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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hussalonia Song #21: You Are A Girl, I’m A Machine

The instrumental part of this song sounds rather like a videogame to me. To be more precise, it sounds like a videogame from the late 1980s or early to mid 1990s. It brings to mind many hours of a squandered, but not too regrettably squandered youth, battling such terrible foes as The Dark Queen (Battletoads), King Bowser Koopa (Mario Bros.) and Dr. Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog, and don’t give me any of that new-fangled “Dr. Eggman” crap; he’s Dr. Robotnik, and he always will be). I think the music here reminds me especially of the Mega Man X games, specifically the original “Mega Man X.” I can’t quite recall the level, but I’m thinking that it might be the final boss battle with Sigma that has an instrumental, 16-bit song at least somewhat similar to the music in “You Are A Girl, I’m A Machine.”

I’ve mentioned before my habit of imagining music videos in my mind to go along with songs I enjoy, and I recall mentioning my thought that some sort of music video might make a good compliment to “I Want To Be An Owl.” Well, for this song, I’d suggest something a bit different: I can easily imagine this being used in a classic videogame. In fact, considering the subject matter, I could see this as a featured song in an especially steamy, romance-laden “Mega Man X” game bizarre as that idea is.

I confess that I can’t really imagine what the situation might be that this song reflects. Is it (not unlike our old friend Marvin the Paranoid Andorid) a lonely robot, who somehow experiences the human emotion of love, but, being a machine, also experiences the all-too-human phenomenon of unrequited love? How could this happen? What might have led to it? What sort of robot is this, anyway? The song poses more questions for me than answers, and it invites one to imagine a story rather than tells one directly. This is, to some extent frustrating, but I would also venture that it is a strength (and the strength of many creative works in this way is often both admirable and frustrating) as it invites the listener to fill in the blanks him or herself. I must also add that I find this tune a bit creepy. The music, which brings back memories of extremely tense videogame battles in a sort of post-traumatic-stress-syndrome-for-nerds-way, tends to make me feel very nervous, and the deep, emotionless voice of the robot speaker is so dead-set and blunt that I feel unnerved. It brings to mind a voyeur, hiding in plain site; in other words, people, don’t undress in front of the blender, who knows what might be going through its mind? It is a terrifying, if irrational thought.

One final note: I mentioned Satoshi Kon in my previous entry, and considering that I’m currently writing about “The Hussalonia Robot Singers” it seems inappropriate to fail to mention his final film. Though begun with Kon himself directing, it will be completed using the notes and guidance he left behind following his death. It is supposed to be called “The Dream Machine” and will be his only film aimed at a younger audience, and it also happens to feature only robot characters, no humans. Apparently it is at least partially a tribute to Osamu Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” (or “Tetsuwan Atom” for those of you well aware of his Japanese roots) which I’ve also mentioned previously on this blog. (Fun trivia: the original "Mega Man" game was intended to be an "Astro Boy" videogame!) I have a cautious hope about how much I will enjoy his last film. As you know, I don’t generally enjoy robot stories, but there are, of course, exceptions. “Astro Boy” is entertaining though I don’t prefer it to any other of Tezuka’s works. Still, if anyone can make a robot story that I’ll enjoy, it is Satoshi Kon. Here’s to hoping that I’ll be able to see it in a theater somewhere.

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