Saturday, 30 July 2011

AN - Music Video Deconstruction 1: Ray of Light

Name of Song: Ray of Light
Artist: Shouko Nakagawa
Year: 2010
Genre: J-Pop
Director: Unknown

Besides from being a singer, Shoko Nakagawa also has many other talents, being a Japenese idol, actress, illustrator. Watanabe Entertainment represents Shoko. The song, Ray of Light was part of her 2010 album, as well as being the fifth ending theme to the anime, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

  • The video begins with a mid-shot from an angle of a grey wall with a picture frame of the same colour and the song's name can be seen in white font.
  • Then it goes on to panning close ups of the artist singing.
  • The artist can be seen wearing a stylish ring of some sort, along with a white dress.
  • Mid, long shot of another grey wall with more dull coloured picture frames and a bordered up door.
  • At one point in the video, Shouko smashes one of the picture frames, this could possible symbolise something, since this fits in with one of the lyrics, "These fragments of memories. Again, one by one, are disappearing." Fragments of memories = pieces of glass maybe?
  • Slow paced editing, to fit the mood of the song. However, there are quick takes meaning that a lot of shots are used for this video.
  • Close ups and mid, long shots are used during the performance to show the artist and the band performing, along with some panning.
  • Lots of grey colour used in the music video, this colour fit in with the song's name, Ray of Light. Symbolism maybe? "There's always a light at the end of the dark tunnel."
  • A suit of armour appears in front of the grey wall at 3:02. Could this possible symbolise the meaning, "A knight in shining armour will come to save the damsel in distress from the darkness." So does this mean, Shouko = Damsel in distress and dull colours used in the video = darkness.
  • At 3:09, there is a mid shot of a dark grey picture frame on the grey wall. However in the frame, there are some dark clouds, that could be seen. Could this also symbolise darkness?
  • Many of the shots in the video seem to be taken from different angles, probably to show the performance of the band and Shouko from different angles.
  • Quick extreme close up of the broken frame being brought back into one piece.
  • Long, mid shot of Shouko standing in a field. However, the grey, black and white colours are still used.
  • Mid-shot of Shouko looking up at the sun. Possible ray of light maybe? Also the ray of light = "Seeking answers in the sky."
  • Overall, the video varies from performance to narrative. However, it is hard to tell what the narrative is, but judging from Shouko's actions during the narrative sequences, I feel that the narrative might be about a woman trying to fight her inner demons. Hence the black clouds and the smashed picture frame.
Here is the video itself: 

Like I said before, this song was also used during the fifth credits sequence to the anime, FullMetal Alchemist Brotherhood (my favourite piece of media of all time). From looking, at the ending credits sequence and the music video, there are couple of similarities.

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