Anime OVAs are often the more lighthearted and fanservice packed episodes.

But they can also be great additions to the main story – they can provide interesting backstories, a better closure for the story or a more in-depth experience of the story.

Here are my five favorite OVA episodes. I didn’t rank the picks because I realized its actually quite hard to do it xD

Bungou Stray Dogs: Hitori Ayumu (MAL link)

The Bungou Stray Dogs OVA gives us a certain important detail we haven’t found out in the main story. This alone makes it stand out from the common lighthearted OVA episodes.

Kunikida is trying to go with his day as he planned, with Dazai trying to ruin that for him.

A very well-made episode that expands on Kunikida’s character and makes you appreciate him more.

Steins;Gate Oukoubakko no Poriomania (MAL link)

After the thrilling and emotional experience of Steins;Gate, this was a refreshing and fun way to expand on the story.

And it introduced some Steins;Gate 0 characters along the way.

Steins;Gate 0 also had an OVA, but it was much less related to the main story, which kind of left me dissapointed.

Shirobako Specials (MAL link)

P.A. Works really made two one off episodes of two different anime for the OVA of their anime about making anime.

It just makes the whole Shirobako experience even better.

You get the feeling as if Musashino Animation really does exist – they even wrote the names of the Shirobako characters in the ending credits.

And the episodes themselves are more than decent quality to say the least – especially the “Third Aerial Girls Squad” one.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood Specials (MAL link)

The Fullmetal Alchemist OVA gave some great backstory content. It’s definitely not one of those OVAs you can skip without missing anything too significant.

Roy Mustang is my favorite character of the series, so it may give you an idea on which episode of this OVA I enjoyed the most.

Gabriel Dropout OVA (MAL link)

Gabriel Dropout provided some great fun with 4 memorable characters.

But it never really had any emotional moments, as you would expect from an anime of its kind.

That was until I saw the OVA. The feels the second episode has provided was just something I did not expect from Gabriel Dropout.

This is the only OVA on the list that actually has a higher MAL rating than its “main” anime and I think I understand why.

 

Are you surprised with my picks? Am I missing out on an OVA that you really love? Let me know in the comments!

2018 is coming to an end, and with it the Fall 2018 season of anime.

This post is a round-up of everything I watched since the start of October, from both seasonal and non-seasonal anime.

Seasonal anime

Akanesasu Shoujo

This seemed like a decent anime due to the concept of travelling through different worlds.

Another thing that seemed interesting was the main character meeting a version of herself from the alternate world.

However, I watched the first two episodes and haven’t returned to it since. But there are positive comments on the direction the anime took, so I think I’ll look into it once again.

Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara

Irozuku intrigued me with its visuals and interesting premise. I can’t say it was dissspointing.

The last few episodes have been heartbreaking and I can only imagine the feels the final episode will bring. This was really enjoyable and I’m sad to see it come to an end.

Check my first impressions on Irozuku and my breakdown of the opening and ending sequences.

Karakuri Circus

Karakuri Circus started off giving me some Hunter x Hunter vibes, which is very much a good thing.

But the anime seems to have some problems with the pacing, according to those that have read the manga.

I haven’t watched anything of it since episode 5 but I am planning to catch up.

Seishun Buta Yarou wa Bunny Girl Senpai no Yume wo Minai

A very good anime worth watching for certain episodes coughs the Futaba arc.

But Sakurajima Mai is for sure one of the best waifus of the year.

Today the final episode comes out but I’m looking forward to the movie.

I made a breakdown of the opening and ending sequences which you can find here.

Sword Art Online: Alicization

SAO Alicization is honestly one of the best things about anime in 2018 for me. I’m looking forward to each episode cause I’m really enjoying this a lot.

I even feel like rewatching the entirety of SAO while Alicization is on a two week break. My interest in SAO is exceeding even my own expectations.

To read my first impressions on Alicization click here.

The breakdown of the opening sequence is here.

And here you can read my thoughts on the… shocking episode 10.

Yagate Kimi ni Naru

I randomly started Yagate Kimi ni Naru late this season. It hasn’t been a bad decision so far.

This is my first ever yuri anime. I also immediatly grew to love the opening song.

Satsuriku no Tenshi ONA

A leftover from the summer season but under the label of ONA.

This is the first anime ever whose source material I’ve finished before watching the anime adaptation, since I bought the game in the summer.

I liked the game and it wasn’t much different with the anime which was a faithful adaptation.

Zombieland Saga

I was on episode 4 of Zombieland Saga till yesterday when I decided to catch up on it.

I didn’t expect to watch all 8 episodes remaining in one day, but it happened.

This anime has exceeded my expectations, and a season 2 seems likely judging by the ending. I’m very much looking forward to more.

For my first impressions on Zombieland Saga, click here.

Non-seasonal

3-gatsu no Lion

3-gatsu no Lion was one of the most heartwarming anime I’ve seen so far. I had teary eyes when I realized I have no more episodes to watch.

I highly recommend this to anyone searching for a story about personal growth and finding your place in life.

Koe no Katachi

I recognize the beauty of Koe no Katachi. It had me close to tears, but it hasn’t managed to make me cry.

Not that this makes it a bad movie – it was a very special one worthy of recognition.

No game no Life

No Game No Life was a fun experience, althrough there were times I couldn’t help but feel the skill Sora and Shiro showed was too unrealistic.

In other words, sometimes they were just too OP for my tastes.

There is also a movie which I haven’t actually watched yet but I should do it as soon as possible.

Shakugan no Shana

This seemed like a good watch due to the similarities to Toradora.

Shana is a short tsundere voiced by Rie Kugimiya, same could be said for Aisaka Taiga. Even one of the MC’s friends is voiced by the same person that voiced Kitamura Yuusaku.

The premise of the anime seems good, but 6 episodes in and I have to say I’m not feeling fully invested into the series. But I won’t drop this just yet.

Steins;Gate 0 OVA

Maybe I should have added this among seasonal anime? But I watched the Steins;Gate 0 OVA that came a few days ago.

In all honesty, I was expecting something more related to the plot. But I will accept this too. It is more Steins;Gate afterall.

But thinking this is likely the last ever content from this franchise makes me extremely sad.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

I watched Oregairu in late October and started rewatching earlier this month. Hikigaya Hachiman is one of the most relatable characters I’ve ever seen.

But one of the reasons I’m rewatching this is how vague it was at times. I feel like a second watch will make me appreciate the anime and the characters even more.

Rewatching

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

A few days ago I started rewatching my favorite series of the year and one of my all time favorites.

I’m just not ready for the sadness that will occur when I finish it once again.

Toradora!

Toradora is a gift that keeps on giving. And I somehow managed to resist rewatching it the entire year, to make the Toradora December rewatch feel even better.

The rewatch is now in its final stage and again – I’m not ready to end it again and realize again that I have nothing left from it to watch.

What were you watching during the fall season of anime? Let me know in the comments!

As the year comes to an end, its time to make a few of those “best of x year” posts. My first one for this year will be about anime openings.

Before I get started, I feel like there is one thing I should note: I actually don’t watch a lot of seasonal anime. It turns out that out of the 4 anime seasons in 2018, I only watched 21 seasonal anime (Fall 2018 included).

The reason for this is that I only watch stuff that I feel I would like. I don’t think starting dozens of anime each season just because they are airing at that moment would work well for me.

While this means I could miss out on a lot of amazing anime, I do make the decision to occasionally pick up shows later on in the season if they are talked about a lot, or if I see signs that I would enjoy it.

The reason I’m telling you this is because when I’ll list my favorite endings in a later post, there will be a few situations where the same anime appears both in this and that list.

And also, I understand my approach to seasonal anime can mean I missed out on a lot of potentially great openings or endings that would be fitting for this list.

So with that out of the way, let’s start with the list!

10. Shoujo☆Kageki Revue Starlight Opening (Starlight Kukugumi – Hoshi no Dialogue)

Revue Starlight may look like your typical idol-anime.

But it is anything but that. It tells the story of 9 girls wanting to become stars, but it does it with a huge twist, and one that works much better than I expected it would.

There is drama, there is action, there is a shocking plot twist that even Madoka Magica wouldn’t be ashamed of.

And there is great music with an opening that sets the theatricial mood of the anime really well.

9. Boku no Hero Academia Season 3 Opening 2 (Lenny code fiction – Make my story)

A lot like in season 2, the second cour of My Hero Academia season 3 feels like the calm after the storm. The storm full of breathtaking action and in this season more than ever, emotion.

The opening reflects that in a way. I love the retro feel it gives me.

And that Uraraka moment before the chorus hits is so damn good.

8. Irozuku Sekai no Ashita Kara Opening (Haruka to Miyuki – 17 Sai)

It’s not the first time I’m talking about this opening, as I’ve made a breakdown of it already.

The visuals are really polished and the song feels refreshing like the early morning sun in autumn.

Which is fitting for a Fall 2018 anime.

Go watch Irozuku Sekai for a unique story about personal growth complimented with stunning visuals.

7. Steins;Gate 0 Opening 1 (Kanako Itou – Fatima)

One of the highlights of the year – Steins;Gate 0.

Or should I say lowlights due to all the pain and sadness it has provided?

In any case, it was fantastic to watch new Steins;Gate content, even if the waiting for each new episode part was really nerve-wrecking.

The opening song is amazing and the visuals include snow, which is the most important thing to take note of.

That last part wasn’t serious, by the way.

6. Harukana Receive Opening (Kana Yuki and Saki Miyashita – FLY two BLUE)

Since I already mentioned this opening among the 7 Openings and Endings that make you feel everything will be alright, it’s perhaps no surprise it made my top 10 openings of the year.

The OST of Harukana Receive is really one of 2018’s finest.

As is the eyecandy.

5. Yagate Kimi ni Naru Opening (Azuna Riko – Kimi ni Furete)

A few days ago I decided to pick up this anime. Just like with Harukana Receive, I’m not actually entirely sure why I did that.

But its not been a bad decision at all. 

The opening visuals are beautiful and while I understand this could be recency bias, the song is nothing short of amazing. I fell in love with it on my first listen.

4. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii Opening (Sumika – Fiction)

This opening sequence is great for lifting your mood. 

The song is catchy and those movements of the characters… You can’t help but smile and want to do the same movements as them.

3. Kokkoku Opening (MIYAVI vs. KenKen – Flashback)

Doesn’t it feel so long since the anime community was going crazy over the Kokkoku opening?

Everything about this sequence is special, and different from the anime openings I’ve seen so far.

It’s visually captivating and intriguing and the song is an absolute banger. 

2. Sword Art Online: Alicization Opening (LiSA – ADAMAS)

Another opening sequence I made a breakdown of.

I can’t help but lipsync the hell out of this song even if I don’t know most of the lyrics. It’s for sure the most hype-inducing SAO opening so far.

And don’t forget the epic visuals with iconic handshakes and sword synchronization. And that’s just a part of it.

Note that the embedded video is an edited version of the opening cause I can’t find the proper one anywhere on YouTube, sadly.

1. Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho Opening (saya – The Girls Are Alright!)

Just like everything else related to Sora Yori, the opening never fails to improve my mood and make me feel inspired.

Everything about this anime is a gift from the anime gods and I’m so glad I decided to pick it up after the Winter 2018 anime season. 

Cute, likeable and relatable characters? Adventure? Slice of life? Drama? Comedy? Inspiring and emotional story? Unique plot and setting?

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho is all of that, and even more, so do yourself a favor and go watch this wonderful anime.

Do you agree with my picks? If not, what would you add or remove? I would love to know!

It’s December.

Winter is slowly but surely approaching, which means – snow!

I’m not sure about your country, but here in Croatia, snow has actually already fallen, around 2 weeks ago.

And maybe it’s falling in your own country right at this moment.

I really love snow and I really love anime openings and endings so here I’ll give you some OPs and EDs that have snow in them.

Re:ZERO –Starting Life in Another World– – Ending 1

Ahh Re:Zero. I can’t believe it’s gonna be a year since I watched it.

This ending always reminds me of winter. Not only because that’s the time of the year when I watched the anime, but also because… well… it has snow in its visuals.

And I really love the song.

“Please don’t let me die”. Somehow, driving school and university have made that line more fitting for me recently. Don’t ask why.

Steins;Gate 0 – Opening 1

Without doubt one of the highlights of the anime year, the return of one of my all time favorite series.

And it includes some visuals of Mayushii in the snow and briefly Kagari.

Somehow, the snow just feels fitting. Especially that moment at the top of the buildings.

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – Ending 2

It’s another series that I’ve seen in winter last year.

I love the snowflakes at the start of the sequence.

And I’m sure I’m not the only person that finds it hard to resist moving their head the same way as they do in this sequence.

Boku Dake ga Inai Machi Opening

This takes me back to Summer 2017, the start of my anime career.

Seeing the protagonist go back to his childhood days, and during winter as well, felt strangely nostalgic.

And I’m not even into my 20s yet.

Clannad Opening

And another anime involving snow that I’ve seen during last winter.

While for me it wasn’t a “life-changing experience” as I’ve seen it being described, there were certainly moments when I was invested in Clannad, and believed it was something special.

In the first season, it was most notably during the Ibuki Fuuko arc.

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho Opening

It’s no surprise a series with a group of 4 girls visiting Antarctica features snow in its opening.

A Place Further than the Universe is by far one of the best shows of 2018, and even The New York Times agreed, by mentioning it in their The Best TV Shows of 2018 article.

It’s huge news if you ask me, and it’s something that makes me happy, and in a way proud.

Just go watch this anime, I swear you won’t regret it.

3-gatsu no Lion – Ending 2

Now I’ve been watching the first season of this anime at the time snow fell here 2 weeks ago, so the ending sequence felt quite fitting.

I’m sure you’ll notice that the artist, Kenshi Yonezu, also sings the Boku no Hero Academia season 2 opening, Peace Sign.

Interesting how Brian the Sun, who made the first ending song of BNHA, have also made the first ending song for 3-gatsu no Lion season 2.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru. Zoku – Opening 2

The anime with one of my favorite main characters ever. And a great opening song with a sequence full of cute moments.

And ofcourse, there is snow, near the end of the sequence, in the blueish lights.

Something about that moment is just amazing. The scenery, those lights that feel relaxing. The two main girls stepping in the opposite directions. The way the song ends.

I just really love that moment. As well as the rest of the opening and the anime itself.

 

What are your favorite snowy moments in anime OPs and EDs? Please let me know in the comments!

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!