A.D. Vision Holdings, Inc. (known simply as ADV and also referred to as ADV Films) was an American multimedia entertainment distributor headquartered in Houston, Texas, and founded in 1992 by video game fan John Ledford and anime fans Matt Greenfield and David Williams. The company specialized in home video production and distribution, theatrical film distribution, merchandising, original productions, magazine and comic book publishing. They also ran Anime Network, a television channel devoted to airing the company's titles.
ADV stood for "Animation Dubbing Vision".
1st Logo (December 15, 1992-1995)
Logo: On a black background, we see stars and a rainbow-colored grid at the bottom. A CGI rendition of the A.D. Vision print logo of the time, which is the geometric letters "AD" and "Vision" in a script font and having large green dots also serving the dots for "A.D.", zooms out and shines three times, each time followed by a star shining.
Technique: The zoom-out and the shining. Very cheap computer animation made on an Amiga 1000, which is primitive even for the time period and better suited for the subtitles generated during the company's early days.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- Your best bet is to find titles packaged in black Amaray cases with the A.D. Vision logo on the artwork.
- It appeared on the very first subtitled releases of the early volumes of New Cutie Honey and Devil Hunter Yohko OVAs.
- This logo has also appeared in an ADV logo montage on the DVD collection of the latter.
Legacy: This logo should not be surprising for being cheap, as early tapes they made looked strange even for the time.
2nd Logo (1995-1998)
Logo: On a gray background, three spheres rise up from a pool of liquid and start spinning as the background tilts and spins, revealing a gold/black background. The gray base turns into a rectangle and the spheres start to form the letters "A D V" and 3 smaller spheres take place next to each letter. A multi-colored "A.D. VISION" wipes across the screen and turns white as it settles under the shapes. The logo shines.
Technique: All the CGI is great for the time.
Music/Sounds: A synthesizer fanfare with a few drumbeats and a "whoosh" as "A.D. VISION" wipes across the screen.
- Seen on most early ADV tapes, like the early Neon Genesis Evangelion and Blue Seed tapes as well as the first releases of Dragon Half and 801 T.T.S. Airbats.
- The logo is printed on the cover of all VHS tapes that have it.
- Also appears on the Devil Hunter Yohko DVD as part of a logo montage.
1st Logo (1998-1999)
Logo: On a black background, we see lasers forming white lines. The camera gradually pans over the white lines, which eventually end up forming the new ADV logo. When the logo is finally finished, it turns blue, and a comet shoots by, making the word "FILMS" fade in.
Technique: The lasers forming the white lines, the logo turning blue, and the comet.
Music/Sounds: Same as the 2nd A.D. Vision logo, but shorter and with additional laser sound effects.
- Seen on ADV tapes of the era, including Sakura Wars, Burn-Up: EXCESS and Delinquent in Drag.
- The only DVD this was on was Tekken: The Motion Picture.
- Also appears on the logo montage at the beginning of Devil Hunter Yohko on DVD.
2nd Logo (1999-2002)
Logo: A stylized sun flashes into a bright orange-red burst of light in the middle of the screen. This creates a blue background with various astrological symbols in an arrangement from left to right. The symbols start to flash to arrange it to look like this: "☉☿♀⊕♂♃♄♅♆♇", while on the last flash of the fourth symbol (Earth), the symbols glow and swirl around, forming the stylized letters "ADV". A white oval forms around the letters and a mass of tiny squares appear in the blurry transition below, forming the word "FILMS".
Technique: Very good animation.
Music/Sounds: Futuristic sound effects throughout; no music apart from a slight synth drone at the very end.
- Seen on all ADV tapes and DVDs from the era, most notably Sonic the Hedgehog: The Movie (the American release of the 1996 2-part OVA, Sonic the Hedgehog).
- Also appears on the Devil Hunter Yohko ADV logo montage.
3rd Logo (2002-2009)
Logo: On a black background, a silver oval quickly passes through us, as the background rotates to reveal several stars in the distance. The ring then spins and revolves the background twice in a row, before passing through it and flying around the area. The camera then goes up close to the ADV Films logo, but with darker letters and clips playing inside those letters, scrolling along it as the background fades back again. The logo then falls into the background, where it and the ring play around, quickly zooming in with distorted copies 3 times. The logo and ring then go to their normal positions and zoom back in as the stars fade back in. The ring slowly moves to the upper left, shining as it does, before suddenly spinning to be lower, and quickly zooms to the side, wiping away the stars.
Variant: There's a 10th Anniversary variant that was used for the logo's first year. After the logo goes out, it spins back in and flies to a spot near the back as a blue nebula fades in. An even bigger gold oval, with "10TH ANNIVERSARY" engraved on it in a font similar to the corporate font, then flies into view. The logo and ring slowly turn until the camera goes under and over it, ending the logo. DVD releases have this variant start just after the logo's 3rd distort.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: Like the previous logo, just some sound effects, consisting of "wobble"-type sounds, an ethereal choir, screeching static noises, followed by these sounds, depending on these variants:
- Regular: A sparkling sound and a screeching static noise when the logo spins around, followed by another "wobble"-type sound.
- 10th Anniversary: An electricity zapping sound, followed by a held-out hollow reactor sound and the same "wobble"-type sound from regular variant.
- Appeared on their later releases including Chrono Crusade, Azumanga Daioh, and Elfen Lied.
- Also appears to be the key logo on the Devil Hunter Yohko ADV logo montage.
4th Logo (mid-2007-2009)
Logo: On a black background, a sketchy drawing of the ADV letters rotates up with the lines wiggling. The lines disappear and a ring in the same lined fashion rotates around with the rotating letters as the middle of the background becomes purple. The letters and ring fill with color and they transform from 2D to 3D as they flip, zoom, and rotate around more until the letters fly off-screen. The ring flips another time and shines as it gets filled in with black. The letters of "FILMS" turn and settle on the ring, forming the logo. The logo shines and the purple disappears. The logo becomes lined again and fades away.
Variant: In the logo's first year of usage, the text "15TH ANNIVERSARY" was below it.
Technique: The spinning and flipping as well as the transformation from 2D to 3D.
Music/Sounds: A couple of scratches, whooshes and shining sounds throughout with a little ditty near the end (15th Anniversary Variant only and no sounds at the end). The latter has a short laser sound.
Availability: Rare. This was used in tandem with the 3rd logo, and appeared on some releases such as the 2009 re-release of Grave of the Fireflies. The 15th anniversary variant can be seen on UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie 4: Banquet Time Dreams.
With declining fortunes in the mid-2000s due to low sales, ADV collapsed and eventually liquidated their assets in 2009. Sentai Holdings, owner of Section23 Films, Sentai Filmworks, AEsir Holdings, Valkyrie Media Partners, and Seraphim Digital, took over the ADV brand name and still uses it on some of their releases. Most of ADV's former titles have been re-released by other companies. Sentai was subsequently acquired by AMC Networks in 2022. As of 2022, ADV exists as a domiciled shell corporation.