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I do this every year, or at least I have for the last few: my favorite AMVs of 2017 list is finished, but here are some more AMVs I really love but didn’t see until early this year. I’m sure that I’ll find even more in the future, but this will be the first and last addendum to my end of year list.

Quintessence
editor: Hilary Cullen
anime: various
music: Scalene – “maré”
download: http://www.akross.ru/index.cgi?act=video;id=5069;l=e

It’s been a while since I last watched Mushi-Shi or any AMV that featured it as prominently as “Quintessence,” so maybe coming back to it from such a long hiatus helped it leave an especially fresh impression, its gentle but ominously supernatural scenes feeling more even intriguing and majestic than I anticipated. The haunted bossa nova music soundtracking the video is unlike anything I’ve heard before in an AMV, setting a very unique tone that every clip, cut and transition reinforces. Mushi-Shi is not the only anime featured here, but every other source that’s folded in around it compliments it beautifully, shaping into a video that’s the closest you’ll come to a truly  dreamlike AMV experience.

Thot Provoking Triple Bagel Backspins
editor: UnluckyArtist
anime: Teekyu
music: Migos/Nyanners – “Bad and Boujee”
download: https://www.animemusicvideos.org/members/members_videoinfo.php?v=202653

Not even sure where to begin with this one, since UnluckyArtist would surely be one of the first names I’d rattle off my list of favorite editors. Yet I somehow passed on this AMV, possibly due to, um, issues I had with its title (I’d rather not try to explain this, thanks) or maybe just because I’d long since filled my annual quota of UnluckyArtist videos to obsess over by the time I noticed it. Anyway, this was definitely the most fun video he released in 2017, even surpassing the nu-retro sugar rush of “NØ Limits!”, one of my favorite videos of the year. Completely unfamiliar with the source material, which at first glance looked like (pardon the prejudiced first impression, just being honest here) yet another cookie cutter cute-girls-doing-cute-things, moe-blob otaku-bait series, my expectations were set as low as they ever get for anything that I’ll still go through the motions of actually watching. Even more than it does on a regular basis, language defies me in my quest to explain why I actually really loved this and, in spite of a lack of traditional Artistic Substance as I know it, find it so endlessly rewatchable and filled with an unexpected sense of subtlety that comedy AMVs rarely play with. Oh yeah, it also made me a better-late-than-never convert to a song I totally, completely didn’t get whatsoever the first dozen times I heard it.

A Real Hero
editor: Bimyo
anime: My Hero Academia, Your Name
music: Fall Out Boy – “The Last of the Real Ones”
download: http://amvnews.ru/index.php?go=Files&in=view&id=9422

Fall Out Boy songs are a staple of action AMVs. Even when they don’t make a lick of sense to use, they can still inject enough dramatic swagger into a video to work regardless. That potential sets up Bimyou’s “A Real Hero”to succeed as a satisfying but very standard shonen action video, but the editor misses no opportunity to tie the substance of My Hero Academia to the song’s lyrics (a song I didn’t even hear until coming across this AMV — this band is still releasing #1 albums, what on earth happened to their radio play?). The result is a video that succeeds in its specifics, distilling the most appealing qualities of the anime into a potent, tightly-edited work that’s both an adrenaline-pumping action video and a truly spirited primer to the series for the uninitiated. I realize that on paper this sounds like any other My Hero Academia AMV, but speaking as a fan of this series since its debut, no other tribute to the series has gotten it right quite like this.

Aesthetic Anime Girl Music Video
editor: leolide
anime: various
music: Fazerdaze – “Lucky Girl”
download: http://amvnews.ru/index.php?go=Files&in=view&id=9438&lang=en

Take Pills
editor: Bry_
anime: various
music: Panda Bear – “Take Pills”

Grouping these videos together probably undermines any point I’d want to make about how they’re not like anything else I watched from the past year. I definitely think they’re both unique, but they inspire me in a similar way. This has less to do with their respective styles than a feeling I got while watching them, a hunch that that neither leolide or Bry_ edited these videos according to any preconceived notions of how an AMV should look or feel. Sure, there’s precedent here, and I’m certain that they were both influenced not just by other AMVs but the wider world of YouTube as well. And yet, I appreciate these as uncompromising personal visions made without any concessions to the average AMV fan’s tastes or preferences. While both leolide and Bry_ do indeed have (rarely-touched) accounts on the Org, they find viewers without participating much in the AMV community outside of YouTube, an arrangement that’s worked out pretty well for them but leaves me wondering if success like theirs is a bad thing for the future of the hobby. If the height of risk-taking and creativity in AMVs can be reached by casting aside all of the norms that hold the community together, what future does the community have?

These kinds of thoughts do not clutter the minds of creative and productive people who start and actually finish projects of their own outside of pontificating on other people’s work. Neither of these AMVs looks like something made by someone who sits around complaining about the hobby or how it’s changed. It’s always changing, and to fight or even resent that fact is to throw my dwindling time and energies down a hole. There is much more I could say about it, probably to no important end, but that’s time that would be better spent editing if I want to finish more than one video this year. While the creativity of these two AMVs is inspiring to me, neither looks completely out of reach in terms of my abilities or the tools I have at my fingertips right now. I don’t want to copy either of these videos, but they’re a timely reminder that there’s so much I feel I could do that I’ve still never even tried.

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