Title: Into the Labyrinth | Creator: loligerjoj
Song: Into the Labyrinth | Artist: Kraddy
Anime Used: Bakemonogatari, Nisemonogatari, Nekomonogatari
Category: Action, Horror/Psychological, Instrumental
Questions about what an AMV is, what each category is about, or how the categories are scored? Here’s an introductory post to answer your questions before you continue on.
Audio/Visual: Being 1080p and 60fps is a great place for this AMV to start its climb to the top, but it’s not all about the visual fidelity and frame rate. Into the Labyrinth uses scenes from a heavily CGI series beautifully, with lighting and effects that enhance the mood and viewer’s enjoyment of the video. Varying paces of action from shot to shot help to provide a natural flow instead of a monotonous march to the song. The clever lighting and color manipulation throughout the video allow a very “busy” picture to not look crowded and cramped. The song itself is of a good quality with no fizzles or echoing as if it were far away, and provides a solid structure to build the AMV around. It has high and low notes and fast and slow rhythms that give the creator freedom to have multiple layers of action. Parts of the video are ever so slightly too fast, even though they are meant to be sharply articulated as they flash rapidly from scene to scene. The transitions between the normal and slower paced scenes are executed very well with fades, distortions, and jumps between scenes that have a clear connection.
- Score- 9/10
Synchronization: The most outstanding part of Into the Labyrinth is the synchronization, by far. The level of incorporating the musical cues into the video elements is far beyond that of the vast majority of AMVs. In the intro section, the scenes progress with the music and the action of characters moving their heads to look at the camera matches with the song perfectly for added emphasis. The bit where Araragi smiles is great and unnerving. Just as the title sequence fades in and out with the musical cue and the main section of the AMV starts, the visuals and the song change mood in unison, from a feeling of eerily happy people and deserted scenery with higher notes in the music to sudden low notes and darker, more macabre scenes. The ending as well has very obvious synchronization of audio and visuals with the movement of the seesaw as the music blares away. To avoid scenes being too active while still maximizing the effect of synchronizing audio and visuals, there is often a color fracturing that will grow and shrink with the faster rhythms of the song.
- Score- 10/10
Planning: Into the Labyrinth has a lot of forethought put into it, as you can tell from the A/V and Synchronization sections. From small visual details that correspond to events in the music such as the phase shift of colors moving with fast high notes to the scene just after the title sequence, synchronization was considered a great deal to make this AMV. The overall format of 3 general sections within the AMV is a brilliant idea. In the intro section, the scenes are tied together by the visuals of people doing SHAFT headtilts with the music, building suspense and creepiness, as they are all smiling. The title sequence cleanly separates the intro from the body of the AMV, which is different in mood from the intro. The last section is separated from the body by using a scene from the anime that matches with the song perfectly as a train goes past. This ending portion can be categorized by its stuttering audio and video through excellent editing skills, again showing a distinct shift between the sections.
- Score- 9/10
Themes/Alternate Story: Into the Labyrinth creates a feeling that there is a creepy story behind all of the scenes, with a lot of action as the characters fight what look like faceless demons/monsters with glowing eyes. There unfortunately is no clear story line as there are very few continuous shots of substantial length used, but there are enough pieces in there that it does serve as a great way for those with lively imaginations to think up their own story. The story line I had in my head, however, did not match that of Bakemonogatari, but it did make me want to watch Bakemonogatari (which I enjoyed despite it not being what I was expecting).
- Score- 6/10
Overall, this is one of the best AMVs I have seen. The incredible amount of synchronization and the excellent audio/visual quality have not been matched in the AMVs I have seen. It is extremely well made, as shown by all of the awards it has won, and encapsulates every technical aspect that makes an AMV enjoyable. The only area Into the Labyrinth is lacking in is the somewhat auxiliary alternate story line category, but still excels in creating an eerie mood. This is a very enjoyable AMV that is created to be of the highest quality and showcases the creators great skill.
Awards and Other Info: This AMV has won 16 awards, including AMV.org Viewers Choice Awards 2014’s Video of the Year, Anime Expo 2013’s Best Drama/Horror, and Big Contest 2013’s Best Editing.
Check out this AMV’s entry for more information.