On this week’s High Notes, we’re taking a slight detour from our usual programming to bring you an example of anime music videos being used to help people in need.

As fund raising continues for the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims from 2011, Crunchyroll is doing their part to help by doing what they do best: streaming videos. Crunchyroll has signed on to show off two new anime music videos, created in conjunction with Zapuni LLC, for the younger survivors of the disaster.

“Blossom” features the song “Happipola” recorded by the Icelandic ambient rock band Sigur Rós and animated by Yutaka Yamamoto (Lucky Star, Fractale). The second video, “Psychedelic Afternoon” is a collaboration between legendary Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and award-winning musician and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto. The aptly-named song is accompanied by colorful animations from UrumaDelvi (Bottom Biting Bug).

While both videos can be viewed for free, those who partake are encouraged to donate to School Music Revival. The organization, which seeks to bring music back into the lives of children in the affected areas, is funded on this project by purchases of the songs from iTunes and limited edition iPhone cases and artwork by UrumaDelvi.

Now that you have some background on these videos, let’s give them a listen. Don’t forget to follow the link above and check them out on Crunchyroll, too!

I highly recommend watching this one first. On the scale of feels, “Blossom” rates somewhere close to the anime anohana in terms of being sad but uplifting, so save the happier video for last. The animation follows an old farmer in his efforts to bring life back to land stricken by the tsunami, and when an angel sees him working so hard, she and her friends do everything they can to help him succeed. The song itself, with its methodical rhythm and vocals that are full of emotion, will probably give you chills when coupled with that story. It starts off strong, like the old man and his determination, then goes quiet as the little angel tries to figure out how to help. It then builds to a crescendo once more as she finds her own strength and begins to pray with the other angels so that the earth can blossom into a field of flowers.

“Psychedelic Afternoon”
If you watched “Blossom” first, “Psychedelic Afternoon” will be your lighthearted chaser. In this video, a boy seems to be having a bad dream about running from the tsunami when his grandfather comes in to cheer him up with some music. David Byrne’s pleasant voice couples with relaxing instruments to become a balm that will wash away any sadness you may have left from the first video. If the catchy lyrics aren’t enough to send you to wonderland, then the animation should have no problem providing you with an appropriate acid trip to go along with this “hippie tune.” Compared to the first video, this one seems to be targeted more toward children; it really sends a message that everything is going to be all right.

What did you think of these anime music videos and of the partnership between Crunchyroll and Zapuni? We wish them luck with this effort and hope they raise lots of money to help those affected by the 2011 tsunami.

Thanks a bunch to Dan for writing up the news section of this piece!

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