If you’re following this blog then you are probably vaguely familiar with who I am, so needless to say, I have a history with Anime Music Videos. Meri got me into them when we met back in 2000; I was seriously non-interested prior to that, but when she showed me some good ones and I saw some of the proven artistic merit, the lightbulb went off.
My involvement with the AMV community has severely dropped off the last few years due to a wide variety of reasons (but mostly just my hobby A.D.D.). Despite that, every year we bang out at least one really good piece that I or we have had in the back of our collective imaginations for some time. What I would like to do is explain where two of these ideas came from, since it’s probably not what you would expect.
It is very rare when the final video product ends up being exactly what I saw in my mind months ahead of time, and I can barely describe the pretentious joy when it does. In 2007, we were able to create a video that very nearly satisfied every bit of creative juice in my body. That video was “Never Fall Apart“, which I made together with Meri and Jeff.
If you know me, then you can probably tell that Echo Image isn’t exactly in my normal scope of musical interests. It’s not that I wouldn’t be interested or wouldn’t care for the genre, but it’s simply not on my radar. I was introduced to the song we ended up using (“Will You Know?“) on a live internet radio show done by fellow podcaster “Rob Roberts”, host of Orange Lounge Radio. At some point earlier that year, Rob was running a random live show on Wednesday evenings (I think?) simply called “The Rob Roberts Show” where he would play music, take calls, talk about random stuff, etc. In addition to Cascada’s “Every Time We Touch” (which I had unbelievably never heard up until that point), Rob played this Echo Image song, which is actually a b-side on the Standing Alone CD single. I couldn’t believe my ears. The song was absolutely stunning, and combined all sorts of beautiful, individual segments together (I’m a huge fan of incorporating acoustic guitar into electric pieces). At this point there was still no AMV idea, but I simply had to have the CD. I was luckily able to order the CD single off of Amazon for standard retail price (something like $6 or $7), instead of the $30+ it’s going for used, now.
The song embodies everything I love about my various favorite anime series, which is friendship and comraderie (DragonBall, One Piece, Pokemon, Honey & Clover… yeah, no recurring “friendship” themes at all…!). It was no stretch to end up with an AMV idea using it, and Honey & Clover made so much sense, being a recent favorite series and jumping to the total opposite end of what I normally do with shonen friendship videos (see: “I’m Above The Age Of 10 And I Like Pokemon“).
Again, it was absolutely everything I wanted the video to be, and is probably the final over-the-top AMV production I will ever create (of course thanks to Meri and Jeff’s help!).
The other video is not even one I worked on in the slightest, but I suppose you could say it was “my idea”. After finishing BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad, I had a ton of random AMV ideas (once I realized that while I really disliked every single character in the show, I truly enjoyed the actual show itself and a lot of the character development). In addition to a few other ideas that I’ll shut up about since I may still actually make them, one of the “joke ideas” was “Juke Box Hero” by Foreigner. While I was vageuly familiar with the song, it wasn’t until Dave brought it up (and sang it?) shorly after the release of Rock Band on the podcast Fast Karate For the Gentleman that the AMV idea hit. When Meri was short on solid ideas for an Otakon video for 2008, I suggested this one, only half-expecting her to take it seriously (especially since she hated the song so much). Much to the surprise of both of us, the final product of “One Guitar” not only ended up being pretty solid, but has gotten an amazing amount of wonderful feedback from all sorts of people (including coming in second in its category at Otakon and winning the “Guitar Hero” award in Anime Weekend Atlanta 2008’s Exposition contest).
So there you go! Two of our favorite self-created videos indirectly inspired by other random podcasters out there. Whoda thunk it?