Quick Thoughts on Porter Robinson & Madeon’s “Shelter”


I wasn’t originally intending on watching this six-minute music video, but some serious debates over on MyAnimeList left me intrigued. It seems this music video has caused somewhat of a ruckus in the anime community for its poetic, storytelling genius in the form of a six-minute montage of sorts. Most people adore it (ranked within the top 300 as of writing this), while a few are decrying it as a clichéd attempt at making the viewers care for a pretty little thing whose loneliness overpowers her. Where am I in all of this? Outside, looking in.

Upon finishing the video, I can see why people would be so enamored with it. It offers some nice imagery and a few “deep” lines suited for the emotional demographic that anime typically aims towards. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it edgy, but the lines can be construed as something one would typically see on a melancholic Tumblr post about self-worth. People seem to enjoy things that offer some deeper level of interpretation and a sense of meaning, so long as it doesn’t feel like overkill (though some wouldn’t even mind that). Shelter does a decent job of keeping itself emotionally stable while also highlighting the harsh reality the lone heroine has to deal with. The only real issue with it is if you aren’t inclined to care about a sob story at face value, then this video won’t really be for you.

It’s six-minutes long, people. Can you establish something with so much weight in that span of time? Not usually, and Shelter is yet another case. Again, if one isn’t inclined to care at face value, then you won’t care about what’s playing on-screen. That won’t change whether at minute one, minute three, or the final second. From my own perspective, the video is a harmless attempt at trying to tell a depressing story with a bittersweet moral. I didn’t have any conflicting feelings, nor did I have any uplifting feelings. They remained complacent. That’s essentially what the video is to me, so that only leaves one more aspect to pay attention to: the music.

I’m not really a fan of the genre of, well, what can you call it? Techno pop? I’m not entirely sure. Regardless, the music wasn’t all that bad. It sticks into your brain and sets up camp without you expecting it to, with an occasional head bob every now and then during the (everlasting) chorus. I thought it did a better job of setting the mood of creative exploration than the darker undertones of the heroine’s reality, but the slower piano piece at the end made up for it. I’d probably listen to it in its original form every once in a while, but I’d hesitate to say I’m a fan of it. Decent listen.

Overall, it’s harmless. I feel people are trying to make it more than what it really is, though kudos to A-1 Pictures and Porter Robinson for trying what they could. It’s something one can think about without feeling anything of loss, with an alright tune to go along with it. Superbly overrated (Why are people taking the ratings of a music video so seriously?), but worth watching to satisfy your own curiosity. Where’s the harm in that?

3 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts on Porter Robinson & Madeon’s “Shelter”

  1. I quite enjoyed watching it but for me it will be quickly forgotten because while it was emotionally investing while you were watching it, it didn’t really have much of a long term impact. I didn’t realise people were taking the whole thing that seriously.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Started writing a response and I agree with what you’ve said about the video but it got so long winded I just turned it into a full-length post. So thanks for sharing and being provocative.

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