I first discovered the AMV editor Bakartkung some time last year after browsing Animemusicvideos.org. What’s that website? Glad you asked! According to the site, it’s “a place where people who enjoy and create anime music videos can get together, share ideas, learn from one another, and ultimately have everyone creating and enjoying better videos.” Sounds like a great idea, huh? What if I told you that before Youtube, it was practically the only place on the Internet to find AMVs? Yeah, it was pretty important. It still is! But hey, there are a lot of people out there these days who’re making AMVs and sharing them online and have somehow never even heard of it. Maybe you’re one of those editors, or someone who just discovered AMVs on Youtube and wants to learn more. I dunno. A lot of young fans probably think that Youtube “invented” AMVs or something. I wish I didn’t care about these sort of things.

Anyway, I found Bakartkung’s profile there a year or so ago and watched a few of his (her?) videos and enjoyed most of them, despite the fact that some of them… could use some improvement. But hey, so could mine! But I’ll get back to that in a minute. Why did I enjoy these AMVs and why am I fascinated by this editor?

Bakartkung’s list of videos is extremely long (though most are listed as “unavailable” for download, a good number can be found on Youtube) and most are set to the sort of music that you almost never hear in AMVs: 808 State, S’Express, A Certain Ratio, Eric B. & Rakim, and lots of other things that you’d never find on this list. He (I’ll just assume Bakartkung is a male for the rest of this entry) uses a lot of music from the 80s and 90s, some hip-hop, some ambient techno, and a lot of stuff that was probably be called “indie dance” at one time or another. I get the feeling that a lot of these videos were made quickly, although some employ upwards of a dozen sources and occasional flashes of beat sync in their editing. It’s hard for me to recommend one to watch, particularly because none of my favorites from him seem to be available to post, but geez louise:

I’m not even sure if this is a good video or not. For such a mellow piece of music as this, there’s an awful lot of action shown. Different scenes flow into each other with no transitions. The subtitles (which show up in a lot of his videos) are distracting, but at least the image quality is good (which is a problem in many of his early videos). A lot of these problems could be solved by starting with better quality sources, but like a lot of editors, I suspect that Bakartkung’s just making the best out of what he has to work with. But yeah… I think I’m just amazed that this AMV even exists. There are more where that came from, too. And now that I’ve just found all these channels (in the middle of writing this entry), I’ve watched a few of his newer videos and they’re a lot cleaner-looking and more tightly-edited. This one is pretty good. So is this, in which he actually uses a good number of subtle transitions and edits to the tone of the song in a really faithful way.

I’ve tried to contact Bakartkung on the org a few times, but haven’t received any responses. I’m not sure if he’s fluent in English or not (he’s never posted in the forums and his profile comments are really short). It’s really unfortunate, because he seems like the sort of person I’d like a chance to chat with, and I’m pretty starved for worthwhile Internet company these days. So much of anime fandom online is made up of people whose biggest non-anime interests include 4-chan, awful Internet memes, Family Guy, bad video games, watching wrestling, Transformers movies, collecting weapons, painting their faces like the Joker, trolling, “trolling,” posting “trollface” icons on message boards and thinking they’re being subversive, and just being insufferable bores that aren’t interested in anything thoughtful or genuinely cool. I wasted a lot of time thinking that I was going to find some utopia of self-aware hipster otaku online but after years of searching I’m now ready to say that they just don’t exist. So finding someone else out there who enjoys anime and electronic music and wants to bring them together into some kind of a hobby to share with the world… it just doesn’t happen every day. I think we’d have a lot to talk about!

I know we’re on opposite sides of the world, but hey, maybe someday we can listen to The KLF or Primal Scream and have a beer.