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!
A pause for refreshment (if it can be called that)…
Last week I had a run-in with our industrial-sized trash compactor. Literally. After being tasked with clearing the surplus of spilled and/or discarded garbage around this truck-sized metal machine, an empty bag got whisked out of my hands by a gust of wind. I chased after it at full tilt around the corner of the compactor and the building and ran head-on into the connecting chute. Again, literally. Head met metal and the impact crushed my skull into my neck and propelled me backwards onto my hands and tailbone. Immediately my arms went completely numb (except for the set-on-fire sensation) accompanied by the quickly-fading thought “oohhhh…THAT’S how the two are connected…”
Fearing concussion, paralysis or impending death, I got to my feet and immediately went in to report it. My manager called the medical line and was told to keep me immobile and await the paramedics. Moments later their ambulance arrived and after inspecting me they fastened a plastic “collar” around my neck, placed me on a stretcher and wheeled me out of her office and through the front door. Can you say “embarrassing”? I knew you could.
Anyway, after tests and all that (the details of which I’ll spare you) they released me and I walked back to work to get my truck. Turns out I could have called someone from work to pick me up, but who knew? It’s not like I actually wanted to go back in there after all THAT commotion, let me tell you! So… I guess it’s lucky I was wearing my cap, because all that showed was a slight abrasion on my forehead. Thought my head came off, I did! My neck still ached though, but the numbness only lasted as long as the trip to the hospital.
The worst didn’t show up until a couple of days later. Apparently, landing on my tailbone threw my back out of whack, and it’s been hellish dealing with it. I can’t even put my socks on in the morning let alone sleep through the night. Tossing and turning is done in slo-mo, and agonizing to boot. Which kind of disturbs the sleep-pattern. Can’t bend or stoop for anything either. Obviously, work is not something I can handle right now, as is typing at the computer. But, dutiful as I am, here I sit, typing at you
But there’s a limit, ya know? So this post just to report in that Blogging is delayed a bit until I seek medical followup attention tomorrow (AND MEDS DAMMIT). It couldn’t have come at a worse time, as I gave my notice and have to pack to move soon. So things over the next couple of weeks will be scattery and skittery, whatever those mean if you know what I mean and I think you do! So. Until next time which I hope will be soon, and Part Three of the AMV thread will continue as promised and planned
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
on the water
"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)
For info on our novel UNBOUND, please see our website in the Blogroll!