Since releasing his debut solo album ‘Post Traumatic’ in June of last year, Mike Shinoda – the rapper slash singer of Linkin Park – has released a visual for almost every track from his LP. Most of the music videos from his CD are made in home-video style, as Mike stated early on he chose ‘simplified’ visuals as he then felt a closer connection to his fans. Especially as ‘Post Traumatic’ was released nearly a year after the suicide of Linkin Park’s lead singer Chester Bennington, and the majority of the songs deal with that fact. Sometimes though, the style of his visuals have been changed up. ‘Ghosts’ for example, is promoted with a sock puppet video, to lift the project out of the dark. He also switched his home-video style in favor of colorful ripped off photographs in ‘Make Up As I Go’, that when put together create moving images of Mike and featured singer K.Flay. This time for ‘World’s On Fire’, Mike surprised his fans with a full done anime in futuristic style, partly reminiscent of the Mega Man video game series.
On social media, Mike shares how the project came to fruition:
“I’ve never taken an animated project from beginning to end. This video, for ‘World’s On Fire,’ seemed to arrive in my head with a full story, setting, and characters all at once, and I couldn’t ignore it. I’m so grateful for Venturia, Juan, Henry, Devin, Crunchyroll, and all the wonderful people who helped make it a reality along the way. Please enjoy it, and don’t forget to share it with friends.”
The story is set in a future setting. It starts off with a morning routine of a couple living in a futuristic apartment in a skyscraper – full of electronics and Star Trek-sliding doors – with big windows to see the entire view of an urban city, full of flying vehicles. While eating cereal, a tiny but evil-looking caterpillar is about to attack the male protagonist, but his girlfriend who has a built-in plasma shooter as a right arm shoots a canon-beam towards the insect, but by mistake blasts a hole in the window as her weapon is just too powerful. These kinds of mishaps continue to happen during both their workdays at a sandwich shop – firing a plastic bag that’s carried by the wind outside, or destroying a robotic dog-walker who is standing outside the sandwich place – creating massive damage with her powerful plasma shoots. Even though her intent is to help or protect, her boyfriend eventually has to clean up the mess. But, when the city gets unexpectedly attacked by an evil super-sized caterpillar, the plasma shooter turns out to be more useful than ever as the girl is the only one who can save the city.
‘World’s On Fire’ is one of the highlights of ‘Post Traumatic’ – hip-hop is mixed up with alternative beats that blend together with electronic music. The lyrics, that speak about wanting to be with a loved one when the world is literally on fire – or when life crashes down – are greatly translated in anime form, directed by Mike Shinoda & Juan M. Urbina and released on September 5, 2019.
Fun Fact: When watching closely, a lot of easter eggs can be found in the video. The ‘Post Traumatic’ album cover hangs on a wall next to the dumpster where a cat is resting. Moreover, a sign that reads ‘Agoura Pizza’ is a nod to Agoura Hills, California – Linkin Park’s born place, and the sandwich shop where both main characters work is called ‘Xero Sandwiches’ – ‘Xero’ being the original name idea for Linkin Park.
You can check out the music video/anime here: