At first glance, Teddyloid’s psychedelic music video to ME!ME!ME! showcases a staggering amount of classic, perverse anime tropes in under 7 minutes. You’d be forgiven for brushing off the whole experience as glorified hentai with pulsating dance beats scattered in the background. But taking this artistic foray at immediate face-value would be self-deceptive, and frankly a waste… Poignancy may just dwell beneath the animated bells and whistles.
So just who is Teddyloid?
He happens to be a Japanese music composer, producer and remixer, whose name probably resonates little with the average reader. Personally, he came into prominence for me during 2010’s balls-to-the-wall insane but brilliant anime Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, of which he recorded tracks for the original soundtrack. ‘Fly Away’ in fact hit the number one spot on the anime song chart. (Likely helped by the ‘transformation’ scene featuring pole-dancing, stripping titular angels Panty and Stocking that it accompanied.)
Okay, but what is ME!ME!ME!? And why is it worth bothering with, if I’m not somebody who’s easily satisfied by an abundance of jiggly anime boobs?
My take on the meaning behind the whole piece is this: its a depiction of your typical teenager, gripped in the epic pubescent battle of real love versus primal lust. Our main character, the young bed-head haired male we are first introduced to at the very beginning of the video, is the poor soul burdened with such raging, carnal emotions and sensitivities.
Light poppy beats begin bubbling away in the background, paired with soft, youthful Japanese vocals. We see our protagonist first fantasising about blue-haired, buxom girls swinging their hips in peppy, doll-like unison on his TV screen. Is he watching a music video? Perhaps. And if so, one theory could be that his hormones are exaggerating and tailoring the already titillating visuals to an almost unbearable extent – it seems as if he is in the music video, drinking in the seduction… I guess that makes him a prime example of a fuckboy otaku then. Maybe it would be worth scrutinising his room for a collection of Lynx/Axe.
This total immersion appears to backfire pretty quickly however, as the submissive females are suddenly stripped to their underwear, rolling into an inviting pose… before the colours quickly switch to threatening red and black palette. The beats become harder, darker, with electro Our man is not sure if he’s still enjoying this. The girls appear to be chained together via nipple and extremity piercings, robotically gyrating and thrusting in front of a seated, shadowy creature. This new entity exudes power and danger, her four narrow black and red eyes silently observing our protagonist.
And suddenly she’s coming for him. The dancing ‘fembots’ part, allowing her to sashay towards him menacingly. This is what you get for delving too deep into your own perverse pleasures boy. Everything seems to start glitching and warping, the dominatrix-creature finally smothering our character. An ooze of crimson blood-bubbles suggests his demise…
Oh and it’s far too late to leave. Despite seemingly jerking himself back to reality, everything is not okay. The creature explodes out of the television screen after him, and pounces…
The suggestion that we are falling deeper into the realms of this boy’s psyche are shown by the figurines, seen earlier serenely on his shelves, coming to life and crawling eerily across his head. The fact that they are depictions of the main female characters from Neon Genesis Evangelion speaks volumes. What could be more apt for themes of psychological trauma and exploration of the self than a nod to one of the most thematically psychological animes to date?
After pinning her prey, the creature reveals herself to be wearing a mask, the expression of a mightily disturbed, wide-eyed young woman lying beneath. She grins, and proceeds to vomit what appears to be saliva straight down our main man’s throat. Cue trippy colours and fade to black.
You are definitely not in Kansas anymore. We appear to accompany our man as he rapidly travels through strange dimensions of his own mind, which include traversing the curves of a naked giantess female form, and greeting a stoic version of himself… Fleeting moments suggesting the presence of another female character, one with a decidedly pained expression at some points. Who is she? We see snapshots that depict her as a beautiful female friend in his life, in what appear to be many shared moments of happiness.
But wait, suddenly he’s placed under a scrutinising spotlight. Is this the harsh truth – his reality? His female friend is sobbing, desperately reaching out… And ruthlessly he walks away. Is this his past, potentially uncaring self? It seems now he feels remorse in hindsight, seeking to change his path… to no avail. He is duly punished by the return of the pony-tailed, masked creature, who cheerfully tears at his intestines. What’s startlingly evident is the strange aesthetic similarities between the crying female friend, and the carnivorous creature – could they be the same person?
And here comes the big, dramatic turning point. He mecha-suits up, dramatically deciding to fight back – he will get the girl, and rid himself of these grotesque, frighteningly ‘sexy-horror’ images. But what do these images represent? His lust, for sure. But potentially also a fear of the changes he must be experiencing – his own hormones and emotions, and thus women – they’re beautiful, but they appear to hold power over his sense of control as a consequence. Also, perhaps in his change of heart there are the beginnings of a realisation that viewing any woman in such way is eerily perverted and wrong. Love and care for another’s feelings is the way…
What follows is an epic battle, with parts obviously inspired by popular first-person shooter video games. The music kicks into high gear, throbbing with beats that would be at home on a club dancefloor. Does he win and get the girl? I’ll let you watch and see for yourself. All I’ll say is that there is a clever twist at the end, that for me, makes the plight of the main character all the more human.
My final verdict? The animation is gorgeous and fluid, with perfectly chosen colours to depict mood. The huge-breasted, doll-waisted females add to the point of the whole video. My only complaint is that the music feels a little drowned out sometimes – I was paying far more attention to the visuals and the story. The music felt like a well-chosen addition to the animation, to help carry the plot. Its a shame the whole point of making the music video has been rendered unmemorable, elbowed out of the way by sexed up anime girls. I can’t wait until I can separate the audio from the visuals, and simply listen to the music by itself. I feel like I can’t make a well-informed, fair judgement on the actual song before then. Nevertheless, I highly recommend you go and watch ME!MEME! and decide whether you agree that there is more to Teddyloid’s video than meets the eye.