THE WORK, WHICH BECOMESA NEW GENRE ITSELF,WILL BE CALLED.........AMV HELL
One of the premiere Anime Music Video (AMV)
movements on the Internet. It uses short AMV clips to parody whatever anime and/or songs it uses. There are two primary methods it uses to do this. One is to take a fairly normal (often pop) song with metaphorical lyrics and use the clip to suggest a more literal interpretation. This new interpretation of the lyrics will often create extreme Lyrical Dissonance
. The second method is to take a song which is already weird, funny, or obscene, and match it to a corresponding weird, funny, or obscene anime. The rapid-fire element of the clips—as well as the use of a television framing device—have provoked comparisons to Robot Chicken
, although technically AMV Hell
Now, on to the history. In May 2004, a handful of AMV makers released the original AMV Hell
. It was little more than a fun little experiment, but it caught on, much to their surprise. The creators simultaneously released AMV Hell 2: Son Of AMV Hell
, the place for the less family-friendly content, so as not to "pollute" the first; that way, the first could be shown at conventions without fear of inappropriate content (which it was, many times).
The establishment of AMV Hell
as a serious franchise came with AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture
in September 2005; roughly an hour long, it featured dozens of contributors and had no end of oddball (and often downright hilarious) shorts. The jump from short five-minute humorous snippets to an epic like that made a lot of people stand up and take notice.
Simultaneously released with AMV Hell 3
was AMV Hell 0
, which the creators described as "the more irreverant [sic]
side of AMV Hell. And by irreverent, we mean it's [also sic]
one of the most offensive, disgusting, pornographic, vile, worthless pieces of garbage ever conceived." Similar in concept to AMV Hell 2, it consisted of a series of seamier clips with overt sexual or scatological content that would be unsuitable for public consumption (AMV Hells 1, 3, 4, and 5 were produced with theater showings at conventions in mind, and their content is censored to reflect this). Consequently AMV Hell 0
has a high Squick
factor and is prefaced by an Adult Content label.
In June 2006 came AMV Hell: Championship Edition
, a contest held by the AMV Hell
creators in which contestants were given specified songs and told to make the funniest video they could. The top 55 videos were turned into the Championship Edition
And then there was the big one: September 2007 saw the release of AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture II: AMV Hell 4: The Last One
. With over two hundred and fifty videos, it was another hour-and-a-half epic, and the AMV Hell
team swore they'd never do it again...probably because the effort on this one almost killed them.
But, of course, they didn't stick to that. In September 2008, the team released AMV Hell Divided By 0
, which in a case of Refuge in Audacity
deliberately set out to push the extremes of X-ratings (and poor taste) - whereas Hell 0 was largely comprised of conventional hentai, Divided By Zero jumped further still by focusing mainly on openly fetishistic content.
After letting the series rest and recuperate for a few months one of the original creators, Zarxrax, introduced the "AMV Minis"
in July 2009. In an attempt to maintain and provide an outlet for continued interest in the AMV Hell brand while lessening the workload of its management, the "AMV Minis" consist of a series of shorter videos released more frequently, as opposed to the feature-length events of Hells 3-5. These Minis are comparable in scale to the original AMV Hell, but are comprised entirely of submissions from other editors and do not have clips created by Zarxrax himself. The "first season" of the Minis runs to thirteen episodes: eleven regular editions and two special editions - one focusing exclusively on Azumanga Daioh
(an abidingly popular subject for clips and skits throughout the AMV Hells) and the other a collection of "Bad Stuff", something like the Minis' own Episode 0. The second season was launched in April 2011; the first episode of the new season responded to viewer feedback that criticized the proliferation of dialogue-based skits and skits that felt dragged out and overlong in earlier Hells and Minis by limiting submissions to a maximum of seven seconds and requiring their accompanying audio to be music or song, as well as banning skits based on Family Guy
. This immediately provoked a rash of complaints moaning about a bewildering pace and a nostalgic fondness for Family Guy
, illustrating that the AMV Minis suffer from a petulant and Unpleasable Fanbase
While the first season of AMV Minis was being released, the next full feature - AMV Hell 5: Dedicated to Dio
(dedicated both to Ronnie James Dio as well as an AMV creator whose works had graced previous AMV Hells) was developed alongside it. Co-creator SSGWNBTD began accepting submissions to in September 2009, and on July 30 2010, AMV Hell 5
(partially) premiered at Otakon 2010. It was shown to be almost complete, only missing an opening and closing. It premiered in full at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2010 on September 17, 2010, and is now available to download from the AMV Hell website or watch on Youtube
On May 31, the next two
projects were announced: AMV Hell 6: Final Fantasy Hell
and AMV Hell 6: The End Of The Universe
. The former will be entirely composed of clips either taken from or referencing parts of the Final Fantasy
franchise, and the latter will mostly have to do with the 2012 End of the World theory. The latter had its rough-cut premiere at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2012 and was slated for release on December 21st of that year
, but SSGWNBTD was unable to further tweak it. On December 20th, Zarxrax announced
that SSGWNBTD was "fired" from the project, released the rough cut on BitTorrent and re-opened submissions for another month. It was finally released as AMV Hell 6.66: This is (Not) The End
in April 2013—with only a third of its original content remaining.
On February 12th, 2014, a seventh entry was announced.
The seventh entry, AMV Hell 7: Attack on 10 Year Anniversary
, premiered at Otakon 2014, and was released online on October 4 of the same year.
The series has had a considerable influence over AMV making - imitators who were inspired by the "multiple-short-AMV-clips" style have been described as making their videos in "AMV Hell style." In essence, the page-topping quote became a reality.
- AMV Hell / AMV Hell 2 (5/2004)
- AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture / AMV Hell 0 (9/2005)
- AMV Hell: Championship Edition (6/2006)
- AMV Hell 4: The Last One (9/2007)
- AMV Hell Divided By 0 (9/2008)
- AMV Hell 5: Dedicated to Dio (9/2010)
- AMV Hell 6.66: This Is (Not) The End (4/2013)
- original rough cut (AMV Hell 6: The End of the Universe), 12/2012
- AMV Hell 7: Attack on 10 Year Anniversary (8/2014)
- Season 1 (7/2009 - 11/2010)
- Season 2 (4/2011 - 10/2012)
- Season 3 (AMV Minis Challenge) (started 7/2013)
This series provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: AMV Hell 2 contains a parody of the "Evangelion Opus" AMV; AMV Hell 3 contains parodies of the "Danger: Low Brow Humor", "Euphoria", and "Shounen Bushidou" AMVs. For good measure, AMV Hell 0 does a second parody of "Euphoria" (mixing RahXephon with Mindless Self Indulgence's "Faggot").
- AMV Hell 3 also has a parody of Kevin Caldwell's "Believe".
- AMV Hell 3 contains an edited version of the Neon Genesis Evangelion end credits (mixed with Azumanga Daioh) and AMV Hell 4 contains a version of the second season Death Note opening (mixed with Lucky Star).
- AMV editor Vic Bond 007 is infamous for his use of the lens-flare special effect. AMV Hell 3 features a clip attributed to "Vic Bond 008" that consists of nothing but lens flares. And set to "Blinded by the Light".
- The Aristocrats: Appears in Divided By Zero, narrated by Nyamo.
- Ascended Meme: Media Blasters has used signs that only say "Gentlemen, behold! CORN!!" to advertise Boku no Sexual Harassment at conventions.
- Ax-Crazy: Divided By Zero does this one literally.
- Black Comedy: Taken to its literal extreme in AMV Hell 0 and AMV Hell Divided by 0; you will be offended by these two videos, guaranteed. Hell, AMV Hell 0's disclaimer says that "this stuff is so bad we never should have even made it".
- Black Comedy Rape: "Gentlemen, behold! CORN!" and its sequel "Gentlemen! I bring you...MORE CORN!"
- Book Ends: AMV Hell 0 starts and ends with both Dr. Weird "Corn" scenes.
- Brain Bleach: /0's closing credits will do their best to ruin your sex forever. Breaking the Fourth Wall can be scary indeed.
- Brick Joke: Using Monty Python's "Argument" sketch in one of the AMV Minis.
- B Roll Rebus: A lot of humor comes from visually representing lyrics literally.
- Censored for Comedy: AMV Minis S3E18 has this as its theme.
- Colon Cancer: AMV Hell 4's full title is "AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture II: AMV Hell 4: The Last One".
- While AMV Hell 5 was eventually released under the more manageable title of "AMV Hell 5: Dedicated to Dio", during its development phase it was advertised on the animemusicvideos.org website as "AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture III: AMV Hell 5: Your Banner Is Too Big". For at least one con appearance, the last bit was instead noted as "Your Subtitle Is Too Big".
- Covered in Gunge: A little all over, but mainly concentrated in AMV Hell 0 and AMV Hell Divided By 0.
- Creator Thumbprint: Some of the more prolific editors have source materials that they use repeatedly, but other editors use rarely, if ever. Most notably, N.P.C.C.'s use of Jem started getting blatant enough to reach Running Gag status over the course of Minis Challenge.
- Deconstruction: A strange place to find it, but AMV Hell 0 does this to the famous "Euphoria" AMV. Both use clips from RahXephon and a specific set of visual effects, but while "Euphoria" presents a gentle world by using calm clips from the show and the song "Must Be Dreaming", AMV Hell 0 uses "Faggot" by Mindless Self Indulgence and rather more... violent clips. In essence, it amounts to saying, "Okay, 'Euphoria', here's what the show was really like."
- Bonus points for both of them being done by the same guy, in essence deconstructing himself.
- Double Meaning Title: In addition to being a reference to Rebuild of Evangelion, AMV Hell 6.66's title is also alludes to the Number of the Beast, as well as to how only 1/3 of the content from the rough cut survived to the final version.
- Escalating Punchline: The EVA skits in AMV Hell 2. The first two have the somber orchestral music the scene originally had, while the third has Chirping Crickets and the fourth has Adam Sandler's song from The Wedding Singer "WON'T SOMEBODY KILL ME PLEASE? KILL ME! I WANT TO DIE!" The final one has the EVA crushing and dropping its victim, except it's Unit-01's head that falls into the LCL rather than Kaworu's. Every one of these show the same exact image except for the last one.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Averted. Grave of the Fireflies and Barefoot Gen among others are made fun of just to prove it.
- Fan Disservice and Fanservice: 0 and Divided By 0 are made largely from Hentai.
- Fan Vid
- Follow the Leader: But of course. There's AMV Paradise, Anime Remix and of course Ponies The Anthology (using all My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) to name a few.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Tay Zonday's head in the Barefoot Gen Hiroshima nuclear blast in Divided by 0, and several in the Rozen Maiden Master of Puppets clip from AMV Hell 5.
- Gallows Humor: AMV Hell Divided By 0 does this one literally.
- Girl Watching
- In Memoriam: AMV Hell 5 is dedicated to both legendary rocker Ronnie James Dio and Justin Rollins, an AMV creator (and major contributor to AMV Hell 3) who fell victim to cancer.
- In-Joke: A few. Notably the "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" from 3, where Nicholas D. Wolfwood is carrying around a massive Star of David instead of a cross. This is at least partially inspired by a Jewish cosplayer calling himself "Rabbi Wolfowitz" who would go to conventions doing exactly that.
- Intercourse with You
- Jerkass: a large portion of the site members, if their chatbox persona's are anything to go by.
- Kick the Dog
- Mondegreen: AMV Minis S3E3 is dedicated to these.
- Mundane Made Awesome: The "Previously" segment at the beginning of AMV Hell 4.
- Mushroom Samba: I'M ON SHROOMS!
- Once an Episode: Each of the mainline AMV Hells start with a clip featuring Gag Boobs, set to some kind of hard rock/metal.
- Though the original cut of AMV Hell 6 had one, it's averted in 6.66.
- Each of them also has an opening quote (initially inspired by Kill Bill, but has since become a Running Gag in its own right).
- Panty Shot: AMV Hell 4 has a montage of this, which comes entirely from Najica Blitz Tactics, performed to the clip of when Peter Griffin out-farted Michael Moore.
- There was one in AMV Hell 3. Except nobody noticed that because the rest of the clip involved a guy who gets boobs and THAT in his face.
- Pun: Crops up from time to time with things like Shonen Batman or Microsoft Excel.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: Most segments last no more than thirty seconds at the most, and many are shorter.
- The AMV Minis' first episode of the 2nd season has all of its clips under 7 seconds.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Well, kinda. AMV Hell 3 had as its intro AC/DC's "Highway to Hell", set to original animation, and AMV Hell 5, in keeping with its dedication to Ronnie James Dio, had Tenacious D's "Dio" set to K-On! and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
- Redundant Parody: One skit of AMV Hell 4 features Sol Badguy to the tune of the song he is named after.
- AMV Minis X4 set a scene from Young Frankenstein to "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith. The scene was the "Walk this way" scene... which is what the song was named after.
- Running Gag: Each entry seems to have at least one:
- AMV Hell 2 had one spoofing the the long shot of EVA-01 grasping Kaworu from Neon Genesis Evangelion;
- AMV Hell 3 has a series of variations of the "Ellen Fleiss" parody segment from AMV Hell 1.
- The credits for AMV Hell 3 refer to them as "Osaka Cutaways".
- A visual example is found in the deleted scenes from AMV Hell 3 beginning at the 7:24 mark.
- 4 has repeated clips to Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek".
- In a case of either a Running Gag or everyone going to the same well, AMV Hell 5 seems to use clips set to "Always."
- AMV Hell 5 also features about three clips set to "Halo".
- AMV Hell 6.66 features a series of bits involving a nature show parody featuring Urd from Ah! My Goddess as the "sake badger".
- Another running gag (carried over from its rough cut) involves setting the Terry Crews Old Spice ads to Tentai Senshi Sunred. note
- The use of songs by Duane and BrandO may count as well. Though seemingly unrelated, there are seven such clips in 6.66.note
- The original cut of AMV Hell 6 had "Fus roh DAH!" from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim's trailer. Only one such clip survived in 6.66. note
- One of them did so many variations of the end of Cowboy Bebop that it really turned into an Overly Long Running Gag.
- AMV Hell 7 uses different clips of Malcom McDowell and James Earl Jones' dramatic readings of Facebook posts in Sprint commercials (featuring Tamaki and Armstrong as McDowell and Jones, respectively), and a trio of clips feautring Fat Buu as Zulway, God of Mercy.
- The AMV Minis Challenge season has multiple appearances of the main character from Jem, usually as a cameo in a different series or as a framing device for said series.
- The trailer for AMV Hell 7 has a Jem gag right at the end, too. Can't stem the Jem!
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: Done with the cast of One Piece, with Fred and Daphne fly by on a carpet in the background.
- Shock Site: AMV Hell 0 contains a scene of Sakaki opening a Last Measure link.
- Something Completely Different: AMV Minis season 2 had episodes comprised entirely of Western Animation (inspired by the earthquake/tsunami in Japan) and live-action clips. The latter can be jarring, but still finds itself well within the AMV Hell spirit.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: Much of the humor comes from such juxtapositions.
- Take That, Audience! / Take That, Critics!: The frequent appearance of Jem in the Challenge season earned a great deal of negative feedback, partly due to the argument that a Western-produced cartoon didn't belong in an anime compilation. In Challenge 19 OutrageousChaz assembled a video that mocked the naysayers and pointed out the Japanese creator of the show. Voting on the episode had the clip tied for first.
- That wasn't the creator of the show (Jem was created by a woman). That was Hideaki Anno, a joke about the song's repeated use of the phrase 'I know' sounding like 'Anno'.
- They Just Didn't Care: Zarxrax note does this in-universe in the opening of AMV Hell 6.66. Displeased with the submissions he's received (and following a Big "NO!"), he decides to "just throw some random videos in and hope there are some good ones." (All the "rejected" clips shown are ultimately credited at the end.)
- Visual Pun: Sprinkled about for good measure.
- Vulgar Humor: Divided By 0 is about 25% coprophilia jokes.