AMVs (Anime Music Videos) have gotten me into more bands and anime than any review, analysis, editorial, or recommendation. Just the idea of action, drama, or comedy edited in a way to match a song just works. It is easy to write off many of them, (I mean DBZ and Linkin Park is a cliche for a reason…) but many are so earnest and visually interesting that it’s easy to overlook that.
This is just talking around the bush to say I found these videos by rock/country/pop (I mean modern country is just rock/pop with a southern accent so it is kind of pointless to have that descriptor, but I digress my) artist Sturgill Simpson from his recent album SOUND & FURY. Only, further research found that they came from a CGI anime film on Netflix called Sturgill Simpson Presents: SOUND & FURY.
Bands coming together to make animated movies based on their albums is not new. Yellow Submarine by the Beatles and Insterstella 5555 based on the Daft Punk’s discovery (Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger and One More Time are both from that album) both come to mind. Interstella 5555 was also literally an anime by Toei in conjunction with Daft Punk and supervised by the legendary Leiji Matsumoto of Captain Harlock and Galaxy Express 999 fame.
SOUND & FURY, similarly, comes from Junpei Mizusaki of Batman: Ninja and producer of the Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure anime.
The film is an anthology of stories set in a dystopian world brought into ruin from outside invaders. Each segment of the film is paired with one of the songs from Sturgill Simpson’s album, the titular SOUND & FURY, and are constructed to relay more of a feeling and vibe through the visuals, as well as tell a complete story (mostly).
The section that seems most popular (it is the one the two YouTube videos are centered around) follows female-samurai-Mad Max as she gets revenge for her father, who was killed in his own quest for revenge to save her. The biggest moment of this is a large fight where the samurai uses motorcycle robots to fight guys who travel in giant walking tanks and surrounded by a harem of women. Other sections includes a POV of a homeless man dying in the attack by the outsiders, an interment or slave camp of sorts that is being run by men in skeleton armor and focuses on the slaves escape plan, and two mixed media, but mostly live action segments of life in the world. One is of a collector in a full containment suit picking up objects they find in the street. The penultimate is a trippy world where threads envelope people and give them wings… maybe… it’s all very abstract.
In fact most of the film is abstract by design. It focuses more on feeling and ambiance than a strict plot. The samurai plot is the most straight forward, but even that has questions attached. Either way, the film wants to be a Fantasia like experience. The animation, editing, and story match the energy and atmosphere of the song.
But, if it is like Fantasia then is it really an AMV?
Or, better question, is Fantasia an AMV?
That answer does not really matter. SOUND & FURY is the ultimate AMV because of how consistent and well executed each segment is in relation to the song. It helps that the animation is set to a single, overall consistent album by a single creator who helped produce the film, but that doesn’t take away from how impressive it is in end.
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