Monday, August 3, 2009


I remember closely following my friend’s silhouette as she led me into the cool, dark room filled with booming music and sweaty anime nerds sitting in front of a large screen. As soon as I walked in I found a place along the perimeter of the room, folding my arms with insecurity. I was preparing to be bored, I admit, but instead I found myself somehow transfixed to that large screen.

Anime music videos. I never really expected to develop a crush on them, not at my very first convention of all things, but for some reason the combination of music and video, when done right was, I realized, kind of cool.

(Apparently I had never heard of this thing called a “music video,” but whatever.)

The video that played was amazing to my young, impressionable ears. Awesome. Cool. Exciting. When it finished I’m not exactly sure of how I felt, but I wanted to watch more. Then I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I quickly forgot my euphoria as my friend led me back into the mass of anime and manga that was the rest of Animazement.

That night was the cosplay contest, and while that was fun and all, I was more excited to see the AMV reruns. I read every preceding title card carefully, taking note of the song and artist. And you know what? The anime in that AMV looked pretty cool too. It would be in my best interests to at least check it out while I was off looking for that song, too.

But when my favorite music video, the one from earlier in the afternoon, began to play shortly after that title card reading “‘Scream:’ Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson,” I couldn’t believe it. That was Michael Jackson? And the anime? Neon Genesis Evangelion.

What is a little hard to account for is the fact that I couldn’t recognize both a) one of the most famous entertainers of all time and b) one of the most famous animes of all time, both of which were contained in that video. But I was also more interested in Marmalade Boy and Cardcaptor Sakura pins at the time, so yeah.

My first true love.

Of course, all of this is just hindsight. Because at that moment, I didn't know anything else except that I loved that video. Every second, every lip-synced moment, every musically-coordinated robot fight was the coolest thing ever, period. That video alone is what spawned a love for AMVs that, I admit, still persists somewhere in the depths of my increasingly cynical heart.

And that, my friends, is my modest tribute to Michael Jackson. I know that it all seems a little late, and a bit trite, considering the intense media coverage and the fact that he passed over a month ago. But I thought it would be appropriate; it was an interesting, if insignificant, coincidence that he died only a month after I attended what will probably be my last Animazement, and probably anime convention.

I also think that my experience is a bit of a testament to his work. His music was so universally appealing that even an anime nerd in the far reaches of civilization, in the dark caves of AMV viewing rooms, could love his song. And not only that, it couldn’t have been more appropriate that, as the undisputed pioneer of the music video, a Michael Jackson song was the soundtrack to my first AMV. I like to think that it was my little MJ moment. Which could possibly be the cheesiest thing to say right now. Oh well.


PS: And of course, the music video above belongs to its creator, Ermac Studios, and I own no rights whatsoever to any part of the little masterpiece(s) contained in that there video.


“Speaking of conventions,” I hear you say, “didn’t you kind of sort of promise me, the loyal reader, a convention report of sorts? Or are you some kind of liar?"

I’m very, very sorry for this delay. I promise, there is an Animazement 2009 convention report, ready for editing, sitting somewhere. It’ll surface one day. Please don’t hate me.

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