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On Your Mark is an Animated Music Video made in 1995 by Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, set to the eponymous song by Chage & Aska.

The video is set in a futuristic megapolis and begins with a police raid on a religious cult. Two policemen (who resemble the two singers) rescue a girl with huge white wings. After she's taken away by the government, the two men endeavor to set her free.

This Animated Music Video contains the following tropes:

  • After the End: It's heavily implied that some kind of nuclear disaster took place prior to the events of the video.
  • Artificial Meat: The bar that the cops drink at sells foods like "Salted Mackerel (Synthetic)" and "Vinegared Bio-Octopus".
  • Big Damn Heroes: First the police raid on the cult headquarters, which results in the winged girl's temporary freedom, then the truck revealing it can fly, saving the occupants.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The girl is set free, but the cops are probably not as lucky. If they return to the city, they will be reprimanded for their actions. If they stay above ground (assuming it's still heavily radiated), they will likely die a painful death. And even if the surface is clean, the two cops will likely have a hard time living away from civilization.
  • Broken Angel: Downplayed; when she was found in the cult's headquarters by the police, there's no sign of physical abuse, but she's severely malnourished (probably from consuming too much empty calories and sugar judging by the Coca-Cola cans surrounding her).
  • Cool Car: The massive, bright orange utility vehicle that serves as a transport for the main characters. It can also fly.
  • Cool Shades: One of the two cops (Chage) wears these (or are they goggles?).
  • Cult: With giant eye symbols and "GOD IS WATCHING YOU" motto. The cult is shown to be quite militant, but hardly prepared for police raids.
  • Cyberpunk: The closest Hayao Miyazaki ever came to portraying a cyberpunk dystopian future.
  • Determinator: The lyrics of the song speak about how the policemen never give up in saving the angel girl. This is possibly the reason why the "Groundhog Day" Loop is in effect.
    "On Your Mark! So long there's a dream,
    We never give up,
    And we'll reach it over steep slopes.
    I believe we shall make it there."
  • Dies Wide Open: One member of the aforementioned cult above was shown to have died with his eyes open during a police inspection for survivors.
  • Domed Hometown: The city is domed to protect it from nuclear radiation.
  • Dynamic Entry: In the beginning, the cops raid a cult's hideout by smashing their aircraft into the wall. After jumping into the room, the policemen start gunning down anyone caught fighting back.
  • Expy:
    • The angelic girl is pretty much a carbon copy of Nausicaa. May also be the Ghibli house style.
    • The eye symbols and inscriptions on the cult building's walls are also reminiscent of the Dorok religion in the manga.
  • Faceless Goons: The cultists wear face-covering hoods, while the cops and lab workers wear gas masks. It's later averted when two policemen (the main characters) remove their masks and stay that way for the rest of the video.
  • Fair Cop: Aska is pretty handsome. He kinda looks like an older Ashitaka. And considering those roses and gifts on his desk, the ladies think so in-universe, too.
  • Forgot I Could Fly:
    • The winged girl, despite not having any marks of physical abuse, has implied to have been a prisoner of the aforementioned cult above for so long that her wings became disused. She later learns how to fly by the end with the help of her two rescuers, and is seen soaring into the heavens.
    • Oh, did we mention that the truck our cops stole has stabilizer jets built into it? OOPS!
  • For Science!: It's unknown why the government's top scientists would want to do tests on the winged girl, so it's assumed they just wanted to see how she got those wings and what made her tick. This makes the two main cops bent on getting the girl away from them!
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Several, some of which are also Bilingual Bonuses:
    • One shot with one of the cops (the one with the shades) has a coffee mug on his table with the word "CHAGE" written, meaning that he's supposed to be Chage while his partner is Aska.
    • The sign around the the nuclear reactor is written in Russian, implying that the short film is influenced by the Chernobyl disaster.
    • Some signs in the film are written in Chinese, such as warnings saying "Beware of Sunlight" and "Life Not Guaranteed" once the heroes exit the tunnel.
    • The menu at bar the two cops drink at shows that they sell Artificial Meat such as "Salted Mackerel (Synthetic)" and "Vinegared Bio-Octopus".
  • Free Wheel: The heroes' stolen flying utility vehicle crashes into the wall of an apartment complex, ripping a tire off one of the steering axles in the process.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The cops and lab workers wear gas masks supposedly due to the radiation coming from outside the city dome.
  • Ghibli Hills: What did you expect once the focus is on the surface world?!
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: It's implied that there's something like this in place without any characters being aware. Whenever the two cops screw up, the action resets to the last "save point". The events are repeated again and again, with the two policemen until they rescue her the right way.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The two guys seem to intend one during one sequence, as they're trying to get the girl to fly away even as they're all falling from miles up. It becomes a Senseless Sacrifice when the three are seen falling into a deep crevice; the girl failed to fly away and she ends up dying with her rescuers. Thank goodness for the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
    • It's implied at the end that the two guys driving into the heavily irradiated world outside the domed city to free the winged girl will eventually result in a painful death for the both of them. If there really is radiation, they'll get sick and die. If not, the authorities will catch up to them and make their lives short and miserable. The end of the music video further implies that the two guys succumbed to radiation poisoning, as their car is seen veering off the road and slowing to a stop in the distance.
  • Hidden Eyes: Chage never takes his goggles off.
  • Hope Bringer: The angel girl is this to the cops according to Word of God. The hope she brings them makes sure the two policemen never give up in saving her even if it takes multiple retries.
  • I Will Only Slow You Down: During a chase scene that leads to the two cops and the winged girl falling from miles up, the cops try to make the girl learn how to fly so she can save herself and be free. The girl didn't want to abandon her rescuers to their fate, so she tries to make them reconsider, resulting in the three of them falling to their apparent deaths.
  • Inflating Body Gag: Weaponised by the two cops against the scientists. They use an aerosol can on the scientists' gas masks to incapacitate them by inflating their hazmat suits.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It is never really explained if the angel girl is an actual angel from heaven or if she is a Nuclear Mutant.
  • No Name Given: The winged girl the two cops rescue don't have names, oh, wait, nobody in this video has a name! There is a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the glasses cop having a coffee mug with the word "CHAGE", presumably meaning he's Chage while his partner is Aska.
  • People Jars: The winged girl is placed inside a lab capsule presumably for experimentation before the two cops rescued her.
  • Product Placement: Coca Cola cans can be seen littered around the winged girl, apparently the only "food" the cult gave her.
  • Ramming Always Works: Subverted. A police hovercraft tries to block the heroes' truck. The handsome cop floors the accelerator pedal, ramming the hovercraft smack into the bridge's surface until it gets ripped apart from the stress. This results in the truck getting flung off the bridge to its apparent demise and then the truck's retrorockets kick in, causing the truck to fly into an apartment building.
  • Scenery Porn: A trademark of Hayao Miyazaki. The Domed Hometown in particular looks like it could fit right in the universe of AKIRA (at night, at least).
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Those two policemen are ready to do anything to save the winged girl from becoming a lab experiment and set her free, treason, property damage, and breaking the laws of physics included.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Chage constantly has a cigarette in his mouth. Aska is seen smoking in one instance as well.
  • Stillborn Franchise: This was the first and last film by Studio Ghibli to be released under the "Ghibli Experimental Theatre" label.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Ostensibly the girl's fate had she not been rescued from the lab.
  • Un-person:
    • After Aska was arrested for drug possession, Universal Music pulled all his music, videos, including this, from all over Japan. Walt Disney Studios Japan, who distribute Studio Ghibli's products on home media in Japan followed suit by delaying their Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki release by two weeks in order to remove the video from the release and ended distribution of the 2005 DVD release Ghibli ga Ippai SPECIAL Short Short, which contained the video on it. Universal Music apologized but they did out of respect for Japanese people and for "operating as a member of the society". This is the news article.
    • It was finally averted by Studio Ghibli themselves, who announced with Disney that they would self-distribute the music video as a bonus disc to all who previously bought the Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki. This is the news article. Disney later released Ghibli ga Ippai SPECIAL Short Short 1992-2016 in 2019, and the song was included on it. It was also possible to view the unedited music video in 2017 during limited screenings of Princess Mononoke.
  • Winged Humanoid: The winged girl looks completely human save for her angelic wings.