A quick history lesson for the uninitiated: silver_moon and Sierra Lorna are sisters, and if neither of these names mean anything to you then you probably are either very new to AMVs or stumbled across this blog by other means and have no idea what all this “AMV” stuff is all about anyway. Whatever the reason, if you don’t know who they are you probably should if you like AMVs even a little, as they were among the most popular editors of the mid-2000s, if not ever. It’s actually pretty difficult to understate their influence; I can’t count the number of editor friends I have who have cited one or both as major influences in their own styles and even their individual desires to edit at all.
Even when you just consider the numbers, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that these two made waves. Look at a-m-v.org’s Top 10% of all time list (which, I get it, is very outdated, but given the time these two were active it makes sense to use it now) and you’ll see that over half of silver_moon’s videography is represented on the list, and almost half of Sierra Lorna’s is as well. Between them they have 44 videos on the Top 10%, and combined over 183,000 individual video downloads from the .org based on star rating counts alone (yes, I did the math). This is not to count the millions of combined additional views on video uploads across YouTube.
This context is necessary for this post because of what I’m going to say next: I have never really liked any of their work. For as influential and stratospherically popular as they both were, their videos always felt completely interchangeable to me; both of them used the same general style of editing and it was just boring. Beyond that, I always felt like they were a bit…opportunistic with their choice of anime, as back in the early- and mid-2000s, a video could become insanely well-known just by using the right anime (see: This piece of objective crap, or this one). I always felt (without any definite justification, admittedly) that they capitalized on that.
It might be because they disappeared shortly after I started editing (silver_moon famously “retired” a month and a day after I joined the .org, and Sierra Lorna released her last video a year later and withdrew into the shadows after that), and so I was never around to experience their videos at the peak of their popularity, but I like to think that my tastes wouldn’t have been any different and I would have been just as critical then as I’ve ever been with their works.
All that said, it’s with a lingering sense of hypocrisy that I can’t help but recommend She’s Just Oblivious. It’s one of those videos that just works on pretty much every level of any significance; so much so, in fact, that I’m having trouble thinking of reasons not to like any part of it, even though a part of me really wants to because of who edited it. Maybe that’s petty, and I apologize if so. I’m still kinda reeling at the idea of recommending a silver_moon video, but here we are, and as far as I know, Hell is still pretty warm.
You see, for anyone who’s seen Haruhi, it’s absolutely impossible to deny the beauty of this song/anime combination. It’s one of those AMVs where you listen to the lyrics of the song, and although it’s easy to argue that the scene selection onscreen is probably influencing your thought processes, the idea flits through your brain that Skye Sweetnam is actually a time traveler who left 2004 and jumped to 2006 to watch The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and then came back to 2004 and wrote a song about the show’s main character so that this video could exist. Or maybe she read the manga which was already around in 2004. Or maybe she just wrote a generic teen pop song about a weirdo she knew in high school. No matter the truth (I choose to believe the first option), this song is simply about Haruhi, period. She’s Just Oblivious is, really, the perfect Haruhi video.
I can’t in good conscience talk about “the perfect Haruhi video” without also mentioning Skittles, because besides being one of the best-known AMVs of all time, it’s certainly the best-known Haruhi one, and while that’s a fabulous AMV in its own right and displays the spirit of Haruhi in a different way, in some respects I prefer silver_moon’s portrayal of the series. These videos are two sides of the same coin: silver_moon’s is simply-edited — cuts, fades, flashes, and a little bit of masking — with a really straightforward and relatable story. Koopiskeva’s is the first “candy video” (or one of the first, anyway) with effects that were, in its time, insanely innovative and different. In both, there’s lots of fun lyric sync, lots of fun beat sync, lots of fun mood sync…they’re simply fun videos, presented in entirely different ways. I like both, but I don’t think either one is the whole story; Skittles and She’s Just Oblivious are two videos that, when paired, pretty much encompass everything that the series is about at its heart.
I don’t know how much the name silver_moon means to AMV editors these days. I don’t know if the name is simply a relic from 10 years ago that modern editors are vaguely aware of, it they are at all, or if her videos still carry influence in modernity. Given the pace of the AMV editing world, my guess is the former — which, in this case, I’m fine with, although I think her and her sister’s editing styles had a lasting affect on AMVs in general, even if it may not be felt as directly today as it was even five years ago. Still, I hope that this video isn’t completely lost to the savagery of the AMV culture’s ADD tendencies. In many ways it is a perfect video (and in plenty of other ways it’s not), and I love it. If you’ve managed to keep from seeing it these past 9+ years, now’s the time to catch up.