AMV Contests: An NDK Case Study or: How Not to Make Friends With Mid-20’s White Girls

This post was written by Dark_Sage. He is Dark_Sage.


After waking up early for the NDK AMV Contest this morning and realizing I shoulda just gotten trashed at home this weekend, I feel like I’ve earned the right to whine. This is gonna be a long one.


By tonight the alcohol will have rinsed all the bad thoughts away. Shout out to happy hour drafts at the hotel bar. If I live till morning I’ll have fucked this one up too.


Opening Up the AMV Hug Box

AMV editors are an interesting bunch of folks. These are a people whose sole interest in conventions appears to be watching one another’s AMVs all day… which each of them have seen umpteen times prior. Presumably this is more for interest in maintaining their fragile social links than a complete lack of personality, but hey, not my scene so who knows.

Fansubbers tend to spend most cons getting drunk and being assholes to 14-year-olds till we’re escorted off the premises, so it’s not like I have any room to talk.

Here’s the deal: beyond passive aggressive whingeing and clique clashing on discord or decades-old forums (really), you’re not gonna see any honest feedback coming through. And these kids work hard (sometimes); they deserve it. So I think it’s time for everyone’s favorite sage to step on the stage.

Oh, and a fun part of this case study is I think I saw about half these editors at the AMV dinner last night. Thanks for the invite; y’all were solid, but I need to cut down on friends as it is so feel free to take this shit personally. (Except for Radical_Yue: We can be boys but that corndog vid vid intro shit needs to go.)


AMV Contests

Categorically false, and also the only tweet I could find talking about NDK’s AMV Contest.

AMVs are what happens when you give a bunch of people whose parents never told them “no” a suite of over-complicated video editing software and infinite access to YoutubeDownloader. To these folks, ISO is something their managers at Target vaguely mumble about before handing them a mop and face mask.

AMV Contests are what happens when you give the least sane of those people megaphones and designate them Head Janitors.



When AMVs (at NDK) Suck

Don’t cry, emo kid.


AMV Editors Can’t Into English

AMV editors are the people for whom a song’s chorus contains all the lyrics they will ever remember. They’re just words, right? What could they even mean? Take this one:

Honestly, editor-kun, you’re gonna pick Little Witch Academia and coast from there? I get it, you heard “hey dreamer” in the intro and were like “oh boy that girl from Little Witch dreams too, what an easy AMV I’m gonna make!”

But half the lyrics in the song could fit numerous LWA scenes that you missed — or any of a suite of editing basics (you aren’t even gonna play with “technicolor”?) — and you just go deaf? Was this AMV ‘finalist’ some kind of disability affirmative action pick or something?

I applaud the inclusiveness from the judges, but even if that were the case, wouldn’t the editor still have access to the lyrics online? Don’t blame me for drawing the obvious conclusions. :(



The Concept Doesn’t Work

“You don’t know you’re beautiful” does not fucking go with Blend-S. There are like 500 ugly duckling, typically insecure MCs you could’ve pulled from any shitty romcom to complete the 2-piece puzzle… but Maika is not fucking one of them. Drain a vein. the AMV

This sleepy submission was clearly put together by an editor who did 40 cuts, realized they had no idea what the fuck they were doing, then randomized the order and called it a day. Please try trying next time.



Same Shit, Same Song

The AMV in this case (not online yet) was the searched song set to Asagao to Kase-san, but you’d get the exact same experience from any of these.



Related: Nobody Needs Another Fucking Gurren Lagann AMV

If you don’t have anything new to say, why the fuck is your mouth hanging open? I know AMV editors have collectively watched about 10 animes total, and their Spotify is constantly tuned to Disney Lite, but this shit is getting old for the rest of us. The fuck are you contributing at this point?

I’d say no more Monogatari AMVs too but that’d kill off like half the scene, plus I like the anime tiddies, so…



“I Know It’s Not Finished, But…”

This entry is from an Iron Chef which means the editor had like three days total to put it together. Yeah, I get it’s already made, but dude try having standards…

Granted, maybe I could learn something from this kid.



The A Stands for Anything, Right?

From the NDK AMV Contest Rules

Weird how every AMV Contest I go to is infested with American cartoons and editors pasting their stupid fucking selfies over everything. Fuck, there was even a Bioshock Infinite one at this con. It sucked as much as you would expect.

Anyway, this shit is all conveniently covered by the rule addendums at every con. When a judge’s friend spent a whole 5 minutes on a My Little Pony episode 5 Limp Bizkit video, you can’t just disqualify it — exceptions must be made! Okay, this paragraph was mostly aimed at Anime Weekend Atlanta but who’s counting at this point?



Mindless Pandering

The lifelong failures in the audience flipped their shit at this one. Whoa, it’s Doki Doki Literature Club! And Clannad! Grug like!

Plz go, and I don’t mean back into society.



Comedy Not Included

None of these deserve your views.

I have yet to see a comedy AMV (at contests) that consists of more than just lazy references. If I wanted to watch reddit on the big screen I’d shift over to LiveLeak and watch short buses fall off cliffs.

…huh, I think I just figured out tonight’s post-game.



Take It I’m Not Invited to the Next Team Dinner ;_;

Shikata be helped…

Anyway, that’s about it. I do love AMVs, but I’m not getting paid to be some anime kid’s therapist, so they can just suck on some reality.

The AMV scene may have hit its peak back when the primary means of AMV distribution was smuggling them through Limewire as LaraCroftNude.exe’s, but don’t tell me the well’s run dry for anyone but these contest submitters. Here’s some good shit from other editors this year:

Okay, that took longer to write than I was expecting. Time for those brews cuz daddy needs a memory wipe.

8 thoughts on “AMV Contests: An NDK Case Study or: How Not to Make Friends With Mid-20’s White Girls”

  1. When I’m in the mood to watch some AMVs I just watch some of Kevin Caldwell’s stuff. You know, back when AMV’s were made with 2 VCRs.

    (Damn. Just looked at my AMV folder, it’s been 7 years since I’ve been on I doubt I’ve missed much.)

      • “Naruto” no, “Faint by Linkin Park” oh God no.
        Watch vid.
        Wow! What WAS some smooth editing. They failed to create a narrative with their clip selection which would have really elevated it to being more than just good editing (see Kevin Caldwell – Battle Athletes – Believe).
        But the song selection kills it for me. (I’ve just seen too many shit Linkin Park vids, there’s just an implicit relations ship now.)
        Beyond trash concepts and editing, I think most AMVs fail in the anime/song pairing (for single anime AMVs). There’s too much edgy songs + edgy anime = TRASH. (Well when I got tiered of watching them anyway.) Or romantic balled + wistful scenes = TRASH. Not that it couldn’t be well done, but there’s just so much lazy crap. If you got a song with a good narrative you can get by with some longer lazier editing. I’m surprised by how many 80’s songs I hear and think of a good AMV concept (not that I’d ever spend anytime making one), vs newer songs I hear. Maybe it’s just because I’m old and bitter.

        Well you’ve peaked my interest, I’ll probably take a look at some of the high voted, Con winners, ect.

        Also where’s your overview of the current season? It’s almost over.

        • European AMV’s probably more your style if you want higher end editing and concepts nowadays. Check out the past like, 4 years of Japan Expo Paris top 5 contest winners. They’re not all A+ but they aren’t made by edgy americans so that’s a plus at least.

    • Oh, is that not an addendum? Could’ve sworn I had a piece about that in there. But no I’m sure I didn’t and you aren’t illiterate.

      Glad you liked Bioshock so much by the by. Maybe you could submit your high school passion project to a video game convention next time? I’m sure they’d love to have you in their scene. Afraid ours is getting kinda full and there’s little value in watering it down even further. :(


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