Ever since I booted up my old desktop Mac a few weeks back, I’ve written a few posts about some of the goodies I pulled out of it.
My personal favorite so far regarded the Super Smash Bros. wallpapers, which I tried to coincide with the release of Smash Ultimate.
Then I wrote about Armagetron Advanced, a game I really loved playing back in the day.
But I found a whole host of other things from the oughts and early twenty-tens, including elementary/middle school assignments, the first chapter draft of some fantasy novel I tried to write as well as memes or projects that provide a very distinct look at the kind of trash I loved growing up.
Oh, and when I say memes, I mean trashy memes all saved up on my desktop.
Gotta love those old Memebase pulls.
Sifting through the garbage brought me to something that I ultimately came to refer to as my magnum opus. A project with so much love and passion put into a creative route I’ve since abandoned that it was actually astounding.
In my “fun stuff” folder, I found these three files partitioned off:
My immediate reaction was a hell of a cringe. Flashbacks to a true period of weeaboo sensibilities that left me doing things like watching all of Dragonball, Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT over the course of a few months in middle school.
Not only was there a “fan animation” based on Naruto, it was made in the primitive programming language animator Scratch.
Back in the day I used the program religiously, and even made some animations that went into official school broadcasts at Adams Middle School.
Also a true story, but for another day.
I couldn’t imagine anything good coming out of this animation from 2012 Jason… Yet I was blown away by just how great of a product I pulled together. So much so that I went through a lot of trouble to get the final (though unfinished) animation into a format where you all can see it today.
For your viewing pleasure, here it is:
First off, the fact that I didn’t remember spending a single second working on this until I found it again is such a travesty.
This was from that same era when I went to sprite animation camp like I talked about in the Smash Bros. wallpaper post, with all the sprites pulled from The Spriters Resource.
They were taken from a game called “Naruto: Ninja Council 3,” which to this day has some of my favorite sprite work in an old-school DS game.
I can say I confidently knew that because Ninja Council 3 is still a treasured part of my games collection:
Now for those of you who don’t know, the video is based off the fifth anime opening to the original Naruto series. Crunchyroll has it uploaded here for you to see, and I’d recommend doing so to understand how much I tried to replicate.
It’s incredible to me how I actually grasped the concept of timing scenes to the music so well (mostly). I even went so far as to put the little floating heads in the sky to represent Sasuke thinking about his past!
I adore every second of it.
The journey to get this to you here today was far more complicated than it may appear, however.
It all began that night when I opened up the old Mac and watched this animation in Scratch for the first time.
As it turns out, the only way to pull projects off of Scratch was to go to the program’s website. Unfortunately…
That wasn’t much of a possibility for a computer that hasn’t been updated since 2012.
Thus the true quest to save my magnum opus began. At first I attempted to record it externally with my iPhone:
Needless to say I was not able to get the kind of quality I wanted out of this.
After a few more attempts, the best solution wound up being a QuickTime screen recording. That got the video in its purest quality!
However it wasn’t possible to do screen and audio recording at once through the older tech.
So… it’s a good thing I had the song file in that original folder!
Don’t ask me where I got it because I don’t know and it was probably illegal.
When I pulled everything onto my laptop, it became a 2 a.m. adventure to Frankenstein the video together with its original audio timing:
Mind you, it happened at 2 a.m. during Finals week. Big tests coming up and here I was laughing like a maniacal idiot, cutting together an old Scratch animation from 2012.
I’m glad I took a few weeks to get to this blog post because now that I’ve marinated on it, the whole situation is hilariously ridiculous.
But all worth it to finally get that finished project up on YouTube so I can show it off!
Except the process of getting it uploaded actually made the whole story even more ridiculous. Just thirty seconds after the video went up, I got this:
Sony Music actually blocked my video in Japan and demonetized it.
Which is such a shame, I was really looking forward to the ad revenue out of that video… On my one subscriber storage channel.
It was interesting to be on this end of the YouTube algorithm for once. Gives me a bit more of an understanding of how terrible this must be for creators who have their livelihoods contingent on the site.
For me, it just means any of my readers in Japan won’t see my magnum opus. Sorry!
All this being said, I’m really proud of 2012 me. He’s the kind of man I wish I was now.
I’ll never not smile looking back at this, because no matter how many awards and scholarships I get for my writing as a journalist, none of it will truly be as personal as the actual fan animation I made surprisingly well back when I was 15.
Now if only I had finished the damn thing.