Anime Expo 2007
AMV Awards Ceremony

by Jonathan Mays,
Monday afternoon's AMV Awards Ceremony continues the show's trend of inexplicably late starts. It isn't until 2 p.m., half an hour behind schedule, that sundry Windows sounds blast through the ballroom speakers and the rest of the 200 audience members take their seats.

After apologizing for the delay, AMV Coordinator James Dodd opens the event by announcing a new Anonymous Sponsor Prize: $100 to the music video with the best special effects.

Dodd says it came down to two videos: “Expendable Innocence” with Gunslinger Girl and “Skittles” with The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. The judges spent three hours debating (and watching) in a hotel room last night.

“Skittles” wins.

But Jay is not here.

“Does Jay have any really good friends in the audience?” He seems to have many. Dodd is skeptical. So he moves on. The Winner of Best Action as voted by the AMV creators: “The Guardian Gene” by Victoria Galietta. The video clips are from Scrapped Princess.

Dodd says they bought gifts after they had decided the winners. “Someone's getting a lot of Scrapped Princess action figures. And, oh yes, AX Pocky.” There is also a prize for the video that came in second place—in the drama category, Dodd clarifies. It goes to the creator of "Animus." And they never say his or her name. How lame. (I ask later: it's Dhinna Munshi.)

The winner of the drama category, by one vote, is “Imagine” by Miguel Mendoza. It also wins the Special Judges' Favorite prize. A few folks yell for “Animus” to be played. Dodd acknowledges their rude remarks: “We're actually going to do that at the end.”

First, it's time for the Comedy category. The winner is John Erickson's “Does L Creep You Out,” set to the similarly titled Weird Al song. It gets the loudest ovation so far, and by far. For his effort Erickson takes home L's Teacup Set, a love pillow, and a yaoi exorcist paddle.

Making up for lost time, Dodd hurries to the TV Category. “Judge's Favorite, Creator's Favorite, Staff Favorite, and by default, Best in Show…”

Looks like “Skittles.” Slick editing—but it freezes. Dodd saves the day by running another copy of the video. Then he manages to get creator Jay Naling on speaker phone. “This is the prize we're most proud of,” he tells Naling: a signed Range Murata LE image, one of only 5,000. The prize was donated by GoFa.

That's it for the awards, Dodd says. It's 2:28. The delay was longer than the show, another theme of this year's convention. “We have a couple more videos to show you, so if you want to hang around, feel free.” The first video is a drama made from Ah! My Goddess. As with other non-winning videos, neither the creator nor the title is listed. (I ask later, but Dodd declines to provide them.)

“The next three did not make it into the contest,” he says, “But they came very close, so we're going to run them anyway.” The first is a Cromartie video with a running Name That Tune gimmick. It didn't make the contest because it “didn't fit the rules.” Still, “Sean pretty much exemplified what we wanted to do outside of the regular contest,” Dodd says. It receives the “first and only” AX TV award. The next video sets Fullmetal Alchemist to the Boulevard of Broken Songs mash-up, which probably does not narrow it down very much. This one opens with a walking dog.

“Our next video has a parental advisory.” Dodd says they wanted to fit it into the contest, but it wasn't PG-13. He praises its “comic timing.” I guess you have to see the show, Dokuro-chan, to appreciate the humor of repeatedly clubbing a poor boy to a bloody pulp.

“We have time for one more AMV,” Dodd says. There are requests for “Baseball” and “Code Monkeys.” “Baseball” gets the nod. Dodd would be happy to show more, but the room must be cleared for another drama: the Anime Expo Feedback Session.

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