- Member: CrackTheSky
- Title: Stay the Same
- Premiered: 2017-06-17
- 泉まくら School Road
This video started as a joke I made in the #anime-discussions channel in the AMV Discord back in like September 2016. It was after that year's NDK; upon coming back home Ardamaeus convinced me to watch Yahari Ore 2nd Season, as I had only ever seen the first. I was quite taken with the anime, but lamented the fact in chat that I had not seen any good AMVs using it, and that the most that could be made of it anyway would be a cliche "hands-and-faces" pseudoromance video...to which Ardamaeus and Joskua told me to just do it.
So I said I would.
...and then proceeded to regret that promise for the next eight months. I had other projects I was more excited about, other things I wanted to do, and making a Yahari Ore video -- an anime full of almost nothing but static or nearly-static scenes of characters standing around talking -- was not high on my list. But, I had made a commitment (although it wouldn't surprise me if both Ardamaeus and Joskua completely forgot about it within a month of the initial discussion) and I was determined to follow through on it.
Finding the song was a big part of why it took me so long to get working on this one -- I just couldn't. There was nothing. I was searching for a song with a super specific mood, which was slower paced, and I wanted the lyrics to be a certain kind of "vague", and it proved exceptionally difficult to find something that fit what I had in my mind. Around the same time as I was having these hands and faces discussions, I was discovering the world of Japanese music. Somewhere in my searching I came across Izumi Makura, although it wasn't until much later that I realized "School Road" pretty much hit the nail on the head with each of my criteria (not sure about the lyrics, necessarily, but I don't speak Jananese so). I loved the laid-back, bedroom-style production and the hazy, loose rapping. It was so different and fit right into the niche of the kind of music I was seeking after, although when I had started my search this was certainly not where I'd expected I'd end up.
The video came together fairly quickly -- within a few weeks of starting -- but was one of the most difficult AMVs I've made in the past several years, with the exception of maybe Convergence. Slower pacing, little opportunity for internal sync, and no English lyrics to guide me (a blessing and a curse) meant that it was a challenge for me from the beginning, but I ended up liking it way more than I thought I would. It was a worthy investment, in the end. I focused way in on the mood in this video, and I think, for the most part, it came out how I envisioned it.
I wish I could have done something a little deeper with this video. As it stands, it ended up being more or less exactly in the category of videos that I mocked and which resulted in this video's creation to begin with. It's nothing special in the wide world of angsty romance videos. It has plenty of flaws, all of which I am aware of and don't bother me enough to adjust -- mostly related to how it's organized and the story it tells -- but in my opinion they're negligible and overall I'm really happy with it.
It's about the main triad of characters in the series, and how they relate to one another -- although it's a super dumbed-down representation of them. The fact of the matter is that Yahari Ore has some of the absolute best character interactions and relationships in any anime I've ever seen, and it's impossible to do these relationships justice in the space of a few minutes. The depth and complexities of the characters' personalities simply can't be conveyed in a dinky little AMV like this.
Still, it's pretty straightforward, hopefully, and while it would be easy to just scream "LOVE TRIANGLE!!", I'm hoping (hoping) that a bit more than that is visible regardless of the limitations implicit in the source. Yahari Ore isn't exactly a love triangle, it's a lot more complicated than that, and I really wanted to at least hint at that in this video. If nothing else, as I edited this video I remembered just how gorgeous the anime is, and the beautiful lighting that permeates the anime's aesthetic became a focal point of how I decided on the scene selection. I like this video as much as a mood piece as I do a narrative, but I'll leave the final evaluation to the viewer.
As always, thank you very much for watching this video, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Edited in Sony Vegas 8.0 only. It probably took 15-20 hours of editing to get the final product. The amount of tweaking I did on this video after I thought it was done was...more than I usually do, but I think it's much better for it in the end!