This is a video that lurked in the back of my mind ever since I listened to the soundtrack for How to Train Your Dragon. The song moves through such a clear narrative arc that it started suggesting stories to me even before I saw the movie.
I’ve wanted to do a story of making a composite character from many different series for a while, and this song lent itself very well to that idea. I settled on using mostly Ghibli and Satoshi Kon movies because of the consistency and similarity of the character designs between them.
The age breakdowns were mostly picked for what age the characters appeared to be, though the selection of 76 as the final age was a very deliberate, personal choice for me. In the summer of 2007, one of my grandfathers passed away at the age of 76, so I picked that age as a subtle personal nod.
The pacing is also fairly deliberate, since as I remember it, when I was younger, days seemed to pass very slowly, with little change. Now that I’m in my thirties, there are times where it feels like I blink and miss a week. So I chose to make the younger time periods longer, and the older ones shorter, until the final section where the ending of the story needed to be told.
When I submitted this to Anime Boston, it didn’t make the finals, which depressed me quite a bit, given how personal this video was to me. Speaking to a couple prescreeners a few months later, they told me that they had liked the video, but were a bit confused by the age indicators until the end of the video, which were just the numbers in the version I had sent. I took that feedback and added the word “Age” to each indicator before sending it to AWA Expo, which apparently helped clear up the confusion, since it won “Best Storytelling” there, and later “Best Drama” at AAC.
Anime – Tokyo Godfathers, My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Paprika, Perfect Blue, Ponyo, The Cat Returns, Millennium Actress
Music – John Powell – Forbidden Friendship
Completed March 2012