- Member: Formerly Wu
- Studio: That Guy Studios
- Title: One for the Kids
- Premiered: 2003-08-18
- The Vines Outtathaway!
UPDATE 11/17: There's now a Mpg-4 Quicktime version available. Lesser quality but should run better on some systems.
UPDATE 8/20: The video now has an offsite server. It's a slightly remastered version; the video has been de-interlaced and a few stray frames have been cut. Have at, all you non-local types.
Phew... first time making and distributing an AMV, and boy are my arms tired! *rimshot*
Seriously, this is my first video after a long time dreaming of making AMVs. It will also probably be my only for a while, considering both the effort I expent and the fact that I won't have access to any hardware for the coming school year, but I'm happy with it. Hopefully this will appeal to all the Alien Nine fans out there who love this highly underappreciated series as much as I do.
The Series: Alien Nine is a 4-part OVA that follows the first volume and a half of a 3-volume manga by Hitoshi Tomizawa (and which is also available from CPM). It follows the story of the scared, depressed 6th-grade girl Yuri Otani, who is (very) reluctantly elected class rep for the school's Alien Party. What is the Alien Party, you ask? Good question, but essentially it's a rollerblade-equipped force that deals with the school's constant invasions by dangerous, inventive aliens. The three girls- Yuri, the cheerful hyperachiever Kasumi Tomine and the serious, mature Kumi Kawamura- are protected by Borgs, a kind of sentient cross between a winged tadpole and a bike helmet. The Borgs can project impressive arrays of prehensile drillbit tentacles, which they use to defend their wearer. The team is watched over by the teacher Hisakawa-sensei (voiced by Aya Hisakawa) who has a mysterious and deeply creepy agenda of her own.
On the surface, this seems like a nice setup for a cute "magical girl with a twist" show: catch the aliens, learn about friendship, yeah yeah. But the real meat of this series is in the distinctly dark streak lurking just beneath the surface. Think Cardcaptor Sakura filtered through Hideaki Anno. It's deceptively creepy, intense and psychologically twisted; from the copious alien gore to the almost abusive scenes between and about the characters. It deals directly and perceptively with adult betrayal, emotional paralysis and the nature of young friendships, and does so in one of the most touching, character-filled manners I've seen in anime. This series comes highly recommended to anyone who like their anime raw and emotionally powerful.
Theme: The inspiration for this video came the day after I watched the series: the song came on as I was mulling over is more intense scenes, and something clicked. It wasn't even a song I normally like, but something about its screamy, loud, punky nature fit the dark side of Alien Nine that I loved so much: the respective scenes of Yuri and Kumi breaking down were the first things that went in. Things fell pretty well together on the composition side. I didn't try to force any overarching themes or neat tricks into the video, and so ended up with a pretty simple, action and character-oriented video that I think fits both the tone of the series and the song it's set to.
Oh, and if it isn't obvious yet... watch out for spoilers.
Technical Aspects: This video was created from DVD captured footage, imported from my Xbox through a cheap DV bridge. It took about 20 hours of work time spaced out over 2 weeks to finish. The video was created with Apple iMovie and encoded with the Divx codec. I'm rather new to the business of encoding, so any C&C or tips on better formats would be appreciated. I'm currently hosting this locally and will be adding a second, offsite server presently.
As for the video itself? I think it's pretty good. :) You all will be the real judge of that.
...so without further ado...