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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Top 40 Anime Openings: Part 1 - An Introduction

Cartoon by Christopher McElfresh
Why anime openings?  Honestly, I can think of no good reason to make this list, except that last week I was watching an anime called Read or Die for the hundredth time and thinking to myself, this is a very slick opening credits scene.  Cut ahead a few days and during a pretty conventional pop culture conversation me and my friend, Craig agreed to start this list.  

We spitballed a few openings we knew would make our top 40 and then, after scratching our brains for several hours came up with a full list.  We knew some intros would be eliminated by scoring and we decided that this should be done democratically so we created a scoring system that averages three categories: the Song (how good is the music; this is 60% of the overall average), the Composition (How the animation is put together and how well it meshes with the show; this is 20% of the score), and Entertainment Value (How fun is it to watch; this covers the remaining 20% of the score).  We scored the openings independently without any influence over each other’s scores and our lists were very, very different, though a few songs ranked high between us, and two openings (incidentally the top two) were on all of our lists of top-scored intros.  We used a scoring system that allowed ANY number with up to two decimal places from 0 to 10 and overall, I think it was pretty fair and honest.

Craig and I examined the intros and scored them fairly, but I was not convinced that this was entirely without bias, not because I don’t trust my friend, but because I don’t trust myself.  Entertainment Value would seem higher for me since I know who a lot of these characters are and I didn’t want my view of these characters and my like (or dislike) of any of these shows to affect my attitude towards the opening.  To remedy this I contacted another friend named Bryan, who is not really into anime at all, to rate the intros as well.  This created a nice control for the “experiment” and made things more fair.  To let everyone know how fair this list was, one of the intros that was in my top 10 (Serial Experiments: Lain) was taken out of the top 40 entirely because of a low average score.  I wasn’t thrilled by this, but this is how it works when you make a fair ratings system, sometimes one person’s taste will clash with others, and that’s life, so that’s good.

All in all, my list would be very different from this one, but that is why I believe this is about as honest a list we could have made for this top 40, removing all bias (or at least as much as humanly possible) and rating these intros based on their own merit regardless of the quality of, or our love for, or popularity of their respective shows.  

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