- Member: Lostboy
- Title: Nemutai Yatsura
- Premiered: 2004-09-24
- They Might be Giants Am I Awake?
Encoded as Xvid (DivX-compatible).
This video threatens to defy categories altogether. I'd call it more of a movie profile than a character profile. It conveys a portrait of a mood that is set by the movie "Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer."
A major theme of that film addresses the nature of dreams and consciousness. It's that aspect into which my video delves. You begin with flickering images filtering unfettered through the mind of the protagonist, Ataru Moroboshi, as he dozes in a car. Then he wakes with a start--but does he? He is not entirely sure he really IS awake. This is the theme of the film. Why is everything so strange? What have we forgotten? Is time repeating itself? What time IS it? Where am I? What the hell is going ON?? Nothing is quite lucid. Events repeat. People feel trapped, chased, lost. What seems to be reality suddenly breaks down or shifts focus, and what appeared to be a waking world proves itself nothing more than a veil of dreams again. Only at the very end does he wake. And one might wonder even then, IS he awake? OK, he probably is... but there's still that final layer, isn't there? The old axiom... am I a man who dreamt he was a butterfly, or am i a butterfly dreaming he is a man? (Note the butterfly just outside the window during the "coffee" lyric section.) Life COULD be a dream. Sh-boom.
These themes are found in both the music and the film, and they are such a beautiful match.
I'm also very pleased to have finally found a song that conveyed "Beautiful Dreamer" so well, because it's one of my favorite anime films. I feel that "Urusei Yatsura" in general is overlooked by modern anime fans. It's one of Rumiko Takahashi's best works, with far more imagination, depth of character, and variety of story ideas than Ranma ½ or Inuyasha. I think UY and the Mermaid saga are her most enjoyable stories.
So, if you like this video, I encourage you to pick up UY Movie #2: Beautiful Dreamer, and if you like that, then get the first couple of TV-series DVDs so you understand the characters and background of their relationships. After that, you'll probably be hooked.
I also hope you enjoy the music well enough to pick up a They Might Be Giants CD or two. TMBG is a great band and they have done some really excellent things on their website. They are trusting of their fans. They sell unprotected MP3s on their website, having faith that their fans will pay for them, not steal them. It means much cheaper DVDs for us, if we just honor their trust. I hearily recommend you check out www.tmbg.com.
I'd like to thank Ian Roberts, AbsoluteDestiny, for assisting me with the encoding of this file. he is a brilliant AVIsynth-filterer. He really helped brighten up the colors in this old animation footage.
By the way... the title of the video, "Nemutai Yatsura," is Japanese for "Those Sleepy Aliens." it's a simple title variation from "Urusei Yatsura," which means "Those Annoying Aliens."
I have chosen not to include "Lip Sync" or "Digital Effects" as voting options on this video, because I use minimal lip sync, and although it is done well, it is not done often. It's not fair to lip-sync-intensive videos for me to score a 9 or 10 for lip sync when they do so much MORE of it... but it wouldn't be fair to ME either, if I scored 5 or 6 on lip sync, when I really did it all right, but just not much. As for my digital effects, I use them like the sea floatsan iceberg--most of them are under the surface. For instance, the shot where Mendo and Shinobu are riding quietly in the back seat of the jeep? He's TALKING all through that scene. Normally, it's easy to freeze a mouth while the scenery around the characters keeps moving, but in this case, a band of light flickers over his face while he is talking. It took me two hours, three filters, and four layers to make it possible for that band of light to pass over his mouth while keeping his lips still. That's one mere example of the many digital effects I put into a video that are never seen. And since you cannot see them, they really can't be judged. So that option is off as well.
Anyway, I do hope you enjoy this video. it's certainly among those I'm most proud of having made.
1.) Grand Prize for Best Video at Anime Weekend Atlanta X Exposition Contest, 2004
2.) Best Comedy, MTAC Go (Middle Tennessee Anime Con 2005)