James Kaposztas, a pioneer of the anime fandom, passed away recently, according to news reports. Michael Pinto, a friend, and co-founder of Anime.com said on Twitter that James, also known as Jim, was instrumental in fostering early anime fandom gatherings in New York City and Philadelphia and is credited with producing the first known anime music video (AMV) in 1982.
Kaposztas revealed in a 2007 interview with Patrick Macias for The Japan Times that he first experimented with making an AMV to gain experience in editing and as a means to promote his hobby. In order to create a delightfully dissonant contrast between the song's lyrics and the violent actions on film, he connected two VCRs at the age of 21 and combined video from Star Blazers—the localized version of the Space Battleship Yamato anime—with the Beatles song "All You Need is Love."
Kaposztas, a communications major at the time, explained to The Japan Times that he regarded making AMVs as a means to share his hobby and learn editing. In the 1980s and 1990s, not many fans made the effort to utilize VCRs to make anime music videos, but that changed in the early 2000s with the expansion of Japanese popular culture in the U.S. and the shift to digitally produced AMVs. AMV competitions and screenings have become popular at American anime conventions.
According to the information provided on Kaposztas' LinkedIn profile, he spent more than 20 years working at Otakon in a variety of capacities, ranging from video operations and technical operations to info desk and exhibitions.