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

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

AMV Showdown: Top 20 From Tier 1

After going through my Favorite Opening and Endings for anime, I had so much fun rating them with my brother I decided to do a bigger project, this time with AMVs. For those who don’t know, fans make AMVs as a music video homage to anime they love. It requires a lot of precise editing and researching. Fans can do this without violating copyright infringement as long as they don’t post entire strips of content from the show for profit. Frankly, AMVs, if done by good editors, help promote anime and music.

That aside, I found almost 100 AMVs in the last week or so I thought should make it onto this list. For the first tier, I decided to grade the AMVs on four main criteria from 1-10:

Timing

Tone

Promotional Value

Music Choice

At first, I thought my brother and I would only have to go through them once to determine the best. However, apparently I am really good at finding good AMVs. So I had to rethink my decision. I’ve decided there will be four tiers of a variety of AMVs I could find. Out of the 90 my brother and I saw 55 had a a perfect score.

For this list, I will post the top 20 AMVs that didn’t quite have a perfect score. Note, some had the same score so I ranked the AMV with the higher timing score above the other(s).

Let’s us begin!

20. Haikyuu [AMV] – Stronger by ダルハDalha

Based on Haikyuu!!

The best part of this AMV was the first 25 seconds. The timing and tone, coupled with the music was pitch perfect. However, it lacked energy as it progressed and didn’t utilize the song to the best of its ability.

My score: 32

My Brother’s score: 37

Average score: 34.5

19. Mahoutsukai no Yome 「 AMV 」- Beautiful Creatures by AMV Koto

Based on The Ancient Magus’ Bride

This AMV has beautiful imagery, coupled with subtle timing. Though my brother disagreed, the song did add a nice flow to the serene, ethereal nature of The Ancient Magus Bride. The only thing it lacked was more crisp timing. For this show, the imagery should have felt more like a dance than a more casual memoir.

My score: 38

My Brother’s score: 32

Average Score: 35

18. AMV – Keep Your Hands Off !! – Bestamvsofalltime Anime MV by nerjaveika

Based on Skip Beat!

I’ve loved this AMV for awhile, probably because it makes me laugh till I cry. The song choice is spot on. The problem is the video doesn’t have completely crisp timing and the tone feels off sometimes. Otherwise this AMV is super fun to watch! Not perfect, of course. But fun nonetheless.

My Score: 33.5

My Brother’s Score: 37

Average Score: 35.25

17. Fly Away – AMV – 「Anime MV」by Light Raider

Based on a Variety of Anime

Here is another AMV with an amazing first 30 seconds. The problems lie only in some tonal issues because of the variety of different anime used for the video. They utilized the song well but couldn’t keep the same momentum throughout the video.

My score: 33

My Brother’s Score: 37.5

Average Score: 35.25

16. you can be king again by youlazybum

Based on Hotarubi no Mori e

I have so many memories tied to this AMV. It introduced me to this beautiful movie and made me cry when I first watched it. Despite my nostalgic feelings, I have to admit though it is a good AMV it lacks something in it timing and tone. As I said for “Beautiful Creatures”, these type of AMV need to feel either like a dance or a well balanced memoir. This AMV leans towards both but doesn’t quite reach either.

My Score: 35

My Brother’s Score: 36

Average Score: 35.5

15. AMV – The Butterfly Effect – Bestamvsofalltime Anime MV by Ariant

Based on Steins;Gate

“Butterfly Effect” has great timing and tone. However, the one thing going against is the song feels slightly off, like it doesn’t quite fit the message the editor tried to convey.

My Score: 35

My Brother’s Score: 36.5

Average Score: 35.5

14. AMV Akira- Little Dark Age by MGMT by 桜.

Based on Akira

I was surprised I was able to find a descent AMV for an 80s film like Akira. Usually, tonal problems as well as pacing arise in these type of AMV because of the more rugged look of the the animation. The one thing this AMV lacks in energy. It flows like a bad dream that takes awhile to unfold.

My Score: 36

My Brother’s Score: 36

Average Score: 36

13. Metropolis AMV (Grimes – 4ÆM) by Brown Charlie

Based on Metropolis (2001)

Anything I said about the last AMV applies to this one. The one thing it had going for it was it had a slightly better song choice.

My Score: 36.5

My Brother’s Score: 36

Average Score: 36.25

12. Hunter x Hunter AMV – Madness by IMarvelous

Based on Hunter X Hunter (2011)

When I watched this the first couple of times, I couldn’t pin point quite what was missing. It had great imagery, an engaging premise and a rock solid first 25 seconds. then it hit me, the timing, tone, and musicality felt slightly off because of the speaking parts. They slowed down the potential of the music and movement. Otherwise, this is a truly haunting AMV to watch. It made me want to go back and see the show.

My Score: 36.5

My Brother’s Score: 36

Average Score: 36.25

11. Black Rock Shooter AMV – Pulse by Kashif

Based on Black★Rock Shooter (TV)

This AMV brought back so many memories! Black Rock Shooter was a big deal about ten years ago because of its high quality animation. (Not quite as high quality in its storyline though. So sad.) This AMV has everything going for it except it feels bogged down by too much movement. Even if the timing is crisp, if there is too much movement it is harder for a viewer to follow the action and story the editor is trying to convey in the video.

My Score: 34

My Brother’s score: 39

Average Score: 36.5

10. My Hero Academia Amv – Remember The Name by JazitJ

Based on My Hero Academia

This AMV has one of the best first 20 seconds of any I’ve seen these past week. The way the editor slowed down the facial expressions and eye movement was phenomenal. What pulled this AMV’s ranking down was the song choice. It didn’t quite fit the images the editor picked. The language was also jolting at times.

My Score: 35.5

My Brother’s Score: 38

Average Score: 36.75

9. Demon Slayer「 AMV」Natural by Double Production

Based on Demon Slayer

This AMV has so much going for it. It tells a more precise story through its visuals and music and has a fantastic song choice to fit the anime’s contest. However, it lacked better timing, or more precisely use of space within the video. Several times I thought, “Darn, you could have used this beat or crescendo.” All in all, it is a well-rounded AMV.

My Score: 36

My Brother’s Score: 38.5

Average Score: 37.25

8. AMV Your Lie In April | A Thousand Years by AMV-X

Based on Your Lie in April

“1000 years” was a great song choice for this bittersweet anime. Because of this, tonally this AMV flowed wonderfully. The one thing it lacked was clean and crisp timing.

My Score: 37

My Brother’s Score: 39

Average Score: 38

7. Glitter and Gold [ AMV – Mix ] Anime Mix by Sota

Based on a Variety of Anime

Great timing and utilization of a myriad of anime. It didn’t feel off balanced because of the different types of anime listed. However, what threw me off was how the editor included almost all the noises for the myriad of movements. The tone of the song and video suffered for it. (This AMVs position is entirely my fault. I admit it.)

My Score: 36

My Brother’s Score: 40

Average Score: 38

6. AMV – Black Impulse – Bestamvsofalltime Anime MV by MagicDarkIight

Based on Black★Rock Shooter (TV)

My brother gave this video a perfect score. Here is why I didn’t. It felt to crowded. There needs to be a balance between action and stillness, even in action AMVs. For that reason, its tone and promotional value slightly fell down.

My Score: 36

My Brother’s Score: 40

Average Score: 38

5. AMV – The Boy Who Murdered Love – Bestamvsofalltime Anime by ONEWAYS

Based on Hyouka and Toradora!

Everything is spot on in this video except for one thing: it doesn’t have a recognizable promotional value. This is because the editor used the video to tell their own story, rather than the stories the videos are based on. This isn’t necessarily bad, just in this case it didn’t have quite a solid of a punch as other AMVs that do the same thing.

My Score: 38

My Brother’s Score: 39.5

Average Score: 38.75

4. AMV Zankyou no Terror – WARRIORS by Z0rekAMV

Based on Terror in Resonance

My brother and I both agreed this is a great AMV that lacked a little something. For him, it was the timing, specifically how the editor didn’t use every available moment cleanly. For me, I felt the song choice was a little strange. It didn’t quite work to promote the anime.

My Score: 39

My Brother’s Score: 39

Average Score: 39

3. AMV – Metamorphose – Bestamvsofalltime Anime MV by Umika Sayoji (Kaya ‘Yana’ Malaya)

Based on Blue Exorcist

Because I am not quite as big of a fan of this anime, I didn’t quite understand the promotional value of this video. I also felt the tone was a smidge off, considering the anime it came from. My brother, sadly, didn’t feel the same. (I’m sorry brother o’mine!)

My Score: 38.5

My Brother’s Score: 40

Average Score: 39.25

2. Best AMV you will ever see Part 2 by xxanime_otaku

Based on a Variety of Anime

,

Honestly, this is a great AMV. It has crisp timing, a great song choice, and has great promotional value for the listed anime. The one thing that held me back was all the noises going with the music. As a musician, if the sound is even a little bit off, it is hard to listen to.

My Score: 39

My Brother’s Score: 40

Average Score: 39.5

1.Violet Evergarden || Fight by Oblivionblade

Based on Violet Evergarden

Agh! This video almost had a perfect score. ALMOST. The one thing my brother and I thought was slightly off was the timing, a placement of certain video segments. Such a shame, because this video was an emotional journey.

My score: 39.5

My Brother’s Score: 39.5

Average Score: 39.5

That’s it for tier 1! Stay tuned for part two of this four part series.

AMV Showdown: Top 23 From Tier 2

Anime April Mayhem! The anime I know I need to watch soon… Be patient with me.

So, I haven’t actively watched anime for a long while. After going through this glorious month of anime lists and research I’ve realized anew I need to jump into the deep end of the anime world once again.

This list is another I’ve designed to be a launching point for future reviews and projects. Anything on it I’ve not finished more than a few episodes.

Let’s get started!

Dororo (2019) by Tezuka ProductionsMAPPA

The greedy samurai lord Daigo Kagemitsu’s land is dying, and he would do anything for power, even renounce Buddha and make a pact with demons. His prayers are answered by 12 demons who grant him the power he desires by aiding his prefecture’s growth, but at a price. When Kagemitsu’s first son is born, the boy has no limbs, no nose, no eyes, no ears, nor even skin—yet still, he lives.

This child is disposed of in a river and forgotten. But as luck would have it, he is saved by a medicine man who provides him with prosthetics and weapons, allowing for him to survive and fend for himself. The boy lives and grows, and although he cannot see, hear, or feel anything, he must defeat the demons that took him as sacrifice. With the death of each one, he regains a part of himself that is rightfully his. For many years he wanders alone, until one day an orphan boy, Dororo, befriends him. The unlikely pair of castaways now fight for their survival and humanity in an unforgiving, demon-infested world.

Myanimelist Overview

I’m an avid fan of Rurouni Kenshin and enjoy a good Japanese Historical Fantasy Drama every once in a while. I found this anime while pursuing A LOT of AMV’s for the last of my anime posts for April. I like the premise and might enjoy it.

The only things I can think of that would deter me from watching it further are gore and excessive violence. We will have to see.

Yuru Camp△ (2018) by C-Station

While the perfect getaway for most girls her age might be a fancy vacation with their loved ones, Rin Shima’s ideal way of spending her days off is camping alone at the base of Mount Fuji. From pitching her tent to gathering firewood, she has always done everything by herself, and has no plans of leaving her little solitary world.

However, what starts off as one of Rin’s usual camping sessions somehow ends up as a surprise get-together for two when the lost Nadeshiko Kagamihara is forced to take refuge at her campsite. Originally intending to see the picturesque view of Mount Fuji for herself, Nadeshiko’s plans are disrupted when she ends up falling asleep partway to her destination. Alone and with no other choice, she seeks help from the only other person nearby. Despite their hasty introductions, the two girls nevertheless enjoy the chilly night together, eating ramen and conversing while the campfire keeps them warm. And even after Nadeshiko’s sister finally picks her up later that night, both girls silently ponder the possibility of another camping trip together.

Myanimelist Overview

I found this quiet looking anime while watching Glass Reflection’s Top anime list from the 2010s. Sometimes I need anime I can fall back into to unwind from the stresses of the day. Watching an anime where the characters immerse themselves in nature and enjoy the beauties of camping seems like a good pick for me.

The only thing I can think of that could make this uninteresting is bad character animation or dull backgrounds.

Death Parade (2015) by Madhouse

After death, there is no heaven or hell, only a bar that stands between reincarnation and oblivion. There the attendant will, one after another, challenge pairs of the recently deceased to a random game in which their fate of either ascending into reincarnation or falling into the void will be wagered. Whether it’s bowling, darts, air hockey, or anything in between, each person’s true nature will be revealed in a ghastly parade of death and memories, dancing to the whims of the bar’s master. Welcome to Quindecim, where Decim, arbiter of the afterlife, awaits!

Death Parade expands upon the original one-shot intended to train young animators. It follows yet more people receiving judgment—until a strange, black-haired guest causes Decim to begin questioning his own rulings.

Myanimelist Overview

I’ve tried watching this before, but its portrayal of judgment and death really bothered me. I stopped after four episodes. Looking back, especially after watching the opening so many times, I thought maybe it’s time to watch it all the way through. Perhaps I’ve matured enough to understand the meaning behind it.

The only thing I can think of that would stop me from finishing is my previous bias. Hopefully, I can stick it out till the end to cast my full judgment.

Show White with Red Hair (2015-?) Bones

Although her name means “snow white,” Shirayuki is a cheerful, red-haired girl living in the country of Tanbarun who works diligently as an apothecary at her herbal shop. Her life changes drastically when she is noticed by the silly prince of Tanbarun, Prince Raji, who then tries to force her to become his concubine. Unwilling to give up her freedom, Shirayuki cuts her long red hair and escapes into the forest, where she is rescued from Raji by Zen Wistalia, the second prince of a neighboring country, and his two aides. Hoping to repay her debt to the trio someday, Shirayuki sets her sights on pursuing a career as the court herbalist in Zen’s country, Clarines.

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime depicts Shirayuki’s journey toward a new life at the royal palace of Clarines, as well as Zen’s endeavor to become a prince worthy of his title. As loyal friendships are forged and deadly enemies formed, Shirayuki and Zen slowly learn to support each other as they walk their own paths.

Myanimelist Overview

I liked this story even before it was an anime! In fact, I followed the manga all the way through. I haven’t watched the anime honestly because I was afraid they wouldn’t do the story justice. Through further research, I decided to give it a try. I mean, Bones did the animation! Bones usually does a good job even for its Shoujo Anime.

What would keep me from really getting into this story would have to be animation and pacing. If those don’t fall into place I probably will lose interest fast.

Anohana: The Flower We saw That Day (2011) by A-1 Pictures

Jinta Yadomi is peacefully living as a recluse, spending his days away from school and playing video games at home instead. One hot summer day, his childhood friend, Meiko “Menma” Honma, appears and pesters him to grant a forgotten wish. He pays her no mind, which annoys her, but he doesn’t really care. After all, Menma already died years ago.

At first, Jinta thinks that he is merely hallucinating due to the summer heat, but he is later on convinced that what he sees truly is the ghost of Menma. Jinta and his group of childhood friends grew apart after her untimely death, but they are drawn together once more as they try to lay Menma’s spirit to rest. Re-living their pain and guilt, will they be able to find the strength to help not only Menma move on—but themselves as well?

Myanimelist Overview

Yes. I know I need to watch this. I know. Several of my friends and family members have recommended it to me, saying if I like A Silent Voice (2016) I would definately like Anohana. Because I am so empathetic I have a hard time watching emotionally draining shows. For that reason, I’ve put this show off for the last 9 years.

Looking back on it though, every time I’ve watched these types of shows I learn important things about humanity. So, I will buckle down and see where it takes me. I might not cry. That’s not likely though.

Rising of Shield Hero (2019-?) by Kinema Citrus

The Four Cardinal Heroes are a group of ordinary men from modern-day Japan summoned to the kingdom of Melromarc to become its saviors. Melromarc is a country plagued by the Waves of Catastrophe that have repeatedly ravaged the land and brought disaster to its citizens for centuries. The four heroes are respectively bestowed a sword, spear, bow, and shield to vanquish these Waves. Naofumi Iwatani, an otaku, becomes cursed with the fate of being the “Shield Hero.” Armed with only a measly shield, Naofumi is belittled and ridiculed by his fellow heroes and the kingdom’s people due to his weak offensive capabilities and lackluster personality.

When the heroes are provided with resources and comrades to train with, Naofumi sets out with the only person willing to train alongside him, Malty Melromarc. He is soon betrayed by her, however, and becomes falsely accused of taking advantage of her. Naofumi then becomes heavily discriminated against and hated by the people of Melromarc for something he didn’t do. With a raging storm of hurt and mistrust in his heart, Naofumi begins his journey of strengthening himself and his reputation. Further along however, the difficulty of being on his own sets in, so Naofumi buys a demi-human slave on the verge of death named Raphtalia to accompany him on his travels.

As the Waves approach the kingdom, Naofumi and Raphtalia must fight for the survival of the kingdom and protect the people of Melromarc from their ill-fated future.

Myanimelist Overview

Confession time. I am not all that interested in Isekai anime or manga. They all look the same to me and I get bored fast watching the same type of stories over and over again. I need variety! However, my brother recommended I watch this one for the sake of the story and animation. Looking at the trailer and some of its animation, I decided he was right.

However, if this story is like the other Isekai dramas people have tried to get me into, I will fade away and watch something else. Sorry, variety is the spice of my life.

Violet Evergarden (2018) by Kyoto Animation

The Great War finally came to an end after four long years of conflict; fractured in two, the continent of Telesis slowly began to flourish once again. Caught up in the bloodshed was Violet Evergarden, a young girl raised for the sole purpose of decimating enemy lines. Hospitalized and maimed in a bloody skirmish during the War’s final leg, she was left with only words from the person she held dearest, but with no understanding of their meaning.

Recovering from her wounds, Violet starts a new life working at CH Postal Services after a falling out with her new intended guardian family. There, she witnesses by pure chance the work of an “Auto Memory Doll,” amanuenses that transcribe people’s thoughts and feelings into words on paper. Moved by the notion, Violet begins work as an Auto Memory Doll, a trade that will take her on an adventure, one that will reshape the lives of her clients and hopefully lead to self-discovery.

Myanimelist Overview

Yep. This is another anime which has popped up EVERYWHERE, especially in AMVs and top anime lists. I have no excuse for why I haven’t seen this beyond fearing it might not be good. But I will face my fears and watch it in the near future! The animation looks beautiful and the story on further reflection looks like my cup of tea.

My Hero Academia (2016-) by Bones

The appearance of “quirks,” newly discovered super powers, has been steadily increasing over the years, with 80 percent of humanity possessing various abilities from manipulation of elements to shapeshifting. This leaves the remainder of the world completely powerless, and Izuku Midoriya is one such individual.

Since he was a child, the ambitious middle schooler has wanted nothing more than to be a hero. Izuku’s unfair fate leaves him admiring heroes and taking notes on them whenever he can. But it seems that his persistence has borne some fruit: Izuku meets the number one hero and his personal idol, All Might. All Might’s quirk is a unique ability that can be inherited, and he has chosen Izuku to be his successor!

Enduring many months of grueling training, Izuku enrolls in UA High, a prestigious high school famous for its excellent hero training program, and this year’s freshmen look especially promising. With his bizarre but talented classmates and the looming threat of a villainous organization, Izuku will soon learn what it really means to be a hero.

Myanimelist Overview

I actually started watching this anime on Crunchyroll several years ago. I liked it a lot! But. . . Crunchyroll on my phone was WAY too slow so I stopped watching it until I could get better service. By the time that happened, my attention had shifted and I never finished.

This is one of those on this list I know I will love. I just need to sit down in the next few months and watch it.

Haikyuu!! (2015-?) by Production I.G

Inspired after watching a volleyball ace nicknamed “Little Giant” in action, small-statured Shouyou Hinata revives the volleyball club at his middle school. The newly-formed team even makes it to a tournament; however, their first match turns out to be their last when they are brutally squashed by the “King of the Court,” Tobio Kageyama. Hinata vows to surpass Kageyama, and so after graduating from middle school, he joins Karasuno High School’s volleyball team—only to find that his sworn rival, Kageyama, is now his teammate.

Thanks to his short height, Hinata struggles to find his role on the team, even with his superior jumping power. Surprisingly, Kageyama has his own problems that only Hinata can help with, and learning to work together appears to be the only way for the team to be successful. Based on Haruichi Furudate’s popular shounen manga of the same name, Haikyuu!! is an exhilarating and emotional sports comedy following two determined athletes as they attempt to patch a heated rivalry in order to make their high school volleyball team the best in Japan.

Myanimelist Overview

Sport anime are also not my jam. Dramas are hard for me. Sport dramas are EVEN harder because I am competitive and have hard time watching people lose. But I love volleyball and my friend Megan says it is very true to the sport.

The only thing I can think will stop me from watching is if it is too long and drawn out. Usually anime and shows have me for 60 episodes. (Natsume’s Book of Friends is a happy exception.)

Terror in Resonance (2014) by MAPPA

Painted in red, the word “VON” is all that is left behind after a terrorist attack on a nuclear facility in Japan. The government is shattered by their inability to act, and the police are left frantically searching for ways to crack down the perpetrators. The public are clueless—until, six months later, a strange video makes its way onto the internet. In it, two teenage boys who identify themselves only as “Sphinx” directly challenge the police, threatening to cause destruction and mayhem across Tokyo. Unable to stop the mass panic quickly spreading through the city and desperate for any leads in their investigation, the police struggle to act effectively against these terrorists, with Detective Kenjirou Shibazaki caught in the middle of it all.

Zankyou no Terror tells the story of Nine and Twelve, the two boys behind the masked figures of Sphinx. They should not exist, yet they stand strong in a world of deception and secrets while they make the city fall around them, all in the hopes of burying their own tragic truth.

Myanimelist Overview

I have had my eye on Terror in Resonance for a LOOOOOOONG time. Psychological thrillers are really interesting to me so I know this show is up my alley. The one thing that has kept me from watching it is the mature rating. I’ve grown up a bit thought and will probably be able to handle it better.

Fruits Basket (2019-2021) by TMS Entertainment

Tooru Honda has always been fascinated by the story of the Chinese Zodiac that her beloved mother told her as a child. However, a sudden family tragedy changes her life, and subsequent circumstances leave her all alone. Tooru is now forced to live in a tent, but little does she know that her temporary home resides on the private property of the esteemed Souma family. Stumbling upon their home one day, she encounters Shigure, an older Souma cousin, and Yuki, the “prince” of her school. Tooru explains that she lives nearby, but the Soumas eventually discover her well-kept secret of being homeless when they see her walking back to her tent one night.

Things start to look up for Tooru as they kindly offer to take her in after hearing about her situation. But soon after, she is caught up in a fight between Yuki and his hot-tempered cousin, Kyou. While trying to stop them, she learns that the Souma family has a well-kept secret of their own: whenever they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex, they transform into the animals of the Chinese Zodiac.

With this new revelation, Tooru will find that living with the Soumas is an unexpected adventure filled with laughter and romance.

Myanimelist Overview

For those who don’t know, Fruits Basket is my favorite manga of all time. I saw part of the first anime Studio Deen did in 2001 and. . . I was severely disappointed. Now, I’ve seen the first five episodes for this particular show and stopped. Not because it wasn’t great! I decided I would wait until all the episodes were out and done so I could experience it fully.

Your Lie in April (2014-2015) by A-1 Pictures

Music accompanies the path of the human metronome, the prodigious pianist Kousei Arima. But after the passing of his mother, Saki Arima, Kousei falls into a downward spiral, rendering him unable to hear the sound of his own piano

Two years later, Kousei still avoids the piano, leaving behind his admirers and rivals, and lives a colorless life alongside his friends Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari. However, everything changes when he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who stirs up his world and sets him on a journey to face music again.

Based on the manga series of the same name, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso approaches the story of Kousei’s recovery as he discovers that music is more than playing each note perfectly, and a single melody can bring in the fresh spring air of April.

Myanimelist Overview

I’ve also started this anime. I didn’t finish because its message and subject matter hit a little too close to home. I also went through a traumatizing time losing my love for music in college. When I was younger it hurt so bad I couldn’t even listen to classical music or play the piano. So, watching the main character experience that same pain was too much for me.

But I’ve grown since that time and I think I will make it through without breaking down.

Demon Slayer (2019) by ufotable

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.

Myanimelist Overview

So. I saw the first episode for this show and thought “NOPE. This is WAAAAAAAAY too sad for me.” But I know I’m missing out on its intriguing story and beautiful character animation, so I will square my shoulders and watch it. The only thing I can think will stop me is gore and a hopeless ending.

Made in Abyss (2017) by Kinema Citrus

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.

Myanimelist Overview

Sigh. . . I’ve tried several times to find a medium to watch this show! It’s story and characters are so intriguing. I might have to sacrifice money or something to finally see it. From what I’ve seen from the trailers and reviews it is totally worth it.

Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014) by Madhouse

Hunter x Hunter is set in a world where Hunters exist to perform all manner of dangerous tasks like capturing criminals and bravely searching for lost treasures in uncharted territories. Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become the best Hunter possible in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and had long ago abandoned his young son. However, Gon soon realizes the path to achieving his goals is far more challenging than he could have ever imagined.

Along the way to becoming an official Hunter, Gon befriends the lively doctor-in-training Leorio, vengeful Kurapika, and rebellious ex-assassin Killua. To attain their own goals and desires, together the four of them take the Hunter Exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death. Throughout their journey, Gon and his friends embark on an adventure that puts them through many hardships and struggles. They will meet a plethora of monsters, creatures, and characters—all while learning what being a Hunter truly means.

Myanimelist Overview

Me not seeing this show all the way through is an utter tragedy. I know it is. Of all the shows on this list I’ve watched this one the farthest. What stopped me was time and the fact not all the episodes were out yet. By the time they did all come out I was in Russia with no anime access to speak of. Now is the time to watch and enjoy this show to the fullest!

Thank you for reading! If you have suggestions for other shows let me know! I’m always up for new things.

Anime April Mayhem! The Magic of Music in Anime, My Favorite Openings/Endings

Anime April Mayhem! AMV Showdown: The Top 20 From Tier 1

Anime April Mayhem! The Magic of Music in Anime, My Favorite Openings/Endings

Screenshot from Million Dollar Detective (2020)

I have a slight twist for this particular list. Rather then it just being my favorites in a neat list, I will rank them based on five criteria on a scale from 1-10:

1.If they inspire me to watch the anime

2. Quality of the Visuals

3. Musicality

4. Hummability (Does it get stuck in my head?)

5. Does it give me chills or make me excited?

I compiled a list of 25 openings and endings from various shows I’ve come across. To make the scores a little less subjective, I asked my brother to make his own scores. I’ll post the scores for both of us under each entry and rank each based on the our average.

I have not seen every anime listed here unfortunately! Perhaps that will play an important role in later posts this month when I talk about shows I really need to go see or finish.

That being said, onward to the glorious music filled list! Scores 40 and above.

25. Ending for Cowboy Bebop (1998)

“The Real Folk Blues” by The Seatbelts feat. Mai Yamane 

My Total Score: 40.5

My brother’s Score: 41.5

Average Score: 41

Funny thing about endings: most watchers don’t actually take the time to see them all the way through before rushing to the next episode. That said, Mai Yamane’s sultry singing of “The Real Folk Blues” has been one of my favorites from Cowboy Bebop‘s soundtrack. As far as musicality goes, this song is definitely a 10.

However, it scored lower based on my emotional connection to it. Plus, the visuals are still frame, so it feels distanced emotionally, especially compared to other sequences from the show.

24. Ending for the 5th Season of Natsume’s Book of Friends (2016)

“Akane Sasu (茜さす)” by Aimer

My Total Score: 44

My Brother’s Total Score: 40

Average Score: 42

I often go through Natsume’s Book of Friends‘ soundtrack whenever I need to wind down. “Akane Sasu” from it’s 5th season is one of two songs which really stand out to me. My scores were only lower for the visuals and how much it makes me want to see the show.

23. Opening for Angel Beats! (2010)

“My Soul, Your Beats!” by Lia

My Total Score: 40

My Brother’s Total Score: 46

Average Score: 43

This opening’s strongest sequence is in the beginning, showing Tachibana playing the piano. I love the how the animators showed her actually playing notes on the piano, rather then hiding her hands or pushing random keys. As far as the rest of it, I like the energy and the snapshots for all the characters. For me, this song is not as catchy compared to others on this list.

22. Opening for the 1st Season of Attack on Titan (2013)

“Guren no Yumiya (紅蓮の弓矢)” by Linked Horizon 

My Total Score: 43

My Brother’s Total Score: 45

Average Score: 44

As some readers may recall, I frankly stated I would never watch Attack on Titan. Ever. (See my post Anime April Mayhem! Day 5, Anime/Manga I’ll never do for more info). But that doesn’t mean I don’t admire the soundtracks for each season. I use a lot of the songs to workout. Now, for this opening the music gets a solid 10/10. The only thing keeping it from being higher on the list is the visuals. They don’t make me want to watch the show because I think its visually horrifying.

21. Opening for the 1st season of Mob Psycho 100 (2016)

“99” by MOB CHOIR

My Total Score: 40

My Brother’s Total Score: 48.5

Average Score: 44.25

What really stood out for me in this opening isn’t the music. (I gave the music 7/10). It’s the visuals! I thoroughly enjoy watching this opening. The colors, imagery, and foreshadowing scattered throughout are so fun to see. I also enjoy the subtle homage the animators did for the original artist ONE. It is one of the few openings I let play through each time I watch the 1st season.

20. Ending for the 1st Season of Natsume’s Book of Friends (2008)

“Natsu Yuuzora (夏夕空; Summer Evening Sky)” by Kousuke Atari

My Total Score: 46

My Brother’s Total Score: 43

Average Score: 44.5

I love this song. Sometimes when I watch the 1st season of Natsume’s Book of Friends, I let it play through to the next episode. It’s hauntingly beautiful to me. I also like the watercolor and colored pencil look used for the animation. The one thing holding it back is how visually there is not a lot which catches the eye. The highlight for me is the music not necessarily all the visuals.

19. Opening for Death Parade (2015)

“Flyers” by BRADIO

My Total Score: 43

My Brother’s Total Score: 46.5

Average Score: 44.75

“Flyers” makes me want to go back and see this show sometime. Not immediately, but sometime in the future. Musically, I think this song is a solid 9/10. However, it doesn’t get stuck in my head really. The best feature is its visuals. It plays like a choreographed Broadway opening number.

18. Opening for Soul Eater (2009)

“Resonance” by T.M.Revolution

My Total Score: 43

My Brother’s Total Score: 47

Average Score: 45

“Resonance” is a solid 9/10 as a song. I’m not as much of a fan of rock songs as other types of music, so it doesn’t really get into my head, partially because I have heard it so many times. I especially admire it’s animation. It has great timing, coloring, and energy. It does a fantastic job introducing characters and foreshadowing events in the show. Kudos to it for having the most impressive first 15 seconds. It has a moving background shot which wraps around its characters! It’s fascinating to study if you’re into animation.

17. Ending for Fruits Basket (2019)

“Lucky Ending” by Vickeblanka

My Total Score: 45.5

My Brother’s Total Score: 45

Average Score: 45.25

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this show yet. I think I need to emotionally prepare myself first, because this story is very special to me. This ending does get me really excited to finally see the show. Visually, it is very beautiful and I don’t mind its stillness. Like most endings, it’s meant to gently let its watchers go. However, it does it in a way the is more visually immersive. Since I haven’t seen the show, I don’t have as much of an emotional connection to this song. That might change in the future.

The first tie! Between “Uso” from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood and “Monoglo City” from Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui. To break the score, I further scored them based on how well they reflected the show and timing.

16. Ending for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

“Uso (嘘)” by SID

My Total Score: 44

My Brother’s Total Score: 47

Average Score: 45.5

Tie Breaker Score: 19.25 vs 19.75

Don’t get me wrong! I love the 1st opening for this show. It just so happens I like the ending more. (Shrug.) I like how the animators changed up the style, giving it thick colored penciled, cartoony drawings. My favorite moment is the beginning when Edward’s arm slowly comes together. The one thing holding it back for me is I’m not as emotionally invested in it. I love to listen to the song and casually watch the animation.

15. Opening for Koi to Yobu ni wa Kimochi Warui (2021)

“Monoqlo City (モノクロシティ)” by ACE COLLECTION

My Total Score: 47

My Brother’s Total Score: 44

The music and visuals are delightful for this opening! I gave it solid tens across the board except in the last category. It doesn’t thoroughly get me excited or give me chills. This must be because I know the show’s context. (As a side note, I don’t know why I think this show is interesting. People have made very solid points concerning how strange/twisted the romance is. But this is a subject for another time.)

Average Score: 45.5

Tie Breaker Score: 19.75 vs 19.25

14. Opening for Baccano! (2007)

“Gun’s & Roses” by Paradise Lunch

My Total Score: 46

My Brother’s Total Score: 47

Average Score: 46.5

“Gun’s and Roses” is one of my jams! I love jazz, and every time I see this opening I want to see the show. (Someday I might. I don’t like mature anime usually though, so we shall see.) The only ways I think it lacks is in its duller coloring (which a lot of the shows from the 2000’s suffered from) and how emotionally connected I feel to it. Otherwise, this opening is amazing!

Here we are at the second tie, between “Trigger” from Terror in Resonance and “Daia no Hana” from Black Cat. Like the first tie, the breaker will be based on how well they reflected the show and timing.

13. Opening for Terror in Resonance (2014)

“Trigger” by Yuuki Ozaki (from Galileo Galilei)

My Total Score: 46.5

My Brother’s Total Score: 47

Average Score: 46.75

Tie Breaker Score: 19.75 vs 20

This opening makes me feel ashamed I haven’t seen the show. Psychological dramas are really fascinating to me. The only thing that keeps me from scoring it higher is the music. Not that I don’t love the song, especially coupled with the compelling visuals. It just isn’t very catchy. For me! It’s more of a sultry song, meant to draw me into the show.

12. Opening for Black Cat (2006)

“Daia no Hana” by Yorico

My Total Score: 46.5

My Brother’s Total Score: 47

Average Score: 46.75

Tie Breaker Score: 20 vs 19.75

I’ve listened to “Daia no Hana” many, many times and I still think it’s fantastic! Not only that, but this opening introduces characters and foreshadows highlights from the show so well! It flows seamlessly in its animation. That is why it got a perfect score from me for timing. Kudos to it for introducing audiences to a show so well!

Behold, the third tie between “Kimi ni Todoke” and the 3rd opening from Attack on Titan “Red Swan”. Like before, the tie breaker was between how well they reflected the show and timing.

11. Opening for Kimi ni Todoke (2009)

“Kimi ni Todoke (きみにとどけ)” by Tanizawa Tomofumi

My Total Score:46

My Brother’s Total Score: 48

Average Score: 47

Tie Breaker Score: 19 vs 19.75

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen this show. It’s a shame, because it’s very heartwarming, as illustrated from its colorful opening. It has great timing, especially how the animation dances with the music, and a unique style. I don’t have as deep of an emotional connection to this song as others, but I smile every time I come across it.

10. Opening for the 3rd Season of Attack on Titan (2018)

“Red Swan” by YOSHIKI feat. HYDE

My Total Score: 46.5

My Brother’s Total Score: 47.5

Average Score: 47

Tie Breaker Score: 19.75 vs 19

I was genuinely shocked when I realized I like “Red Swan” more than Guren no Yumiya” from the 1st season. It doesn’t have as much of a beat to it or get stuck in my head as deeply. But, I felt myself tear up as I watched it and saw it’s deeper meaning. Visually it’s incredibly striking and almost (ALMOST) makes me want to see the show, just to understand the full context.

9. Opening for the 4th Season of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009)

“Period” by Chemistry 

My Total Score: 50

My Brother’s Total Score: 46.5

Average Score: 48.25

Like any opening from FMA: Brotherhood, this opening is magnificently animated. It’s choreographed and staged in a way that highlights both the characters, and events in the story. I gave each category 10/10. But, this list is non-subjective, so my brother’s slightly lower score brought it down. So, so sad.

8. Opening for Cells at Work (2018)

“Mission! Ken Kou Dai Ichi (ミッション!健・康・第・イチ)” by English Cast at Funimation

My Total Score: 49

My Brother’s Total Score: 48.5

Average Score: 48.75

“Mission!” is the one and only English dubbed opening on this list! Cells at Work is an anime I never thought I would watch, or like as much as I do. (I learned things!) Man, every time I see this opening I get excited to learn about the human body! (Another thing I never thought would happen). I don’t absolutely, positively love it musically, but everything else for me gets a solid 10/10.

Another tie between “Departure” from Hunter X Hunter and “Morning Grace” from Princess Tutu. The tie breaker was based on how well it reflected the show and timing.

7. Opening for Hunter X Hunter (2011)

“departure!” by Ono Masatoshi

My Total Score: 49

My Brother’s Total Score: 49

Average Score: 49

Tie Breaker Score: 19 vs 20

“Departure” makes me want to both go on an adventure and see this show again. (I still haven’t seen it all the way through. . . I have no one to blame except myself. I have such a hard time with long shows!) The only thing keeping this opening from a perfect score is the visuals. I don’t think all of them are fantastic, but that is nitpicking really. Also, the singer Masatoshi wins the award for best vocals! He hits a high Bb, and holds it multiple times! He has my respect.

6. Opening for Princess Tutu (2003)

“Morning Grace” by Ritsuko Okazaki

My Total Score: 48

My Brother’s Total Score: 50

Average Score: 49

Tie Breaker Score: 20 vs 19

(Sorry about the visuals for this. I couldn’t find a better video). “Morning Grace” always takes me on a beautiful, emotional ride. Much like the show, I don’t think anyone expects very much from this song visually or musically. But, for me, it has such a pure feeling to it, and it sounds like a waltz from a ballet, which I appreciate.

5. Opening for Tsuritama (2012)

“Tsurezure Monochrome (徒然モノクローム)” by Fujifabric

My Total Score: 50

My Brother’s Total Score: 49

This song gets in my head and stays there for days! There is so much to praise in this opening: the addictive dance all the characters perform to the music, the vibrant colors, its energy, and the overall peaceful vibe the song emits. (About fishing of all things. . . ). This is yet another opening which I gave a perfect score, but my brother didn’t like quite as much.

Average Score: 49.5

Alas, there were four openings/endings with a perfect score: “Tank” from Cowboy Bebop, “Balance” from Million Dollar Detective, Hikaru Nara from Your Lie in April, and “Hacking the Gate” from Steins:Gate. First, we judged based on how well they reflected the show and timing.

Even After that, we needed to create another criteria. Cowboy Bebop and Million Dollar Detective tied for third and Steins:Gate and Your Lie in April tied for first. The final criteria was how well they presented a visual narrative. Here are the results!

4. Opening for Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop – Opening Theme – Tank!

Average Score: 50

Tie Breaker Score 1: 19

Tie Breaker Score 2: 9.25 vs 10

This song. Wow, this song and opening are stellar! I’ve seen the show once, but I distinctly remember seeing this opening for the first time and thinking to myself, “I’ve got to see this show.” When I nitpicked, I thought, “Yeah, the opening doesn’t really capture the cowboy, space adventure story or have a solidly defined visual narrative”, which is why it is in 4th place. (But it still has a perfect score. This was a hard decision).

3. Ending for Million Dollar Detective (2020)

“Welcome My Friend” by OKAMOTO’S

Average Score: 50

Tie Breaker Score 1: 19

Tie Breaker Score 2: 10 vs 9.25

(There are no videos for this ending on YouTube. I would look up the anime to see it if you have the time!) Though I think this song is 10/10, what really makes this ending pop when compared to others on this list is its visuals! Whoever designed the backgrounds and staged the animation was inspired! Fun fact, my brother had never seen this show before and still gave this ending a perfect score. When I saw this show a couple of months ago, the opening felt off to me. What kept me watching the show was this ending.

2. Opening for Steins;Gate (2011)

“Hacking to the Gate” by Kanako Itou

Average Score: 50

Tie Breaker Score 1: 19.75

Tie Breaker Score: 9

I. LOVE. THIS. SHOW. I mentioned before how much I love psychological dramas. Steins:Gate is one of the reasons why. This song is great. The visuals are mysterious and layered with symbolism and foreshadowing. The only thing which kept it from 1st place was first time viewers wouldn’t understand they were watching a visual narrative. (Honestly though, it is fascinating to re-watch the opening after seeing the whole show. You will see the visual narrative).

1. Opening for Your Lie in April (2014)

“Hikaru nara (光るなら)” by Goose house

Average Score: 50

Tie Breaker Score1 : 19.75

Tie Breaker Score 2: 10 vs 9

. . . No, I haven’t seen this show yet. I have personal reasons for that. However, as a musician and animation enthusiast, I thoroughly admire this opening. It gives me chills every time and gets me emotional even thinking about it. What made it go slightly ahead of “Hacking to the Gate” was its visual narrative. Even without the show, it told a distinct story, showcasing the characters and highlighting their passions for music and living.

There you have it! Thank you for tuning in to this special list. I hope you could take the time to watch each of these openings/endings. Maybe you found something new to explore! ( I hope so. 🙂 )

Thank you for reading! See you tomorrow.

Anime April Mayhem! Day 11, My Most Disappointing Experiences.

Anime April Mayhem! The anime I know I need to watch soon… Be patient with me.