Ξ May 18th, 2009 | → 5 Comments | ∇ Music is Life, The Anime Annals |
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’s award-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.”)
Now, see if you can relate; you’re human after all, right?
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