Feb 12, 2018
Children Record is a pretty solid prologue.
Having the colossal task of setting up for the subsequent 20 music videos, it's amazing just how much it manages to do in the 3 minutes it has. Its opening group shot and subsequent pan across each of the key actors works well in giving the viewer unique visual traits to remember each of them by, it also helps how, including the following parts where they were shown off as an ensemble, they are grouped in ways that give an idea of which ones are closer to others and what kind of relationship they might have. The frames where
it goes mono-color help sell how, even though they've been portrayed in a dramatic way thus far, they are teenagers who like to fool around and enjoy each others company, reinforcing the core cast even more.
It's crowning achievement is definitely how it manages to hint at every music videos that came out later in the series: from the obvious ones like Takane witnessing what seems to be a murder and Hibiya and Hiyori dying, to very subtle ones like Ayano standing in from of what was a window and Shintarou turning a doorknob. Each of these sneak-peeks add so much character and intrigue to large cast of 9 it's trying to sell the audience on, in so little time, and have the bonus effect of having more impact once they have gone through all of the series and are able to figure out how cleverly it managed to foreshadow not only each of the character arcs, but also the antagonists and the ultimatum.
When the chorus kicks in for the 2nd time, initiated by the song's iconic "shounen shoujo mae o muku", the anime displays them together for the final time, stripped of their color, giving them a sense of unity, with nothing but the guitar and the vocals to show how they are determined to face the unbearable heat mentioned during the song multiple times, this quieter moment works so well in convincing the viewer of how tight of a team they are, making it an incentive to learn how and why they became this close.
In the final part, the MV is so confident in it's characterization that it trusts the audience will be able to recognize who each of the silhouettes are by their features and color coding, it's a gutsy move, but seeing how much faith it has in it's ability is incredibly endearing.
For something as mold-breaking and unique for its time as the Kagerou Project, it needed a sure-fire way to get people interested in it, and considering how strongly Children Record built up its characters and how it set up breadcrumbs that lead to the larger narrative, it was a job well done.
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