Ξ October 15th, 2010 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Music is Life, The Anime Annals |
Wow… I took a short break after the Summer anime season ended and spent a week painstakingly reinstalling and modding my Fallout 3 game. AGAIN. Fallout: New Vegas is about to be released and since I can’t afford it I decided to get a few more miles out of the original. After indulging my (former) gaming habit I returned to my anime sites to prepare myself for the new Fall Season (see way below). I discovered that it had already begun, and I was already behind! WAYYY-YYY behind! I previewed around a dozen titles and by the time I was done with them, a dozen more popped up :-O
So, I’m digging myself out at the moment. I’m sure that I’ll winnow the list down to maybe eight or so to track, but right now things are a bit… unwieldy LOL And by the way, I’m not going to be adding these new series to My Anime List until I decide to follow them, so you won’t notice the “victims” being dropped in the sidebar widget. I suspect that there’ll be more than a few mediocre titles that’ll be joining Panty and Stocking With Garter Belt in the Recycled Bin. God, that anime… Ren and Stimpy meet Beavis and Butthead… ON AHCIDDD!
So, what to do? Thanks to the previously mentioned Real Life Crisis (can’t find work, no money, little to eat, shaky living arrangements and etc etc etc ad infinitum ad nauseum), I’ve reduced my interests to just one thing, and the one thing that provides me with the most bang for the buck is…anime! I get such a wonderful mix of stories, movies, serials, music, enjoyment, emotional investment and its rewards (euphoria, joy, melancholy, and pain) all rolled up into one medium! I’ll be back to my (very) diverse number of interests when I can afford them, and writing about them, but for now… a few things to share.
And lest we forget about my raison d’ etre, I’m also doing work on my novel, UNBOUND. What it is I can’t say, but it should prove to be quite interesting (AND NO, I DON’T HAVE A DEAL!!! )
My buddy Kholdstare found an AMV on YouTube last night that had previously been taken down; it’s long been one of my favorites and featured the regrettably little-seen anime Figure 17. The quiet, peaceful song, called “Glass Vase and Cello Case”, performed by Tattle Tale, is so fittingly beautiful that it stays stuck in my head for a long time after hearing it, and for that I’m very grateful ‘cos it’s such a lovely song. It fits the scenes chosen from the anime so perfectly! I never heard of either the song or the artist before; this is what I mean when I say that through anime (the shows and the AMVs) I’m able to keep getting exposed to new music whereas I’d feel overwhelmed by how much I need to catch up with in the music world. Being a former music-junkie, this is like drink to a man in the desert. And, this is what I mean when I say that “Music Is Life!”
The above Anime News Network link will bring you to the Figure 17 encyclopedia page (which has a Preview on it); I’ll explain a little about the plot as it relates to the following AMV so that you’ll know what’s going on: Tsubasa (hairclip) and Hikaru (tiny ponytail) seem to be a typical set of twins, except that they’re not, by any means. Hikaru is an energetic, curious, and enthusastic girl, who stands in stark contrast with Tsubasa’s withdrawn, shy, and quiet nature. In fact, Hikaru is an alien lifeform that has mimicked Tsubasa and duplicated her, yet becoming a distinct individual. This AMV does away with the entire alien concept and instead focuses on the bittersweet relationship between the two 10-year olds, as Hikaru strives to make Tsubasa, her companion and friend, happy, even while she discovers the joys of being alive; being human. Once the Mission is over though, she knows that she’ll have to leave…
Full-Screen it for Full Effect, doncha know…
What, you wanted to see the aliens? Oh, okay… hope you like Evanescence as much as I do! This’ll flesh out the story a bit, though the ending is a bit abrupt and sad…
I had wanted to include Figure 17 in my “AMVd” series but there simply aren’t that many good F17 AMVs out there, as it wasn’t very widely watched (at least here in the West). That colorful link is to the Wikipedia article on it for the curious to help remedy that little situation .
One series that I’m happy to see gathering fans is Spice and Wolf, one of the funniest, unique, and very well-written stories about an ancient Wolf-Spirit which takes on the form of a (what else?) young girl. A traveling merchant named Lawrence encounters her, and their adventures are related in the subsequent episodes. There’s a lot of clever dialogue, and the focus on medieval-era economics is both educational and perplexing. But then I would say that, given my aversion to mathematics and such. Wrong-brained *sigh*
Anyway, I do love this show; it’s very genuine, mature (and funny), and intelligent, and the leads are such wonderful characters! The medieval-type settings and backgrounds are beautiful and lush, and downright creepy when appropriate (The Dark Woods *shudder*). The following award-winning AMV uses appropo period-sounding music (“Spanish Lady” by Celtic Woman) to great effect:
Normally, I dislike AMVs that include subtitles, as they’re so distracting. The scenes chosen should relate whatever sentiment the maker wants to deliver without text, in my humble and not-very-informed opinion. The following clip is an exception; if you are curious about the delicious chemistry between the two leads Lawrence and Horo, these dialogues will serve very well! You also get a nice summing up of Horo’s existence, along with her craving for apples and beer! One she holds well, the other… well, not so much
Did you enjoy it? If so, you can watch it streaming at Anime News Network, right now! All thirteen episodes of Season 1 are up for your viewing pleasure, all free and legal; give it a shot and please let me know what you think of it ;-)
That brings us to another underappreciated but brilliant anime: Higashi no Eden, aka Eden of the East. Beautifully-drawn characters and backgrounds inhabit a unique story filled with intrigue, suspense, romance (in a roundabout way LOL) and humor; it was pretty much a continuous joyride through its 11 episodes, although the ending will be hit-or-miss with you, depending on whether you can catch the follow up movies that give a better sense of closure. Well… one does anyway :-P Well worth watching if the genre suits your taste!
The story starts in Washington D.C. where a young attractive Japanese visitor named Saki encounters not only the wonders of day-to-day life in America (quite the foreign country) but also a suddenly-appearing naked man holding only a gun and a Very Special Phone. Chaos and hilarity ensue; something about a group of “Saviors” who can help rebuild Japan after a series of missile attacks strike, who each have a load of cash, an operator who will grant every request, and a death sentence for those who fail. Check for yourself!
For further proof that anime is gaining wide(r)-spread acceptance, Noel Gallagher of Oasis did the superb opening song “Falling Down”, joining the ranks of Radiohead (Ergo Proxy), David Sylvian (Monster), and someone-I-can’t-remember-but-will-hate-myself-for-forgetting to have performed their original music for a series. For an extra special treat (and another to follow!), here’s a LIVE version of Noel and Co performing the full version of ”Falling Down” (the OP) to backdrops and scenes from the anime. Very cool:
If you found that interesting, ANN just listed it as streamable on their site, so do check the series out if you can. The encyclopedia link above will take you to where you can watch it free and legally! Noblesse oblige! GOGOGO!
And now for something unique and different, a mind-blowing video that originally used the extended version of “Falling Down” but the audio got yanked (sound familiar?). Just imagine the song playing in the background of the fantastic imagery from the anime, or follow the instructions on the YouTube page The words are from the lyrics for “Falling Down,” in case you were wondering, and the relaxing replacement music is entitled (oddly enough) “A Relaxing Tune” by Musicshake. Very High Quality visuals!
I’ll bet you’re relaxed now, right?
That’s well and good; good night!