In high school I used to hang out in the computer lab after class, where my friends and fellow anime fans would use the school’s T1 connection to download videos of anime openings. After a while we started mixing and matching opening animations. with opening themes in a relatively crude fashion by having two video windows open and playing the video from one with the audio from the other. It was really fun and while I understand that the human mind will just associate any two things together like that, I still enjoy doing it.
For a while I was using Youtube Doubler to approximate the effect, but now I find out there’s something called “Tubedubber” which does exactly what I was hoping for, allowing you to stream the video from one Youtube clip with the sound from another, and it even has enough settings so that you can time it properly.
I particularly enjoyed combining Gundam X with Gaogaigarback in high school. The only flaw is that the audio ends before the video, so your only choice is to pause the video as the song ends. Currently, I’ve gone with something decidedly more patriotic.
Try it out! It’s also a fairly low-level way to make some super basic AMVs.
Watching the special music video of legendary UK band Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as interpreted by Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock creator Matsumoto Leiji, a few quick thoughts come to mind.
1) While the original music video is better, that’s because the classic one is just that hard to top. And while this one isn’t exactly mind-blowing, it’s still very well-animated and has that Matsumoto feel we all know and love. It can be kind of confusing at times though, like it’s trying to tell too much with too little and in the wrong format.
2) I like how the “Matsumoto Gauges,” or that staple of Matsumoto anime and manga where a room is filled to the brim with complex gadgetry and meters and such, has been updated to fit in more with current times. It looks much more “digital” now, and reminds me of modern stereo systems. It doesn’t have quite as visceral a feel, but it makes sense.
3) I wonder if this occurs in the same universe as Interstella 5555. Definitely a possibility, but as Daryl Surat would advise, don’t think about this too hard because Matsumotoverse continuity is paper-thin.
4) I picture Matsumoto going to an anime con and entering this in an AMV competition. Would he win? I don’t know, the character designs do look kind of old…
In Anime World Order’s look back at the previous decade of anime, guest Matt Alt talks about how the true successor to giant robot anime isn’t current giant robot anime, instead bestowing that title to those shows which spawn trading cards and games revolving around collecting. Essentially, the true spirit of super robots lies not in the continuation of the aesthetics of giant robot anime, but rather in their ability to push merchandise.
Considering this point, I can only think about how much more today’s anime for boys fosters a sense of competition, with trading card games and the like being at the center of children’s entertainment. The kids don’t have to be competitive “high-level” players, and they don’t even have to necessarily know the rules, and I still think these games, even if their shows talk about friendship and honor, still push the theme of competition more than anything else. Just the fact that there are specific rules and stats and points means that, in a given activity, there will be winners and losers, even if it’s just cheap plastic being spun in an enclosed space. In contrast, that’s not really possible when you just have toy robots and the like. You can perhaps beat your friends by collecting more toys than them, or even create arbitrary rules of competition or even create fake competitions between your toys as Cobra Commander attacks with his vicious horde of My Little Ponies, but at the end of the day there’s no definitive way to become King of Make-Believe.
Well, almost no way.
This in turn got me thinking about the anime fandom and how we have figured out ways to compete via anime. The act of watching cartoons is not really an area in which you can determine winners and losers (unless you say that we’re all losers), so the community instead focuses their competitive spirits towards anime-related activities such as making music videos and cosplaying. These competitions are far more subjective in their criteria and human judgment is paramount in determining winners, but all the same we have taken a relatively passive activity and found ways to test our abilities against others.
I don’t really have a grand point I’m trying to reach, as I’m just laying down some thoughts. But be it through subjective judging or concrete goals, I don’t think an increase in competitive spirit is really a bad thing. That said, it can be taken too far.