A couple of years ago I posted my “top 10 unskippable EDs”—titled that way because I used to skip EDs a lot of the time. Now I don’t do that unless it’s really bad. Anyway, all the embedded videos are broken in the old post and I watched a *lot* of anime in the past two years, so here’s a new list of memorable EDs.
TO BE ON THIS LIST I had to like the ED as a whole, meaning song and video both. There are some ED songs that I liked where the video is unmemorable (think Mawaru Penguindrum’s “Dear Future”—amazing song, boring vid). Some also might be awesomely bad.
These videos are alphabetized by the shows they came from. And no, I have absolutely nothing better to do, and yes, I’m very tired right now.
Much like the episode 8 phenomenon I pointed out some time ago, there’s something that most 11 and 22-episode shows have in common besides their odd length. At least nine times out of ten, a series with one of these rare episode counts is bound to be among the most unusual anime on TV.
I first noticed this about 22-episode anime after seeing Texhnolyze and Red Garden, two of the most unusual anime ever made, which for a long time were the only 22-episode anime I’d even heard of. The 11-episode phenomenon came to my attention after Kuuchuu Buranko and Youjohan Shinwa Takei. If you’ve seen any of the four anime I just mentioned, you’ve probably already begun to understand the significance of this phenomenon.
And these episode counts *are* exceedingly rare. Performing a MAL search of TV anime by episode count, there’s only about 1 page worth of either number out of over 100 pages. That almost every anime with 11 or 22 episodes is distinctly unique says to me that it’s being done on purpose. One common trend in the recent shows with these episode counts is belonging to the noitaminA time-slot, which is itself dedicated to unique anime; however, it is neither the case that all of the shows in this phenomenon are from that time-slot, nor that everything in that time-slot is 11 or 22 episodes long.
Here are examples of some 11 and 22-episode anime that I particularly enjoyed.
Kuuchuu Buranko was my favorite show of the last season (fall 09), and I would probably have blogged the whole thing episodically if OMG-Life hadn’t intervened. No matter, I knew I’d finish it before too long because there were only 8 eps left, and I got the drive to do so when I started listening to the OP and ED like crazy over the past week or so.
Switched to Flickr because my FUCKING photobucket bandwidth ran out really FUCKING early this month
Trapeze 3 was probably my favorite episode of the show yet, largely because I identified directly with the character driving it. Toriyama has the same obsessive-compulsive disorder that I do – a constant need to check things. And he has to be just as bad as I am. It’s not enough to wonder if he’s reused his plot devices, he actually makes a list of every plot device he’s used to check back on! And then he can’t even trust his own list! Very much something I’d do. But anywho…
(For the duration of this post, I will refer to this show as ‘Kuuuuchuuuu Buuuuranko’ at the specific request of a certain Anime Kritik. :p) Kuuuuchuuuu Buuuuranko 2 was a ton of fun and the kind of episode that is really going to sell this series to me. If there’s one thing I always find myself complaining about, it’s a lack of sexual honesty in a lot of modern stuff. Especially anything from Japan – the self-repression is ridiculous. You can’t even have porn without censorship! And the characters are always either reluctant or utter deviants! Anyway, this episode deals a lot directly with the penis, and just because it never shows it (thankfully, right?) doesn’t mean it isn’t honest.
Kuuchuu Buranko proves that I need to do my goddamn research. The art style looks exactly like Mind Game, and I heard people tossing out associations of the director with Mononoke and Kemonozume. So I just assumed we were talking about Masaaki Yuasa (not that I knew him by name) who directed Mind Game, Kemonozume, and Kaiba, all of which are arthouse shows that have pretty solid niche fanbases that consider them the best thing in the world. Personally, I liked the first episodes of Kaiba and Kemonozume that I watched, and didn’t really care for Mind Game, mostly because I am just not huge on arthouse.