Anime Music Video

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Synonyms: AMV, AMVs
See also: MAD, Vidding, GMV, Animated Music Video, Machinima, Trackjacking
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Anime music videos (AMVs) are a transformative art form usually produced by combining video footage from Japanese animation with music. However, AMVs have expanded to include the creation of music videos with fanart, and sometimes music videos are created from manga scans.[1] Other fannish music video traditions include Vidding, Machinima, and Trackjacking.

Fans who make AMVs are referred to as AMV editors or creators.

It is important to note that AMVs are primarily produced outside Japan by people who speak a language other than Japanese. Japanese fans have their own anime/game genre of fan video, known as MADs.


The earliest known English-language fan music video made using anime is Jim Kaposztas's comedic Space Battleship Yamato video to "All You Need is Love" by the Beatles, produced in 1982 using two VCRs.[2]. Only one copy existed, and the tape was damaged, but a 1984 remake exists on YouTube.

The hobby, in parallel with fan dubbing and fan parodies, was largely spread via VHS tape trading by anime fansub distribution services and by performance at anime conventions, since widespread VCR ownership was not common until the 1990s.[3]

By the mid '90s, anime conventions began holding contests[4] for anime music videos, and a distinct anime fan AMV subculture developed. As video editing technology became more accessible, and as video distribution over the Internet became more common, AMVs became an integral part of online anime fandom. As of 2009, the major online hub for anime vidding is the website AnimeMusicVideos.Org, with listings of well over 100,000 AMVs.

For all intents and purposes, AMVs as a medium of expression pre-date the Internet by over a decade. Though they’re often thought of as a cultural phenomenon of the early 2000s, the medium was twenty years old by that point – the early 2000s is simply when home Internet connections reached the point of being fast and stable enough that distributing AMVs online became feasible, particularly once YouTube entered the picture in 2005. If you’ve ever wondered why AMVs seemed to just pop into existence as a fully realised art form circa 2000, well, the reason might be that there’s two decades of history you’re not seeing.[5]

Notable AMVs

Notable AMVs include (among many others):

  • Jinnai and the Bugrom LIVE! by Studio Hybrid. Best known for the catchy and bizarre music and expert lip-synching.
  • Mystery Yaoi Theater 3000 by Zarxrax of Anime-Fansubs. This hilarious AMV parodies various classic anime series as well as the ways in which straight male otaku relate to yaoi fangirls. It's possibly best known for the unorthodox use of that big, phallic monster from Evangelion and the subsequent subtitle of: "Oh my god, you defiled Berserk!" It was shown at YaoiCon 2002 to great acclaim.
  • The Wizard of Ozaka, a hilarious multifandom video game parody. It won the 2006 Viewers' Choice Award.
  • E.T. by ebily is an example of an MMV - Manga Music Video. Each of the panels was colored by ebily using Paint Tool SAI, Photoshop CS3, and Sony Vegas Pro 9.
  • Hold Me Now, a Princess Tutu AMV often used by the series's fans to entice other people to watch the anime.
  • Koe no Katachi ~ I'll be good (amv) by Kumoclouds (2007)
  • Anime's Got Talent - well known for its editing and premise.

Popular Anime Sources

Some of the anime that have been commonly featured in AMVs include:[6]

Popular Music

Mainstream contemporary rock and pop are the most common types of music used in AMVs. Linkin Park is especially popular, especially for Dragon Ball Z AMVs, to the point where "Linkinball Z" became a derogatory term for the genre.[8]


Most AMV contests are held at anime conventions. Example contests include:

Some AMV contests are run online. Examples of such contests include:

Iron Editor contests are often run alongside other AMV contests at conventions.

AMVs vs Fanvids

Because of relatively little overlap between anime and Western media fandom, much of the development of AMVs happened parallel to but separate from fanvidding. Also, thanks to the differences between anime and Western media, AMVs feature different stylistic focuses. While fanvids often emphasize emotions and reinterpretation of the source canon, AMVs are more likely to be visually oriented; many AMVs are purely action-based, with close attention paid to matching the rhythm of fight sequences to the beat of the music. Some AMV editors may also use more advanced AV technology than many fanvidders, as in's elaborate guide to AV software and technology.[9]

However, the stylistic distinctions are becoming more blurred, both as video editing software becomes more accessible, and as more fans cross between fandoms; some editors and vidders create for both anime and Western media, and carry over techniques from one form to the other.

Related Communities and Practices

The transformative video art form developed by Japanese fans is a separate tradition known as MADs.[10] Contemporary MADs focus heavily on the use of anime and video game footage. A popular sub-genre of MAD is the segisha (still picture) MAD.

MMD is an abbreviation of MikuMikuDansu (ミクミクダンス), a Japanese animation programm. Users can rather easily create 3D animations, using skins of anime or game characters. MMDs are usually dance videos. Example: Tiger & Bunny - uraomote rabaazu (裏表ラバーズ)[11]

Further reading


  1. ^ For example the Berserk vid The Wonders At Your Feet, which uses several different animation techniques.
  2. ^ Patrick Macias, "Remix this: anime gets hijacked", The Japan Times Online, Nov. 15, 2007
  3. ^ Tumblr post by David J. Prokopetz, 4 Sept 2021.
  4. ^ Otakon's 1994 AMV Contest is one of the early examples. (Accessed 1 March 2009)
  5. ^ Tumblr post by David J. Prokopetz, 4 Sept 2021.
  6. ^ This list is adapted from's list of 30 most used anime, accessed January 7, 2010.
  7. ^ Final Fantasy games, though not technically anime, are also included in the list. Several games are popular sources of AMV footage.
  8. ^ Urban Dictionary entry for "Linkinball Z"
  9. ^ "A&E's Technical Guides to All Things Audio and Video mk 2". Archived from the original on 2022-05-27. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
  10. ^ "Outlaw's Mad Info Page". Archived from the original on 2005-02-12.
  11. ^ Accessed 20. September 2011