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What is a MAD?

Today the word MAD stipulates an edited video or tape made as a parody from doujin circles. However, the true origin of this word comes from the Osaka University of Arts and Music. Around 1978, two members, Mr. Shimagawa and Mr. Y, of the group CAS began making medleys of anime and sentai show songs with guitars. After awhile, they decided to try and use their recordings as the actual background music for the shows. After this initial test, they eventually went into the realm of parody. Thus, the MAD was born.

At the same time, in a completely different place in Osaka, a middle school student named Imai had started his own MAD creation. It all began from his desire for the background music from the anime show Yamato. At the time no drama records had been released, so he recorded the BGM from the TV show where there was no dialogue and pieced the clips together to make a full song. After enjoying success in this first endeavor, he began to piece together dialogue from the show and create his own memorable scenes for the show. Upon sharing his works with his Yamato loving friends and having fun playing with words and quotes, they decided to actually edit the video as well. This ultimately led to the creation of the MAD Yamato club in their high school years. Finally, when Imai entered the Osaka University of Arts and Music, the fate of these MAD's were brought together. Imai, excited that there were others interested in such zany acts, took in the Sound MAD created by his senpai and released his NEW MAD SERIES.

Much time has passed and we now know MAD's as they exist today. One question you may ask is why they are called MAD's. This stems from the name of the tape that was first made. It was originally titled the Kichigai Tape (Tape of Madness), but for some reason or other the title was changed from Japanese to English.

Information Source Web Page

Types of MAD's

Let it be noted that MAD's are not always anime related. Most of the well-circulated MAD's are anime related (for obvious reasons), but non-anime MAD's do exist. The term MAD also means a lot more than just parodies. Based on the information at hand we know it has grown from parody work but the term is also used to refer to more than parodies. MAD != AMV. It is important to note that although the term MAD encompasses anime music videos it does go beyond this. For this reason, the types of MAD's being made are broken down below with information on their variants.

Audio MAD

These are basically what Imai pioneered back in the infancy of MAD's. These can consist of stringing together dialogue from anime to editing news broadcasts off of the television. Basically the point is to put together dialogue to make something funny, stupid, or just plain weird.

Visual MAD

Based on present information these are either photoshop edited pictures or actual pictures of funny/strange things.

Video MAD

There are basically four distinct genres of video MAD's today.

An anime with similarities (or at times no similarities whatsoever) to another anime is synchronized with the opening of the other to create a similar looking opening. Sometimes the creators offer 2 files (one showing original show's opening alongside their new opening and the other showing just the opening they have created). There is an example of this genre that has been floating around the net that many American AMV makers are aware of: nadegelion.avi. Based on the style, text content, and the romanization of Ruri as Ruli, we can say with a good amount of confidence that this is definitely a MAD (99% sure...we still have yet to verify with MAD creators or find the specific creator).
Lyrics Based
The anime is set to the lyrics of the music. This can be serious in nature or comical. The serious ones are what we call anime music videos. The comical ones usually parody the lyrics of the song for a "Weird Al" type of music video. Oftentimes the creators of this type of MAD will make very creative puns from the original lyrics of the song; even going so far as to rewrite practically the entire songs with puns.
Fake Opening
Similar to the Unison types, except that instead of creating a similar opening to the anime, a unique and believable original opening is created for the anime instead. Staff credits and song lyrics at the bottom usually accompany these types to better fool the viewer into thinking that the opening is indeed from the show. The K Team AMV that Doki Doki Productions made could be considered of this genre.
Miscellaneous Shorts
These are just what they sound like. They're basically made for the pleasure of the author. They are not made with any audience in mind; just purely for personal pleasure. You could compare them to The Far Side comics. People who get the joke laugh at it hysterically. Whereas the people who don't, just blankly stare wondering what the hell the video was about. There's usually some kind of inside joke about the anime, the creator, or what-not.

MAD Contests

There are MAD video contests but they are not true contests where there is a distinct winner. This is not like the AMV contests of the U.S. Anime Conventions. It is more of a get together type event. They basically rent a theater and display their work. It is mainly theme based where the creators are given a genre or theme to tailor their MAD's to. Known contests of the past, present, and future are broken down below. Some of the more recent contests have homepages and appropriate links have been provided.


Little is known regarding the details of this contest other than it featured MAD's using Eva footage.

Initial G

This contest used footage from anime that began with the letter G. It is believed to have taken place in 1999 or 2000 as videos from this contest were readily available during the year 2000.

Itakyoku Kakumei Senshuken (Painful Music Revolution Championship)

This is a contest that started up recently in 2000 and we will abbreviate it as IT. The deadline for the contest was February 2001 and MAD's for it have been appearing on the net. The basic idea for this contest was to use painful music in the MAD. By painful music they mean either sugary sweet songs that you can't stand listening to over and over or just plain horrible songs. The following is a little excerpt from the list they consider painful songs:

  • Tenshi ni Narumon OP
  • Marmalade Boy OP
  • Fancy Lala OP
  • D4 Princess OP
  • Ojya Majo Doremi OP
  • Steel Angel Kurumi OP, ED
  • Moldiver OP
  • Neoranga OP
  • Watashi Rashiku (Onchi version) - Those who know this one can understand why.
  • Sakura Taisen (Iris songs)
  • Tokimemo songs
  • Songs from 18+ PC games - Trust us, they can get really bad.

Surprisingly they didn't list the Wedding Peach OP. This is the IT homepage.

CDMAONE (CD MAster for number ONE)

This is another contest that took place in 2001 and is over. This is the CDMAONE homepage

Where do I find MAD's?

Now keep in mind not only are they all in Japanese, but they usually hide their files very well. A lot of them implant the files into .jpg images or break them up into scrambled garbage files which require special tools to piece them together and extract the files. These tools are in Japanese as well and can be tricky to figure out, so I can't really recommend trying to find MADs unless you can read and display Japanese text and have the know-how to manipulate the necessary tools. OPED Hakan Kan 2nd is a page with links to a lot of the MAD sites and is a good starting point. Below are links to some of the creators' pages that whose work The Outlaw and his partners in crime have enjoyed.

Final Notes

The term MAD has been used on this page in the context of referring to Japanese created items which meet the qualifications for MAD's. We would appreciate it if others who are now familiar with MAD's will understand that MAD's are from Japanese creators only and although there are US AMV creators making things which can be classified in this manner, they are not MAD's. This is to help facilitate differences between the US AMV community and the Japanese MAD community; as there are many.

I would like to extend a big thanks to DeDenDen for the translation of the Japanese MAD information page, providing lots of insights regarding MAD's after a heavy discussion of MAD's/AMV's, and keeping me in supply with plenty of MAD's. A shout out to Doki Doki Productions who enjoys MAD's and have even hosted a few.

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