Ξ September 19th, 2010 | → 2 Comments | ∇ Music is Life, The Anime Annals |
Kind of a laid-back and quiet Saturday night/early Sunday morning here, and I’ve just watched a few AMVs that deliver in spades what is so hard to describe to the non-believer about anime: the raw, powerful, and beautiful emotive expressions of happiness, pain, joy, sadness, and yes, love, in all its bittersweet splendor. For some reason, nearly all the clips I picked are backed with instrumentals, so not much singing or talking tonight, just sharing
Our first treat is an AMV entitled “Sensitive Sky of Anime” that features over 55 animes; it was created by Timmie Ng for the 2010 Tsunacon contest in the Netherlands. I’m not normally a big fan of multiple anime samples in AMVs, preferring a single anime per clip, but this one is an exception. Might have to expand my horizons! I like doing that anyway :-D
The song he chose as its backing is the beautiful number “Shattered” by Trading Yesterday. One of the benefits of hunting for AMVs is the opportunity to hear music that I otherwise wouldn’t, like this one. It’s really hard to get out of my head, and to be honest, I don’t really want to! I loved how Timmie used the drummer girls to punctuate their appearances in both the video and the song; you’ll see what I mean. K-On!‘s Ritsu and Angel Beats!‘ …uhh… she didn’t give her name, I don’t think… but the two add a nice touch to a powerful video. Enjoy!
Since the Sky was that video’s theme, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of “Shinkai-skies” in it, as Makoto Shinkai’s skies are so well-known among anime-lovers. I’m a huge admirer of his and so you’ll probably see quite a few of his works here (search “The Haystack”)! He did a lot of the work on ef – a fairytale of the two; you’ll probably recognize his scenes once you see just a few of them. Truly breathtaking!
Speaking of… here’s a very short but exquisitely-beautiful AMV featuring the ef characters in an entirely new light -or lack of light! In Osnar’s “Nuvole d’oceano” (“ocean’s clouds”) he casts the players in sillouette to brilliant effect (ironic, I know!), and for the perfectly-matched solo piano background music chose Ludovico Einaudi’s “Nuvole Bianche” (“white clouds”). Check out how the sillouettes are haloed with color after the kiss; such a lovely touch. To give you an idea of how labor-intensive these AMVs are, this one took months to complete! I’d say it was worth it
Still relaxed? Good Take deep breaths… there’s no hurry; life just makes it seem that way. We’ll just speed it up towards the end…
One of the many things I appreciate about anime is that it portrays characters as if they were living beings rather than cartoonish stick-figures. (Well, most of the time LOL!) Anime tells stories far more mature than the medium suggests at face value to those unfamiliar with it here; many of these aren’t the stories for little kids as they might appear! Well, they could be, but we’re so maniacally overprotective in the West that it’s pretty unlikely anytime soon. Learning through observing stories of these realistic characters dealing directly with loss, disatisfaction, and trauma that complement the equally-effective tales of love, virtue, and redemption would better prepare our young ones for lives in The Real World, as opposed to being coddled into spoiled, instant-gratification-seeking, violence-glorifying reprobates who expect the World to revolve around their inflated egos, courtesy of not only the Media, but our complicit Society in general. Who, on the whole, are pretty much the same…
Oops, /rant off
Expression tells everything, as you’ll see in this next short but moving and highly potent clip. It amazes me how so very expressive these animators can make their players! Nunchuck put together a piece of touching beauty, reflection, melancholy and sadness with his -I swear I am not making this up- “Whoaaa Did you see that Unicorn?” (No I didn’t dammit!) This clip demonstrates the importance of viewing anime in the highest resolution possible, because the quality of the source material is so critical to one’s appreciation and enjoyment. The way he used masking to place the anime characters into Real World backgrounds so seamlessly is astonishing. He uses the classic Shinkai films The Place Promised In Our Early Days and 5 centimeters per Second as the basis for it (plus another entitled Pale Cocoon), and chose Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ sublime “What Must Be Done” as background; more piano-heavy music to keep the mellow mood flowing
Time to pick up the pace! Well, a little anyway…
Wow – I just noticed that for my next clip I’d picked not only another Tsunacon AMV tournament entry but that it’s also by Timmie Ng, who did the first one up top! (I swear I’m not stalking him LOL) In this AMV entitled “Serenata Immediate Music” (I think; credits iffy), Timmie chose ef – a fairytale of the two as his anime for this 2009 contest, and a song called “Serenata” (I think) to back it up; don’t know who performs it but it sounds really familiar! Maybe because I’ve played this like 6 times tonight? o.O
Yeah, I know I’m selling ef pretty hard Really, I do love the story and characters so much… and I wish they’d hurry the hell up and RELEASE IT IN NORTH AMERICA FER CHRISSAKES!!! And since they’ve taken so damn long to put it out here they can bloody well release BOTH seasons at once and in a box set! I’ll be waiting
For my tastes, the studio that really brought their characters to such vivid life through intuitively-grasped and observed expresson, movement, design and sheer personality has been Kyoto Animation. Their “triple crown” of masterpieces (in many peoples’ opinions), Air, Kanon, and Clannad, really pushed all the right buttons in my heart. It’s no coincidence that the three main girls of each show are among my handful of Most Favored Anime Girls Ever (respectively Misuzu, Ayu, and Nagisa). The studio’s attention to detail has improved so much along the way that each successive release is exponentially better, it seems. Their second season of K-ON!! just wrapped up, and it was everything I’d hoped, but we’ll save the K-ON! reportage for another time; that’s a whole ‘nother ball o’ wax! Whatever that is. Come to think, it’s a WHOLE lot better than a ball of (ugh) wax!
Anyway: A tribute to the Triple Crown that features scenes from all three shows, which is fitting since all of them were created first by Key/Visual Art’s (sic) who collaborated with KyoAni to produce them to very high reviews. This next clip is entitled “The Words You Say” and put together by Kitaeryu, and features the song “Promise of a Lifetime” by Kutless. (I hope you’re viewing these Full Screen and in the highest quality you can!) I especially liked how he used Clannad‘s Girl and Junk-Boy from the Imaginary World as central characters watching the AMV as if a movie screen, almost MST3K-style! Nice touch
I’ll bet you’re ready for something a bit more heavy now? Time to wake up! This last AMV really has it all, especially the awesome guitar-crunchy backing song by Sixx:AM called “Life Is Beautiful”. We’re back to multiple animes again; unfortunately the list isn’t credited. That’s alright; all you’ve gotta do is enjoy them
Nice guitarring there, mates! Great song on the whole, too, and a nice one to finish off with. I think I’ll buy that one!
Hope you enjoyed this little journey; all questions and comments are welcome, so don’t be shy!
Now go out and Live Life; keep looking for that Unicorn :-)