|Keep Hoping Machine Running (thefourthvine) wrote,|
@ 2006-08-12 07:46 pm UTC
|Entry tags:||anime, vids|
See, last night BB pointed out to me that my posting has pretty much not happened lately, and I said, woefully, "I don't have braaaaaaain." (I mean it. If I tried to commit, for example, an act of FF commentary right now, I'd probably end up with a keyboard key stuck up my nose, all, "For reasons that we won't be exploring at this - or any other - juncture, the rest of this post will have to be written without the letter that comes between C an' E. Curse you, tricksy letter!")
So BB said, "Then why not anime vids?"
Wait, wait, that sounded wrong. Lord knows I love the anime vids! I in no way meant to imply that they are suitable solely for the brain-done-gone crowd. They contain deepness! It is possible to write deep thoughts about them! It's just, they're the easiest kind of post for me to write, because, okay, I can't write deep thoughts about them. It's basically an endless repetition of, "Vid shiny. Watch now." I don’t need my brain to type that.
I sense that I'm only getting myself in deeper trouble here. Let's just drop it while I can pretend I have some dignity left, shall we?
Okay, so. Last time I gave you all some basic AMV and anime tips. Here and now I will just reiterate that you’ll need membership at animemusicvideos.org to download these vids, and frankly I recommend you seize that membership. It’s free, they don’t seem to sell their members’ information to Satan’s Spam Service or whatever, and, hey, it’s got enough anime videos to choke a chibi. What more could you want?
Anime Vid Recommendations: The Main SectionHold Me Now, by Tidirium Studio. Princess Tutu.
laylah recommended this vid to me after the last Festival o’ AMVs, and oh my god there are not thanks enough in this world. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve watched it since then, except I’m not embarrassed, because it is just that good. And, really, you don’t need to know the plot at all to understand this vid - there are spoilers, but you’d need to have seen the anime to get them. This vid is, in addition to gorgeous and perfectly cut and almost hypnotically wonderful, notable for two main things:
- While watching it, and for the first time in our entire lives together, I figured out something visual before BB did. (BB has this weird vid-fu thing. Like, the first Smallville vid we ever watched, back when all either of us knew about the show was that it had something to do with Superman, had a clip of the bridge-car-smash-rescue-”Thank you, God, for sending me this gift of hotness” sequence in it, and BB said, “Oh! That’s how they met.” This was, as you all know, entirely correct, but I still maintain that it’s weird to figure that out based solely on a ten-second clip out of context.) What did I figure out? Well, okay. There’s a duck in this vid. I figured out that the duck is also the girl with the brownish hair, and I figured it out before the vid makes it obvious. You may be rolling your eyes right now, but for me this is a triumph roughly on par with learning to fly.
- We became so entranced by this vid that BB is now watching the anime. And I’d give you a plot summary, but it would break us both. (You need brain for this plot. It’s like the complete works of the brothers Grimm with a lot of ballet and some quacking.) Just trust me - it’s got a plot, and it’s a damn fine plot, too. With characters. And ballet. And stuff. You’d probably like it a lot.
The last time I recommended AMVs, I basically demanded that you all go download Urban Ragnarok and watch it a million times and acknowledge it as a true and complete work of genius. (I hope you all did that, by the way. That is so totally going to be on the test to get into heaven.) I believe I also noted that I’ve never seen the anime Metropolis. I have, however, seen the 1926 movie version of Metropolis, and it was kind of like 1930s dentistry: loud, painful, scratchy, mystifying, and with a 40% chance of killing you dead. (Okay, I made that last part up. But, seriously, I had to watch Metropolis, and it had been excessively touted as this Great Work of Genius, and all I saw was a lot of fuzz and random people doing the Funky Chicken in slow motion. Plus the clock. Oh, god, the clock. I theorized at the time that its constant presence was a reminder that you, the viewer, were losing valuable eons of your life that you would never get back watching this unending torment. I still have a deeply unfortunate association between this movie and "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman.")
I actually went and read the vid notes for this one before recommending it - Absolute Destiny has a very low likelihood of writing bad vid notes. (I define “bad vid notes” as ones that make you not want to watch the creator’s vids. Or, in extreme cases, ones that make you want to punch the creator in the mouth.) The ones for this vid were, as expected, quite good (Informative! On topic! Entirely wank-free!), but they revealed the horrifying fact that AD likes the 1926 version of Metropolis, and in fact thinks the target audience of this vid is people who haven’t seen the anime Metropolis but enjoyed what we might describe as the live-action Metropolis (for some questionable definitions of the word ‘live’). Possibly the version he saw was better than the 80th generation VHS videotape OMG that I watched. Possibly he is simply frothingly insane. Either way, though, I promise you that you don’t need to have liked, or indeed understood, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to love this vid. And the creator himself says it’s better if you haven’t seen the anime. In short, you, media fangirl, are likely the perfect person to watch this vid. And it’s really, really good, what is more.
(The clock. It haunts me. As does the goddamned Funky Chicken.)
Sex and Caramel, by Kusoyaro Productions. Noir, Mireille/Kirika.
So. This is a gorgeously sexy femslash (known in anime circles as ‘yuri’) vid. And that alone is reason enough to watch it, and love it, and make it your best fucking friend forever. But wait! There’s more!
Like, okay. This song? In live action, I would consider it nigh unviddable. Really slow songs that are almost all vocals tend to crash and burn in live-action vids. (There are notable exceptions, of course, including a few vidders who seem to be at their best with these kinds of songs. But what you usually get is looooong clips, often way slowed down, where almost nothing happens, and eventually you feel like - look, I’m not making another Fritz Lang’s Metropolis comment here, so just know that in my opinion songs like this can lead to prepare-to-grow-old vids in live action.) And Kusoyaro does, actually, rely heavily on clips without a lot of action in them (in itself another feat, as this particular anime series could be justifiably be described as “action-packed,” and in fact has some scenes that have weird resonance with the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith). But the vid is not boring. Far from. And that’s because the movement, the action, occurs almost entirely outside the clips, if you see what I mean. (If you don’t see what I mean, you probably will after you see the vid.)
Also. See. In AMVs, you don’t get so much of the “We will now revel in glorious subtext” vids, where vidders do - okay. You know that thing where you cut pieces out of folded paper and it reveals the paper’s inner snowflake? Well, vidders in our part of fandom are remarkably adept at cutting pieces out of source to reveal the inner massive, massive gayness. (Except for those sources that are basically an embarrassment of gay riches. Yes, The Sentinel, I am looking at you.) It's fairly rare to see that in an AMV, though. But this one? Totally does that. It reveals the girl-loving core of the source so well that it completely changes how you view the actual anime. (It really isn’t the incredibly true adventures of two assassins in love. No matter how much my inner shipper wants it to be.)
Mitternacht, by Pwolf. Hellsing, Vampire Hunter D, and Blood: The Last Vampire.
Important note: the version I’ve linked above is the best one. But you will not be able to play it unless you have the latest edition of the VLC player. If you don’t, you should download this Mitternacht instead. This might also be the best course of action if your computer is old, cranky, or prone to fits. (More fits than just the usual “WHY do you make me run Windows? WHY GOD WHY? Taste the blue screen of my rage!” type tantrums, I mean.)
This one was recommended to me by daegaer after my last bout of AMVs, and she was entirely right. Of course, when BB and I watched it, we had never even heard of Blood: The Last Vampire (and, having heard of it now, I can’t say as I have any strenuous desire to watch it). So we had to work out for ourselves that this is a multi-anime vampires-who-hunt-vampires vid. Or, okay, honesty time: BB sussed it out somewhere during the opening sequence. I played Devil’s Advocate until the situation became hopeless:
BB: They’re obviously vampires.
Me: No, wait. I think that one is crazy.
BB: I’m pretty sure you can be both.
BB: Also, all three of them just popped game face.
Me, losing with as much dignity as ever: I don’t think you’re supposed to call it game face unless it’s Jossverse.
Me, meditatively: You know, it’d be funny to see Angel and Spike up against these guys.
BB: And by "funny," you mean "the end of the world as we know it."
Me: Not necessarily. They could have reasoned discussions! “Guys, guys, guys. We’re all on the same side here.” “You are definitely not on my side. We would not have you.” “Oh, I’m hurt.” “You will be.” “Bloody hell. Can we just skip the oh-so-witty banter and go straight to the fighting?”
(You get eight points if you can identify who said what in that reasoned discussion, by the way.)
Through Time, Through Space, by Koopiskeva/Random Variable Productions. Voices of a Distant Star.
Last time, my brain entered a mode that might best be described as “terminal Koopiskeva vacillation”; I couldn’t choose between Euphoria (Everyone recommends it! With very good reason! It is extremely shiny!) and Waking Hour, which I happen to like better than Euphoria. Euphoria shows off anime vidding better than Waking Hour; Waking Hour is, in my opinion, far more appealing to and accessible to media fans.
Eventually, I used the time-tested strategy of simply not picking either, which was perhaps slightly less than optimal. This time, I’m proud to say, I managed to choose.
Yeah, okay, so technically I chose one that wasn’t on the menu last time, but I don’t care. This is a fabulous vid. It’s the first vid I watched by Koopiskeva, so I kind of imprinted on it, and it’s the one I come back to watch again and again. Also, it’s the most plot-driven of the three, always a bonus when selecting AMVs for media fans. (Okay, no, not exactly. Let’s say instead that I think the plot is the most obvious on the first pass through; plot-wise, it’s basically on par with Waking Hour.) It also draws from an absolutely lovely source - I mean, Waking Hour does, too, but - look. I made my choice, and I’m damn well staying with it. So there.
Although, for the record, you would not in any way be wasting your bandwidth if you elected to download all three.
One thing I promise you: after you’re done watching the vid, you’ll never look at cell phones the same way. I mean, this vid manages to make cell phones and text messaging deeply romantic and touching and sweet, and the way they both hold onto their phones is like, meaning of life stuff, and also the OMG dramatic! moments when the cell phones light up, and - well. This vid (and its source) has mecha and spacecraft and stuff going boom and a freaking war with aliens, but the cell phones are really the focus. And after you see this vid, you will totally understand why that is as it should be. (Hint: the cell phones are the whole relationship for the second half of the source. And “Voices” is a relationship and character driven anime.)
Anime Vid Recommendations Bonus Section: You Get Cookies!This section is dedicated to vids that I also want you to drop everything and watch, but only for certain definitions of “you.”
The Cookie for People Who Like NC-17 Slash, Slave Stories, and/or Bondage. Intrusion, by Staces. Ai no Kusabi.
Note: this is a wee bit more explicit than your average vid, but less explicit than your average Queer as Folk vid. If you're, like, twelve or whatever, you probably shouldn't download it. (You also probably shouldn't read this LJ. Go frolic outdoors, hypothetical 12-year-old reader! You can develop RSI when you're older.)
So, first, here’s what I know about Ai no Kusabi, which should help you decide if this is the right vid for you. It is a story about this guy (who is blond, which means he’s super high caste on his planet), who rescues this other guy (who has dark hair, which means he’s basically subhuman) from being killed, even though he has no reason to. Dark-haired guy, as a thanks for the rescue type deal, offers to be blond guy’s slave (“pet,” to be precise, and if that word has no special connotations for you, you probably haven’t been in the same fandoms as I have these past few years). There is sexin’. And bondage. And also, of course, Forbidden Love That Very Well Might Change the World. That’s the canon (to the best of my knowledge - I haven’t seen it, though if anyone has time to watch it and provide a better summary, I can get it for you). The vid is - the canon, basically, except shorter and set to Alanis Morissette.
Unfortunately, the source quality is bad. Also, the source itself has an undefinable but, to me, very noticeable ‘80s look to it (and, no, it wasn’t made anywhere near the ‘80s, so I’m as mystified as you are) that makes me kind of giggle, which is why I haven’t watched it. (Plus, I have - this is so pathetic, but do not mock my shame - a hard time following visual sex scenes, especially ones as vague as a lot of these. They’re almost as confusing to me as fight scenes. Yes, this makes 95% of Hollywood’s output a giant sea of confusion for me, but I choose to view it as a bonus. I mean, it takes a lot longer for fighting and sex scenes to get old for me, given that I have to watch them several times - and, often, have a running narration - to figure out what the hell is going on. But this is why I prefer my sex and my violence, not to mention just about everything else, in written form: these scenes lose a lot of their impact when you have someone whispering in your ear, “Okay, that’s the one guy. Remember him? The star of the show? Right. And that’s - do you see the mostly naked girl? The one from earlier, with the briefcase? Okay, she’s over on the couch. Do you see her now? Good. They’re going to have sex.” “What do you mean, how do I know they’re going to have sex? Everyone knows.” “Well, when I said ‘everyone,’ I didn’t mean you.”)
The Cookie for People Who Have a Sense of Humor Like Mine. (And How I Pity You. You Totally Deserve a Cookie.) A Total Waste of 6 Minutes 35 Seconds, by Xstylus/Project Thunderstroke. Serial Experiment Lain, although you really shouldn’t expect this to have anything in common with the actual anime.
Okay. First things first, and this is very important. Do not read the video notes for this one until you’ve watched it. It’s a humor video, and I think knowing what it’s about beforehand would suck all the humor right out of it.
So how do I intend to write a vid summary for it? I totally don’t. Instead, I will tell you what happened to me when I watched it.
Basically, I spent the first minute being confused, the second minute being very doubtful, the third minute being mildly amused, and then the amusement kind of built until I collapsed laughing on my keyboard. Seriously. It played out by itself the first time, with me not even seeing the last bit; I was busy holding my stomach and facing imminent death from acute hypoxia.
But I have no idea if you, specifically, will find it funny. (Best Beloved did, for what it’s worth.) I’m just saying - this nailed me so hard in the primitive thing I use in place of a sense of humor that I almost died. I suspect that this is one of those either you get it or you hate type humor pieces, and I can’t promise you won’t hate it. If you do, you’re probably right to do so. It’s definitely not the best vid ever made. But it has a rustic native charm. And some of the funniest footage ever.
Once you’re done with the vid, go back and read the vid notes. (Not beforehand! I mean it! There’s nothing in here that could be triggering or upsetting for anyone - the worst you’ll face is boredom, but the boredom is about three thousand times more likely if you read the vid notes first - so you don’t need any warnings. Nor do you want them. Trust me on this.) Even if you hated it, still read them; you will find much in there to make you feel better. (And if you loved it, it will prove to you that the joke is exactly what you thought it was.)
The Cookie for People Who Have Watched Fullmetal Alchemist. Tsumibito no Kashou, by Tyler/Fantasy Movies. Fullmetal Alchemist.
In the main vid recs section, I continued to limit myself to vids that work just as well - perhaps better - if you have never seen the source, mostly because I suspect the readers of this LJ generally will not have seen it. (If I’m wrong about that, hey, let me know.) This one is merely shiny if you haven’t seen some of the source, but if you have - well. BB has seen FMA, I haven’t, and our reactions to it were 180 degrees off the first time through. After I realized (read: was told) what was going on, though, my reaction matched BB’s, and that reaction was: Wow. Also, ow. Also, OMG Ed NOOOOOOOO!
I guess I could try to explain what’s going on here, but - no. Just, if you’ve seen the series, you’ll get basically immediately that this is the perfect song for Ed. (The song, for the record, is not in Japanese, even though the title of the vid itself is; the song is half French, half English. And it’s by Placebo. I have no idea what the title of the vid means - anyone out there know Japanese well enough to clear that up?)
And, hey, if you haven’t seen FMA? You could download this vid anyway, for the sheer shiny of it. It’s gorgeously edited, as all of Tyler’s vids are (or all the ones I’ve seen, anyway), and well worth a watch even if you don’t get the message. But if you do - it’s a gorgeous gut-punch, basically, and it is stunningly wonderful.