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Dan42's JIN-ROH Lair
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AMV

Anime Music Videos have become one of the most popular sides of anime fandom in recent years. And in the case of Jin-Roh I haven't found many fanarts or fanfics but I have found a lot of AMVs. So in this page my goal is to review as many Jin-Roh AMVs as I can, and to give a link to download them when possible. There are even a few that I'm hosting myself. Each screencap illustrates the exact size of the video and I've also tried to give a feeling for its distinctive features.

Disclaimer: none of those videos were made by me, ok?


This music video was found on the same page as the Japanese trailer, tojapan.co.kr. The music used is a shorter version of Grace Omega, which runs for 5:12 minutes. Since this same music is used in the Japanese trailer, for me this music video just feels like a longer version of the trailer. Actually, I'm not quite sure if this was meant as a music video or as a promotional tool. The way the video is built, the music they chose... it feels more like they're trying to sell the movie than to express any particular emotion. Also, the video is just like the music used and even amplifies its effect; the first part is languid to the point of being soporific, and the second half manages to be just as lulling even though it picks up the beat. I can only come to the conclusion that Grace Omega, while hauntingly beautiful, is not very well suited for a music video. There's also a technical problem with the video: it wasn't very well encoded, so at times (especially when there is fast motion), you see horizontal black bands flicker on the screen (see image). Not to mention that the sound is very metallic. There is some very good timing in there, too bad it's marred by atrocious sound and video encoding. This music video definitely works on the melancholy side of Jin-Roh, and it's competent enough, but somehow I just can't get excited about it... maybe that's because I'm not supposed to get "excited" at melancholy? Well, you can judge by yourself:

Pop up download page
( 12.2 MB - 5:12 )

This music video is first and foremost a digest of action scenes from the movie; every scene of Jin-Roh that has bullets or explosions is in this video. Yet... it's not quite that simple. The creator, GotenZ, wisely chose the song Are You There by Oleander; it's not a simple fast techno/hardrock beat like most action music videos use. The song has a good deal of darkness and suspense about it. And that suspense is used to to good effect in the video. There's enough time for suspense and hopelessness to build up before the explosive release. Less original is the fact that all those suspense/action scenes are presented in the same order as in the movie. Also, the editing doesn't always quite make sense. The start of the gunfight at 1:22 doesn't match with the music, but a mere 7 seconds later it would have matched perfectly with the beginning of the high-energy refrain. This kind of simplistic error, combined with the fact that the scenes are often prolonged cuts straight out of the movie, makes me wonder if the suspense effect was just pure dumb luck. Either way, the result is the same so I'd say this video is worth a look.

Are You There @ animemusicvideos.org
( 13.6 MB - 4:14 )

This music video was made by arcticnightfall productions with the song Cold Heritage from the album Unleashed Memories by Lacuna Coil. Check out the lyrics of the song if you're interested, they're quite revealing.

What can I say... I really like this video! ^_^ A good part of a good AMV is a good music and this one has an hypnotic quality that really, well, hypnotized me. The music has a fast and regular drum beat, but it's too regular; you couldn't match images to it (that would make the video boring). The only rythm change comes when the refrain kicks in, and the AMV does use that very well. But because of the lack of anchoring rythm, the images seem to have been edited to match the lyrics instead. And it works very well because the lyrics have a interesting story to tell, especially in the light of the story told in Jin-Roh. I've mentionned that the music has a somewhat fast beat, and yet at the same time it manages to be very sad, a rather fascinating effect that I liked very much.

To me, this song speaks of redemption, one of the main themes in Jin-Roh. It feels like an aching heart who is clamoring for forgiveness and for understanding with the words "forgive me" endlessly repeated. Is it Kei or is it Fuse who is seeking redemption? This video seems to be told from the point of view of Kei, with the female voice singing words like "I know I need only your voice" which somewhat reflect Kei's words to Fuse (in the movie) saying that they only needed each other. But Fuse also needed redemption badly, and the lyrics "And I'm lonely here inside of me" definitely apply to both of them.

These words, which come back so often in the song, may be the ones with the strongest meaning in this music video. Kei and Fuse are two very lonely people; they long for someone who could reduce their burden, they need someone who could give them the absolution, the redemption they so badly need. And this redemption could be found simply through the companionship of a kindred soul...

Cold Heritage @ arcticnightfall.com
( 22 MB - 5:30 )

Like the arcticnightfall music video, Rotkappchen by Jordan Peters (a.k.a. BigshotSpike) forsakes the action scenes in order to focus on one of the deeper qualities of the movie. In this case it's about the love story between Kei and Fuse. The author chose the song A Love Before Time by Coco Lee from the Crounching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack. It's quite a melancholic love song, so it fits very well with this sad love story. It manages to take some of the low-key unmemorable scenes from the movie and give them a very memorable, nostalgic tone. You can read the thoughts of the author as well as the lyrics of the song here @ animemusicvideos.org. There isn't really anything else to say about this video; it's all about creating a mood of bittersweet love, and it succeeds at what it tries to do. To achieve that mood, there's one particular digital effect that's remarkably effective. In some scenes (like the picture) there is a special blurring/light effect which creates a dreamlike, subdued atmosphere, as if the love story was a mere dream, something too good, too impossible to be true. This is a good use of digital effect that reinforces and flows naturally with the theme of the AMV. At a more basic level, this is a graphical softening effect so it's normal that it would go well with a soft song.

[THIS AMV SPOILS THE END]
Pop up download page
( 37.1 MB - 3:54 )

Who would have thought someone would use Michael Jackson's Give in to me to make a Jin-Roh music video... But this is what WilLow did, and the results are pretty good. I have to admit at first I was a little unbalanced by the choice of song (I mean... Micheal Jackson?!?) but the video is very well made and fits well with the song. In the words of WilLow himself: "I thought that most of Jinroh related clips were too action-oriented, so I decided to make a romance AMV on the relationship between the two main characters." It's certainly a song about a relationship, but I'm not so sure about the "romance" part. Give in to me is a song about the hurtful (even masochistic!) relationship between a man and a woman, and I find that it really brings out this aspect of Jin-Roh. In the movie, both Kei and Fuse know from the start that their relationship is doomed, that they were meant to betray the other from the very beginning. They know that pursuing this can only result in pain, and yet that's what they do. Lyrics like "love is a feeling" tend to coincide with explosions or violent scenes. Also, I feel that the lyrics "quench my desire" are strongly associated with a thirst for blood in this AMV. Romantic, heh?

Give in to me @ animemusicvideos.org
( 38.9 MB - 3:52 )

Nobody in his right mind would say that Carl Orff's great classic, O Fortuna, is an original song to use for any music video. Nonetheless this is what Bakamono chose for his music video entitled The Hunt. I have to admit he made something quite interesting out of this supposedly cliché song. With the constant interweaving of red riding hood and Panzer scenes, it really feels like a hunt with the Panzers silently tracking their prey. This is interesting because the movie doesn't achieve the same effect at all : when the Panzers corner the red riding hood, it feels almost like an accident. Then of course there's the roaring third stanza of the song with the expected (but very fitting) burst of ultra-violence. Also, even though it's probably a coincidence, the lyrics fit rather well with the tone of Jin-Roh.

There's one thing to note about the sound level... Since this is the original version of O Fortuna, the first 3 verses of the first stanza are very loud, then the rest of the first stanza and the second are very soft, and the third stanza is a thundering climactic chorus. This makes for quite an impressive display in an opera (for which this song was meant) but on your computer it requires to crank the sound waaay up otherwise the first and second stanzas will be inaudible. Actually, if truth be told, a loud volume is really the only way to experience O Fortuna in all of its splendor. Just be sure to either 1) have earphones or 2) not have neighbors. ^_^

The Hunt @ animemusicvideos.org
( 24.9 MB - 2:52 )

This video, Broken Love, was made by caerwyn using the song 4am by Our Lady Peace. Now first I have to say that this gave me a very weird impression because I've always seen this song as a reconciliation song between an estranged father and son. It took me a significant effort to concentrate on how the song applied to Kei and Fuse's situation. I guess it could be interpreted as an "I love you" that came too late, an awareness of the value of what will be lost that comes only once that loss is inevitable. Regardless, to me it feels like the anime and the song don't really match. And althought that's the kind of reaction that will vary a lot from person to person, for me the AMV didn't exactly start on a good note.

Anyway, the images match extremely well with the lyrics, and maybe even a little too much... somehow it feels a little mechanistic: with the lyrics "walked around" we see Fuse running in a circle, with the lyrics "blamed my father" we see a shot of Hachiroh Tohbe (who is sort of a father for Fuse), with the lyrics "then a phone call" we see Kei answering the phone, etc. Still, overall this is a decent AMV, with a good song, good images, and an impeccable action/music sync. And it's a first video too...

[THIS AMV SPOILS THE END]
Broken Love @ animemusicvideos.org
( 29.1 MB - 4:17 )

In the Company of Wolves is Jordan Peters' (a.k.a. BigshotSpike) second attempt at a Jin-Roh music video. For this one he chose Frozen by Madonna. Right off the bat, I'm going to say there was little chance he could screw up this one, with such a great song.

The AMV starts just like the movie, with an introduction of the world in which Jin-Roh takes place: violence, civil disorder, repression. Right from the start we notice that the lyrics of the song lay out very clearly the underlying message of this AMV. And those lyrics go oh so well with the scenes of Jin-Roh. The lyrics "you're frozen when your heart's not open" are instantly associated with the terrorist girl whose heart is closed by fanaticism and who freezes up when seeing Fuse. Of course, this applies to Fuse as well who is just as frozen by the situation.

The lyrics go so well with the scenes in the AMV that you'd almost believe that song was made expressly for Jin-Roh. For example, "there's no point in placing the blame, and you should know I've suffered the same"... this applies directly to the situation of Kei being forced to betray Fuse. In fact, you could almost believe that Kei wrote that song herself with Fuse in mind: "If I could melt your heart"... isn't that what Kei was trying to do all along with Fuse? She desperately wanted Fuse to love her, she wanted someone to remember and care about her. But as we know it, in the end, Fuse's heart was indeed frozen. Or rather, it didn't thaw until too late.

Technically, this video is pretty simple so there's not much that can go wrong. However there is one thing that annoyed me: the black borders surrounding the image. While in his first Jin-Roh AMV Jordan had the excuse that the effects overflowed outside of the main image, in this one he doesn't use any such flashy "light blurs" or "burn wipes", he only uses crossfades. The black border only serves to annoy. The audio/video sync, on the other hand, is spot-on. Aside from crossfades, an interesting "effect" is the way he sometimes freezes the motion for a fraction of a second. The first few times I actually thought it was a bug in the video encoding or that my computer froze for a moment. But I'll admit it makes a very nice counterpoint to the high-motion images used during the drum rolls.

[THIS AMV SPOILS THE END]
Pop up download page
( 48.1 MB - 6:20 )


Last page update: 2003-01-18
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