On Your Mark

Music Video (1 ep x 7 min)
3.983 out of 5 from 2,463 votes
Rank #1,530

In a futuristic city filled with flying cars and a top-notch police force, a winged beauty has been chained up in the depths of a dark room. Her benefactors are none other than two members of law enforcement who decide that she must be set free – their jobs or livelihoods are unimportant compared to their goal. The two men find the heavenly creature and set forth at top speeds to set her free, with others hot on their trail.

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StoryI know what you're thinking: On Your Mark is only seven minutes long and a music video; why in the heck am I choosing to review it? While other longer and more interesting titles surely exist, On Your Mark has one distinguishing factor from other music videos out there: it was directed and written by the man himself, Hayao Miyazaki. With a lack of narration, On Your Mark follows the journey of a winged beauty and her helpful benefactors as they attempt to free her from her bonds. Little can be said beyond this, and even these specific events are somewhat unclear. Who was keeping the angel hostage in the first place? Why were the police sent to free her? Where did she come from, and what was the tower at the end that had danger signs all over it? Unfortunately due to On Your Mark's length, these questions will probably never be answered. Additionally, for some reason these individual story sequences are shown repeatedly, and in a random pattern; it would have been much, much better to simply have a single story that is shown from beginning to end. So is watching On Your Mark for the story worth it? Doubtful.AnimationIt's Miyazaki; how can you go wrong? As always, Miyazaki includes one of his trademarks - a flying character - and overall you'll have an uncanny feeling that you're watching yet-another-random-Ghibli-anime. If I had to choose my favorite sequences it would be the futuristic depictions of the gritty cityscape, the open fields, and the strange tower shown at the end. Character design-wise, each has the usual simplistic features and beaming smiles that are prevalent in any of Ghibli's works. Hands down, you'd watch On Your Mark for its animation; though bear in mind it's nothing groundbreaking or spectacular. SoundOn Your Mark's title track is decent, but not memorable, with soaring vocals and synths that you'd recognize from a billion other anime. I'd never watch this music video solely for the audio, nor would I take the time to purchase the song for my ipod. CharactersFew characters are introduced, but those who are have a satisfying amount of depth. The two compassionate police officers are genuine and kind, and the tragic winged beauty has a hopeful quality that emerges as time passes. They have somewhat of an impact on the viewer as you'll root for their combined success, but On Your Mark's length limits any additional character development or emotional bonds. OverallThe title track is average, the characters are passable, and the story is interesting yet unsatisfying; truly the only reason you'd watch On Your Mark is for the trademarked Miyazaki animation. If seeing anything involving Hayao Miyazaki is your cup of tea, you may enjoy the simplicity of On Your Mark. Other anime fans need not apply.

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