- Member: CrackTheSky
- Title: I Was Happy
- Premiered: 2015-02-08
- Everything But The Girl Tears All Over Town
Wall of text warning!
This is the second in what are three Kimagure Orange Road videos that I made to basically celebrate KOR, a series that has become very dear to me, despite having only just seen it for the first time last summer. It has everything, it made me feel everything, and I wanted to put that into video form...unfortunately, doing so would have been pretty much impossible with one video, so I decided to make three. The first one is here, the last one here.
KOR is a phenomenal anime. It's not perfect, but even its flaws can be charming. The characters are excellent -- some of the absolute best I've encountered in an anime -- and the love story was relatable for me in more ways than one. When taken as a whole (meaning, the series, plus the OVAs, plus the two movies), KOR is a sweeping slice-of-life high school epic, and I love it. It made me laugh and smile, it made me choke up and almost break down in tears, and it did everything in between.
These videos were, in a general sense, inspired by Pwolf's ginormous Macross tribute video, Angel's Voice. Although his is one huge epic video that basically encompasses everything Macross, and I have three separate videos that are completely different from one another, I think the general approach I took in making these videos was very similar to Pwolf's: I wanted to take all the emotions, all the little bits and pieces, everything that makes KOR what it is, and make a video out of it...but it was just not feasible for me to do this with one video, so I ended up making three.
These three videos are, essentially, KOR in a nutshell. Not always from a story perspective, granted, but I at least wanted to convey the various aesthetics and motifs that permeated the series and movies. I hope it comes across; KOR is at various points fun and happy, painful and heartbreaking, wistful and melancholy. I wanted to treat you to all these different emotions and provide a kind of overview of KOR in the process. If you watch these videos, you'll know exactly what KOR is like. You should watch the series, but in case it's too much trouble...hopefully these videos will serve as an acceptable substitute.
Fair warning: The following description, as well as the video itself, contain major spoilers for both Kimagure Orange Road the series and this movie. Read/watch at your own risk.
Break-ups are hard.
Actually, scratch that, they're the absolute worst. I don't know if it's possible to overstate that sentiment, at least in certain circumstances. No matter the details surrounding the event, it tends to hurt both parties. No, again, I'm understating -- it stings, it burns, it lingers and it changes you. It can be a horrendously painful process.
Kimagure Orange Road is a fantastic anime. It's a bit long and meandering, but it's an enjoyable ride with some of the absolute best characters I've yet seen in an anime series. The three main characters -- Kyousuke, Madoka, and Hikaru -- are all wonderfully crafted, flawed humans that I fell in love with. The love triangle, somewhat predictably, was not resolved in the series itself, so after finishing I immediately watched the first movie, I Want to Return to That Day.
I was not prepared.
This was one of the hardest movies, anime or otherwise, I've ever had to watch. See, I relate to Kyousuke in more ways than I can count, not the least of which can be found in his relationship with Hikaru. I was in a...somewhat similar relationship, let's just say...and actually, Madoka's presence rang true as well. The love triangle found in KOR was, in many general ways, extremely relatable to my life.
Hikaru especially was an interesting character. In the beginning, I hated her -- I thought she was naive and stupid and annoying. As the series progressed, none of these aspects changed...but I began to sympathize with her deeply. By the end, I loved her. She was a girl who was young and dumb and completely blinded to the obvious...but she really did love Kyousuke. There was never a question of that. She did everything for him, to a fault. And even though it was clear from the first five minutes of the first episode of the series that Kyousuke wanted and would end up with Madoka, Kyousuke also very obviously cared a lot for Hikaru. And, in a perfect world...
But the world isn't perfect. And although I expected the outcome in I Want to Return to That Day, and it was even the ending that I (and I'm sure every other KOR fan) was hoping for, that knowledge in no way blunted the emotion that flooded over me as I watched it. It was heart-shattering. I don't think I've ever watched an anime that affected me this way. Watching Kyousuke break things off with Hikaru and seeing her reaction, the way she dealt with it over the course of the film, was difficult. The desperation, the denial, the uselss attempts to glue everything back together...it was way too real.
Probably the hardest part of the whole thing though was the fact that, through all of KOR, Kyousuke, Madoka and Hikaru are all friends. Madoka and Hikaru had been best friends since they were little. A big part of this movie was the idea that by making the decision that Kyousuke made, the three of them could never be together as friends again. The breaking of that friendship was at least as heart-rending as anything else in the movie. Just, no matter how you look at it, it's a hard movie to watch.
I loved the movie, and I hated it. It took me a while to fully process, but now that time has passed I can safely say it was one of my favorite anime films of all time. I just really don't want to watch it again, at least not for a while.
This video, then, is simply my attempt to capture those emotions and to give some screen time to Hikaru, as I've seen a few KOR videos that focus on the relationship between Kyousuke and Madoka (and just released one myself), but none that give much attention to Hikaru. I wanted to emphasize her happiness in being with Kyousuke, as well as the pain she experienced watching everything fall apart. On top of that I wanted to give some attention to the conflict present in Kyousuke, because the decision he had to make was not easy. Although it was pretty clear what he thought of Hikaru, even in the series, it's never, never easy to break someone's heart.
This was a fricking depressing video to make. I'm typing this up and I just want to grab my cat, cuddle with her and fall asleep with the shades drawn in the middle of the day. Sigh...even the name of the movie is depressing. "I Want to Return to That Day"...I get a pit in my stomach just thinking about that series of words. Something is wrong with me, I think.
...Anyway, the video itself was fairly straightforward to edit. It's all cuts and fades, and it's slow. I'm rather certain that this will find a very limited audience, as I imagine it really relies on knowledge of the characters to get the full effect. On top of that, it's set to a slow, '80s sophisti-pop song that most people will find cheesy or just not very enjoyable (although I like it quite a bit). That's fine with me though; I wanted to make an atmospheric video that felt like it could have come out of the 1980s so I went all the way with it, up to and including a low-quality encode.
Oh, and speaking of quality stuff, the video footage I worked with was utterly awful. I'm not going to dress it up -- I have pretty low standards for what is passable video quality, and there are points in this video that don't meet even those standards. So...prepare yourself, we're going full-on old-school here, taking no prisoners. You'll like it, or it won't be your thing. Odds are on the latter.
Edited in Sony Vegas 8.0 only, no other video editing programs used other than the usual prep stuff. This was a really quick video, it probably took me somewhere around 6-9 hours to edit.
Also, I would like to point out that this style of editing is somewhat foreign to me. Although I do simple editing all the time, I rarely do really slow editing, so using long crossfades and ignoring major beats and sounds is not something I'm used to. The result is...mixed. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this video from an editing perspective, but it was a bit of an experiment for me so I guess that's to be expected.
Finally, to the people who know me IRL, don't read too much into my sympathizing with Hikaru :P