Tag Archives: Column

Three Great Anime Soundtracks Everyone Should be Listening to

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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Well, I still have a few columns left to republish, and what better way to start off the weekend than by recommending some sick tunes for the uninitiated. Today, I’ll be showing off a column from March of 2020…yeah, depressing, but this music certainly is not. Check it out!


Welcome back, tourists. 

Almost everyone has a niche musical taste. Whether it be an obscure genre, or even just a relatively unknown artist, most have their music that others do not know about. Many anime fans, including myself, can relate to this feeling, largely due to the fact that even many of the people who watch anime do not actively listen to the music that accompanies it. 

Well, I am here to change that. Apart from being a great storytelling medium, anime has an incredible amount of good music, so much so that I had to cut it down to three for the sake of word count and time. Midterms are a pain, and I am screaming internally. Regardless, here are some anime soundtracks you should definitely be listening to. 

“Made in Abyss” – Music by Kevin Pinken

I mentioned “Made in Abyss” on my best of the decade list about a month ago, and a large part of the reason that I did so was on the back of its incredible soundtrack. Indeed, a big reason for the show’s appeal is based on the musical accompaniment to the story. Almost all of the music in the show does a great job matching the tone of the anime. 

Almost all of the credit for this goes to the series’ musical composer Kevin Pinken, who got his breakthrough into anime with “Made in Abyss,” and who is working on the soundtrack for the upcoming animated adaptation of “Tower of God.” While the music of the series never really goes beyond a particular tempo range, generally focusing on slower songs, it still manages to capture the emotion of the series in a way that makes it wonderful to listen to on its own.

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“Re:Creators” – Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Composer Hiroyuki Sawano is well known within the anime community, even among those who do not know his name. He became relatively famous due to his work on “Attack on Titan,” and to a lesser extent “Seven Deadly Sins,” two shows whose music is both electronically driven and bombastic in its tone—see “Reluctant Heroes” for more on that. 

However, some of his best work came on the soundtrack of “Re:Creators.” The series focuses on the story of characters from various video games, anime and manga coming to life due to the power of another character. 

Its theme is based on the power of people to create universes, and the psychological effect that those universes have on its inhabitants. However, it is also a show with a lot of action, and so Sawano’s style fits it perfectly. There are definitely a lot of tracks worth playing on a long car ride.

“Carole and Tuesday” – Music by Mocky

While it is true that Director Shinichiro Watanabe knows how to make a good show, he also needed the help of Canadian musician Mocky to really make “Carole and Tuesday” shine. As an artist, Mocky brought a lot of his diverse prior experience in order to really enhance the show’s sound, and it is really apparent when you listen to its soundtrack. The series, which centers around the lives of two girls hoping to make it in the music industry, boasts a variety of musical genres, including rock, jazz, hip-hop and even opera. 

However, Mocky can’t take all of the credit. A lot of the soundtrack’s standout pieces include those featuring vocals from the likes of Nai Br.XX, Celeina Ann, Thundercat, Denzel Curry and many others. On top of that, all of those same standout pieces, save for a few, are done in English, making them much more accessible to a wider audience. It is a strange soundtrack to be sure, but one that is definitely worth anyone’s time. 

There are definitely a lot of other great soundtracks, but these three also have the quality of wanting to listen to them even after the show is over. Each of these shows has tracks that will make you want to keep it on loop for the foreseeable future.


Have you heard these soundtracks? if so, how do you feel about them? 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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Dealing with Mental Burnout

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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As I get back into the swing of posting articles again, I decided it would be easier to also continue to post some of my old columns. Today’s column is one I wrote about a couple years ago and is still incredibly applicable to my life currently since I often find it hard to keep with my hobbies while also doing school. This is an article about burnout, both on how to avoid it and how to deal with it if it’s already happened. With that being said, here it is.


Most people have experienced burnout of some kind at some point in their life. It seems that the most common form of this is with a favorite food or drink. After consuming it a lot within a short time frame, the taste buds start to get bored of it, and eventually, it loses that special something that made it so good in the first place. 

This also happens a lot with people’s hobbies. Given that hobbies are something people choose to do in their free time, it makes sense that they would want to spend a lot of time doing it. However, it can also reach a point where doing it too much leads us to falling out of favor with that hobby. For me, this has happened a couple of times with anime.

I would get into a routine of spending nearly all my time either watching anime, looking for new anime to watch, or talking about anime with people online, and while I did have a ton of fun, it got unhealthy. Eventually, I would just get tired of it, and watch nothing for a few months at least. 

As of writing this article, this has happened about three times now. The first was near the end of freshman year, where I had spent most of my summer break bingeing different series, never really giving myself any time to recover. The second was during my junior year, where the stress of taking four AP classes and joining multiple clubs had my head rolling constantly.

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The third was more recently. I had been watching so much anime, and then I started thinking about why I was even doing so to begin with, to the point where I even questioned my passion for it. All of this is to say that, no matter what hobby a person has, they can always get burnt out. With that being said, here are a few helpful tips to avoid doing so. 

First, it is important that a hobby not be the only thing a person does. While it might not immediately make sense to limit doing something a person likes, if it becomes their sole reason for living, then it can become unhealthy. Mixing in other hobbies into a person’s free time, or hanging out with friends one meets from that hobby can be great ways to avoid this.

Second, it is also important that a person not attach success or failure in that hobby to their self-worth. As someone who has played a lot of “Super Smash Bros” and competed against others in weekly tournaments, it can be pretty easy to get discouraged and feel bad when one does poorly. It helps to take those negative thoughts and turn them into goals if that’s applicable. If not, just take a break, whether that be a day or week, and then come back. 

Burnout is something that almost everyone experiences, even in their own hobbies. We all get sick of doing stuff, especially when we do it too much. However, there are ways to avoid it, and by taking the proper steps now, it becomes much less likely later on. 


What are your experiences with burnout, and how have you dealt with them? 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!

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 and the Environment

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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You ever just think about how are existence on this planet is becoming increasingly fragile and that human activity is largely contributing to our own demise? Yeah, me too. The amount of immediate world issues that are important tend to overshadow environmental policy, even during a time when these issues are too crucial to ignore. Luckily, the lineage of great anime directors seem to understand their importance. In my column for this week, I touch on Anime’s environmental messages. Enjoy!


If the quarantine regarding COVID-19 has revealed anything, it is that human impact on the environment is still at an all-time high. The empty roads, the parks littered with trash and gas stations are all a reminder that humans have, for the better but mostly for the worse, altered the planet to suit our needs, causing pollution and the rise of man-made climate change. 

While its oftentimes quirky and abundantly random nature may make it an odd choice for messages about the environment, directors like Hayao Miyazaki and Makoto Shinkai have already used anime as a way to warn people about the importance of environmental awareness.

Miyazaki’s work on this topic goes back to his earliest films working as a director. In “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind,” Nausicaa attempts to learn the secrets of an ancient forest that has been attempting to communicate with her. However, she has to do so before the kingdom of Tolmekia succeeds in wiping it out for good. The film subtly represents the idea that humans are not above nature, but rather a part of it.

A similar concept appears in Ghibli and Miyazaki’s “Princess Mononoke,” where a young prince named Ashitaka must find a cure for a disease given to him by a demon. After journeying to a place called Irontown, he finds out that the mining and crafting of iron products have polluted the nearby area and made the spirits of the surrounding forest angry. Again the film shows a conflict between humans who wish to alter the environment for selfish gain and nature itself. 

Rising star and director of the 2016 hit film “Your Name” has also contributed to environmental consciousness. His latest film “Weathering with You” features a story about a girl named Hina who gains the power to control the weather. However, after using her powers in order to make money, she is forced to join the sky with the weather spirits, although not before being rescued by Hodoka, a boy who recently moved to Tokyo. 

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As a result of not paying the price for her powers, Tokyo becomes cursed with constant rain, leaving much of the city underwater. These depictions of a new dystopian world reflect the director’s concern for climate change, not just as a threat to nature but as a threat to human existence. 

However, these depictions of human impact on the environment in anime are not surprising given the cultural context of Japan. Ever since Japan’s emergence as a world leader on environmental policy in the late 1980s, its government has continued to emphasize reducing citizen impact on the environment.

Much of this has been done by introducing recycling in major metropolitan areas, such as Tokyo, as well as across the country. Japan has also asked private businesses to consider the environmental impact of their day-to-day operations. They have even gone as far as to introduce a number of voluntary programs and campaigns encouraging citizens to participate.

While it is true that younger people are increasingly skeptical of the government’s efforts, many in Japan are of the opinion that environmental regulations should be stronger, not weaker. 

It seems common knowledge at this point, but the media people consume can affect their positions on political issues. Even though environmental issues can seem far removed from people’s everyday lives, they are an ever-looming presence that is inescapable. Both Miyazaki’s and Shinkai’s films are not only great entertainment but emphasize one of the defining issues of this generation.   


How do you all feel about these issues? Are you fans of Ghibli and Shinkai? 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!

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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AMVs are Really Cool

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations

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It is time yet again for another column post. This one is from all the way back in the beginning of 2020, as most will probably be able to tell from the intro. At the beginning of COVID, I thought it would interesting to put out an explainer for AMVs and the community that surrounds them, so I did just that. I hope you all enjoy.


Welcome back, tourists. As many reading this are probably aware, escaping news of the ever-looming threat that is COVID-19 has become rather impossible, even for anime fans like myself. The deadly virus has already halted a number of upcoming anime productions, including one for the highly anticipated second season of “Re:Zero.” Funimation has also announced that it will be temporarily halting the simul-dubs of its upcoming seasonal shows in order to allow production members to work from home. 

Many are people already feeling the effects of extended boredom from the recommended social distancing, but that does not mean they have to stay bored. After all, the anime community is much more than the shows people enjoy. 

One of the more underrated but no less fascinating parts of the community are AMVs. For those uninitiated, AMV is an acronym that stands for anime music video, and it is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. People edit together clips from different anime, set it to music and create some pretty magical results. 

While their large presence on sites like YouTube might suggest that AMVs are a fairly recent phenomenon, their origin actually goes back as early as the 1980s. Originally, anime fans would use VCR editing decks to take individual scenes out and edit them together. Now, however, the process has become a lot more streamlined thanks to the advent of online video sharing sites and editing software. 

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There are a lot of things that make AMVs cool, both directly and indirectly. For starters, good AMVs take advantage of all of the wonders of modern editing. Their purposefully used transitions and well-placed masking of certain scenes and characters make them incredibly addictive to watch. A good example of this is an AMV from 2014 titled “Hope of Morning,” named after the song that accompanies it. 

AMVs are also really good storytelling formats. The ability of AMV creators to manipulate footage so precisely combined with access to tons of different music allows for a variety of different results. Creators can either recontextualize different anime in relation to music or create entirely new stories depending on the level of editing. 

On top of that, AMVs are also great for finding new music and anime to watch. Despite anime’s reputation as a singularly focused medium, the reality is that there are tons of choices. This means that there are also tons of different AMVs to explore, and many of the creators in the community will leave the name of the song and anime used in the description of the video. 

AMVs are a wonderfully unique and incredibly fun part of the anime community. For those on the outside looking in, there are definitely a lot of unexpected influences. Still, while I would be lying if I said that every AMV is equally as exciting, there are still plenty of great ones worth watching. 

We are all bored at this point, and there is no point in trying to deny it. Rather than worrying about “being productive” or whatever that means in modern society, try taking some time to relax. This is a community that is worth being a part of.


How do you all feel about AMVs? Let me know in the comments. Feel free to also check out my column from last week which was an overview of the Winter 2021 season.

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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