over-the-top gore, laden with atmosphere, and influenced by everything from Latinate Scripture to the artist Gustav Klimt (just for starters, literally), Elfen Lied’s story is alternately horrifying, cute, sad, stunning, heart-wrenching, and ultimately, satisfying, even if its ending is intentionally left open to interpretation. It largely depends upon how you view humanity and its (and the Diclonius’) will to survive, and your tolerance for witnessing extreme acts of cruelty, violence, gore, and nudity (not that there’s much of that). It explores pretty well the concept/question of “Who are the Monsters?” There’s just too much to say about it; it’s better-served as an experience, and one that you’ll never forget. Guaranteed!
This AMV, created by aerialesque (NICE NAME!), features the song “Candlelight” by Imogen Heap, and largely focuses on the relationship between Kouta and Lucy, and avoids most of the bloodshed this series is (in)famous for. Since literally anything I say about the anime would be extremely spoilerish, I’ll leave it for you to discover. This is the first anime I watched, bought the artbox set of, and loved. I’ve watched it at least ten times. It’s amazing. ’nuff said!
(And if you do manage to watch the series on the Web, make sure you watch it in order, and in the best quality possible. Preferabbly in the dark. On an empty stomach LOL)
Well, that’ll do it for this final Part in the series… or is it? Seems that I was recently offered a challenge, and so, coming shortly, will be…um… an “After-Story” if you will
I hope you enjoyed this essay on AMVs and look into their respective series; this is a very small sampling of what is there to offer. And for those still not familiar with the artform of anime, please let these entries be a hopefully interesting and intriguing introduction to it. It’s most likely more than you’re willing or able to imagine! Because… it happened to me!
Song selection, scene choices, and editing: the combination of these three elements are essential to a succesful AMV. Add to this mix the creative genius of vision and concept and the result is a video that can move, thrill, and entice you. Today’s entry will focus on whom I consider the master of the art-form, Koopiskeva, followed by a random assortment of other AMVs of note (or notoriety LOL). (EDIT: No, I won’t!)
From the moment I saw this first AMV, I realized that I was in the presence of genius. I don’t like to throw that word around too lightly, but given the sum total of Koop’s work it is a very fair assessment of his talent. One caveat I ought to add is that this quality comes out more acutely if the viewer has seen the anime beforehand and knows the twists and turns so that the AMV can play on them to further move and/or provoke them; later I’ll give an example of one where a sight-unseen anime can still have an effective AMV.
This is the second time (at least) that I’ve posted this video here, but it does bear repeated viewings, as does the anime it is based on, ef – a tale of memories, the summation of which I posted here six months ago in my “An ef-fing Masterpiece”entry. Here Koop focuses on the relationship between Renji and Chihiro and stencils their most significant scenes against the background music of Sara Bareilles’ beautiful song, “Gravity”. The moving canvas that is the result can be most touching even if you don’t know the story: due to a tragic childhood accident that also cost her the sight of one eye, Chihiro’s memory undergoes a wipe after thirteen hours, and she must write everything down in her diary in order to read it the next day to reclaim the lost memories of the day before. If she should awaken without her diary, everything would be lost, even that of the boy she just met, the story they conspire to write together, or the fact that he loves her… and she him. She imagines herself trapped in a circle and pinioned and bound to its center; the circumference of the circle is the span of her life since the accident at age twelve, and the reach of her arm at the chain’s length is thirteen hours, and no more. She can reach no further without help… and perhaps hope.
In the second video entitled “Momentum”, Koop takes Makoto Shinkai’saward-winning masterpiece 5 Centimeters per Second: A Chain of Short Stories About Their Distance, and weaves together pivotal scenes from the love story between Takaki and Akari, made even more moving with the song he chose, “Awakening” by Mae. (I should add that many of these songs had been previously unheard by me, and I’m very grateful for being turned on to such lovely music.) Even though time passes them by in leaps and bounds, their dreams and memories do not, and this AMV shows that splendidly.
(From the wiki: “Makoto Shinkai had expressed that, unlike his past works, there would be no fantasy or science fiction elements in this film. Instead, the feature film would attempt to present the real world from a different perspective. Makoto’s film gives a realistic view of the struggles many face against: time, space, people, and love. The title 5 Centimeters Per Second comes from the speed at which cherry blossoms petals fall, petals being a metaphorical representation of humans, reminiscent of the slowness of life and how people often start together but slowly drift into their separate ways.”)
In another of his homages to Shinkai, Koop put together an AMV from one of his previous films, The Place Promised In Our Early Days, Beyond the Clouds,using Vienna Teng’s touching “Gravity” as the backdrop. The winner of several awards, this story involves three childhood friends and a promise to someday fly to Hokkaido to investigate a Tower that can be seen from their location, though it’s in a war-zone. In the intervening years their promise is seemingly broken when the girl, Sayuri, becomes ill with a form of narcolepsy and the two boys travel their own separate paths. This tale features similar themes mentioned in the Shinkai wiki quote above, and I’ll leave the synopsis to you to read if this AMV interests you, but as always with the wiki, beware of spoilers!
Well. Choosing from such a wealth of riches that Koop’s collection involves is a bit overwhelming; even though of YouTube “quality” even the ten videos he has on his page there don’t vary much in the amount of sheer enjoyability they provide. As much as I dislike rap and hip-hop music (in general) even his The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya AMV “Skittles” is worth a look! But the one video I wanted to put up here, I just can’t due to the HUGE spoilers in it. HUGE I tell you! His Kanon-based AMV entitled “Twilight” is a major tour-de-force, incorporating the characters from the anime into real-world settings and objects; it’s just amazing! Aside from a few very minor faults such as too many quick-cuts and text that passes too fast to read that also distract from the visuals, it’s probably his best work (in my humble opinion). Now, I’m exceptionally biased for this series; Kanon is probably the one closest to my heart in terms of characters, story, visual goodies, emotional payoffs, and complexity of plots. So, since from the very first scene the whole main story is spoiled I can’t very well show it here. Which bums me out. But I love this AMV to death LOL
SO: If you’ve (a) already seen Kanon, or (b) don’t ever plan to, I’ll provide the link, since in the first case, you already know the story, and in the second, it may make you want to watch it (though spoiled, but you’d have missed out on it anyway so yeah)… But! If you do plan on watching it (and I recommend it as highly as Air), DON’T CLICK THE LINK! Because it will ruin it for you; once the cat’s out of the bag it won’t go back in. So be forwarned. Just go watch the series already; chances are good that you won’t regret it, as evidenced by Anime News Network’s entry on it here, where you can at least check out the preview! Then you can watch Koop’s AMV, which is here ;-)
Anyway, thanks Koopiskeva, for your excellent work and masterful influence on the AMV sub-hobby, your hard work is appreciated!
Okay. Moving on…
You know what? I can’t ;__; How can you follow Koop up with anything? To be sure, there are many high-quality AMVs on Anime Music Videos.org, but unless I host them I can’t link to them. Plus, their nag screens are immensely annoying, and the search function is interrupted by them relentlessly unless you donate. (If you’ve the patience though, it’s the best place to find the best AMVs.) However, once my site is properly upgraded so that my Anime Page on unbound.org is put together, I will be planning a page for AMVs that I will host there. I’m just waiting on my fantastically-talented webmistress to recover from her computer’s untimely demise. And then things will change quite a bit
Plus, the season finale of “24″ is on tap tonight, and I don’t want to rush through my Blog post in order to get to it in time. I want my entries to be the best they can be; no skimping on quality for you! “24″ is the only television I watch, and haven’t missed an episode since starting it up in 2001, so it’s a special event
With that being said, I guess that there will have to be a Part Three to this essay, in which I’ll include several AMVs of series that are variously funny, moving, dead-serious, dark, dystopian, and seriously bloody. I mean seriously. You may be scarred. And probably scared, too, depending upon how you view anime LOL
And as an example of an effective AMV involving an anime not seen before, and as a closing “consolation prize” for cutting this entry short, here’s Koop’s video “Gravity” featuring the anime Rurouni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal, or rather the movie based on that series, with background music featuring Enigma’s “Gravity of Love”. This title has been at the Number One position at ANN for highest-rated, which is really reason alone to check it out, but this AMV cinched it for me:
Thanks for visiting (and please feel free, as always, to leave a comment!), and stay tuned for Part Three
Anime is a diverse artform. While a large percentage of it might be underwhelming, the many series that are standouts oftentimes get lost in the backwash of the common and popular (and overmarketed) puerile material that usually fails to impress, thus many potential fans of this wonderful type of storytelling only get exposed to the mediocre and become turned off in the process. Since most consumers won’t buy a series sight unseen (and who can blame them?), one solution that has arisen is the Anime Music Video, a sort of short-form “preview” that, when done right, will entice its viewer to check out the series it’s based on and hopefully, after watching it and deciding it worthy of their collection, to buy it, thereby contributing to the industry’s growth.
One of the main intents of this Blog is to expose to those who might have little knowledge of anime those stories of higher quality, at least those in my estimation. I wanted to bring to the fore some of the more exceptional AMVs that I’ve come across in my journeys. And as the choice of background music is nearly as important to the effectiveness of the AMV as is the editing, I tagged this under the “Music Is Life” category, since the combination of both the editing and the song choice are so integral to the success of the film short and as moving, or more so, than the song by itself might be.
In Part One, I intend to offer several examples of the threefold purpose of making an AMV, as expressed by Kholdstare (who created the leadoff video here), and following this will be several others that follow (more or less) these maxims. The AMV should (1) explore one specific concept or story of the anime in detail, or (2) should portray a new theme, concept, or story not from the anime, and/or (3) it should make the viewer want to check out the series. Be forewarned that these do contain spoilers though! Hopefully, since few of them use subtitles you won’t see any dialogue so you won’t know much of what’s going on with the plots, just the anime’s “feel”
And watch them all fullscreen and (if available) in High Quality!
I’m going to lead off with one of my favorite AMVs; it features Air‘s Misuzu, with a wonderful editing job by Kholdstare who chose the highest-quality episode formats to use, and it shows. For this and the rest I’ll give you a very short synopsis of the anime’s plot beforehand to get you started, but with few exceptions I’m not going to reveal the song (which more often than not is listed in the credits anyway). Song-choice is essential to a successful AMV and the lyrics should match each selected scene perfectly to be properly moving and involving. I don’t want any presumptions OR assumptions made before going in If I’d have chosen to ignore an AMV simply because of the song-artist’s perceived reputation I’d have missed some excellent videos.
“A good song is a good song.” <— Me. :-p
In the story of Air, a wandering street performer named Yukito ends up in a small seaside town, where he encounters a young girl named Misuzu, who offers to shelter him at her home that she shares with her aunt Haruko, who’s raising her. Yukito has traveled in pursuit of the legend referred to as “The Girl in the Sky” which was handed down to him by his mother, and her mother before her. Misuzu is a forthright and honest girl but clumsy and naive, who is alternately haunted and enthralled by her dreams of flying through the air, and seeing the world as if from above the clouds. And this is the 1,000th Summer since the winged-being Lady Kanna was afflicted with a pair of curses that now have seemingly beset not only Misuzu but Yukito as well, as they strive to understand the growing relationship between them, and their possible pasts…
In my opinion, this is an AMV that truly succeeds, especially if you’ve seen the anime and are aware of the significance of the chosen scenes and their relationship with the lyrics of the song which, at its most powerful moments, further enhances the delivery. Misuzu, even as a small child, has been fascinated by dinosaurs, and once upon a time, at a fair exhibit that was selling baby chicks, thought that they were little dinosaurs and begged Haruko to buy her one. In the intervening years she bought plushies and books about them, and they even populated her dreams…
This anime is widely considered to be a masterpiece, and is easily among my handful of “unratable” favorites; it’s so powerful, evocative, and emotive that to fetter it with descriptions and overanalysis only bogs its ethereal nature down into the muck of categorizing, criticizing, and genrefying. The relationship between not only Misuzu and Yukito but also of that between herself and her surrogate mother, Haruko, is incredibly realistic and heartwrenching. This, simply put, is a must-see anime. And you might want to take advantage of RightStuf’s sale; you might be able to get the complete box set for $29.99. At any price, it’s well-worth owning
And now for an anime that even most anime fans haven’t seen, Figure 17. Tsubasa is a somewhat withdrawn and introverted ten year old, an only child who keeps to herself and doesn’t mingle with her classmates, content and comfortable in the sadness of her solitude. One day she encounters an alien life-form who takes shape as her identical twin who names herself Hikaru. She is essentially the opposite of Tsubasa: outgoing, adventurous, and unafraid to experience life at its fullest, even a life that is completely foreign and alien to her. The following AMV focuses solely on the relationship between Tsubasa and Hikaru (whom you will tell apart from Tsubasa by her tiny ponytail), completely omitting the comparably trite alien-bashing subplot that is the overt focus of the series and showing instead the wonders and painful incidents of childhood, friendship, and impending loss.
Incidentally, there is a reason why anime featuring youngsters and young people appeals to an older audience: they can recall, remember, and relate to how it felt to be at such a young age, when life was still wonderful, mysterious, and free from the troubles and strife of the adult world. They remember those first feelings of making a friend, being rejected by others, falling in love for the first time, and losing oneself in these equally-as-dire real life situations, as real as the adult and ever-more-pressing concerns of maturity. It’s all a matter of perspective; our lives have all dealt with these things in a much more innocent time which we recall with a mixture of wistfulness and sadness as if from out of a dream, but equally as real and significant as those issues that we face nowadays. And seeing it play out onscreen is both reminiscent and heartwarming, and evocative and heart-wrenching…
In this AMV (created by toddashi) I loved seeing the growing bond developing between the two girls and their shared experiences, and how Tsubasa began to come out of her shell due to Hikaru’s influence. The motif of companionship and the handholding and, in light of Hikaru’s limited time running out, the significance of the gloves was so bittersweet. This, in combination with the superb backing song, portrays a focus on that element which made this such a memorable anime in spite of the “fighting-the-aliens” plot, which really became subjugated compared with the more human-side backstory which in this AMV becomes frontstory. While I can’t recommend the series to everyone, it was very much fun to watch.
And now for something completely different! The next series of AMVs are based on two separate anime, Haibane Renmeiand Kimi ga Nozomu Eien(bearing the rather unfortunate title of “Rumbling Hearts” in the West). Haibane is another series in my top tier, and KimiNozo is very high on my list as well. However, these two series couldn’t be further apart! The former is a fantasy tale involving winged humans living in a sealed and walled-off city, for some reason cut off from the rest of the world, and the latter a more typical school-age romantic and angst-filled story of love, betrayal, and some serious drama.
First AMV up features Haibane Renmei’s Reki, who moves from supporting cast to front-and-center. The main character (Rakka) is taken in by Reki who discovered her cocoon and cares for her whilst the younger girl, now a winged being as all the others in this place, acclimates herself to this strange new world and existence. This mirrors the rebellious Reki’s own upbringing at the hands of the bespectacled Kuramori whom she at first resented then later memorialized in her painting, the pastime of which was her way of dealing with the ever-hidden mystery behind her Name, and her destiny. Born with “tainted wings” she was an outcast and reacted by attempting to cut out the black feathers that branded her as impure, and at Kuramori’s acceptance of her grew into a more responsible person, which she lavishes on Rakka. Apparently. For there is much more to this story than space allows…
This beautiful AMV blends Reki’s backstory and memories with the exquisite song “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan, and the combination is as moving as the anime is. It is a series I highly recommend if the synopsis and themes relate to you; they do to me very much :-)
Now for KimiNozo: While still in school, Takayuki’s friend Mitsuki introduces him to her friend Haruka, who she knows likes him, and pushes them together despite her own feelings for him. After they’d begun dating, and while on his way to meet Haruka, Mitsuki stops him and inadvertently delays him; while waiting for him Haruka is involved in a serious accident. Hospitalized, she wastes away during the intervening years, watched over by her sister Akane and their parents while Takayuki, completely distraught, undergoes a very painful to watch period similar to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The only person who could stand to be with him was Mitsuki, who through either guilt or love (and possibly both) tried to get him out of his entrenchment with varying degress of success…
This AMV is provided not so much as an exemplary of its type but as an intro to the plot and characters to bear in mind while watching the next one. It sort of fails in its use of subtitles which in an AMV can distract the viewer, and ideally ought not to be used. But it’s mostly harmless here
What makes this following AMV significant is that its Russian creators ingeniously blended the two above series together, and made an entirely new story. It’s one of my favorite AMVs, and features a song by Maksim entitled “Reflections” which doesn’t hurt it any given the name of this Blog (ahem). In it, they somehow replaced Haruka with Haibane‘s Rakka, inserting her face into scenes from KimiNozo, oftentimes ingeniously interweaving them with those from Haibane. The “new” Haruka is now seen as as an angel, having departed this world, and is watching Takayuki from “the other side” and living his damaged existence with Mitsuki while she recalls their life together. The lyrics are sung in Russian, but the subtitles reveal how very pertinent to the newly-made story the words are, having to do with Haruka encouraging Mitsuki to take care of their boy Takayuki now that she is gone. Very touching and sad…
Also of note is the manner in which it appears as if Rakka is “lip-synching” the words of the song in the opening; very clever! Quite a few original FX are used as well to great effect. This is an award-winning AMV, and created by ukms[z] and the kamaz graphics studio; again, read the lyrics that go so well with the music and the video:
(Please note that this is the High Definition version and may be slow to load; just click Full Screen (if desired), pause it, and then go get some refreshments (or something) while the video finishes loading, and then kick back and press Play!)
I hope you enjoyed Part One of this little essay, and please stay tuned for Part Two, where we further explore the art-work and craft-work of the Anime Music Video
"When early youth had passed, he left his cold fireside and alienated home to seek strange truths in undiscovered lands. Many a wide waste and tangled wilderness has lured his fearless steps; and he has bought with his sweet voice and eyes, from savage men, his rest and food." (from 'Alastor, or, The Spirit of Solitude', by Percy Bysshe Shelley,1815)
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