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).
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.
On Your Mark is a Miyazaki-directed Ghibli music video made for Chage & Aska's song of the same name. Miyazaki created this unusual side-project to escape from writer's block, and bafflingly interpreted the generic love song's lyrics into the story of the short movie. As you would guess, On Your Mark is a 6-minute heartwarming tale of a dystopian future where two police members raid a technologically advanced city laboratory and find a mutant angel girl and make a mission to set her free. Why not. It's a fairly chaotic mixture compared to Ghibli's usual takes on traditional fairy tales or coming-of-age dramas, but for
that exact reason it roped me in easily with its aesthetics. I'm very disappointed that out of this studio's numerous projects that this concept wasn't made into a full-length feature. I find it potentially more interesting than almost anything they've done. Its inability to compare to the depth of detail of Ghibli's full movies end up crushing that advantage, but it's still an impressive effort for its scope. The backgrounds of the futuristic city for example contain so much minute detail that the entry shot feels absolutely massive, and this overwhelmingly large breadth of the setting continues in multiple other areas as well, such as the outside of the police's city and the plains of the ground. The emotional impact the short movie is going for doesn't fully gel together, since the lyrics are only vaguely related and otherwise we have only the basic conveyances of the feelings of the characters. This is something I recommend to be swept away in the visuals of it all and not much else, but those visuals go beyond just being pretty and have some slightly fascinating implications. A surprisingly inspired short, and I would've loved more of that inspiration.
Rate a 7
Music type a mixture of pop/blues
Story is structured in a philosophical manner as apposed to direct. So, it may take more than one viewing to fully comprehend. Took me two.
Underlying message can only be deciphered by looking at the art as well as the sound and blending the two together. Message being Stay strong and don't give up hope. Fly high when you are falling down.
Art was nicely preformed and chosen well. The artist took a dangerous scenario and forced light upon it until the world around it lit up. Like a fairy tale with a good ending.
Character angel meant to portray
innocence and lost hope. The chains represented bound fate. Countless other drawn features were used that represented a character feature in telling this sad/happy tale.
Overall: this music runs deep. You must really read into the lyrics. While it does take a while to fully grasp the message and to understand why the art repeats certain parts, when you understand you may cry happy tears. Not a song to dance to unless you want to slow dance with your love.