AMV Hell Information and History

AMV Hell was originally created as a collaboration between two AMV (Anime Music Video) editors, Zarxrax and SSGWNBTD. This is written from the perspective of Zarxrax.

Me and SSGWNBTD would often chat over AOL Instant Messenger. He would frequently send me short clips and incomplete AMVs that he would never finish. Sometimes he would just tell me a song title and an anime, and that was all. Then one day I thought, "why not take all of this incomplete stuff and combine it together?" I also had a lot of random ideas in my head that I knew I couldn't make a full AMV out of. So between the two of us, it seemed like we might be able to bring together at least a few minutes of content.

I wanted to be able to send the video to some AMV Contests, so that meant we would have to keep the video fairly clean in order for it to be shown in front of convention audiences. This was a bit of a problem, because we already had several ideas that weren't exactly "convention friendly". We quickly came up with the solution of making two completely different videos–only one of which would be sent to conventions.

AMV Hell

Premiered: 05-28-2004

This is the video that started it all. We entered it into contests at three conventions, and it won prestigious awards at all three, bringing us fame and fortune... or, it at least got us cheap trophies and inkjet-printed award certificates.

Contest Award
Otakon Best In Show
Otakon Best Humorous/Satirical
Fanime Viewers Best of Show
Fanime Viewers Best Comedy
Animazement Fan Favorite 2005 VCAs Best Comedy Video 2005 VCAs Most Original Video

AMV Hell 2: Son of AMV Hell

Premiered: 05-28-2004

We launched this online on the same day that AMV Hell premiered at its first conventions. It includes some clips that might be offensive and contains some adult language and nudity. It also contains some clips that were originally going to go in AMV Hell 1, but we moved them over here to balance out the length of the two videos. At the end of the video, there is a teaser for AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture. This was intended as a joke.

AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture

Premiered: 09-23-2005

We never had any intention of making this, but people took our joke at the end of AMV Hell 2 seriously, and began asking me when this was coming out, and how they could join. After thinking about it for a while, I thought it really might be possible to create a feature-length video if we opened it up and allowed the entire AMV community to participate, so I did just that. This was in the works for about a year, and videos come in slowly, to the point that I thought the project might be a failure. But it seems everyone was just procrastinating, and a lot of videos came in shortly before the deadline. One guy even sent in about 50 videos all at once. It ended up having participation from about 60 different editors and clocks in at a little over an hour in length.

Contest Award 2006 VCAs Best Multi-Editor Project

AMV Hell 0

Premiered: 09-23-2005

We made this one at the same time as AMV Hell 3, as a repository for the more adult videos. I announced that there would be no rules regarding content, and nothing would be censored. That was a mistake. Canonically, this video takes place before all of the other AMV Hells. That's all I have to say about this.

AMV Hell Championship Edition

Premiered: 6-6-6

This was a weekly contest-based spin off of AMV Hell in which contestants were challenged to see who could make the funniest video to a specified song. This compilation contains all of the winning videos, and a number of other notable entries.

AMV Hell 3: The Motion Picture II: AMV Hell 4: The Last One

Premiered: September 21, 2007

After AMV Hell 3, I thought that would be the end of these. I didn't really want to do another project. It was a lot of hard work and stress to manage something like this. But... a lot of people were begging for more, and SSGWNBTD was also really wanting us to do another one, so I finally decided to do it, but I said this would be the last one. After the success of AMV Hell 3, tons of people were wanting to participate in this one. In fact, we received over 1,000 entries! This allowed us to be more selective with which clips we put into the project, and it still managed to be almost an hour and a half long. This is canonically the final video in the series.

Contest Award 2008 VCAs Best Collaborative Project

AMV Hell Divided By 0

Premiered: 09-19-2008

After I said I was finished with AMV Hell, SSGWNBTD wasn't really ready to let it end. He wanted to do this and manage it himself, so I told him to go for it. It is essentially in the same style as AMV Hell 0. Canonically, this video takes place in an alternate universe, outside of the main AMV Hell timeline.

AMV Minis Season 1

Premiered: 07-11-2009, Ended: 11-04-2010

The reason that I wanted to quit after AMV Hell 4 wasn't because I didn't enjoy it. In fact, I loved working on these. But the stress of managing such a large project was overwhelming for me. So I came up with the idea of making a series of shorter videos, rather than a large project. Each episode of AMV Minis would be about 5 to 10 minutes long, so it was much more managable. While AMV Minis never really got the same level of notariety as AMV Hell, it still contains a ton of really great videos!

AMV Hell 5: Dedicated to Dio

Premiered: 09-17-2010

SSGWNBTD never really got too involved with AMV Minis, so while I was working on that, he decided to put together AMV Hell 5. It's another solid entry in the series.

Contest Award 2011 VCAs Best Multi-Editor Project

AMV Minis Season 2

Premiered: 04-15-2011, Ended: 10-17-2012

After a short break, AMV Minis came back for more.

Best of AMV Minis

Premiered: 10-23-2012

This is a compilation of 100 of the best clips from seasons 1 and 2 of AMV Minis. In total, more than 1500 clips had been submitted to AMV Minis, though most of them did not make it into any episodes.

AMV Hell 6: The End of the Universe 2012

Premiered: 09-28-2012

Following AMV Hell 5, SSGWNBTD decided to do yet another one. Unfortunately, he had some trouble pulling this one together. It was originally intended to premiere at Otakon, but it missed the deadline and instead premiered at Anime Weekend Atlanta that year. Even then, it was rough around the edges, and a lot of the content just didn't feel up to par with what AMV Hell had been known for. Several viewers I spoke with even expressed some disappointment with it. He decided to continue working on it for a while after that initial showing, but things still never really got anywhere. I imagine he was feeling the same stress that led me to stop working on these. Finally, we decided that I would see what I could do with it, and I decided that in order to salvage this project, we would need to replace a lot of the existing content.

AMV Hell 6.66: This Is (Not) The End

Premiered: March 30, 2013

After putting out the call for people to submit more videos for AMV Hell 6, a lot of great entries came in. Ultimately, about 2/3 of the original project was replaced with brand new content, and I believe this entry in the series now stands right alongside the rest in terms of quality. This is the definitive version of AMV Hell 6.

AMV Minis Challenge

Premiered: 07-17-2013, Ended: 01-24-2015

This was a continuation of AMV Minis, but with a change in the formula. Now, every episode had a specific theme that entries would need to adhere to. Viewers could also vote for the best clip in each episode, and then all of the winning clips were compiled into the final episode.

AMV Hell 7

Premiered: August 8, 2014

After finishing up AMV Hell 6.66, and continuing to work on AMV Minis, I was at a point in my life where I thought I might have it in me to do one more AMV Hell. With this, AMV Hell had a decade-long run. It has been a fun ride, but I think it's finally time to put it to rest.


Ultimately, AMV Hell was not the work of myself and SSGWNBTD, it was the work of an entire community who came together to make stupid jokes and edit videos while having fun doing it. Starting from AMV Hell 3, it was essentially just established AMV editors who were getting involved. But before long, AMV Hell had its own homegrown community full of people who had never even made an AMV before. While that sometimes made things a little frustrating when we had to sort through hundreds of low quality clips that we would ultimately have to reject; at the same time it was very humbling that so many people were so excited by this little project that we had created. It turned an otherwise mostly forgettable period of my life into something that will stay with me forever.