You kn0w, for once I’m going to try to talk about something that’s completely new to the world of entertainment. And still I’m a day or so behind basically all of the anime channels and blogs that I follow, because Shelter, the amazing new video from Porter Robinson and Madeon, in collaboration with A-1 Pictures and Crunchyroll has rocked the anime world, and a bit of the music world, with its emotional story, its incredible visuals and audio and the fiery debate about whether it counts as an anime or not. Which it is. Because Porter’s one of us and we like him. And also it’s not serious what we allow into the ‘anime club’. I consider RWBY an anime, I consider Avatar an anime, I consider Cory an anime. All is anime. And Shelter is an excellent short anime music video, something that has been lacking in creation in the past few years.
Of course, we should be familiar with how big AMVs, Anime Music Videos, used to be on Youtube, and probably are still going in some fashion. I never made any myself, but it was cool to occasionally find some that worked really well with a song I liked. But most didn’t work so well, mainly because I hadn’t seen the show the images were from, or I wasn’t so keen on the song, or the images just didn’t mesh well. The perils of fan creation, there’s always going to be a lot you just don’t enjoy, sadly.
It helps of course that Shelter’s music video was made specially for the song and had a bit of a team behind it to come up with a clear narrative, so to compare that with most AMVs is a bit unfair, this is a professional production. But it works so so well and while I can’t think of many other professional anime music videos off the top of my head, I want to find more. I grew up loving the Gorillaz’ music videos for a similar reason to why I love this, animation has a strange way of really getting to the emotions inside of me because the artists can make their point in a more striking way than the best live-action director can. In my opinion of course.
The plot of Shelter is easy to follow, girl named Rin has a whole virtual world she can control with her iPad and she’s happy but alone; she sees an image of her past and realises that her father saved her from dying when Jupiter smashed into Earth and launched her on a shuttle with life support so she could live out her life in this beautiful virtual world. That’s short, but again, fairly complex for a 6 minute video. The synths and vocals on the dance track eliminate the need for most of the dialogue as instead they’re channeling some raw emotion through the power of music and so you really feel for Rin as she learns the state of her loneliness as the synths pump out.
It’s the first music video this year that I really recall identifying with and for that, Porter Robinson and everyone else involved in this project has done a most excellent job, let’s hope the hype for this song reaches outside the anime community a little.