(VPR warning: strobing at 1:54)

The July 1997 premiere date for this AMV, as listed in its entry on animemusicvideos.org, easily makes this one of the oldest AMVs that I have ever watched. I’m well aware that there are plenty more AMVs from the 80s and 90s, many a decade or older than this one; every single one of them is literally outnumbered a hundred thousand to one by AMVs made after the turn of the century, making each one of these works from the 90s a rare and precious window into the past. So yeah, this is officially an oldie. AMVs from this time were confined to the back ends of VHS fansubs (perhaps a dying scene at this point in time as DVDs were finally making their debut) and convention-exclusive screenings and contests, or so I’ve heard from countless second and thirdhand accounts of people who were supposedly there (mostly hazy anecdotes that we’ll have to take on good faith, that is unless someone happens to one day cover this misunderstood era in, say, a documentary?). Many AMVs from this pre-Internet age survive. Countless others did not. We’re lucky to still have this one at all, as its editor uploaded it to the Org in the earliest days of the site, not always the easiest of tasks in the era of requiring user-unfriendly FTP clients to do so.

Then again, the video embedded above might have been made sometime after 1997. Or not! “This is a re-make of my first video ever made,” tetzlaff says in his description of the AMV. “It was originally made with 1 VCR, 1 LD player, and 1 Portable CD player.” If different sources of hardware were used to edit its remake, tetzlaff doesn’t specify what they were. The URL for the video entry marks “One Shot Juanita” as video #2,189 in the animemusicvideos.org database. It is impossible to pinpoint an exact date that this entry was created, but given that most other entries immediately preceding and following it have premiere dates between April and July of 2001, it is almost certain that the entry was created in mid-2001. Whether or not the remake was made during this time or very shortly after its original creation in 1997 remains unclear. At the end of the video, it’s revealed that “One Shot Juanita” was a nominee for Best Drama at the 1997 Anime Expo AMV contest. As I cannot find any records of this contest online, we’ll have to take tetzlaff at his word on this. If this turns out to be a two and a half decade-long con that I’ve fallen for, then so be it.

I discovered this AMV the same way I’ve discovered so many of my other favorites: searching for videos by some of my favorite musical artists, searching for videos featuring artists related to those artists, or searching for videos featuring musical artists whose music I’ve never heard used in an AMV before. The circumstances around this one kind of straddle all three of those categories, but suffice to say if someone edited an AMV in 1997 featuring a Christian shoegaze song, well yeah of course I’m going to want to check it out. It’s as unlikely of a song as you’ll ever hear during this era of the hobby… which I realize isn’t really a keen observation whatsoever, of course popular songs by popular artists will always dominate what’s being used in AMVs, especially those that successfully resonate with a large audience. If nothing else, this is just an early example to the contrary. Imagining how this ever came to be is total speculation but I find it interesting given the clues that tetzlaff gives us in his video description: “This video was made during a depressing moment in my life. Yes, I was depressed over a girl who rejected me. The song was one of the songs on a tape she had given me.” Unfortunately for tetzlaff, the title of this AMV (“One Shot Juanita”) does not actually match the title of the song that’s used in it (“Do You Ever Feel That Way”), a mistake he owns up to but also one I’m glad he made, as it provides a glimpse into the origins of this video that we might not have had without it. Looking at the tracklisting of Starflyer 59’s Gold, one can make a assumption or two about how this slip up might have happened. It’s safe to say that the creator of the tape surely had no idea what it would soon inspire, and absolutely never would have imagined that some total stranger (on the World Wide Web!) would be speculating about it a whole twenty-five years later.

What I find most interesting about “One Shot Juanita” is how it operates as a work of pure affect at a time when there was little precedent for such an approach to AMVs. Honing in on an emotion that’s present in the source material and/or experienced by the editor themselves is not an unusual approach to an AMV editing, but it’s relatively nonexistent in the pre-digital editing era, when mood was rarely privileged over sync, humor or the still-very novel pleasures of dropping otaku-friendly metatextual references into a video. There’s little of any that to be had here, yet in a little over two minutes tetzlaff still succeeds in making the viewer feel not just the emotions inherent to the media he’s editing with but possibly some of his own feelings as well. You don’t need to be familiar with this anime for this AMV to work, as this two minute-meditation on adolescent angst and unrequited or unexpressed feelings portrays universal emotions in ways that are immediately easy to understand without any larger context. I suppose this is a claim that I can’t completely back up, given that I haven’t seen this OVA–somehow related to Tenchi Muyo!, though not immediately apparent in any of these scenes–and thus, could be missing out on some additional context here that might be adding to these scenes. Regardless, this AMV could also give us an insight into the editor’s headspace during its creation. Perhaps all AMVs do this to one degree or another, but viewers are rarely privy on where to look for it, almost never being tipped off quite as obviously as they are in this case, at least for the viewers who bother to read the editor’s comments along with watching his video. If you don’t really care about this stuff, you can take it or leave it. Because I’m curious about the individuals behind every AMV I watch, I’m certainly interested in what kind of psychological factors might have influenced their creative decisions or inspired to them to sit down and edit in the first place. YMMV.

I doubt that any viewers or fellow editors would take issue with describing “One Shot Juanita” as a “simple” AMV, as there are no effects or unusual techniques in its brief runtime, just the kind of straight cuts that any editor working strictly with a VCR would inevitably be limited to. Its simplicity runs even deeper than its appearance belies, as tetzlaff admits that only three clips were used in its creation. Later in his description of the process of remaking it he remarks, “since it was only 3 cuts it was not hard to recreate.” Three cuts would necessitate the use of four clips, but I think I understand what he meant here. My best guess is that the clips were cut at 0:24 and 0:53. It is astounding how well the natural cuts and progression of shots in these largely uncut scenes sync to the music and reinforce the mood that this video is so steeped in. No, the cuts do not perfectly hit every beat, but they sell an illusion of purpose that I think would be easy for a viewer to buy into without the editor’s admission that most of the hard cuts present in this video were not deliberate at all. If it’s not a work of intricate precision, “One Shot Juanita” is still a breeze to watch, even in its sub-DVD resolution. The video is over before you know it, but in a short space and with very little actual handiwork, tetzlaff crafts a character profile that viewers will sympathize and empathize with.

A few years later, tetzlaff would release “Mambo #5,” a much more conventional crowd-pleaser of an AMV than his debut effort. It is everything that “One Shot Juanita” isn’t, which isn’t to say that it’s not a legitimate work of personal expression. It’s just a more traditional AMV in both its composition and its pursuit of fun vibes for all, one that has “contest winner” written all over it from the opening scenes but may also have come up short in taking home any categories. By 2001 AMVs had become a much more competitive and boundary-pushing creative field, the bar for what constituted technical and creative savviness suddenly raised to to levels unforeseen just a few years earlier. “Mambo #5” would be tetzlaff’s final AMV, and it lives on as a time capsule of this transitional era of the hobby. But his first AMV, the mis-titled and lesser-viewed “One Shot Juanita,” still conveys a potent sense of melancholy that’s remained palpable across the decades. Despite my attempt at a thorough dissection in this entry, maybe there’s only so much you can read into a video like this, even with the editor’s own recounting of its origins. But it’s tempting for me to assert that this is one of the first AMVs that, first and foremost, functioned as a work of emotional catharsis rather than aspiring to be a fun or awe-inspiring tribute to the anime being featured. Again, I cannot prove this, nor can I assume that the editor was purposefully using AMV editing as a tool to help him sort through complex emotions, at least not in a consciously deliberate way that could qualify as Art Therapy via editing, but watching it you can feel how tetzlaff might have been processing some of what he was going through in real life. We take that for granted as a motivation for editing today, but I think the potential for it was very untapped in this era of the hobby and tetzlaff may have been one of the first to unknowingly explore it. We follow in his footsteps today.

I began editing AMVs in 2009, never coming close to becoming one of those creators who regularly release a new AMV every few days or every few weeks to YouTube, but I always found it easy to complete two to three full length videos a year, a pace that left me fulfilled and satisfied. I assumed that it would be easy to maintain, and if it ever actually changed that it would be in the direction of greater productivity and efficiency as I slowly grew more comfortable with my own workflow and marginally improved my technical abilities over the years.

This never really panned out like I thought it would.

This post is an account of every failed project I can recall that I actually spent a couple of hours working on, which does not include the lengthy times that I spent brainstorming ideas for them while waiting for downtime to actually begin work on them. I have known very well for quite some time that many of these AMVs would never see the light of day, but by declaring these projects to be officially dead, I can officially move past them and hopefully find a marginal bit of additional focus on other ideas that still hold promise. This isn’t going to be an especially fun or important post, but seeing how many blog entries suffer the same fate as these editing projects, I think it’s time to embrace the spirit of just clicking “Publish” and putting something out regardless of how much it falls short of being the as perfect as I’d like it to be. It’s that or going another eleven months in between posts here for yet another year.

This list won’t follow a true chronological order, although the first AMV idea listed marked my first failed attempt to finish a video, and the last idea on the list happened to be the most recent. Everything else in between is kind of a blur with different ideas started at different times and periodically revisited at random points over the past six or seven years.

If any of these ideas sound appealing, please feel free to steal them and make the AMV that I never could. I believe in you!

Anime: Your Lie In April
Song: Placebo – “A Million Little Pieces”

For most of 2015 I spend a lot of time contemplating this project, but struggled immensely to find the time or energy to work on it. I was consumed with the last year of my college classes, which seamlessly bled into a year’s worth of exhausting clinical rotations that I struggled to balance with a part time job and the eventual ordeal of purchasing a new home for the first time in my life and eventually moving. I feel like I have a habit of complaining about this period of my life every chance I get to do it, and I kind of hate that because it was all a process of positive change for me, just a busy time of my life and not really the horrible ordeal that I often make it out to be. But the process of imagining and eventually attempting to compose this AMV really was a personal turning point for me that’s made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about myself as an editor and someone who’s strived to find a way to be “creative” in this world ever since I was a kid.

Up until this point I had successfully completed every video project I had ever begun work on. The prospect that I would ever fail to complete an AMV, especially one I was so excited about and had such high hopes for, was a possibility I’d never even considered. Yet at the end of the process of preparing my footage and subclipping for specific scenes I thought would be especially useful at key moments in the song, one of the most involved cases of this pre-editing ritual that I’d ever put myself through, I found myself paralyzed by the possibilities in front of me. To this day I can’t quite account for what happened here or why my intentions or ambitions were unable to give shape to anything meaningful on the timeline. I hate to be overdramatic about this, but the experience felt like I’d lost my grip on whatever it was that had made editing so fun and rewarding.

The idea for this AMV hit me the moment I first heard this song, which struck me as a perfect character profile theme for the main character of this anime, a reflection of his personal struggles and his headspace, not to mention a song featuring lyrics that could easily be mapped on to some of his most important relationships. The ample piano featured in the music was also ideal for this anime, which wasn’t a requirement but certainly a nice bonus. I even got my hands on a “radio edit” of the song, shaving nearly a minute off its runtime down to a workable 3:45 in length. Despite feeling like I had much more than enough material to work with for every phase of the song, I simply could not establish any sense of flow, neither in terms of the illusion of effortless logic that the best AMVs seem to ooze as you watch them, nor in the personal sense of ever being able to lose myself in the act of editing as people strive to do as they work on creative projects they’re particularly passionate about. I would complete several more AMVs after eventually scrapping this project, but this marked a turning point where I could no longer ever be completely sure if the AMV idea in my head that was I so excited about ever really stood a chance of reaching completion. It was easy enough to eventually give up on this project, a decision I justified by taking notice of all the other AMVs that editors were making with this anime series, which I assumed made my passion project completely unessential to any potential audience. As interest in this anime has slowly waned, I no longer feel this way, but since I deleted all of the footage from this anime from my computer nearly two years ago to make space for other projects which have also gone nowhere, returning to it at this point is impossible.

Anime: Your Lie In April
Song: Radiohead – “Decks Dark”

Feeling stuck on the original idea I had for a Your Lie In April AMV, I began experimenting with the footage using other songs. This idea never reached anything close to completion or any work in progress that ever could have been shared, essentially just being three or four short sequences that played off the mood and the lyrics of this song in ways I’ve never tried before. This wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t a foundation to build an entire AMV around. Unfortunately, I had absolutely zero vision for where this was ever supposed to go beyond the handful of parts I was toying with, especially in the final third of the song where both the mood and the tempo shift into new territory. If you read the lyrics, you might get an idea of what I was going for here.

Anime: NeiA_7
Song: Blur – “Out of Time”

Maybe it only exists in my head, but there’s a specific vibe in both of these works that makes me feel like they’d go perfectly together. I don’t really remember how I arrived at the moment where I realized this would be much harder to suss out than I’d first expected, but I do remember sitting down and putting a decent amount of work into this before surrendering and skipping to a new project, never to return. If I was preparing footage for this in 2016 or 2017, then it had already been about fifteen years since I’d last watched this anime, and maybe my recollection of wasn’t an accurate reflection of what it really was or what I could possibly shape it into. For this AMV, I’m certain that I wasn’t planning on bringing any of its slapstick visual comedy onto my timeline, scenes that happen to be where a lot of its most interesting animation comes into play. When you’re building an AMV around scenes of characters looking bored, listless or sad, with nothing happening on scene to keep the average viewer interested, then you’ve got to bring something original to the material to make it visually engaging. Maybe I never figured out what that was going to be.

Anime: The Secret World of Arrietty
Song: Michael Jackson – “She’s Out Of My Life”

The entire concept of this video was built around the final scenes of this film, which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but in my excitement over this video I managed to forget that these key scenes that I considered to be pivotal to the entire AMV were overlaid with the end credits of the movie. Due to the nature of these scenes and the animation and camera movement they included, there was absolutely no masking or effects I could employ to work around them. A lot of work went into prepping this one, clipping scenes from the film in a linear fashion until reaching its finale and discovering that the main idea was ultimately unfeasible. The “clean” animation surely exists in the vaults of Studio Ghibli, making it the second most-coveted footage on my to-get list.

This is one of those songs that will be instantly recognizable to many, unheard but immediately intriguing to everyone else, and thankfully nowhere close to being overused. I’d never edited with a song like this and was really looking forward to trying to make it work. Realizing my original idea just wasn’t viable, I didn’t have any sort of backup plan and this project just kind of died right then and there. I was certain that I had deleted the footage for this one, but there it sits on my external hard drive, a folder created in January of 2016 that’s just waiting to be deleted (ripped from a DVD, its quality isn’t making a strong case for its future). Nostalgia for my plans for this video are really all that’s keeping it there.

Anime: Sword Art Online 2
Song: Depeche Mode – “Halo”

I’d nearly forgotten all about this AMV, despite seeing it through closer to completion than anything else on this list. I can only assume that must have deleted the project file for it (an act that would save practically no hard drive space whatsoever), as there’s no evidence on my computer that it ever existed in the first place. This was going to be an action/character profile video focusing on Kirito and Asada/Shinon, with lots of lyric sync and a structure incorporating flashbacks from their pasts into the story. While this nearly slipped through the cracks when it comes to the blog entry you’re reading right now, I remember this project fondly, as I think I actually filled up half of the timeline with meaningfully-placed scenes and some decent sync throughout, but of course it’s easy to feel nostalgic for ideas that can still feel full of promise and potential. It’s still easy to convince myself that this could have been as good as my previous Sword Art Online AMV, which surprisingly I’m still happy with many years later. I think I just gave up on this after realizing that I wanted this AMV to stand on its own, and the objectively pointless genderswap of the main character for this arc just made the whole concept confusing and difficult to follow without trying to shoehorn in an explanation for it. The possibilities it presents are intriguing, but naturally the story does nothing at all with it. I suppose it functioned as an effective anti-piracy measure aimed solely at myself, slowly wearing me down until I lost confidence in how well any of this was working and eventually quitting the project. The concluding shots of this AMV were great, you’ll have to take my word for it.

Anime: A Whisker Away
Song: Bark Psychosis – “Shapeshifting”

We’re getting into desperate territory here. Even if you haven’t heard this song, you can probably guess right away why I chose it. This sort of thing is probably far too on the nose to ever take seriously, but for a while I was able to put those thoughts to the side and try to make the best of it. There are a few finished parts of this that I quite like, but they’re confined to the instrumental passages of the song (ironically, probably the most “difficult” parts of the song to edit to, I imagine). Very little of the basic lyric sync that inspired this idea ever came together convincingly. I honestly didn’t like this movie very much, but I wanted to work with a source that was reasonably new for a change, and I always like the idea of trying to “redeem” an imperfect anime with an inspired AMV. As always, this is more difficult than it sounds.

Anime: Gunsmith Cats, Riding Bean, Read or Die, Read or Die the TV
Song: Makaya McCraven – “Where We Come From”

Another embarrassing boner of a project, one where the whole video was to be built around footage that clearly depicts something essential to the concept but never actually existed in the first place. This was a tough pill to swallow as Read or Die was an absolutely formative anime for me in the dawn of my budding otakudom, one I watched countless times when it was one of the only anime DVDs I owned. I’d call myself a R.O.D. lifer, but that means nothing if your memories of the setting of this story are completely and totally inaccurate. The British Library in this setting is not, in fact, located in London–technically it is, but most of the time this OVA and its accompanying 26-episode sequel series spends at it happens to be at one of its international branches–nor does any of the action in this series ever take place in said city. Once again, technically this is not true as the characters do travel to London at the end of Read or Die the TV. They just happen to… travel back in time for some reason along the way, arriving in the city during the mid 1800s, resulting in scenes that would make absolutely no sense if I were to try to use them as I was planning to.

I really loved the crossover potential between these two franchises, which both have a very cool retro appeal that seemed like they could play off one another in a convincing fashion. The only other anime I know of that takes place in modern London, Burn the Witch, would look incredibly out of place alongside the Gunsmith Cats/Riding Bean footage, and would wreck the overall aesthetic and any sense of connection I feel towards this as a project that I actually would want to work on. Also, I watched one “episode” of that anime and did not enjoy it one bit, so yeah, I have no interest at all in spending any more time with it. This one is dead in the water and only exists as video files for imminent purging.

Anime: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Song: Electronic – “Tighten Up”

Listen to this song, close your eyes, maybe you’ll see what I was imagining or start to get an inkling of the feeling that I wanted to capture. This one seemed like it would flow together effortlessly, but nothing could be further from the truth. I really wanted to make a high energy, fun action video with this, but I was unprepared for how much this one would push back against me in what I was sure was going to be a low-effort process. Very hard for me to put into words why this felt like like mixing oil and water. I am not really good at syncing lively animation to music in a way that really achieves the specific feeling I was going after in this. At the time I was really set on making a video that would play well at a convention on a big screen, but these days I think that’s just not going to happen and I am working to be okay with that.

Anime: The Boy and the Beast
Song: Primal Scream – “Walking With the Beast”

I have less to say about this one than anything else here. Would love to see someone make a Primal Scream AMV with a song that’s not “Can’t Go Back,” which seems like it had a moment after Kick-Ass came out that none of their other songs ever had either in the US or on the Internet. Saying this band deserved “better” feels like a stretch but this never sat right with me.

Anime: Haibane Renmei
Song: Neko Case – “The Things That Scare Me”

Technically still “in progress,” I see that I haven’t saved any changes to this project since 2017. Trying to change that today, I’m reminded of how weirdly difficult it was to bring the ideas I had for this to life. If this had ever reached completion, I planned on immediately remaking it with higher quality footage than the 480p DVD rip that I was still using in this project file. Maybe if I was working with video that was just a little prettier or more crisp, I might feel a little more motivated to press on through this, but acquiring and preparing it feels like more trouble than it’s worth at this point. This doesn’t mean I’ll never make an AMV with this series, but I don’t think it’s going to be this one.

Anime: Kill La Kill
Song: Bikini Kill – “Rebel Girl”

Yet another idea I dreamed up driving to work sometime in 2020, one I was much more certain than anything else here was going to effortlessly come together the moment I finished preparing my footage. I even took extensive notes as I rewatched the series for the first time in seven or eight years. There’s no way this wasn’t going to work! Alas, I just could not get this to flow in the slightest. The animation of this series was incredibly frustrating to work with, being distractingly busy and kinetic when I wanted scenes that would hold still, while being shockingly static and lifeless in other moments where I wanted scenes that would convey an energy that would really pop out of the screen. This is difficult to describe without giving away spoilers, but blaming this on the anime is probably passing the buck here.

My experience of running into a brick wall with this project felt like I was struggling to edit my Gurren Lagann AMV all over again. The stylistic similarities of these works must not be the best fit for how I edit or the AMVs I want to make, which is probably a good sign that I should absolutely never try to make that one Little Witch Academia AMV that I desperately wish existed in this world. That being said, there are plenty of anime on this list that are as far as one can get from the hyper-stylized approach of Studio Trigger or some of its Gainax-produced spiritual precursors, so the anime here is not the problem as much as the mindset of the person obsessively subclipping it but really having no idea what to do with it when he’s finally done.

Their similarities aside, I don’t believe for a second that HiikariAMV’s “All of The Above” (2018) was anything close to a deliberate rip-off of “Neapolitan” (2015) by Copycat Revolver, nor do I necessarily assume that HiikariAMV has ever watched “Neapolitan” in the first place. But when I first watched HiikariAMV’s video nearly three years ago, I found it impossible not to compare the two works. CR’s work is a little more polished than “All of The Above,” though not to a degree that kept HiikariAMV’s work from getting under my skin and staying there for over four years now. As a showcase of pure sync in nearly every shot it employs, it’s hard to deny that “Neapolitan” goes places that this AMV never really does, although there are several moments in “All of The Above” that do successfully utilize internal sync to a much more subtle degree. Getting that out of the way and hopefully moving on, these two works have nothing to do with one another and I’ve only recently come to understand that on a level that’s opened the door to my independent and hopefully unbiased appreciation of each. So yeah, enjoy this reappraisal of an AMV that I’ve never given its due but have never come close to forgotting about.

Its obvious and hopefully universal charms aside, I think that no small part of the appeal of this AMV me is the fact that I’ve made individual AMVs with all three of the anime sources that “All of The Above” uses: Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL and Alien Nine. Having spent so much time with each source during the editing process (to say nothing of all the times I’ve watching them for pleasure as they were meant to be experienced in the first place), I feel a personal bond of sorts to each and I know that’s affecting my experience of watching HiikariAMV’s edit. I’m not sure that most people will understand this kind of thing, as talking with other editors over the years has left me with the impression that most people feel downright sick of the anime they’re editing with by the time a project is finished, certainly eager to move on, sometimes ready to never watch a second of their source again unless they’re forced to (few editors take this feeling to such an extreme, perhaps the few I’ve encountered who’ve claimed to didn’t mean it as literally as I took it). Although Eva and FLCL are as perennially popular as ever, I’m always intrigued by AMVs that continue to incorporate source material as old as this, which is also psychologically working me over as I clearly remember a time when the last words you’d ever use to describe any of these anime were “old” (or its optimistic synonym: “classic”). It feels particularly weird and incomprehensibly poignant to see all three of these anime in one video, including Alien Nine, which feels like an unexpectedly left field-addition to this mix.

Rather than digging into the structure of this AMV or actually analyzing it (maybe I’ll get around to this eventually), I’ll continue to focus on the extrinsic factors that color my opinion of it: I really like this song! “Riot Van” is from an album that is now 5,966 days old and “new” to pretty much no one besides myself. As a rock song written and played by young people, it feels like it’s from a completely different era… which of course, it is. Maybe one of the last gasps of indie rock and even the whole concept of the four-piece band before it was all ground to dust by pop, rap and electronic music, a backlash that was long in the making and not entirely unjustified, the hype preceding the first Arctic Monkeys album was nearly unprecedented. It’s all but forgotten today or at least much easier to ignore, so maybe there’s been no better time to appreciate its songs on their own terms. The sparse arrangement and unhurried, laid-back tone of this song casts its narrative in a far less confrontational light than the lyrics alone would suggest, painting a portrait of chav mischief at its most mundane. While the occurrence of cops rounding up and arresting youths for non-violent offenses–perhaps with a certain degree of unnecessary force, depending on what a listener may read into the final lyrics–might be analyzed with greater scrutiny and seriousness today than it was fifteen years ago, the song treats the confrontation as a lamentable but routine sort of incident. It’s a slice-of-life sort of song, one that’s over before you know it. If the simplicity of that kind of thing appeals to you, this might be your jam.

Unnecessary song analysis now out of the way, I think that with one or two notable exceptions, the lyric sync in this video is practically non-existent. This is typically a big hang up for me when it comes to trying to connect to an AMV where the lyrics are so front and center and the visuals appear to be riding on a completely different thematic track from the words I’m processing in my brain as I watch them. Does this ruin the video for me? I mean, I’m updating and finally posting this entry, which has been sitting in my drafts folder for nearly two years, and I probably wouldn’t be wasting my time on discussing and promoting an AMV that I didn’t enjoy… so yeah, in this case I definitely don’t mind this disconnect one bit and it’s entirely possible that it’s actually contributing to the unique feeling I get out of this video. It’s relaxing in a way that its occasionally violent or visually busy scenes ought not to be. In terms of what it is trying to provoke in the viewer, “All of The Above” is one of those extremely subjective works that never makes its theme or purpose too overt or obvious. HiikariAMV does not hold the viewer’s hand in leading them to predetermined messages, meanings or feelings. It’s definitely not an experimental or difficult video, but it’s certainly not the stuff you harvest easy rewards with.

The video thumbnail gives away the basic structure of this edit: there are three video tracks playing simultaneously, but each is allowed to dip in and out with the music, often synced to the lead guitar melody. The way each video track will slowly begin to fade to black, only to suddenly cut to a new shot before the transition is completed, provides an unexpected sync technique that’s reflective of the empty spaces in the song. Surely it’s an approach you’ve probably seen somewhere before, and I doubt it will leave any viewers in a state or shock or awe, but it’s very effective in setting up these narrowly-cropped clips to leave a certain kind of impression that’s difficult for me to put into words. Ultimately, this is another one of those AMVs that stirs up ineffable emotions, nothing soul-piercing or life-changing, but unique enough to move me to want to share it with others, an act that I won’t put the effort into for at least 99% of AMVs that I would admit to thoroughly enjoying.



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