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MAD” (マッド, Maddo) is a Japanese term for creative, modified media that could be called crazy, stupid, or insane. It actually originated in the late 1970s, long before the internet had went public, and there are further classifications of MADs based on genre(s) and the medium.


In the late 1970s, a bunch of Osaka University of Arts students made nine 46-minute tapes, dubbed the “NEW MAD TAPE” series, using cassette decks and record players.1) These mashup tapes were generally called “MAD tapes” (MADテープ) or “kichigai tapes” (キチガイテープ), which implicates that “MAD” is supposed to be a translation of “kichigai” (きちがい) which means “lunatic” or “madman”.2)

At some point, these tapes would influence the legendary “Tsugihagi News” (つぎはぎニュース) segment of Tamori's All Night Nippon,3) though it was pulled after three months. From there, technology evolved and people now used VCRs to make MADs, dubbed “Analog MAD” (アナログMAD), then PCs would rise up to popularity in the late 1990s to digitize the process.

However, the PC switch wasn't immediate as their only tools (e.g. Adobe Premiere, Ulead VideoStudio) were commercial back then, so the scene went underground as everything had to be shared illegally. In its place, there was the Flash boom, but the distribution of copyrighted materials being used in such a ridiculous manner would lead to the issue of copyright takedown requests, especially from JASRAC.

By the late 2000s, the Flash era was winding down as people now had access to proper video editing tools for free, plus video sharing websites like Niconico Douga and YouTube were on the rise. As for the whole copyright issue, most copyright holders appear to be divided on whether they should act or not. Regardless, the MAD scene continued to thrive into the MAD culture we know today.


MAD is a broad term that can be used to describe a vast number of videos. While one specific MAD format tends to dominate the MAD scene, there are technically other formats, but they don't matter as much.

  • Tegaki MAD (手描きMAD/手書きMAD) - An MAD where the visuals are hand-drawn.
  • OtoMAD (音MAD) - The most popular form of MAD where audio is the main focus. These used to be known as “Otokei MAD” (音系MAD) until “OtoMAD” (音MAD) prevailed.
  • Kōshiki MAD (公式MAD) - An official MAD that has been approved by the copyright holder(s).
  • Seishiga MAD (静止画MAD) - An MAD that mainly relies on the use of images.
  • Jikkyō-sha MAD (実況者MAD) - An MAD that relies on live commentating. A high language barrier.
  • Yōgaku MAD (洋楽MAD) - An MAD that relies on Western music. Some may qualify as AMVs.


This section could be better formatted.
You might want to consider MMaker's YTPMV & 音MAD Document.

Software Page Cost
Video editing software
Adobe After Effects Trial (7 days) $52.99/mo (entire)
$20.99/mo (each)
Adobe Premiere Pro
AviUtl Free
NicoVisualEffects (NiVE) Free
REAPER Trial (60 days) $60 (discounted)
$225 (commercial)
VirtualDub Free
Windows Movie Maker Discontinued
3DCG software
Blender Free Donate

Takedown risk level

MAD videos often rely on the unauthorized modification of copyrighted content, making some videos more susceptible to being taken down over copyright infringement and risking account termination. As a result, content creators should be cautious about the materials that they use and note which copyright holders are lenient compared to others. Touhou Project is famously lenient and therefore not included.

For materials whose copyright status are ambiguous, such as the Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger anime that aired on NHK BS2, the deletion level will fall by 1 or 2 levels.


  • MAD on Niconico Encyclopedia
  • MAD on Pixiv Encyclopedia
  • MAD Movie on Japanese Wikipedia
“Kichigai” (きちがい) is a term that was invented during the Edo period to describe a person afflicted with a mental illness, similar to “lunatic” or “madman” and is derogatory for the same reasons, but it can also be used in a positive context and could mean “enthusiast” instead.
“Tamori's All Night Nippon” (タモリのオールナイトニッポン) was a two-hour variety show that Tamori hosted as the first half (1:00am to 3:00am JST) of All Night Nippon on Thursdays. His show ran from October 6, 1976 to September 28, 1983. In All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros., Tamori is the piranha plants.
mad.txt · Last modified: 2023-12-17 12:59:50 by