Video Information

Information

  • Member: Athena
  • Studio: |: Serious Business Studios :|
  • Title: Boy at the Piano
  • Premiered: 2008-11-24
  • Categories:
    • Character Profile
    • Serious
  • Song:
    • Vienna Teng Eric's Song
  • Anime:
  • Comments:

    This video has been a long, long time in coming. I started work on the story boarding for this video while still in the United States, and I left the US almost exactly one year ago. This was my next serious project after starting Countdown earlier that year.

    This video represents a combination of approaches to the idea of concept synthesis. I have a lot to say about Utena; if I didn't, I would not produce so many Utena AMVs. Covered by whacky and surreal situations, the characters are quite seriously flawed. To stop and look deeply at the characters of Utena is to look at a group of young people suffering from a wide range of emotional and mental instabilities. The characters, Utena, included, suffer from arrogance, elitism, obsessive compulsive behavior, possessiveness, self-loathing, bigotry, sexism, depression, bipolarity, and not the least of the list, violent behavior. In several cases, we do get episodes which seem to focus on how profoundly disturbed some of these characters are, and just how cruel they are to each other... and to themselves.

    To this end, my favorite character is Miki, who suffers from co-dependence with his sister, stress from being overworked and overpraised for being a genius, and what is a very noble heart without much common sense. I initially set out to make a video about him. This was what I call the concept first approach, something I very, very rarely ever do. Largely because I have such a back log of song first ideas, and finding a song for a concept first amv can be quite difficult. So I started looking around for songs that were about boys and pianos. I came across a song by Vienna Teng called Boy at the Piano. Turns out, the actual title of the song I had was Eric's Song, but I did not find that out until later. What I cam across was a live recording of the song, that had a very eery quality. And when I listened to it, the song was definitely about Miki... but from someone's perspective I had not originally considered. Miki's twin sister, Kozue.

    Kozue is a disturbed and disturbing individual. Despite Miki's frailties, he is rather sane. The same cannot be said for his sister, Kozue. Both were pianists when they were children. According to Miki, she was actually the better player. They had a very close relationship as children and apparently had a very good family life. One day as they were about to perform in front of many people, Miki got sick, and Kozue had to play on her own. She told her parents they she did not want to, but they made her go up anyhow. She had a nervous breakdown on stage... the ghosts in the attic that never quite... leave... From that moment on, she is never quite the same. She alternates between hating her brother for getting sick and leaving her alone and being violently obsessive to the point of threatening him and actually harming people she considers to close to him. She actually goes so far as to push his piano teacher down a flight of stairs. It is not shown on screen, but is heavily implied through both creative cinematography and through a conversation Kozue later has with one of the other characters. That conversation strongly implies this is part of a pattern. There is strong behavioral evidence to suggests that she is both jealous of the attention Miki gets because of his ability to overcome any obstacle... like a phoenix he rises from the ashes, over and over and over... and also seemingly able to reconcile that with the view that two twins are not actually distinct personalities, but rather that she is part of him, and he is part of her. Like when they were children, she sees it as though they succeed or fail together. In the world according to Kozue, Miki cannot be allowed to have his own separate life, since she cannot understand her life without him as its defining context.

    Due to the eery quality of Eric's Song, its mismatched title, and the lyrics as viewed through the lens of not a love song, but rather a creepy obsession, the video has slowly come together. The biggest issue I had was being able to present the fact that they are twins clearly to the audience. Initially, Koopiskeva suggested I use text to present a sort of internal dialogue of Kozue to make it clear, but the results looked silly and destroyed the creepy mood I was going for. Discussing this with MeteorDragon, I eventually decided to make a family photo for the beginning in photoshop which would strongly imply the characters are at least siblings, and I think there is a strong visual quality for assuming they are twins. The family is actually Ayukawa Madoka's family from Kimagure Orange Road, and the sheet music is KOR background music.

    strange how you know inside me
    I measure the time and I stand amazed
    strange how I know inside you
    my hand is outstretched toward the damp of the haze

    and of course I forgive
    I've seen how you live
    like a phoenix you rise from the ashes
    you pick up the pieces
    and the ghosts in the attic
    they never quite leave
    and of course I forgive
    you've seen how I live
    I've got darkness and fears to appease
    my voices and analogies
    ambitions like ribbons
    worn bright on my sleeve

    strange how we know each other

    strange how I fit into you
    there's a distance erased with the greatest of ease
    strange how you fit into me
    a gentle warmth filling the deepest of needs

    and with each passing day
    the stories we say
    draw us tighter into our addiction
    confirm our convictions
    that some kind of miracle
    passed on our heads
    and how I am sure
    like never before
    of my reasons for defying reason
    embracing the seasons
    we dance through the colors
    both followed and led

    strange how we fit each other

    strange how certain the journey
    time unfolds the petals for our eyes to see
    strange how this journey's hurting
    in ways we accept as part of fate's decree

    so we just hold on fast
    acknowledge the past
    as lessons exquisitely crafted
    painstakingly drafted
    to carve us as instruments
    that play the music of life
    for we don't realize
    our faith in the prize
    unless it's been somehow elusive
    how swiftly we choose it
    the sacred simplicity
    of you at my side

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