Created by several of the founding members of Gainax (about a year before their studio even formed) to commemorate the 1983 Japanese science fiction fan expo Nihon SF Taikai (AKA Daicon IV, Wikipedia explains it better than I can), this video is comprised of 100% original animation, so referring to it as a traditional AMV by any sense of the term wouldn’t really be correct, no matter how many people have surely done so over the years. But it is funny how, despite its status as both a commercial project and a legitimate piece of wholly original art, it still managed to fall victim to the classic downfall of thousands of AMVs that would follow in the decades to come. Set to the tune of Electric Light Orchestra’s “Twilight,” the creators’ failure to secure clearance to use the song would eventually cement their project’s legacy as a historical curiosity, hardly a “lost” classic but definitely an important work that was never able to take advantage of the proper VHS/DVD release it surely deserved in one form or another. Even as FLCL keeps going strong (nigh on fifteen years and counting), arguably its most noteworthy inspiration and point of reference remains virtually unknown to a lot of its biggest fans. Then again, it’s here on the Internet for all to watch today, which is surely a more efficient means of it finding an audience in 2015 than having any official DVD release… but I’m not holding my breath for those first million views to roll in any time soon.
Don’t confuse my fondness for this short film as any kind of tacit approval for the continued use of unnecessary on-screen lyrics in AMVs. Nothing could be further from the truth!