The discovery of that dazzling new Nostromo Anime Music Video is all it took to suck me deeply back into the YouTube void, where (after a few hours) I uncovered a very nice assortment of gems for your viewing & listening pleasure! Many of these videos are entrants and winners in the most recent AMV contests, and each is a labor of love and worthy of sharing
Incidentals: (a) Please watch in Full-Screen and high-quality if possible; it makes a BIG difference! (b) I pick videos mainly of characters and shows I connect with and/or care about, so it’s somewhat biased here (c) The selection of music equally so, as I’m just as choosy about likable sounds that accompany the visuals. (But I’ll accept any “good song” in the spirit it which it was created if it resonates with mine in pretty much any sense, and the same goes for the visuals.) And (d) where I add that I try to assemble these in an order that flows to ensure smooth transitions between moods; it takes some time but makes for a more enjoyable journey, I hope
The careful, thoughtful and hopefully heartfelt blending in the resulting AMV, if it gets widely shown and shared, can help promote both the anime and the musical talent by exposing fans of either to appreciate the other. So I hope to share what works for me in the hopes that it resonates with You
Like this well-deserved winner in the Drama category at this year’s Anime Boston contest, where it cleverly depicts Alice (from Kami-sama no Memo-chou) seemingly guiding the fates of several characters from Toradora, AnoHana, Mawaru Penguindrum, and others. Brilliant and very moving, especially if familiar with the characters:
Studio SHAFT’s Bakemonogatari is such a visually striking show that it’s a natural choice for AMV-makers (maybe a little too often if you ask me but who’s complaining as I love Bake and Nise and all the little -monogataris so you didn’t hear it from me!). I’m very fond of the cute-and-dangerous little 500-year old vampire Shinobu (in a distant sort of way), who gets a few moments to shine here:
Dunno why I passed on Guilty Crownwhen it aired, but this AMV bolstered my interest in Inori to the point I’ll just have to track it down; the show looks epic though looks can be deceiving
One show I did check out, and consider one of the best of 2011, was Steins;Gate; what a mind blower [and just as weird seeing two semicolons separated by just one word]! Melding time-travel with a surprising love story flavored with portents of an impending apocryphal near-future, this well-scripted, funny-yet-dark suspense series kept the viewer mercilessly on the rails and on the hook throughout. Kinda like this vid (NSFW, probably):
Sometimes an AMV doesn’t have to be doing anything other than to show a cavalcade of classic characters in… well, character! Here we have everyone from Sakura Kinomoto (1998′s Cardcaptor Sakura) to Hime (from this year’s Accel World ) and many others in between, seemingly playing in a missing person case (or something) in this touching AMV…
Nagisa~ perhaps not considered the “moe-est” but surely the heart of Clannad, and that has to weigh more than just cuteness. Which makes her most moe to me
I was going to just edit the previous post to add this favorite classic clip of Nagisa’s first drink, and then figured it would make for a nice little entry of its own that would serve as another example of what I find so appealing about anime in general, continuing the theme and character from the Post below. As always, your mileage may vary depending on your tastes. (I think I’m going to embed that sentence into the top of every post LOL!)
The following article is brought to you courtesy of Nagisa Furukawa, who would very much like you to see her series, Clannad. As a teaser for its sequel, After Story, here’s the official trailer with subtitles to whet your appetite, or if already acquainted, give you warm fuzzies in seeing our old friends again. This is what the “It” in anime’s about, both in what you can and cannot see in the layers peeling back…
(Note: the “Spoiler Warning” in the beginning just refers to Nagisa and Tomoya being a couple in the sequel, the developing of which the first season centered on ; no other spoilers are shown!)
One of the biggest draws for me is the way the characters invite you into their heads, making you think about and connect deeper with them. So many are sufficiently complex personalities (with attendant baggage ranging from Louis Vuitton to brown paper to cupped and bleeding hands) that it’s very rewarding when you do connect. It’s not an easy effect to seamlessly create. When we care about the characters, chances are that their story will prove interesting enough to check out just to see where it goes.
AIR-TV is a good example; at first glance the character designs didn’t seem that “refined”, but from that first few minutes of getting to know Misuzu, I was hooked. Quirky, clumsy and secretive; sweet, childish, and very brave, a beautifully balanced character unafraid to go over the top or use silence as an answer. You can see the love for the characters by their creators in how they are animated, and their careful facial expressions that reveal sub-surface emotions and furtive thoughts. Kyoto Animation obviously loves its stars very much; it shows in their work
While very brief, many fleeting facial expressions tip the Viewer off to a character’s innermost feelings and allow a glimpse of their genuine concerns and intentions that might be otherwise missed if the Viewer isn’t paying attention. These characters are pretty damn good about hiding secrets! It’s advisable to pay close attention to any story/character-based anime because tiny details and foreshadowing are everywhere, and the characters largely unpredictable. Misuzu simply wears her heart on her sleeve; she was very expressive, and witnessing her struggles genuinely heartbreaking going through her trials. The camera loves her though, as evidenced by the tons of AIR-TV clips used for AMVs I’ve scattered here and there at Alastor’s. Even sitting still, she’s a magnet for the eyes
Misuzu Kamio, such a brave girl…
This is just a theory of mine, but when the writers often leave sentences in dialogues trailing off unfinished (“…”), they’re actually leading or goading the Viewer to finish what the speaker’s point is, expecting (or inviting) you to know them well enough to guess. Or, just trick you LOL Sometimes you’re left to wonder about it, a good thing because it draws the Viewer out of themselves and into the shoes of another to further understand the character and story. It’s as if the players are more-than 2D; they don’t resemble “3D people” so much in appearance as they do in heart, where these shared emotions resonate deeply with the Viewer, conscious or not. And in this the characters are familiar, realistic, and even cherished by thousands of fans; they are thus more than mere cartoon figures. I believe that this is a subtle key to the singularity of anime, and why so many anime fans have “harems” of beloved characters, and are so enamored of the medium.
"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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