There was a lot of excitement surrounding the upcoming Digimon Tri series. In case you’re living under a rock like Patrick Star, this new show continues the adventures of the cast of Digimon Adventures 01. The first two seasons of Digimon are connected and now Digimon Tri. Tai, Matt and the gang are all in high school now. But I’ve got to say as of right now; I’m not all that impressed.
Sometimes I hate nostalgia. I don’t like when things try to win me over with nothing than other “hey remember this cool thing from when you were a kid?” I wasn’t looking for a trip down memory lane, I was hoping for a more mature story with older versions of the characters I’m fond of. Now of course, it’s only been four episodes and potentially lots could happen but, Digimon Tri so far felt like a waste of four episodes. Episode two especially, with having to watching about five of the eight Digi-destines Digimon Digivolve in one episode. The ENTIRE sequence.
The animation looks more polished and it’s clean. Toei did a solid job with the presentation though I still prefer the older look over the modern one. I mean, I did enjoy seeing everyone again, it warmed my heart (I’m personally a fan of the first 3 seasons) but it’s really not that good as of yet. If this wasn’t Digimon I’d already have dropped this. I mean I fell asleep during the second episode.
I’m banking on the potential that this series gradually gets better. I don’t need to relive the glory or exact same narrative as Digimon Adventure 01, I think they should take a chance and maybe introduce some new concepts. Anyways, this series needs to try harder in order to make a fan out of me.
There I was, casually surfing the interconnected web, innocently, with no particular purpose in mind, when I stumbled across two music videos. The music videos are called Me!Me!Me!, by Japanese DJ Teddyloid and the lyrics provided by Japanese artist Daoko and GIRL by Hideya Kojima feat Daoko. Reason why I even bothered to watch the video was because the name I saw aside from the aforementioned names was Hideaki Anno (known for his work in Neon Genesis Evangelion), and man, I wasn’t ready for what would come next. Japanese media company Dwango was also involved with the making of these videos as were other important people. These all all part of the weekly Japan Animator Expo.
I'm a pretty smart guy. I get things. I constantly analyze, deconstruct and think critically about various things. I rarely ever just read, play or watch something without trying to get some kind of meaning out of it. That being said, super artistic surrealism tends to go way over my head, hell so does regular art. But I actually understood these two videos really well (at least I want to think I did) even though they were weird and trippy. Before you continue to read on, please watch these two videos with the link provided below. Watch ME!ME!ME! before GIRL (you can skip about 1:30 into the videos to skip to the actual music video):
Hey welcome back from having your minds thoroughly fucked from these "2deep4u" music videos. BUT, more importantly than the probable initial confusion, what did you get out of watching these? Because there was a lot of symbolism, powerful imagery and criticism of Japanese culture ALL UP IN THAT BITCH. Let's start with ME!ME!ME!.
Shuu is in a relationship with Hana, but Shuu is an Otaku and a hardcore one at that. He chooses the 2D world over the real one. Shuu is happily living a fantasy until reality comes for him. He realizes that he shouldn't have chosen his destructive lifestyle of anime, gaming and hentai over his girlfriend. And tries to get her back. He ultimately fails and the video loops back to the first scene essentially. Shuu lying there, lifeless, addicted to this Otaku lifestyle. In a never ending cycle.
The video is extremely symbolic and feels quite like an acid trip if I do say so myself. The imagery is extremely explicit and borderline pornographic, using imagery of naked women to allude to Shuu's addiction to hentai. Their nipples and nether regions are all connected by piercing which to me signifies that Shuu is "plugged" in to this life (too much digital life). It also looks like the dancing women are trapped in cages, also alluding to him being trapped in a destructive lifestyle. Towards the end when he starts to fight back against his bad habits, you see him shooting at the nude women. The scene where "Evil Hana" comes out the TV and barfs into his mouth reminds me a lot of Japanese mythology due to the fact that sometimes life was given through regurgitation and defecation. All in all, I'd say that this was a strong message about becoming overly addicted to anything, and that you should enjoy real life as much as possible.
Moving on to GIRL, this is another great social commentary on Japanese society. Ultimately, these type of issues can probably be applied to multiple places, not just Japan. This, "sequel" has a more psychedelic look to it and is visually pleasing to the senses. Much less "naughty" than Me!Me!Me!, but there is artist perversion and slight objectification.
Ever heard of enjo kosai? It's called compensating dating and it's where older men give money and gifts to younger women in return for companionship and in most cases, sexual favors. This girl is experiencing her sexual awakening and has been looking for meaning in compensated relationships. But, she can't find any. She then tries to create her own world and even partner. But none of these things work. You see a visualization of her perfect prince but...it's unrealistic.
You see her take a bite from the forbidden fruit (though the Bible never actually says it's an apple, that is the fruit it's usually associated with) but she spits it out. The fruit from the Garden of Eden is said to offer knowledge and truth, but she spits it out, almost as if...she is rejecting these things. She becomes a sexualized magical girl and throughout the video you see tons of makeup and fashionable accessories often associated with women and beauty. Almost as if there's a feminist undertone here. I could also be perverted but I saw a lot of VAGINAS. VAGINA STUFF EVERYWHERE.
The ending was powerful and connects to the first video where we see Shuu and Hana holding hands. This has made it unclear whether or not this is a prequel or sequel, and part of me wonders if the blue hair girl is Meme-Chan (the blue haired girl from Me!Me!Me!). After the magical girl shows that men are empty and heartless underneath, and creating what I assume is the forbidden tree and ends up back at the beginning.There, she sees her prince and is seen smiling.
I could go on and tell you all the things I've found in these videos but I want to see what you guys thought about the videos, if you had any at all besides immense confusion.
Me!Me!Me! Remix: http://animatorexpo.com/mememechronic/