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Scroll: A Different Kind of AMV

If you love anime, you are probably no stranger to Anime Music Videos; you may have even made a few yourself. AMVs have existed for quite some time, offering fans an easy, creative way to celebrate anime by syncing their favorite clips with a catchy tune. Now, there is a new player on the scene, and it is threatening to completely redefine the AMV genre.

Scroll has only been around for three years, but it is already stirring up YouTube. Conceived in 2017, the popular AMV channel has over 600 videos and 600,000 subscribers to its name, more than doubling its fanbase from March of this year, when it had less than 300,000. The web is teeming with AMVs, but most of these videos involve little more than a song synced with raw, unedited clips from an anime film or series. Scroll takes this audio-visual pairing to the next level, using a combination of filters, jump cuts, text overlays, and camera shakes to give their videos a fresh look. The result is an aesthetic unlike any you have ever seen.

As Scroll continues to grow, it has the potential to not only repopularize AMVs but also unite different fan cultures. Almost all of its songs are hip-hop, offering fans of this music genre a gateway into anime and fans of anime a gateway into rap. For struggling artists, Scroll might also be the key to greater exposure. While big names such as XXXTenacion and $uicideboy$ are featured on the channel, Scroll has an open submission policy and tends to work with smaller musicians. When an AMV takes off, anime fans not otherwise familiar with these artists could join their following. That is the power of platforms like Scroll.

All said, Scroll has to be seen to be appreciated. So, to give you a taste of the channel, we have embedded four of its AMVs below. Please be advised: There is some strong language and mild, NSFW imagery. Otherwise, we hope you enjoy!

Apollo Paris - Bedroom Fashion Show

Scroll knew exactly how to handle Cowboy Bebop (1998). Shinichiro Watanabe's classic is over 20 years old but still has a strong following, revered by anime fans for its lively soundtrack, existential themes, and film noir cinematography. Scroll uses a VHS filter to give this AMV an older feel and capitalize on Bebop's vintage status. The fight scenes from Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001) gives the music an extra edge, as well.

KiLLa - MySpaceBarIsBroken

Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) needs no introduction. Hideaki Anno's mecha anime received criticism for its controversial ending and nebulous plot, but many fans see it as a masterpiece. The show's deep, psycho-spiritual probe of the human mind takes viewers to a dark place, and this AMV, by and far, echoes the tone of that journey. Doubt, loneliness, and fear are all wrapped into KiLLa's song, but Scroll misses none of these emotions, deftly mirroring the singer's uncertainty with shaky, destabilized clips from Anno's apocalyptic finale, The End of Evangelion (1997).     

MASN- Hate Me 

Scroll might be hip-hop focused, but they also have a soft side. Naoko Yamada's A Silent Voice (2016) is a gentle, heartfelt story of love and forgiveness, following the gradual reconciliation between a deaf teen and her childhood bully. MASN's lyrics loosely describe the first phase of this relationship: a correlation that Scroll reinforces by embedding the song's lyrics in the AMV itself.  

Crewsont x Hanniba Lecture - All That We Know

As a story, Gangsta (2017) had plenty of problems, but this hard-hitting anime always lived up to its name. With that in mind, Scroll pulled no punches on this AMV. Matching the mood of the anime with the mood of the song, they chose a gritty, aggressive rap that is perfect for fans of the yakuza genre. Drugs, guns, and knives dominate this video, and the camera appears to pulsate with every bass beat: just another example of Scroll's great editing.