I’m really of two minds about this one.

I mean, there’s no denying that this is a pretty amazing piece of work. Has anyone out there has ever proposed a more ambitious AMV and then actually followed through to completion like this? Even if it were nothing but a bunch of pretty effects, it would still be interesting and notable but instead what we have here is nothing short of a totally cohesive piece of work, probably fully-storyboarded and everything, with each sequence flowing so naturally into the next that you have to keep reminding yourself that it’s one person’s personal project and not the work of some studio or advertising company. Heck, if only it was! This video is legitimately cool in a way that almost nothing else in this socially out-of-touch hobby is anymore.

On the other hand, it’s certainly emblematic of the ultra-competitive spirit that’s overtaken the hobby, in which the goal is no longer to show an appreciation for the subject but to show off the technical abilities of the creator. And the possibility that this could be the new standard by which all other AMVs are judged, as produced by someone who obviously has a background (if not lots of training, too) in art and/or video production, it really puts the future of this once-DIY hobby into question. Seriously, if Kevin Caldwell returned to the hobby under a pseudonym, I’ve no doubt that his new videos would be ignored or laughed at.

Either way, this is worth watching. The creator, who goes by the handle Qwaqa, also made this Evangelion AMV, which is unbelievably creative. As a fan who’s tired of the “LOL Shinji, such an emo wiener!” reaction that the series gets more often than not in the Internet age, I also found it provocative and insulting. But I guess there’s something to be said for making a video that actually gets a strong reaction out of people.