Sunday, May 30, 2004

AMV Corner... 

Well, a couple of days ago, I mentioned that I'd like to do a little feature with some of my favorite anime music videos. These can be a fun way to get exposed to titles that you normally wouldn't think to watch, and IMO are a fun way to relax in and of themselves. I've been trying to think about what I should start off with, and decided to start with two fairly recent videos. One is fairly standard and one has a fairly creative concept:

First up is Euphoria, created by Koopiskeva. This combines clips from the anime RahXephon and the song Must Be Dreaming from Frou Frou. I think this is a good example of a video that manages to show a lot of imagery without giving away spoilers for those that haven't seen it yet. The creators mentions he was going with a theme of dreams, and I'd say it works well with both the song and the imagery involved.

I still haven't seen RahXephon yet, but plan on seeing it as soon as I can manage. Some have accused it of being an Evangelion rip-off, but it sounds like it also brings some things of its own to the table. You can read some reviews of the DVDs here. BTW, this was originally anime, and so the manga is the adaptation. It seems that the manga turns the series into more of a romantic comedy that some are ok with and other people hate...

I had never heard anything from Frou Frou before this, but I really enjoyed Must Be Dreaming. Their homepage is here, where you can listen to several other songs. I was impressed that the streaming flash song worked on my 56k without a hitch!

Some complaints on the video could be that the effects get a bit too busy for my tastes in a couple of spots, as well as several effects seeming too aliased compared to others. However, having said that, I thought the effects were pretty creative and fit in well with the artistic sensibility the series seems to have as a whole. Some of the painted images I've seen in books have been really lovely. I'll have to see if the character designer has an artbook.

Download Euphoria

Second is Elvis Vs. Anime by Sierra Lorna, which is actually based on a commercial music video. The song Elvis Vs. JXL - A Little Less Conversation had an mv with various people dancing inside of stacked squares, almost a Hollywood Squares effect. All the squares are obscured at first by transluscent red, but are revealed as people start to dance. Sierra decided to emulate this video by taking characters from about 12 anime series and have them dance in boxes instead.

This really is an amazing testiment to patience. It is a bit on the choppy side and some of the outlines of characters are a bit rough, but when you consider that every frame had to be painstakingly masked out, it is pretty amazing. A fun video showing a lot of creativity...

The homepage for Junkie XL is here. From the reviews on Amazon, I'm thinking I should check out some of the original releases like Saturday Teenage Kick...

Download Elvis Vs. Anime

So, I hope someone finds this helpful. If you don't like either of these, there are plenty more in other styles and series..

As an aside, I have to give props to AnimeMusicVideos.org. I think it is safe to say that the community would not be nearly as organized as it is without them! If you join (for free), you can access popularity charts and reviews which can be helpfull to see what to download. That lets you download anywhere that says Local (as opposed to Direct, which is hosted by the creator themself). They have to rack up massive bandwith costs, so don't be afraid to donate if you find it helpful...

Let me know what you think of my mini-column... :)

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