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Stop Watching Anime and Go Outside!: Notes


Stop Watching Anime and Go Outside!: Notes

Video: Genshiken and Various
Audio: There Is Life Outside Your Apartment (Avenue Q Cast Recording / Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx)
Awards: Anime North 2006 - Creativity Award, FanimeCon 2006 - Best Comedy, Best of Show (Judges' Choice), Anime Expo 2006 - Best Comedy, Japan Expo 2006 - Third Place, Anime Evolution 2006 - Best Comedy, Anime Weekend Atlanta 2006 Expo - Best Comedy
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Warning: Contains some naughty language and "mature themes". Rated PG-13ish, I guess. Some video spoilers follow.

"That's good. Terrible, but good." -- Anime Evolution 2006 Audience Member
"Stop Reading Quick Comments and Edit More Awsmness >:O" -- Quick Comment

Like a lot of people, I saw The Wired Knight's The Purpose of Persocoms video in 2005. That got me curious about Avenue Q, a Broadway musical for which I then purchased the cast recording. After listening to the CD in early 2006, I was surprised to see that according to a-m-v.org, no one had done a video to the song "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment" yet. It seemed like an obvious choice, as it deals with a subject relevant to otaku.

I originally thought of using the characters in Otaku no Video to portray the recluse and friends in the video, but found that there wasn't enough usable footage in the short OVA series. Fortunately a friend had introduced me to Genshiken, a fairly new show about a bunch of otaku. Indeed, the opening title, "Study of the Otaku Internal Kinetic Exiguity", is a play on the scholarly titles of the Genshiken anime. The title breaks down like so:

Otaku: Anime fan (here, anyway)
Internal: In this case, referring to the indoors
Kinetic: Relating to motion
Exiguity: "The quality or condition of being scanty or meager" (from dictionary.com)

So, it's meant to refer to anime fans who sit inside all the time and don't move around a lot. The grammar is a bit tortured, but it's in order to create the backronym "soto ike", which means "go outside" in Japanese.

Some random notes on scenes:

  • As far as I know, the credit cards are real ones issued by Orico. I found those pictures on a Japanese site long ago.
  • I didn't feel that I had to censor the statue, but it amused me.
  • "hard to conceive": Craziest scene choice ever. >_<
  • The text in Howl's Moving Castle door-opening scene is just the alien script from the Futurama opening. I guess I missed the opportunity for a joke here, but I had a hard time trying to counteract the camera movement in the footage. (Apparently it says "tasty human burgers" in the alien script)
  • Erin had the idea to use the Pokemon Jet. I couldn't find a good picture, so I added Pikachu to an existing scene. Then I thought to add Kirika from Noir.
  • I had made a Snakes on a Plane icon for LiveJournal, then decided to put the scene in the video. The snakes are from Kodocha.
  • I'd decided early on to use the girls from Black Heaven. They're sort of like a chorus group in a couple of episodes, and they just worked in my mind.
  • The Slayers scene runs a little long, but I love the booting scene.
  • "Pick up girls at NYU"... He's actually picking up a girl! In a library! At NYU! And the girl says "nyu" at the end of her sentences! Genius!
  • There are surprisingly few park-like scenes in Azumanga. Fortunately this worked, and Mr. Tadakichi made it funnier.
  • A few people have used the Osaka "eyes narrowing" scene to represent getting stoned. I liked the idea of reversing the footage for the opposite effect.
  • Yay blood! Note that after this scene, she has a bandage on her head.
  • Something has been added to one of the cycling frames. Are you a bad enough dude to find it?
  • The road sign was a relatively late addition.
  • I tried to strike a balance between literal "Life" references, such as the cereal and magazine, and general "lively activities". Thus I passed over some possible references such as "Half-Life", so as not to beat the viewer over the head with it.
  • The bunnysuit and dragging scenes from Fushigi Yuugi were ones that I had already saved when looking through the show for previous projects. Hooray for less work!
  • "The finger" is composited from a few images.
  • At first I had used a picture of Halle Berry (sans Catwoman outfit) instead of the Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman head. Nobody could recognise it so I changed it. The general idea was to have something where it didn't make sense for someone already dressed like a cat to dress like a cat again... or something.
  • Your room doesn't look like this... does it?
  • The scene with Madarame jumping back and forth was difficult, and you'll notice that his foot doesn't look right when it hits the ground. In the original, it's cropped off before it hits the ground. Also, there's a fire in front of him, which I had to erase.
  • I was hesitant to use Chiyo-chan at first, since Azumanga is overused in AMVs, but I figured I hadn't had the opportunity to use it yet so it's my turn. I was going more for the furry angle than the loli, but oh well.
  • The whole "Chiyo's head is barely in the scene" thing amuses me.
  • I shot the live action scene with the Genshiken figurines from the roof of a local mall. I pieced together parts of the show to create the diorama background and printed it out. As part of my award for AX2006, I received a set of Kujibiki Unbalance figurines. Kujibiki is a show that the characters of Genshiken watch. So I took a picture of the Kujibiki figures in my Genshiken set which can be seen here.
  • "o" and "shi" should probably have been written in katakana, but the hiragana "o" is very similar to the hiragana "a" used in the speech bubble in the Azumanga series.
  • At the end, Chiyo-chan is watching a scene from Chobits, the same scene used in "The Purpose of Persocoms" when "for porn" is said.
  • In the version that went around to conventions, it said "Well, you're at a convention... That's a start... sort of..." at the end.
So that's not all of the references explained, but a bunch.

I heard that some people were tired of Avenue Q at Anime Expo 2006, and I didn't have much sympathy, since there were only two AQ videos in the AMV contest, but then I heard that three masquerade skits also used music from the musical. Oh well. (Link to the other video from the contest)

Thanks to Erin & Noah, Dave, AtomX, McKeed, Quadir, Fall_Child42, trythil, Miruku, and Spate for feedback at various points.

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