In the future, mankind can no longer live on the ground due to intense radiation, both from the sun and from an abandoned nuclear plant. One day, a group of special police raided a religious cult compound, and after a fierce firefight two policemen found a winged mutant girl, with chains on her arms, barely alive. However, government scientists dressed in hazardous material suits immediately intervened and brought her back to a research facility. Realizing they were merely transferring her from one prison to another, those two policemen formulated a daring plan to set her free once and for all.
This is a music video created by Hayao Miyazaki for the pop music duo Chage & Aska (after whom the two police officers are modeled).
This is a must see for Ghibli fans. The OVA has moments that remind you of all of Miyazaki's works. I'm fairly surprised Anno didn't contribute because the world has a strong Anno vibe. The art is fantastic and it does an amazing job of covering CG up. The world design is breath taking and personally I had no issue with watching similar scenes over and over. The story is convoluted, but I believe it's because you are witnessing multiple versions of a single event to tell a whole story, sort of like "Edge of Tomorrow" (horrible comparison).
I was surprised to find a 7 minute OVA that had a rating that defied its length, and so I decided to check it out. My skepticism melted as the fantastic music from the opening caught my ear... but then it soon returned as the anime skipped from scene to scene, almost like a preview of a proper show. With the sheer number of different scenes crammed into a space of 6-7 minutes, "On Your Mark" barely even comes across as being coherent. I'm not even sure the story was told in a linear way. Because of the extremely small amount of story revealed, this
anime feels more like a music video. This impression is reinforced by the fact that there is no dialogue and the background music is a single song played from beginning to end.
On your mark is directed by Miyazaki. But if I even if I didn't know that, I would have guessed from the animation style, especially since the girl in it looks just like Nausicaa... and Kiki.... and that girl from Laputa etc. I can't help feeling that people are giving "On Your Mark" high ratings simply because of the Miyazaki stamp on it. I mean, come on, this isn't that great at all. It makes an OK music video, but it doesn't even function as a show!
Or at least that was the review I was going to write initially, and I was gonna give it rather low score. But as I was about to post this review, the description given on the front page caught my eye, and everything clicked - this IS a music video!!! From what I can tell, it was made for some Japanese pop duo, presumably for a single they were releasing.
And so I rewatched it as a music video. But that didn't completely work out either. The problem is that all through the song, things are happening in rapid succession on screen... and the sounds from events are all clearly audible, trampling across the song and reducing it as the main focus of the video - I've never seen a music video that interfered with the song to this extent before!. The whole thing ends up feeling more like a montage scene from a movie than a proper music video. And so I am left puzzled. It's supposed to be a music video - it's even got the name of the song artist in the opening - but it doesn't quite work as a music video if you watch it like one. An even more important question (at least to me) would be: how the heck do I rate this?? Given this was meant to be a music video, it would probably be unfair for me to rate this purely as a "proper" show. But I can't conscientiously give this a high rating either (and I still think people are rating this with a healthy amount of "Miyazaki premium" ). So in the end, I decided to just take the average of the rating in each categories and leave it at that. Problem solved! :P
There`s a marked difference between something that is designed around and flows with music like Comedy, and something that is jerked around by it the way On Your Mark is. The incoherence in On Your Mark`s chronology and reality feels less like an artistic choice that has a meaningful effect on the final product and more like a story that had to be chopped and tinkered with in order to fit the music. The climactic scene where the two heroes drive down a country road and guide the Angel on her first flight in a long while, if not ever, is certainly a beautiful and
memorable scene, but for no reason other than to catch the first chorus, it`s actually put out of chronological order and thrown in early on.
Certainly, the first chorus begs for something dramatic, but a tiny bit of creativity, for instance, creating and showing a different warm scene between the 3 characters, would have kept the integrity of the finale. As it stands, the second time that very same scene is shown is the more important of the two, but its effect is dampened because it is the second showing of the very same thing.
On Your Mark tries to tell such a complex story while squirming through musical obstacles that it feels like an AMV someone cut from a much larger story. Where most films of this length would simply focus on one aspect of the characters and tell a very basic story, On Your Mark tries to compress a whole drama in all its emotional complexity, without dialogue, constrained by musical cues, into 7 minutes. The characters just end up feeling empty.
It`s perfectly fine as a music video, since most of them are incoherent, and if they`re sappy, they usually take that to excess. It`s just disappointing because the story could have amounted to something more cohesive and satisfying with small reworkings. Instead of telling the whole boys meet girl story, scrap or very briefly touch upon the meeting, and focus completely on the actual relationship. There is just too much stuff going on. Approaching it simply as a music video though, it contains a gorgeous and emotionally affecting scene the likes of which has never been seen accompanying a pop song. Disappointing as it is, On Your Mark is still something I can reliably use to drag out a bitter-sweet tear when I feel the need.
Notes on the music: It`s soft rock and sounds quite good, but the lyrics don`t have very obvious ties with the animation. The song focuses on the glories of youth and nostalgia for it. The English version is much more in line with the general theme as it is about a deep and binding relationship that can be used as a support system when things get messy. You normally wouldn`t expect translated songs to be well written, but the lyrics in the chorus are surprisingly touching.
I really enjoyed this music video. I honestly believed it was wonderful. Most people usually don't think I am the best rater because I usually give everything I watch a 10, mostly because I always get something out of that piece that is very valuable to me. I really wanted to give this a fair rating though and I just couldn't help but give it a 10. Hehe, here's what I think in detail:
I thought the story that was portrayed was very wonderful. Hayao Miyazaki really did a great job, as he always does. This man's mind never ceases to amaze me. When watching
it, one should pay close attention because it goes by quite quickly. I mean, a whole story was is fit into the length of 7 minutes. That is why I think it's so amazing. There is no dialogue... you do not hear one word spoken and yet, a story can be drawn from it. Also, everyone's perception of it is different which is what I love. I did read the translation of the song and it seemed to be mostly about the friendship of the two officers. It really did tie into the story and gave them some sort of backstory if you really want to interpret it that far. You don't have to read the translation to understand the music video, I just wanted to get the full experience of it.
Well, Ghibli is known for it's art style. I'm sure anyone can identify whether something is by Ghibli or not solely based on the art of the piece. Miyazaki keeps his art closely similar for pretty much every movie he's made. I believe this is great though. Every one of his stories are so unique and crazy and different from one another, I like that he keeps the art similar. It's something nice to be familiar with. It's like his trademark. I love his artistic style and I believe in this music video, it was great.
The audio quality for the song wasn't the best. However, there is an exception because this WAS made in 1995 and, of course, the technology for audio was not as advanced as it is today. So I would let that one slide. I just couldn't enjoy it as much since I'm so used to really great quality. I shouldn't feel that way... but trust me, if I listen to it a couple of times, I will totally forget about the quality and fall in love with the song because it is a great song! :)
I loved the characters in this music video! I heard that the two officers were based off Chage & Aska! One character is determined, and has this drive to emancipate the winged girl. His conscience seems to be very strong and he seems to have some kind of sensitivity within that forces him to do such a daring thing as to break into the area where she is being held and release her. His friend is very happy-go-lucky looking and he seems to be that kind of "ride or die" friend. He doesn't seem to be as determined to set the winged girl free until his friend doesn't want to be bothered while trying to find a way to get through the security on his computer.
It is easy to say that the most beautiful anime are those produced by Studio Ghibli. For sure, Ghibli’s films set the bar for what is anime art. However, although five of their films populate this list of the 20 most beautiful anime, other examples from the past four decades are just as impressive.