Anime goes live-action in the video “Kill V. Maim,” the catchy single off Grimes‘ fourth full-length album Art Angels. The Canadian pop-star directed the madcap video all by her lonesome along with her cool brother Mac.
Now, me? I’m a sucker for comic books, and what I’ve learned growing up is that, despite stylistic and tonal differences between comic books and anime, they both accomplish things that would be far more difficult to achieve in any other medium. They embrace the absurd, the strange, and the weird, shelling out narratives in ways that other channels restricted by budgets can’t. So when I watched this video, infused with the zany sensibilities of a comic book, I fell in love with it. And that’s not even including the kickass music accompanying it.
In another world, this video could be a teaser for a comic book-style indie series not unlike Scott Pilgrim. Just a little (read: a lot) darker.
Taking cues from what transpires, we can take guesses at how such a series might go. Grimes and her posse streak down neon-saturated highways reminiscent of Akira, suggesting a cyberpunk climate, and it only gets better from there. In another scene, they all crowd inside a grimy (ayyyy) subway station, sharing a moment of self-indulgence that any sane person, upon seeing, would undoubtedly turn 360 degrees and moonwalk the fuck away from.
This general “what-the-fuckery” multiplies exponentially as the scenes move to a dingy warehouse horrorshow where blood-soaked ravers move to catchy rhythms not unlike the rave scene in The Matrix Reloaded.
Peppered throughout the video are cutesy, blink-and-you-miss-it flashes of animated line-drawings, courtesy of Grimes herself.
Y’know, just in case the video was beginning to spook you.
We live in an age where admitting one’s geekier tendencies isn’t a beacon for bullying. In fact, many times it’s quite the opposite. The biggest movies being released are superhero films, and the largest, most successful conventions in the world are based on comic books/anime. Millennials, aka those who will inherit and rule the world, have grown up in a time where instilling one’s dorkier appetites into their work is often lauded. Grimes is no exception.
And we’re glad she did.