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18 February 2007 @ 03:08 am
161: I'll Take the Complete Set, Please  
Yes. Because what is meta about anime vid feedback without anime vid recs? And these come in sets!


Here's the thing about FLCL (Fooly Cooly). I have watched many vids using FLCL, and I have come to the conclusion that it contains infinity. It's a short series - 6 half-hour episodes - and yet AMV makers have created vids in just about every mood, theme, and style you can imagine using only that footage. (The, um, actual plot of the anime defies description - it's just, you know, an allegory about growing up, about the complications of life and love. And about having a giant robot burst from your forehead after you're hit on the head by an electric guitar. I think we've all been there.)

So for FLCL I've got two vids for you, and taken together, they represent almost everything I love about anime vids.

The One That Emphasizes the Importance of Keeping Your Eyes Peeled at All Times for Vespas. You Cannot Trust Vespas, People. Jerk It Out, by LenWidleheyt.

This is, in a word, spectacular. Except, of course, that I've got a lot more words, because when am I ever brief about anything? (I can be brief, for the record. I simply choose not to be. And, um, I've been making that choice pretty consistently since I learned to type, which is why it sometimes seems like - you know what? I'm not making things better, here. Time to move on.)

This is the shiny - and, really, "shiny" seems like much too mild a word; possibly instead I mean "explosive" - side of AMVs. It's flashy, effects-driven, fast-paced, and sharply edited. It also pretty accurately reflects the source - it's basically a souped-up, super-condensed, intense version of the series itself.

I love this vid because of the instant jaw-drop factor; it's stunning on the first watch, because it really shows off what anime editors (with pretty much infinite effort, patience, time, and - I'm assuming, here, but I feel it's a fairly safe assumption - beer) can do. This is the AMV equivalent of taking off on a rocket ship, basically.

And because it's FLCL, that rocket ship is powered entirely by sexual confusion and electric guitars.

The One That Got Me This Close to Writing a 5-8 Page Paper. Thank Whatever Power You Believe in for LJ Character Limits, People. I Mean It. Progress and Stress and Dream, by jbone. This one - well, okay, first: notice how it feels like it came from an entirely source than Jerk It Out. I mean, yes, the characters are the same, but everything else is different. See what I mean about FLCL? It is all things to all editors.

And what it is to this editor, in this vid - well, on the very basic level where my brain struggles with vid interpretation, this AMV uses footage from an allegorical anime to tell a related but different allegory, and oh my god that was just about the most boring sentence on the earth, wasn't it? I couldn't have made it more boring without using phrases like "constructivist objectivism." Wow.

So let me skip the descriptions (Adjectives! I'll miss you!) and move on to the song, instead. It's gorgeous (and I keep meaning to find a download of it, but at this point I expect I'll be watching this vid in my head whenever I listen to the song) - a sort of slow, sexy, intense, um...you know what? I'm right back with the adjectives. Let's skip this part, too.

Take three. What I can tell you is what I love about this vid, what I love to death about it. And that is the editing - the way the footage is matched to every single element of the song, from the story it tells to the music to the lyrics to the vocals to the everything. Because I'm not so good with visuals, it took me a long time and many repeat viewings to see everything that was happening on the screen, here - and yet this vid is the absolute opposite of frenetic. It's just - rich.

If Jerk It Out is a rocket ship, then Progress and Stress and Dream is a big vintage motorcycle, rumbling through the back alleys of some fantastic city on a distant planet. And it's powered by, well, Progress and Stress and Dream.

Yami no Matsuei (Descendants of Darkness)

Note: If you've never seen the series, my advice is to watch these vids in the order listed. On the other hand, if you have seen the series, you've probably already seen these vids.

The One That Shows That Nothing Goes with Violins Quite Like Pretty Dead Boys. Danse Macabre, by SarahtheBoring.

When I first watched Danse Macabre, I had no fucking clue what Yami no Matsuei even was, or why it was sometimes called Descendants of Darkness (answer: English title), or what it was about. Also, I spent a goodly portion of the AMV wondering which one of them was female (answer: none of the above). This shows how new I was to AMV watching, because now they all look unquestionably masculine. Anime. You learn as you go.

Anyway. This vid is a lovely summary vid - uses the music gorgeously and subtly to showcase seriously effective clips. And it pretty much tells you what the whole anime is about. (If you want to know in advance: a pair of dead bureaucrats who fight evil, their somewhat complex relationship with each other, and the many added complications introduced by Dr. Muraki, a not-dead mad scientist type who raped and killed one of the guys and is obsessed with the other one. (He blackmails him into a date, and then expects the date to go well. That's just the kind of awesomely mad scientist he is.) If you want more detail, either rent the series or read the intro notes to this vid.) It totally showcases the best parts of the series. (Fighting! Magical summoned beings! Crazed violinists! Vampires! Boys kissing! Really, if you want it, it's there. Unless you want, I don't know, a pony. I don't think there are any ponies. It's probably just as well for the ponies.)

The One That Conclusively Proves That There's No One Who Can't Work Multi-Colored Nail Polish. DDR Project 2nd Mix Track 05: Boys, by AbsoluteDestiny. (First, I need to explain something. This is a single track from one of the major multi-editor projects, Dance Dance Revolution (2nd Mix). So the parts at the beginning and the end sound weird because this AMV was designed to be played as part of a continuous mix of music vidded by different editors. The DDR projects are totally worth downloading, by the way.)

So. You know how, when you're a serial killer mad scientist - constantly working on your various projects of profound darkness, always with a lot on your twisted mind - sometimes you just need to unwind? By making yourself look pretty and chasing after equally pretty boys? That's a relatively universal experience, I think, and that's what this AMV is about. Trust me, you can totally relate to it.

The One That Asks, "How Far Would You Go for Your Country?" And Clearly Explains Why the Answer Should Be, "Not That Far, That's for Sure." Quid Pro Quo, by IcyCloud. It's, um. It's incredibly funny, and I can't really give you any details without spoiling it. Well, I think I can say that the casting is perfect, something you'll appreciate better after watching the other two vids. And that it's one of the few audio-clip-from-another-source humor vids I've seen where the vid is funnier than the original clip.


I know, I know. Crossover vids have a bad rap in the live-action world. (I suspect that's mostly because people use them to tell of the forbidden love triangle between Daniel Jackson, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Harley Quinn. Which, huh...no. No, I must be strong.) But they can be way neat, in live action or in anime, and these are definitely the height of neat. (Memo to me: find a better word for this than "neat." You sound like a fugitive from the '50s.)

So. Let's start with a classic, shall we?

The One That Gives Me an Entirely New Theory about Krispy Kreme. Tainted Donuts, by E-Ko. Cowboy Bebop x Trigun.

Now, first, I want to tell you a story. When I downloaded this, I knew nothing about anime. I watched it with Best Beloved. We had never seen Cowboy Bebop or Trigun; in fact, this was the first AMV we'd seen from either source. (If you're in that position - these are two of the most popular series out there, and they are quite extensively vidded, which is why it's weird, but don't worry. We all start out weird. And then, if we watch enough vids, we get weirder.) We had no idea who Vash the Stampede was.

And yet it was totally obvious that we were watching a work of great crossover genius.

Now, now, I can watch this and see the massive work that went into this, the brilliant way the creator combined two sources to make them seem to interact, work together, tell a coherent story. But then, I just barely saw the crossover. Mostly, I saw the story.

The story, for the record, is about bounty hunters pursuing a man who loves donuts.

Trust me when I tell you that this is extremely appropriate for both canons. Truly, these series were MFEO.

The One That Made Me Listen to Vanilla Ice. Until the Day, Everyone Would've Sworn It Could Not Be Done. Dueling Videos: Under Ice, by Scintilla. FLCL x Neon Genesis Evangelion.

And this was the first vid I'd ever seen use a mash up. I seriously thought my head would explode from joy. (Also, if my 6th grade English teacher had used this as an example of the compare/contrast form, well, I think we would've been spared at least a quarter's worth of lectures and examples and repetition. Or, at any rate, the repetition would've been way more interesting. Of course, she could not actually have done that, because a) she'd've been fired and b) this AMV hadn't been made yet. But still.)

Because it's a mash up, it's not exactly a crossover of the series - it's more of, well, a delightfully frothy blend of the animes. Like, you know, one of those disturbing beverages Starbucks comes up with. Except this one is mixed up in a beaker by a mad scientist. Who is probably giggling to himself while he does it.

And here's the thing: when I first watched this, I didn't recognize either source, which is almost as bad as not knowing Cowboy Bebop and Trigun. Didn't matter. (Of course, it gave me a seriously erroneous impression of Evangelion, but luckily there were three thousand vidders with Linkin Park on the spot to correct my misapprehension.)

The One That Explores Pizza As a Totally Valid Lifestyle Choice. I Approve. The Prince and the Kappa, by SarahtheBoring. Revolutionary Girl Utena x Saiyuki.

This one is just - I can't - okay. Here's what you need to know about these two sources: in Utena, there is a guy called Touga. To the best of my knowledge - and fuck knows I've never seen the series - he's rich, handsome, and popular, and he thinks he's the hottest thing since a dick in a box, but he is not quite all that. In Saiyuki, there's a guy called Gojyo. He's your basic whoring, smoking, drinking low-life. (And thus, obviously, an ideal role model for all.)

And what SarahtheBoring did is cast these guys as the Prince and the Pauper. As performed by Moxy Früvous.

I'm not sure I can convey in text my delighted glee at this concept - I was watching with Best Beloved, and we had to pause to let the wonder sink in - but I can try. It is - it is - it is a house made of bricks made of an entirely new element, Awesomium. (Chemical symbol: Wow.)

Sadly, I must convey a warning that may save you from the same dire fate I suffered: this song will latch onto your hindbrain, wrap its tentacles there, and never let go. Days after you view this vid, you will find yourself musically informing your pets that once you were the king of Spain.

If you are extremely unlucky, there will be other people present when you do this. My advice, although it didn't work out too well for me: feign a head injury.

Bonus: You Get a Cookie!

No anime music video set would be complete without a special add-on bonus cookie.

The Cookie for People Who Like Boobies. Or Who Have to Be Around People Who Like Boobies. Or Who Have Actually Seen Any Anime. Oh, Hell, Just Watch It. Fanservice Commercial, by MaachaQ. Multiple sources, but trust me - for this one, it doesn't matter what they are.

Nor does it matter that the visual quality is kind of low. Or that some of the effects aren't perfect. Because this video is fucking hysterical. (For the record: if you don't get what it's parodying, go here and start clicking. I recommend this one particularly. Also, SGA fans - someone needs to do something with Rodney McKay and this one.)

Tags: anime, vids
fuck you, internet porn will save the world: [e7] pacific stateimpactbomb on February 18th, 2007 05:13 pm (UTC)
. . . I think I may just love you forever for introducing me to an AMV of Gojyo and Touga switching places as well as an Eva/FLCL mashup how did I not know of these things BEFORE yes ♥
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
Gojyo and Touga switching places

I know. It's one of those concepts that just - you think, no, wait, that's crazy. And then you realize it's the good kind of crazy.

how did I not know of these things BEFORE

In the words of petronelle: Tragedy struck!

But, luckily, we've resolved that.


fuck you, internet porn will save the world: [e7] the girl who sold the worldimpactbomb on February 19th, 2007 06:04 pm (UTC)
It is. Entirely. Good crazy.

Also, "Progress and Stress and Dream" makes me weep. Which is not a reaction I usually have watching the series! (Mainly because the series never gives you enough time to register the incredible emotional complexities between the characters before, you know, someone's head explodes with a messy spiderbot and Canti gets stuck holding their panties, or something like that. The problem with a series like FLCL that is one giant metaphor is that it finds the weirdest ways to express that metaphor. Like, you know, giant robots that turn into bazookas and guitar guns.)
I made this beat with my panflute and my keyboardjanet_carter on February 18th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
I was all happy reading the recs, not clicking through, but then there was Moxy Fruvous! And boobies! And then I had to download, because what's not to love?
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:27 am (UTC)

Pre-cise-ly. It's a proven strategy: luring people to their doom with boobies and Moxy Fruvous. Because who doesn't love boobies and Moxy Fruvous? (I mean, not together.) (Although, actually, upon reflection, the combination doesn't seem bad, either.)

Now go download all the YnM and FLCL vids! Your head will explode. But, you know, in that fun way where you get most of neurons back at the end.
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Diaboliklaughingacademy on February 18th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
I am weeping with laughter while listening to the “Men of Genius: 80 SPF Sunblock Wearer” clip. (“Your coconut-scented forcefield blocks out all the sun’s rays...and any stray rays from another sun, in another galaxy...”) That would be the best...McKay vid...EVER.
tried to eat the safe banana: Very nearly Rodneythefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:28 am (UTC)
That would be the best...McKay vid...EVER.

I know. It would be one minute of pure joy. God, if only I had good, solid blackmail on a vidder, I would so use it to make this happen. Or if I had thought of this in time for sdwolfpup's IJVP.

Damn it, there must be some pressure that can be brought to bear on these people.

We must plot! For the good of all fandom!
Scintilla: kaikascintilla72 on February 18th, 2007 08:27 pm (UTC)
> Who is probably giggling to himself while he does it.

Oh god, you have no idea. ^_^ I don't care if nobody else gets that I threw in Xellos from Slayers for "jealous"; it made me giggle, dammit.

Thanks for the rec!
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:30 am (UTC)
it made me giggle, dammit.

I can see that. You probably cackled, even. I strongly suspect that there was distinct mad-scientist-style cackling that went on during the creation of that vid. I have no proof, mind you, but you'll never change my mind.
Bettybrown_betty on February 18th, 2007 09:18 pm (UTC)
Those FCLC vids need some kind of warning. Like, “caused spiders to spontaneously strangle their young in laboratory settings,” or something.
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:32 am (UTC)
Actually, that would probably be the ideal warning for the whole damn series, as well as every vid made to it. It's - um. Did you read the intro text from that first vid?

We've all heard the story a hundred times before; boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Girl hits boy over the head with bass guitar. Boy's forehead sprouts horn that turns into extra-terrestrial robot. Even if you haven't seen the show, you can probably guess the rest by now, right?

Of course, that isn't the half of it. I seriously suspect the creators of FLCL of using some top-secret crack compression utility to pack the absolute most crack ever into 6 half-hour episodes. How else can you explain it?
ceteramistoceteramisto on February 19th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
Thank you, for posting the link to the "Quid pro Quo" vid. When my last computer died, I lost that vid. I also agree that the casting is just perfect for the vid.
tried to eat the safe banana: Bookthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:33 am (UTC)
Your icon just made me die of glee. I want you to know that.



(And, um, yay that you have Quid Pro Quo again, because who doesn't need to hear about the flying car from time to time? No one, that's who.)

ceteramisto: mealceteramisto on February 21st, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
Your icon just made me die of glee. I want you to know that.



The main reason I have that icon as my default is the reaction of other Nero Wolfe fans on lj. Both of my Nero Wolfe icons were made by rare_fandom.

(The flying car is wonderful. My favorite thing though is that the only difference between Muraki in the video and canon is that he's a Japanese doctor not a German scientist. The sadism and wanting to have sex with Tsuzuki is the same, however.)
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombat OTPthefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:34 am (UTC)
*embraces you*

Yay Tuesday! (Also, I will have Many Tales to Tell. This weekend has been - well. Um.)
A Figment of My Own Imagination: Anthy's moods- jiatraveleda_k on February 19th, 2007 07:25 am (UTC)
Here via metafandom
I must now worship you forever for pointing me in the direction of an Utena/Saiyuki crossover. Eeeee!

Ahem, anyway, thank for all the recs.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 19th, 2007 07:37 am (UTC)
Re: Here via metafandom

Oddly, that was precisely my reaction when I first saw this vid.

And I'm so glad I could point you to it, because everyone needs an Utena x Saiyuki vid. Everyone.
Sarah B': azumanga: screamsarahtheboring on February 20th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
[via the other post via metafandom and also via scintilla72] What's funny is that I am really not in the same league as any of the others. (The first editor I've never heard of, but the video utterly rocked, so enough said.) They're like "Another trophy for excellence in video editing from another anime con at which thousands of my peers chanted my name in ecstasy? Again? Whatever..." ...and I'm some random fan who makes stuff to entertain myself and maybe three other people who might download it if I'm lucky.

So, like, it's not right at all but thank you, this made my week at the very least. As for actual GOOD videos, in addition to the others listed (which rock the house, mind you), they have a list where the user-rated best videos of all time are listed, plus an entire rec forum broken down by subject - which isn't policed, so there's no guarantee that the recs are actually good, but it's a start. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on February 21st, 2007 06:07 am (UTC)
...and I'm some random fan who makes stuff to entertain myself and maybe three other people who might download it if I'm lucky.

I am cheerfully clueless about big name vidding status in the AMV world, so I can only say: all these vids entertained me, yours included, enough to make me love them and rec them. (And, um, I think you under-rate yourself. And, also, I don't think all these editors are getting quite that much acclaim, although they are entirely worthy of it.)

As for actual GOOD videos, in addition to the others listed (which rock the house, mind you), they have a list where the user-rated best videos of all time are listed, plus an entire rec forum broken down by subject - which isn't policed, so there's no guarantee that the recs are actually good, but it's a start. :)

Good point, and I'm wondering now if I've ever mentioned this in my various AMVs for media fans posts. (Probably not. I'm good at leaving stuff out. Like, I forgot to mention the quick comments thing in the last post, just 'cause, well, I never use them.)

Sadly, though, I've downloaded all the locally available top 10% and most of the forum recs. (You're quite right that the forum recs are indeed a bit risky. But then, the top 10% list isn't perfect, either.) So, my question to you is - got any favorite vids to rec to me that aren't on the lists? I'm always looking for new ones, and the suggestion methods haven't exactly keyed into my tastes yet. (Particularly method one, which firmly believes that I only want to watch Naruto vids for the rest of my life.)
Sarah B': Azumanga: ah...heheh.sarahtheboring on February 21st, 2007 11:53 pm (UTC)
Well, the high thousands of downloads would probably indicate that it's pretty well liked. Ratings are hard to go by sometimes, because a rabid fanbase for the original series can inflate scores even if the video itself isn't very good.

When it comes to newbies, though, I wouldn't recommend the Top 10% too quickly. Some of those appeal more to hardcore viewers/editors than to a general audience, so they could get lost in the woods sometimes. Of course, that can also be fun.

Oh, I can't rec because I have terrible taste. :D I don't know a thing about AfterEffects, and my stuff has never even been played at a convention, let alone won anything. I'm in the "ooh, that was fun!" zone - more like a fan than an editor. Embarrassingly random. I can even be entertained by videos with minor flaws.

One of the editors who's commented or will likely comment in the future could probably hook you up, though. Lots of people never watch anything but the best, from editors they know personally and whatnot.
doki: heylistendoki on February 22nd, 2007 03:47 am (UTC)
"my stuff has never even been played at a convention"

Except that I showed some of your videos at Animethon 2006. :P
Sarah B': ...sarahtheboring on February 22nd, 2007 03:57 am (UTC)
I never sent anything in...? I sent one in to my lil' hometown con this year, but it's never going to make finals because a bunch of good editors from Teh Internet submitted last year.

Oh, though now that I think of it, somehow one wound up in a panel/vidshow (?) at a live-action con, too. :/ Nobody ever did tell me why. That still bothers me. I'd like to know what I did wrong. Learning and such. Anywho, I stand corrected, sorry.
tried to eat the safe banana: Vidsthefourthvine on February 22nd, 2007 08:13 am (UTC)
Strangely enough, I know why Danse Macabre ended up in the instrumental show at Vividcon 2005, because it was partly my fault. I've never been to Vividcon, sadly, but I know the person who moderated the instrumental show. (The show, by the way, was intended to highlight the various ways people use instrumental pieces in vids; there's no criticism at Vividcon shows, AFAIK, except in the Premiere show, and in that case the vidder is present for it.)

The moderators of the topic shows usually only know vids in some fandoms, but they try for a balance, so they ask for suggestions for vids that suit the topic in fandoms they don't know.

The moderator of the instrumental show still doesn't, to the best of my knowledge, watch anime vids at all (she certainly didn't then, as she had to create an account to download from the org). I was the only person she knew who watched AMVs. So I suggested several AMVs that suited the theme, including yours, and she chose yours.
Sarah B': squee!!sarahtheboring on February 22nd, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Wow! You know, I never knew that. It sort of nagged at the back of my mind for lo these many (?) years, now and then. Hey, it's a normal explanation after all! Thanks. :)

I wondered why they didn't pick a good one out of them, but the VCA Instrumental winner for 2005 was an opening-credits parody that, while excellent, wouldn't have translated outside the fandom. So... that makes sense.
doki: happycandoki on February 23rd, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
I was given a block of time to show videos that I like.
I believe I showed Papaduwa Papapalapa and Prince and Kappa.
Sarah B': ...sarahtheboring on February 25th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
Wow, thank you. I didn't know they ever did that in cons; that's a neat freeform way to get in something different.
doki: dejikodoki on March 1st, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)
Sorry I didn't mention it. I guess I forgot or got distracted or something.
Animethon is one of the few cons with a room completely dedicated to AMVs, so there's plenty of time to do various things. Vlad did an AMV-related game show, where contestants were shown a video and had to answer questions anywhere from "what anime was shown during this lyric?" to "what was the colour of X's skirt?" and everything in between.
par avion: viddingpar_avion on May 11th, 2007 04:57 am (UTC)
Actually, I also suggested your vid for that Instrumental vidshow at Vividcon. My reasons included: that I happened to see it not long before the suggestion period, that YnM was more popular with Vividcon's audience than most other anime and that the music was unusual -- Vanessa Mae is playing over a synthesized orchestra (??) -- anyway, the sound wasn't "straight classical" and I knew that Barkley was looking for variety within the types instrumental of music she was using. Also, I played violin for 10 years, so am a bit partial to the whole violin aspect. :)

It was a good fit for that vidshow for several reasons. I only know why I suggested it, not why Barkley chose it -- but she worked really hard on that vidshow and considered many, many vids. She wouldn't have included it if she didn't like it, nor would I have suggested it if I didn't like it.