AMV Highlight: Akira Trigger

Back by popular demand!

Note: This video contains Akira spoilers, but if you haven’t seen Akira, then what are you doing calling yourself an anime fan?

I’d like to talk now abut one of my all-time favorite AMVs and the second video on my youtube favorites list (making it 3 years old – as a mater of fact it’s 3rd bday on youtube is in 4 days.) It takes one of my favorite movies, Akira, and synchs it up with one of my favorite songs, Delirium Trigger by Coheed and Cambria, to create an ultimate amalgamation of awesome. Also I am going to try and strategically place the video where it fits in the text.

Coheed and Cambria is a progressive rock band known for infusing elements of pop and metal as well as, on their first album (which features this song) emo. Delirium Trigger is, in my opinion, the band’s Magnum Opus as well as just one of the most perfectly written songs I’ve ever heard. Coheed’s albums collectively tell a story that is a space opera. There is also a comic being made that tells the story for listeners who want a better grasp of the story. Coheed lyrics are known for being very cryptic because they intended for there to be a story for those who are interested in it, but also for people to be able to get their own meanings out of it. Also, songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Claudio Sanchez has very interesting vocabulary and metaphor powers.

Delirium Trigger is from the band’s first album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, which is the second part in the story (the first a backstory that comes last in their library.) Because the story is so ambiguous, it’s hard to say exactly what’s happening in the song (you can read the lyrics below, but without background on the story, it won’t make much sense either way.) However, generally it is accepted that one of the characters is being transported by a military convoy when an uncontrollable power awakens within him and he begins destroying the ships on the fleet (‘terror on the intercom/ can someone save us/ systems malfunction/ blast it this damn machine /over and out captain’) and then we appear to delve into his mind a bit where he remembers his past before turning into a monster (‘oh dear god, I don’t feel alive!’) it is also believed that the character dies in this song.

So Akira is ppretty much a perfect fit – it’s a show with military and sci-fi elements, emotional elements, and other stuff that blurs it’s meaning to be open for interpretation. The lyrics and video are a perfect fit, I think you’ll find.

What I most love about this video is it’s ability to perfectly capture the tone shifts in the music and constantly match up to exactly what’s going on in the lyrics. It begins by showing lots of military and action scenes in the film that are reflective of the destruction and startling things happening in the song. The first soft part of the song has a cute childhood memory that becomes a nightmare along with the cries ‘OH DEAR GOD, I DON’T FEEL ALIVE!’ The reprise of the line both in terms of the song and movie is outright chilling. That slow build into the chorus as Tetsuo becomes an uncontrollable beast is amazing.

What’s more, the way that Tetsuo’s transformed body moves slowly while still causing destruction and being so massive really fits with the music’s epic and planet-moving sound at the end in spite of not being high-tempo.

The ending of the video shows the aftermath destruction set to the last minute or so of the song ‘2113’, which is a reprise of the song ‘IRO-bot’ from another album. This part may seem a little odd in the context of the video, but if you’ve seen the movie, it’s perfect. The destruction at the end of Akira is kind of somber and undramatic – the music has stopped and the streets are lifeless – buildings just sort of crumble and break and at the end we see Kaneda and friends less in despair over events transpired, but more seemingly looking onward to what lies ahead in the aftermath.

All in all just an excellent video-song combination and, in my opinion, a classic.

Lyrics to Delirium Trigger and IRO-bot reprise:

we’re now up here alone terror on the intercom can someone save us
systems malfunction blast it this damn machine over and out captain
something lurks creeps on the counter top somewhere behind you
parasitic cyst i can’t stand to watch it’s coming up and out of your chest

remember when we were young
sit up right on the table a photograph of earth feeding me a way back
frightened i tear alone or maybe not the the only one there
hello… hello when it rings will you answer?
there corner tall short stance
it’s you come on kill me!!

you made a good friend to me but while you were outnumbered
and torn you made us do things

oh dear god, i don’t feel alive when you’re cut short of misery
will you pray it be the end? give a look surprised wide eyes to me
then you’ll know just what i am the scare that triggers your fear
come know me in a different light now, come know me as god

you made a good friend to me but while you were outnumbered
and torn you made us do things to you

run sand hourglass its my time will i be worth?
spin ’round carousel when your horse isn’t screwed in

oh dear god, i don’t feel alive when you’re cut short of misery (raise forth lost cause)
will you pray it be the end? give a look surprised wide eyes to me (raise forth lost cause)
then you’ll know just what i am (subtle demise the legitimate cry)
the scare that triggers your fear come know me in a different light now
come know me as god (raise forth lost cause)

Those days we lost our dignity,
The eager dare to stand.
The ride home through victory,
On the innocent they tread.

But IRO-Bot will never die.
IRO-Bot will never die.
But IRO-Bot will never die.
But IRO-Bot will never die…

1 thought on “AMV Highlight: Akira Trigger

  1. Now that was an AMV worth my time. Not a style I love but a very nice vid. I do think, though, that the lyrics could’ve been used in a bit more effective way in some places. Notably the line “come know me as god” screams to me a stronger juxtapositioning between Tetsuo and Kaneda, while in the vid the conflict is sorta just bypassed. Both times the camera focuses on Kaneda, or worse – Kaneda’s fucking back – although it should clearly be Tetsuo who screams to Kaneda for recognition. A perfect, juicy drama bait completely wasted.

    Fortunately some of the moments in the vid are truly chilling, like the ‘parasitic cyst i can’t stand to watch it’s coming up and out of your chest’ and ‘oh dear god, i don’t feel alive’ bits. Even they have slight timing problems but the effect stays nonetheless. The end part with the different song is a nice touch, especially after reading your comments that made me appreciate it more. Also, I need to rewatch Akira. It’s been way too long.

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