My thoughts on Shelter

I am pretty late with this but I keep hearing more and more stuff about how good this anime short/music video was. When I heard A-1 pictures was involved, I immediately knew I was probably going to like it. Let’s begin…

Even though I have heard so much about this, I didn’t know what the premise was other than it was kind of sad and had a futuristic feel to it.

The video starts out with a girl probably around 14 years old. You can never tell age in anime, I swear. From the looks of it, she is unconscious and drowning deep in an ocean. You hear her talking about what will happen to her from now on. She talks further about her feelings on it. Giving this a sort of tragedy feel just 13 seconds into the film. “Maybe I forgot… how to think at all.”

We get vivid snapshots of terror in what you can only assume to be her home town or at least where she lives currently. She then wakes up, making me perceive this was a nightmare about what happened in her past. She lays in bed and like any female teenager, she checks her phone. Or in this case a tablet. You see she has not received a message for for nearly 7 years! She talks about how she is not lonely, a total lie I’m sure.

We are then hit with the title drop and the music begins. He music is very upbeat and pleasant. On her tablet she begins to draw. While doing this, what she is creating is materializing around her. Lyrics begin to surface and to me it is portraying an inner monologue that someone is having about our main nameless heroine. “I’ll give you shelter like you’ve done for me.” is one of the lyrics. At this point I’m starting to believe she is being sheltered by someone and she is in her own little world. Shut off from the real world.

Such a pretty sky. Little disconcerting as well.

At about 2 and a half minutes in, she goes up to a tree and touches a swing. She proceeds to have a flashback of a small girl, probably her at a young age, and what likes a father or male guardian. We are then thrust into her bedroom again. She is visibly in a sad mood. The colors turn cool and less warm and we her sitting on top of a cliff edge. At this point in the song I realize that it is her monologue, not someone else. She wants to give shelter to the person who sheltered her from whatever happened in the past.

We are then pushed into a flashback sequence of her as a young girl, probably no older than 5 years old. She is playing in the sandbox with her dad. I’m just gonna him her dad since nothing leads me to believe otherwise. The events are being shown to us very fast. we can see that mom is most likely not alive anymore and that Tokyo is not in a good place right now. We also see that the dad is some sort of scientist and he is working in his lab on something.

We see their happy memories, Christmas of her getting a teddy bear, the dad combing her hair, and her in an extremely cute little kimono going to a shrine in the winter time. But something big is going to crash into Tokyo. Looks as big as the moon almost. The father creates this pod to put his daughter into. He then proceeds to shoot her into the sky, away from earth.

She is re-watching her own memories of before the event.

During the flashback sequence the older version of the girl is falling thru the memories. She slowly lands on knees in front of her tablet, crying. When she opens her eyes she sees she has received a message or alert of something. She opens it and her inner monologue begins again just like at the beginning of the film. She is not alone because she has him. We find out in the end credits that her name is Rin.

This was a beautiful music video. The animation was awesome! I loved the little sparkles they put in her hair. My only gripe with it was the aurora borealis was a really overused angle. You see that same style used all the time. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed this little film and hope that there is like a happy sequel that comes out eventually. I’m willing to wait so take your time A-1 pictures!

I can kind of relate to what she is going thru. She misses the people she loves. I am in a similar situation. I have arrived at the half way point of my time abroad. I’ve been away from my parents and girlfriend for over 2 months now. I’m pretty good now and am having tons of fun. But there’s that little part of my brain that reminds me everyday that I miss them a lot. I slowly start thinking about it more. I try to repress it but sometimes it overwhelms me and then I’m on Facebook scrolling thru everyone’s timelines because I miss them. I think Rin is going thru the same issue. At the beginning she said she’s not lonely. She is putting up this front, just like I am. I’m having the time of my life but I’d be lying if I said I don’t think about much more fun it would be to hear my mom gasp in awe with me when I saw Japan for the first time or hear my little brother laugh when we go to the fire ramen shop. Rin has been blocking it out and doing her own thing for so long because she knows in her heart that soon she will be reunited with her dad, just like how I will be reunited with my family in a couple months.

I think in the end, she received a message from her dad about how things are going and to be patient while he figures out how to get her back to him. That’s what I want to believe at least. Overall I thought it was good. The story is key to things like this and I think with the amount of quick frames and animation allowed this story to be pieced together differently by the audience. My favorite type of storytelling is that us, the viewer can draw our own conclusion on how we think the story ends. While the concept, a father doing everything he can to save his daughter, isn’t original. What is anymore? How you go about a narrative is what can make a concept and film interesting. I think they did a good job all around. I wish short films of this caliber were made more often. If you haven’t seen it yet and want to, you can watch it on YouTube here.

I hope you all enjoyed! Have a wonderful day!


6 Comments Add yours

  1. raistlin0903 says:

    I have heard a lot of buzz about this short Anime as well, but haven’t yet seen it. This was a great and thorough review, so I think I am going to be checking this one out myself pretty soon. 😀 Thanks for sharing !

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Karandi says:

    Shelter certainly got a lot of people talking. For 6 minutes of video it really does make you ask a lot of questions (both about the story being presented and the format that it is presented in). Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Elisabeth O'Neill says:

    That’s one of the wonderful things about the video, it’s such a universal message that most of us can see a part of ourselves or our lives in Rin’s situation. It must be hard to be so far away from everyone you love for so long, but then at least you can look forward to sharing your experiences with them when you come home.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Arria Cross says:

    I absolutely love this anime short. It’s so sad. I end up crying no matter how many times I watched it. I think it’s a start of something new. Have you heard about the debate it sparked over at Reddit when the admins banned it and refused to call it anime because even if it was animated by Japanese studio A-1 Pictures, it was still produced by Americans. So interesting! Anyway, I absolutely love this video and I hope to watch more like it. And of course, thank you very much for submitting this post to my blog carnival. Keep on watching anime and blogging. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. samreality says:

      Yeah I heard about the reddit debate. I think it’s dumb, anime gets outsourced to companies based in China and south Korea more and more each year but no one complains about that. Anime for me has become more of an art form rather than a medium of entertainment. Thanks for the read and thank you for putting on the carnival! It’s always fun participating and seeing who else posts too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Arria Cross says:

        Ahahaha! I felt the same way the first time I learned about it. But I think that it’s a necessary debate to have in order for the term anime and what constitutes it to evolve, especially now that there are a lot of anime fans outside of Japan. And don’t forget Philippines. TOEI outsources anime to the Philippines. Gotta give my mother country credit. 😉
        Same here. But I must admit that before being an aniblogger, I would probably be one of the anime purists insisting on Japanese-only qualities for a show to be called an “anime”. I’m glad that my viewpoint expanded and now I want the evolution of anime to include foreign production. I hope that “Shelter” is the catalyst. We’ll see.
        I’m delighted to hear that. I hope that you join us again at my next blog carnival. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

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