Though they're only a few seconds long, the best ones definitely matter
For years, I've considered myself a connoisseur of good anime eyecatches. The best ones, despite being only a few seconds long, can stick out in my memory just as much as the most important moments of the shows that they're crammed into. Of course, my claims of being a "connoisseur" would likely be more valid if I didn't spend last week asking my bosses "Hey, what are those little cartoons in the middle of episodes called?" So, yes, like my Canadian supermodel girlfriend that couldn't attend prom because she was too busy supermodeling or Frankenstein's monster, I've loved them without even knowing their name. But I knew that they mattered, and that's what counts.
And it's because they matter that I've decided to rank my seven favorite ones, starting with...
7. Paranoia Agent's Were As Haunting As The Show
Paranoia Agent is a creepy show that deals heavily in how fear affects people. So obviously it would have a creepy eyecatch. You don't really get a hint of what the show is about from these eyecatches—they honestly just make your TV look busted. But that's likely the point. It aims to throw you off guard and prepare you for the unsettling content to follow.
6. Ranma 1/2's Were Quirky And Cute
I must confess that Ranma 1/2 isn't one of my favorite shows. It doesn't really hold a space in my heart like the rest of the stuff on this list. That said, the eyecatches for it are amazing. They are absolutely bursting with personality and are all intensely colorful and dynamic. They also often include the character Genma in his panda form, a form that sort of became the mascot of the series. And I can't say no to an animated panda drinking tea and being panda-ish. I just can't.
5. Dragon Ball's Gave Us What We Wanted (More Young Goku)
While big, buff adult Goku is definitely the "cooler" character, I do adore young Goku. Here's this tiny, naive dude with a monkey tail that goes around kicking the crap out of anyone and everyone. He can't see above the rest of the cast's kneecaps and yet, if you mess with him and Bulma, he'll put you in the hospital forever. So you want to see as much of him as you can, which makes the Dragon Ball eyecatches a treat. They're just lil' Goku doing stuff. And considering that the Dragon Ball franchise has lasted over thirty years, "Goku doing stuff" is a formula that doesn't require any tampering.
4. "Who's That Pokémon?" Became A Catchphrase
3. One Piece's Character Themes Were Beautiful And Simplistic
I don't mean to clog your screen with hot takes today, but One Piece is pretty neat. Some have even called it "a good series," and ya know, I'd agree with them. And in the eyecatch department, it's no slouch. They have a different one for every main character that plays along with a short little character theme, which helps to reaffirm the fact that while Luffy is usually the main attraction on the show, his fellow Straw Hats are super important, too.
Throughout the various Sailor Moon series, I've yet to find an abysmal eyecatch. They're so flashy and awesome. But my favorite might be the one for Sailor Moon R. As you may be able to tell from this list, I love any style and color palette that screams "THIS SHOW IS FROM THE 90S AND IT'S NOT SORRY" and this one nails that aesthetic.
1. Yu Yu Hakusho's Goofy Eyecatch Often Contrasted The Show's Tone