Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Top 10 Best PMVs of 2013

I watched enough fantastic PMVs this year that I feel the need to make a separate list. I would have put them on the main list, but I really don't want to leave any of these off. So, here's counting down my Top 10 favourite PMVs of 2013!

10. Overtime
by MyLittleCollabs (various editors)

This is actually the most recent PMV I reviewed, and it's really something to behold. Sure, there's an abundance of show clips, but they're edited brilliantly. They add some lyrics on screen, and they're all put there in ways that complement the pace of the video. Plus, the editing works perfectly with the song, sliding perfectly into place just about 100% of the time. It's a party, and you're invited. I mean, who cares if it's reliant on show clips? With all the cuts, filters, and custom animations, the editors here really made them their own. That this is a collaboration makes it even better, because the editors have perfect synergy, and their parts form a cohesive whole. This is what we're capable of if we work together.

9. Nightmare Night
by Ferexes

The animation, the lighting, the set design, just everything looks amazing. Besides, I had to fit a Ferexes video in here somewhere. He's one of our best animators. His use of the Source Filmmaker tool is beyone almost all of his peers, and this is probably his best animation yet. It's fast-paced, perfectly fit, and even fits in a small narrative. Aside from that, the atmosphere is thick and rich, thanks in no small part to the lighting. BronyDanceParty did a PMV of the song around the same time, but he couldn't hope to match the complexity of Ferexes' animation. It's simply brilliant.

8. Can't Hold Us
by Kooper

Filled with custom animation and brilliantly edited show clips, this is what I'd expected Kooper to do since I first saw one of his videos. There's so much stuffed into here that it's just insane. Kooper didn't hold back here. He went straight over the top, and the video benefits from that. It's fast-paced, exciting, and even when he goes for simple rotations, it's after he's done so much that he's more than earned it. There's more energy here than most other PMVs this year combined. It's just crazy.

7. My Little Pony: Closer
by Galaxyart

The other ones were simply wonderfully made, but this one manages to have more than that. This video seems almost more like an alternate intro, and it really does work. The PMV links the lyrics with events in the show, and the result is a bit of a nostalgic feeling. The song's lyrics resonate with both the show and the fandom, and Galaxyart takes full advantage with that, with filters and original animations aplenty. Said original animations look fantastic-almost show quality, might I say. Now, there's too many unaltered show clips to put it higher, but the emotional resonance definitely makes this one deserve the #7 slot. 

6. SIX
by BVids

This PMV actually relies excessively on show clips, yet somehow, it feels most appropriate. It frames these show clips with excessively great editing and plenty of custom animations, and the result feels almost like a scrapbook filled with the great times the Mane 6 had. This came out at the beginning of the year, and it was quite the note to start on. The way it's edited together makes it seem like it's mostly show clips ordered around-but it's not. It's elements from the show taken and superimposed on one another. It's just an excessively brilliant piece of editing that provokes a wide range of emotions, from fear to sadness to nostalgia, and ends on optimism. And the editing is so well-done that it's hard to believe that many of the animations were from different scenes. Funnily enough, SIX ends up at my number 6 slot. 

5. Rainbow Dash IS AWESOME!!
by GuncaPMV

This PMV is basically a giant love letter to Rainbow Dash. In that sense, it's trying to be worthy of her awesomeness-as perceived by a fan-and oh dear, does it succeed. This is something she'd put on a big screen if she was starting a show of some sort. Indeed, the title states "Rainbow Dash is awesome!", and the entire PMV just serves to show us why. It showcases Rainbow's accomplishments, and frames them within animations that perfectly represent the song and its large scale. Most of these PMVs could fill a club, but this is the only one on the list that I'd say could fill a stadium. The creativity of the animations doesn't hurt at all, but the real thing that puts this PMV so high is how much awesome it makes Rainbow look. That's the statement here, and oh boy, does it make that statement well. Rainbow fans, this is your holy grail. 

4. Make it Special
by Feedsy

So Feedsy made the intro for Saberspark's The Brony Chronicles. Now, I haven't seen Saberspark's series, and I don't really intend to. But, for a series chronicling the growth of the brony fandom, he couldn't have asked for a better intro. The remix of the MLP songs used here is already fantastic, and the video displays an incredible level of love and care for the show. There's something just incredibly joyful about it. Maybe it's just that it feels like a perfect visualization of the song. Maybe it's that this intro grabs my attention, and makes me interested in a series that I doubt will live up to this intro's quality. Regardless, its uplifting tone and the way it so heavily features the mane 6 really works as a tribute to all things MLP. I dunno, I just love it all the same.

3. Shadows / Sombras
by M1guesl1980

M1guel1980 is great at creating atmospheric visuals, but he often has issues with putting in a satisfactory amount of motion. However, in this PMV, the stillness of everything contributes to just how creepy everything is. Unlike many of these PMVs, the pacing is very slow-and that mes the animations much more disturbing than otherwise. It makes you uncomfortable, and the use of a dark, menacing Aviators/Glaze song doesn't help. On its own, the visuals aren't the most subtle. However, their parallels with the song add more layers to whatever it is that you're seeing. As mentioned, the slow pace and lack of movement makes everything just more disturbing, and raises plenty of questions. There are layers to this, and I wouldn't be surprised if people could think of multiple different ways to interpret it. At times, the PMV is actually kind of menacing. There are points where it seems to be breaking the fourth wall, for you to get out just in time. It's just loaded with such complexities that serve to make it more and more disturbing. It's a big mind screw, and it's terrifying

2. Cubed
by TheAcleps2

There's plenty of PMVs dedicated to a single pony, but how about one dedicated to all of the mane 6 equally? The amount of creativity shown here could easily fill dedicated PMVs for each pony, but instead it's all packed into one truly brilliant package. Each little segment has a different personality, specifically the one that matches its starring pony. Even PMVs dedicated to a single pony rarely do that. TheAcleps2 goes for a video that perfectly represents each of their personalities, and gives each of them a fair segment. They're connected by an excellent framing device that causes each of these segments with their different personalities to be perfectly cohesive. The animations themselves are all excessively great, showing plenty of creativity and doing a really good job of fitting the music. It may use some generic circular animations, but it gives these its own twist according to the personality of the pony being featured at that time. And even when it's featuring all six ponies, it's showering us with incredible visuals. This came in a weaker part of the year for PMVs, and it blew everything around it away. 

1. Gives You Hell
by Kenny9807

I did not realize just how much I loved this one. Each time I watch it, I think I love it a bit more. There's something new I didn't notice, or some little detail that I missed the first time. Let's start with the cover, shall we? It's great. They could have just pitch-shifted the song, but they instead went for singers that sound more appropriate for the characters. I'm not entirely sure what's actually going on in the video yet, but I'm certain that I'll understand in another couple of views. SFM videos have seemed to have a greater attention for detail than most other fan animations this year, and this is no exception. The animation is quite complex, but you wouldn't notice it at first. It's not made really blatant like in Argodaemon's or Ferexes' videos, it's just there and works on top of everything else. The video just beams with fun. As far as I can tell at the moment, Pinkie is leading a cover band, and everyone's just enjoying the performance. And indeed, it feels like a really good concert. That already made the video great, but there's so many little details scattered throughout that you might not catch on your first watch. The amount of effort put into this is outstanding, and that's why it's my favourite PMV of the year.

Next up, my favourite non-PMV videos of the year, then we'll begin a new year of reviews!  

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