It’s been almost seven years since Rin last received a message. She’s been alone all that time, just her and her teddybear, playing in a world that she can shape in any way imaginable, but somethings are unimaginable!
What’s going on?
This post was originally part of a blog tour to celebrate fifty-years since Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong made ‘one small step’. To celebrate that Scott at Mechanical Anime Reviews assembled a blog tour, where fifteen different bloggers put together posts talking about space. Well, space in anime. So, as you may have guessed by now, this was my post for the Space is the Place blog tour. It was originally published on my old site but has been absent from the internet since I rebranded. Well, it’s time to bring it back.
The anime I’m going to talk about is something that I watched a couple of years back and find myself re-watching over and over again. Ironically, despite having watched it an unknown number of times, I’ve never found the right time to talk about it. Well, lucky me, because this seems like the perfect opportunity. I’m going to be talking about the Porter Robinson + Madeon music video for Shelter. Normally, this is where I would tell you that there will be spoilers beyond this point, but as this video is only six-minutes long and on YouTube, I really think you should watch. Trust me. You can thank me later.
Rin is alone and has been for seven years. She’s comfortable, living in a world where she can change it in any way she can imagine, but she can’t shake the loneliness, even with her trusty teddy bear at her side. One day, while playing in her latest creation, she comes across a swing, growing out of a tree. The sight of it brings back flashes of a time long ago, before she was alone. The memories grow stronger and stronger until something in her subconscious takes over and recreates a world that is familiar, yet distant.
She watches a small child playing in a sandbox with her father. There are flashes of news reports showing a world on a collision course with Earth. She sees the father, watching over his child, preparing something. Finally, the father gives the girl a present, a teddy bear, it’s her teddy bear. Then, he gives her one final gift, placing her into a small spaceship and sending her away from the doomed world… alone…
What did you think?
This music video is only six-minutes long, but the story will be with me for my entire life. It is fantastically structured, showing us the beauty of the world that Rin lives in, the loneliness that she feels, and the sacrifices made by her father. There is something so beautiful yet tragic about this story. For me, it is a true masterpiece and that’s even before you consider the fantastic song that should be the centrepiece, although I think the two are joined into one glorious creation. Honestly, if you’re still reading and haven’t watched the video yet, scroll back up and do so now. Maybe, even watch it again if you already have. There is so much emotion packed into such a tightly woven tale, it really is incredible.
What was your favourite moment?
Picking a favourite moment from this video is nearly impossible. I loved the beginning where we get to see Rin building a world around her. Then, as she played in her creation, changing it as she saw fit. It’s a truly stunning piece of animation with beautiful vistas and imaginative backdrops. Seeing Rin’s face as she skipped from rock pillar to rock pillar, you feel the joy she’s experiencing. Maybe, it’s fleeting, but you really do get a sense of it. I think that’s got to be my favourite moment. It’s hard not to smile.
What was your least favourite moment?
Now, this is going in as my least favourite moment, but it is also an incredibly effective moment. That was when Rin’s father placed her inside the spaceship and connected her to the digital world that is now her home. The sight of a small child connected to the machine with a teddy bear sat beside her is utterly heartbreaking. Even worse still, when you see her again as she is now, the same position, the teddy bear looks smaller, she’s just older and with no planet in sight. How did they fit so many emotions into such a short anime with such an engaging story?
Who was your favourite character?
This seems kind of a redundant section as there are only really two characters in Shelter. I’m going to give this to Rin because it’s her story. We see her world through her interactions and it’s only when her subconscious starts to get involved that we see her memories and relive the events that brought her here. We experience all the emotions she does and we see how despite the terrible things that happened, she refuses to forget them. They are what saved her. They gave her a chance to live on, but at what cost…
Who was your least favourite character?
So, this may seem a bit harsh, but I guess Rin’s father will be taking the role of my least favourite character. It’s odd because as a father myself, I can sympathise with his decisions. I can see the reasoning in doing everything possible to save your child, even in a situation as dire as that. The one thing that gets me though, is that he sent her off alone. Now, he may have a plan with the trajectory that he’s set the spaceship on. We don’t know that, but couldn’t he have put in another seat. The guy was able to build a spaceship and develop a life-support system with a digital world. Put another seat in the damn ship!
Any final thoughts?
Basically, this video is incredible. It has been watched more than forty-five-million times on YouTube and I’m not sure how many of those were me, but it’s been quite a few. It has almost one-hundred-thousand comments… Mind, blown! Even if you’re not a fan of anime or Porter Robinson or Madeon, it’s hard to ignore the elegance in the story-telling and the emotional depth. Sure, there are lots of unknowns within the story, but we see enough to be able to make up our minds on what happened. For me, that’s great. I don’t want the whole thing to be spelt out for me.
Anyhow, thanks for stopping by and making it through my review of the Porter Robinson + Madeon music video for Shelter. It’s actually a little longer than my normal review which is surprising given that it’s only six-minutes long. There have been lots of great posts already and many more to come. I’m going to leave you with a collection of images from the video that spoke to me and also a link to all the other posts in the tour. Thanks again.
Other posts in the tour
- Expelled From Paradise (Review) by K from K At The Movies
- Cowboy Bebop finding Your Way Home by Yum Deku from MyAnime2G0
- Starship Operators Anime Review by Sirius from When Sirius Writes
- Space is the Place: Exploring the Symbolism of the Moons in Bahamut by Crimson from My Fujoshi Life
- Planetes & the Human Condition [Space is the Place Blog Tour] by Neha from BiblioNyan
- Space is the Place: Space, Tradition and Starlight Promises by Aria from The Animanga Spellbook
- Space is the Place Blog Tour – Wherever you Go, There You Are with Gurren Lagann by Irina from I Drink and Watch Anime
- Space is the Place: Studio Trigger and the Wonders of Outer Space!! by AJ from The Anointed Geek
- (Space is the Place Tour) The Irresponsible Captain Tylor: Getting To Know Insanity and Passion by Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews
- Shelter (Space is the Place Blog Tour) by Lynn from The Otaku Author
- Politics in Space by Karandi from 100 Word Anime
- Space Is The Place: Space And The Sense Of Dangerous Adventure by Crow from Crow’s Anime World
- 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Anime Influence by Zainou from Postcard Memory
- Let’s Talk About the Anime King Ghidorah – Space is The Place Tour by Joe from Average Joe Reviews
- Kanata No Astra Is Similar to the Anime Blogging Community – Space is The Place by Arthifis from Anime Shelter