- Member: 808-buma
- Title: Akari (Light)
- Premiered: 2007-12-05
- Peter Gabriel In Your Eyes
Akari (Light in Japanese - working title : Light)
In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel
I’ve been recently listening to the Pandora online music service in the last few months and one of my genres of music was for Peter Gabriel. As you can’t really chose what songs get played (as the service plays music by and similar to your genre choice), I wasn’t really looking for this song at all – it sort of crept up on me all of a sudden. I had just finished watching Battle Athletes (both the OVA and TV series) when one day, I was at work and heard this song play and images of BAV started to come to my mind’s eye. I went home and started to play this song over and over (as I had the album ripped to one of my HD’s, actually, just hadn’t heard it in a while), trying to picture what would go where and why. This was going to be a long video for me, as I chose not to edit it (well, okay, I faded the end a bit, but still), which is rather unusual for me.
Battle Athletes Victory (TV series)
I was rather skeptical about this series from it’s reviews (athletic competitions to become ‘Cosmo Beauty’??? WTH?), but because of an awesome sale, I decided to bite for the whole series (both the original OVA and the TV series). I have to admit, I really enjoyed this series (well, all except for the last 4 episodes – they should have just cut those and the series would have been better IMHO, but I digress).
And so, how to make a video with a love song about the pursuit of being Cosmo Beauty…
Basic Ideas and Themes
I had initially wanted to make this into another yuri-esque video, but that thought quickly died a swift and silent death as I thought about it more (that and I really didn’t want to be known as the ‘yuri-amv’ guy, either). My second idea involved the many characters of the series and how all wanted to be like the legendary Cosmo Beauty Tomoe Midoh (who is the mother of the main character of the series, Kansaki Akari), as a lot of them had used Midoh as their role model to base their athletic careers off of. Although on the surface it seemed like a good idea, it put a lot of characters into the mix, and that’s a lot of information to be quickly absorbed by the non-BAV watching viewer (like ”who’s that person? And that person? Who’s that in the background? What’s going on? What’s the meaning of life?” ) so I decided against this one too.
Taking a slightly unconventional view of the song, I finally simplified the concept down to the 3 main characters – Kanzaki Akari (long brown ‘bunny ear’ hair girl), Ichino Yanagida (short ‘newscaster’ black / brown haired girl), and Kris Christopher (short, blue-haired girl with the pink ponytail wrap) and how each motivate, push, and strive with / against each other to be their very best. It was a challenge for me to try and balance each of these aspects: friendship, love, competition, and rivalry. This also made it rather difficult for me to name the piece when I was done, but after a lot of different iterations of it, I just went with my initial idea (and working title) and stuck with it – ‘Light’ or rather, ‘Akari’ - which at the onset of naming the video with the Japanese translation, I had no idea it was the same as the main character’s name. Happy coincidence.
My other difficulty on this was the fact that this song is so strongly related to the move Say Anything and it's romantic nature (which, btw, I do totally love - how could you not). This paired with the yuri-esque story idea early on just made it all the more difficult as I really didn't want these ideas to overshadow the rest of the video (but still keep the concept, as there are definite yuri tendencies in BAV).
First off, I do have to say this as it seems that almost all my vids, I get the same types of comments about my editing style and sync. I don't quite know why I edit in this way, nor what to call it - be it 'mood' sync, 'story' sync, or whatnot, but it seems I do have an odd sense of it. This tends to be my dominate type of 'syncing' going on in the video rather than the more traditional beat and lyric syncs (which I do use on occasion as suited), so I forewarn you now :)
The video is told in two main segments – the present time ‘race’ segment at the beginning and ending, which sandwiches a very large ‘flashback’ sequence in-between (the white flashes are the 'start' and 'stop' points). I had initially intended there to be a ‘flash to present’ sequence between the Ichino / Akari and Kris / Akari flashback sequences, but I thought that it might be overly confusing to keep jumping back and forth in time – especially for the non BAV watcher. I actually did both versions, which I subjected to my ever-helpful beta-tester (btw, thanks Katrina Jadd and Jubbers), just to be sure, before I continued on with the video.
Video Story Summary
Present Time - Akari and Kris prepare themselves for the final race - the race to see who will become the USSA Cosmo Beauty. Each walk to the starting block and prepare themselves mentally for the sprint ahead [Kris and Akari close their eyes]
Flashback (told from the point of view of Akari) - Akari sets on the key moments that have helped shaped her athletic career. First, back in her training school days, with her good friend Ichino, and how she helps Akari reach her inner potential after a crushing realization she was not living up to it (and brought home by the roundhouse punch delivered by Jessie, one of the top athletes in the training school). Ichino and Akari's ultimate goal is to both graduate to the USSA space academy and compete against each other for the crown of Cosmo Beauty, but is tragically cut short in a training accident, and Akari must journey to the space academy alone.
Flashing forward through all her training at the academy and rising through the ranks, we are now re-introduced to Kris as she and Akari each face off the #2 and #1 candidates (Miranda and Lahrri, respectively) in the pre-final competition to see who will ultimately compete for the title of Cosmo Beauty. Quickly, it seems readily apparent that neither of the girls are a match for Miranda and Lahrri, which begins to break Akari down. Kris, who having been ordered to stay away from Akari (who she had been originally teammates with at the start of their USSA training), breaks her coach's orders and approaches Akari and with a kiss, brings her back from sorrow, if just a little confused. With the friendship they had shared and now share again, Akari realizes that she and Kris can overcome these juggernauts of sports and then finally compete against each other in the final race.
Akari and Kris face each other in the true spirit of 'amateur' competition - for the true love of it. Each has helped and pushed the other to their limits to get to this point - to run against each other - to see the 'light' as they run - a sight that each has seen when Tomoe Midoh, Akari's mother and greatest of the Cosmo Beauties, ran and both wish to achieve. Run girls, run.
Not many complex visuals here. There is some masking present to help change scenes a slight bit (like at the 3:12 mark), some looped footage to help extend scenes, still images for the same reasons, large pan and scan images to help smooth out areas, and some other stuffs too. Nothing overly overt, but it seems its becoming standard fare as far as my videos have been going.
This video was created on 2 machines and a portable HD
Laptop computer – Intel Core2 Duo T7300, 2 gigs ram
Work computer - Intel Core2 Duo something (I forgot to check), 2 gigs ram
Portable HD - 250 gig USB hard drive
Video editor: Magix Movie Edit Pro 10 (which I got to work on Vista, thankfully)
local - MP4 [Q=23] - Zarx264gui
direct - AVI XVID [1st pass] - VirtualDubMod (hosted by the ever-awesome Katie @ www.mycatispesteringme.com)
note: to view the MP4 file, you will either need the CCCP codec pack installed onto your computer or use VLC Player
Time: Approximately 100 hours of work spread out over 2.5 months.
[rant mode on]
I had a strange sit-thru this series when I watched it, as due to the incredibly stupid way that the DVD’s chapter markers are set up. The DVD is set up like the a VHS tape – with the OP only at the beginning of the first episode, then there are 3 or so episodes that follow in a row, and then the closing credits. Chapters for this DVD are at the beginning of the OP and subsequent episodes, but NOT between the OP and the first episode on the disc ( don’t see why they didn’t put them in there – not like it costs anything to add another friggin’ chapter point on the DVD). So after watching the first 2 discs and growing a bit tired of the OP theme, I skipped ahead, not realizing that I had just missed an entire episode along with the OP.
As I watched, I started thinking that the story-writers for this series sure skipped over some areas that one would think they’d put in – little did I know, they had. After about 2 more discs, I finally realized that the writes couldn’t be that stupid – just me. As I had already figured out most of what was going on anyway in those ‘missing’ episodes, I chose to continue on with wherever I had finally realized I was a dork and watched those missed episodes at the end of the series – talk about an ‘aaahhh’ moment for me as the ‘gaps’ in the story finally got filled in. Anyway~
[rant mode off]
If you enjoy it, QC’s and/or Opinions are always appreciated.