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Web Videos are a great format to discuss theories, share information, and talk about opinions. They're more eye-catching than text and are often quicker to understand. In The New '10s, many channels on YouTube began popping up that were centered around media analysis and critique. Often these take the form of a polished, pre-scripted "video essay", though sometimes the analysis is presented more informally.

Fandom-specific analysis channels rarely last long as-is. The creators often end up bored and broaden their videos to analyze more than just one work. A very common format for analysis vidders, especially in fandom specific works, is to have a character avatar. The videos usually feature art of the character to the side and images of the discussed work in a box. This makes the video feel more "alive" while also avoiding YouTube copyright detection, which is triggered by video and/or audio but not still images. It's uncertain where this format began but it seems to be from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fandom. For examples from this fandom, see MLP Analysis.

A note on the vocabulary: As used here, the term "analysis" is synonymous with "critique" and distinct from "review". A review is a subjective opinion on a piece of media intended to help its audience decide whether to buy said piece of media or not. A critique/analysis is a technical breakdown of the subject intended to explain why it mattered and/or still matters in the bigger scheme of things.

See also Video Review Show, a similar genre of videos with a lot of overlap.

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Analysis channels or creators with their own pages:

  • 3kliksphilip, an umbrella term for a group of channels ran by Phillip Dyer, of which the eponymous channel is a Counter-Strike analysis channel.
  • The 8-Bit Guy: Repairs, restorations, and demonstrations of well-known vintage computers and long-form documentaries about them.
  • Action Button: Long-form analysis of significant video games.
  • agadmator
  • Ahoy mainly focuses on videos about Standard FPS Guns, though he also covers other gaming subjects (e.g. his series A Brief History of Graphics, and videos on specific games such as Lemmings and Doom).
  • Alternate History Hub is a channel that produces videos focusing on Alternate History. There is also a secondary channel named Knowledge Hub, which produces videos analyzing real life topics (usually history and/or geography-related).
  • Archengeia aka Lorerunner has the Rumination Analysis subseries where he does in-depth critique and analysis of story-based media, going into great detail on their plot structures, characters, and themes.
  • Backwards Songs With Luke: Finding and interpreting hidden messages in pop music and videos.
  • Better With Bob, run by Bobby Calloway and several videos analysing the historical context of several films from The Golden Age of Hollywood, or just discussing characterization in various films and television.
  • Bob "Moviebob" Chipman's channel, in addition to hosting his film reviews, also hosts his video essay series Really That Good, which discusses whether well-regarded films retain their reputation. He also publishes videos on games, as the "Game Overthinker".
  • Captain Disillusion is a YouTube channel entirely dedicated to debunking viral fake videos and conspiracy theories from the web. There's also a weird subplot about Time Travel going on, but don't worry about it.
  • Climate Town the channel focuses on both climate science and policy, often analyzing the tactics of the fossil fuel industry.
  • ComicTropes analyzes the history of comics, their stories, their tropes, and the creators behind the comics.
  • ContraPoints is a YouTube channel that does left-wing analyses of numerous sociopolitical topics.
  • Defunctland provides analysis and retrospectives for shut-down amusement parks and amusement park rides as well as defunct Puppet Shows.
  • EmceeProphIt's PAHNalysis series is dedicated to "deconstructing symbolism and subtext in video games".
  • {Errant Signal} by Chris Franklin consists of 10-20 minute videos (often multi-parters) examining whole games, individual levels, and overarching tropes.
  • Every Frame a Painting did in-depth videos on film theory, production, and individual movies; it's no longer updating.
  • Extra Credits is one of the oldest video game analysis channels, doing short weekly videos about various aspects of video gaming, from culture and production to design and writing.
  • False Swipe Gaming analyzes how well Pokémon did in competitive play, and occasionally how good Super Smash Bros. characters were throughout the games.
  • Feminist Frequency: Analyzes pop culture portrayals of women and female characters from a feminist perspective.
  • Folding Ideas analyzes movies and occasionally video games, as well as tropes common in both media, with much more emphasis put on the use of cinematography and editing in developing narratives.
  • Forgotten Weapons is a YouTube channel (and blog) that analyzes rare and mostly forgotten firearms as well as their historical background.
  • Game Theory focuses on video game-related theories which employ lots of science topics as well as some plain old Wild Mass Guessing. It also has several sister series such as:
    • Culture Shock, which discusses cultural (read: Japanese) topics in gaming
    • Film Theory, which is essentially the same as GT except it's movie, tv show, and web video-centered and has its own channel
    • The SCIENCE!, which is much more science-focused (i.e. it discusses things like "with how much force do the giants in Skyrim need to hit the ground in order to send you flying to space, and what other things would happen if they did hit the ground with that much force?)
  • Gomotion is a channel mostly focused on reviewing and cataloguing various topics, such as horror games and related media.
  • Gnoggin, like Game Theory, focuses on scientific analysis of specific aspects of video games, though he has sometimes put out videos on different subjects.
  • The Hard Sell: Documentary series looking at the history of TV advertising in Britain, with episodes focusing on a specific type of product or service, a particular brand, or a selection of adverts from a specific commercial break.
  • H.Bomberguy does analysis of video games, series, and films, as well as his political videos, where he debunks talking points by far-right video creators. There is also his Serious Lore Analysis, which combines the genre with copious amounts of Mind Screw.
  • History Buffs: Evaluates use of Artistic License – History versus historical accuracy in films and television, and provides further context.
  • ITV in the Face: A region-by-region retrospective on the ITV network, its branding and presentation.
  • The Imaginary Axis analyses various characters and lore from (mostly) comic books, such as analyzing how strong certain fictional items are or how and why certain characters are so strong.
  • Jessie Gender: A Transgender Youtuber who specializes in reviews of Star Trek and political videos, usually about LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent issues.
  • Kurzgesagt (a.k.a. In a Nutshell) is a Munich based, animated infographics channel that analyzes and explains several scientific, astronomical, and technological topics as well as current, real world issues through the use of what many agree to be one of the most astounding displays of stylized infographics and internet animation to ever be shown across a screen.
  • Kyoto Video by KaiserBeamz looks at anime from the past and analyzes them from a more critical lens.
  • Lindsay Ellis (the former Nostalgia Chick) publishes video essays on various films.
  • Macintyre focuses on Zelda theory and analysis videos but also has videos for other Nintendo series. Macintyre occasionally does collab videos with Commonwealth Realm, another popular Zelda (and Nintendo in general) analyzer. Both helped popularize several theories, such as how the Twili are descendents of the Sheikah and how there was a Sheikah genocide prior to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
  • Munecat
  • The Mysterious Mr. Enter is a review channel for animation who reviews in an alliterative manner on which ones are great animation (Admirable Animation) and which ones are horrible animations (Animated Atrocites). He also has a separate review for episodes related to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais does in-depth video critiques of video games and game series, Action and Horror Video Games, as well as old-school Western RPGs. His analyses are notoriously extensive, e.g. his examination of the Neverwinter Nights series clocks in at 3+ hours. He had also branched out into the Travelogue Show genre, after his success at crowdfunding allowed him to fulfill his dream of traveling across continental US.
  • The Nostalgia Critic started out as a review show of 1980s and earlier films. In the 2010s he rebranded himself to include recent films and analysis of films.
  • Overanalyzing Avatar is a channel that humorously overanalyzes Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • TheRealJims is an analysis channel predominantly focused on The Simpsons. It features retrospectives on the individual seasons, analysis' on the characters, mysteries about the show, reviews, and other Simpsons related videos.
  • Renegade Cut mostly tackles popular films, and how they relate to heavy subjects like philosophy, politics, and religion.
  • Rob Ager analyzes hidden meanings in films.
  • Sacred Cow Shipyards focuses primarily on the technical examination of ships, vehicles, and equipment presented in science fiction settings.
  • Shadiversity is a YouTuber who specializes in analyzing castles and weapons and armour, and anything medieval or fantasy-related.
  • Shadow Streak is a cartoon analysts, best known for having reviewed every episode of The Power Puff Girls 2016. But has looked at other cartoons as well as licensed video games based off of cartoons
  • Shoegazer Productions has a series of videos where he discusses and analyzes lost media. He also has a series discussed Troubled Productions.
  • Skallagrim reviews weapons (mainly swords), Historical European Martial Arts, and medieval swordsmanship manuals. He also often analyses (and scrutinizes) the display of such items in fictional media. Oh, and yes, he also started the "End Him Rightly" meme, so there's that.
  • Solar Sands started off as a webshow dedicated to gawking at 90% of the submissions to DeviantArt, but later branched into more general discussions of art and animation and how they are depicted in media.
  • Spirit Of The Law discuss several topics about the Age of Empires series, mostly focusing on Age of Empires II and its re-releases and expansions.
  • Super Eyepatch Wolf talks primarily about topics relating to anime and manga (such as the current state of Shonen Jump or the mechanics behind Junji Ito's horror manga.) but occasionally dips into talking about more broad topics like character design and fight scenes as well as about other media such as video games and professional wrestling. Many of his analyses include his own personal thoughts and feelings on the subject at hand as well.
  • Super Bunnyhop publishes videos with game design analysis.
  • The Take analyzes the symbolism, themes, and messages of individual pieces of fiction and examines the history, portrayal, and influence of common tropes, primarily focusing on television and film.
  • Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage by MrBtongue's mainly take critical looks at video games, most RPGs, but also occasional films and TV series. He also does Creepy, Obsessive Nerdlove on the same channel, which takes a more positive look at the featured media.
  • TB Skyen publishes videos critiquing animation, such as frame-by-frame breakdowns of Glen Keane's "Lux: Binding Light" trailer for League of Legends, the intro to ''Sonic Mania'', and the title sequence of the 2017 revival of ''DuckTales''. He also frequently discusses character design, usually involving League of Legends or Overwatch characters.
  • The Templin Institute examines the worlds of science fiction and fantasy franchises, through the Framing Device of a team of interdimensional researchers observing these worlds from afar. Their spinoff series Incoming is a more direct and straight example without the framing device, where the channel's creator Marc Gerst directly explains his thoughts on various media.
  • Todd in the Shadows, is a music reviewer whose face is covered in shadows as he breaks down the details of pop songs, one hit wonders, and Madonna's filmography.
  • TREY the Explainer is an edutainment YouTuber focused on prehistoric creatures, mainly dinosaurs. He creates videos about animals and biology to help people learn more about them. He also has a series of videos where he debunks cryptids or analyzes works like Steven Universe and Jurassic World from scientific viewpoints.
  • Since his return in 2020, The Unlucky Tug analyses aspects of Thomas & Friends such as characters or specific episodes.
  • Up From The Depths is a channel exploring all things Kaiju, particularly Godzilla.
  • Vsauce is known for analyzing unusual questions in huge amounts of detail, with high amounts of interesting tangents.
  • When Posting Goes Wrong provides detailed looks at infamous moments of fandom and internet drama, such as the Msscribe debacle from the Harry Potter fandom, which got an hour-long video.
  • WickedBinge publishes videos primarily focusing on cartoons. Their most well-known compilations are their Good vs. Evil videos where they present the morality of the characters.
  • Wisecrack Edition picks a specific intellectual property (Anime, Western Animation, Films, Video Games and even individual characters and celebrities) and delves into analyses on the kind of philosophy, sociology, theology, economics and politics that they demonstrate.
  • Y: Ruler of Time (Nikolas Freeman) is a manga reviewer for LordKat Live. He has a review show called Read Right to Left, with many explanatory notes about manga tropes and Japanese culture, and a newer show called Small Page, Big Screen where he looks at movie adaptations of manga.

Other examples by channel subject:

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Strip Panel Naked breaks down the techniques used by comic creators, particularly in page composition.



    Multiple Media 
  • Kaptain Kristian discusses pop culture in videos that feature polished editing and Scene Transition effects.
  • LSuperSonicQ focuses his channel on lost media and Urban Legend Of Zeldas.
  • Nerdwriter1 mostly produces videos about film, but has also made videos highlighting the techniques of comedians, politicians, artists, musicians and more.
  • Wendigoon talks about a variety of subjects, from cults to conspiracy theories to horror movies. He is most known for his various iceberg videos.
  • Blame It On Jorge is most known for lengthy videos about real life mysteries, internet oddities, and conspiracy theories. Jorge is best known for his various videos on lost media, and is a partner with the Lost Media Wiki.


  • PatMac focuses on video game merchandise (especially Nintendo and Sonic plushes) analysis' and retrospectives.

    Video Games 
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Matthewmatosis publishes lengthy video retrospectives and reviews which contain a strong focus on game design analysis.
  • Mark Brown makes two different analysis series on his channel: Game Maker's Toolkit, where he examines individual games, overarching themes, and trends in gaming; and Boss Keys, where he dives deep into the design of spaces that require navigation and puzzle-solving skills- the first series, which gave it its name, was for the dungeons of The Legend of Zelda series, before later series would focus on other franchises like Metroid.
  • Street Fighter player Jay Rego's channel features (at the time of writing) two "Analyse This!" playlists which offer moment-by-moment analysis of high-level Street Fighter IV play.
  • Summoning Salt is a YouTuber who creates videos on the history of speedrunning. More specifically, how certain games' runs have got faster over the years through the discovery of new techniques.
  • Turbo Button is another channel analysing game design and animation.
  • VaatiVidya is one of the most well-known Dark Souls lorists out there, jokingly describing himself as a "Professional Item Description reader." He mainly does videos narrating the otherwise indecipherable lore of the characters from the Dark Souls games. He also was a major contributor to the creation of the "Giantdad" meme.
  • miiyouandmii2 is a Youtube channel that mainly focuses on the development of video games and the development of cancelled video games.
  • CrappyCaptureCard is one of the oldest examples. It is unactive now but in its heyday it featured videos discussing the history behind Super Smash Bros. moves up until Super Smash Bros Brawl.
  • Beta 64 is a channel that analyzes the development of various video games.
  • Wrestling With Gaming revolves around retrospectives and analysis' of retro game related topics.
  • Jenovi is a channel that analyzes vaporware, different versions of retro games, and the history of gaming.
  • YouTuber Daniel Ibbertson runs the channel "Slope's Game Room" which focuses on gaming analysis' and gaming history documentaries.
  • The GVMERS channel specializes in in-depth retrospectives of old (and moderately old) games and, particularly, their development histories, pulling together multiple sources like post mortems and developer interviews to reconstruct the full story of how these games were made and what impact their development had on the released product.
  • ZMangz focuses a lot on Japanese games and franchises, talking about the history of franchises that may not be so popular outside of Japan and why certain franchises or companies died off. He does do a few reviews alongside analysis videos.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The YouTuber Thuderf00t focuses his videos on analyzing and debunking all those supposedly revolutionary inventions that pop up on Kickstarter every once in a while. Controversially, he also does videos criticizing "crazy feminists" and "religious extremists".
  • Yesterworld Entertainment provides analysis' and retrospectives on Disney World and Disney Land attractions.