There is so much to see and do at the Anime Expo, held at the Los Angeles Convention Center in July. With so many things going on all at once, and so many people everywhere, where do you go first? It is hard not to want to have doppelgangers so that you can catch everything going on. Yet, I walked solo seeking out various events. Walking past the room with a large sign advertising the new hentai anime of the season, I stumbled upon the Anime Music Video Awards. Reluctantly taking a seat, I prepared myself to leave as soon as I got a chance, but little did I know I would be in for quite the amazing experience!
What are Anime Music Videos?
What is your first thought when you think of the words “anime music video,” which is also abbreviated as AMV? For me, I think of comedic parodies of Naruto, and then, when I think really hard, I remember how people used to sync clips of awesome battle scenes with Green Day songs or sad romances to Utada Hikaru’s Simple and Clean. Those were simpler days.
Technically, anime music videos involve syncing anime clips and transitions with the music or actual things going on in the video, syncing the movements of a character’s lips to the actual singing in a song, and various digital effects. It takes a great deal of editing to get an anime music video perfect, but it is a popular pastime of many Western fans.
You may be wondering how exactly the competition works. There are restrictions for the file size, video quality, and what can be done to any of the audio, but for the most part, it is quite lax. There are several categories you can enter videos into. The limited categories have a two entry maximum, but you may not enter multiple videos into the same categories which include drama/theatrical, adventure/action, and romance/sentimental.
The standard categories allow you to enter multiple videos into the same category which includes comedy/humor, fun, and upbeat/dance. Keep this in mind: you can only enter 3 AMVs in total so whatever videos you enter into the limited categories takes away from the number you can enter into the standard categories.
There are two more categories included under “Bonus Categories,” which do not actually include music videos. The entries in these categories e Bonus Categories are selected to play between the limited and the standard categories. There are also awards given to the producers of videos under Bonus Categories. You will feel like a real producer with your cash prize and trophy.
There is a pre-show before the actual competition starts that screens videos that were not selected for the competition. The last 4 videos that are shown are honorable mentions. I happened to walk in prior to the honorable mentions and I have to say, just because these music videos were not chosen does not mean the producers lacked talent. It must have been a hard decision!
After the pre-show, they show the actual AMVs that were selected to go to finals. Voting ballots were handed out at a different date and time for voting so, if you were like me and caught the show on the unveiling of entries, you would not be able to vote. Damn! Still, it was a good show.
Anime Music Video Competition 2015
This year, there were a record number of entries for the Anime Music Video Competition with a number of 272 video entries from 28 different countries! Who knew that this competition was so large or internationally renowned? The average number of selected videos for the competition for each category was about 5-6. Man, this competition was hardcore!
Seriously, you would not believe the winners for each competition. Since it was on an international scale, of course participants from other countries won. There were winners from Australia, Canada, and even England. Amongst the winners, there were still a few people from the United States of America who came up on top. The winner of the action and theatrical category was a girl from Georgia.
Do you want to know just how talented she is? Her anime music video was edited in just 2 hours! That is seriously incredible! Despite being such short music videos, some videos can seriously tug at your heartstrings. I almost found myself crying! I never really realized how detailed a plot you can put into a 2-6 minute music video. Some people are just masters of manipulating your emotions.
While the competition was fierce this year, one AMV did come out on top as the best AMV: My Neighbor, Figaro-Kun, which featured the anime My Neighbor Seiki-kun, a series of shorts that are bound to crack you up!
Honestly, even though this competition takes several hours, it is really fun to watch. There are some really talented amateurs out there and it is great to see them get their moment in the limelight. My favorite category was the Fun category. Strangely enough, I thought these videos were a lot funnier than anything entered into the comedy and humor section.
Support your local anime community and watch an AMV competition if you can! Originally, I had no real intention of catching the AMV competition, but I did not regret a single minute! If you have some talent at editing videos, maybe you should try your hand at this competition. The Anime Music Video Competition may just give you the leg up on your video editing career. Good luck and enjoy!