May 2, 2016

MANGA MONDAYS | AMVs: Anime Music Videos

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People reading this post probably fall into one of two categories: people that clicked the link because they know what AMVs are, and people that clicked because they don’t. I imagine that many people who take enough time to read a weekly anime blog (despite its misleading title) probably know what AMVs are. However, I suspect there might be a few readers out there who have seen only a few shows and haven’t completely fallen into the abyss that is the otaku fandom. The good news is, whichever group you’re in, I’m going to send you down a really, really deep rabbit hole.

First off, what is an AMV? As it says in the title, it’s an “Anime Music Video” in which someone takes a bunch of anime video clips and sets them to music. There are a variety of styles out there. Some videos use multiple anime, some videos focus on one. The level of editing also varies quite heavily. Some people prefer taking scenes straight from the anime, while others edit the videos heavily to create unique scenes and stories. On top of all these more technical aspects, there are numerous styles, which usually correspond closely to the style of the anime being used for the AMV.

I want to share a few of my favorite “anime mash-up” style AMVs. These AMVs, made by a YouTube user with the wonderful name “BakaOppai,” are really accessible because of their top notch editing and lighthearted nature. First up: A Piece of Toast an AMV based entirely on the “Anime girl running to school with toast in her mouth” meme. I also enjoy Anime 404  by “BakaOppai” because it shows that AMVs aren’t inherently a story based musical production. Anime 101, by a different creator,  is also a great sample of some awesome editing skills.

Next up, I want to link a few of my favorite action AMVs. Fair warning, this category is dominated by Gurren Lagann and RWBY for me. Of course there are plenty of others out there  – especially if you are a fan of popular shounen. First up, Gurren Lagann. Here’s a challenge: count the number of Gurren Lagann AMVs set to either “This is War” or “Satellite” by Rise Against. There’s a lot. But this is my favorite. As far as RWBY goes, I’m going to limit myself to one, because otherwise I’d just dump a database of links here because I could seriously watch RWBY AMVs for days. To mix it up a bit from my immediate personal favorites, here’s an awesome Baccano! AMV. The change-up at 1:47 in that video is amazing.

In complete opposition to the Action category, is the Drama category and  there are more sad AMV Dramas out there than I care to count. In particular, popular tragedies like Clannad and Your Lie in April feature heavily in this category. Of course, there are plenty of others. In particular, I like this AMV, which is essentially what motivated me to watch the anime it’s based on. As far as Clannad goes, I stick to the funny AMVs myself, but this one is solid too (beware spoilers of course). And if you really like crying, try following that up with some Kimi no Uso and AnoHana emotional trauma.

However, not every AMV is this serious! Plenty are made purely for comedic purposes. Most of the first few that I linked are good examples of this. Another one that comes to mind is this classic joke AMV. Weird, but also hilarious. The next (and final, for this post) is something that might only make sense to the more hardcore fans out there, but the AMV Ship Happens is one of my favorites of all time. It never fails to make me laugh uncontrollably.

Like I said earlier, AMVs are a very deep rabbit hole, so there’s plenty of genres, shows, and themes that I didn’t cover in this post. If you have one you particularly like, I encourage you to share it in the comments! The more publicity these videos get, the better. The community of people making and sharing AMVs is generally a really awesome, dedicated group of people, so I think we should show them as much support as possible.