flying low #14: excel’s middle name

As the year is winding down, I’ve come to the saddening realization that I’ve done all of one Flying Low entry in 2017, and that back in February. I figured that it might be a good idea to get one more off before I gear up for all my year-end postings, and I wanted to make it something a little different. I came across the editor, LenWidleheyt, early on in my AMV career — he’s only ever made two AMVs, but I somehow stumbled across them and they’ve both earned permanent places in my library. Unfortunately his work was never really remembered, which is an absolute shame because both of these videos reveal both creativity and technical competency beyond what a meager two videos’ worth would suggest.

Excel’s Middle Name steeps itself in Weird, and the song choice (OMC’s “How Bizarre”, oh the nostalgia) certainly allows for it — LenWidleheyt goes full-on, no-holds-barred with the lyric sync, and it’s a credit to his choice of Excel Saga as the anime that he’s able to make almost every strange, off-kilter one-liner work visually. It’s not unlike Copycat_Revolver’s F-Bomb from last year — no matter how specific and unlikely the lyrics are, the anime somehow manages to have a scene that fits.

The result is something that is narratively nonsensical, but just about as much fun as you can imagine a video like this could be. LenWidleheyt goes beyond just brilliant lyric sync, though, and makes use of clever internal sync at every turn, giving the video a satisfying visual rhythm that makes the video doubly fun to watch. I would love to be able to watch this video for the first time, again — the twists and turns that the video takes in its ridiculous scene selection make it an oddly riveting watch, and the moments of blatant humor are fantastic. I don’t know how many times I’ve viewed this video over the years, but it never fails to make me giggle, even knowing exactly what’s going to happen and when.

If you haven’t ever seen this video, I envy you. It’s a stupid, fun, oddball video that thrills in unexpected ways — and while the “unexpected” is what makes it so memorable the first time around, it manages to have an enourmous amount of staying power. I struggle to think of the kind of person who wouldn’t enjoy this (although I’m sure they’re out there). Watch this video and enjoy it, save it, and keep it in your rotation over the coming years. It’ll never disappoint you.


About crakthesky

Early 30s and vocal about my subculture.
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3 Responses to flying low #14: excel’s middle name

  1. Seasons says:

    Between finally watching this AMV and also watching this video right around the same time you made this post, “How Bizarre” has been stuck in my head every single day this month. And there might have been a time when I’d have been sure that was an awful punishment for something, but no, I’ve fully come around to believing that this song is great and that I took it for granted for way too long.

    I watched exactly half of Excel Saga a few years ago before dropping it, not because it was bad but because that’s just what we seem to do over and over again with any absurd comedy series that’s positively hilarious for like a half dozen episodes and then just kind of wears us down for reasons I still don’t really understand (Chromartie High School, Polar Bear Cafe, Nichijou…yes, I realize these all actually have very little in common). It’s a funny series, I can’t deny that, and it’s totally unlike anything on TV today. I ought to give it another shot (someday…), it may not be on the top 30 list but it’s such an Org Anime, especially when it comes to early-mid 2000s AMVs.

    The other video this editor made is pretty good, too. I’m biased because I always liked that song and always wished it would have found a little more success than just being in an iPod commercial (why Jet is still on the radio and “Jerk It Out” never really was at all just feels wrong to me). A few too many effects that don’t really work too well in it but it’s nice to see that it got a little bit of attention from the community when it was released. Or maybe everyone and their grandmas were getting 4-plus star ratings and 20 opinions per video back then, I don’t know.


    • crakthesky says:

      Funny you mention Nichijou; Rachael and I also tried to watch that anime and we both lost interest. It wasn’t even something that was voiced between us, we both just forgot about it after a few episodes and that was that. I was enjoying it to an extent but yeah, I definitely feel like those types of series can only take me so far before I get bored.

      And Jerk It Out is definitely a good video, but over the years I’ve come to prefer this one more, mainly because the effects in Jerk It Out haven’t aged well, and I just think this one is more fun and is edited better in general. It’s a shame this guy never made anything else :(


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