Why Watching Anime Through Headphones May Be A Better Experience
and what to watch for your next binge!
Hi. I'm a closeted weeb.
I own a Crunchyroll Premium account instead of Netflix and would rather spend a day bingeing anime over doing some Disney+ and thrust. I've always enjoyed my weeb-tivities: watching my fave Oogui eater Yuka Kinoshita (her YT is lit - she's absolutely adorable and can stomach crazy amounts of delicious food), losing myself in WebToon comics/mangas, and of course, streaming through an unacceptable amount of anime series. My initial spark of interest for anime dates all the way back to a time where dubbed Sailor Moon, One Piece, and Inuyasha first aired on TV. That was all I would watch during my childhood and my love for this culture has grown since!
Recently, I came across this new found appreciation for the audio aspect of anime. While attending audio school, I had the opportunity to learn about sound for film and games. After that, my listening experience has evolved, and I'm rewatching some of my favourite animes with a fresh perspective! Allow me to explain.
Ever wonder why you become super submersed in a particular scene or series? Somehow it just draws you in and ties you down right in that moment and it feels like you're actually there with the characters. Music and sound play a major role in achieving that goal.
Music is a great way to set the tone of a particular scene. In general, it tells the audience when there's great moments or unfortunate moments. And the way it's composed to play and change throughout an episode can be a great feat. Imagine instead of creating a 3 minute song, you make a 20 minute 'song' or composition that changes in style quickly and drastically depending on the scenario. With that, an artistic music composition can sway audiences almost seamlessly.
My favourite example of this is in one of my all time faves: One Piece. I kid you not, I replayed this scene (spoiler alert) and cried like 8 times. The kicker here is that the melody is what evoked that emotion for me.
As noted, music can make a massive impact on how a scene or episode plays out. Though alone, it may not be able to tell the complete story. This is where sound comes into play.
Think of sound as another layer or added dimension to the music composition of an episode. Additional sound can create textures, sweeten particular moments in certain scenes, and even add a little beef to some darker/tense parts of a story. Some sounds can be as subtle as birds chirping in the distance, or can be as distinct as a gun shot fired directly in front of the viewer.
When you put the two together (music & sound), the entire anime magically comes to life.
With these key points in mind, my favourite anime as of late has been Bungo Stray Dogs. Sonically, it's a masterpiece. If you do decide to watch it, or have watched it, I recommend taking a moment to acknowledge the music and sound of this series. I really enjoyed how some sounds and pieces of music tie in with specific characters, and the attention to detail - like the echoes of footsteps and dialogue in large spaces, or the absence of music during a pivoting moment - were 100% on point. Listening through a quality pair of headphones or equally a set of speakers enhances that experience even more! Watching the anime in stereo where sound can be perceived in your left and right ears can widen the 'image' of the soundscape, creating an incredibly surreal experience.
I hope this piece of writing may be of value. Possibly eye-opening to a new revolutionary perspective? Or perhaps, a spark to ignite an interest for anime.. Give it a shot! You'll never know 'til you try.
If you've read all the way through to the bottom, I appreciate you. Thank you for taking the time to read <3 See you at the next post!