Title: Angel Fist | Creator: Darthice
Songs: Enchanted | Artist: Owl City
Anime Used: Kami-sama no Memo-chou
Questions about what an AMV is, what each category is about, or how the categories are scored? Here’s an introductory post to answer your questions before you continue on.
Audio/Visual: Angel Fist has many sections of quick transitions grouped together, but avoids feeling rushed by varying the types of transition effects as well as using persistent elements that carry over from one shot to the next. Two great uses of this technique are when the boy first meets the girl in the beginning (0:23) and when the shape of a window changes into a computer screen (0:53). I think Darthice hit the mark for making the number of desired shot transitions feel natural and not repetitive and annoying. The excellent effects are undermined by some of the shots appearing to be different resolutions, a detail that would not be as noticeable if the lower resolution scenes were not used in quick succession with higher resolution scenes during the parts of the video that had many quick transitions grouped together. The video ends with a resolution in the visual events, but the music itself is cut off at the end of a build with very little ‘falling action’, for lack of a better term. The vocals have a slight rise in pitch at the end that indicates a continuation, which can be attributed to the fact that only the intro, first verse, and first chorus of the song are used.
- Score- 7/10
Synchronization: This AMV starts out synchronizing scene changes and other effects or visual events with the music and continues to do so throughout the video. What is impressive is not solely the amount of synchronization, but its use to emphasize key moments such as the boy talking the first time he met the girl or the girl falling from the roof ledge as well as the creative ways the transitions are used to support the groupings of rapid scene changes and effects. The kick and snare pattern is very prominent in its entrance in the song, and is highlighted by the respective shot transitions. Lip synchronization, as I have said before, is a detail that I tend to respond to in very polar ways - use it through and through or not at all. Angel Fist, however, matches lip movements to the lyrics for special moments like the first meeting between the boy and girl but does not in other scenes that feel like they are more a time-lapse or brief recounting of time than they are a normal view of events. In such a short video, there aren’t as many times that characters are moving their mouths, so the amount of times it is not synced may not stand out as much, but I think it is the presentation of the non-synchronized lip movements as time-lapses or ‘highlight reels’, if you will, that assuages my great disapproval of mouth movements that are not lip synced.
- Score- 8/10
Planning: The biggest problem with Angel Fist is simply its length. At only 1:46, I’m surprised the creator managed to fit a story line into it. Using only a third of the song not only left me wanting more, but caused the video to end on a note that was not meant to be the ending as well. The song itself fit well with the story, tying all of the scenes together into an interesting romance. Some of the lyrics directly matched what appeared on screen at the time, such as “same old tired, lonely place” when the boy was lying on the rooftop looking dejectedly at the sky, which show that the creator clearly put thought into how events were to unfold in the story they wanted to tell. Aside from the obvious match between the song and the story, the excellent editing of a variety of transition sequences show much forethought, but the few moments where visual quality suddenly changes detract from the appearance of a comprehensively planned video.
- Score- 7/10
Themes/Alternate Story: While not a great contrast in tone or mood from the show nor exactly the same, Angel Fist’s story revolves around Kami-sama no Memo-chou’s male lead and secondary female’s relationship as it grows from a random awkward encounter on a rooftop to a romantic relationship - a story that is simply different than the anime. After some awkward beginnings, the two characters become friends, do things together, and eventually begin to go places on dates. On one of their outings, the girl sees her brother (at 1:33, the character “兄” is shown, which means “older brother”) who appears to be sick. Later, the boy is in an alleyway with the girl’s brother, who turns out to not be sick as he might have thought, but a drug addict. He gets his fix and then walks off, leaving the boy standing in the alley by himself. In the next scene, I assume some time has passed and the girl has figured out that her brother is a drug addict or she has known this and is being treated poorly by him, because she attempts suicide by falling off of a building. She does not die and is put in the ICU, probably in a coma for a while with the prediction that she will not live long, as the boy waits outside sorrowfully. The boy then can’t sleep because of her situation and decides that the only way he can get retribution for what has happened to the girl he loves is to learn how to fight and then proceeds to pummel the girl’s brother. After this, the video ends with the girl waking up from her coma. The story itself sounds like it would make a great full-length anime, and I assume the title refers to the girl being the boy’s “angel” and his “fists” as he beats up her brother. While grammatically “Angel Fist” would refer to the fist of the angel, the title was probably selected because it is somewhat relevant and the juxtaposition of “angel” and “fist” sounds nice.
- Score- 9/10
Overall, Angel Fist is a great story that is highlighted by an excellent song selection and creative use of transitions, but undercut by being so short. I am impressed that the numerous transitions used in just under two minutes do not feel repetitive and boring, but instead seem like an integral feature of the AMV. The story itself is a great outline for a romance, and I would like to watch an anime that follows a similar plot - a story of developing a relationship that has a twist and finishes with a “yeah, the antagonist got what he deserved” feeling as the protagonist gets a happy ending.