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.
TLDR: A short yet emotionally effective piece that manages to convey an entire story in six minutes. The music accentuates the strong sense of nostalgia.
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.
You’ll likely enjoy this if you enjoyed: