A couple of days ago I watched this anime short/music video. Typically I'd ignore and skip over such things without giving them a chance. Luckily for me a dear friend persuaded me into watching Shelter. He hyped it up so much... that by the end of the day I just caved in. To be blunt I wasn't expecting much at all. Upon completion however, I was swept off my feet by how much it struck an emotional chord within me in just a short span of 6 minutes.
To say the least Shelter's plot is fairly stream line and easy to understand. The story focuses & centers around a 14 year old girl named Rin. This girl is living inside a virtual reality world which she has control over from a tablet she has. Let me just stop you dead in your tracks, this isn't like Overlord, .Hack, or SAO. This just isn't that kind of virtual world. Within this world though Rin is able to create any environment or landscape she can think up and interact with what she creates. The start of the video can be somewhat confusing as you question yourself. Personally I feel that's what brings some enjoyment to this piece.
As you continue watching this anime short/music video you begin to learn why Rin is in this virtual reality world. In the first two minutes you feel the impact of emotions as your taken through Rin's memories & her virtual world. I promise not to spoil anything for those of you that haven't seen this. When you do though you won't be able to stop yourself from feeling sympathy towards Rin. The story of what's taken place really sinks in and you fully understand the situation.
Our main character is Rin. She's been out in space floating about for 7 years in a comatose state within a space pod. She lives in this seemingly endlessly vast plane of loneliness, only being able to create new worlds from her tablet to enjoy and entertain herself. The only other character were introduced to is Rin's father whom we know very little about. As for the only thing we learn is his wife died (you can actually see her in a photo in the video holding Rin) when Rin was really young, is an engineer/programmer of some sort, and that he wanted nothing more than to save his daughter. Just trying to place yourself in this man's shoes with whom we are introduced to for a span of say 2 minutes is beyond hard.
A-1 Studios did the animation for Shelter and I have to admit they did a marvelous job. Their usage of art along with CG meshed together very well. Throughout the entire short the quality didn't seem to waver of diminish that I could take notice of. It was breathtaking and frankly some of the finer work Iv'e seen come from A-1. Even saying this about the art though I felt it lacked anything memorable. Most of the art/animation was of landscape & sceneries, although nice to look at that's about all they really were to me. That's not saying you won't feel differently towards this then, I do though.
I really enjoyed the music from Shelter. It's Electronic/Techno feel I really enjoyed. Now I can consider this very hit or miss for people depending upon their unique preference on music. Now the soundtrack it's-self is literally only 1 song. Ironically it's named "Shelter" and is by Porter Robinson and Madeon. I really did find it to be uplifting and relaxing which played along with the landscapes exquisitely. However, that's not all it manages as towards the end of the short it only serves to amplify the emotions. It's not very often a musical piece can accomplish such a feat.
For me what personally set this short apart from everything is just how engaging it is. Within a very short window of time your left in a state of deep inner thought. This short proves how you can do so much with so little and this piece doesn't fail in driving that notion on home. As far as wanting this to get an anime or movie I somewhat have to disagree. My reasoning is I feel it would defeat the whole purpose of what this short set up and did. It would really feel as though it would defeat the whole premise of what was intended. It's just my own personal standpoint that Shelter is better off with these unanswered questions.