Friday, October 21, 2016

Shelter - An amazing short film by Porter Robinson & Madeon

Hello guys. It's been a while since I've made a proper anime review. Before I continue on reviewing previous seasonal anime however, I just want to make a special post about the recent anime short film by Porter Robinson and Madeon, animated by A-1 Pictures titled Shelter. Before actually reading this, I recommend watching the original video above, which only takes 6-minutes or so. Trust me, it will be the most spectacular 6-minutes you'll ever had for a long time.

Shelter tells the story of Rin, a 17-year-old girl who lives her life inside of a futuristic simulation completely by herself in infinite, beautiful loneliness. Each day, Rin awakens in virtual reality and uses a tablet which controls the simulation to create a new, different, beautiful world for herself. Until one day, everything changes, and Rin comes to learn the true origins behind her life inside a simulation. (Source: from the youtube video description itself)

For a short film, it has a simple and straightforward story, which most people can decipher it right away. However, having a simple story does not detract it from giving an impact to the viewer, but enhance it furthermore. Every single frame are not wasted, beautifully crafted so that viewer could experience the most out of the short timespan the movie had to offer. The story start of with some monologue, before the music starts to play and the girl in the story starts to play with her tablet, doing what she had probably repeated again and again for a long while creating her virtual reality paradise. The thing that viewer should have noticed already is the lack of any other human in the world, giving a hint that it might not be as simple as that. The scene later on transition into a more melancholic tone, as flood of memories started to flashes from the girl's eye, making her remember what she had lost. As the story goes on, the viewer finally captures what happened to the girl ending the movie with a sad yet hopeful note.

There aren't much characterization that I could elaborate on. Rin is the only character that played the role in this movie, unless you included her father in the flashback. Her personalities in the beginning is just indifferent from what I could tell. She had experienced the simulator for such a long time that she had forgotten her past. While she did say she doesn't say she is lonely, there is a hint of such feeling as she keep waiting for a message to come from her tablet. The sudden influx of memories that comes later on gives a jolt of emotion to such a degree that she become to appreciate her life in the simulator more, as she know that her memories would be the one who keep her company. It is a simple and straightforward development, but made in such an effective way that it manages to touch the string of the viewer heart. From what I can tell the father is the type that would do anything for her daughter, even at the cost of his life. His love for her is to such a degree because I think that her daughter is the one who 'saved' him and keep him going on with his daily life after he had lost his wife. As such, every single memory of them together is a very precious one where he had hoped in the future, even after he is no more, could be used as a tool to keep her daughter move forward. The familial theme, or father-daughter theme is the very main theme that constructed the mainframe of the video; the father loves for her daughter as he tried his best to 'shelter' her, giving her a place that she could feel safe.

In term of animation, A-1 Pictures did a really amazing job at animating this short film. Every single scene is exquisitely made, with smooth transition and fluid frame. The art is beautiful, perfectly capture the mood and theme of the overall film. The background is drawn with such great details, pulling the viewers into its captivating world. The beauty of the animation pretty much put all the anime this season to shame, and that is saying something. As for the music, the electronic style has its own charm to complement with the animation. But for me, it depends on a person taste. Slow, classical music might go better while others might think it is fine as it is. I'm fine either way.

There aren't much that I could complain about this short film. For me, I think it should be left as it is; there is no need for a full fledged anime series or film. I've heard that some netizen argue that it shouldn't be called an anime as the original story is by a western guy, but the animation itself is made by a well-known anime studio using anime stylization; thus the subject itself is not up to debate. In the end, the things that matters are the heart and energy that is being put into this short film, clearly showing the passion of its creator to deliver an amazing media to the global audience. And I am in complete agreement that this short film is really, really amazing.

What 'sheltered' you?


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