Anyone who has ever met me will be aware that my two greatest obsessions are reading and Harry Potter. If you and I have more than a passing acquaintance, you will know that my third love (aside from family, of course) is anime.
Unfortunately, aside from a couple of Facebook friends (and my own children), I really don’t know anybody else who enjoys anime anywhere near as much. Oh, I know plenty of people who dabble. People whose experience of anime is limited to Pokémon, Astro Boy and the more popular Studio Ghibli films.
Now, I am by no means an anime aficionado. In fact, as much as I love anime, I still regard myself as a casual viewer. But with most people I associate having watched even less than I have, where am I to find new anime to watch?
I can find new titles by browsing the store shelves but, while reading the box will give me a pretty good idea of what the show is about, it really doesn’t tell me whether or not it is any good. With an extremely limited budget, I am fairly keen to spend my money on anime I will want to keep. This is where YouTube comes into its own.
As with just about any other topic, doing a YouTube search for anime reviewers will return a lot of results. While some of these channels are better quality than others, which ones you choose to subscribe to often comes down to a matter of personal taste. What one person finds the height of hilarity, another will regard as toilet humour; one viewer’s highly entertaining channel may bore another to tears; some prefer highly edited material, while others would rather watch a talking head with a webcam. None of these people are wrong, merely different.
I, like everyone, have my favourite channels to watch and, like others, I like to recommend my favourites so they will, hopefully, get even more views. Though, most of the anime channels I watch are already highly popular and probably don’t need my help at all.
In any case, here are the anime reviewers that I find entertaining and informative. This is not a top ten list, nor are these channels listed in any particular order.
Sawyer7Mage is an enthusiastic and humorous reviewer who is intimately familiar with his material. Visually, his reviews consist of him talking in front of camera, but the image quality is good. In addition to anime, he also reviews TV shows, such as Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. He tends to review individual episodes rather than talking about the series as a whole. Fair warning, though, his videos are heavy on spoilers, so don’t watch if that is something that bothers you.
BobSamurai is impeccably presented, especially in his more recent videos. While anybody will enjoy watching this calm and well-spoken young gentleman, his channel is likely to appeal to anime fans who, like myself, are no longer in their teens. I particularly like that he does not shy away from older anime. BobSamurai does not limit himself to reviews, but posts videos on a variety of anime related topics.
42’s Anime Reviews
42’s Anime Reviews is a channel that doesn’t update very often, but is worth watching anyway. This is the only female reviewer on my list and, where I often find women’s voices to be harsh and grating or annoying and whiny, 42’s voice is, rather, soft and soothing and remarkably pleasant to listen to. Her reviews are generally thoughtful and insightful and she also uploads ‘everything wrong with’ type videos which are light-hearted and actually quite amusing, especially if you have watched the anime in question.
BlackCriticGuy reviews both movies and anime in front of his webcam. He is both cheerful and entertaining and almost always starts his videos with a bit of light humour. His reviews are thorough and thoughtful and his enthusiasm and happy demeanor mean he is always my first choice of viewing when I’m feeling down. He never fails to make me feel better.
The Anime Man
OK, so this isn’t so much an anime review channel as it is an anime/Japanese themed channel that also does anime reviews. The Anime Man is the only Australian on my list and he has the laid-back, relaxed personality that many Australians seem to have. Reviews only make up a very small percentage of his content. His videos cover a wide range of topics relating to anime or Japan, including 1UpBox unboxings, AnswerMeSenpai Q&A videos, Japanese 101 videos and much more. I find him absolutely hilarious and enjoy his informal language and friendly demeanor.
Glass Reflection (or GRArcada) always has interesting reviews that cover a wide variety of anime genres. His videos are a high quality webcam format with lots of clips interspersed with his own observations. He has a consistent format and always ends his videos by giving a rating based off a consistent set of criteria. Arcada himself is charismatic and pleasant to watch and his reviews are always well-researched, well-edited and easy to follow and understand. If I only have time to watch one review channel, this is the one I will watch.
You may notice several popular channels are missing from this list. That does not mean that they are bad reviewers and you shouldn’t watch them. Rather, they are simply not to my taste. Are there any channels that aren’t on this list that you wish to recommend? If so, let me know in the comments.
What are your thoughts?