DIY Media 2010: Anime Music Videos (Part One)

This is the fourth in an ongoing series of curated selections of DIY Video prepared in relation to the screening of DIY Video 2010 at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and organized by Mimi Ito, Steve Anderson, and the good folks at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy. The following curator's statement was written by Tim Park from As far as the AMV community is aware, the first Anime Music Videos were created by Jim Kaposztas in 1982. He was inspired by MTV, back when they played music videos. Anime had a slow growth in North America, with few options before the '90s for shows licensed and released in English. Fans would trade tapes recorded by friends in Japan, and often translated into English and subtitled by other fans. Many times there would be some extra room at the end of the tape and so as not to waste any, occasionally people would record AMVs after the show.

To some extent, AMVs have helped advertise the shows that they contain. At AMV panels at anime conventions, when audiences are asked if they've ever bought an anime based on an AMV that they've seen, most hands go up. Apparently when Hold Me Now was shown at Anime Boston, the dealers room sold out of Princess Tutu shortly thereafter.

Before the rise of digital distribution, another common way to see AMVs was at anime conventions. Rather than simply screen them, tradition was that the videos would compete in a contest, perhaps because one of the other most popular events at conventions, cosplay, is also most commonly in the form of a contest. Every year, AMVs shown at Anime Expo and Otakon are seen by thousands of fans, and they can vote for their favourites. (Though in some cases, contests are evaluated by a judging panel) Anime Weekend Atlanta was the first convention to have a 24-hour room dedicated to AMVs for the entire con, and a couple of others have followed suit.

And so, unlike most of the other genres presented at the DIY festival, much of the AMV community is steeped in competition, with multiple rating systems available to grade and evaluate videos at

One of the reasons for these systems was to help the site's creator (and others) to find good AMVs. There are even "Iron Editor" competitions where two editors have to make the best video they can in two hours with a few predetermined shows... and a secret ingredient of course.

It's not all competition, however. Ever since the first Dance Dance Revolution Project in 2001, where almost 20 editors came together to create a dance mix AMV over an hour long, there have been many cases of people coming together to create something more than just one person could manage. They're called Multi-Editor Projects, or MEPs, and there's also a sub-forum on to help people organize them. Themes for MEPs can include bands, emotions, holidays, or even numbers stations.

When selecting videos for consideration to be shown at the recent DIY festival,

most were released in 2008-2009.

Videos shown at the DIY 24/7 2010 program:

(With the exception of the YouTube embeds, if you click on the small "link" chain icon in the videos, you'll be taken to the video's profile page at There you'll find more information on the anime and music used, and any other details about the video that the editor wanted to convey)

I'm On A Blimp (ft. Teddy) - by LittleKuriboh

LittleKuriboh is known for his Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series videos, which consist of abbreviated episodes of the Yu-Gi-Oh anime re-dubbed with humourous dialog. This video parodies The Lonely Island's "I'm On A Boat" with Yu-Gi-Oh footage, but unlike most AMVs, the original song's lyrics have been revised and performed by the creators, in the manner of filk songs. (Another notable example of AMV creators doing their own singing is the Iron Chef Idol series of videos)

Ian Fleming's Property of a Lady - by qwaqa

There are several instances of AMV editors making faux openings or trailers for existing movies or TV shows. In this case, using Noir, Cowboy Bebop, a few other shows, and a lot of editing, qwaqa creates a fake James Bond-style opening for Ian Fleming's story, "Property of a Lady".

AMV Technique Beat - by Douggie

Also called an "AMV For Dummies" (ie: a how-to book video) in the title card, Douggie illustrates a number of techniques and considerations that go into making an AMV. The title is a reference to the "Technique Beat" trilogy of videos by Decoy.

Tim Park programs videogames by day, and helps to administrate at night. The site has been online for over ten years and catalogs over 100,000 AMVs. He's edited a few dozen AMVs (and one vid) under the name Doki Doki Productions.