How nice to already have a category to put these in! I’d forgotten about this series, but when I came across Nostromo’s fantastic AMVs remembered that I had it going (at one time LOL) and dashed here to share. I’m not an expert on Anime Music Videos by any means, but I do know what I like, and the following clips by Nostromo are simply dazzling! So, very few words this time, just some delicious eye-candy (and how!) for your weekend, and beyond… and get ready to tap your feet, bob your head, and bounce your booty!
We’ll lead off with “Pure Thrust”, a 2nd-place winner at Japan Expo’s AMV Contest in 2010, which features animation from the typically-surrealistic Studio SHAFT/Akiyuki Shinbo series Bakemongatari, one of my favorite anime. (But then pretty much any SHAFT anime is ) Look for clever lip-syncing and excellent editing from Nostromo in splicing everything together. I’m not really into techno, but this song kicks ass, and is melded with the anime seamlessly.
Next up is “Auriga”, a 1st-place winner at the 2008 Japan Expo AMV Contest. According to his notes, it took four months to create! Love the inclusion of more SHAFT with many scenes from both seasons of ef-a fairytale of the two (which I was happy to read that it’s finally been licensed for sale in North America, yay!) Great song chosen, again in the techno/dance vein, DJ Spoke’s ”Watch Them Fall Down”; not sure if the artist’s name is in there or not, sorry!
“Running Man” features clips from multiple anime, including the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei series (whoa… another gem from Studio SHAFT!). Zetsubou Sensei shows off his dancing skills and dashes all around. Thus the title, I suppose It won second-best video at the 2008 Akross AMV Contest, and is set against the radio edit of the Utah Saints’ “Something Good”. And it is!
Dance/techno normally isn’t my type of music (at all LOL) but good sounds are good sounds Gotta be open minded and as diverse as possible so as to enjoy works by those you’d otherwise pay no mind to. And I’m happy when turned on to new stuff (which really is why I like sharing them with others who might also enjoy). This next video, “Galaxy Bounce”, won 2nd place at the Japan Expo 2008 AMV Contest and gives you a break (well, kinda) from all the thump-thump-thumping stuff, using Andy Hunter’s “Life Light” and footage from the sci-fi anime Pale Cocoon OVA. Only one epsiode *sigh*… it’s still on my To-Watch list since I’ve never been able to find it (YET)…
Here’s another 1st-place winner from the Japan Expo 2007 AMV Contest, “Magic Pad”. With clips taken from 41 anime, it’s as frenetic as you might imagine! I usually prefer one anime-subject per AMV, but Nostromo handles the multiple art styles very well and puts together a great video that alongside the chosen song “Arise” (remix) by Mike Shiver & Ashkan Fardost, form an intriguing whole…
Finally, we come to an interesting project, “Binary Overdrive”, an actual music video collaboration for Sugar Jesus and their song “Get A Hold of Yourself”. Visually stunning in parts, it’s probably the most cohesive of all of these clips, and the song is the moving, driving force that unites the audio and visual art-works. Nice work(s) indeed :-)
Pretty cool, huh? For the whole story behind the video, check out Nostromo’s blog, which, if you enoyed these vids of his, would be a good spot to surf to from here, since we’re all done now xD (Also, check outNostromo’s YouTube Channelfor more goodies and making-of vids.)
For the previous installments, Part One is here, Part Two here, and Part Three here. Don’t be surprised if the YouTube snipers have removed some though; the posts are a bit long in the tooth LOL
Please feel free to leave comments or thoughts if so inclined; they (and you) are appreciated!
“The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it’s good.”
-I like that
Applying this quote (in this case and Post) to anime, it rings especially true with the just-ended Spring Season and the numerous high-quality shows it provided us. As for what qualifies a series as top-tier entertainment for me, either I don’t know exactly why I enjoyed it, or else the number of reasons is so overwhelming that listing them becomes too tedious. Whatever the reason, one undeniable truth emerges: I simply enjoyed it through and through, and was enthralled, shattered, enchanted or delighted in the end. That’s really all that matters: not what your friends or peers think about what you enjoyed, but how much it affected you.
And Spring 2011′s anime season certainly didn’t disappoint, with twelve shows I found worth watching and spending time with. First off, the two-season shows that started in Winter, and just finished, Gosick and Beelzebub. Which probably shouldn’t both be in the same sentence LOL
GOSICK was awesome; I just loved it. The 1920′s setting and characters were colorful and memorable, and the mysteries that started out as fun deepened and increased their weight in light of an eerie early prophesy that relentlessly raced towards our two main characters, Victorique (Victorica) and Kujo, towards the latter half. For a somewhat naive male lead, Kujo is about as good as you can get (it was the 1920′s after all, when we all were a bit more naive than we aren’t now); his devotion,courage and intrepid nature really shone through some dark times. Victorique has become one of my most-favored characters, though I didn’t care for her spoiled-princess attitude at first sight. As we come to discover, she was imprisoned at a young age by her father in a tower where she lived alone in the company of only books. That explained a lot; nothing like a complex character, is there? Needless to say, she grew on me. FAST. Kudos especially to her VA, Aoi Yuki, who gave me chills at one point late in the story with a cry of despair that was… well, chilling. Through most of the series she delivered her lines in Vic’s typical quiet-yet-demanding range, but when she let loose… oh man. Great show, one I will definitely buy; I gave it a 10 (using ANN’s 1-10 scale for ratings).
To be honest, I don’t really like using ratings, as everything’s so subjective from one person to the next, but just for reference and comparisons I’ll include them here. Might save me some typing and you some reading. But I doubt it LOL This scale is also used on My Anime List, for those of you savvy enough to find me there Since I only will watch shows that I consider interesting and that have promise, my scores rarely go below 7 because if lower than that they’ll most likely be dropped. There’s just not enough time to watch average shows! Basically the positive ratings are 6 = Decent; 7 = Good; 8 = Very Good; 9 = Excellent, and 10 = Masterpiece. Despite the quote at top, I’ll try to (briefly) explain WHY I enjoyed these shows, but in the end it’s sufficient that I simply loved watching them. For the most part
By the way, I never reduce a rating due to technical glitches, filler episodes (unless gratuitous fanservice), or petty, frivolous, or trivial reasons. My criteria are simple: the characters must move me (in some way), I must be able to get into their shoes and feel what they’re feeling, and most of all, the show must tell a good story (a good soundtrack really helps as well). This all means that the animation was convincing, the characters were well-designed and thought-out, the voice actors emoted and expressed themselves such that their characters “came to life”, and the overall themes and weaving of plots be seamless and understandable as possible. Even failing some points, as long as the show meets my expectations and the creators’ intentions, then it succeeds. When it surpasses them, I like to reward them with high ratings and recommendations; they shouldn’t be penalized by minor “criticisms” which some people take to extremes. That “Trekkie-ness” is annoying sometimes LOL
Beelzebub, on the other hand… well. Case in point. It actually hasn’t ended yet at episode 25, so it appears that this is gonna be another one of those endless series, and there’s just not enough depth to it for me to continue. Sure, it’s downright funny at times and often hilarious, but with so few tricks up its sleeve it’s become a bit tiresome (a long time ago). I was hoping for a simple two-season length, but it took up so much of its time with fighting fighting fighting… blah. I like action, but not when it’s so repetetive. If I was to rate it I’d probably give it a 6, maybe a 7 if it ends well. But I’m putting this one on hold for now…
But that was Winter; this is the Spring Report! Let’s see, where to begin… How about at the top? (Note that I reviewed many of these shows while they were airing; see posts below on this page for more details and videos, though by now many clips are gone.)
My favorite Spring show by far was AnoHana (see numerous plaudits in posts below), which really resonated with me in several ways. Each character was as fleshed-out as a short 11-episode series could allow, and each of them had a young version and an older one who was a believable and natural progression from the younger. Through flashbacks we caught glimpses of this little group at play, and afterwards how they each grew up and apart after the departure of one of them. So very well done! I’m still friends with my schoolmates after many decades together, and having lost three of them at young ages was able to relate to each of these characters dealing with the hand they were dealt. Even despite the slim supernatural element central to the show, it (and its stars) were so… believable. Definitely a show that bears watching, and rewatching
And… from an AnoHana thread that I read on The Internet so I know it’s true: We Now Know That This is the Flower That We Saw That Day. The Name of it? It’s in the pic
…and now for something completely different:
The next-rated shows were Deadman Wonderlandand Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, which I gave 9s to. Both of them were fun for entirely different reasons; Deadman for its bloody action and gladiator-styled jailhouse matches mixed with intrigue and betrayal (not to mention the deliciously dippy and sexy Shiro), and Denpa for its SHAFTness and all that that implies (big SHAFT fan, so color me biased). Denpa featured clever dialogue and some great in-jokes regarding Makoto and other anime and movies like E.T. Erio should be a shoe-in for next year’s moe tournaments, as should Shiro. That’s dependent upon whether the avariciously-gobbling voters will remember them by then
I found two 8s in C: Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility, and the surprisingly entertaining Maria Holic Alive! (second season). I say “surprising” because the concepts involved material I’m not that keen on watching (normally LOL); namely an out-and-out (literally!) lesbian main character, and the title character being a boy dressed as a girl who’s infiltrated the all-girl boarding school. I really expected to not like it much, but it was consistently laugh-out-loud funny, and the work of SHAFT and Director Akiyuki Shinbo again delivered a rewarding experience by its end. Nothing earth-shaking, but definitely a lot of fun for those unafraid of edgy humor! C:Control was dazzling at times and it had a lot of potential with its Financial District setting being especially intriguing, but it fell just a bit short. I may upgrade it upon rewatching, as there’s usually a huge difference in watching episodes week-to-week and marathonning a series. You can judge it for yourself at the ANN link for C, above, where it’s streaming.
My two 7s of Spring were A-Channel and Hidan no Aria; the former a fairly-typical slice of life school comedy, and the latter a typical action/romantic comedy series that didn’t really stand out for me. Still a 7 is regarded as “good”, and I enjoyed both fairly well despite the cliches and such.
That leaves us with the still-airing two-season shows that began in Spring; these are the 24-26 episode series that will run through Summer. The five titles I’m sticking with are all highly regarded (by me LOL) and I anxiously await each new episode every week. These are: Ao no Exorcist, Hanasaku Iroha, Nichijou, Tiger and Bunny, and what looks to be another 10 on the horizon, the excellent Steins;Gate. I won’t rate a series until it’s done (or I’m done with it ), but this last title is simply awesome, mind-bending, funny as hell in parts, well-acted, directed, paced, great characters etc etc etc. Unless they really fail at the end this show will get a 10; it’s truly a unique anime experience, and very… involved. About time we got a good psychological thriller to enjoy!
So here’s the first twelve minutes of episode 1 to (hopefully) whet your appetite Don’t mind (or rather, expect) that you won’t know what’s really going on, but it makes much more sense with each epsiode (at #15 to date). Assuming you’re into time travel, mad scientists, evil conspiracies, and just a little blood… (but watch it quick before it goes away!) And Mayuri-chan… <3 “Du-du-duu~!”
I’ll get around to the Summer 2011 shows soon (looks like slim pickin’s for now but we’ll see), but these last five will add to whatever bounty we receive (gratefully) from Japan. So far I have nine I’m checking out but will no doubt drop a few of them (and have dropped two already). Even so, having that many choices for entertainment is great! A thing to consider is this (assuming you watch anime): how many TV shows do you watch each season every week and enjoy so much as the diverse offerings each anime season offers? Spring Season offered me fifteen shows; there are probably three or four television series I would enjoy but no more than that. For me, there’s no comparison where my entertainment value is, and rewards for watching are. Apples and oranges maybe, but I do know what I like, and feel affection for; see quote at top
It ain’t TV
Thanks for visiting and reading/skimming; please feel free to leave a comment if so moved!
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)
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