Ah, Mirai Mizue, every indie animator nerd’s favorite screensaver virtuoso’s latest outing is a collab with idol group “Maison book girl”.
For as layered and elaborate as some of Mizue’s animations are, very rarely do they convey a narrative as much as they are vehicles for his sensibilities as an animator. “Kanashimi no Kodomo-tachi” is not much different in regards to his other animations. And suffice to say, considering the structure of most works I’ve seen in Mizue’s catalog that I’ve been able to get my hands on, I’m surprised he hasn’t collaborated with more artists in this capacity.
I never really made the connection
with Maison book girl but considering they’re a rather alternative outfit compared to a lot of other mainstream pop idol groups, the song pairs quite nicely with Mizue’s style. There’s sort of a Latin pop/flamenco flavor to this track that I haven’t heard this group experiment with before. The pianos are bright and carry a wonderful melody. The rhythm guitar is subdued and melts into the rather chaotic clapping percussion but I like that it is treated as more of an accent than a focal point in the mix. The instrumentation/sound palette is layered, varied, and exotic but not eclectic to the point where it’s just unintelligible noise. Vocally, the members of MBG aren’t too disparate from one another (at least to my ear) but that just makes their harmonies all the more pleasing.
Aside from the layers upon layers of animation, conceptually, the video is resoundingly pretty simple. Several character models (which I can only assume serve as avatars for the members of MBG) float in entropy until they eventually disintegrate and disembody in a manner that is neither needlessly gory nor easily defined. The ending of the video is a bit perplexing and I haven’t quite been able to figure it out, but I’m sure that was the intended effect.
If I had a single complaint about this music video, it’s more so to do with the missed opportunity presented by the rather abstract lyrics. They don’t necessarily pair with the visuals in the video and I think they would’ve been transcribed quite nicely with Mizue’s style, but of course, he had to forgo that in favor of his typical mandala/paisley/floater-esque visual motifs. I’d reckon most people who listen to a song in a foreign language don’t really pay much attention to the lyrics as much as they do the music itself, so this is probably going to be a non-issue for most people.
That aside, this is a really solid music video. While I’m not terribly enthusiastic about the visuals, the song on its own is worth giving it a watch. MBG is a great alternative idol group especially for people tempered by the typicalities of bubblegum pop groups that anime has predominantly pushed to the forefront.