A simple yet touching narrative gorgeous stylized visuals with interesting designs and ideas and a beautiful weebfriendly electronic song to guide you through it all. NOTE This review will be basically spoiler filled. Ill still be vague about the details but you may as well just watch it before reading. Its like 6 minutes long. Its worth your time. The story is simple its about a single character Rin her environment and her memories. And the implications of her future and the shape it will take. Its told with grace and simplicity by slowly peeling away the layers and revealing bits of information to the audience all of which build into something profound and heart tugging. This is done largely with visuals the only dialogue being the introduction of Rins present psychological condition and location even and then at the end when she resolves the conflicts she introduced in the beginning by reconciling with her past present and future. Taking on a new and better mindset. Thats the story. Theres some lore that fills out the space between and it gives weight to Rins conflict and situation strengthening the empathetic bond between her and the audience. Even had the music not been a part of it it still would have made me cry. Those suffering from mental illness may find it especially impactful they may find it allegorically relevant to themselves which as a work of art is everything it could ever hope to be for someone. Tonally and this is crafted through the visuals the writing and the sound design/editing its largely warm and hopeful but as it progresses and reveals more it shows the darkness that Rin lives with. The audience follows right along side her as she remembers it and eventually confronts it. The sound design and editing in particular add so much to portraying the tone and narrative. Two points in particular the ending and the beginning when the music is introduced and stopped. It begins in silence followed by a melancholic monologue by Rin. She exhales. Her eyes are low. Shes been here in this place physically but also mentally for a painfully long time. Another moment of silence and stillness on the screen. And then the first note of the music breaks it bringing hope and light to the audience as the visuals bring hope and light to Rin she begins creating dreaming exploring. And then the ending when the music stops and Rins real physical body is revealed for the first time we see her hunched over with mechanical wires and mechanisms protruding all along her back. She seems lifeless. We then zoom out to see the small lonely spacecraft she resides in drifting completely alone through space. We hear what sounds like a faint breeze or a distant fading echo. Everything on the screen and in our ears is dark and hopeless and then everything becomes black and silent and we hear one last thing Arigato. Rin expressing gratitude. The saddest thing we learn about Rin is that shes lived her entire adolescence in her mind. Her father placed her in the ship and the computerized reality when she was a child. And she only realizes this when she stumbles upon those memories by accident. But the story concludes with a hopeful open end the possibility that her craft is directed to some specific location that her father didnt just send her to escape the destruction of her own world but to find oasis in a new one. Visually Shelter is outstanding. Its A1 Pictures at their best crafting a unique and memorable style giving lots of motion and life to the characters and the world putting lots of thought into framing and editing. Rins character designs both in the present and as a child are adorable. The nature of the story means there are a lot of abstract sequences and locations that are all fascinating and eye catching. The colors themselves are mesmerizing. Now the actual song Shelter composed by Porter Robinson and Madeon which plays for the majority of the anime. It fits with the visuals and the story whether you enjoy it or not. Its certainly well crafted with a tremendous amount of polish for every note and sound. And it plays such a pivotal role in the artwork as a whole that were it not fitting for the animation and story then the video wouldnt have been as successful as it was. If you dont know anything about the making of this anime or how it came to be I recommend watching Crunchyrolls behind the scenes video of it on . Its pretty fascinating. Its one of the very few times that someone from the West has been involved with the writing and production of an anime. Just so everyone is clear Porter Robinson wrote the script himself and seems to have played a prominent role in the production. Which is just insane. Shelter is a simple small anime with a bold and powerful voice. The hardest part of this review was trying not to just gush over how much I love this anime. It means so much to me. It was one of the first anime that I ever saw. It helped me reconcile with my own mental health troubles. It was pivotal in sparking my interest in anime and my reconnection with my younger self. And its just beautiful.
92 /100
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