One of the videos I think back on that really captivated me in my early days of AMV and anime fandom was Dreams of Red by Aluminum Studios. Aluminum was one of the early editors that I followed and help shape me as an editor myself as their videos were part of the list that I tried to emulate the style from for my own AMVs. Not to mention that this was a video dealing with Sailor Moon, my first anime love, and made for a great character profile for Sailor Mars. These two items were both very interesting to see as at the time and even today it is rare to see a video using this source that is of such high quality.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this video is that it used a song by Sting that I really enjoyed. The music drew me in and then the video overlays and simple effects blew me away. Sure, the effects in this video aren’t anything too complicated and are fairly commonplace today, but back in the early days of digital editing it was quite impressive. The story of the video is quite powerful, however if you haven’t seen Sailor Moon (really? go fix that now!) it does contain quite a few spoilers.
This is just another video that I feel every AMV fan and Sailor Moon fan should see. Despite it’s age it still holds up against today’s crop. Give it a look and let me know what you think.
Video: Dreams of Red
Category: Drama, Character Profile, Serious
Anime: Sailor Moon
Song: Desert Rose
Creator: aluminumstudios (Aluminum Studios)
Considering that today is the day of love, it’s only right to talk about a romance video. When I think back upon my early days of watching AMVs one romance video stands out amongst all the rest as being one of my favorite goto’s from back when I followed editors and videos via file share programs such as Morpheus and Kazaa. This would be none other then Brad Demoss’ video Iris. To this day this is still one of my favorite Ah! My Goddess videos as it brings back so many fond memories of watching the OVA, reading the manga, and even reading the episode picture book manga version of the OVA episodes.
Considering the year this video was made it, I think it still holds up quite well quality wise today. Sure it may not be in HD, but the video still looks great. The style of this video is one that I really love. Rather then using tons of cross fades, Demoss used hard cuts between the scenes, which in turn goes really well with the song choice. Sure, the scene selection does seem random from time to time, but the overarching collection and story makes for some powerful imagery.
If you haven’t seen this one before, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. If you have seen it, welp, no better day to remind yourself of how enjoyable this video is then the present!
Category: Drama, Serious
Anime: Ah! My Goddess (OVA)
Artist: Goo Goo Dolls
Creator: MisterFurious (Future Boy Digital Productions)
Thinking back to videos that I was the most surprised about when watching there is one video that stands out among so many and still to this day is my favorite video to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. I still remember the first time I saw babyvash’s A Hellingly Thrillish Night at ACEN’s AMV Contest in 2004. I was sitting with a friend of mine who entered a video into the action category when this video came up on the screen in the same category. Little did we know we were in for an entertaining and odd treat.
I started to get a little confused when I first saw Alucard lip sync to a bit of the lyrics, I wondered why something like that would be in an action video. It wasn’t until Alucard began dancing on the screen that I realized that we were all just thrown a fast one and were actually watching a comedic action video. At times it takes itself seriously as a horror and action video, but it’s all kept tongue in cheek as we see the dancing Alucards and the comedic audio syncing.
In the end the video didn’t win best Action, but it did take home the Most Original award that year. Honestly, it’s the weird and whimsy videos like this that I wind up enjoying the most when going through videos for judging at cons. They break up the monotony of a category and just make you smile. I really wish there were more videos like this one out there. Go on, give it a watch, you know you want to. And don’t blame me if you get the urge to join in on the dancing!
Video: A Hellingly Thrillish Night
Category: Action, Comedy, Horror
Artist: Michael Jackson
Creator: babyvash (Dragon Eye Studios)
When I think back to some of the videos I used to watch all the time as a means of cheering myself up from the deluge of High School life one video stands out. More Than Toast’s video Somebody hates me (Trigun) is just a perfect allegory for how I felt through most of my schooling days. It was the realization that while somebody hates me, at the same time I hated somebody as well, and it all just fit.
Of course, this isn’t the only reason I liked this video. It is just overall a fun little video really. The song, while the content is kinda morbid, is done in a really fun way and then putting it to Trigun, well, that just adds to the craziness. It’s just interesting to see all the different people Vash runs into who want him dead in one small place.
To be real honest, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this video. I just really like the song and the subject matter and in some way the goggles of nostalgia keep me from seeing any real flaw. Give it a watch and let me know what you think.
Video: Somebody Hates me (Trigun)
Song: Somebody Hates Me
Artist: Reel Big Fish
Creator: nightwind15 (More Than Toast Productions)
When I think back to videos that I used to consider staples of my amv playlists one video keeps walking it’s way to the top of the list. I remember downloading Kayin’s Ryoga tribute video 500 Miles on Morpheus/Kazaa way back in the day. Of course, back then this song was pretty popular and Ranma AMVs were also pretty popular, so the pairing was just obvious. So obvious in fact that there are at least 5 different videos I have from back in the day all using this combination.
Of course, my choosing this video over the others doesn’t mean that the others are bad. In fact, one other version that came out around the same time is almost nearly identical to this video (and multiple copies are easily found on youtube) and I like it a lot as well. But in the end there is just something about this version that grabs me. Perhaps it’s the nostalgia of being the first I saw, or the obvious use of older and heavily played VHS as source. Either way, this video is one of my favorites and it is still a staple in my personal AMV collection.
Video: 500 Miles
Category: Action, Comedy, Character Profile
Anime: Ranma 1/2
Song: (I would walk) 500 Miles
Artist: The Proclaimers
Creator: Kayin (Greasy Weasel Productions)