And, unexpectedly, an AMV

     I rarely do anything unplanned, but such stuff sometimes does happen. Most times than not unplanned things find me not because I actively seek them. Yet, to any rule there is an exception. Recently I’ve been reading as much Osamu Dazai as I could find, and this marathon became ignited by rewatching the first 4 episodes of Aoi Bungaku (which itself happened because I wanted something with similar character designs that Shigurui had). Both the written version of Ningen Shikkaku (or No Longer Human, as Dazai’s masterpiece is called) and the anime adaptation of it affected me quite a bit but I was surprised myself once I realized that I want to make an AMV of it.

     I knew very little of AMVs, probably because they aren’t as popular as they had been before. Or I just got that impression. No matter, I guess some video editing practice is never a bad thing.

     I think I did my best, but inevitably anything you do for the first time doesn’t go as smooth as if it was your 100th time. Contrary to the majority of the AMVs I’ve ever encountered, this one is far slower paced, and some of the clips run uninterrupted quite a bit. I guess I thought that the anime version of Ningen Shikkaku already possessed a great artistic quality and by making lots of cuts I can only worsen the impression.

     The music choice may seem odd (more about that a few sentences later), and is one of the reasons of the slower pace. The story itself gives an impression of being out of another era (and it really is that way) so any contemporary J-rock piece didn’t feel like the right choice. The anime itself has a fairly conservative (by that I mean orchestral) and effective soundtrack so I might have used that, only the soundtrack isn’t available to get anywhere, no matter the means. I thought about other classical pieces that might suit the mood and here we go – a section of the 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony. I do have soft spot for some of his compositions, and while the 1st movement of the 5th Symphony might’ve been a more obvious choice, I think that one is too overused these days to go with anything depressive, while my choice also seems to go pretty well with the story of Ningen Shikkaku. One might think that Ningen Shikkaku (especially the written story) is far more personal experience than the grandiosity of full orchestra brings but I found the piece to be versatile and emotional enough to fit rather well.

     In the end I’m not sure if the way the clips were spliced might make up a story of any sorts. I started definitely wishing to tell a story (not necessarily different from the anime itself) but I’m not sure where it lead. I guess at least the mood of despair and the complicated nature of the relationships of the protagonist Yozo were more or less retained.

     So yeah, unexpectedly I made something that isn’t what I usually do. The AMV might come of as being too slow, too sentimental or even too romantic but apart from the amateurishness aspect of it I think it turned out as well as it could.

     Please take a look at it and share your thoughts – should I destroy all the evidence and never look back or is there hope that one day I might get to the point of making something good?

     I’m afraid the video quality on the site isn’t terrific and while it isn’t that much better, you can try it on Youtube.

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2 Comments

  1. This was actually pretty good! I’m no expert, but I’ve watched quite a few amv and I’ve definitely seen worse. The music fit pretty good and I feel like you hit the ebs and flows pretty consistently in your editing. This anime looks creepy, I think I’ll give it a pass, but I’d watch more if your work if you shared it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thanks! Regarding my work, that’s everything I have at this point, but I’ll probably try some more once the inspiration comes.
      About the anime, I deliberately chose more unsettling scenes and while there’re some more that were unused, to me the entirety of Ningen Shikkaku felt more depressing and sad rather than creepy. Though definitely the monster is stuff of nightmares.

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