Everyone has an opinion on what makes an anime great. Some people love storytelling. Others enjoy aesthetics and art direction.
I love storytelling and music personally. I love direction synergy between art and music tones.
We all bring in our own personal bias and taste when viewing anime, considering what will make or break an anime.
Anime is a visual medium. I like anime series that can play off the aesthetics of the series. Visuals are narrative. It gives aids the story’s tone.
Directors can use visual tones to emote viewers’ emotional reaction.
Example: The conclusion of Yusuke and Suzuki’s fight (Yu Yu Hakusho).
Series animation director Akiyuki Shinbo uses vibrant surrounding white light transiting into black and. dark shading on Yusuke. It sets a depressing feeling; that Yusuke died putting his life energy to defeat Suzaku.
Along with visual tone, a great anime needs a convincing story. The story needs interesting written characters with motivation. I like characters that are written in a way that can relate to naturally.
Most of my favorite anime characters are written like this. If I relate to a character, I care for them. I root for them to overcome their issues and improve overtime. This factor makes the character seem more human.
Mob from the 2016 anime series “Mob Psycho 100” is a character that fits this.
Despite blessed with everlasting psychic power, Mob wants to improve in other accepts in his school life. Rather than joining his school’s supernatural club, he joins the athletic Body Improvement club.
He aims to nurture his weak psychical strength and body.
He wants to improve his weak body by strengthen it. He could have easily joined a club suited to natural skills. However, Mob wants something more in life than just relying on his natural gifts.
This makes him feel human. This makes me relate to him because I want to improve in life. We all do.
Finally, a great anime needs a prominent music. Similar to visual, music sets tone. Music is narrative. Music is expressive. Music should reflect the mood of the scene.
I want to experience the same shock and amazement of Kyon, a normal teenager, as he was spectating reality wrapping aliens Yuki and Ryoko fighting inside a data field. Hell, I want the music to make me believe that I am Kyon.
I believe music can do this to my emotions. The right usage of a background song can impact and trigger the emotional accepts of my core. This enhances the anime for me.
As diverse individuals, we have our ideas on what make a great anime. We bring in our own taste and ideas that reflects what we want in an anime. Visual, sound, character story and tone. We use those factors to build standard of quality.
Ryoko vs. Yuki Fight Theme
Love the song’s usage of of techno-like percussion, violins, cellos, and synths to create an alien sound.
Super Eyepatch Wolf’s in-depth analysis on why Mob Pyscho 100 is worth watching.
Digibro’s analysis on the importance of using visuals aid and aesthetics for anime story-telling.