Genre(s): Drama, Music Video
Age-Appropriateness: 7+ (13+ understanding, I don’t know how smart kids are these days)
Platforms: YouTube, Crunchyroll
Episodes: 1 six-minute video
TheAwersome Rating: 8.3 / 10 (Worth watching, it’s 6 minutes for crying out loud)
Premise: Shelter tells the story of Rin, a 17-year-old girl who lives her life inside of a futuristic simulation completely by herself in infinite, beautiful loneliness. Each day, Rin awakens in virtual reality and uses a tablet which controls the simulation to create a new, different, beautiful world for herself. Until one day, everything changes, and Rin comes to learn the true origins behind her life inside a simulation.
TheAwersome’s Thoughts: No, this isn’t an AMV in the sense of people using clips from Anime to existing music. Porter Robinson teamed up with A-1 Studios (Studio behind Sword Art Online, Wagnaria, etc.) to specifically craft this video for his song. And for a six-minute piece it’s gorgeous and emotionally moving! To be honest, it was after playing DDLC and watching this shortly thereafter that I decided to gird up my loins and plunge headfirst into weebery again. Shelter reminded me of the powerful storytelling and affect on emotions that are unique to animation -and specifically anime’s unique magic spin on that.
SPOILY REVIEWS, SO WATCH IT THEN READ THIS PART: I think what makes this particularly special for me (other than feeling reminiscent to DDLC (listen to Porter Robinson’s album “Worlds” and we’ll talk more)) is that I felt a similar nostalgic yank as did Rin when she sees her past. I used to love anime and all that weebery back in the early 2000’s, and it was a pretty big part of my youth. I mostly left it when I hit high school so that I could be “cool and mature.” But when Rin sees a part of her history that she’d lost and reaches for it I was reminded of those things I loved but had left. While it certainly doesn’t define me, it’s a part of me that’s nice to have back.