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.
It’s common practice for an anime to feature a male lead whom the audience can easily relate to, and therefor usually holds to society’s moral compass. It’s also common practice for that male lead to have one or more female love interests, and not uncommon for one of those love interests to follow a conflicting moral compass. This creates a “Defrosting the Ice Queen” situation, wherein the lead tries to bring his love interest over to what he views as ‘the side of righteousness.’
Being as I’m at ends with society’s moral compass and have a deep hatred for self-righteous people, I’m always wary of this trope. However, surprisingly, I often find it to be justified. For example, take Revy, the Ice Queen from Black Lagoon. The male lead, Rock, tries to change Revy and create some sort of moral base within her, but he does so because her attitude and actions are self-destructive. He gradually admits that while he doesn’t approve of her criminal way of life, he understands it, and he makes it clear that he wants Revy to change for her own sake, so that she can find happiness instead of wasting her life.
In a visual storytelling medium such as animation, character design is incredibly important, especially in this modern era where character goods make up a huge part of the anime market. Viewers have to be able to connect with a character design on some level in order to be able to connect with the character on some level. Many people let characters design largely factor into their willingness to watch a series, and I can’t say that I’m different – only that I’m very open to a wide variety of designs that will not limit my viewing too much. That said, even I have things that I find hard to watch when the designs repulse me enough (mostly graphically violent 80s and 90s OVAs), and of course, if I adore the designs in a show, it can do a lot to enhance my viewing experience. This post is about the shows that do this for me.
It is not, however, a post about individual character designs that I like. Indeed, there are a lot of shows that produce a single object of my adoration, or perhaps even a handful, but who do not extend this visual pleasure to the rest of the cast. One thing about the anime being produced today in the name of selling character goods is that most shows try and appeal to a broad range of people. For instance, while I love the designs of Lynette, Sanya, and Hartmann from Strike Witches, I am not as much a fan of the other designs, as they don’t hit into my ‘strike [witches] zone’. Even in a case like Bakemonogatari where I love most of the designs, I am still turned off by enough characters that I cannot truly say that I ‘love the character designs in Bakemonogatari.’ Therefor, I present this as a list of my favorite shows wherein I loved the designs of the entire cast.
Shana is one of my favorite designs, but I don't care for most of the other characters in the series.
At any given time, the amount of anime culture that i consume is directly reflected by it’s presence in my dreams, and when I’m ‘in deep’ like I have been the past couple of weeks, then I’m bound to have some crazy-ass anime influenced dreams. Last time I was turning into one of the Strike Witches, which was a pretty cool dream, but I knew that this couldn’t last because 99% of the dreams that I have are nightmares. Sure enough, last night I had a nightmare wherein the Bakemonogatari girls tried to kill me.
I am fairly certain that this dream had a pretty long beginning, but I can only remember about from the point that it started to become anime relevant – though it actually began as some sort of Kanon parody. At the earliest point that I can remember, I was standing around in a Gamestop store, just because I was bored. However, at the back of the store, I noticed a rather large special edition game container. This was, apparently, my friend Derrick. Derrick hates being stuck at home and really loves video games, so I guess my brain combined that into a character who loves to hang out at Gamestop, since it was apparent that this wasn’t the first time that I’d found him crammed into this special edition game.
The more of anime culture that I consume, the lower my standards get – that’s how it looks from an outside perspective, but more accurately, the more that I consume, the more things I find to appreciate about everything I see. Not just anime, but music, too – I used to be pretty picky about what genres I would watch or listen to, and now I can safely say that there is no genre that I am incapable of enjoying on a case-by-case basis. I’ve found myself liking more and more shows that I wouldn’t have before and willing to listen to music that I couldn’t formerly tolerate. It is not always easy to branch into a genre you were previously uninterested in, but always rewarding – however, I have found that the hardest thing to get into is something more personal.
That is, anime and music that I formerly claimed to hate. Or if not hate, then whose fans I formerly looked down upon. I have striven to remove all of my elitism, but I’d be lying if I said i was done doing so, nor if I said that I didn’t used to be really, really elitist. I mean, hey, everyone wants to have at least someone to look down on, to instill a feeling that they are at least superior to that guy, but I can hardly kid myself like that. No one has ever told me that I had good taste, and no one ever will. There are genres of music and anime fandom (yes, genre of fandom) that I looked down on in the past, and far harder than merely breaking into a genre that I was formerly uninterested in is breaking into one that I formerly looked down on.
Introduction: Last night, during a conversation with Ghostlightning, I found myself unable to really remember everything I blogged about this year or everything I watched, to which he replied that ‘you need help.’ He also pointed out my huge number of posts, though, noting that I had probably written ‘about 200 posts this year.’ He was dead wrong, though, because as of (but not including) this posting I have written 323 posts in 2009. I made a joke about how I ‘could do forty-two posts by the end of the year for a 1:1 post-to-day ratio’, and since jokes about this blog have a startling habit of becoming reality, I decided I really wanted that ratio.
So here’s the deal – it’s too early for my top 100 anime list to be ready, but hey, why should I have to talk about individual works? After all, while I’m a fan of many anime, my top 40 shows hardly coincide with the ‘top 40 things I’m a fan of.’ That’s the purpose of this list – I’ve taken all my fandoms and put them in order of how big of a fan I am to create a top 40. So what you’ll see is directors, shows, franchises, actors, and so forth, placed together in a big list. The only thing you WON’T see is music – the way I think about music is too different from the way I think about other media, so it’s not here. If any of that’s confusing, then just read the posts, and it should all come together.
Because this is a list of fandoms, it can be difficult to talk coherently about, so I’m going to use a format. I’ll talk about 1. The History of My Fandom, 2. The Reasons For My Fandom, 3. The Nature of My Fandom (this will be seen more further down the list.) 4. The Level of My Fandom. So let’s get started!
I think I’m going to start doing highlight posts on some of anime’s greatest OPs and EDs, since it’d likely be a lot of fun. As a way to sort of kick that off, this post is about some of the best EDs I’ve seen. EDs have a high tendency to be slower than OPs and feature less exciting videos, so I’ve had a long-time habit of skipping boring EDs after each episode, especially because I hate seeing the next episode previews. However, these are some EDs that are too great to skip. Now, while I never skip the ED when I like the song, it’s also rare that I stick around for the video, so to make this top 5 listing, it has to be a great song AND vid. Shows like Lucky Star with a different ed every ep don’t count.
This is a carry-over discussion from my comments section on the Unrepresentative Studio Screw-ups post.
The word ‘good’ gets thrown around a lot in anime discussion, and in conjoint with various aspects of what most consider to matter in an anime. ‘Good animation’ or ‘good characters’ or ‘good directing’. Good is always taken to have an objective meaning (I won’t get too deep into that, though, since I’m sure I have too many times on this blog.) However, some of these things are totally up to opinion, while others aren’t. I’d like to explore what things should and shouldn’t be personal considerations.
I am of the mindset that an opinion should be made based on research in any situation. I hate to hear people bitch that ‘all mecha sucks’ when they’ve seen exactly two shows from the genre (this seems to be the case for many.) I am sick of people calling a show ‘cliche’ when the show is intended to be homage or parody. These are all things that a little research would show to anyone. Whether or not you like the show is based all on you, but before you open your mouth to the world, you’d best know what you’re talking about. That’s why I’ve gotten rather tired of people making uneducated remarks about studios, especially those that supposedly ‘suck.’