Category Archives: Opinion

My Top 10 Favorite Anime Openings (As of April 2022)

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In the latter months of last year, I put out a post detailing my favorite anime. For as superficial as it might be to try and pin down favorites, it was a post that I had a lot of fun working on, both organizationally and in writing it. So, I thought it would be a good idea to work on another listicle, and talk about some of my favorite anime openings. While their is some crossover between the two, my favorite openings tend not to be attached to my favorite shows, so this will probably still end up being a surprise for most.

HM: Fiction – Sumika – Wotakoi OP 1

I figured this time around it would be worth including at least one of the honorable mentions so that people know what else was in contention for my top 10. Vocalist Sumika has some damn good pipes, and man is that chorus infectious as hell. On top of that, the visuals are incredibly fun and give a really good representation of the personalities of the main characters. The main reason it is not only the list proper is that, while it is overall a really solid OP, the middle section drags a little bit more than the openings above it. Overall, though, a really solid piece.

10. Shounen Heart – Home Made Kazoku – Eureka 7

Listen, I already warned everyone this is going to be a weird list, so that means no judgment whatsoever (Jk, feel free to tell me how wrong I am in the comments). In all seriousness, I know this probably is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, the Japanese hip-hop group Home Made Kazoku sells the song with a passion that I kind of respect in a campy, 90’s hip-hop kind of way. Their near yelling over this saxophone accented beat is hype in a way that feels hard to explain. Visually, this is definitely the weakest of the openings on here, which is why it stays at number 10.

9. My Soul, Your Beats! – Lia – Angel Beats! OP 1

A theme that might emerge for some in my discussions of these openings is that I care way more about the music than the visuals. Of course, good visuals are nice, but when being compared to the angelic vocals of singers like Lia it feels way less important. That is not to say that the visuals of Angel Beats‘ first OP are bad. In fact, I think the through-line of Kana playing the Piano in various places across the school grounds is a great visual representation of how she manages to affect all of their lives while they figure out what is even happening to them. The visuals are definitely a lesser factor for me, but certainly not a non-factor.

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8. Chain – BACK-ON – Air Gear OP 1

Call it what you will, Nu Metal, Butt Rock, etc, the combination of rock and hip-hop elements has always been a staple in my musical diet, at least up until recently. Air Gear, meanwhile, feels like the perfect fit for the song. A show about battling on rollerblades might as well embrace the edginess. The opening definitely looks its age, with some pretty barebones movement, but it does at least have a narrative, and while the version above does not show it, the credits are pretty well integrated into said narrative.

7. Jiyuu no Tsubasa – Linked Horizon – Attack on Titan OP 2

On the other hand, maybe sometimes there can be too much narrative. Looking back at “Jiyuu no Tsubasa” while also just so happening to be in the middle of marathoning Attack on Titan (more on that later), it is pretty hilarious how many clues it just hands out. Still, what makes me like it more than its first-season counterpart, other than just being a contrarian, is the way it focuses on that mystery. The series is at its strongest while focusing on the secrets of the world they inhabit, and this opening does that the best, with no questions.

6. Katayoku no Tori – Akiko Skikata – Umineko no Nako Koro Ni

Fun fact: I have yet to watch a single second of the series proper, despite generally enjoying its predecessor Higurashi. On the other hand, why would I when this opening goes as hard as it does? After originally hearing the song in the background of Glass Reflections’ review of the series, I was instantly in love. It is one of the few openings on this list that I have known about for a long time, and musically it has stuck with me. Something about the chants in the beginning and the buildup to the chorus just feels right.

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5. Goodbye Bystander – Yuki – March Comes in Like a Lion OP 2

Of course, if we are talking about openings with a good narrative… Honestly, when everything was said and done, I expected Goodbye Bystander to be a bit closer to the bottom since I had never really remembered any of the March openings super fondly. Yet, as I went back and listened, I could not help but get swept away by the magical instrumentation accompanying Yuki’s heartfelt performance on this song. Both lyrically and visually, the song also talks about an important aspect of the show, one in which Rei is not only becoming more comfortable in his arrangement with the Kawamoto sisters but also realizing the debt he owes them.

4. Gravity Wall – Hiroyuki Sawano, Tielle and Gemi – Re:Creators OP 1

If there is one thing I resent about Amazon’s Anime Strike channel, other than being overpriced for no reason, it is keeping this show behind a paywall and thus not letting as many people see it. Re:Creators is such a phenomenal anime, and alongside it are two incredibly produced OPs, the first of which just happens to be more my speed. Add in the fact that the opening looks just as good as the rest of the anime, and it should be pretty obvious why it is this high.

3. Destiny – Neko – Phi Brain OP 3

I made a rule early on in the creation of this list that their would only be one opening per series. This is because, without that rule, Phi Brain very likely would have snagged three spots on the list. Both of its first two openings “Brain Diver” and “Now or Never” have been heavy in my rotation since I watched the series a few years back. Still, I went with with the third one because it is both visually pleasing and one of the harder hitting songs instrumentally. Neko is an expressive vocalist who commands attention not only during the chorus but throughout the song.

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2. ft. – Funkist – Fairytail OP 3

The reason I clarified my focus on music as opposed to visuals beforehand is because, well, this opening is as high as it is on the music alone. While it is definitely better than some of other openings here as far as the animation, it would definitely be lower were my focus changed. However, that does not matter much considering how incredible the music actually is. The use of flute as one of the primary drivers of melody in the song gives it this really interesting property of being continually hopeful despite some of the darker turns. Fairytail is probably one of the worst when it comes to the whole power of friendship thing.

1. Database – Man With a Mission/Takuma – Log Horizon OP 1

Was it ever really a competition? the answer is yes, it definitely was. However, Log Horizon‘s hard hitting Man With a Mission opening beats it out, partially on nostalgia but also because it takes a lot of what I like about Air Gear‘s opening and turns it up to 11. It may not be as distinct musically as some of the other openings here, but the computerized intro and solid English verse delivered by Takuma certainly give it an identity of its own. On top of that, the art and action present in the series translate really well into the animation, which just looks really cool, even if the storytelling is limited. “Database,” at least for now, is my favorite opening.


And that’s the list, Is there an opening that I missed? One you just want to recommend? Should I do anime endings next? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special shoutout to Jenn for supporting the blog on Patreon

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Anime Music Quiz Highlights

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Most of the people who end up reading this will probably already be familiar with Anime Music Quiz. However, for those that are unaware of the game, a brief rundown. The game is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, where player(s) get some amount of time, usually 20 seconds, to guess a song from a given anime. It is a fun time, especially when you get to play with other people (shoutouts to the people in the Jon Spencer discord). As such, I wanted to highlight a few songs that I either discovered or rediscovered via the game.

Lullaby of Birdland – Yoko Kanno/Aoi Teshima – Kids on the Slope

Despite the fact that I probably would like it if I ever bothered to watch it, I have yet to experience Kids on the Slope outside of its soundtrack. Yet, this cover of Ella Fitzgerald’s 1947 song is probably one of my favorite of all time. Yoko Kanno’s brilliant as always production combined with the soft, luscious vocals of Aoi Teshima make for such an enjoyable listen. It may not be an all the time type of song for me, but when I am in the mood to hear it calms me down better than pretty much anything.

This is the End – Coldrain – King’s Game

While King’s Game the Animation may have been an exceptionally dull experience when I watched it back in 2017, it was not without its strong points. Mainly, this opening. The visuals are satisfactory, mainly just a run-through of the characters with some visuals which imply the show’s basic premise. However, the metalcore instrumentation and vocals of artist Coldrain is a welcome addition to any otherwise fine opening. On top of that, the all English lyrics make for a much more enjoyable listening experience for my admittedly uncultured ears.

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Kawaki wo Ameku – Minami – Domestic Girlfriend

Domestic Girlfriend’s plot honestly sounds like the writing of a really bad porno. There, I said it. Still, my hesitancy to engage with the show at all certainly will not take away my enjoyment of the series’ opening. The visuals are honestly fairly strong for a romance series, which, in my experience, tend to be uninspired. On top of that, the vocals of singer Minami are out of this world. There is roaring anger that comes out in the build-up to the chorus which probably underscores a lot of the tension that comes out in the anime proper. Even on its own, though, the song is really solid and one that I do not at all mind having on my playlist.

Contradiction – KSUKE/Tyler Carter – The God of High School

EDM is a genre that I feel does not get a whole lot of representation when it comes to anime openings/OSTs. on the one hand, it makes sense, since it is not a genre that fits every story beat. Still, it is a shame since there is honestly a lot of places it does fit, and an anime like The God of High School is one of those. The production of KSUKE is admittedly not the hardest hitting I have ever heard, but the drops are still fun, and the vocal presence of Tyler Carter makes for a complete package.


I realized while writing this that most of the songs have some form of English lyrics, which is probably why they caught my attention, lol. Plz do not flame me in the comments, I am a weeb I swear!

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Patron Jenn for the support!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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What I’m (Probably) Watching for Spring 2022

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It is about that time of the year again, where the anime of a given season finishes, and the list of new arrivals is all but determined. I tend not to dip my toes too far into the pool of seasonal offerings, usually because I am either too busy or too lazy to keep up with the series that I start. So, in the interest of not developing bad habits, here are the series that I may or may not watch for the spring season this year.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Season 3

I honestly do not know what more needs to be said about one of the best romantic comedies of the last few years. Despite its admittedly gimmick-based premise, it has since managed to create many layers of depth within its story, with its central premise of two idiot nerds with way too much pride to even cut through some topical issues like classism. Above all else, though, it is genuinely entertaining to watch Kaguya and Miyuki exchange mental blow after mental blow, all the while the people around them perceive them as the weirdos they really are. I honestly had forgotten that this show was already confirmed for a season three, but there are certainly no complaints.

Komi Can’t Communicate Season 2

Komi is another romantic comedy series that, since its initial episodes, has come to genuinely surprise me, although certainly not to the extent of Kaguya-sama. Its humor is a bit more niche, and the jokes do not land for me as often as I feel they should, but the series also still has a lot to say, particularly about anxiety and its effect on our ability to navigate social interactions. While Komi is always surprised to see her classmates so supportive of her, it does not mean she is satisfied with sitting down and being quiet. I do not expect to get much out of this season outside of a few chuckles, but I am open to being pleasantly surprised once the rubber hits the road.

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Summer Time Render

Studio OLM also has another series airing this season alongside Komi, and that is Summer Time Render. Given my terrible relationship with social media, a lot of my news on upcoming manga adaptations comes from manga tik tok creators, and given that literally none of the many that I follow even so much as mentioned in this series, I am a bit hesitant. That being said, there is a certain allure in the vague plot description which serves as the series intro. On top of the incredibly 0-100 trailer which makes almost no sense, I am really only left with feelings of excitement and possibility.

SPYxFamily

If there was an honorable mention slot on this list it would probably go to SPYxFAMILY, because, while I do want to experience the series at some point, there is also a decent chance that I just end up reading the manga in my spare time. This is nothing against the anime, Cloverworks and Wit Studios have decent track records, after all, but sometimes I just need something to look forward to reading, so the anime will not be high on my priority list.


What are you watching this season? Let me know down in the comments. Also, since the season is starting soon that will mean full reviews for the Winter shows I watched and some initial reactions for the spring, so expect more seasonal content in the coming weeks.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

As always, special thanks to Jenn for being an amazing Patron

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Toradora is Peak Fiction. No, Seriously.

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The content meta online is so weird. It is like, did you click on this because of the title, the featured image? Idk, but since you’re here, how about I give you a much more nuanced take on Toradora than what I implied.

Even as weebs become further divided by fandom and sub-culture, I think one thing most of us can agree on is that we all have our comfort media. whether it be an anime, video game, manga, etc., there are always certain series that bring out a sense of either nostalgia or just straight happiness.

Though I would not necessarily call Toradora a comfort anime in that same sense, I have, for a while now, been finding myself happiest as an anime fan while revisiting some of these shows which I have a fond memory of. Toradora certainly invoked some warm feelings, but I had a hard time remembering why exactly that was, at least until now. While it feels difficult to point out a lot of what the show does exceptionally well, it is also is hard to find a lot of weak points.

For example, the series sits at a whopping 25 episodes, which may not seem like a lot given that others like Kimi no Todoke have stretched on for longer, but there are also tons that have dragged with lower episode counts. Yet, there is never a moment in Toradora feels that feels wasted. Character arcs are started and resolved in ways that, though might come off as shallow to some, resolve in a satisfying way.

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The main cast is a drama machine, by which I mean they are a series of interlocking parts which function together smoothly after being oiled by the first few episodes and the introduction of Kawashima. From there, goals become solidified, but the character’s relationships continue to be fluid.

The line that divides good romantic drama from bad or corny can often feel invisible. After all, who or what decides whether dialogue or character interactions feel natural or not largely depends on prior context and the progression of those characters. Still, very few moments if any throughout Toradora feel forced or unnatural given the events which happened before.

When the crew gets back from their beach house extravaganza at Kawashima’s and Taiga looks longingly at Ryuji before she dashes to catch up to him, it feels correct. The two spending time with each other as a way of helping the other get with their best friends naturally brings them closer together. There is never a moment when the two are supposed to fall in love, but between Taiga’s increasingly nonchalant attitude towards Kitamura, and Ryuji’s obvious jealously about the rest of his class wanting to see the two together, nothing has to be said.

Of course, one of the biggest hints the series gives about its romantic direction is the fact that Taiga gets rejected by Yusaku, and that Taiga herself rejected him a year prior, during their first year of high school. It is definitely within the opening episodes of the series which feel the most “high school romance,” and what I would probably call the weakest part of the series. There is a reason I started my re-watch last year and did not finish until this one.

Yet, I would be reluctant to say Toradora has a bad episode. Again, relative feelings of “cheese” are entirely subjective and often have a lot to do with what we consider embarrassing, but even that “cheese” has a purpose because it effectively sets up more powerful moments later on. The strangeness of Ryuji agreeing to secretly take photos of his best friend for Taiga is an act of kindness which shows how much he is willing to care for her.

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Another element worth touching on is the absence of parents in the lives of the main characters, a trope that occurs commonly in anime but in Toradora that serves a stronger purpose. For Ryuji, the absence of his father creates a need for self-reliance as well as a desire to take care of others, something that Taiga becomes the receiving end of. Taiga, meanwhile, has only her deadbeat dad, and as a result desires a normal life, one in which she can rely on someone instead of having to act tough.

What this ultimately creates is a series in which the two main characters are self-reliant. They are forced to rely on each other in order to get their initial love interests (Kitamura for Taiga and Kushieda for Ryuuji). However, it is this reliance on one another that ultimately makes them realize just how much they care for each other.

I could go on for a while, and indeed I probably will in a future post. There is so much about Toradora worth talking about. Still, I would like people to be able to read this post to its finish, so I will stop for now.


What is your opinion on Toradora? Let me know down in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special thanks as always to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Why Everyone Should Watch AnoHana…at Some Point

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Some of my readers might remember that I spent most of late last year during quarantine with one of the most famous, or infamous depending on one’s perspective, dramas in all of anime: AnoHana. I genuinely enjoyed my rewatch of the series and although I do not think it to be as good as I did before, that is not the same as saying it is bad, far from it. My last post focused on anime that inspires hope or at least warmer feelings than in most of AnoHana. Given just how heavy the series is, it is not a show one can just pick up and enjoy at any time, as I discuss in this article. I hope you enjoy it!


Welcome back, tourists

These last few months have been something of a journey for me, in more ways than one. While navigating classes and trying to keep my head above water, I decided to rewatch what is probably one of the saddest anime of all time, “Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai,” better known as just “AnoHana.”

A bold claim, I know, as there are some pretty compelling entries, like “Your Lie in April,” “A Silent Voice,” and even some shows that are not intentionally appealing to drama conventions like “Samurai Flamenco.” However, aside from coming out before all of these, “AnoHana” strikes a certain cord that it feels as though most can relate to right now.

The story of “AnoHana” begins with a disheveled Yadomi waking up to find the ghost of his childhood friend sleeping next to him. Due to having removed himself from his own daily life, such as going to school, work, etc, Yadomi assumes he is having some kind of tired delusion. But, as he will soon come to realize, Menma has come back in a grown-up form so that Yadomi can grant her wish. 

In a time like now, where everything that was once thought stable has ruptured, where people are facing down a deadly pandemic and massive political shifts, it is good to have a show that serves as a reminder of the preciousness and fragility of life. 

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Additionally, “Anohana” also depicts the effect that trauma from the loss of a loved one can have on the mental health of those around them, as we see nearly all of the characters affected by Menma’s loss in some way or another, even after nearly a decade without her. 

Aside from its scarily relevant-to-today message, the series is also just phenomenally written. Its attention to detail when it comes to the arcs of each character is impressive, and it shows in how that care plays out in the most dramatic scenes. 

A good example of this comes from about halfway through the series, when, after collapsing during work, the character of Anjo admits to Yadomi that she was happy when Menma died as a kid because she liked him a lot and that he should stop bringing up Menma because she is not real. It is an extremely honest moment that builds on both Anjo’s still unrequited love of Yadomi and her ugly jealousy of the late Menma. 

Admittedly, though, it is hard to recommend anyone watch anything with that level of emotionality during a time like now. I can say personally that it was not easy rewatching a show with “AnoHana’s” level of emotional power. 

So, I will say this. Whether it is a year from now, five, or even 10, this is a series that is absolutely worth watching for the first time. It is probably worth revisiting if you have seen the series already like myself. I wanted to end on something a bit more profound, but I think the most important thing to take away is this: it is okay to cry.


How do you all feel about AnoHana? Let me know in the comments below. Also, Animated Observations is currently running a survey to gather opinions on the content we put out here, so if you have a few minutes and are willing to help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support the blog, much appreciated.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

Five Anime to Bring in The New Year

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2022 is right around the corner, and while it feels fair to say that most are not exactly excited for the new year itself, they are excited to leave 2021 in the past, and I find myself there as well. Thus, rather than sitting around and feeling bummed, I was thinking about the kind of shows that have made me feel hopeful about things to come. So, in dishonor of 2022, here are some shows that will (hopefully) give you some warm feelings going into the new year.

Kuroko no Basket

Part of me wanted to just find five comedy anime for this list and call it a day, and while comedy does often make us happy, they rarely bridge the gap into inspiring hope. Sports stories, on the other hand, can do that pretty effectively. Kuroko no Basket is one such series.

Though the show’s namesake character is not always the underdog, the show does a great job at making one want to root for him, because even during his moments of brilliance, it becomes obvious how much further he has to go. That, combined with its typical never-give-up shonen attitude, makes it an inspiring anime to watch.

Megalo Box

Speaking of inspiring sports stories,

The 2018 smash hit Megalobox is not only fun to watch but brings back a nostalgic feeling for a certain era of 1980s film, one where people were justified in being excited about a Mel Gibson movie. Regardless of the obvious Rocky influences, this is an anime that, even more so than Kuroko no Basket, inspires you to root for the main character Junk Dog.

Trapped in poverty, he has resorted to underground fighting rings in order to scrape by. However, given the challenge of Megalonia, along with the opportunity to once again face his rival, he feels more motivated than ever.

While I cannot speak to the quality of the show’s second season, since it ultimately got lost in a sea of seasonal watches to keep up with, the first season of Megalo Box is one that will definitely get you motivated.

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A Place Further Than the Universe

Given the events of a…certain episode, which I will spare detailing here for anyone who has yet to see the series, including A Place Further Than the Universe on this list might be a bit controversial. Still, if there is any anime that rises above its somber moments to instill a bit of hope, it is this one.

Whether it be Mari’s desire to live her life outside of the anticipation of adulthood, Hinata’s drive to escape already pending adulthood, or Yuzuki’s wish to be like, and secretly find, her mother, all of these stories collide together beautifully. What is created at the end is an unbreakable bond formed by those who love adventure.

Violet Evergarden

I could honestly say the same thing I said about A Place Further Than the Universe about Violet Evergarden as well, but like, multiplied by five. Still, though there are a lot of moments of tragedy, including in the case of the main character herself, it is those same moments that drive the series’ more hopeful moments.

The profession of auto memory doll, in the context of the series, is one that is deeply intimate, as it requires the auto memory doll to understand the person they are servicing on a familial or even romantic level. While dealing with the trauma of others, Violet learns how to contextualize her own, and comes to love herself even more.

Golden Time

Would it really be my list if I did not include some sappy romance?

Apart from becoming one of my all-time favorite anime, this series does an incredible job at creating a complex romantic dynamic and exploring its implications fully. Almost every character’s arc feels fully resolved, everyone from the main couple, to even Nana, the rockstar who seems to be making a guest appearance from the manga of the same name. Golden Time is a series that not only makes one feel good by the end, but it may even leave some questioning the state of their own relationships.


Which shows have made you feel good recently? Let me know in the comments below. Also, Animated Observations is currently running a survey to gather opinions on the content we put out here, so if you have a few minutes and are willing to help out, it would be greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support us on Patreon, much appreciated!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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No, You Don’t Have to Watch Everything

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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A topic I frequently go back and forth on is the best way to consume anime as a medium. This involves a number of things: streaming vs owning, weekly viewing vs marathoning, and the thing I am concerned about most in this column: watching everything from a season vs watching just a few shows. There is of course a lot of nuance to this discussion, and I do not think this post is comprehensive in any way, but I tried to bring some light to the subject regardless. I hope you all enjoy it!


One of the most prominent parts of the anime community is the seasonal watchlist. It is incredibly common for fans to sit down, go through every anime that is airing and in a given season, and pick out everything they want to watch beforehand. I myself used to do this quite often, back when I had a lot more time. 

However, as time has gone on, My feelings about seasonal anime watching have become a bit more complicated. For starters, there is the issue of watching something weekly versus marathoning. Watching something weekly can certainly be fun, as it allows one to keep up with series in real-time, as well as share experiences with others who are doing the same by talking about it with others online.

Still, there are some disadvantages. In the age of much shorter attention spans, waiting a week or longer for a new episode of a series can feel like a drag. It gets even worse when you find an anime that seems really interesting only to learn that it is only halfway over and that you now have to wait for the rest. 

Marathoning also has its ups and downs. On the one hand, it’s a lot more satisfying knowing you have access to the whole series or at least the whole season and can watch it without pause. However, unless you have a friend who also enjoys watching anime to join you, the sense of community becomes lost. 

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Whether or not one’s anime watching preference falls more towards seasonal, weekly watching or marathoning, or somewhere in between, it is important to remember that both are perfectly valid ways to enjoy the wonderful medium that is anime. 

One thing that does appear to be a problem is gatekeeping. Gatekeeping, for those unaware, is the act of controlling or limiting access to something. It is commonly used in modern popular culture to refer to those who try and limit those who can enjoy a specific cultural product or event, such as anime. 

Gatekeeping has been a problem in the anime community for a while now and has most recently manifested itself in the subculture of cosplay. Many have tried to argue that, despite most of the characters being Japanese, black cosplayers should not be allowed to cosplay anime characters unless they are also black. 

This kind of behavior creates feelings of unwelcomeness and makes it less likely that people will want to be associated with the community in the future. At the end of the day, anime is something available to everyone and it should not normally be the case that others get to police how someone enjoys something. 

All of this is to say that the same feelings should be applied to how one watches anime as well. It does not matter if you watch everything in a given season or only marathon an anime every other weekend. How you enjoy anime is, and always should be, up to you.


How do you like to watch anime? Let me know in the comments down below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special thanks to Jenn for supporting us on Patreon, they are absolutely incredible!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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A Comprehensive List of What I (Might) Watch for the Winter 2022 Anime Season

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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The Winter 2022 season is basically here, and thus it is time to look over the seasonal offerings and find out what will be worth watching. Compared to the last year of anime, which has honestly been one of the most stacked years in recent memory, this Winter is looking kind of dull in comparison. Still, that does not mean there are not a few fun things to look forward to.

Demons Slayer Season 2

Getting the obvious one out of the way, yes I will more than likely be watching Demon Slayer‘s second season. What can I say? Though its first season was not a masterpiece, it was still highly entertaining with enough story to keep me interested in its high-impact action sequences. I do not actively keep myself updated on the arcs themselves, but I have already seen quite a few memes about the episodes that are out, and it does look to be just as exciting as what preceded it.

My Dress-Up Darling

I wish I could credit the specific user whose video introduced this series to me, but unfortunately, I did not save the video. Still, shout-out to manga Tik-Tok, they are doing a lot of great work. As soon as I saw that video, I knew I was going to be hyped about this series. Does it look like a typical seasonal romance anime? Yes, but it feels like the romance anime that have been adapted recently are coming from a newer, more real strain of writing that does away with the will-they, won’t-they nonsense and gets to the heart of what makes a good romance. Now, I could still be wrong, but My Dress-Up Darling has the potential to be absolutely fantastic.

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In the Land of Leadale

I am almost never hyped about Isekai series in the same way I am about other shows, but I am certainly interested in In the Land of Leadale. Most Isekai series released nowadays tend to get told from the perspective of a male main character, so I usually find it of interest when that is not the case. This is not to say that having a female main character inherently makes a story more interesting, only that it provides a different change of pace. So, yeah, while I do not expect much from this series, I am hoping it will at least provide a unique perspective.

That, my friends, is the list. What? I said it would be comprehensive, I never said it would be long. The reality is, while new shows are always exciting my backlog is inevitably getting longer and longer, and I have yet to make a dent in it. Thus, as part of my new year’s resolution, I will be trying to strike a balance between covering new things and re-visiting old series.


What are you watching this season? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special thank you to Jenn for continuing to support us on Patreon. It means the world!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Highlighting the Best Anime of the 2010s (Part 2)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Apologies for missing most of this week, but passing my classes does, in fact, take precedent over writing about anime. Speaking of, I promised last week that I would give you all the second half of my 2010s highlight list, so here it is. Enjoy!


Welcome back, tourists. Today I will be finishing off the list for the best anime of the last decade. Who knows, maybe I am giving up the good stuff a little too soon, but might as well get it out there before the 2010s slowly fade away from our collective memory. After all, between the death of beloved athlete Kobe Bryant, huge wildfires that are destroying Australia and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, 2020 seems to have enough to keep people occupied.

March Comes in Like a Lion – Fall 2016 – Studio: Shaft

Nowhere in the universe is there a show nearer and dearer to my heart than Studio Shaft’s masterpiece, March Comes in Like a Lion.

It tells the story of Rei Kiriyama, a middle school shogi prodigy turned high school depression case. While still involved in the world of shogi as one of its better players, Rei faces some of his most traumatic emotional scars, including the death of his birth family and the relationship with his adopted parents and sister. Despite only ever playing shogi because of his dad, Rei’s relationship with the game becomes fundamentally altered as he works out his problems.

It is rare that a singular show ever reaches such a wide range on the emotional spectrum as March Comes in Like a Lion. Even with its seemingly odd subject matter, and also seemingly because of it. The show manages to cover a wide range of topics outside of shogi, such as depression, abuse and bullying. 

Not only that, but the show also covers these topics well. Each of them is explored in-depth and through the perspective of multiple characters, all while resolving the main plot at hand in a way that makes sense narratively. In a lot of ways, the series reflects a lot of what is going on in society today, actively bringing awareness to mental health that was not there before. 

A Silent Voice – Fall 2016 – Studio: Kyoto Animation

I said series and movies at the beginning of this list for a reason, because not recognizing one of the most impactful films of the decade would be incredibly irresponsible, to say the least. 

A Silent Voice focuses on the topic of bullying from the perspective of Shouya Ishida, the resident bully of a girl who transferred to his school, Shouko Nishimiya. Shouko, as is revealed fairly early, is deaf, and because of this is targeted by almost everyone in the school. However, Shouya gets sold out as the main culprit by his classmates. Years later, after almost attempting suicide, Shouya attempts to make amends with Shouko.

Bullying has been and remains a popular topic of conversation, especially as it affects specific communities. A Silent Voice, however, portrays a specific aspect of bullying that is not often explored, that being what happens when a person attempts to befriend the person they bullied. From that perspective, it can be quite a jarring film. 

Still, its emotional resonance and message can not be overstated, and it’s easily one of the best animated films to be released this decade.

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Made in Abyss – Summer 2017 – Studio: Kinema Citrus

If Game of Thrones has shown anything, it is that there is still a large appetite for good fantasy stories among the general population. Luckily, I have got a show that delivers just that. 

Made in Abyss is truly something special. It is set in a world where what is below the earth’s surface is arguably much more interesting than anything above. “The Abyss,” as it is dubbed, is a giant chasm that leads to an entire ecosystem below ground. Riko, a young orphan girl who grows up in the town surrounding the abyss, hopes to find out its secrets, including what happened to her mother.

Joined by Reg, a mysterious humanoid robot that has no memories of his past, Riko journeys into “The Abyss,” despite the dangers that are present. What sets Made in Abyss apart from other fantasy stories is just how unique its story really is. The universe that is constructed both around and within “The Abyss” is both original and interesting, from its creatures and plant life to the abyss explorers’ societal structure.

A Place Further Than the Universe – Winter 2018 – Madhouse

Between Wandering Son and A Silent Voice, there are already a number of emotionally powerful works on this list. Still, I think there is room for at least one more. Trust me, A Place Further Than the Universe deserves it. It is the high school drama adventure of the decade.

A Place Further Than the Universe follows Mari Tamaki and her quest to fulfill her goal of going on an adventure before she leaves high school. Right before giving up on her goal, she finds a million yen lying on the floor of a train station. After finding the girl it belongs to, Shirase Kobuchizawa, Mari decides to join Shirase on her journey to reach Antarctica.

Mari and Shirase’s trip ends up becoming much more than just a journey to Antarctica. Along the way the two meet up with Hinata Miyake and Yuzuki Shiraishi, who help them acquire the means to get there in the first place. Early on in the series, it is also revealed that the reason Shirase wants to go on this journey is because of her mom, who was a researcher in Antarctica but lost her life while on an expedition.

A Place Further Than the Universe is a phenomenal anime and one that hits home for many. At its core, the show is about looking inward, finding oneself and seeing that identity through to the end. 

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“Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” – Fall 2018 – Cloverworks

In case anyone is wondering, no the title for this anime is not wrong. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is, in fact, the real English name. Despite that, it is still a phenomenal work that should be talked about. 

The series makes sure that, even with its incredibly strange title, it lets the audience know it is a serious show. The first episode features Sakuta Azusagawa running into fellow classmate and acclaimed actress Mai Sakurajima, except, as he finds out, she has been affected by a disease that he himself has dealt with in the past, Puberty Syndrome. Puberty Syndrome changes people’s realities by materializing their insecurities. 

Deciding to help Mai through her problem of people suddenly not knowing who she is despite being famous across Japan leads him to meet with others who also have the disease. This includes one of his close friends Rio Futaba. Sakuta’s world becomes even more confusing than his mundane high school life already was. All of it forces him to realize that there are a lot of things that are more important than one’s own comfort. 

That, my lovely tourists, is the list. It is by no means a complete list of everything worth watching from the last decade, but it is what I consider to be the best. After watching a few of the things from this list, it would certainly be worthwhile to venture out further into the world of anime.


Now that the list on this site is complete, I’ll ask again: did I miss anything important? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support us on Patreon, it is greatly appreciated.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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Highlighting the Best Anime of the 2010s

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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The 2010s were a strange time. I went through middle school, became an anime fan, went to high school, stopped being an anime fan, became isolated and depressed, became an anime fan again, started this blog, and then became depressed again. Truly, it is a cycle that never ends. One of the other things I did during that time is enter college and start writing for my college’s newspaper.

Since the decade ended in the same semester I did so, I ended up writing a retrospective on some of the best anime of the decade. Now, because I have consumed a lot more, my opinions have largely changed and expanded. Even so, I thought it would be fun to throw up on here as a fun read and reminder of just how much time has passed. Anyway, hope you enjoy it!


Welcome back, tourists. With 2019 over, the decade has officially reached its end. While the constant seasonal cycle still continues, it is worth remembering anime in the 2010s. 

The 2010s were an explosive decade for the anime industry overall and for fans like myself who love the variety that the medium brings. Indeed, the anime industry’s net worth topped 19 billion U.S. dollars, and the number of shows coming out each season increased dramatically from the beginning of the decade to the end.

Because of this increased growth and diversity, the decade produced a number of incredible anime, both in series and film, that are worth remembering. Here is a list of some of the best anime from the 2010s.

Durarara – Winter 2010 – Studio: Brain’s Base

The decade started off strong with Durarara, a show where almost anything can and will happen. 

The series focuses on Mikado, a high school student who moves to Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district at the behest of his friend Masaomi. Soon after, the two begin hanging out again, only for Mikado to find out that there is a lot more going on in Tokyo than he initially thought. Before he knows it, Mikado is caught up in gang wars, urban legends and battles for mysterious ancient weapons.

There is a lot to love about Durarara. It is a series where new adventures unfold every episode, only to then later reveal something about another previous adventure, culminating into a season finale that, while admittedly somewhat weak, leaves one begging for more—that is, until you realize there is an excellent second season which more or less picks up from where season one left off. 

Wandering Son – Winter 2011 – Studio: AIC Classic

The issues faced by transgender people in today’s world are something not often explored in storytelling media. While representation for trans people is catching up somewhat, it is still lagging behind what it should be, given that nearly one percent of the population identifies as such. Luckily, some creators, like author and illustrator Takako Shimura, were ahead of the game. 

The 2011 adaptation of her manga tells the story of two kids, Yoshino and Yuuichi, who have struggled with their gender identity since entering middle school. The two are able to confide in each other over their confusion but still ultimately struggle to fit in. Luckily, they have other friends to help them through it in a story that explores bullying, relationships and identity for transgender kids.

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Psycho-Pass – Fall 2012 – Studio: Production I.G.

There are a number of influential figures in anime whose work has shaped the medium, both for better and for worse. One of its more positive influences, Shinichiro Watanabe, created many amazing works throughout the 2010s, but arguably his best was Production I.G.’s Psycho-Pass.

Psycho-Pass is set in a futuristic Japan, but this time there is a twist. In an age of advanced technology, the country’s justice system has also caught up and uses an invention known as Sibyl. Sibyl allows police to determine the likelihood of any individual committing a crime, and because of this, the entire criminal justice system is based on this technology. However, it becomes a problem when those such as Makishima appear with the unique trait of being undetectable.

To put it bluntly, Psycho-Pass is like if every procedural crime drama show was even remotely interesting. It comes jam-packed with plenty of action, while still holding true to its themes of the inherent injustice in criminal convictions, as well as the problems of relying too much on technology. While its subsequent seasons were less than stellar compared to the first, it is still worth watching nonetheless. 

Log Horizon – Fall 2013 – Studio: Satelight

There are also a ton of individual anime that are influential as well, one of those being Sword Art Online, a series whose trapped-in-a-video-game storyline inspired many similar premises to receive adaptations of their own. However, coming before does not necessarily mean that a show is better.

Enter Log Horizon, a series about a group of friends who get trapped in a world that looks a lot like their favorite MMORPG “Elder Tale.” Although initially comforted by their new environment’s seeming familiarity, they soon realize there are many things about this world they do not yet know. 

While it definitely helps to have some knowledge of how MMOs generally work, it is not necessary for understanding just how amazing this show is. A lot of what makes it so great is its main character Shiroe. For most of the series, Shiroe acts as the not so charismatic leader, helping organize the players in a way that lets everyone live comfortably. Despite not initially coming off as that interesting, Shiroe becomes an even bigger focal point later on as the mystery behind his old guild, The Boston Tea Party, is slowly revealed. 

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No Game No Life – Spring 2014 – Studio: Madhouse

Imagine a world in which war, robbery, theft and murder are all gone. It is one where physical violence is impossible due to an ancient war in which the god of play took over and remade the world into one in which all conflict is to be settled by games. Now, imagine the story of a brother and sister who get transported to this world by God himself, and who soon realize the secret hidden within. 

Put all of that together and outcomes No Game No Life, one of the most exciting anime to come out in recent memory. Sora and Shiro, the aforementioned brother and sister, come to the world of Disboard because they wished for a new life, one where their incredible skills at games can shine through.

The thing that makes it a remarkable series is the tag team of Sora and Shiro. Even when it looks like they might lose, the two of them always believe in each other and find a way to beat the odds.

Haikyuu – Spring 2014 – Studio: Production I.G.

Not often talked about in the world of sports is volleyball, a game whose rules and skillsets create a scenario where a play can start and end within a matter of seconds. Luckily, this high-octane sport has not been forgotten about. 

Haikyuu stars Shoyou Hinata who in middle school dreams of playing volleyball on the national stage. In middle school, he forms a team with a few of his friends. The team practices quite a bit, only to be stuffed out in their first tournament by Hinata’s eventual rival Tobio Kageyama. When the two find out that they are attending the same high school, they realize that, for the better of the team, they need to put aside their differences in order to strive for victory.

Good sports stories are often just good underdog stories with sports being the main conflict, and Haikyuu fits that bill easily. Due to his small stature, Hinata initially struggles to find his spot on the Kurasuno High team. Eventually, with the help of Kageyama, who becomes the team’s setter, Hinata is able to become an amazing spiker. 

Tune in next week as I finish highlighting the best of the 2010s.

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Now, since this is the future if you want to see the rest of this list it is available already on The Daily Beacon, but I will also be posting the second half next Friday. Now, I know what I think I missed, but is there another show that should be on here? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Check out my writing blog, Solidly Liquid!

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!

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