bITS 'N CHUNKS
This is another one of those times where it pays to know people. Please check out Jowin's Bandcamp.
When the visuals for Kids Food started hitting the YouTubes I was really interested in the project. I ended up buying it on iTunes so I could listen to it on my own time. The videos were cool and well done and the whole thing had a neat concept behind it -- it mimics the structure of an anime or, to me, specifically an OVA. OVAs are usually short (although there are OVAs that are basically complete anime series), experimental, and have a definite beginning and definite end. Now whether you agree with that ending is another matter…
Anyway, I remember OVAs (along with fansubs and v-kei) being a big part of my Otaku childhood. OVAs were like the director's cut of your favorite animation or bonus features and often the only way to see things truly uncensored and Straight From Japan. They were also rare and kind of costly, and there's nothing us oldtaku love more than something hard to get and costs a bleepton of money.
Me and Jowin are around the same age-ish so I don't feel like that speculation is too out there. Now, I wouldn’t pigeonhole Jowin as a geek rapper. Yeah, he references games & the '90s and he has that nerd aesthetic but I feel like those are more attributes more than his defining characteristics. It's like a heads up to say "this dude is one of us".
That being said, back to OVA structure and why this EP is pretty much perfect and inspiring. The structure of it is so solid and neat -- the opening track, "Cross 1Ne", sounds exactly like an anime OP (opening theme) and lays out pretty much what this is going to be about. The two middle songs, "There4U" and "Time (Jeff's Dilemma)" function as plot and give us more information about the character (either Jowin himself or a representation of himself, think it's up for interpretation), his fears, insecurities, his lifestyle and changes his making to better himself; it hits an emotional climax and ends on a note of hope and optimism. Then the final track, "Can We", is the ED or ending theme. Ending themes in anime can be cryptic sometimes but they basically wrap up the plot of that episode and sometimes foreshadow the series conclusion. In this case, "Can We" pretty much sums up the plot and carries out that note of optimism while alluding back to "Cross 1Ne" lyrically and melodically.
I have been thinking about this a lot as I look over some of my older narratives. I realized I've been dissatisfied with my own structure and the editing process has been frustrating for a while. I started favoring more "experimental" story telling styles a few years ago because that's what I was reading and listening to. I felt like I had to and so I gave myself permission to do it. But to be honest with you I don't know if it's been that good to me. I think that's one of those things you either just do naturally or later in life when you don't give a damn. I love reading an unconventional narrative with an ending, beginning, and a middle but I'm still at that point where nothing is more satisfying to me than a definite beginning, maybe a hazy middle, and an end. I remembered that was the fiction I enjoyed writing. If Jowin presents what is a perfectly structured narrative for me then I've been on some …And Justice for All isht, where I have a general theme but told through unconnected episodes. That's fine too but it just doesn’t work all the time. Seriously, this is ridiculous for an EP that is like…less than 15 minutes. I've spent my whole life trying to achieve that kind of structure in my fiction. Are you kidding me?
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...