Reacting to Reaction Videos

Who knew that watching somebody else enjoy something could be enjoyable in and of itself?

On the one hand, it can seem like the height of hubris to post a video of yourself reacting to something else — like, say, a song or movie trailer — and expect anyone else to care about your reaction.

On the other hand, it can be really enjoyable to watch someone else exhibit true surprise and delight while experiencing something for the first time — especially if it’s something you yourself enjoy. (Also, I run a blog where I hope people enjoy what I have to say about music, movies, anime, etc., so who am I to judge?)

There are countless reaction videos on YouTube, but I’ve highlighted a few that I find particularly enjoyable, with links to more.

I’ve written before about Corridor Crew’s reaction videos. A film and visual effects studio, Corridor Crew has launched several reaction video series related to visual effects, stunts, and animation. (Their “Impersonator Olympics” videos are pretty fun, too.) They release new reaction videos every weekend that are must-see viewing here at Opus HQ. And when we’re finished with the newest one, we usually end up watching several more in one sitting.

Sam, Niko, Clint, Wren, et al.s enthusiasm is infectious and their frequent guests, like stuntman Eric Linden in the video above, provide interesting and entertaining “behind the scenes” insights into the creation of some of our favorite movies.

I haven’t written about this a lot on Opus, but I love magic. I can do a few simple tricks, and I know enough to know how some other tricks and routines are done even if I can’t necessarily see the actual sleights or moves. However, I’d never consider myself a magician proper (so don’t ask me to perform at your next party — whenever that might happen). Which is why I enjoy watching videos by someone like Eduard Todor, a New Zealand-based magician who frequently reacts to and discusses other magicians’ acts like this amazing Ryan Hayashi routine from Penn & Teller: Fool Us.

Todor doesn’t necessarily spoil the secrets, but his appreciation of Hayashi’s obvious skills — check out the move at the video’s 5:43 mark — gives me some insights that help me appreciate the routine even more. For another example of this, watch Todor’s reaction to Eric Mead’s Fool Us routine.

I recently discovered the epic power metal of Unleash the Archers. One of the band’s most distinguishing characteristics is Brittney Slayes’ powerhouse of a voice. Tara Simon is a professional singer and vocal coach, and watching her reactions to Slayes’ voice — and the rest of the band’s chops — isn’t just fun, but also educational as she explains how Slayes is able to hit and maintain those notes.

I know very little about My Hero Academia. But I do know that when I need a little pick-me-up, Christopher Cowan’s My Hero Academia-inspired UA:LA pilot short more than fills the bill with its inventive action choreography and simple-yet-charming story about a young wannabe superhero trying to do the right thing — and quickly getting in over his head. And just as enjoyable is watching CantStopAmani’s enthusiastic reactions to this awesome example of live-action anime.

I’m primarily a D&D guy, but I do enjoy Warhammer 40,000 — the tabletop strategy wargame that gave us the term “grimdark” — for its over-the-top ridiculousness. Earlier this year, I wrote about Astartes, a series of short films set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe that’s received near universal acclaim for its impressive visuals and cinematic computer animation… which are all the more impressive given that Astartes was basically made by one guy.

The Warhammer 40,000 lore is incredibly complex and convoluted, so someone like NornQueenAlexis can provide some helpful context while you watch the video. (For example, who knew there were so many orders in the Inquisition?) On the other hand, if you don’t know your Ordo Hereticus from your Ordo Malleus (and couldn’t care less) and are more interested in the filmmaking aspects of Astartes, then Chris Connor’s got you covered.

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