It’s hard to introduce people to ME!ME!ME!. How do you even begin to describe it without sounding like an utter pervert, bearing in mind it chiefly depicts the mesmerising physics of breasts and the gyrating female body? To start, let me explain that ME!ME!ME! is a song by TeddyLoid, but the chief characteristic that has captivated so many is its music video; found on vimeo (TheFineBros video of people reacting to the spectacle has 9.8 million views), animated by Studio Khara. You might find it distinctly unremarkable as girls dance in bikinis, until the video suddenly cuts into a nightmarish world. Previously tantalizing glimpses of flesh under the skimpy dresses become plain nudity in photo negative, the sexual motions become aggressive, not attempting to tease anymore but in your face, inescapable. The figures quickly become uncanny – bodies that you assume are female turn unnerving as they spin past, the faces looking at you with a dead-eyed fixed expression of delight.
I’m going to dodge the shallow observation concerning the objectification of women in order to draw attention to ME!ME!ME!’s depth, something which is in danger of being dismissed once you get to the section with boobs firing bullets. Even to me (someone who doesn’t watch any anime at all) it is easy to see that ME!ME!ME! transcends the layman’s view that anime has an obsession with the schoolgirl’s figure. Instead the whole point of the video is to turn the overt sexual tones of the cartoon female body into something horrifying, all-consuming and dangerous; something that threatens the sanity of both the male protagonist and the viewer.
Similar to the fantastically haunting Coraline, in ME!ME!ME! a horrific other world threatens to bleed into our own, having emerged from a flawed relationship – or in this case, a break-up. As if to make up for his girlfriend’s absence, flocks of girls lather attention on the male protagonist, pawing him and dragging him towards them, but as he begins to resist they relentlessly pursue him until he is a limbless torso, floating through space. Studio Khara’s description under the video might use the word ‘ravish’ to veil the distressing central theme of male rape (even if it is instrumented by a twisted fantasy) but the presence of the inescapable girls hints towards an uncomfortable dark side of desire which can consume those desperate enough for it — don’t be fooled by the lulling voices at the beginning who, despite the lyrics being in Japanese, sound like they’re singing hypnotically ‘it’s the best’.
As time goes on it becomes apparent that a lot more is going on than the blue-haired girls would like you to believe. The power play and swift switching between genres (one second horror, the next science-fiction, before falling into a first-person-shooter video game) maintains the eerie unfamiliarity the viewers are constantly faced with, as the girls and their surroundings mutate to ensnare their victim. Tumultuous changes like those might reflect the fragile mental state of the protagonist whilst doing a superb job of uprooting whatever preconceptions we have about anime. ME!ME!ME! is worth watching for its surprising amount of depth as well as the batshit crazy visuals. Or you could just watch it for the boobs.
Featured image from Tumblr.