Welcome back, tourists. As many reading this are probably aware, escaping news of the ever-looming threat that is COVID-19 has become rather impossible, even for anime fans like myself.
The deadly virus has already halted a number of upcoming anime productions, including one for the highly anticipated second season of “Re:Zero.” Funimation has also announced that it will be temporarily halting the simul-dubs of its upcoming seasonal shows in order to allow production members to work from home.
Many people are already feeling the effects of extended boredom from the recommended social distancing, but that does not mean they have to stay bored. After all, the anime community is much more than the shows people enjoy.
One of the more underrated, but no less fascinating, parts of the community is AMVs.
For those uninitiated, AMV is an acronym that stands for anime music video, and it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. People edit together clips from different anime, set it to music and create some pretty magical results.
While their large presence on sites like YouTube might suggest that AMVs are a fairly recent phenomenon, their origin actually goes back as early as the 1980s. Originally, anime fans would use VCR editing decks to take individual scenes out and edit them together. Now, however, the process has become a lot more streamlined thanks to the advent of online video sharing sites and editing software.
There are a lot of things that make AMVs cool, both directly and indirectly.
For starters, good AMVs take advantage of all of the wonders of modern editing. The purposeful transitions and the detailed masking of certain scenes and characters makes them incredibly addictive to watch. A good example of this is an AMV from 2014 titled “Hope of Morning,” named after the song that accompanies it.
AMVs are also really good storytelling formats. The ability of AMV creators to manipulate footage so precisely combined with access to tons of different music allows for tons of different results. Creators can either re-contextualize different anime in relation to music or create entirely new stories depending on the level of editing done.
On top of that, AMVs are also great for finding new music to listen to and new anime to watch. Despite anime’s reputation as a singularly focused medium, the reality is that there are tons of choices. This means that there are also tons of different AMVs to explore, and many of the creators in the community will leave the name of the song and anime used in the description of the video.
AMVs are a wonderfully unique and incredibly fun part of the anime community. For those on the outside looking in, there are definitely a lot of unexpected influences. And, while I would be lying if I said that every AMV is equally as exciting, there are still plenty of great ones worth watching.
We are all bored by now, and there is no point in trying to deny it. Rather than worrying about ‘being productive,’ or whatever that means in modern society, try taking some time to relax. This is a community that is worth being a part of.
Jack Scheibelein is a sophomore majoring in English. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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