- Members: VegettoEX, MeriC
- Title: Let Me Save You
- Premiered: 2003-09-27
- Something Corporate I Want to Save You
*** WINNER: "Best Romance" (Anime Weekend Atlanta 9 / 2003; Pro Contest)
KOR fans, rejoice! There is not a single frame of Hikaru in this video! With that said...
As usual, the quickie description comes first: hardened, jaded girl hates boys, boy falls in love with tough girl, girl rejects boy, boy keeps trying and gets through to girl, girl eventually falls for boy... yeah love! In a way, this follows the main relationship in Kimagure Orange Road, but at the same time, we somewhat tinker with Madoka's character and motivations in our video, as you will read later on in the video description.
Now, time for the video history!
This was one of those video ideas that, once conceptualized, just HAD to get made. Interestingly, this video actually turned out to be something Mike and Meri didn't expect.
In the summer of 2002, Meri got the DVD box set of one of her favorite anime, Kimagure Orange Road. Upon showing (forcing) KOR to Mike, and Mike subsequently enjoying it, the two decided that a video just HAD to be made in the show. So very few KOR videos had been made in the past (with Kevin Caldwell's "The Twist," Quu's "Life in Madoka," and Vlad G. Pohnert's "Orange Road" videos being the most well known), and we wanted to create something that could hopefully demonstrate our love for this classic, old-school show, and maybe get the word out that KOR is a great series. :)
The summer of 2002 also featured Mike and Meri's obsession with the band The Starting Line (an obsession which still exists today). While listening to their CD "Say It Like You Mean It," we almost immediately decided that the song "The Best of Me" fit KOR *perfectly*. Sadly, at this point during the year, we were busy with other AMV projects, so we opted to hold off in this project for AWA 9 in 2003.
The months rolled on, and we greatly anticipated working on our KOR video. We thought we had a solid idea, and a good song choice. Then one day, a few weeks before we began working on the video, Mike suggested that "I Want To Save You" by Something Corporate might work better with the footage than "The Best of Me." Meri agreed, since she always thought either song could work with KOR.
So it was settled. "I Want to Save You," as a song, had more of a story, more descriptive lyrics, and the footage could be easier to work with in terms of lyric matching.
Nearly as soon as we decided on the song, the we ripped all of the KOR DVDs on to Meri's computer, listened to "I Want to Save You" over and over again for days (weeks?), and began editing.
The first scene edited in the entire video was the opening montage, done by Meri. Using still images that end every episode of the KOR, we tried to show JUST shots of Madoka with Kyosuke. We think we used every shot of those two *together* in this opening segment to the point of us running out of photos. ^^;;
Our first section of the video (the first verse) shows Madoka alone, being trampy (implicitly), feeling used and worthless (as the lyrics proclaim), and mostly not being happy with herself. We see her also in her own house, which is empty, dark, and lonely. In this section, we just wanted to show that Madoka is in a lonely, desperate situation, and she generally keeps her feelings locked inside.... except for near the end of the first verse where we learn that she really just wants to be loved. But does anyone notice her? After all, isn't she just being used?
This is when the first chorus kicks in. Here, we finally bring Kyosuke into the big picture, after his vague introduction in the beginning of the video.
We deliberately wanted to show him adoring Madoka from afar. That way, we could show a progression of a budding relationship by the end of the video. That's why in this section, we see Kyosuke looking at Madoka longingly in class, at a bus stop... almost like a stalker. Only.. sweeter! He also tries reaching out to Madoka as if to "save her" (hence the song/video title), since he sees that she's in pain, but she only rejects him.
After the first chorus is a small instrumental section. Here, we used more still shots (this time, not photos, but just still images from the show) that zoom and focus in on our main characters.
In the second chorus, we see some more of Madoka's life. She's still leaving guys' house late at night, and sneaking out of her house (keep in mind she's not like this in the show... not outwardly, anyway. We just wanted to make it seem like she sleeping around in our video, for dramatic effect).
It's in this section that we also get a look at Madoka's work life at the ABCB cafe. Here, she secretly longs for a boy who truly loves her to come and visit her (she even looks at a passing couple with a bit of longing), but sadly, she's all alone, even at work.
Then, more of Madoka's true feelings emerge as we learn that "she wants someone to see her," followed by shots of her looking beautiful and happy... We then find out someone thought she was beautiful all along: Kyosuke, as he looks at some photos of her.
The second verse hits, and we now see Kyosuke and Madoka physically interacting. She is now more aware of his existence, but still rejects him. Kyosuke still longs to save Madoka, even in his fantasy as he dreams on his bed. When he tries to confront her "in real life" on the streets, Madoka simply runs away from him, as she is afraid of being hurt. Kyosuke is then left standing alone and rejected in the middle of the street.
The bridge in our video is where Kyosuke has a chance to shine. How convenient that the big drum solo in the song just happens to work out, since there's an episode in KOR where Kyosuke plays the drums (wow, we never thought that scene would ever come in handy)! Using that to our advantage, this section of the video is almost its own little story, as we get to see what's going on in Kyosuke's mind.
As Kyosuke's playing the drums, almost as if to vent his frustrations, he thinks about Madoka. He thinks about when she's happy, when she's sad, it doesn't matter: he loves her whatever mood she's in. It gets to the point where Kyosuke's so overwhelmed that he hurts himself playing the drums that he stops and winces in pain...
Continuing with the musical metaphor of trying to forget one's problems (ooooohhhh, ain't we oh-so-deep!? :P), we then see Madoka unable to sleep, playing the saxophone all night. Kyosuke is also unable to sleep, and is restless, thinking about the one he loves.
Back at school, the two finally confront one another in school, and it looks as though Madoka is about to reject Kyosuke again, just when...
BAM, she doesn't!
Slowly, in the repeated chorus, Madoka finally begins to start warming up to Kyosuke. She starts to realize she can trust him, since he won't hurt her, or use her. He's someone she can count on, and she feels protected around him. That's basically the idea behind the later section of the video.
Finally, the video ends with the inevitable kiss and confirmation of love between Kyosuke and Madoka! As if the video could end any other way. :P
Since this was a collaborative, Mike and Meri had a good opportunity to expand and improve upon one another's work as the video progressed. For example, if Meri got stuck and had no ideas for a section, Mike would take over editing for a few hours, and end up with something wonderful. Almost the entire video was made in this fashion: Meri would do one part, Mike would make another, then Meri, and so on, back and forth. Regardless, we think the video still remains consistent, and it shouldn't be obvious to the viewer who made what section.
As far as technical goodies go, there are too many of them in this video. All "effects" are merely cosmetic: covering up lip flaps, image-editing some still shots, flipping scenes, cleaning up the opening "photos" montage, that sort of thing.
This is one of our favorite collaborative videos to date. We had a lot of fun telling this story. We also enjoying using an anime that is (sadly) underused. If we can get people interested in KOR (and maybe even the band Something Corporate), then we think we've done our job. We hope you like this video, even if you haven't seen KOR!