By Kanara Ty
Every year, there's a main event at Anime Expo I always look forward to, and that's the Anime Music Video Contest. Anime Music Videos (or AMVs) are compiled from clips from anime TV series and/or films and edited to music of the creator's choice, and they have long been a permanent fixture in the world of fandom. In fact, AMV don't just pay homage to a certain anime television series or movie, but they also serve as brand new works of art, in their own right. AMV creators continuously outdo each other and themselves every year with new approaches to visual storytelling.
For those of you who are not too familiar with AMV contests: Every year, AMV creators vie for top honors by producing new videos to show to the Anime Expo public. There are veterans who more or less compete every year, but the contest always introduces new creators to the mix. Production time on videos ranges from a whole year to a mere couple of days before the impending deadline. If you haven't seen an AMV video, you'll be fairly surprised over the high quality of work comes out of these creators.
While legality issues due remain at stake with record companies due to copyright infringement, the anime creators themselves always encourage the creation of AMVs, because it draws more attention to the anime or video game featured in the work. While the videos do potentially improve sales for the anime and serve as a showcase/tribute, more importantly, the actual activity of producing anime music videos is an excellent way to bring fans together, creating a community that serves to promote anime and manga.
This year, the videos are even stronger than ever, which made it more difficult for AMV contest-goers to settle on their favorite choice. The bar is already set high, because the professionalism and quality of AMVs is on on par with some of today's top video editors. How awesome is it that AMV contests have become a great training ground for careers in video production and editing? The contest every year also showcases what is currently popular in anime; at the same time, it can intoduce us to new anime (or music) we haven't seen or heard before. I'll admit though, after watching "Euphoria" during 2004's contest, I became a huge Frou Frou/Imogen Heap fangirl.
However, when general attendees are able to vote for their favorite videos, such as AMV Contest at Anime Expo, the voting is always subjective and difficult to monitor. A lot of voters will not always pay attention to technical detail, such as the use of digital effects and transitions, composition, or the music's timing with the video clips. Votes often go to popular anime or music over what might be a true professional effort. However with the Creator's Choice, Judge's Choice, Staff Choice categoies, I'm glad awards aren't given just from an audience POV, but rather from multiple perspectives. The AMV Contest acts as one of the most efficient ways that Anime Expo (and other anime conventions) promote an anime to a larger audience.
So below are this year's videos (if you haven't already caught it), along with the winners. Watch on newbies, you might become fans as well.
Creators' Choice - "Lord of the Anime" by RiderG (Victoria Galietta)
Judge's Choice - "We Need You" by Vlad G. Pohnert
Staff Choice - "We Need You" by Vlad G. Pohnert
Best of Show - "Death Note Rhapsody" by BaitMaster
"You Know My Name" by Nic Neidenbach
"The Good Ship Lifestyle" by "LC"_Lapen
"Roritech Mk II" by Lolorori
"Untamed" by Fuzzworks (Jonathan Ho & Andrew Ferrel)
"Spin On Simon" by Solomon Smith
"Ready To Drift" by Diakun Productions (Daniel Elak)
"Fate/ Eternal Inferno" by Millenium Strife (Category's winner)
"Death Note Rhapsody" by BaitMaster (Category’s Winner)
"Amor Fatali" by TearX (Areeba Khan)
"Happy Mess" by AMVTHUG (Leonardo Rodriguez)
"Shoot The Moon" by Marimari (Amanda Gregory)
"Story Of A Girl" by BaitMaster
"Sacred Maiden" by Caleb Taylor
"Monsoon" by Ryvannis (Dean Seirafi)
"CODE: Roll" by Matthew Yan
"Genma's Lullaby" by Nills Houghton
"Left 4 Wired" by Isaac Fischer DMRA
"Perfect Day" by Brad DeMoss
"The Assumption Song" by BaitMaster
"We Need You" by Vlad G. Pohnert (Category's Winner)
"Robots" by Benjamin Chu
"Valhalla" by Ryvannis (Dean Seirafi)
"Haunting Hour" by M.Preciado
"Oblivious" by Lark (1MoonGoddess7)
"Blue Orchid" by BTaing8 (Billy Taing)
"Lord Of The Anime" by RiderG (Victoria Galietta)
"Dance Dance Celebration" by TERYH1984 (Kuok Hor) (Category’s Winner)
"Tick Tock" by Lark (1MoonGoddess7)