- Member: WalterScott
- Title: Astro Boy Forever
- Premiered: 2005-09-24
- Indigo Girls Go
Winner, Best Action, Ohayocon 2006 AMV Contest
Winner, Best Oldschool, Anime Weekend Atlanta 2005 Professional AMV Contest
(Also nominated for Best Sentimental)
Well, as anyone who's seen my Rose of Versailles and Prince of the Sun videos will know, I'm a sucker for old-school anime, and so I think I was destined to make this one as well.
Tetsuwan Atom / Astro Boy was the first anime I ever saw. I was all of four years old, and the show was being shown in reruns on my local NBC station. I was completely hooked. I mean, I bounded out of bed in the morning to watch this thing before breakfast. There were some obvious attractions: Astro is a perfect power fantasy for a little kid, since he's so tiny and the monsters he beats up are so very very big. Also, the sense of wonder because of the SF trappings. But mainly I remember Astro's perky optimism and dogged do-gooderness. He approached everybody assuming they would be his friend, including the monsters, and often enough this actually worked. (that was the real fantasy element)
[Side note: upon viewing the completed amv, my mother's initial comment was "I always hated that show." But that's another topic ... for another video.]
So about the video. I decided early on that I wanted to use both the original show and the two remakes, both Tezuka's early 80's incarnation and the recent one. Although neither remake has the nostalgia appeal of the old show, nor its naive, sheer loopiness, they both had something to offer. The 80's show has sometimes awkward looking and cheesy animation of its period, but it is overall more serious in tone and has somewhat more coherent storylines and continuing characters. I've only watched parts of the new show, but its got eye-candy up the wazoo and I feel it's a sincere tribute as opposed to a rip-off. Its main problem is that the episodes are too short (to make time for more ads I guess) so you get a lot of multi parters or just truncated storytelling.
Getting source in itself was quite a challenge. I had a bunch of Right Stuf VHS tapes lying around and a couple of those episodes I decided I had to use, although the quality differences can be a little jarring. I tried to cover up a little with filters and by shrinking the clips a lot (one of the motivations for the "picture in picture" style). Getting all 200 episodes on R2 DVD would cost a small fortune. Fortunately there are several R2s that have 3 "favorite" episodes on a disk, following some theme, and so I snapped up most of them to use for source. One of the disks had an episode that had been post processed in a kind of two tone scheme - a red filter and a blue filter (this is the giant ant sequence), and another was actually in full color (an outer space episode). I actually intercut this episode with an outer space episode from the 80's show. You'll notice that the 60's shots look better!
The 80's show at this time was only available from Australia, on PAL, but the box set is done very nicely. Unfortunately it's the English dub and has cuts in it. :( The most extraordinary episode to me is the final one, which has overtones of Saikano. You'll see it in the clips of Astro with the blonde girl robot, who gets disassembled. ("did they tell you you would come undone") Astro falls in love with the girl but she turns out to be a living H bomb, and the only way to stop her from going off is to completely take her apart. Astro is so affected by this that he insists on having her feet (which is all that's left of her) grafted onto his own body as a way to remember her (!).
A number of characters and episodes were recycled from one version of the show to another, and I tried to play this up. Astro Girl is rather passive in the new show, but in the 60's and 80's she's a hoot. You could easily do a video just with her. There's a giant, horned robot who Astro fights in all three shows, with some differences in plot setup, and I try to show this in the video.
Anyway, this video was really a lot of fun to put together, and I tried to make it as high energy as possible. I usually do very slow dramatic videos so this was a nice change of pace. The music selection was thanks to my step daughter who is a big Indigo Girls fan. The song is not typical of them (they're usually more folk/acoustic). I was first going to use something more techno, but I liked the intensity and sweep of this song, and its interesting bridge section with voice overs, and the interesting potential for lyric syncs. The idea of putting Metropolis to "Grandma was a suffragette" is inspired by / shamelessly stolen from Ian Roberts.
Hope you enjoy it....