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Since I haven’t been able to really write for awhile, I thought the least I can do is share these quotes for Come Follow Me here to brighten other people’s day! If you are curious about what Come Follow Me is, you can learn more at churchofjesuschrist.org

What Have I Been Up To?

My apologies for disappearing all of the sudden from the writing scene! I’ve had a lot of things going on lately but am here to report the wonderous doings of my mind and life! I haven’t been reading too many new books, but have still had time to revisit some old books/series I love and find a few new movies and shows I’ve added to my favorites.

For those interested, here are some things I’ve been getting involved with lately I think you’ll find interesting.

I Found a New Job

First and foremost, I’ve been missing mostly because I suddenly got a teaching job at a charter school The International School at Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, NM. Part of you are probably thinking, “Wait. . . I thought you hated teaching Aubrey?” The other half of you are probably wondering what I actually am teaching.

To answer the first question, yes, I hated teaching before I went on my mission. I love to study, write, and talk about things that interest me. I discovered, however, how heartbreaking it can be teaching these things to kids who belittled and attacked what I loved. So I decided I didn’t want to go through that again.

Recently, however, I’ve been really concerned with the direction education in the United States is going. I wondered what I could do in response and realized I had the education and talent to teach in public schools. Turns out I wasn’t using these two things as much as I should have.

Therefore, I found a great opportunity to get a teaching certificate and stretch myself as an individual mentally and intellectually. I am currently teaching Russian language and cultural studies. To middle schoolers. Mmm hmm. It’s been quite an adventure these past two months! This is partially because I had to build the program from nothing in only a few days.

What have I been reading?

Firstly, let’s talk about the plethora of Russian fairytales I’ve studied the past few weeks! Let me tell you, they don’t disappoint. Before I started teaching my class, I vaguely knew about some of them because of one of my favorite series, The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden.

Some of the best I’ve had the pleasure of exploring in my six classes are “The Frog Princess”, “Ivan Tsaravitch, the Firebird and the Grey Wolf,” “Koschei the Deathless”, and “Vasilisa the Beautiful”. If you have read Arden’s fantasy series before, you will definitely enjoy going through these and other fairytales.

The Charlie Bone Series

I don’t know why, but when I go through stressful periods of change in my life I like to go back and read this series through. I find it intensely satisfying to read stories that have their heroes face evil and malicious intent but come out conquerors despite everything against them.

What I’ve always liked about Nimmo’s titular series is how she weaves in elements of fantasy with the Arts. Someone once asked me which book series I would enjoy falling into. I’d say this would definitely be the winner. Even if Bloors Academy starts off as a terrible school, I would have loved to have lived in their old city witnessing the world’s magic come to life.

Blissful Land

“Khang Zhipa is a 13-year-old doctor’s apprentice living in a mountain village in 18th-century Tibet. One day, when he gets back from collecting medicinal herbs, he finds a bride-to-be and her wedding party will be resting at his home for the night. The bride’s name is Moshi Rati and it turns out she’s actually Khang Zhipa’s fiancée from another land, here to stay! Enjoy this heartwarming slice-of-life tale woven by a kind-hearted boy and his mysterious bride.”

This delightful series came very unexpectedly a few weeks ago. I don’t know very much about Tibet’s history, but this series made it’s people and their culture come to life for me. Some might think this story is slow, or uninteresting. I disagree. I liked it’s easy-going nature and lack of toxic drama. If you like more historical manga, but don’t like excessive violence or drama this is the series for you.

I loved it for its breathtaking art, knowledge of ancient medicinal practices, and for taking its time to mindfully portray such a gorgeous culture.

What have I been watching?

So far, I’ve seen two new movies and one new series. (Like I said, I haven’t really been going out of my way lately to see new things.)

I usually don’t go see movies in theaters. No because I don’t love movies! I’m just picky. And busy. But I went to the theater with my family and watched this new adventure drama. It’s wasn’t the greatest movie I’ve ever seen, but it was fun, had cool effects and some nice twists to it. If anything I thought it was a Hodge podge of The African Queen (1951) with Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and The Mummy (1999).

I will say, I like how the movie poster is sort of reminiscent of old adventure films from the 1930’s and 1940’s.

Shang-Chi was a very thought-provoking watch for me. I wouldn’t say the plot was revolutionary. It was quite predictable. But I liked the heroes journey Shang went through as he learned to balance the good he learned from his mother and the bad he inherited from his father. I’m a sucker for good marital arts in films, and this movie DOES NOT disappoint in that aspect.

I also thought his father’s story arc was deeper than it initially seemed. I wondered a lot about how we become biproducts of our ancestors and carry with us connections with these family members beyond this life. I also thought a lot about ENERGY in and outside the body and how we can learn to control it through meditative movement.

All in all, I would watch this again if someone pulled it up.

Yeah. . . for some reason I keep re-watching episodes from this show. Part of it’s funny, part of its gross, while another part tries to have philosophical moments mixed in with ridiculous editing and character designs. I still don’t know how I quite feel about this show. Maybe someday I’ll figure it out.

At first glance, this story seems like another rip off of snow white. It’s not. It’s more a story about two people from different worlds learning to live, grow, and love together. I remember reading this as a manga series about six years ago and loving its characters and story. I hesitated to watch the anime because. . . romance manga usually aren’t well voiced or animated.

Now, Snow White with the Red Hair is now officially one of my new favorite anime.

However, studio BONES did the animation and they went ALL OUT. The backgrounds are gorgeous and the fight scenes are well choreographed and paced. The story also flows very well and doesn’t feel too campy or corny.

What really sold me on this show was the English voice actors FUNIMATION chose. They did a phenomenal job working with the great character animators. The facial expressions and personality this show gave to the characters in this story blew me away!

I also think this is now one of my favorite love stories. Zen and Shiriyuki respect each other and love each other and their passions. They have goals and a vision for what their futures hold. They seen beyond self gratification and entitlement, common elements in forbidden loves stories, to how their relationship can and will effect each other and others around them.

All in all, I would definately check it out if you have the time!

Over the Garden Wall has yet again caught my interest

Over the Garden Wall always seems to pique my interest around this time of year. I start thinking about it’s curious episodes and hidden meanings. Then I start looking through YouTube essays, fan art, and Etsy merchants for ways to feed my passion for this series’ story and characters.

Here are a few cool finds from the last week or so!

I like this one because it went into depth about the literary and artistic Gothic themes interwoven throughout the episodes.
This was just an all-around good analysis of the series.

Hydro Flask stickers! You can guarantee I’ve bought these two.

I also found this amazing merchant BeneathTheLeaf who makes charm bracelets for a lot of different shows and stories including (DRUM ROLL PLEASE) Over the Garden Wall! I want to have one custom made for me. I think it is the coolest thing! Check out other items she has! She has a lot of variety and does custom designs.

I’ve also been perusing fanart! Because I’m a NERD. An art nerd.

There you have it! Everything here is basically what I’ve been looking through, studying and trying to understand lately. Once October comes around, well, I’ll have A LOT more to talk about. Until then, enjoy the rest of September!

So, What Have I Been Up To? Books, Yoga, Anime and more!

The time has gone by so fast! I’ve read a lot of things, watched some interesting shows, and even found some promising new series. I’ve also finished and started some stimulating projects! Now, I know there a lot of book lovers who come by and read my posts. I’ve definitely read a lot of things, but honestly my brain and attention have been ALL OVER THE PLACE.

So, this isn’t a book update. Its an everything update! Hope all who come here find something they can identify with.

Let’s get started!

For Yoga Lovers

Co-creators of Boho Beautiful Yoga Mark and Juliana Spicoluk

I found a new YouTube Yoga channel to follow! Boho Beautiful Yoga is run by spouses Mark and Juliana. Their YouTube videos are generally no longer than 30 minutes. They now have an on-demand streaming service you can download to your phone called Boho Beautiful On-Demand where you can take special courses or use longer training videos.

Their styles vary between Pilates, Ashtanga, and Yin-Yang Yoga. What I like to do is go over their videos to find new ways to teach certain sequences.

I’ve also been regularly going to Yoga Dose, which specializes in longer, strength building videos. Cici is one of their teachers who I personally know from my yoga studio in Provo, Utah. She is a great teacher who will definitely give you a great mental and physical workout.

What Books Have I Been Reading?

I have several favorite discoveries since last March!

Christian McKay Heidicker‘s Scary Stories for Young Foxes (2019)

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe.

When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention.

Overview via Goodreads

What I loved about this story is the format. Even though the storyteller seemed to only be telling a story, it felt too real to be fiction. Somehow, through its beautiful prose I felt myself fall under its spell from the first page. It made me reminisce about my childhood and how invested I became in the characters’ stories and longed for happy endings.

This story portrayed how even when faced with horrible evil and danger, the characters overcame them and continued to survive. It is also very honest. It doesn’t sugarcoat things. I wouldn’t recommend this story for really young readers but would definitely give it to kids 12+ to read.

Arlem HawksGeorgana’s Secret (2021)

1811, HMS Deborah

Georgana Woodall dreams of freedom—freedom from her past and freedom from her secret. She has been living on her father’s ship for years, disguised as a cabin boy named “George.” But hiding her true self is becoming more difficult, and she yearns to break free of her life on the sea.

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the boy under his wing.

Georgana quickly loses her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care, but needing to maintain her disguise as a cabin boy, she is convinced nothing can come of her affection.

Overview via Goodreads

I love sweet, Regency Era based love stories. What I enjoyed most about this novel is how it talked about gender-based boundaries, abuse, depression, and (of course) love. Lately, I’ve been drawn to characters who display great compassion in harsh circumstances and don’t let hate override doing good. I also paid special attention to how Dominic and Georgana faced losing sight of their identity.

If you like sweet romances, this is a definite read for you. It is also very clean (which I appreciate) without overlooking realistic problems which inevitably come up in life.

Image via Potterboy.com

Ben Behunin‘s Pleasantly Ruby (2020)

Two weeks into her five month stint at the farm on Harmony Hill, Genevieve Patterson, will be the first to admit she may have overlooked a few important details for the article she was sent here to write. The keys of joy, shared and understood by Pops and Ruby, as well as many of the townsfolk—and the even the neighboring Amish community—are insightful and compelling. Thanks to Matt and Greg, Genevieve’s appreciation for the deeper meaning of these uncommon keys continues to grow, causing her to question the meaning of her previous life in the city. An exploration of these keys and the personal application of them promises joy and liberty, but Genevieve must decide for herself how and if the keys will influence her future. An Amish invitation, a new Niederbipp tradition, Protopian aspirations, and a Sunday homily will all weigh in to tip the scales—but in which direction?

Overview via Goodreads

First off, Ben Behunin is one of my favorite authors. Second off, he isn’t really a writer by trade. First and foremost he is a potter and artist. From a literary viewpoint, I’d say his books are rough around the edges. From a spiritual viewpoint, I believe this and his other books carry some of the most important truths we can apply to our lives. This book isn’t really about campers learning how to get married. It’s about people learning what truly invites joy into their lives.

If you are interested in this book or others he’s written, Please check out his website Potterboy.com! His Remembering Isaac series is still one of my favorite reads to take with me on morning walks!

Any New Manga/Manhwa?

Roctis Tray’s Atelier on the Sunflower Hill (2019-?)

After discovering a hidden chamber inside her uncle’s house, Evangeline Griffon accidentally awakens an ancient being who calls himself Vernon. Bind by the contract, Eva unwillingly accepts Vernon being her guardian as she starts her new life in the countryside.

Overview via Webtoon.com

Vernon is now one of my new favorite characters! (Well, I also really like Evangeline.) I have a soft spot in my heart for gentle, compassionate people. This Manhwa (?) delves a lot in how to positively face trauma, negative emotions, and how to embrace love into your life. I can’t talk about it too much without ruining this story, but it was one of my favorite new finds in a long time.

The art is simplified, but over time the author gets better at character and background artwork. Warning though: Webtoon.com bumped Atelier to originals so it may take awhile for it to finish.

Morishita, Suu‘s Yubisaki to Renren (A Sign of Affection) (2019-?)

Yuki is a hearing-impaired university student whose world has been shrouded with silence since birth. She has lived in the same place her whole life, and rarely interacts with others save for her best friend, Rin. During her commute one day, she meets the silver-haired and multilingual Itsuomi, a mutual friend of Rin. Unlike most, Itsuomi is unwavering when he learns of Yuki’s impairment; this, along with his experiences abroad, fascinates and touches her. After they part, her fondness of him starts to grow. A new world begins to open for both Yuki and Itsuomi as they learn about each other’s different lives.

Overview via Myanimelist

I can’t get enough of this light-hearted little love story. I’ve always been fascinated by sign language and watching Yuki interact with her world is just wonderful. I’m a big fan of the anime movie Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) (2018), so finding this manga was a lovely treat for me.

This romance is incredibly healthy and realistic. There isn’t a lot of drama, Itsuomi is VERY respectful of Yuki and her personality, and their relationship progresses slowly. Neither gives up their dreams or values for the other. They find each other and grow a little closer in every chapter.

If your preferences, especially for love stories, are more mellow and light-hearted this is the story for you! You can actually purchase the manga volumes on Amazon.com already.

Oh! Morishita’s art style and covers are GORGEOUS. I’m a big fan now!

Doruru’s Koekoi (2020-?)

Finding an adequate overview of this series was hard, so I’ll do it myself. 🙂 This story centers around a girl Yuiko, who is scared to go to school after being sick for a long while, and her unexpected relationship with her class president Matsubara who calls her to see how she is doing.

Once she decides to go back to school so she can meet him, she sees him and is shocked to see he always wears a paper bag over his head. Though it’s confusing, she can’t shake how calm and kind his voice had been when he called her. Their friendship/ romance(?) takes flight from that moment forward.

What I like about this story is how it emphasizes the source of genuine human emotion. It focuses on how Yuiko, Matsubara, and other characters struggle to convey their feelings. Reading this made me realize how superficial relationships can be if they are solely based on what we SEE. It makes me believe a person’s heart can be conveyed solely through their voice and actions.

Now, if you want to read this, you’ll need to get an app called Pocket Comics. You can collect daily tickets so you can read one chapter a day or choose to spend money on coins so you can read more.

Snapshot from It’s Okay Not to Be Okay (2020)

What Have I Been Watching?

I haven’t seen any new movies lately (It’s so sad I know!) but I’ve found a few really good shows.

It’s Okay Not to Be Okay (2020)

Moon Gang Tae (Kim Soo Hyun), is a caretaker working at a psychiatric ward who does not even bother to believe in love. He seems to be carrying all the weight and pain in life, and devotes himself only to looking after his disabled older brother.

Go Moon Young (Seo Ye Ji), is a children’s book writer who is clueless about love. She is popular among all age groups, yet very antisocial and indifferent to others.[2]

An extraordinary road to emotional healing opens up for an antisocial children’s book writer and a selfless psych ward caretaker when they cross paths.

Overview via DramaWiki

Wow. I usually watch Korean dramas to laugh at them. (Because they try to be anime, but can’t because. . . they’re live action.) It’s Okay stole my heart in the first episode. It’s expertly paced, incredibly raw, and addresses various mental issues without tearing down those who struggle with them.

I also really enjoyed how. . . off the beaten oath the children’s book author could be. She definitely walked to the beat of her own drum. I loved the characters, their stories, and the deeply poignant children’s stories showcased throughout the show. I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll leave it at that.

Watch it on Netflix.

Kinema Citrus‘s Made in Abyss (2017)

The Abyss—a gaping chasm stretching down into the depths of the earth, filled with mysterious creatures and relics from a time long past. How did it come to be? What lies at the bottom? Countless brave individuals, known as Divers, have sought to solve these mysteries of the Abyss, fearlessly descending into its darkest realms. The best and bravest of the Divers, the White Whistles, are hailed as legends by those who remain on the surface.

Riko, daughter of the missing White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator, aspires to become like her mother and explore the furthest reaches of the Abyss. However, just a novice Red Whistle herself, she is only permitted to roam its most upper layer. Even so, Riko has a chance encounter with a mysterious robot with the appearance of an ordinary young boy. She comes to name him Reg, and he has no recollection of the events preceding his discovery. Certain that the technology to create Reg must come from deep within the Abyss, the two decide to venture forth into the chasm to recover his memories and see the bottom of the great pit with their own eyes. However, they know not of the harsh reality that is the true existence of the Abyss.

Overview via Myanimelist

Made in Abyss has been on my bucket list for SOOOOOO LONG. I finally got around to watching it with my brother and it was a satisfyingly dissatisfied experience. I realized the show isn’t over. . . and thought well drat. I have to wait to find out what happens!

Let me do a shout out for what I loved without spoiling anything.

1.The Animation– The backgrounds had such beautiful depth and coloring! Character animation was also crisp and captivating to follow. It also blended fantasy and reality through its visuals wonderfully!

2. The Characters– Usually in these types of stories the characters have one or maybe two dimensions to them. It is not so in this show! Plus, their motivations and personalities transform as they go through their experiences.

3. The Mystery- I couldn’t figure it out. That is a sign of a great mystery show. It gave me enough to satisfy some of my curiosity but left enough unsaid so I’ll definitely come back for more later.

This show is not for the faint of heart. It has, like the Abyss itself, a dark underbelly with grisly imagery. I had to turn away many times because I couldn’t stomach some of the scenes. But this means Made in Abyss is for sure a story with an important message.

ufotable‘s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba (2016-?)

Ever since the death of his father, the burden of supporting the family has fallen upon Tanjirou Kamado’s shoulders. Though living impoverished on a remote mountain, the Kamado family are able to enjoy a relatively peaceful and happy life. One day, Tanjirou decides to go down to the local village to make a little money selling charcoal. On his way back, night falls, forcing Tanjirou to take shelter in the house of a strange man, who warns him of the existence of flesh-eating demons that lurk in the woods at night.

When he finally arrives back home the next day, he is met with a horrifying sight—his whole family has been slaughtered. Worse still, the sole survivor is his sister Nezuko, who has been turned into a bloodthirsty demon. Consumed by rage and hatred, Tanjirou swears to avenge his family and stay by his only remaining sibling. Alongside the mysterious group calling themselves the Demon Slayer Corps, Tanjirou will do whatever it takes to slay the demons and protect the remnants of his beloved sister’s humanity.

Overview via Myanimelist

Once upon a time, I watched Demon Slayer‘s first episode and vowed never to see the show. That was a shortsighted decision. I’ve seen about 10 episodes now and am in awe of how beautifully crafted this anime is! The story doesn’t waste time with filler and fluff. The animation is purposeful and so gorgeous it leaves me spellbound. the characters develop and change in ways that don’t scream at the audience. Their motivations are simply complex and a joy to watch unfold.

I could gush about how in love I am with the show now but. . . I won’t. You should go check it out for yourself! However, this is another show not for the faint of heart. The reason the first episode turned me off the first time I saw it is because of how traumatizing the story is. Tanjirou and his family endure so much grief. Also, the demons are EVIL. Some of them will make your teeth curl.

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I’ve been exploring these past few months! Hopefully, I’ll add to this list as the year goes by.

Happy hunting for books, yoga teachers, anime, manga, and the like!

Koi to Yobu Kimochi Warui: The line between romantic and disturbing relationships.

People fall in love in the most mysterious of ways. This statement seems to be especially true for the affluent genius playboy Ryou Amakusa. When he nearly falls off the stairs one rainy morning, a girl named Ichika Arima saves him. As if by fate, Ryou encounters Ichika again later that night; she happens to be the best friend of his little sister, Rio.

Wanting to “thank” her, Ryou attempts to woo Ichika by employing his usual flirtatious tactics only to be immediately shot down, his target creeped out by his behavior. Rather than being discouraged, Ryou instead becomes more enthralled by her, and he begins to do everything he can to steal Ichika’s heart despite receiving disgusted reactions each time. However, as time passes by, will Ichika remain repulsed by Ryou’s creepy yet dedicated advances?

Myanimelist Synopsis

Nomad animation studios released Koi to Yobu or Koimoi April 2021 as a romantic comedy between an adult business man Ryou and a high school girl Ichika. I’ve read plenty of age-gap shoujo romance before. There is a wrong way and a right way to handle these types of stories, just like any other type of relationship.

I first read Koi to Yobu Ni Wa about four or so years ago when there were only 6 or so chapters out. I felt, like the main girl character Ichika, Ryou was creepy but not a bad person. I didn’t think much about the story until I saw a few months ago, by some miracle, there was an anime.

I couldn’t believe anyone would want to animate this story. Not because I hated it or anything. I didn’t think it had much substance or merit. It was a forgettable, strange romance.

What I wondered is what kind of romance Koimoi is trying to be and how audiences should react to it.

Abuse and Lust are NOT Love

Some age-gap romances sugar-coat alarming relationships by making an abuser beautiful and misunderstood. These types of characters exhibit abusive and manipulative tactics to seduce a younger person. Usually, this is painted romantically by writers and directors and, oftentimes, the younger person “changes” or changes for the abuser, abandoning their morals and dreams. It’s Beauty and the Beast‘s toxic, wily twin. 

One example is Naomi Novik‘s novel Uprooted (2015). In my review of the book I surmised,

The central relationship between the ‘dragon’ and heroine Agnieszka is one of the worst examples of toxic attraction I’ve been unfortunate enough to read.

Let me clear, how the Dragon treats Agnieszka is horrendous. He was constantly angry and annoyed at her for no reason. He verbally abuses her from the moment he meets her, calling her an astonishing amount of cruel names. He physically abuses her in his lessons during sudden spurts of anger. He mocks how she looks, calling her ‘horse-faced’ and ‘dirty,’ and makes her change her appearance to conform to his tastes. When Agnieszka defends herself when a prince attempts to rape her, he screams at her, asserting her virtue is not worth the price of an angered prince. 

I could talk about the moments he works her till she is emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted, or the many times she breaks down in tears because of things he’s said or done to her. I could also talk about how terrified she was in the first half of the book because she thought he would rape her. He never apologizes. He barely gets better. Not to mention, he starts a sexual relationship with her near the end of the book when he is almost 130 years older than her. This relationship is acceptable because he looks young and handsome. . .

The real issue is some readers buy that this is a romantic and healthy love story. It’s not. It’s incredibly dangerous. Those who have suffered through abusive situations similar to those illustrated in this book wouldn’t find this story so sensational.

Taken from March Book Madness! Day 2, Naomi Novik’s Uprooted (2015) 2/5 (Emphasis added)

There are many other examples I could name like Vladimir Nabokov‘s novel Lolita or director Christophe Gans‘s film La Belle et la Bête (2014). It is easy to “fall in love” with these type of stories because they contain just enough backstory to help you empathize with twisted individuals. In other words, viewers and readers rationalize toxic behavior because the character suffered.

On paper it seems to work out great. In real life, it never does.

Respect and Sacrifice in Age-Gap Romances Make All the Difference

The main difference between corrosive and healthy age-gap romances are the characters’ intentions. In every great romance I’ve read where the main characters had a larger age gap, their relationship was defined by respect and sacrifice.

Take for example Tsubaki-chou Lonely Planet by Yamamori, Mika. Akatsuki and Fumi have a twelve-year age gap between them. They live in the same house together for almost two years. There is no parental supervision whatsoever. Usually, this becomes the breeding ground for unhealthy relationships. Yet, Yamamori didn’t take that approach.

Just because they were in love didn’t mean their relationship had to or should have been primarily sexual. Akatsuki tells Fumi several times he would respect her age and wait for her to grow older. Once Fumi’s father comes back, Akatsuki explains to him that he and Fumi have feelings for each other. They wait five or so years and marry. Their relationship was grounded in respect and sacrifice.

The same can be said about Kouchi, Kaede‘s manga Love So Life. Matsunaga and Shiharu had a 9-year age gap. Both fell in love with the other. Though there were many times where he could have given in to his feelings or used her feelings to his advantage, he respected her age and waited till she was in college before they started a relationship. What was truly remarkable about this story was how they not only respected and sacrificed for each other, but they also respected their own feelings.

So What Type of Romance is Koimoi?

Koimoi should feel really romantic, but it doesn’t. It feels incomplete. It wants to be a heart-warming romantic story between a good natured high school girl and and misguided adult, but it comes across as immature and confusing at times. That doesn’t mean it portrays a toxic relationship.

I’ve thought a lot about this story these past few months. I finally figured out why. I was curious to know what type of person Ryou REALLY was, and the depth and scope of his intentions. I wanted to see if his relationship with Ichika would be any different from his previous flings.

I paid attention and waited to see if this story would surprise me.

Ryou-san Acted Like a Middle Schooler with a Crush. Not a Pedophile

The whole time I watched the show, It never occurred to me Ryou had bad intentions. I wondered why, I mean. . . he wanted to take the toothpick Ichika used as souvenir. Then it hit me. He had never actually experienced being in love with someone before. So, he reacted and pushed himself on her through phone calls and gifts to try and figure out why he was feeling the way he was.

Watching Ryou shower Ichika with gifts and attention brought back memories from middle school, when I was young and didn’t understand how to properly convey my feelings. That said, Middle Schoolers are rarely the best examples of how to maintain a good relationship. It’s not okay to force your feelings on someone or ignore them when they tell you they are not interested.

In all his encounters with Ichika after their first initial conversation, he never made sexual overtures at her. Not once. He changed for the better, albeit in a strange and immature way.

Do I think this romance is disturbing? No. Ryou respected Ichika and her decisions. In fact, there even comes a point where he truly starts to understand how she could potentially suffer being in a relationship with him. His feelings were genuine, yet immature. All in all, I think their relationship needed a better foundation. They needed moments to develop trust and know more about each other.

What about Ichika’s Feelings?

Ichika’s feelings mattered. Just because Ryou was in love with her, didn’t mean she should feel obligated to accept him. That’s not how love works. She saw him change and in due course developed feelings for him. She didn’t ask him to get rid of his bad habits. He just did. And his feelings were sincere and evolved throughout their “courtship”.

I believe it was his sincerity that won her over. She could tell he was serious, even though she had little confidence in herself because of her age and looks.

I wasn’t necessarily rooting for her to fall in love with him. Honestly, if she had fallen for her classmate Tamaru instead it would have been fine. But I didn’t mind seeing her finally accept and reflect Ryou feelings. I needed more substantial evidence of her feelings.

I just wonder if she should have fallen in love with Ryou. Even if he was not a bad person, that doesn’t mean she needed, for the sake of a story, to like him back. Again, it’s not bad that she fell for him. It’s just. . . she could have done ANYTHING. The story didn’t give her time to blossom in different ways.

I Still Have SO Many Unanswered Questions

The story had a lot of plot-holes regarding the characters and their motivations.

I had countless other questions:

What happened in Ryou and Ichika’s relationship? Did they get married? How did they get there?

Were Ryou and his father able to resolve their differences? How did they even develop such a harsh relationship? Did Ryou rebel or was his father simply too strict on him?

What happened to Tamaru and Arie? Were they just random love interests to progress the story?

Why did Ichika fall in love with Ryou? What was it about him?

What is the main message this story is trying to convey? etc. . . . etc. . . . . etc. . .

Though it felt like the story had resolved itself, I still had the most questions and misconceptions about Ryou as a character. Ryou had a really strenuous relationship with his father which caused him to detach and not seek meaningful relationships. But there was no time dedicated to this part of his character.

I didn’t feel like he went LOOKING for ways to rebel. He just accepted trouble when it came to him. For example, whenever it showed women fawning all over him he looked completely detached, like he couldn’t care less if they slept with him or not. It was as if he was stuck in the Doldrums, falling in and out of bad relationships because he didn’t have the will to fight it.

However, this was all speculation on my part. The author and the show never talked about this. If they had explored this part of his character, I think it would have given readers and the audience more clarity concerning his character and development.

This Could Be a Revolutionary Story in the Hands of a Better Storyteller

With all its missing pieces, Koimoi feels incomplete. Not only that, but the animation in the show was clunky and lazy.

People are complicated. That is why I kept watching this show. I had a feeling it was different than people said it was. I also wanted to see if the storytellers could evolve this type of romance in ways I’d never seen before. If they did that, the characters and their relationships could BLOSSOM.

But that didn’t happen, unfortunately. I’m still confused and wondering why the original author wrote this story.

In the future, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for more English chapters. Perhaps the anime is a watered down version of the manga.

My Score for the Anime:

Animation: 6/10

Story: 7/10

Characters: 6/10

Overall Score: 6.3/10

AMV Showdown! Special Awards: Part 2

Continuing forward from where we left off, here is the second half of the special awards we chose for the AMVs we’ve looked through these last few months. Hope you enjoy!

Let’s get started.

Since we came across multiple AMVs that amplified the shows they showcased, it seemed appropriate to split the awards into two parts: one acknowledging AMVs that made average shows look great and the other taking obviously great shows and highlight what makes them great.

Let me just say, much of this comes down to personal taste.

Best Amplified Questionable Shows

Honorable Mention: Say My Name by Light Raider

3rd Place: So Alive by VermillionAMV

I had no idea what the anime Brave Story was even about when I watched this AMV. I just thought it would be a great show to watch based on what I saw in this AMV. Knowledge is cruel sometimes because I realized quick this show is not so refined. At best it’s average.

2nd Place: For the Win by DigiCat via TheBestAMVsOfAllTime

I know three groups of people who talked about Sword Art Online. The ones who absolutely love it to death, those who can’t stand the sight of it, and the apathetic watchers who could care less. (That’s me! Sorry to fans.) When I watch this AMV, I don’t think it matters if people think its a good show or not. The editor did a smashing job highlighting what made the show visually interesting for first time viewers.

1st Place: Baba Yetu by Glitzer

Out of the three, I’d say the most people will get the maddest knowing I view Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic as an average show. (I think its okay. . . not ground breaking story wise to say the least.) HOWEVER, this AMV is absolutely beautiful. I didn’t think this song would fit so well to the show’s content but . . . dang. . . was I ever wrong.

Best Amplified Universally Acknowledged Great Shows

I hear the least amount of criticisms for these shows.

Honorable Mention: Emptiness by HeardYouLikeAmvs

3rd Place: Pure White Gold by VermillionAMV

Boku no Hero Academia has so many interesting animated scenes to play with. You’d be surprised though how often fans just can’t capture what makes this show so appealing. Its one thing to use great animated scenes from the show and put them to a catchy song. Its another thing to use the show’s content and cohesively portray the character’s, their struggles, and their purpose. Pure White Gold does this and more!

2nd Place: Danse De Raven by ChiikaboomAMV

Princess Tutu is the anti-magical girl anime. It’s complicated both in its writing and animation. So, how do you make an AMV that doesn’t bog down its message? Put it to a French song and have almost perfect timing.

1st Place: Warriors by yujinedits怠惰な: Dance of the Mushi by Rainhowls2

Kimetsu no Yaiba or Demon Slayer had SOOOOO many AMVS. I think I found at least thirty of them just looking through YouTube. Some of them were good, but lacked any real direction. Warriors I added to my review list on a whim after I watched the first 30 seconds. I didn’t think it would be that amazing. I was so wrong. Warriors is one of the best AMVs I have ever seen! It made me want to watch the show then and there.

Most Unexpected

These are the AMVs I expected to be average or really. . . really bad. But then they came and POW! Took top spots.

Honorable Mention: Renegade VERSUS by VermillionAMV

3rd Place: Pure White Gold by VermillionAMV

I saved this AMV on a whim because I liked the song. 🙂 That’s it. I didn’t give it much thought and just put it up for review because I figured there must have been a reason I saved it.

2nd Place: ??? Mob by King AMV

The song was weird. Plus I only watched the first 15 seconds before deciding I should give it a try. I was a fool!

1st Place: Say My Name by LightRaider

Story time. . . I didn’t know what the heck the show Kuzu no Honkai was about. I figured it was a story about two people crushing on someone else falling for each other accidently. Boy was I wrong. . . it’s a horrible story. (The English translation for the title is Scum’s Wish. . . yeah.) That aside, I figured this AMV would fall into obscurity within the first two rounds. Honestly though, it is so well crafted despite it cruddy source it made it all the way to the end!

Emotionalism

Emotionalism is completely and utterly subjective! Sorry. . . but these awards are for the AMVs that touched me. (And almost made me cry several times.)

Honorable Mention: Singular Strike Gentleman by Glitzer (Note, I cried because it was so funny!)

3rd Place: Kindness by VermillionAMV

Kindness sort of swooped in and captured our hearts. Mob Psycho 100 deals with a lot of emotional growth and the song really highlighted this. I think it means more for those who have actually seen the show because they understand the depth of each character’s emotions and development.

2nd Place: Ghost of You by Vichima

Wow. . . Ride Your Wave is an emotionally stirring movie. I’ve never personally seen it, but seeing this AMV I felt the impact of the character’s relationship and heartbreak.

1st Place: WE’RE EMPTY;by moved., let us be brave; by moved., and The Asking Price by NeverEnoughEpicAMVs3

These are all emotionally impactful AMVs for Fullmetal Alchemist. My brother and I really love this show and couldn’t decide which of these three should make it into the top spot. So we chose all of them!

Best Atmosphere

Basically, this is award is for those AMV which were able to build a world through imagery and music. It’s not just about tone but also creating an mental link between the song and show.

Honorable Mentions: Glitter and Gold by Neo Solarius, VE Fight by Oblivionblade, For the Win by Digi Cat, Hold Me Now by Komichi

3rd Place: Ride or Die by NeverEnoughEpicAMVs2

I don’t think of Fast and Furious listening to this song anymore! All I can picture is Redline with its cool main character strutting his extraordinarily long hairdo.

2nd Place: Dance With the Mushi by Rainhowls2

There isn’t much more to say about Dance With the Mushi. It’s atmosphere is so mentally rich.

1st Place: Warriors by yujinedits怠惰な

I get chills everytime I watch Warriors! It draws me so deep into Demon Slayer‘s world with its timing, pacing, and buildup.

Best First 30 Seconds

This is pretty self explanatory. There was a reason so many AMVs made it through to my watch list. Most of them were able to capture my attention in the first 30 seconds. Some of them did it better than others.

Honorable Mentions: Unity by Lightraider, Best AMV you will ever see Part 4 by xxanime_otaku

3rd Place: Kindness by VermillionAMV

What makes this AMV’s first 30 seconds stand out was the pacing and how well the lyrics matched the images.

2nd Place: Danse De Raven by ChiikaboomAMV

Timing. Timing a visual storytelling are what make these first 30 seconds REALLY stand out.

1st Place: Remember the Name by JazitJ

I wanted this AMV to be great so so bad! The timing in the first 30 seconds is absolutely incredible. Especially, how the editor slowed down and highlighted facial expressions for three characters. I’m a sucker for slowed down animation so it really stood out to me.

Best In Show

The award everyone looks for! These are the AMVs which overall had the greatest showmanship.

Honorable Mention: Swing Box by VermillionAMV

3rd Place: Danse De Raven by ChiikaboomAMV

When choosing between this and Hold Me Now, we decided the defining difference was how crisp the story and imagery flowed through each sequence. The story was so easy to follow even though the song is in French.

2nd Place: Kindness by VermillionAMV

There is not much more I can say about Kindness. It’s an all around emotional rollercoaster of an AMV!

1st Place: Warriors by yujinedits怠惰な

From the beginning of this showdown I knew Warriors was special. I can imagine how much time the editor dedicated to get every visual moment aligned in tone and pacing to the music. It doesn’t give you great action at first. It BUILDS and savors it.

That is everything! Thank you for following this AMV showdown! Hope you found something new to love and enjoy.

AMV Showdown! Special Awards: Part 1

AMV Showdown! Special Awards: Part 1

Snapshot from Mushishi (2005, 2014)

Sometimes with lists I make really great entries get lost in the shuffle called “Personal Preference”. So, to showcase some of the great AMVs I perused with my brother, here is a post dedicated to special awards in various categories.

There will be multiple videos that win several awards. I’ll make sure to include plenty of links to creators and other videos!

Let’s get started!

Best Timing

Timing was one of the major criteria from the first round of this AMV Showdown. In making a music video, it is absolutely crucial to have spot on timing. Or, you lose the audience.

Honorable Mentions: Transmutayshun by Ileia, Glitter and Gold by Neo Solarius, Hold Me Now by Komichi

3. Third Place: Warriors by yujinedits怠惰な, and Best AMV you will ever see Part 4 by xxanime_otaku

Its a glorious tie for third place! It was really difficult choosing between these two, because they both excelled in different ways.

Of all the bogged AMVs with sound, this one delivered the best. Not only did their crisp timing come across extraordinarily smoothly, they were able to balance fast and smooth movements in an spectacular fashion.

On the other hand, Warriors‘s timing shown best in the way it built up to the action through well choreographed editing. Every motion is SPOT ON and doesn’t detract in any way from the visual storytelling.

2nd Place: ??? Mob by King AMV

??? Mob uses Fallout Boy’s song “Young And Menace” to the maximum capacity! The more interesting sequences are actually in the beginning where each footstep and slip of a jacket blends with the music profoundly. The actions feel like they are meant to happen.

1st Place: Danse De Raven by ChiikaboomAMV

Part of the beauty and majesty of dance and ballet is timing. Everything I’ve mentioned for the 2nd and 3rd place entries applies for Danse De Raven, however it feels more refined. I think this is because of Princess Tutu‘s core nature, which is dance and choreography.

Best Tone

Tone is all about atmosphere and world building. For great tone, you need the right song and the appropriate imagery to fit it. You may be surprised which ones we chose.

3rd Place: Vesper by DrPenguin

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen Made in Abyss yet. However, Vesper set the tone for my upcoming experience masterfully. Set to Son Lux’s eerie song “Ransom”, it builds the story from a lighthearted sun filled beginning to the mysterious and sometimes terrifying adventures which await the main characters.

2nd Place: For the Win by DigiCat

My brother had to convince me with this one. Here is the truth. I’ve never seen Sword Art Online. There it is. Even though I didn’t know the content connected to For the Win, I could tell the editor had done a phenomenal job creating the world for the show. My brother later explained to me how each shot shows highlights from the show and stats for important characters.

1st Place: Dance With the Mushi by Rainhowls2

If you have never seen Mushishi I envy you. Not because I don’t absolutely love it! Its because you get to experience the wonder of the show through this AMV without previous knowledge of the stories or characters. Take it from a seasoned admirer of this story. Dance With the Mushi captures the ethereal mystery and wonder of this show gorgeously.

Best Music Choice

This category is pretty self explanatory. Pick the right song off the bat, and you have the ground work for a great AMV.

Honorable Mention: This is War by Gohan

3rd Place: Ride or Die by NeverEnoughEpicAMVs2

Yes, I do listen to rap sometimes. Given how epic Ride or Die is, it is no wonder I attached to it and its song We Own It (Fast & Furious). If ever someone made a song about car racing, this would be the perfect one to enhance Redline, the podracing car thriller for adults.

2nd Place: Happiness by VermillionAMV

To understand this AMV and how impactful it can be, you need to watch Mob Psycho 100, a show dedicated to exploring various human reactions and relationships. Through this AMV, I found a new favorite song and decided to rewatch the show.

1st Place: Ghost of You by Vichima

Ghost Of You by 5 seconds of Summer fits this emotionally impactful story Ride Your Wave so well. It enhanced the characters’ heartbreak and told the story in a way you could really feel. The more I watch it, the more convinced I become it could become an official promotional video for the movie.

Best Fluidity

Another word I would use to describe fluidity is overall flow. This pertains to the story and how the editor presents it as well as how clearly the images blend into each other. There is such a thing as having great timing but hardly any sense of how to make your product flow.

Honorable Mentions: Kindness, Warriors, Ghost of You

3rd Place: A Prelude To Dreams by Shin AMV

I still remember seeing A Prelude to Dreams for the first time. For the longest time I didn’t even realize it depicted a wide variety of anime! That is the mark of purposeful flow and great fluidity. What is especially remarkable about A Prelude To Dreams is how these seemingly disconnected stories dance together because of the song Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap.

2nd Place: Swing Box by VermillionAMV

VermillionAMV is a FANTASTIC EDITOR. Out of any creator I’ve come across these last few months, they’ve impressed me the most in how smoothly they use their source material. Swing Box would have to be the culmination of these skills. It flows beautifully and each moment is simply fascinating to watch unfold! This was yet another AMV where I couldn’t readily tell exactly how many anime they used. I thought maybe, 5. In reality they used 10. That’s pretty impressive!

1st Place: Dance With the Mushi by Rainhowls2

Yet, again Dance With the Mushi comes in for the win! If you pay very close attention to how this AMV unfolds, you’ll notice subtle changes in pacing and timing. For me, it feels like a folkdance set to the imagery of life. Good fluidity isn’t about spectacle. It’s about leading an audience through the story through imagery and sound.

Best Characterization

Best characterization is about how well an AMV can set up not only the world but its characters. Once upon a time, I heard a very intriguing statement concerning animation. The characters ARE the animation. How you treat them makes all the difference for the story and your intended audience.

Honorable Mentions: Singular Strike Gentleman by Glitzer, Renegade VERSUS by VermillionAMV

3rd Place: Ghost of You by Vichima

Ghost of You is another AMV which will come up a lot. I have never seen the movie yet through this video I understand SOOOO much about the characters and their story. It is to the point where I get emotionally involved watching it. Like I said before, this would be the perfect promotional video for this movie.

2nd Place: Pure White Gold by VermillionAMV

Here is yet another anime I haven’t seen yet (Sorry! I’ll get to it eventually). However, I think what Pure White Gold truly excels at is showcasing how the various characters fit into their world. Though they couldn’t put the whole show into one AMV, the editor set up their roles in the story splendidly!

1st Place: This is war by Gohan

How do you find a song built for the characters? This is War based on 30 seconds to Mars’s song is how! The editor used this song to its maximum potential, matching the worlds to a variety of characters seen throughout the show. Not only that, but they set up these characters in their world through stunning timing!

Utilizing Music and Imagery

Utilizing music and imagery is the culmination of great fluidity and emotionality. It isn’t just about flowing the images together but creating a masterful story through words and music.

Honorable Mention: ??? Mob by King AMV

3rd Place: Pure White Gold by Vermillion AMV

Honestly, Pure White Gold feels like a a hero montage. It isn’t about just one character but an entire cast of fantastic and interesting people. What this AMV truly excels at is using the imagery and music to express the characters’ true purpose as heroes.

2nd Place: Swing Box by VermillionAMV

Not a second of Swing Box feels wasted. Nothing feels misplaced or simply placed there to take up space. All in all, it is a true spectacle of wonderful imagery!

1st Place: Kindness by Vermillion AMV

(I just realized Vermillion AMV did every single AMV for this slot! That is truly saying something.) Now, when I saw Kindness for the first time, what immediately crossed my mind was how spot on this AMV was! It encapsulated what Mob Psycho 100 is about. How the editor blended the anime and song “I’m Alright” by Mother Mother was nothing short of masterful!

Best Aestheticism

These are the AMVs that are truly a feast for the eyes! Sometimes that means they are beautiful, other times they are truly rich in color and movement.

Honorable Mentions: Warriors by yujinedits怠惰な, Close to the Sun by Light Raider

3rd Place: Cosmic Love by Trisieren

Children of the Sea (2014) is one of the richest films I’ve ever seen. Thankfully, this editor was able to utilize this imagery wonderfully. There are so many details in the colors and images to catch on to. It’s impossible to get bored watching it.

2nd Place: Ghost of You by VichimaVichima

Everything about Ghost of You seems to glow. The imagery is so beautiful it almost swallows you! It helps that the song completely enhances it throughout every moment.

1st Place: Unity by Lightraider

I feel awe inspired every time I take time to watch Unity. It sheds beautiful light on how glorious human relationships are! I always wish it could be just a little longer so I could drink in even more of its wonder!

Stay tuned for Part Two for these Special Awards!

AMV Showdown: The Penultimate Top Ten

AMV Showdown! Special Awards: Part 2

Behold! My Favorite Manga Covers

These covers are the runner ups!

I’m so excited to finally finish this list! I’ve been writing it so long. . . I get easily distracted though so it took up a good chunk of my life. I hope you enjoy my favorite manga covers as much as I do! My greatest wish is you are able to find something new to read.

Let’s get started!

52. Sakisaka, Io‘s Strobe Edge, Volume 6

What I like about this particular cover is the lighting. There is a nice balance of pastel colors and movement in the character’s clothing. Miss Sakisaka also has a talent for drawing and coloring eyes.

51.  Murata, Yusuke (Art), ONE (Story)- One Punch-Man, Volume 11

Murata Yusuke is an extraordinary artist. I actually talked about his profound attention to detail in my post Best Artwork From Manga I’ve Read. As fans know, he isn’t the original artist for One Punch Man but he tries his best to really enhance the original author ONE’s artwork.

I love, love, love, the coloring in this cover. Its RED and awesome. I also like Metal Bat from the series. Therefore, its a win win situation for me. What REALLY sold me on this cover though was Saitama in the background with his ugly wig on. 🙂

50. Morishita, Suu‘s Yubisaki to Renren, Volume 1

A Sign of Affection is one of my favorite recent finds. The manga is great, but I’m not going to talk about that right now. I’m a sucker for beautiful covers outlined with flowers and with watercoloring. What I also appreciate about this cover is the hand gesture the girl is making. In Japanese sign language it means “That’s okay”. Very fitting for a title like A Sign of Affection.

49. One Punch Man, Volume 23

Word of warning, because I like the artist Murata for One Punch Man, his covers are going to come up A LOT. This cover encompasses my feelings concerning this series. I just want Saitama to come and punch the villain already. I like the lighting and spotlight effect Murata did over Saitama. It’s almost like he’s saying, “Thank the Lord! Saitama is here to punch them!”

48. Kubo, Tite‘s Bleach, Volume 22

Tite Kubo’s covers for Bleach are going to be all over the place! Though I am not happy with how drawn out the story became, I am definitely a fan of Kubo’s artwork. He’s a great artist! One of the highlights for this series is the large variety of manga covers he finished. He has a way of posing his characters uniquely.

Case point 1 is his first cover featuring Ulquiorra. Its like a still shot someone made right when he moved to stand in the frame. I really like Ulquiorra as a character too, which also adds to my admiration for this cover.

47. Mikanagi, Touya‘s Karneval, Volume 25

I featured this cover in one of my earliest manga posts Beautiful covers for aspiring art collectors. The artist, Mikanagi, makes his covers feel like a circus with their wide variety of colors, shapes and unique lighting. For this particular cover, I love how he incorporated BLUE. It’s been too long since I read this series so I couldn’t say if this has some significance. For me, it just pops aesthetically!

46. Karneval, Volume 4

Another fun fact about all of these manga covers for Karneval is Mikanagi always includes a butterfly somewhere in the background. What I especially like about this cover is the posing. I feel like I mentally need to look up to the character’s eyes.

45. Kouchi, Kaede‘s Love So Life, Volume 17

I love this manga series, especially for its heartwarming variety of manga covers. This particular cover is for the series’ finale, bringing together the four characters I came to love so much. It feels like a family picture and it makes me smile. 🙂

44. Bleach, Volume 60

I said Kubo’s art would persist on this list. I keep my promises. I appreciated Kubo including a homage to Ichigo’s mother, who he lost at a very young age. This cover feels like a precious, captured memory right before she died.

43. CLAMP‘s Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Volume 10

You have no idea how hard it was to narrow down my favorite covers for Tsubasa. I truly admire CLAMP’s artists and how well they stage their inter chapter artwork and manga covers. The theme for this particular cover is GREEN tropics and I eat it up. There are so many details to look over and it evokes a needed sense of mystery and apprehension.

42. Takamatsu, Misaki‘s Skip to Loafer, Volume 1

I found Skip to Loafer while browsing online blogs and was surprised how much I liked it. What especially impressed me was how the artist Takamatsu staged her characters on the cover. It fits the more upbeat flow for the series and alludes to the hope filled future ahead of them.

41. Azuma, Kiyohiko‘s Yotsuba to!, Volume 7

Good gravy (Don’t know where that came from) I love almost all the covers Kiyohiko does for Yotsuba&!. Much like the series, they have such a warm energy to them. What I especially like in this cover is Yotsuba’s enthusiasm as she runs from/with sheep. I’m pretty sure this is the volume where she goes to a farm for the first time. All in all, it just makes me smile.

40. Mochizuki, Jun‘s Pandora Hearts, Volume 3

Seeing this cover for Pandora Hearts makes me want to read it again. Mochizuki balances her covers by having a blank white canvas and crisply inserting well posed characters. By doing this, the facial expressions and color stick out more.

Though I love the first two covers for the series, I’ve always had a soft spot for this third volume. There is something about Break’s pose that draws me in.

39. Yotsuba to!, Volume 9

Volume 7 from Yotsuba&! isn’t so much about posing as it is about creating a beautiful atmosphere. Though the place Yotsuba lives seems ordinary, Kiyohino makes it feel so warm. This cover is very inviting, like its gently pushing a reader to opening its pages.

38. Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Volume 19

I’m super surprised I liked this cover so much. I’m not really into science fiction. However, what intrigues me about this volume is the atmosphere. For those who have read the series, its darker coloring and more oppressive atmosphere match the tone present in the story. I appreciate the attention to details CLAMP had in their character presentation and how they set the reader for the crazy plot changes coming up.

37. Strobe Edge, Volume 8

Andou, from Strobe Edge, is not my favorite character. But I like this cover featuring him. I didn’t think that would happen. What I liked most was his hair and eyes. I also like the angle Sakisaka used for the character.

36. Arakawa, Hiromu‘s Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 10/ 3 in 1

Being the nerdy fan I am of Arakawa’s artwork, I’m not surprised this volume popped up. As I’ve said before, I am always on the lookout for great lighting and posing in manga covers. Luckily, this volume has both. I’m also a HUGE fan of Edward’s character design so I’m always for seeing him on covers.

35. Pandora Hearts, Volume 10

Wow. The theme for this volume cover is PURPLE. Since the series is a a much darker place in this volume, this color is very fitting. If I’m not mistaken, it features Jack, who originally they thought was a hero. Anyway, I won’t spoil anything. Needless to say this cover is fantastic!

34. Watsuki, Nobuhiro‘s Rurouni Kenshin, Volume 28

Ah, Rurouni Kenshin. How I love you. Here is the simple reason I love this cover. Kenshin looks at peace. I love his expression and how the cover eludes to his happy future.

33. Hikawa, Kyouko‘s Kanata kara, Volume 13

I. LOVE. THIS. SERIES. I wish I owned all the volumes but I don’t have the money to spend $800 for certain volumes. So, so sad. All the volumes feature the two main characters. Volume 13 is one of my favorites. Hikawa has such good taste in coloring and clothing design.

32. Hoshino, Katsura‘s D.Gray-man, Volume 18

Hoshino is one of the best artists I’ve come across in manga. No joke. She is great at drawing hands and clothing. What I like about his cover in particular is the coloring and posing. It feels ALIVE. It also has a more Halloweeny feel to it, which I am always down for.

31. Bleach, Volume 49

I think this is the best cover featuring Ichigo. It has more defined shading, almost like Film Noir or Romantic paintings.

30. Kanata Kara, Volume 11

Be prepared because this isn’t the last cover from this series. Much like volume 13, I mostly like the colors and clothing design. In particular, I like Noriko’s hair color and dress.

29. Mosco‘s Kuzumi-kun, Kuuki Yometemasu ka?, Volume 8

If you haven’t read this series yet, I would recommend it simply for its humor. And Kuzumi. His dead pan expressions make me laugh. Anyway, this cover is just super sweet. I’m always a fan of these type of stories where “loser” characters get with those they love. In this case I’d say Erika, the girl, is in the loser category.

28. Bleach, Volume 54

I don’t remember who this character is but I love how Kubo portrays him on this cover! I especially admire the gray shading on the dark uniform as well as the watercolored platform they’re standing on.

27. Love so Life, Volume 14

Compared to volume 17, I think 14 has a little more life breathed into it! I also like how it portrays Shiharu’s relationship with the twins with such positive, bright colors.

26. Yotsuba to!, Volume 15

What I love most about this cover is how it portrays Yotsuba’s relationship with her dad. It’s just sweet to see it shown in such a positive, cute setting like the beach.

25. Touma, Rei‘s Reimei no Arcana, Volume 1

I don’t like the other covers for Dawn of Arcana as much as I do this one. The Turquoise and red silhouetted against each other is simply beautiful. What really catches me is her GREEN eyes.

24. D. Grayman, Volume 4

Levi is one of my favorite characters in D.Gray Man, besides Allen. The black surrounding him in this cover feels like a curtain parting.

23. Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE, Volume 24

Dang. I just. . . man I just love Syaoran. This is one of the few covers with just him. He looks cool on this cover. This is one of the few times where I like the brown tones used.

22. Bleach, 18

I forgot this character’s name too (Sorry!) but I have always like this cover’s energy! It feels like a still frame for an animated scene. I say that because of the smear effect Kubo used for her foot. In animation, action scenes often are smeared to give an illusion of fast motion.

21. Fullmetal Alchemist, 25

This cover has depth. I also like where Arakawa put the focal point. Because Alphonse in the suit is so big, your eyes naturally go from him back to his body and the gateway of truth.

20. Yubisaki to Renren, Volume 4

Sigh, this cover is so pretty. It reminds me of Art Nouveu paintings done by Alphonse Mucha, with its brighter colors and floral/ nature themed outlines. I especially like how Morishita used baby blue on her characters.

19. Togashi, Yoshihiro‘s Hunter x Hunter, Volume 3

I feel bad for saying this, but I don’t like Yoshihiro’s artwork. The anime is great, but the manga’s art lacks. . . things. That said, I still love this cover! It’s just fun and encompasses Gon’s lighthearted nature.

18. Love So Life, Volume 15

Love so Life is one of my favorite love stories. Matsunaga handled his relationship with Shiharu very well. I like how happy and content they look together. Matsunaga especially looks at peace with the future they had awaiting them.

17. Sugisaki, Yukiru‘s D.N.Angel, Volume 1

If there is one good thing about D.N.Angel its the manga covers. Even here in volume 1 Sugisaki was able to catch readers’ attention with captivating colors and designs. The reason why I even wanted to read this series was because I was drawn to this cover.

16. Bleach, Volume 3

Orihime is one of my favorite characters, and not because she is pretty. I like her modesty and how her feelings and motivations develop. What I like about this cover is how it plays on her personality. This is also a really clever pose. I’ve never seen anything else like it.

15. Bleach, Volume 13

Details, details, details. I like the coloring, Kenpachi’s facial expression, and how he is angled toward the where the reader will open the volume.

14. One Punch Man, Volume 2

This cover is freaking cool, like Genos, who tries so hard to succeed but hardly ever does. I think this cover portrays the roles Genos and Saitama play in the series. Genos gives readers something cool and pretty to look and Saitama looks like a dork in the background, until he starts fighting. (Note, I love how Murata makes it seem like Genos’ arms are shining.)

13. D.N.Angel, Volume 13

Looking back at this cover, I marvel at this character’s angle. It’s like he’s twisting towards the reader mid flight. All in all, it’s a captivating shot of Dark from D.N.Angel.

12. Midorikawa, Yuki‘s Natsume Yuujinchou, Volume 5

All my friends know I love Natsume’s Book of Friends. I perused all the manga covers and decided volume 5 is my favorite of the bunch. It’s like a wind is passing through the scene, lifting the papers up around the characters. I also like how this volume has a brush of calligraphy to its style.

11. D. Grayman, Volume 7

I’ve said before Hoshino draws spectacular covers. This one feels as though its falling apart or unable to fully come together, which is fitting since the featured character isn’t exactly human. I love how this artwork feels, and the sense of mystery behind it.

10. Shiwasu, Yuki‘s Takane to Hana, Volume 13

Ah, the infamous volume for Takane and Hana where things finally click for both characters. It doesn’t show it right here, but the full artwork has their full figures falling together. It’s quite beautiful. Most of the covers for this series are funny but at the right times they have a more serious undertone.

9. Rurouni Kenshin, 3-in-1 4

Kenshin how I love you! On a whim I decided to go through all the 3-in-1 volume covers for Rurouni Kenshin. In-so-doing, I found this hidden gem. I’ve never seen him in blue before, but its suits him wonderfully. Kenshin is a very lighthearted character so this cover fits him very well. (If you couldn’t tell, I basically love this cover because of how it portrays Kenshin.)

8. Yubisaki to Renren, Volume 2

Such a pretty cover! Morishika has such a talent for blending colors! I especially like how the characters are looking at each other.

7. Fullmetal Alchemist, Volume 27

Yes, yes, yes! This cover encompasses everything I love about this series’ finale. It’s almost like Edward says with his eyes, “I’ve found the right answer. I’m here for my brother now.” Ah! so good.

6. Kanata Kara, Volume 3

This is my favorite cover for From Far Away because of how gentle it feels. It almost feels airbrushed, with soft hues of blue and pink. It’s almost like Hikawa blended two different people through color and imagery.

5. Urushibara, Yuki‘s Mushishi, Volume 7

Yes, I love Mushishi. Sorry there is only one cover! Thinking back on it though, I realized this is the cover I admire the most because of Urushibara’s choice of colors and posing. It reminds me of one of the more haunting stories from the series about a young woman hundreds of years old, connected to an old Cherry Tree. I’m a huge fan of watercolors in general so it’s no wonder I feel so drawn to this cover.

4. One Punch Man, Volume 17

Hot dang! This cover has such presence and energy! Besides Saitama and Genos, Zombie man is probably my favorite. (I wonder why that is? Maybe I like strong silent types) Looking closely at this cover, the focal point is his EYES at the end of his gun. I understand this character without even having to read about him just by looking at this image.

3. Takane to Hana, Volume 7

Such. Beautiful. Colors! I didn’t realize how much I love soft coloring in artwork until I did this post. This volume from Takane and Hana takes place right at a serious moment in the story. Character development comes like a storm! Shiwasu chose just the right colors for Takane and Hana for this volume. I also like how she posed the characters. Like most volume covers, they don’t feel at war with each other. It’s like they are finally connecting.

2. Takaya, Natsuki‘s Fruits Basket, Ultimate Edition 2

I’m surprised myself how far this cover has come! Fruits Basket is my favorite manga of all time. I have quite a bit of emotional attachment to it. When I searched through all the volumes, this 2nd ultimate edition popped out at me! This was at a time where Takaya’s artwork flourished. I love how I feel when I look at it and that is what really matters when picking artworks for ourselves.

1.Yamamori, Mika‘s Hirunaka no Ryuusei, Volume 6

Hmmm hmm hmmm. I’m sorry more volumes for this series didn’t make it. However, in light of all the volumes this has always been the cover I’ve been most drawn to. Its partially because I love Mamura as a character. It’s also how Yamamori chose to use to use pastels on black. I’ve also always been a fan with how the artist draws her characters.

Thank you for brushing through my long list! Maybe you found something new to read. I hope so.

AMV Showdown: The Penultimate Top Ten

We finally made it to what I call the penultimate ten! These are the AMVs with perfect scores that happened to also become some of me and my brother’s favorites. There are no rules for this list. In fact, they are listed based only on a tally we made of which ones we like better than the others. For Best in Show and other awards, I will make a different post.

For now, let’s get started!

10.【Mob】???% AMV by King AMV

Based on Mob Psycho 100

Somehow, a remix of Fall Out Boy’s “Young And Menace” works so well with Mob Psycho 100. Many of the previous AMVs struggled balancing fast paced imagery with slower, or still moments. “???” uses the pacing of the song to illustrate the ebb and flow from the show.

The biggest highlights are the opening, especially when Reigen stealthily slips on his coat, and the first chorus run.

9. AMV – Тhе Αskіng Ρrіcе 720p by NeverEnoughEpicAMVs3

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

“The Asking Price” packs an emotional punch, especially for those familiar with the show. It focuses on various characters from Fullmetal Alchemist and their sacrifices. It matches music and visuals so well! It feels like a beautiful collaboration between different artists.

That said, this is definately one of my favorite AMVs. I tend to lean more toward emotional storytelling than spectacle. At the end of the day, I didn’t watch Fullmetal Alchemist for its action scenes alone. It opened me to so much of the world, the good and ugly. I love to be reminded of that.

8. AMV Swing Box by VermillionAMV

Based on a Variety of Anime

Over the coarse of the last few weeks, I’ve come to really appreciate “Swing Box”. Why? Because so many collaboration AMVs don’t know how to, well, collaborate. Good AMVs don’t just need a large list of anime to fit into the right moments of a song. An AMV will not flow well unless the editor finds ways to blend them together cohesively.

“Swing Box” does just that! It’s timing is crisp, and its imagery is fascinating to witness. It doesn’t even feel like a hodge-podge of different works. They FEEL like they belong in the same space. Behold! The power of great editing.

I love this AMV’s energy, coloring, and the fun song choice!

7. AMV Pure White Gold by VermillionAMV

Based on My Hero Academia

Funny story. I saved this AMV on a whim about two years ago without really watching it. I had a habit of saving AMVs so I wouldn’t forget songs I liked while casually scrolling through YouTube. So, as I perused the various AMVs I’ve saved over the last few years, I saw “Pure White Gold” and thought, “What the heck. It must be here for a reason. Let’s include it in the top 100 list for kicks.”

I’m so glad I did! Looking more closely at this AMV’s content, pacing, and flow, it floored me over and over again. I get chills watching it every time and I haven’t even SEEN this show. The song and anime enhance each other so so beautifully!

I don’t have a favorite moment because I love watching it unfold!

6. Singular Strike Gentleman [OPM AMV – Anime Expo Best Fun] by Glitzer

Based on One Punch Man

Are you a fan of One Punch Man? Think about it, what is the perfect song for this show? Usually, people would say an action song because Saitama is a freak of nature and the animation for the action sequences are fantastic in the first season.

What if I told you “Singular Strike Gentleman” set to “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen is the best AMV I have EVVVVVER seen for this show? No joke. I laugh so hard seeing it! As a good friend of mine once said, One Punch Man at its heart is a satiric comedy about Saitama, his egg head and his titular one punch.

The timing is perfect and the lyrics coupled with Saitama’s hilarious face keep me coming back for more.

5. Princess Tutu AMV – Hold Me Now (Warning: Spoilerific) by Komichi

Based on Princess Tutu

“Hold Me Now” is the AMV that tricks viewers into watching and loving Princess Tutu. In fact, if you are watching it now, you might very well be thinking, “Dang, why have I never seen this show?”. Good. You should feel that way because its a fantastic, multi-layered philosophical drama of epic proportions!

That aside, this editor did so well sculpting a visual story, even with a foreign language song. It makes this story altogether epic! In fact, it captures the amazing dance sequences showcased throughout the show and showcases them as a brilliant spectacle. Kind of like a ballet. 😉

4. Dance with the Mushi || Mushishi AMV by Rainhowls2

Based on Mushishi

I saw multiple AMVs for Mushishi and concluded its extraordinarily difficult to find the right song for it. Mushishi is not an action anime. Most of its time is open for gentle observation rather than thorough engagement. It doesn’t rely on action scenes or loud noise. Its a story which invites its viewer to go on a journey, seeing the extraordinary world and witnessing human beings living.

This AMV, like the show, does all these things. There are no lyrics but it draws you in because at its heart it speaks to us on a personal, almost primal way. By its end, the music becomes faster and BAM! you’re hooked.

3. [RS] Danse De Raven by ChiikaboomAMV

Based on Princess Tutu

Yep. There are not one but TWO Princess Tutu AMVs in the top ten. Maybe its a subtle message I think you should watch the show. In all seriousness, “Danse De Raven” captures the darker underbelly of this show. Even more than “Hold Me Now” it has a way of drawing you in.

The editor was able to do this partly because of their amazing timing and wise song choice. Look up the lyrics for the song, “”Le Bien Qui Fait Mal” from Mozart L’Opera Rock and you’ll understand a little more why this is. Though it’s in French, the editor made sure to match the lyrics with the images and stay true to the song’s message and tone.

2. AMV Kindness by VermillionAMV

Based on Mob Psycho 100

(Special shoutout to VermillionAMV for having three AMVs on this list.) “Kindness” is my new personal favorite AMV. If “Cradles” showcased the stirring animated moments from Mob Psycho 100, “Kindness” captured the show’s beautiful emotional moments. Personally, Mob Psycho 100 is one of my favorites not because of its action scenes but because of its touching relationships, character growth, and how it asks hard questions on the nature of power.

I get emotional watching “Kindness” because it reminds me of the many wonderful lessons I learned and continue to learn from ONE’s titular story.

1. warriors – Demon Slayer [AMV] by yujinedits怠惰な

Based on Demon Slayer

Like “Kindness”, “Warriors” made me stop and be there in the moment. I forgot I was being a critic. I didn’t look for things to knitpick. I let its magic WASH OVER ME. I drank it in and savored every moment of runtime. THIS is how you construct a well-balanced action-based AMV. Make it so the viewer doesn’t have to question what they are watching or how long they will be watching.

Make it so they KNOW and BELIEVE its magic. “Warriors” definitely highlighted one of the most beautiful shows I’ve witnessed these last few weeks. I take my hat off to you!

That is the last of the many, many AMVs for this list! Stay tuned for a list of my and my brother’s favorites, as well as a special post for specific shoutouts I wanted to give.

AMV Showdown! Top 23 from Tier 3

AMV Showdown! Top 23 from Tier 3

We have come to the last 33 AMVs who survived the last two rounds of cuts!

Tier three is a bit complicated because there were SO MANY videos with all around perfect scores. So it became a matter of personal taste. However, not all the videos on this list have perfect scores based on three new criteria from 1-10:

Aestheticism, or the visual quality of the video

Amplification, or if the video amplified its source material

Emotionalism, or how well the video provoked an emotional response

The defining criteria for most of the rankings from this time forward is:

Personal Taste

I thought it was fitting to finally rank most of these videos subjectively. If we didn’t all the videos would get first prize! And that is not what these type of posts are for.

Since there is a lot of ground to cover, let’s get started!

33. AMV – For The Win – Bestamvsofalltime Anime MV by TheBestAMVsOfAllTime

Based on Sword Art Online

I had to take my brother’s word for it when he told me how well this AMV amplifies its source material. Even not knowing anything about Sword Art Online I appreciated the attention to detail put into this AMV’s setup. The visuals are crisp and clear, the message is well thought out, and it sets up the tone of the show very well.

The problem is I don’t have any emotional connection to this show whatsoever. So, when I see it I feel nothing remarkable. It ranks so low on this list because of my apathy. (It’s average for personal taste is 4.5 and it has a 5.5 average for emotionalism.)

My Score: 26

My Brother’s Score: 30,

Average Score: 28

Average Total Score: 98/110

32. Natsume Yuujinchou Amv- Sail by Awolnation by 私はアニメが大好きOtaku

Based on Natsume’s Book of Friends

“Sail” has impeccable timing and tone. It creates a fantastic, never-ending nightmare using various scenes from the anime Natsume’s Book of Friends. The only flaw in its visual quality is the creator’s logo pasted in the middle of the screen. Another issue is how well it amplifies the original show. If someone had never seen Natsume’s Book of Friends before they would be very confused what it is about if they saw this AMV.

Besides this, it is a great AMV!

My Score: 37

My Brother’s Score: 32

Average Score: 34.5

Average Total Score: 104.5/110

31. [Winner Of AKROSS Con 2010] SilentMan – Drawn Dream by AkrossAMV

Based on Natsume’s Book of Friends

“Drawn Dream”, unlike the previous AMV, does a splendid job showcasing what Natsume’s Book of Friends is like. Unlike “Sail” it lacks more of an emotional connection. Its highlight is definitely how the editor penciled in to the music still shots from the show.

My Average Score: 35

My Brother’s Score: 36

Average Score: 35.5

Average Total Score: 105.5/110

30. i’m so sorry [kimetsu no yaiba amv] thanks for +20K subs! by panna amv

Based on Demon Slayer

“I’m Sorry” has great visual, timing, and tone. What it lacked was a lasting emotional impact. Because of this disconnection, the heart for the show felt disjointed a bit, especially for me. I didn’t feel I could really understand what this show was about as someone who has never seen it. It’s cool though!

My Score: 34

My Brother’s Score: 38.5

Average Score: 36.25

Average Total Score: 106.25/110

Those are the only four videos that didn’t score perfectly in Aestheticism, Emotionalism, and Amplification. Now its all about personal taste. Therefore, the upcoming videos are legitimately fantastic videos fans of anime should watch! The only score I’ll be referencing is personal taste along with each videos average total score. (For ties I just ranked the one my brother and I liked better higher.)

29. Psychedelic Limbo – AMV by KazKon

Based on ????

I honestly didn’t think “Psychedelic Limbo” would make it this far, but it did! The editor morphed this video so well! It feels like a crazy, drug induced fever dream and promotes a feeling of mystery and ever-rising panic. It also does a great job evolving through its tone and using spot on timing to draw the viewer in.

That said, I don’t like it AT ALL. It creeps me out. My brother had it on his list of favorites for a long while till he watched it all the way through to the ending. Then he changed his mind.

My Score: 3

My Brother’s Score: 6

Average Total Score: 104.5

28.【AMV】Soul Eater『This Is Halloween』by Paulo PT90

Based on Soul Eater

If you have ever seen Soul Eater you might think to yourself, “This is Halloween” seems like the perfect song for it! You’d be right. This AMV is GREAT. It sets up its characters and their varying stages of madness throughout the story in a way that is jaw dropping. Tonally, its the right blend of freaky and exciting.

Now that that’s over, I don’t like watching it. I’ve had to sit through it multiple times now and I’ve determined I appreciate it for its creativity, but will always watch it from a proper distance.

My Score: 2

My Brother’s Score: 10

Average Total Score: 106

27. Game Over – Death Parade AMV by SliceofLife

Based on Death Parade

If there was ever an AMV made for Death Parade, “Game Over” captures this show’s nature as an exceptional psychological horror best. It also carries the dark emotional journeys the characters .experiences as they face each other through varying games.

It’s not as appealing to me as an AMV because of the song but I like its tone and visual message.

My Score: 6.5

My Brother’s Score: 8.5

Average Total Score: 107.5

26. Close To The Sun – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

This editor makes such vibrant, happy AMVs. “Close to the Sun” is visually BEAUTIFUL because it treats its source materials well. It carries its viewer on a lovely journey, exploring various examples of light and hope throughout different shows. Not my favorite, but definitely a must see.

My Score: 8

My Brother’s Score: 7.5

Average Total Score: 107.75

25. Vesper | Made in Abyss AMV | Big Contest 2018 by DrPenguin

Based on Made in Abyss

“Vesper” cemented my resolve to watch Made in Abyss. It treats its characters well and enhances the show’s mysterious, dark nature. It also has great build up and flows like a well oiled machine.

My Score: 7

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 108

24. Say My Name – AMV -「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on Scum’s Wish (Yeah. . . that’s the real name)

“Say My Name” came out of NOWHERE. At first, I thought it was about unexpected strangers unlucky in love falling for each other. For that reason, I was going to keep it on the last list. That is until I realized what the actual story is ABOUT. (You’d think I could have guessed it from the name). Then my perspective and appreciation for this AMV skyrocketed. The words and images match each other so well. It definitely amplified the show. That’s saying something because the show is awful.

My Score:8

My Brother’s Score: 8.5

Average Total Score: 108.25

23. Mob Psycho 100「AMV」 Cradles by ShiroYasha

Based on Mob Psycho 100

Most AMVs based on Mob Psycho 100 are really loud and fast-faced. “Cradles” has a subtle, mysterious feeling to it. It addresses the show’s emotionality, specifically Mob’s journey to grasp and accept his emotions. The song is not very rhythmic, yet it still manages to have pitch-perfect timing. This is an all around beautifully crafted AMV. Though it isn’t my favorite Mob Psycho 100 AMV I still like watching it and picking out new things to admire.

My Score: 8

My Brother’s Score: 8.5

Average Total Score: 108.25

22. Dreams – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

Much like “Close to the Sun”, “Dreams” has an ethereal beauty to it. It has great characterization despite having so many anime featured throughout it. Of the two, I’d say it has more interesting visuals.

My Score: 8

My Brother’s Score: 9.5

Average Total Score: 108.75

21. Baba Yetu [Magi AMV – Anime North Judges Choice] by Glitzer

Based on Magi

“Baba Yetu” is not the song I think of when I see Magi, but it definitely fits once you see this AMV. This video has beautiful choreography. I love seeing AMVs that make it seem like the visuals are dancing to the music. Aesthetically it is also gorgeous in how it presents its characters! I’m amazed this AMV could make me like this show, because I have luke-warm feelings for this anime at best.

My Score: 7.5

My Brother’s Score: 10

Average Total Score: 108.75

20. Cosmic Love {AMV} by Trisieren

Based on Children of the Sea

Usually when I hear this song I think of Howl’s Moving Castle. Though I have my own preferences, this editor used this song to exemplify Children of the Sea‘s gorgeous imagery. For those who have never seen this movie, this AMV is a wonderful introduction.

My Score: 9

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109

19. Transmutayshun [FMA:B AMV – Anime Expo Best Action Winner] by Ileia

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

“Transmutayshun”s timing is impeccable! Plus using The Kongo’s song “Come With Me Now” helps builds a fantastic promotional AMV for this fantastic show! Not my favorite Fullmetal Alchemist AMV, but I love it nonetheless.

My Score: 9

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109

18. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood AMV – Glitter and Gold by Neo Solarius

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

In terms of personal preference, “Glitter and Gold” ranks slightly higher than “Transmutayshun”, mostly because it does such a fantastic job setting tone and showcasing the characters. Also, its timing is impeccable! It’s a fantastic homage for the show.

My Score: 9

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109

17. Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood AMV – This is war – HD 720p by Gohan

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

“This is War” is in the running for Best Characterization. It’s amazing how well this editor collaborated the music and imagery to showcase this near-perfect anime. The only thing keeping this AMV back is my personal taste. I am not as much a fan of this song.

My Score: 8

My Brother’s Score: 10

Average Total Score: 109

16. Unity – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

Of the four or five collage AMVs featured for this list, “Unity” emotionally impacted me the most. Every time I watch it I get chills! It feels like a music video showcasing the beauty of living.

My Score: 9.5

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109.25

15. let us be brave; by moved.

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

“Let us Be Brave” echoes my personal feelings for Fullmetal Alchemist. For me, this AMV encompasses what this show is really about. The fight scenes are amazing, the story is incredibly crafted, and the characters are more than memorable. However, that isn’t what drew me into this show. It had a truly emotional impact on my life and taught me powerful lessons about living. That is what this AMV does.

My Score: 10

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109.5

14. Demon Slayer | Despicable by S.Yushan

Based on Demon Slayer

This editor managed to capture in a little over a minute Demon Slayer‘s multi-dimensional story building and animation style. Everything about it is impactful and beautiful. However, there is one other AMV for Demon Slayer that is better.

My Score: 9.5

My Brother’s score: 9.5

Average Total Score: 109.5

13. Bleach Amv Emptiness by HeardYouLikeAmvs

Based on Bleach

Behold! The one Bleach AMV that made it through this list! I wanted to find good AMVs for Bleach so bad but I had very little to work with. What I love about “Emptiness” is it’s not about Ichigo. When I was younger I used to think it just paid respect to Ichigo’s fight with Ulquiorra. Now, after seeing it so many times, I know it’s about Ulquiorra and his relationship with Orihime. Not as a romantic relationship but as a bitter sweet one marred by his soul’s hollow state.

That said, “Emptiness” was a great song choice and it showcased its characters and message superbly.

My Score: 10

My Brother’s Score: 9

Average Total Score: 109.5

12. Kimi to Nami ni Noretara「AMV」- Ghost Of You by Vichima

Based on Ride Your Wave

“The Ghost of You” takes you on a jarring, beautiful emotional ride. Much like other featured AMVs, it dances and sings to its audience, leaving behind a wonderful experience especially for fans of the original movie Ride Your Wave. In fact, it could be a promotional video for the movie if the right person found it.

My Score: 9

My Brother’s Score: 10

Average Total Score: 109.5

11. No Friends – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

Kudos to this editor for having so many great AMVs with varying themes and featured anime! “No Friends” by Cadmium is now one of my favorite songs! Every aspect of this AMV is lovely, likeable and rewatchable!

My Score: 10

My Brother’s Score: 9.5

Average Total Score: 109.75

That’s it for this list. The next post will feature the top 10 AMVs with straight across perfect scores!

AMV Showdown: Top 23 From Tier 2

AMV Showdown: Top 23 From Tier 2

Here we are at tier 2! It actually took longer to go through the 55 videos from the last round because we had to carefully examine each one. We graded each AMV on the following criteria from 1-10:

Fluidity, or how smoothly the editors used the animation and music

Characterization, or how well the editors portrayed characters

Overall Performance, or how well the editors utilized music and imagery

Of the 55 videos, 32 had perfect scores and went on to round three. For this list, I’ll simply place them in order of their average scores. For those that had the same score, I put the one with the best overall performance farther up.

Most of my commentary is nit picking. These are all great AMVs that didn’t quite make it to the next round.

Let’s get started!

23. Best AMV you will ever see Part 3 by xxanime_otaku

Based on A Variety of Anime

For the three criteria, this AMV suffered the most. Though it has good timing, it lacks consistent fluid motion, crisp characterization, and struggled in some places to utilize the music and imagery. Part of this is because of the added sound effects from the anime it showcased.

Matching movement to music isn’t enough. It’s also important to find a balance between action and stillness and take the time to pose the characters amidst the action. This will clarify to the audience what has happened better.

My Score: 23

My Brother’s Score: 27

Average Score: 25

22. Mob Psycho 100「AMV」- RISE by justSyker

Based on Mob Psycho 100

“Rise” by State of Mine was a great song choice for this anime. What this particular AMV lacked was a more recognizable connection between the music and the animation. Because of this disconnection, there were certain snippets of animation that didn’t need to be there or didn’t match the context of the video.

My Score: 25.5

My Brother’s Score: 25

Average Score: 25.25

21. Soul Eater amv – Asphyxiated Insanity by winkz4yuu

Based on Soul Eater

Much like the previous AMVs, “Asphyxiated Insanity” lacked cohesive imagery to music. The Editor used cool effects to create the overall tone for the AMV but didn’t follow through with the sequencing of the animation.

My Score: 24.5

My Brother’s Score: 26.5

Average Score: 25.5

20. AMV Adieu Perchance to Dream by VermillionAMV

Based on A Variety of Films

“Cough Syrup” by Young The Giant sets the tone and setting for the AMV splendidly. However, it suffers once you hear the words to the song. It’s a song about potential suicide, yet the video tries to portray scenes of hope and light. Therefore, the images and music clash with each other under further inspection.

My Score: 26

My Brother’s Score: 27

Overall Score: 26.5

19 Edward Elric [AMV] – Elastic Heart by Feeedeay

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Here is our first FMA Brotherhood AMV! (We have eight of them). It’s characterization is SPOT ON. How it portrayed Edward’s journey as a character is riveting! That said, it suffered a little because there was too much much movement. There are also scenes where the editor shakes the video, making the imagery hard to follow.

My Score: 26.5

My Brother’s Score: 27.5

Average Score: 27

18. Best AMV you will ever see Part 4 by xxanime_otaku

Based on a Variety of Anime

Of all the videos part of the “Best AMV you will ever see” series, this is the best in terms of fluidity, characterization, and overall performance. The tumultuous nature of these videos though, kept it from breaking into the next round. It got close though!

My Score: 26.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 27.75

17. AMV So Alive by VermillionAMV

Based on Brave Story

I’m too blame for this AMV’s score. Since I’ve seen it a few more times than my brother, I was very familiar with it’s content. As far as characterization, this AMV treats its main protagonist and his journey as an adventurer superbly. Where it suffers is in its flow and overall performance. Some segments aren’t needed or could be cut down.

My Score: 26.5

My Brother’s Score: 30

Overall Score: 28.25

16. Full Metal Alchemist – Party Rock Anthem by ryniektheditor

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I have so many good memories of this AMV! I actually run to its music when I do sprints. Through further inspection, its so close to a perfect score but doesn’t quite reach the level of many other AMVs. What it lacks is heart. It has crisp timing and amazing tone but it doesn’t capture the essence of its characters. Besides that there are maybe two-ish spots I noticed where it could have used the music and imagery better.

My Score: 27.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 28.25

15. Death Parade AMV – Feeling Good by Skyking AMV

Based on Death Parade

My fault again! So, I really like this song and how well the editor used it to showcase this gorgeous anime. Its flow went slightly down for me when the editor included speaking parts. I also didn’t think it quite used its characters to tell a distinct story.

My Score: 27

My Brother’s Score: 30

Average Score: 28.5

14. AMV Run Mob Run by VermillionAMV

Based on Mob Psycho 100

This AMV is SOOO well done. “Run Boy Run” by Woodkid is a great choice for this anime and the editor showed that through their great characterization and fluid product. The one thing it lacked was complete utilization of the imagery and music. There were parts where the images didn’t match the subject of the song.

My Score: 28.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 28.75

13. A Prelude to Dreams – AMV Best in Show 2011 by Shin AMV

Based on A Variety of Anime

Here is yet another of my favorite AMVs. I thought it would make it to the top but alas, I had to nitpick. It has beautiful imagery and the editor was able to blend a variety of anime almost seamlessly. But there were a few parts where its flow suffered because of slightly misplaced animation. There was also one part where they could have used different imagery to enhance its climatic end.

My Score: 28.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 28.75

12. WE’RE EMPTY;by moved.

Based on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa

Great song choice. The editor used it to their advantage and created an incredible collage, which captured the suffering so many characters from this show went through. One thing threw me off. They included images from the movie. Why? Not quite sure because the movie doesn’t balance well with the newer anime. Plus, they have separate stories and endings.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 28.5

Average Score: 28.75

11. Violet Evergarden「AMV」Battlefield by YenixAMV

Based on Violet Evergarden

This AMV made me watch to watch Violet Evergarden. It had great characterization and overall performance. The only flaw I could see was it used animation shots which still had the credits on them. That may not seem like a big deal, but it was distracting and cut through the AMV’s flow.

My Score: 28.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 28.75

10. We’ll Meet Again – AMV -「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

There will be an award post featuring this editor. They have the most AMVs on our list. Though they use a variety of different of anime they don’t detract from one another or distract. That said, the one thing keeping this AMV back is there were small moments it didn’t match the animation and music. It’s such a small thing, but it makes a difference in the overall experience.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 29

Average Score: 29

9. AMV I Will Die For You by VermillionAMV

Based on Mawaru Penguindrum

My brother and I both thought this AMV lacked something, but in different areas. I thought the characterization was unclear. He thought the imagery lacked some cohesion with the music. Overall, I’m just sad it couldn’t go forward. (This is also one of my favorites).

My Score: 28.5

My Brother’s Score: 29.5

Average Score: 29

8. READY TO FIGHT – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

Gosh, this AMV has great timing! I thought it only lacked better fluidity. Specifically, in a part near the beginning when multiple characters draw swords. The sound effects of the swords felt off to me and cut into the experience. (Hah, I didn’t realize I used a pun).

My Score: 28.5

My Brother’s Score: 30

Overall Score: 29.25

7. fruits basket | you should see me in a crown [AMV] by someone

Based on Fruits Basket

There is only one thing my brother and I agreed was wrong. The ending is too abrupt. Otherwise, man I love this AMV! I especially admire how well the editor portrayed the characters and their situations.

My Score: 29.5

My Brother’s Score: 29

Overall Score: 29.25

6. Mob Psycho 100 Tribute – 99% AMV by traceyedits

Based on Mob Psycho 100

If you paid attention to my Favorite Openings and Endings post, I really like the one from Mob Psycho 100. The one main critique I had against it, was I didn’t like the song as much. Thankfully, this AMV showcases the English cover for that particular song! Its a great AMV both in its characterization in fluidity. The one thing that kept me from giving it a perfect score was how sometimes the imagery and words to the songs did not match.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 30

Overall Score: 29.5

5. AMV [EyeS] Kaijuu no Kodomo – Children of the Sea by dis5onance

Based on Children of the Sea

This AMV has the same problem as the one from Fruits Basket. It’s ending is way to sudden. Otherwise, its amazing how much this editor accomplished in only 48 seconds! Well done.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 30

Average Score: 29.5

4. Children of the sea [AMV] Young and Beautiful by DangoCat AMV

Based on Children of the Sea

Gosh, this AMV is simply beautiful. I love Children’s of the Sea‘s animation and I marveled at this AMV’s timing and tone , coupled with Lana Del Rey’s haunting voice. The one thing that held me back was there were missed opportunities, where the editor could have utilized the words more relevant imagery.

My Score: 29.5

My Brother’s Score: 29.5

Average Score: 29.5

4. ONE PUNCH-MAN •「EPIC AMV」• STAND ALONE HD by Gakari’s Amv

Based on One Punch Man

Though this AMV is rock solid in its characterization and overall performance, I held back because there were one or two small moments I felt could have been more fluid. Mostly, I expected it to have more energy at certain parts of the song.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 30

Average Score: 29.5

2. AMV – Rіdе οr Dіe 1080p by NeverEnoughEpicAMVs2

Based on Redline

This AMV, its song, and anime choice are so. . . agh! I love it. I love this AMV. Watching it makes me feel cool. I keep killing off my favorite AMVs by nitpicking! I did think near the end it lost its energy because the editor didn’t pick slightly better animation to amp it up towards it climax. That’s about it.

My Score: 29

My Brother’s Score: 30

Average Score: 29.5

1.AMV Renegade VERSUS by VermillionAMV

Based on Lupin III: Green vs. Red

Personally, I think this AMV should have made it to the final round. It encapsulates Lupin III and his crazy life and is fantastic in its timing, tone, and fluidity. My brother though there were small moments where it didn’t utilize the music and visuals to the max. So sad!

My Score: 30

My Brother’s Score: 29.5

Average Score: 29.75

There you have it! Stay tuned for tier 3. (This is when things become especially tricky).

AMV Showdown: The Top 20 From Tier 1

AMV Showdown! Top 23 from Tier 3