- Member: suberunker
- Studio: Suberunker Studeosh
- Title: The Two Shall Meet
- Premiered: 2003-05-17
- E.S. Posthumus Nara
- Anime Central 2003, Anime Central 2003 (2003-05-16)
- Fanime Con AMV Contest 2003, Fanime Con AMV Contest 2003 (2003-06-20)
- Anime Expo 2003, Anime Expo 2003 (2003-07-04)
- Otakon 2003 (10 year Anniversary), Otakon 2003 (10 year Anniversary) (2003-08-08)
- Anime Weekend Atlanta 9 (Expo), Anime Weekend Atlanta 9 (Expo) (2003-09-26)
The first rendition of this video appeared at AnimeUSA in 2002. I had originally made it and entered it in hopes that I'd get my AMV-making groove on earlier during the year and would find time throughout the semester to keep at it and test out new techniques with Adobe Premiere and Photoshop. However, I was very very displeased with my original version of "The Two Shall Meet" mainly because, while it did what it wanted to do for the first two-thirds, it became boring, unoriginal, and flat for the last third of the video. It just looked too horrid since it felt like I was pushing the footage into the minute and a half to just fill up that void since I didn't want to edit the song. After about a week in thought, I decided to email the coordinator for Nan Desu Kan and ask that TTSM be removed from the competition. In the end, I discovered he still played it, as an exhibition video, and the judges gave it a special honorable mention.
That was nice, but school started to build up and time flew.
So it finally becomes Winter Break and I'm ready to get into the habit of this hobby again, but I just felt too lazy. I'm sure most of you creators out there sometimes get the feeling like, "I have a great idea! But I'll do it tomorrow...". So, in the end I simply just got the DVD source file onto my laptop and let it sit...until school started again. It seems weird that I only want to work on a time-consuming project when I have something else more important to be doing...
So, while I'm supposed to be studying organic chemistry, electrical engineering and other such stuff, I decide to get this project running again. I didn't have my original save from the previous version of TTSM, so I started from scratch again. Which is actually something I preferred. But at this point, reworking the video would be difficult in that I'd like to keep some specific things I did, but sometimes couldn't fit the entire sequence in with the new video. For examples of this, you'll need to find my prototype version of TTSM (only directly available through me or if you saw it at AnimeUSA 2002).
So anyways, let's analyze this damned video down, all comments are made as the video progresses, so to get a better idea of what I'm saying, you'll need to watch, pause, read, watch, pause, read, etc, even though this is not the way I had wanted the video to be seen (Complicated, eh?):
-=SECTION I: Introductions=-
*The bells always seemed to just fit with the first few sounds heard in the song. I've always been very fond of videos that just suddenly start up from nowhere without any faded in buildup. The compositing with Utena's eyes, the fences coming apart, The blurring of these images was meant to be synched with the song, but even I have difficulty in telling if it's perfectly synched. Either way, it looked good.
*For the shot of both Anthy and her brother, I realized that both the figures were a bit small and I'd probably need to keep that shot there for a while to make sure the viewer got the idea that there's two there in the beginning. The composite with her brother running away leads into the picture of just Anthy standing there. Hopefully I left in enough time on the shots to get this across.
*The shot of the towers swerving in and going has got to be one of my favorite shots in both anime and films. It's really terrific and got the viewer right into the environment instantly. I left it fully intact except for the composite of the sunset in the back which fit much better with the previous and next shot.
*The use of the twirling rose with the ascent up was originally me playing around with trying to create some mixed imagery. Originally this shot didn't have Utena in it, but I thought it'd be a good way to introduce her into the video by having her peer out from behind some shadowed roses.
*Introducing Anthy and Utena in full view to the viewer was meant just to be a quick character introduction. I didn't want to do a quick cut between them, so I decided to take some advice from one of my professors and use blurring to force the viewer to stop looking at them.
*The shot of Utena's hand getting the ring from the rose was well...just meant to show the viewer she's got the ring.
*The next shot I particularly like. The side view of Utena in thought along with her wandering the rose fields with Anthy suddenly changing her personality in the back was meant to give the idea of how the characters are (one searching for herself, another confused with who she is)
*A few shots of Utena and Anthy, still meant as an introduction (but with those pretty rose petals flying by)
*I particularly liked the shot of Utena and Anthy embraced with Utena holding the ring. Rather than them showing affection, it's definitely showing their concern over it. And hence why the next shot shows Utena preparing for conflict (when she takes the bamboo rod and the skies turn gray)
*The shots of Utena and Anthy close up behind the clouds as Saionji prepares for battle was meant to just give different perspectives of the characters in a different fashion. Some people have had the idea that it was meant to show Anthy being released by Saionji and Utena in thought as to whether she should protect Anthy, which is not what I intended, but it is nice to see that the viewer gets their own interactive ability to interpret the footage in their own way.
*Utena puts on the ring. Synched to the beats. Nothing to interpret here....
*I decided to make the next shot an experimental one. I wanted to make sure to put a divider between the three "sections" of the video, this one being the divider between introductions and the actual conflict/romance section. I liked the the idea of having rose petals relect on the shadow portions of the shot, and hence, that's what I got. I had intended to make the shot of Utena and Anthy dancing a way of foreshadowing what was to happen, but, I'm not quite sure if it worked. ;)
-=SECTION II: Conflict and Romance=-
*First few shots of Saionji instantly give a sense of evil (I loved his wretched facial expressions), and quickly he is seen charging. Instant conflict.
*What I wanted to do here was an action sequence with a different sense of perception. I intended for some shots to contain the viewpoints from both characters to try and make it seem more like the viewer knew what was happening on both ends (sorta a "in the middle of it" feeling), adding the shot with Utena and Utena in the background was meant to be more a look into her inner anger
*The shot with the bamboo rod and the sword crossing over was intended to seem like an X, or crossed out. The idea of Anthy being her other self and of Utena with the reluctant turn are meant to be rejected, at least during this sequence.
*The shots of Saionji in battle, but looking down upon Anthy was meant as another portrayal of conflict between characters, the idea being that this is also Anthy's battle as well.
*With the brooding strings in the song, I thought that the shot of Saionji turning around could use some extra added evil, so I turned the sky grey, added a rotated blur, and another layer of the same video (mask only) a bit off in the background. I love this shot especially. :)
*Again with the dual-perception battle shots :P
*Again with the inclusion of Anthy in the battle :P
*The shot with Anthy turning around is one of the most difficult to explain, but here goes anyways: it is meant to first give focus on the fact that Anthy is ready to face what is happening while the shot right after is meant to focus on the bamboo rod flying away (Utena has lost). Both of these moments were meant to happen at the same time, but I didn't want one to outdo the other, so I included the shot of Anthy turning twice (once focused, once not)
*I wanted to give a sense of slowness/relaxation, so nothing was edited during the scene where Utena is woken by the floating rose.
*The animation of the cloth untwirling is really magnificent and I wanted to include it in somehow, but without it being just the cloth, in the end it worked beautifully in giving the image of Utena's love being unwrapped and including Anthy in it.
*The timing of when Anthy's dress unfolds and the wings emerge was meant to be at the same. As was when both Anthy and the female in the background bend.
*The next long sequence with the dance over the petals is just meant to show the romance between the two, but to also try and create some enhanced feeling to it. This seems to be the favorite sequence of most people that I talk to. Most of the imagery is self-explanatory.
*Ending the sequence with both Anthy and Utena looking forward was meant as the transition for the next "section"
-=SECTION III: Lost, Unsure, Fading=-
*The shot of the different Utenas being split was meant to portray her losing touch with who she thought she was, but only when Anthy is in need of her help does only one Utena appear and she knows who she is.
*But in the next shot, Utena has just replaced Saionji as an object of fear in Anthy, leading to the shot of Anthy being portrayed behind bars.
*The silhouette shot with Utena charging forward is stil somewhat of a mystery to me. I do not know what compelled me to do it, but it felt right, and it will have to be one of those things I'll need to dig into my subconscious to understand why I created it.
*Utena takes off the ring. She has lost her desire to protect Anthy.
*Followed by the contrasting image of Utena ready to defend
*Anthy being shown fading into different places, giving her a sense of being lost again
*One of my favorite shots, Utena running past the columns and with each time her image grows more uneasy and more distant.
*Finally, the shot of Anthy still in love with Utena despite Utena's anger, leading to her clutching the ring as it is too late because Utena has left
-=EPILOGUE: Going backwards=-
*A shot of Saionji being defeated and more rose petals falling over a broken world were meant to act as a leap back from the events that occured. Using the black video between cuts was meant to give the feeling of changed time, but I'm not sure if this worked with most people.
*We see the moving statues from the beginning of the video, bu this time, both Utena and Anthy trapped behind them along with their memories from Utena's battle with Saionji and Utena's previous uneasiness.
*The shot of Utena without her looking at the viewer, almost like a reverse character introduction.
*Finally, the shot of both Utena and Anthy together in a shot from the beginning of the video. I wanted to give the viewer the idea that this is how it is meant to begin, not end.
I know this is quite a bit of writing, but I hope you enjoyed the video and now understand what I was set out to do. A lot of it seems abstract, I know, but it only means there still is work to be done and several more director's cuts of this video as well. :P Fun.
Information on the music:
E.S. Posthumus is a group of two German composers. They are currently releasing their CD through the Wigshop Records label. If you enjoyed the music in this video, you will enjoy nearly every track of their CD, "Unearthed." Give it a try if you like film scores, classical, choral, bizarre/yet cool, or music used in movie trailers.
Honorable mention at AnimeUSA 2002, for Exhibition, also an earlier version
Honorable mention at Anime Central 2003
Finalist at Fanime Con 2003
Finalist at Anime Expo 2003
Finalist at Otakon 2003