- Member: Rorschach
- Studio: Shoestring Films Inc.
- Title: Lament for the Tennyo
- Premiered: 2004-04-24
- Slaughter Fly to the Angels
While I don't recommend Ayashi no Ceres for people who are just getting into anime, the series is probably as good an example as one can get of an anime which has ALL of the stuff, good and bad, that's common in animes (big eyes, cartoonish expressions, a mature-themed story, jailbait girlfriends, a bit of fanservice, and a lot of muddled religious/ supernatural stuff, for just a few examples). What's really weird about this anime is that, while it's a deadly serious story in which a lot of people do truly evil things and the blood flows freely, it also has a surprisingly large amount of humor in it. The humorous parts tend to turn up right when the situation is looking truly desperate and hopeless, leading to some really jarring mood swings in the story, but somehow they never quite detract from it. You'd have to see it yourself to understand what I mean.
The few AMVs I've seen available on this series so far have mostly dealt with the romantic side of the story; just one that I know of deals exclusively with the horror. I guess this AMV I've created deals mainly with the grief and suffering. I initially intended to focus entirely on the good guys (and gals), but as I was busy finding scenes for this AMV, I found one of the main villains, Kagami, drawing my attention. In Kagami, we have another common aspect of animes, a sympathetic treatment of the villain that helps us better understand what he does even though it never makes us want him to succeed. Indeed, the story uses his evil deeds very effectively to drive home its moral point. Though I still focus a lot on Yuhi and Toya, therefore, I've given Kagami and his sorrows a strong role in this piece as well.
The moral theme for the anime might be called "family values" although if so, this is more a story about "family values" you shouldn't embrace! The story deals rather frankly with extreme sexual perversions (another common aspect of animes) but as it progresses, these obvious perversions give way to the subtler perversions of Kagami, specifically his "scientific" contempt for reproduction and the sanctity of human life. Though straight as an arrow, he's as perverted as the most fanatically promiscuous sodomite because he treats sex as his personal plaything and love as a mere biological urge. Whereas the sexual perversion tends to harm mainly just the individuals involved in it, intellectual perversity can dehumanize and destroy whole nations, as the anime hints by showing us his international ties. People like Kagami really do exist and some (Peter Singer comes to mind) do have power and influence in government and academia; we do well to heed this humble anime's moral warnings.
The song I've incorporated into this AMV came out a decade before the series and therefore obviously couldn't have been inspired by the anime, but I really can't imagine a better piece to go with the story. I've seen the Japanese term "tennyo" translated as "angel," "heavenly maiden" or even "fairy." While none of these translations can really do the original term justice, the closest translation is probably the last one, as long as one is talking about the full-sized vindictive demi-goddesses who haunted the forests of ancient Irish mythology instead of the sanitized Victorian-era fireflies the term tends to bring to mind nowadays. Still, the other terms are fairly accurate as well, so long as one understands that the "angels" and "heaven" of ancient Japanese mythology are nothing like what the Judeo-Christian terms describe. "Fly to the Angels" seems almost tailor made for this AMV; even the band's name, Slaughter, describes what goes on in the story remarkably well!
This AMV's been kicking around in my head for years, but I only recently got around to making it. I had to work with rather limited materials, so I may remake it someday, but for now, this is my complete and final version. Let the viewer beware: though I've kept out most of the sexual innuendo and toned down the violence for the sake of good taste, a few rather violent scenes remain; I would generally rate this AMV PG-13. (At least in this story, the anime's artists had some subtlety: compare the scene of a guy losing his eye here to the scene just like it in Perfect Blue for example: *Ulch!*)