I started this series towards the beginning of the summer as a way to bring AMVs to Ani-TAY and get used to putting my thoughts/opinions into writing. Now, 10 weeks later, it comes to a close for a while, but will return later (most likely next summer, but there may be a few AMV posts scattered here and there in the meantime). I would like to thank everyone who read and/or commented on these articles for their support and conversation. For ease-of-use’s sake, I’m going to make archive posts after every slew of these that I end up doing.
Here’s the introductory post for this summer that outlines what an AMV is and the different categories I was writing about, as well as how they were scored (a system that will be changed in the next go around because numbers are incredibly arbitrary).
Into the Labyrinth 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.
Purge is a solid AMV that truly capitalizes on the ability to tell an alternate story of the creator’s design. Even if it is somewhat lacking in using synchronization to emphasize major points and interesting scenes or effects, Purge has impressive editing that drives home the main point of the AMV - the story. This is a good example of an AMV that may not be as technically impressive as some at first glance, but is a piece of work that reflects the creator’s desire to develop an alternate narrative.
Anime 101 is a crash course in anime jokes and references, and most importantly, it tells us how to calculate the exact moe value of a character. The enjoyment of the viewer was definitely the main goal of the creator, and it couldn’t have been accomplished to a higher degree. One thing that bothers me, though, is that Shounen and Shoujo are labeled genres instead of demographics, but this AMV isn’t about technicalities, it’s about comedy, and it excels at it. This has been the most difficult AMV to write about (the order in which they are posted isn’t necessarily the order in which the articles are written) because most of what needs to be said is “Go watch this video - it’s hilarious and has about a million jokes in it that will make you laugh.”
My Demons is a refreshingly archetypal AMV that takes an anime and makes a music video out of it - clean, no glaring effects; just a song that fits the anime well. While most people might view AMVs like this as simple beginner’s work, the editing and planning that was present in My Demons says otherwise. Some areas could be improved, such as synchronizing the visuals to the audio more, but it’s nice to see an AMV that doesn’t rely so heavily on effects and the editing chops of the creator. Instead of aiming for a “wow-factor” experience, My Demons is an anime put to a song that can easily be thematically associated with the anime used.
Gatsby is a fun, catchy AMV that had some issues with visual distractions in the background and a long scene that was just plain out of place. The lack of a theme or story can’t really be counted to the AMV’s detriment, because a dancing music video isn’t made for the plot. Gatsby is a mixed bag of entertaining to watch and ‘meh,’ making it less than “Fantastic, Baby.” It was fun to watch, but it was very much a one week project that could’ve benefited greatly from some polishing.
Mission Control used its elements inconsistently, resulting in a mediocre AMV. There were things that should have been emphasized through synchronization or visual effects that weren’t and things that shouldn’t have been emphasized that were. While visually appealing, the direction of the video is undecided at best, confused at worst - entertaining to watch, but sufficiently flawed.
Anime 404 is a compilation of music and anime used creatively together with clever editing to bring together funny snippets of recent and past trends such as Gangnam Style, Rick Rolling, Frozen, and the Harlem Shake. Over the course of the video, there are many scenes and small details that are sure to hit on something you recognize and, if not make you laugh, at least make you think “hey, that was a clever reference.”
Ship Happens is an excellent example of what an AMV can do. It was visually stunning, had custom scenes made by the creator, used a song that fits perfectly, and had wonderful lip synchronization. The sheer amount of time and effort that went into the making of this video is readily apparent as you watch it. The content itself is quite funny and creative with its shipping, and all of the small details and easter eggs are astounding. Ship Happens is definitely one of the best AMVs I have ever seen.
Lion is a decent AMV that is more centered on showing action than hitting the themes hard. The song selection was an excellent match for Tokyo Ghoul, but some of the scene selections didn’t directly fit. It felt as if the creator knew the themes of the song and show well enough to link the two together, but not enough to overpower the urge to focus on “hey look, people fighting!”, which doesn’t fulfill the potential of the match of song and show.
Angel Fist is a great story that is highlighted by an excellent song selection and creative use of transitions, but undercut by being so short. I am impressed that the numerous transitions used in just under two minutes do not feel repetitive and boring, but instead seem like an integral feature of the AMV. The story itself is a great outline for a romance, and I would like to watch an anime that follows a similar plot - a story of developing a relationship that has a twist and finishes with a “yeah, the antagonist got what he deserved” feeling as the protagonist gets a happy ending.
I had fun doing these and enjoyed the conversations in the comments (glad to know that quite a few of you guys like AMVs too!), but all things must end. At least, for a little while.