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A few words from the creator:

This is an MV I made as a teenager in the late 90s, back when digital clips had to be scavenged in bits and pieces across the internet, and quality was often dubious and reduced even further by the crappy video editing software and compression options freely available.

I found this AMV, made by an editor going by the handle miriya99, totally by accident today. I have nothing constructive to say about the clips themselves (lyrics aren’t the most suitable for this footage but the editor admits that), but wow… another Broadcast AMV! So far I’ve only seen one, and this one predates it by at least 6 or 7 years, basically being one of those rare pre-Internet (as we all know it today, at least) AMVs that are, quite literally, from another age that most of today’s anime fans have only heard rumors of.

This looks pretty bad by our standards today but back then it must have been a real treat for anyone who had a chance to get their hands on it. A relic of some of the last days of the fandom of scarcity, for sure.

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I worked on this for a long time (starting back when I was just starting to edit and didn’t have a clue what I was doing) and it was pretty useful in helping me understand how to use 4:3 and 16:9 footage together in one video. But in the end, the problem with this is that it’s (ostensibly) a comedy video that just isn’t that funny. There were lots of opportunities for me to use more clips that might have improved the video overall (to the point where I actually made a credits sequence just to squeeze more in, which I later scrapped) but the song was too short to use any more than I already had. Oh well. At the end of the day I got a M.O.T.O. AMV onto Youtube, and that’s all that matters.

I’m not familiar with the original Gate Keepers series, other than watching a few clips on Youtube. Apparently it was aired in 2000, but to my eyes looks quite a bit older, possibly even being a deliberate throwback towards 80s anime. Watching the opening to its sequel, I was instantly hooked, and after being informed that I needn’t see the original first before watching the six-episode OVA that followed it up in 2003, I bought it on the cheap at Half.com. I don’t impulsively buy DVDs like this very often, nor do I watch very many OVA titles. This is definitely a break for me from the regular rotation of new/current anime that I’ve been watching so far this year.

My initial impression of this series is that it’s going to be a “dark” take on the shoujo heroine genre, which I’m not going to pretend to have anything more than a superficial understanding of. The central protagonist, Ayane Isuzu, is an expert killer of “Invaders” (zombie-like humanoids dressed like the “strangers” from Dark City and able to materialize en masse like a hundred Agent Smiths from The Matrix), dispatching them using powerful energy fields generated by cell phones. She carries out her duties with ease and in an elegant fashion but seems to take little pleasure in the heat of battle or even in victory against her foes I’d say that her lack of traditional charisma would make her an unlikely central character, but it’s just as likely that her detached demeanor has drawn her more fans than if she were a bright and cheerful girl like we’d expect.

In a meeting with her boss, a thus-far unnamed man who wears sunglasses and doesn’t leave his car, he reminds her that “it’s been over 30 years since our society was taken over by Invaders. Their numbers are increasing. We no longer have time to spare.” He advises her on recruiting a promising new gate keeper from her high school, a student named Miu Manaduru whose gate-power enables her to fly (or at least jump to extraordinarily great heights, it’s sort of unclear). It isn’t long before the stoic Ayane approaches the social, cheerful Miu, making for an awkward partnership in their fight against Invaders. While it appears that they have a long way to go in developing any sense of true teamwork, their powers complement each other effectively, even if their personalities don’t.

The animation in this episode has held up really well, and while this wasn’t a groundbreaking debut episode or anything, I think that it could hold its own against most action series today. I don’t know if it’s just because she reminds me of Ogiue from Genshiken, but I really like Ayane, even if she’s doing very little to make herself particularly likable or even intriguing so far. Being a quiet and impatient person myself (that probably rubs people the wrong way from time to time), maybe I just identify with her, or at least her preference to get tiresome tasks done without any fuss and with as few words as necessary. I’m rather certain that she’ll eventually drop this shell as more is revealed about her, why she fights the invaders and where her powers came from (not to mention certain details about her family, briefly alluded to during a battle scene). No cliffhanger here, but I’m left definitely interested to see where this series goes from here.

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