Today I’m sharing my work-in-progress AMV project! Watch it in all its HD glory!

For my IML-140 Social Media and Remix Culture class, one of the projects involved video remixing. I decided it might be a great idea to try out an AMV (Anime Music Video) since over the years I know some of my friends have dabbled in the art and I truly admire it. It’s a thoughtful expression of oneself through remixing a work that one adores. I may not necessarily say that I have complete adulation for Sword Art Online, but I definitely respect it a lot. Particularly the Aincrad arc, the Excalibur arc, and the Mother’s Rosario arc of the narrative.

The purpose of my remix is to retell the underlying story of Sword Art Online (SAO). For those who do not know, SAO tells the story of a young boy who enters a virtual world through what is called a NerveGear. It allows for full-body immersion into an online fantasy world. However, the lead game designer of the game programmed the game to lock the players (of which there are 10,000) into the game. He also rigged the NerveGear system to use microwaves to kill anyone who dies in the game. You die in the game, you die in real life. Trapped within this world, the players must attempt to beat the game and free themselves. So the story begins.

However, that story will not be and is not accurately portrayed in my video. My remix is meant to tell the underlying story. Throught the immersive narrative, I believe there is a story within the story. It’s not just the story of these people to survive, but also learning about what it means to fight for something or, more precisely, someone greater than oneself. It’s about love: to learn that living isn’t about what we do in life for ourselves, but what we do for each other and the struggles do accomplish this. Anberlin expresses this delightfully in their song “Burn Out Brighter (Than The Northern Lights).” For this reason, it is the song that I chose to use as a backdrop for my AMV. I have created a digital argumentation through Anberlin’s song and a rearrangement of the visuals of SAO.

A lot of SAO is already chopped and uses a lot of jump cuts so it wasn’t too difficult per say. But I put a lot of man hours into it and I’m proud thus far! Enjoy!

This transformative remix work constitutes a fair-use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US copyright law.

The following works have been used for the constitution of this video remix:

Sword Art Online Ep. 1-14 by A-1 Productions
Sword Art Online II Ep.16 by A-1 Productions
“Burn Out Brighter (Northern Lights)” by Anberlin
Ferris Buehler’s Day Off by Paramount Pictures
“Black Star” by Avril Lavigne

Note: Sword Art Online recently expressed the same sentiment that I am trying to reveal in this video explicitly in Episode 23 of Sword Art Online II to my personal delight. Watch the whole episode and pay attention to what Asuna says to her mother at the window-sill.

Note: This is version two of my video remix and I hope to continue iteration. I have a much larger idea in mind involving multiple animes. It’s a work-in-progress.

Update 1/1/2015: Kotaku just made a Top 5 Anime of 2014 posting and included Sword Art Online II. The perspective written isn’t the same as the one written here, but is definitely another that I agree with. You can read it here. Also, No Game No Life is hella beautiful. It’s one of my favorite animes of all time so far. Check it out.

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