Anime Power Rankings: Making Beautiful Music (Spring Week 8)

We have an eventful APR week featuring amusement park fun, work aprons, screenfuls of flying kanji, vampires contributing to geo-political relations, and the veritable Episode of the Year. Let’s get right into it!

Rank Title Episode #1 Votes % of Ballots Change
1 Sound! Euphonium 8 24 65.4% 0
2 My Love Story!! 8 5 38.5% up+2
3 Blood Blockade Battlefront 9 2 36.5% up-1
4 My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! 9 3 23.1% up+3
5 JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 45 4 19.2% up-2

On the cusp: Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (2/13.5%), Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma (0/19.2%), Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic (0/15.4%), Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (0/17.3%)

Number of voters: 52

Number of full ballots (ranked 5): 34

Last time on APR

About the Anime Power Rankings

Sound! Euphonium not only repeats as #1, it rockets past all competition from the week. It scored 80 points over 2nd places, and more than the combined points of 2nd and 3rd places! This is the most lopsided tally since I’ve been counting APR votes last September. I can point to my own spiel focusing on just the background music employed by that episode, exemplifying just one of the multitude of ways Euphonium shined.

My Love Story rises in the ranks by developing some personal drama but still serving up a cute and funny helping of teen romance bromance. Blood Blockade Battlefront makes another Hellboy reference as it adds a fishy character to Libra’s vampire fighting crew.

SNAFU TOO returns the the top 5 this season after a 7 week hiatus with some down time as the trio go out on the town and awkwardly explore their newfound dynamic. Finally, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure wraps up the final spot of this week’s APR by continuing the final battle with Dio, now surely on a fine trajectory to becoming a respected delegate to the United Nations. Who says all vampire anime suck?

Here are other opinions that don’t suck:

Euphonium is this season’s saving grace. Haruka Fujita just proves that the women of KyoAni are possibly the most talented people in the industry. Sincere, well-directed, and just gorgeous all around — Euphonium has no competition.

Ganymede Elegy ( JoJo’s Bizarre Blog )

Sound! Euphonium had an amazingly excellent episode and as if to compensate, everything else had relatively weak ones. Well, I can’t call Blood Blockade Battlefront ‘weak’ relative to its prior performance, but it’s not playing anywhere near Euphonium’s level in general.

Chris Siebenmann ( Chris’s Personal Wiki )

Euphonium was an absolute belter this week, finally making good on the promise of teenage romance dorkery with some added existential poignance.

John Noel ( chaostangent )

YUUUUUUUUUURI! YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YURI YUUUUUUUURI!!!!!

Typical Idiot Fan ( The Nihon Review )

Romantically-tense scenes between high school girls > pelvic black holes.

A Day Without Me ( GAR GAR Stegosaurus )

There isn’t a doubt in my mind that this wasn’t KyoAni’s best TV episode to date. I have no qualms in admitting how perfect I thought this was. There were a few episodes of Clannad that are distinctively memorable, and the first season of Suzumiya Haruhi is immensely popular for very good reasons. I would also argue that the episode of Tamako Market focusing on Tamako’s dad was one of their best as well. This one, however, was Kyoto Animation finest; from the backgrounds to the closeups, the long pauses that kept you on the edge to quick cuts that flashed by, and the immersive music to the love confessions, to top it all off. Perfect.

Samu ( Random Curiosity )

That’s all folks. No other anime worth talking about this week.

But some people just insist on reading opinions here besides the ones I promote! So here’s some others’ thoughts.

My Love Story stomped all over my feelings and showed once again that it’s as great a bromance as it is a romance.

Dee ( The Josei Next Door )

Ore Monogatari gave us a strong episode because for once it focused once more on the true power-couple of the show, where all the emotional resonance lies, and didn’t oversell its drama – Takeo and Suna. Bromance for life.

Guy ( Geekorner-Geekulture )

OreGairu has been stressful all season long. But with the climax in the last episode – what I think really is ultimately the climax to this season – we have a fun episode, and a Christmas one to boot! Of course, this being OreGairu, it ends with a little more relationship stress.

TWWK ( Beneath the Tangles )

This was a good week for relationships! Euphonium showcased a lovely bond between two girls. JoJo showcased a great relationship between a British vampire and an American Senator. Ore Monogatari had the best bromance off all season and probably all year on display.

Reiseng ( Toxic Muffin )

Something tells me one of those relationships is not like the others.

Comical Psycho Medicine this week was about the psychological reasoning behind stalkers. The week before had someone think Seasonal Affective Disorder was into sado masochism but only on particular months of the year (“it’s the winter so I’ll use a candle”). The week before they met Oda Nobunaga and basically caused his death by telling him the four stages of grief. You should probably watch this show.

Scamp ( The Cart Driver )

Did Nobunaga die because they messed up the five stages of grief?

Hopefully, this week marks the end of Sidonia’s and Punchline’s setup phases and they can actually start focusing on progressing their stories in interesting directions again.

Mr. Flawfinder ( Standing On My Neck )

[Nagato Yuki-chan’s] Dinosaur Park Under The Night Sky episode is the best the series has been in a while, by its standards, so one hopes it makes use of its unusual episode count to ease those still watching into a pleasant enough ending arc.

Vintagecoats ( Vintagecoats )

Triage X is more entertaining than half of the anime this season

kevo ( Anime Maru )

Pleiades continues to be my favourite of the season, as despite being a glorified advert for a car manufacturer, it’s jolly good fun. More magical girl shows need to tour (and taste) the solar system. Additionally, and unlike other shows of its ilk as of late, it feels as though it has its heart in the right place. Regarding this week’s episode, the one time they haven’t through the laws of physics out the window was used to good effect. Bravo, Pleiades.

A. Libellule ( Altair & Vega )

I am a sucker for time dilation.

Evirus ( Karmaburn )

After the worst looking One Piece episode of the year last week, we get the best looking episode of the year this week. Fantastic stuff, the sort of episode that builds unrealistic expectations for Toei perennials.

awesome_engine ( Dynamite in the Brain )

And that fulfills this season’s quota of One Piece comments.

Just two girls making beautiful music together.

Just two girls making beautiful music together.

See you next chart time!

12 Responses to “Anime Power Rankings: Making Beautiful Music (Spring Week 8)”

  1. Apparently it wasn’t that weak a week for My Love Story considering it has more votes (percentage-wise) this episode than it did the last few. And Yahari finally breaks in, so I can only conclude romance triumphs all during Week 8. Or the troubles of romance in Yahari’s case.

  2. Reading the commentary is just embarrassing in all honesty and I really swear to god I’m trying to be nice, but like…damn you people really sell a lot of good stuff short just too praise Kyoani and romance anime all the more. What’s more a lot of the praise doesn’t even make sense. Like I’m not sure which women of Kyoani the one guy is praising, but the reality is that the director, writer, sound producer, art director and lead producer of the series are all male so it’s like what women that are the best people in the industry are we even talking about here?

    Other than that really one dimensional stuff. And sorry but you’re opinions kind of do suck and come across as more than a little arrogant and dismissive and frankly just not actually funny if that’s what’s being attempted here, but what else is new from blogs.

    Like seriously who gives a fucking shit about Yuri for fucks sake and when will people ever reacquire a taste for things that aren’t just romance oriented stuff in a school setting with maybe some harem aspects. It’s like just astonishing how little people are willing to watch and experience yet how smugly dismissive they are of other stuff when they clearly don’t know shit about it. It’s like ignorance and being proud of it.

    So yeah in closing these Anime Power Rankings are a fucking joke when people are only willing to even so much as consider a handful of things which are already coming from a very limited, one dimensional and biased perspective at that. What’s the point in celebrating just the same old shit over and over and what just appears to be a veritable circle jerk about it that doesn’t even generate any new ideas or perspectives?

  3. @KS: Haruka Fujita was the episode director for this episode of Sound! Euphonium and did the storyboard.

    Reading your comment makes me curious as to what anime series you felt were the best from last week.

  4. @Steelbound: Yes I know that, but that person specifically chose to say “the women of Kyoani” while excluding the male staff responsible for that show and I frankly kind of wonder why cause that’s just one person that worked on one episode.

    Also the bullshit about that show having no competition frankly I don’t get it. I mean the people behind APR insist that it’s supposed to be set up to give the shows that may not get all that much attention otherwise there due and it seems like all it’s done is simply reaffirm whatever is already popular in the community like Kyoani shows or shoujo romance and have the guy that runs it post smugly and all self-satisfied about his opinions making it seem like all it really is is just a circle jerk at the end of the day. That’s all fine and good but I’d rather people not be so disingenuous and pretend like they’re doing some sort of community service by introducing hidden gems then.

    As for episodes I felt were strong and among the better ones last week (I don’t really play the whole lording shows over others game, just like what I like and have my reasons), Jojo which was listed here but which nobody has bothered to talk about was very strong with finally getting to the introduction of Dio and setting up the final stretch which has been building up for 4 cours now. Not many shows I get to say have had a consistently entertaining and enjoyable 4 cours because they hardly ever make those anymore, it’s a lot of safe 12 episodes and done affairs nowadays.

    Arslan Senki which nobody seems to be watching (I guess I’ll introduce it here cause that’s ostensibly what APR is for on paper right?) had a strong climactic finish to it’s first major arc where Arslan finds out about the origins of his rival and puts to rest a traitor who had once respected and whose reasons for betrayal have an interesting light shone on them that complicates things. Also just getting to see the tactics and how Arslan’s strategist gets the enemy company to self disintegrate by exploiting their paranoia’s and using the lay of the land while his best general fights the traitor general was really well done. Various subplots build as well amidst all of this.

    So yeah calling yourself APR and claiming it’s to introduce and give voice to the hidden gems and then having the incredibly self important host Kadian flat out state that nothing else was worth watching or acknowledging except for one show by showcasing “opinions that don’t suck” that has already frankly been over celebrated already is kind of bullshit.

  5. So basically, “wahhhhhh my favorite shows didn’t get votes. People didn’t agree with me!”

  6. > Anime Power Rankings are a fucking joke

    I agree with this. It’s the type of joke that is naturally-occurring so there’s value to it.

    Like all thing statistics it’s more about how to interpret the data, how to determine what it means, and what it doesn’t mean, etc. Most of those exercises are left to the reader.

  7. I just want to make it clear that what I loathe is not the fact that people have favorites and opinions that differ from my own or anything petty like that, but how this Kadian fellow talks down other shows and less popular opinions (and fairly often at that) as he’s introducing them more than anything while talking up other shows and opinions that are already popular and have plenty of exposure while acting a step away from a control freak that gets to be in charge of giving the voices to this APR thing and what opinions should be acknowledged and which are “lesser” in his eyes (I’m guessing this has to do with which bloggers are friends and “established” or not) again outright betraying the stated premise of the APR thing. going back to the first renewal here:

    Speaking honestly for a minute, I believe APR is a unique and valuable column for a couple reasons. It involves a large breadth of usually disparate and individualistic anime writers and opinion makers in an easily parsable format that no other regular online feature that I know of can boast. Also, in an era with exploding numbers of new anime TV series airing each season, no one person can reasonably evaluate and recommend the watchability of them all, but APR taps the wisdom of the crowd, the anime blogging and writing crowd, to identify the winners, the disappointments, and the hidden gems through consensus. Finally, APR in a way quantifies and records our voices, tracking the rollercoaster of feelings a whole community experiences throughout a season of brand-spanking new anime.

    Not seeing a whole lot of wisdom present in these opinions to date so much as a smug self-serving tone. Granted Kadian and co. aren’t as bad with this as the infinitely more smug, dismissive and arrogant Aeroblip who hosts FAP which is about several orders of magnitude worse than APR for all the things I said I have misgivings with but frankly that segment is hopeless anyway with people like that running it and controlling the conversation to the point where I wonder why there’s even other casters involved since he’s so disrespectful towards them and constantly shouting them down. The problem is that what Kadian says is kind of BS since that’s not what he’s doing as we can clearly see:

    Here are other opinions that don’t suck:

    That’s all folks. No other anime worth talking about this week.

    But some people just insist on reading opinions here besides the ones I promote! So here’s some others’ thoughts.

    Even if he’s trying to be funny the humor is lost because that’s not what was set out to be done here and at best he’s just trying to cover for it. I mean here you have the opportunity to make this site section more worthwhile and the opportunity to do something interesting in a community like the anime blogosphere which IMO truly is in desperate need of newer and/or previously unheard voices and opinions that aren’t self serving and just part of a circlejerk echo chamber like atmosphere and you’re really blowing it with the kind of self-serving language, tone and giving the loudest voice to whatever Kadian happens to favor. I mean there’s absolutely no need whatsoever to afford 6 comments and blatant favoritism towards one show and then say there’s some other stuff but that those opinions don’t really matter as much but here they are anyway just because I guess one has to feign that APR serves a purpose beyond circle-jerking. That sort of egotism is common in blogs yes, but ill-suited here with a stated goal.

    And yeah I realize this makes me come across as a dick, but frankly there’s a lot to be critical about here with how this blogs tone and atmosphere reads overall versus it’s stated intent.

    @IcyStorm: Tone, arrogance and self-serving attitude are the things being criticized here. People can like whatever they like, and I’ve stated what I like and given my voice. The problem I have is simply don’t say you’re planning to do something as a community project and act all self-important about it and then be dismissive and self-serving and say these opinions matter but these don’t even if it’s just a really bad attempt at a joke.

    Just the fact that you’re coming at me like this IMO proves how much this whole thing is failing miserably. You didn’t even attempt to understand what it is I’m actually criticizing, just falling back on old habits and beliefs kind of like APR has.

    @omo: And I have given my interpretation, it’s a shame it has to be a less than flattering one of what I’m being presented with and the tone and intent I sense behind it. In any case thank you for understanding where I’m coming from at the very least.

  8. This week I gave an inordinate amount of attention to Euphonium because it singularly stood out with the number votes it received and quantity and quality of comments the voters sent. As you may know, comments are not required on voting ballots volunteered by contributors, and though I concentrate those about titles making the top 5 of the week first, I publish at least a part of nearly all comments about any show I receive from voters. Frankly, I’ve scarcely gotten any comments about JoJo’s lately despite floating around the top 5 consistently, and haven’t heard a whimper of Arslan in weeks. Though it started the season in the rankings, maybe the loss of excitement has to do with how Arslan continues to looks appallingly poorly animated and drawn? However, I’m not following it so I’m relying on voters to speak up. It’s just the nature of what people want to talk about, and this week people wanted to talk about Euphonium.

    On the point of “promoting what is already popular”, it is a simple matter to discover what the very popular shows in general are. Among new shows this season, Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon, SNAFU, Food Wars, and Fate/Stay Night are without question the most popular with the anime viewing audience at large this season. They receive the most viewership, discussion, and click-throughs on English database and discussion sites like MAL, ANN, and Reddit. The likes of Bahamut, Shirobako, and Euphonium – APR “champions” of seasons past and present – have never been close to the most mainstream popular titles in a season. This is what APR tends to do: give exposure to creative and noteworthy titles that have garnered critical acclaim outside of the teen-oriented action fantasies that naturally get the most attention in the English-speaking anime audience sphere. If the critically favored shows don’t happen to be the ones you like, I always encourage you to make reasonable critiques of them or promote the ones you do like, but don’t try to grasp at faults with the critics themselves. That’s always a no-win proposition.

    As for my personality, every writer that shares opinions will have some personality come through, and whether you like it or not it out of my control. I suspect it wouldn’t be a point of much contention if APR had the results you wanted or if I shared your enthusiasm about your favorite shows, as you have made your distaste for “romance oriented stuff in a school setting” clear. Regardless of whether you get my humor or not, as stated before I do quote everyone that has something to say despite any opinions I have on that show.

    It must suck to be against the tide of opinion here, and attacking me may be a valid way in your mind to discredit the foundation and methods of this project. But rest assured, ballot prompts and point counting are exhaustively fair and unbiased. I’ve invited nearly every notable amateur anime blogger/writer/podcaster (and some pros) I can think of and accepted anyone else that wanted in and who met the basic qualifications of a voter. Thus the only bias in voter selection is the limits of my knowledge and time to seek out and recruit them. And there’s no reasonable way I could control the tastes and voting habits of the 60-odd semi-regular voting bloggers and writers Anime Power Rankings includes. Therefore, this effort is and will continue to be a representative slice of the English-speaking aniblogging community at large. Once again, if you vehemently disagree with results here, how you react is up to your discretion, which hopefully will be funneled into a more constructive task than making pointless personal accusations here.

  9. @KS,you really seem to be taking these arbitrary rankings a little too seriously.

  10. @Kadian1365: Well forgive me then if I find the nature of the conversation and what people want to talk about a little bland and one dimensional. It’s not like you have a particularly small sample size either so the level of conformity in a season that IMO has a lot too offer for a multitude of genres is more than a little disappointing. If you ask me it paints a picture where the pundits are scarcely more varied in opinion and outlook than the general audiences you describe that all gravitate toward Teen Fantasy Action stories and to which you’re trying to provide a counter-voice but really it’s just one loud counter-voice that all seems to favor one kind of thing all the same. Just replace that with Teen Romance/SoL stories and/or shows by Kyoto Animation really. It’s all the same story and an old one at that.

    Also Arslan is not appallingly drawn, it has some slip ups in recent episodes for sure but overall it’s been quite decent if not a massively budgeted affair by a bigger studio. The level of pretty in a show isn’t always everything either so to see people leap to that conclusion is again more than a little disappointing, but not altogether unsurprising really. And no the result I want have nothing to do with this, that’s never going to happen in a million years because I simply don’t like the same kind of shows most people that would vote in these sorts of thing do anyway (not really into low key slice of life and romantic comedy stuff), it’s the level of conformity and just falling back on the same old same old while claiming that the goal is to give a voice to lesser known shows and the contradictions therein while saying things like

    “Here are other opinions that don’t suck”

    and

    “That’s all folks. No other anime worth talking about this week.

    But some people just insist on reading opinions here besides the ones I promote! So here’s some others’ thoughts.”

    that are what I think are the problem, but like you say not much I can do about it other than comment.

    @Themaster20000: IMO not as much as you might think. At the end of the day my theory is that people just decided early on that this season sucks and defaulted to old standby’s and personal genre /studio favorites of which the blogosphere has a lot of conformity on from what I remember during my unfortunate time running one and that’s what we’re seeing play out here. Why people think this of all seasons of late is the one that sucks I do not know, but there seems to be a consensus there, which more than anything has me wondering what people will say come Summer which looks a lot weaker at face value in terms of variety and shows that grab my attention at least but hopefully turns out not to be the case.

    Really I thought that Summer-Winter 2014 were the kind of dismal/disappointing seasons of late and that Spring 2015 is the first time things have looked up in about a year when it comes to TV anime at least, but a lot of other people seemed to find those strong or above average for whatever reason so again it’s the same old story pretty much of me having a pretty opposite viewpoint of the majority pretty much wherever I go. I personally just like variety and options though with shows having something resembling a budget and creative drive so that’s what I tend to judge the quality of a given anime season on.

    That’s probably the last I’ll have to say on this matter.

  11. This is some Grade A comment section right here. Over a dozen paragraphs because other people don’t like your favorite shows.

    Anyway, I’m just kinda shocked that Oregairu 9 made it, but 8 didn’t. I guess that might come down to the inherent self-selection of sequels, though that’s apparently not stopping JoJo – but I guess JoJo has always had pretty universal appeal. I’m also somewhat surprised that people have been enjoying the recent UBW episodes enough to vote for them. STOP VOTING FOR THE WRONG SHOWS oh no I’m doing it.

  12. Kadian! You sly dog… this has gotten the most comments of an APR post in months! And it even prompted me to take a look at a bunch of the APR posts I didn’t get to the past several weeks! Now that is some crafty viral marketing there.

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