By Robert Kondo
Today we’re going to watch a video that showcases several of my favorite forms of media: anime and electronic music. As a side-effect of many sleepless nights writing college papers, I’ve grown to love the repetitive lull of electro house music. I’m no expert when it comes to music (which is why I don’t write about it!), but when it comes to visual representation I’d like to think I do a pretty good job giving you a taste of what I like!
I’ve been wanting to write about this short film for a while now so I am excited to finally share it with you! Here is Shelter, a collaborative project between American DJ Porter Robinson and Japanese Anime Studio A-1 Pictures.
A-1 Pictures has created a few of my favorite anime of all time including Sword Art Online and Erased. When I heard that they were doing a project with DJ Porter Robinson I was anxious to know what they would make. And they delivered. The anime doesn’t try to visually mimic the song beat for beat, nor does it feel like an anime using a song for its opening credits. It does, however, have a story and main character that captures the essence of the song while staying true to the artistic style of A-1 Pictures. I’m particularly glad the video is referred to and treated as a ‘short film’ rather than a traditional music video.
I admit I don’t follow much of Porter Robinson’s work besides his singles, but after taking a look at the behind the scenes I appreciate him more now as an artist. To not only get to create art that he loves, but then be able to collaborate with an art studio that produces some of the most widely viewed content in the world was a dream come true for him.
Bare with me, but I think this is a perfect example of how a studio uses their particular animation style and way of storytelling to create an emotional connection with the viewer. For example, the build up of loss experienced by Carl Fredricksen in UP is heart wrenching due to its simplicity of refraining from using words to set up the movie. We as viewers pay more attention to the expressions of the face, subtle body gestures, the overall setting, and the colors used to convey the mood to interpret the tone. In the same way, Shelter relies on similar visual cues to elicit a very emotional reaction.
I know this article doesn’t have anything to do with a particular holiday, nor does it have anything to do with anything. I just really loved this video and wanted to share it with you. Hope you enjoyed it (maybe watch it a few more times!) and have a restful winter vacation!
For those wondering what the email said, here’s a reddit post discussing it: