AMV Highlight – Schwarze Herz – Petit Cossette and Opeth's Porcelain Heart

A lot of AMVs are synched up just fine and perhaps feature a bunch of cool effects that make them popular in the AMV crowd. However, I for one am sick of random pretty anime set to techno mixes, spastic comedy set to upbeat songs, and action scenes set to heavy metal. The thing that makes AMVs good are beyond just he technical skill of the creator, but more importantly how the song and anime fit together.

And even though, I am tired of vague meanings linked to all sorts of shows. Just about every show can be linked to a Linkin Park song because their lyrics and sound are so general that anything can be said to match up. What I like to see are more specific matches. A song and anime with unique tones that miraculously match up. I consider this an example.

Opeth is a truly unique band, solely classifiable under the genre ‘extreme progressive metal.’ They are known best for songs that switch between soft, twinkling parts and heavy, all-consuming parts. this is usually accented by singer/songwriter/guitarist Mikael Akderfelt’s dual vocals. his clean vocals are beautiful and mystifying, while his growls are incomparably evil. This song, however, has no growls in it. The best words that could describe most Opeth songs are ‘dark’ and ‘consuming.’ Even their calm songs and the calm parts of songs are very unsettling and creepy. The heavy parts are outright evil, and the highly progressive riffs played in insane time signatures add to the discomfort.

Opeth’s latest album, Watershed, is probably my favorite (and Funeral’s alltime favorite album) and Porcelain Heart is one of the album’s best tracks and certainly it’s most tonal. The song’s epic, seething evil riffs evoke mental images of gothic castles, blood splatter, murder, and haunting spirits. It’s gothic on a Victorian level and borderline psychologically threatening.

Almost the same things can be said about Le Portrait de Petit Cossette. For those who haven’t seen this 3-episode OVA, DO. Petit Cossette can be called Akiyuki shinbo’s lovechild – he does anything and everything he wants with probably the highest budget he’s ever had. What results is an uber-trippy, uber-dark and thoroughly gothic story about a love so strong it leads people to kill. I’d definitely call it the most gothic anime there is.

(This video got removed from youtube, dailymotion, and myspace video instantly stanks to strict-ass copyright. so here’s megavideo.)

My favorite part of this AMV is the perfect use of the show’s most well-animated scenes. the piercing beauty of those scenes set to the right moments is stirring. My absolute favorite has to be the calm guitar solo to Cossette playing piano. There are also some good uses of lyric-matching. The ‘I…wallow in shame’ line goes well with the gluttonous blood-drinking, and the ‘I…. went far away’ is symbolically realized by the moment of Eiri walking away from Cosette which was an important moment in the show.

Overall, the tone is just a perfect match and makes this quite the awesome video, especially as a fan of both the song and the show.

Opeth – Porcelain Heart

I lost all I had (that April day),
I turned to my friends (nothing to say),
I wrote down a name (and read it twice),
I wallowed in shame.

I said that I loved (eternal schemes),
I cling to my past (like childish dreams)
I promised to stay (and held my breath)
I went far away.

Icy roads beneath my feet,
Lead me through wastelands of deceit,
Rest your head now, don’t you cry,
Don’t ever ask the reason why

Kept inside our idle race
Ghost of an idol’s false embrace
Rest your head now, don’t you cry
Don’t ever ask the reasons why.

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