The AMV Genome Project is awesome to me in so many ways. Besides slowly developing a “big picture” view of the history of the hobby as expressed purely through AMVs and nothing else, I’m coming across all sorts of neat videos that have been largely forgotten or altogether neglected.
And there have been more of these videos than I can count, however the video that sticks out most in my mind from the last few weeks is These Little Town Blues by Tsukin. Tsukin is known (or, was known) for the hyperviolence of his video Bleed The Sky, as well as the deliberately all-OP Intro City (a video that is almost meta enough in retrospect to be ironic). However, it’s not these videos that are Tsukin’s most memorable; it’s this unassuming, tucked-away Metropolis video.
Ever since I saw feanor’s Metropolis – Center of the Sun soon after I got into AMVs, I was pretty much convinced that there was no need to ever watch another Metropolis video again. I mean, that was it — the quintesssential Metropolis video, and one of the pillars of simple storytelling. But here I am, questioning if I’ve been wrong these past eight years, and the best Metropolis video is actually Tsukin’s.
I’ve spent enough time thinking about it by this point where I’m comfortably unsure, and happy to admit that both are utterly fantastic, but completely different from one another. Because while Center of the Sun provides an emotional gut-punch (like I imagine the anime itself does), These Little Town Blues is dark, sardonic, and twisted. As if the idea of a ska-punk band covering Ol’ Blue Eyes isn’t enough (although it works — really well), the video itself mimics the barely-contained lunacy that seethes beneath the surface in Reel Big Fish’s a cappella rendition of the jazz classic. The whole video feels violent and tempermental, as if it could explode at any instant. It’s simple, containing nothing but cuts and fades. The pacing is perfect, the scene selection even moreso.
Best of all, it’s not character-driven — it’s rare that an editor is able to make a video that takes the focus off the characters completely. This is one of two videos I’ve seen that is able to shift the focus onto an entire city (the other being Scintilla’s recent release, the fantastic Mitakihara). The video feels bigger as a result; more epic, and less personal. But that’s okay, because this isn’t a video that’s going for introspection or emotional investment, just insanity.
In the end, it’s memorable because it’s different. It’s memorable because no one else seems to have remembered it. Tsukin never even uploaded this video to his own YouTube channel, which makes me wonder if even he cares for it. It’s a shame, but then again, its lack of deserved recognition is why you’re reading this right now, isn’t it?