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Writer Anne Lee reports on this year's Asian American International Film Festival in New York, covering Wayne Wang's Princess of Nebraska, Jessica Yu's Ping Pong Playa and more.
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Sometimes joyfully uplifting, sometimes darkly disturbing, and sometimes just a little bit dirty. On the occasion of 2008's Anime Expo, we recount the best Anime Music Videos.
1. Various Anime ~ "Odorikuruu"
Song: "Mamboleo" - Artist: Elissa
"Odorikuruu" is the one video that's made me such a fan of AMV's in the first place: it's four minutes of completely pure fun, with a song that gets everybody bouncing on their feet. Creator Aokakesu (Jay Locke) has managed to create what seems like one anime, but it's actually a incredibly well-transitioned video montage of vintage anime. It debuted in 2001, and even after all these years, it still manages to bring a smile to everyone's face. Here's a challenge for you: can you name all Anime featured in this video? Hint: there are 34 in all!
2. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ~ "Skittles"
Song: "Candy Pop" - Artist: Heartsdales feat. SOUL'D Out
"Skittles" was not only last year's saving grace of the disastrous AMV contest, but it also emerged as the Best of Show winner. It seemed only fitting to use the Haruhi Suzumiya anime as it was AX 07's biggest craze. However, people don't necessarily think of it as the "Haruhi with the Skittles" video, but rather recognize it for its excellent use of visuals and transitions. Creator Koopiskeva (Jay Naling) has two videos on this list and it isn't a surprise: his use of editing is timed very well to a perfectly-fitting JPOP song. We'd be completely surprised if this video wasn't on everyone's top ten AMV list.
3. RahXephon ~ "Euphoria"
Song: "Must Be Dreaming" – Artist: Frou Frou
Koopiskeva's second video on this list isn't a surprise: "Euphoria" features the multi-hued visual effects of the the three main characters from the anime RahXephon, in which he recreates his own retelling of the anime's relationships between the three characters. It's amazing how well vocalist Imogen Heap's sound and lyrics fit the story of the video so well; it's part of the reason why the video still remains etched in our memories, along with the fact it's such a strikingly-beautiful piece of work.
4. Cowboy Bebop and Trigun ~ "Tainted Donuts"
Song: "Siroi Yami No Naka (Kimidori Break Version)" – Artist: Shakkazombie
Two of anime's most beloved characters are the two lead characters in "Tainted Donuts." E-Ko creates an AMV to show what would happen if Cowboy Bebop's Spike Spiegel went after Trigun's Vash the Stampede to score the high bounty placed on his head. It's a genius move on E-Ko's part, and we thank him for that. In addition to the great concept, enjoy the intensive editing that took place in this video in order to make two different anime appear as if they were one.
To view video, click here.
5. Evangelion and Akira ~ "Prayer for Destruction"
Song: "Apocalypse Now" – Artist: Muse
This video is one of the best collaborations in the history of AMV's: two very prolific anime, Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Creator Fluxmeister (Tim Stair) may have intentionally wanted to profile the troubled characters, but along with that, he also edited some of the most memorable and destructive scenes to come out of both anime. The AMV is a one hell-of-a-ride, and if Akira and Evangelion were to ever cross paths in real life, this video screams "trailer!" all over it. In addition, thank god for Muse. Without the selection of this song, this video would have just been labeled as another "Akira/Evangelion" AMV.
6. Azumanga Daioh ~ "FOOTBALL!!"
Song: "The System is Down" – Artist: Strong Bad
We're pretty impartial to videos featuring Azumanga Daioh, but when you feature the girls of Azamanga lip-syncing to Strong Bad's "The System is Down" in an AMV, it pretty much has the word "WINNER" written all over it. Watch it and you'll see what we mean.
7. Various Anime ~ "Spectacular Anime"
Song: "Spectacular, Spectacular" – Artist: Moulin Rouge Cast
This anime parody of Moulin Rouge's "Spectacular, Spectacular" features an astounding cast of anime characters who lip-sync to the song, with an absurdly fitting Kero (of Card Captor Sakura) as the Duke of the AMV. What makes the AMV hilarious is how well the creator selects certain anime to portray the lyrics of the song (watch just how perfectly Fushigi Yuugi fits into the whole video) and pulls it off indeed, in a very spectacular AMV.
8. Serial Experiments Lain ~ "A Total Waste of 6 Minutes and 35 Seconds"
Song: "At the River" – Artist: Groove Armada
Not much can be said about this quirky video, except its uncanny ability to get you to watch the entire 6 minutes and 35 seconds of it. With that said, you should -- just like the rest of us have.
9. Azumanga Daioh, Various Anime ~ "Still Preoccupied With 1985"
Song: "1985" - Artist: Bowling For Soup
This was a huge fan favorite at the Anime Expo AMVs a few years ago thanks to the brilliant cuts and edits that made the images totally relevant to the song's catchy lyrics. Best part is you don't need any prior experience with the show to appreciate the all the sight gags and parodies.
10. Chobits ~ "The Purpose of Persocoms"
Song: "The Internet is for Porn" - Artist: Avenue Q cast
Featuring that one song everyone loves from Avenue Q, this AMV hilariously syncs "The Internet is for Porn" with the best perverted scenes from Chobits. It's almost like the song and the anime were meant for each other...
Tons of anime - "AMV Hell 1"
Songs: "Too many" - Artists: a whole lot...
It's almost impossible to describe the madness goes on in the AMV Hell series (http://amvhell.com/). Some of it is just plain wrong, yet strangely captivating at the same time. Click at you're own discretion....
[compiled by Kanara Ty and William Hong]
For more APA coverage of 2008's Anime Expo: