Seeing the comments on the Winter 2019 anime season, many people seem to prefer Chika Fujiwara to Kaguya Shinomiya, the main character of Kaguya-sama: Love is War.

And while I strongly disagree with that opinion, it has become an inspiration for this post, as I got reminded of the situations when I liked the side character of an anime more than the main character.

Here are five such situations I could think of:

New game! (MAL link)

I didn’t really had any problems with Suzukaze Aoba. She was an enjoyable character and her story left a similar impact on me as the story of Shirobako did.

It motivated me to work harder towards my goals of working as a video editor, and perhaps one day in anime.

In fact, it helped me feel better about not being in my first choice university. My current one, computer science, isn’t exactly the media editing course I aimed for, but it does have some subjects related to it.

And one of those subjects is “video game making”.

But the most relatable character of New Game! for me was Takimoto Hifumi.

Her battle with social anxiety reasonated with me more than I’d like to admit, and seeing her try her best and doing well really warmed my heart.

Boku no Hero Academia (MAL link)

To be honest I’m not sure what to write about Izuku Midoriya.

Good shonen protagonist, nice growth, some funny moments here and there.

I just find Shoto Todoroki, his quirk, personality and background much more interesting.

Heck, even Bakugo who I used to hate just stands out that bit more.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (MAL link)

The bond between Edward and Alphonse was fantastic and I really can’t think of much to criticize about the Elric brothers.

But the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood character that ended up among my favorites on myanimelist was Roy Mustang.

There is only one word I can describe him with: badass.

His fight with Lust tells you everything you need to know.

Or wasn’t it too one sided to be called a “fight”?

 

Madoka Magica (MAL link)

Like with some other entries on this list, I don’t have much bad to say about Kaname Madoka.

She is just not as memorable for me as were Kyouko Sakura or Akemi Homura.

I mean just think of what Akemi Homura went through for Madoka. It’s a whole other level of friendship goals that you can’t help but think may be even more than just “friendship”.

Hunter x Hunter (MAL link)

For Hunter x Hunter it’s a bit difficult to define, as myanimelist considers Gon, Killua, Kurapika and Leorio as main characters.

On the other hand, many consider only Gon and Killua to be the actual main characters.

For the purposes of this article, let’s say Gon is the main character.

His motivations are nice and all, trying to find his father. It made for some really sweet moments and a great mystery surrounding Ging.

But I couldn’t help but feel a bit annoyed with Gon at times. Especially because of what he told Killua in episode 116.

Instead of Gon, my favorite character is Kurapika. His fight with Uvogin on episode 47 remains probably the most hype-inducing moment I’ve ever had while watching anime.

Let me know what anime did you think had better side characters than the main character!

rating anime

Ratings.

The first thing on my mind when I see this word in the context of anime is myanimelist. This is probably because that’s the only place where I actually rate anime.

And really it’s the only place where I’m looking at anime ratings. At times they are one of the factors I use to determine if an anime is worth watching.

Sure enough, they can be too high or too low, depending on the show, but they sort of give the general idea of how good the series is. In most cases at least.

At first I decided not to rate each anime I watch, because I thought I will too often think about the score I would give. I thought I will give it too much importance.

Later on I changed my mind and realized that rating shows really isn’t that deep. There is really no need to sit down for 2 hours and think of every single detail that would increase or decrease the score.

I don’t have any special rating systems in my head. Things that automatically increase my score if I see it in the anime. Or things that automatically do the otherwise.

I don’t write down a score for each segment of an anime (story, plot, characters, etc…) and then combine it into one single score. That would take too long and I would probably struggle to pick the right score for each segment.

I just want enjoyment

There are loads of reasons for an anime to be enjoyable or the other way round. It can literally be from the theme of the anime to the mood I’m in on the day of watching. Or there can be a character that reminds me of certain people and situations from my life that I’d rather forget.

That’s why rating each show is different.

You have the most emotional, tear-jerking story possible? Great, but what’s the point if I can’t relate to the characters or if I find them unlikeable?

Sure enough, combined with emotional music it could still work and make me cry, but I would tell you that I’m missing that “something” to call it a masterpiece and you would get an 8/10 instead.

So what makes a “masterpiece”?

Fascinating plot. Well developed or relatable characters. Heartwarming moments. Sheer emotion. The setting. The timing of watching.

All of that and more has influenced me when I gave certain series the “perfect” score.

For Hunter x Hunter it was put simply – everything xD It has managed to balance everything. Stunning, deep and meaningful writing, the characters, the music, the levels of hype, the animation quality, the emotional moments. Simply everything was on point.

Ofcourse Hunter x Hunter has flaws too, just like every anime in existence, but all the positives heavily outweigh the negatives.

I could say the similar for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Both are just the perfect balance of everything.

In Steins;Gate I felt a strong connection to the characters, which led to a lot of emotional moments accompanied by the beautiful music. The plot and the way everything comes together has been mindblowing.

I was fascinated by the themes of the series and it’s references to real events/organizations/people.

I watched Madoka Magica soon after Steins;Gate. It taught me to never judge an anime by its cover.

Toradora is an anime that will always make me happy, it just works so well for me in every single way. I simply love everything about it.

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho reminded me how much I love travelling and need it in my life. And it managed to bring a unique story that is both emotional and motivational. With 4 best girl characters along the way.

Assassination Classroom amazed me with the way it turned something absurd into one of the most emotional and touching things I’ve ever seen.

To sum it up, I’m rating everything as an overall package. Package of enjoyment. That package includes different things from anime to anime.

If the positives outweigh the negatives so much that I have to think hard to actually think of the bad parts of the anime, you are probably looking at a “masterpiece”.

If I’m thinking more about the negatives than what I actually enjoyed, you are probably looking at a 7/10 at best anime.

 

Do you have any special ways you rank each anime? I’d love to know your thoughts!

 

 

Reboot InfoGamer, held in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is “one of the biggest games shows in the world”, according to their official website.

And my university was kind enough to take care of the transport and ticket costs for our one day visit.

I was looking forward to this day a lot because I’ve seen Bandai Namco would be featured.

This gave me some hope that they will present Jump Force.

It turns out my hopes were actually fulfilled.

Trying out Jump Force

Since it was announced that the Hunter x Hunter characters Gon and Hisoka will feature in this game, I knew I wanted to buy it.

And when they announced Kurapika will also be one of the playable characters, it’s fair to say my hype levels were quite high.

Seeing I could actually try this game out made me so happy.

Unfortunately, the version I could play didn’t involve Kurapika, but I guess you can’t have everything at once.

Compared to a game like Blazblue, Jump Force felt simpler. As always with fighting games, I didn’t know exactly which button did what, but I don’t feel it would take too long to get the hang of it.

I enjoyed playing Hisoka the most. He felt easier to handle for a first-time player and was simply very fun to play.

My anticipation for playing this game was worth it. It was so fun, i came back to it two more times.

Worth buying. Especially when you consider Kurapika will be there too, as well as Killua.

More fighting games

After the hype and fun I had with Jump Force, I played Soulcalibur VI with friends.

And again, unlike Blazblue, this game felt so much easier to get into.

I keep mentioning Blazblue, and it’s because it was the first anime fighter I played.

The amount of combos each character has felt like too much for a newbie. Also, catching up on the story of the game takes a lot of investment. But I guess that’s not surprising when the Blazblue I bought is Chronophantasma Extend.

After Soulcalibur we played Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo.

It was pure fun. No complicated hard to hit combos. Super enjoyable with friends. I almost wish I have the Super Nintendo now.

There was also the One Piece game, World Seeker. It’s anime related so I had to take a picture.

Some time later I found out that a Balkan visual novel is a thing.

I don’t know about the details, I didn’t end up playing it but in hindsight I probably should had done so.

In any case it was nice seeing something like that in this country. Maybe it’s not all so dark for the Croatian otaku afterall.

Here you can check out the website for the visual novel.

Other than a bit of Yu-Gi-Oh and Light Yagami and L POP toys that were being sold, that was pretty much all anime related stuff I could see.

Well, at the gaming fair, at least…

Hunting for manga

I knew Zagreb was possibly the only place in this country where I could buy manga.

The entire day I was excited for Jump Force and the prospect of buying actual manga later on.

One of those things came true and I had to make the latter come true too. I knew I would have regrets otherwise.

Leaving the gaming fair area would mean you can’t go back inside. I wanted to make that move around an hour before our scheduled departure time.

The friends I hanged out with didn’t have reasons to leave yet. In the end, 30 minutes before the scheduled departure, I left the gaming fair area.

The store where they apparently sold manga was some 10 minutes away. If you were extremely fast, that is.

I had to do it. It was a crazy thing to do. Stupid maybe. But I had to do it.

I don’t remember the last time I was walking that quickly. I reached the store some 15 minutes before departure time. That meant I only had precious few minutes in the store.

It didn’t help that the store was on the third floor of the building. I had to use the moving stairs.

Finding the store, I quickly glanced from the window and saw the “comics” section. If it was somewhere it would have to be there.

I went inside. Quickly scanned through the things they had. Actual manga. In Croatia. Had no time to be shocked.

Titles included Noragami, Attack on Titan, Fairy Tail, Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, My Hero Academia.

I took the only Ansatsu Kyoushitsu volume avaliable. Volume 5. I wanted to support the author of one of my favorite anime ever.

Volume 5 is when Nagisa has his first true badass moment. No regrets.

The second manga I bought was the latest My Hero Academia volume that was available. It was volume 13. I didn’t know exactly which volumes has the anime covered but I knew 13 was a close number.

It turns out volume 13 covers the final episodes of season 3.

Coming back from the store I even ran for a while. But I came 2 minutes before the scheduled time to leave.

No regrets. 100% worth it. I still can’t believe I’m now a manga owner. And that it actually happened in my own country.

In the bus I opened the MHA volume and the friend next to me said “it’s like anime in small”. Pretty obvious but it’s actually such a cute way to put it.

Conclusion

That would sum up what was overall a great day…

Until I dropped my phone.

At first it was a minor purple spot, but the phone basically started to bleed internally and by morning I knew I won’t be able to use it anymore.

So if you are wondering why I haven’t been active on Instagram, this is your reason.

It’s also a part of why the blog hasn’t been updated for a week.

The other reason is simply – university.

Tough times before a tough exam on Wednesday. And more of them next week too.

Which, ofcourse, doesn’t mean I should simply stop posting. I feel bad for the inactivity.

I’ll try my best to do better. Please look forward to it.

Let me tell you a very fun fact about me: I wear glasses at home.

And I love making top-list posts so I thought why not make a top list of characters who wear glasses?

*adjusts glasses* let’s get into it!

10. Iida Tenya (Boku no Hero Academia)

We start off with the president of class 1-A. He really fits the role of class president. Maybe even too much.

His brother, pro hero Ingenium has inspired him to become a hero.

He may seem intimidating at first, but he is actually a really good friend and is very kindhearted.

9. Shiroe (Log Horizon)

The Elder Tale expert, the master strategist.

Wants to achieve his goals at any cost, and for that reason many call him “the villain in glasses”.

The glasses, which he really loves to adjust. Doing that gives him enhanced focus and confidence for a short period of time.

And he is not the only Log Horizon character who uses these powers. Other characters in the anime who wear glasses have also recognized the advantages of this special move.

8. Nagato Yuki (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu)

Now Nagato is one of those cases that hasn’t always been seen with glasses.

In the first two seasons of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu she was usually seen without them, but her debut with glasses came in the movie, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu.

And she also wears glasses in her spin-off series called Nagato Yuki-chan no Shoushitsu.

Probably the most non-talkative character in anime I’ve seen so far, I really enjoyed her for that exact reason. It was fun seeing an introvert at such extreme levels.

That is, if you can call an alien an introvert.

7. Kitamura Yuusaku (Toradora!)

How could I not mention one of the main characters from one of my favorite anime ever?

The student council vice-president, the class representative, captain of the softball club.

And ofcourse, Taiga’s love interest. For a while, at least…

Can act a bit weird sometimes so be careful.

6. Kousei Arima (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)

Ahh, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso.

*cries*

Arima has been a renowned pianist in his childhood, till his mother’s death, which left him unable to hear the sounds when he plays the piano.

But meeting Kaori Miyazono has changed that, and he returned to music because of her.

This may be *spoilers* but I couldn’t believe how cruel his fate is, with his mother not being the only person dear to him that he lost.

And the way he seemed to be handling it… Massive respect and I just want to give him a big hug that he deserves.

5. Leorio Paladiknight (Hunter x Hunter)

This picture is just too funny for me not to use it xD

Leorio is friend goals, he really cares a lot for his friends, as shown the best in the final arc of Hunter x Hunter.

He is often short-tempered, a lot of times he doesn’t understand things from first glance, but it doesn’t necessarily make him an incapable hunter.

His motivation for becoming a hunter is the money, but it’s because he wants to be able to save people for free. Isn’t that admirable?

Also, his nen reveal was the most epic nen reveal in the series. Damn how satisfying that was.

And speaking of Hunter x Hunter, Kurapika wears contacts. Just like me when I’m outside.

He doesn’t even wear contacts because of his vision tho, so it’s kinda pointless that I’m even mentioning that, but yeah.

4. Hashida Itaru (Steins;Gate)

It’s the super haka, Daru.

I will forever remember him for his relatable moments like this…

…as well as his relatable problems when it comes to girls…

Oh and his programming skills are godlike and he seems like such a fun friend to have.

3. Asada Shino (Sword Art Online)

Another case where you don’t exactly see the mentioned character wear glasses all the time.

Or maybe we can say Asada Shino actually does? Since that is her real life name, while Sinon, who doesn’t wear glasses, is her in-game character.

In any case, what makes me love this character so much is her determination.

Determination to get over her traumas and dark past, and the determination to become stronger, little by little.

It’s also a big part of why I mentioned the ED sequence that features her character, in my 7 Openings and Endings that make you feel everything will be alright article.

2. Akemi Homura (Puella Magi Madoka Magica)

Speaking of very determined characters who don’t wear glasses all the time…

Akemi Homura is only seen with glasses during THAT episode and during the third movie.

But her wearing glasses during THAT episode means she actually did wear them for most of her life, till certain events.

All she wants is a friend. Just let her have that please.

And don’t do to her what you did to her in the last movie.

If there ever comes a sequel, I hope there will be a way to undo the damage they did there. Or I will just consider the TV anime canon and forget anything else that happened after that…

1. Kiriyama Rei (3-gatsu no Lion)

A few days ago, I finished season 1 of 3-gatsu no Lion.

This anime is truly a gem, and it has one of the best written main characters I’ve seen so far.

Living a tragic childhood full of hardships, Kiriyama Rei had to become independent earlier than most.

As only the fifth shogi player to become a professional in middle school, he spends his days in solitude, preparing for his shogi matches.

When he does come to school, he eats alone, with the only person joining him being his teacher.

The anime follows his growth as a person, influenced by the events and the characters surrounding him. Most notably the Kawamoto sisters.

 

Are there any characters you expected to see but weren’t on this list? Do you also wear glasses? Let me know 😀

 

Music is one of those things that will, for me personally, almost always work when I feel down.

And when you add anime to it, the effect can grow even more.

I’ve talked before about my love for anime openings, so in this post I will suggest you 7 Openings and Endings that will help you when things get rough.

SAO II Ending 1 (Haruna – Startear)

The first part of the second Sword Art Online season, the GGO arc, talks about Asada Shino, who wants to overcome her trauma of guns by playing the VR game Gun Gale Online. I won’t go into much spoilers, but she definitely had a tough childhood, which left her in the depressed state portrayed in this ending sequence.

I want to be stronger; just a little stronger
With that, I made a wish,
In hopes of overcoming this sadness.

The lyrics, combined with the beautiful visuals, including the scene when Sinon, Asada’s VR avatar hugs her, really feel helpful. The overall feel of the song always makes me feel encouraged. It makes you feel like you are not alone.

You can do this. You can get stronger. Just keep fighting.

Shirobako Opening 2 (Masami Okui – TREASURE BOX)

Since hearing the first seconds of this opening for the first time, I just knew it will become one of my favorites.

This song. It just fills me with this feeling of satisfaction. Satisfaction with life. It simply makes me feel like everything is going well and that it will continue going in that direction. It makes me feel like my dreams are achievable and I just need to relax and let it happen. Work a lot for it, ofcourse, but also not stress about it cause it’s bound to end up well.

I’m not sure if I made much sense there, but yeah, this is just how this opening makes me feel. I guess optimistic is the word?

Another personal thing related to this opening is how it helped calm me down during the stressful times in June before my high school final exams. The image of the exhausted Miyamori on the table was basically me. The song also included the word “panic”, which when I noticed, helped me relate to it even more. It helped calm me down and things did somehow worked out in the end. Sure, a bit differently than expected, but I can’t exactly say I’m unhappy.

Don’t lose hope. I’m sure everything will end up in a positive way. Just think of Sakaki Shizuka from this exact anime. Those who watched Shirobako will know what I mean. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you do it.

Your motivation levels are sure to grow thanks to this anime.

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho Ending (Koko kara, Koko kara)

Now how do I even start with this masterpiece of an anime? One of the most inspiring shows I’ve ever seen.

As someone who loves travelling as much as anime, which is, let’s say, too much even, this show really made a mark on me. It reminded me why I love to travel so much, and it ignited my wish for travelling to even higher levels than before.

Both the song and the visuals immediately put me in a happy mood.

If you want to get inspired by an anime, look (on a place) no further than this one. It worked in every single way for me personally, and it is now on my list of anime that I awarded with the perfect 10/10.

Hunter x Hunter Ending 3 (Yuzu – REASON)

Talking about anime I awarded with the perfect 10/10, here is the third ending of Hunter x Hunter. Things are calming down a bit after Kurapika did THAT, and we follow Gon & Killua as they try to beat the game called Greed Island. Despite the dangers of the game, this feels like the fun side-story for those two characters, which also serves as their training arc of sorts.

From the first listen of this ending, I was hooked and I jammed to it every single time. It never fails to improve my mood.

Unless it’s the 147th episode. As soon as I heard this song start there, I started crying…

In any case, this song always reminds me of the great times I had watching Hunter x Hunter. It’s perfectly fitting for the relationship between Gon & Killua.

Oh, and the ending includes Bisky. So many reasons for this ending to improve your mood.

Harukana Receive Opening (Kana Yuuki and Saki Miyashita – FLY two BLUE)

I would’ve never thought that I would end up enjoying a show about beach volleyball so much. I never even knew why exactly I started this anime in the first place, I guess it was the eyecandy. But I stayed for that, but also a genuinely enjoyable show about friendship, and guess what? Beach volleyball.

And let me just talk about the music. This anime has one of the best soundtracks of the year. The composer of the OST, Rasmus Faber, a Swedish DJ, has done a fabulous job.

This opening reminds me of the good times I had while watching this anime.

And a part of the OST, the song called Rise, even became my new alarm clock song (starting this week it replaced the Charlotte ending).

The fanservice is not the only good part of this anime.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Ending 2 (Miho Fukuhara – Let It Out)

Sometimes you just need to let things out. And I do that every time when I lipsync while watching this ending.

This song feels like a friend is comforting me and telling me to just let things out of my system.

Let it out.

Leave it be.

And move forward.

An added bonus is that it reminds me of that day when I received the results of those final exams I mentioned before. To keep it short, I was fully convinced that I failed those exams and that there won’t be any university for me this year. When I received the results and realized I passed the exams, it’s fair to say it was a quite shocking moment. I would even call it the most shocking one of my life so far.

The results were not sufficient for my first choice university, but they were for my second choice, which is where I am now. That night our national football team has also won against England and we ended up in the World Cup final. It’s fair to say there was a lot of shock and euphoria that day.

And how does all this relate to FMAB?

I finished the anime the day earlier. I listened to it’s EDs on the day of the results. I tend to remember unimportant stuff, so I remember exactly which FMAB EDs I listened that day. It was this one and the third one.

Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! Ending 1 (Chīsana Bōken-sha)

This ending takes me back to the end of November last year, when I watched Konosuba. Damn it’s almost been a year since I saw this anime.

Everything about this ending is so relaxing and satisfying. It almost makes you wish you got revived into a fantasy world too.

Which anime songs do you listen to when you feel down? Do you like the picks I made? Let me know in the comments!