Transcending Love With Some Advanced Wind

By TheBigN

Kransom’s recently put up a post that translates an as yet unfinished list of animated works (Japanese or otherwise) that are (roughly BigN-interpreted) noteworthy on matters such as execution, individuality, and groundbreaking results regarding the specific animation of these works. This is cool in my opinion, because animation isn’t something that I really pay attention to when watching anime, which seems silly in a way. But it’s hard for me to make me really pay attention to how a work is animated, unless the animation is really good, really bad, or someone points out someone really interesting every once in a while.  Maybe that helps me be more willing to watch stuff that others wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole, I don’t know. But it’s good that there’s plenty of works here that I haven’t seen. If anything else, it provides more things to watch in the future. But this post isn’t about this. \o

One of the works listed was nostalgic in a silly way in Wild Arms 3. Noted, I’ve never actually played the game, though it broke ground with being the first cel-shaded RPG released here in North America I believe. That being said, the games OP animation is placed on this list, and it’s decent stuff when you focus on that. What made the OP fun to me though was the version that I saw. The game franchise itself has a Western theme throughout many of it’s works, and the music reflects that as well, so naturally the music has that to it. And there are four versions of the opening tune: one sung in English, two in Japanese, and a whistle version of the OP:

Thanks to the deceased show Cinematech on G4 (back when it was good *grumble*), the above whistling was the first version I saw years ago (early 2000s), and I’m not sure if this is the standard version for the game in North America, or a special OP. Either way, what grabbed me first was the animation, since I didn’t see a lot of them for video-games in general while I was in my early stages of getting to know anime. At that period of time, it was really a “take what I can get” sort of period, so to know that there were opening cutscenes that had anime was mind-blowing to me.

What hooked me was the cheesy synthesized (I think?) whistling version of the OP. Regardless of what actually was in the game, I got the impression that the creators had a fun time making the game, since the song was was the icing on the cake of the “this is soooo totally a Western” feel the game wanted to have. And it’s hard not to join in on the fun when you hear the whistling either, since it sets the tone nicely. It definitely made me want to go buy the game when it came out, though I didn’t since I didn’t have a PS2 to mess with at the time, and in some ways, it still tempts me to get it, even to I have next to no time to actually play the game right now, much less the backlog of games I already have on my PS2 and PSP.

Yet it hasn’t stopped me from picking up Suikoden III on virtue of it’s opening either:

For me, here was a case of intriguing and attention-grabbing animation (lol 2d with CG) set to entrancing music that made me feel like I had to get this game, regardless if I’d play it or not. The chanting, the combination of traditional and modern music styles, the urgency and emotion felt by the characters, the epic scale of the final game that all the events seems to indicate, and so on. I just got a stronger need of actually getting the game, and so I did.

I’d like to think there’s two sides of the same coin with this anime video game intros. The difference between the two being that I could listen to and watch the Suikoden III OP all day without playing the game, as it felt like a movie itself, whereas with Wild Arms 3, I would feel like I’d have to start playing the game sooner or later, as the OP was only enough to get me in a good mood, and even then for a couple of times. Whistling can be a little grating after a while. 😛

I guess somewhere in here is a little bit more about what makes me tick. And a little about how first impressions aren’t easily discarded I guess. And probably that I should take a listen to Himekami, if their contribution to the Suikoden III OP was indicative of the rest of their work.

2 Responses to “Transcending Love With Some Advanced Wind”

  1. 1 zzeroparticle May 4, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Both of these are intros that I’d consider to be really awesome. The first one is mostly a nostalgia thing and I love Naruke’s composition it. As for the second, I remember watching it and then, a few months later, seeing Utawarerumono and being reminded of how similar the two were (with music being the obvious exception, of course).

  2. 2 KS May 4, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Wild Arms was my first RPG on the PS1. Still one of the greatest RPGs I’ve played next to Xenogears. It was released the same year as FF7 so it was completely overshadowed.

    I will never forget the great opening and still whistle it from time to time.

    Animated by Madhouse, composed by Michiko Naruke [most of Wild Arms series ], arranged by Kazuma Toyama, whistling by Naoki Takao.

    Titled: Into the Wilderness.

    They remade the game for PS2 and redid the opening as well. But the animation doesn’t fit with the music, not sure which studio did it.

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