Friday March 24, 2006
Over the last few days, I've been having great fun exploring YouTube. Remember the first time you heard about Google Video, and you headed straight to the site to search for something you're interested in, and you came up empty? YouTube is like that, except they actually have videos.
What I've been watching on YouTube is pretty geeky: old-school Japanese animated TV show opening and closing credit sequences. They form a narrow little genre with its own conventions and traditions—they're like little one-minute music video movie trailers. Here are some of my favorites:
Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (a.k.a. Battle of the Planets):
Uchuu Senkan Yamato (a.k.a. Star Blazers):
Chojiku Yosai Macross (a.k.a. the first part of Robotech):
Here's an illustration of the difference theme music can make. First, the version of the opening credits of Z Gundam—it's pronounced Zeta, not Zee—from the recent U.S. DVD release. The music is more or less what you'd expect from an epic series about war in space: the standard retread of Holst's "Mars":
But check out the original version below. It's the same video, but the song is early-80's J-Pop. The effect is very different:
Finally, remember a few weeks back when I mentioned a music video of the Cake song "The Distance" made with using clips from Macross Plus? At the time, I couldn't find a version of it online, but YouTube has it. It's perfect:
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> YouTube is like that, except they actually have videos.
My all-time favorite cartoon opening is this one:
Whoa. I just hit play on all your clips at the same time. Felt like I had just pushed "Press Here" on all the paws in the Musical Stuffed Animal aisle at Toys "R" Us.
And thanks for the heads-up. I'm feeling a Voltron Jones coming on...
If you want it old school, you could go for Dragon Ball Z and Fist of the North Star. Go ahead and look for 'em there. Who would forget the Dragon Ball Z opening theme, Chala Head Chala by Hironobu Kageyama and the Fist of the North Star opening theme, Ai wo Torimodose by Crystal King? Those are awesome classics!