Kumoricon - 10th Annual Anime Convention - Labor Day Weekend - Sept. 1-3, 2012 - Hilton Vancouver Washington & Red Lion Hotel Vancouver at the Quay
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AMV Contest

Last Edited: 20-Jan-2012

Welcome to the 2012 Contest!

Many thanks to everyone who submitted last year; the convention will be the biggest event in Portland Oregon and Vancouver Washington area.

Seven AMV Categories

  1. Intensity – Similar to an 'Action' category. A strong and solid audio and visual story engaging the audience with impact, high suspense, and gripping scenes throughout. Reminder: This is not a "Drama/Romance" category!
  2. Instrumental – This category is an open format, using any anime and any style of AMV, with the only criterion being that the music contain no discernible lyrics, and no scat or nonsense syllables either.
    Instrumental music may use the human voice as a wordless instrument. Here are two examples:
  3. Retro – Each submission must satisfy both of these conditions below:
    • All music and sources must be at least five (5) years old, and
    • The sum, in years, of the latest (youngest) video source and audio source must equal at least 30.
  4. Random Amusement – This is a broader category than Comedy / Parody; it also includes bizarre or off-beat works that con-fuse as well as a-muse.
  5. Trailers – Includes fake commercials, TV spots, and movie and game trailers. May use actual advertising audio or a fictitious creation in the style of a commercial, trailer, or fake episode opening credits. Serious and intriguing dual-openers will also show in this category. Comedy trailers may get redirected to Random Amusement.
  6. Effects – This is where the high-speed music and flashy stuff meet. Take your Bonine® and buckle in!
  7. Not What The Anime Is About!A new category for 2012 :-) A project wherein the story seen in the AMV is unrelated or opposite to the story told in the actual anime series. You can include any or all of these:

    • Make a romantic couple or relationship that does not exist in the show
    • Depict secondary characters as primary driving elements of a new story
    • Make a cheerful show come to a tragic or somber ending, or vice-versa
    • Rearrange story elements out of their original timeline to create a new plot
    • Apply digital effects / composites to create new settings, lighting, mood, and feel*
    • Color-swap hair, skin, eyes, clothing and more to depict new and different-looking characters, objects, and settings**
    • Composite characters onto a new setting from another show
    • Composite a character from a different show with a similar design style to make a new story or relationship

    *Example: Take the 'two kids talking on the school roof' scene and bend over most of the buildings in city backdrop to make it a post-apocalyptic setting?

    **This can even include adjusting the color of tattoos, a facial mole, other facial markings, earrings, or other jewelry or fashion accessories to match the character's natural skin color so as to erase these things and thereby change the emotional presentation of a character.

    All this and more! Composite work should be convincing and of a quality that you will really fool the audience into thinking that the source materials are naturally supposed to be the way you depicted them. The objective here is that if people see your AMV first without having seen the series and then they watch the actual series afterwards, they get disoriented and confused, as in:

    • "Wait, I thought he had this seriously cool girlfriend."
    • "Why is everyone wearing the wrong colors?"
    • "What—that's her mom?!?" / "Why is this guy so lame?" / Etc.

Video Formats

  • Yes: We will accept .avi, .mpg, .mkv, and .mp4 formats encoded in Xvid 4.0, DivX 5.05, H.264, and Microsoft MPEG 4 version 2, or earlier (lower numbered) versions of these codecs. Entrants using formats whose works encounter difficulties in playback will have about 2 weeks beyond the deadline to re-encode the work and resubmit.
  • No: We will reject .wmv, .swf, .mov files, and also reject SVCD disks. Basically, we'll pop the disk in a Windows computer at least 2 years old (to ensure backward compatibility) and we will need to see an .mpg, .mkv, .mp4 or .avi file. If we see anything else, or VIDEO_TS / AUDIO_TS directories, that entry gets rejected. But again, provided the initial attempt is received on time, we will contact the creator and he or she will have about 2 weeks of extra time to re-encode and resubmit.
  • Minimum Quality: Video size should be at least 640 x 480 and at least 23 frames/sec.
  • Maximum Length: The hard limit is 4 minutes and 40 seconds (4:40) which will include all bumpers, intro, ending, opening and closing titles.
  • Maximum File Size: For best playback, maximum file size is 150MB and maximum bit rate is 3000 kb/sec. A good guideline is that your final encoding should not exceed 32MB per minute of length.
  • Subtitles and Bugs: These are to be removed by the creator unless they are carefully selected to complement the work. Exception: You may create your own subtitles and overlay graphics to add to the work. Entries displaying a codec logo from a commercial codec vendor will also be rejected. Example: DivX versions 5.12 and higher often display the DivX logo. Earlier versions often do not display the logo.


  • Anime is: (a) created by Japanese artists and studios for TV shows and movies, created for the Japanese viewing market, shown in Japan first or possibly elsewhere later, and as long as the primary dialogue is in Japanese, and (b) video content produced by Japanese game companies.
  • Other video content may be included in up to 10% by frame count. If other content is composited with anime, then it counts as 100% 'anime' as long as 1/3 of the visual field is of Japanese origin. Examples of non-Japanese content are:
    • USA: All Disney, Warner Bros, and Hanna-Barbera productions, also Exosquad, Titan AE, Kappa Mikey, Megas XLR, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Teen Titans
    • Korea: ("Man-hwa youn-hwa") Shin Anguo Onshi, Wonderful Days, Invader Zim, My Beautiful Girl Mari, Winter Sonata, Robot Taekwon V
    • Canada: Di-Gata Defenders, Storm Hawks
    • France: Skyland, Code Lyoko, Team Galaxy, Totally Spies!
    • Chinese and Vietnamese copy-cat animation
    The following Wikipedia entry "Anime-influenced animation" has a good list of cartoons of global origin, all of which are not anime, but may be used within the 10% content limit. This Wikipedia entry "List of Chinese animated films" is another good resource for avoiding the non-anime minefield.
  • PG-13: The contest will conform to MPAA 'PG-13' rating, roughly equivalent to TV-14 and the ESRB "T" or 'teen' ratings. The MPAA guidelines require no more than 0.2 seconds of so-called 'illicit material' per 30 min. Since each AMV is shorter than that, this means one instance per AMV, six frames at 30fps or four frames at 24fps of 'illicit exposure' per AMV. Usually 'illicit' means 'something the character would get arrested for not wearing (enough) in public if this were real life.' However, since this is animation we can usually get away with diffuse views which fog out the naughty bits. Creators can also start with 'illicit' material and sanitize it themselves using blurs, mosaics, overlays, and other effects. No panty shots longer than 0.2 sec. The case of US vs. Knox (1994) may imply that panty shots can 'count' as illicit exposure due to the private region covered by the fabric. So you only get one, if you must. Carefully consider if your story really needs to show this and do you really need to take the audience there with you?
  • Radio-Clean Lyrics: Each AMV may use no more than one instance of one 'explicit' word or salient suggestive phrase generally deemed 'not radio-clean'. Hint: Good audio editing can often cover an 'explicit' word with a sliver of the same length taken from an instrumental section when the band is playing the same note or chords. In cases of ambiguity, the collective of judges will confer to make a judgement. All such judgements are final.
  • No dubbed anime audio: Foreign-language dubs (such as English dubs of anime) may not be used as any audio source for AMVs.

All entries will be pre-screened by a panel of judges who will select the final contest playlist. At their option or consensus the judges' panel may elect to bend or waive one or a few rules, usually in the case of an exceptional entry. The judges may move an entry into a different category if they collectively believe that it is a better fit, more effective, or more entertaining. The judges may create a new category if a number of entries are received which would support such a theme or event class.

The decisions of the judges panel are made on the day following the contest deadline and are final.

Submissions and Deadlines

  • Submit by Internet: The contest e-mail is the following:


    But remove each of the four (4) red 'r' characters.
    You may email us a link to any site where we can click to download.
    You may send direct download links from Depositfiles, SendSpace, Fileserve, Hotfile, ZOMGupload, and similar sites.
    You may also send direct download links from animemusicvideos.org, akross.ru, amv-france.com, animemusikvideos.de or any other AMV fan sites.
    We need to receive a stand-alone file which will play without needing Internet access. Links to streaming sites such as YouTube or vimeo are not acceptable as entries.
    The only other things which will not work are sites which require a user account or a login, and sites which require excessive cookies or which generate obnoxious pop-ups, pop-unders, or other creepy mal-ware. We hate that.

  • Submit by physical mail: Physical media may be sent to:

    Kumoricon – 2012 AMV Contest
    33470 Chinook Plaza
    Scappoose, OR 97056 USA

    Physical media is not returned and is destroyed for privacy shortly after the contest.
  • The deadline electronic submissions for the contest is Wednesday, 25-July-2012, 5:30pm US Pacific Time.
  • The deadline for physical mail-in submissions for the contest is Friday, 27-July-2012, 5:30pm US Pacific Time.
    The physical mail deadline means "arrival", or "material received at the drop-box", not a postmark deadline.
    Make sure to allow for delivery transit time if you mail media.

Who Can Enter: Any person or team or group of people may enter, from any location on the planet. Kumoricon staff not associated with the AMV Contest may enter. The only people who may not enter are the Contest Coordinator and members of the 2012 AMV Contest judges' panel.

How Many AMVs: Each person may enter up to four (4) AMVs into the 2012 contest. Groups or teams may enter up to four (4) AMVs per person. Each entry must have one person's designated name associated with it. Prizes will be awarded by the names associated with the winning AMVs. Each person may enter up to two (2) AMVs into any one category. You may also send in AMVs without a category and let judges decide which category may fit. Warning: Only about 1 out of 20 of these undesignated works get selected, so it's better to actually try to fit into one of the seven categories above.

If your AMV is good, the Kumoricon audience wants to see it! We will not care how old your AMV is or which other contests it may have run in, or prizes it has won elsewhere. If it fits our categories and hasn't been on-screen at Kumoricon before, send it in!

Prizes are awarded to one entrant per category by a tally of audience votes. An overall, Best of Show prize is also chosen by audience vote. The judges may select an additional entry to receive a Judge's Choice award or another honor of their creation. The AMV Contest Coordinator may select an entry for Special Mention. Therefore, a total of between eight and ten prizes shall be awarded in 2012. In the unlikely event of a tie, the coordinator will attempt to convene a quorum or sub-set of judges to split the tie, poll a second audience in a run-off showing, or if feasible the coordinator may award twin prizes—a rare but not impossible event.

Each prize is usually an anime DVD, artbook, figurine, of other similar anime collectible. Editors of AMVs which win multiple prizes may receive several prizes or may receive a box set or similar combination or uber-prize. Contestants do not have to be Kumoricon convention members and need not be present at the convention to win. Once the results become official and final, winners present at the convention may receive their prizes immediately. Winners not present at the convention will be contacted privately for shipping details and we will ship or deliver all other winners' prizes to them as long as there is a physical address to receive them. Winners not present at the convention also receive a Kumoricon swag-bag containing the convention program and promotional materials and other fun stuff. Shipment from the USA to overseas winners may take up to 3 to 6 weeks.

The contest playlist selected by the judges is usually kept secret as a suprise until very shortly before the contest itself. After the contest playlist and winning results are revealed, winners and other participants are encouraged to visit the convention forum at www.kumoricon.org/forums to post download links to their works. Kumoricon does not post these links automatically, but forum members are free to do this.

Generally, (and this is a goal rather than an "official rule") the judges tend to select AMVs so that any particular anime series appears only once per category. For example, there may be one Summer Wars AMV in Intensity and another in Effects, but as an example again they would tend not to select two Angel Beats AMVs for Instrumental. They would pick the better of those two first, then make room in the category for a different AMV using a different series. The effect is that while wildly popular characters may hit the screen a little less often, the audience gets to see many more anime series over the course of the contest.

One other General Goal is that any given audio source should play only once in the entire contest.

Good luck & see you all at Kumoricon 2012!

Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division

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Mascot art by suarhnir