Well, here will be the place with my list of 10 Personal Favorite Anime Shows. I know that I did post one way back in the Fall of 2011, but since that time I have given it some more thought and decided to put together a more cohesive list with explanations as to why these are on my list.
This will be a countdown from 10 all the way down to 1, starting in October....
10-Neon Genesis Evangelion
Well, for me, Evangelion is the anime that I can say was my
gateway into anime back in my high school days. I remember back when
I first saw this anime as two VHS tapes (Episodes 1-4) at the local
Blockbuster, renting them several times over. I was amazed at the
giant robots and the spectacle. I got the DVDs, first the original
release then later the Platinum edition of the series. I quite like
the series, even if it has flaws the depth of canals. The animation
has not aged well, the story runs out of steam by end and much of the
main cast are unlikeable in one respect or another.
That being said, the fact that this show is still looked at and
analyzed to this day, when most of its contemporaries aren't, says
something about this. The fact that it very much changed the anime
landscape up to the present day cannot be ignored. The last two
episodes of the series are perhaps the best experimental animation I
have seen that does make sense. End of Eva is both the most confusing
and yet inherently sensible anime movie I have seen in my life (The
Utena movie comes close). Watching End of Eva is an experience that I
believe every fan of anime should see at least once.
However, this is at the bottom of the list simply because I have
watched far better stuff then Evangelion since. It's a good show,
don't get me wrong, but the rest of the list contains series that are
just better in my opinion.
Link: Evangelion Rebuild 1-2 Review (May 2013)
9-Bodacious Space Pirates
This show is a whole lot of fun and very entertaining. I mean,
the freaking title should tell you that much right off the bat. Of
course, I went into this anime with next to zero expectations because
it seemed to me to be another fanservice-heavy show with little
substance. It turns out that, after watching the first episode, this
easily got my attention. I love science fiction because it is so open
to various takes and perspectives of the human condition and how it
changes through time. With Bodacious Space Pirates, it explores a
rather optimistic take on the future where piracy is legally
sanctioned and outer space is treated as a nautical adventure then
anything else. It essentially tells the coming of age for Marika, who
goes down as one of many favorite female lead characters in anime, at
least in my book. Her journey from a normal school girl to pirate
captain is a very good , with plenty of twists and turns in the
But more than that, this show is just lots of fun. The moment
that made me realize that was the duel scene in episode 6 between
Kane and Marika. The energy and drive present is amazing, the
dialogue sparkling with wit and charm. Not to say it's the only
highlight of the series for me: the Lynn/Jenny subplot, the dinghy
race with Ai-chan, etc. Yet on the same note, it doesn't let the
drama down at the expense to the comedy/entertainment.
Granted this show is low on this list as this series has been a
fairly recent anime that I have watched. But I still enjoy it
Link: BSP 3 Reasons Article on AR (August 2013)
8-El Hazard the Magnificent World
Wow, what a fantastic show! El Hazard has it all when it comes to
90s fantasy anime: great premise, wide cast of likeable and engaging
characters, the vast epic of the story and setting made clear in 7
episodes, wonderful animation even for its time, etc. This, along
with Tenchi is what made AIC a powerhouse studio of 90s anime with
series like Burn Up, Battle Athletes, etc.
Unfortunately, this entry does require an asterisk, as the first
OVA of this series is the only one that is any kind of good. This is
due to the premise of the time loop, which can lend itself to so many
opportunities. Unfortunately, they squandered it badly. The Second
OVA tries but fails to match up to the first OVA, Wanderers is a
bloated retelling of the first OVA, and the Alternative World ends on
the worst onsen episode ever, forever unfinished. That is a dang
shame, in my book.
Still, the OP rocks my green socks off anyway.
Link: El Hazard the Magnificent World review (September 2012)
If there has to be a pinnacle of not only Gainax anime, but of the
entire giant robot genre, then Diebuster certainly belongs up there.
I have yet to see the original Gunbuster, but as a standalone work
Diebuster works just as well. The story is fantastic, the characters
likeable and memorable (Nono and Lal'C in particular), and the
central message really speaks to me in a huge way. Everything about
this show is excellent: the animation, music, voice acting, etc.
Seriously, just read my review on it anyway!
Link: Diebuster review (April 2013)
If Diebuster is the pinnacle for Gainax when it comes to giant
robot genre, this is their pinnacle of anime comedy. This series is
crazy and insane, over the top animation and I love it for that
quality. Sure the animation derps and dips from time to time, but the
cheapness is charming. Yeah, I have seen it countless times (and even
own it on DVD now), but it is a show that I like to rewatch again and
Once again, its ending song 'Ride on Shooting Star' rocks my socks
Link: FLCL review (January 2014)
At first, I wasn't too thrilled at first with this series. I felt it was an over-hyped series that only hipsters like. However, when I got it for Christmas last year, it grew on me. This show seems to revel in its own special brand of insanity and it is glorious. Granted, I might have to rewatch this one as some of the plot elements weren't exactly clear, but I quite like this show. Once again, trying to keep this short as I plan on reviewing this later at some point.
Baccano review (March 2014)
AH yes, this utterly fantastic show. The first of the shows on
this list done in part by mangaka Kosuke Fujishima, well in
cojunction with Hiroi Ouji and Satoru Akahori anyway. This is
probably the best anime based slightly on Super Sentai I have seen.
There is just so much I like about this show: be it the mecha, the
great character team dynamic, the fabulous Kohei Tanaka music or the
rather good animation that the show has (this was done by Madhouse by
the way). Once again, the opening song is one of my all time favorite anime
3-Ah My Goddess
Ah yeah, the best story Fujishima has ever penned, and a series
that continues to the present day more or less. It is also the most
looked on this blog, by far. The story of Belldandy and Keiichi
Morisato is really a quintessential romance in anime, probably one of
the best in the genre. It is also one of the best franchise AIC did
(other than Tenchi Muyo). I mean seriously, read my reviews for this
great show already!
Link: OMG OVA Part 1, OMG OVA Part 2, OMG Movie (February 2012)
AMG Season 1 OVA (November 2013)
Note: Entries #2 and #1 are practically inter-changeable,
depending on my mood or whim
2-Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Well, well: the series that in many ways a magnum opus, not just
of the magical girl genre, but of anime as a whole. It was one of
those shows that very much changed my life when it comes to anime.
Everything works here nearly perfectly: the animation, characters,
writing, music, etc. The only minor things go against that are just
quibbles that don't really diminish from the series overall. Once again, just check out my review for it!
Link: Madoka (September 2013)
1-Read or Die (OVA and TV Series)
So, I end my list of Anime Favorites with the one that got me
hooked into anime in the first place. And yes I include both the OVA
and TV Series as they are both fantastic, though in different ways.
The OVA is a great sci-fi action movie, at least when I saw first
back in the day. The TV Series, in addition to being really great
sci-fi action stuff, has some really good character drama and comedy
(at times) interlaced within. It doesn't hurt that this is my
all-time favorite due to my immense love of books and reading
combined with my enthusiasm for spy action movies. Plus, I find that the TV series is criminally under-rated but then again it had a limited airing here in the States so no need to fuss more on it. This list ends with Evangelion, the series that gave me that initial hook, while Read or Die which ends it, is the series that cement my own interest in anime on the whole.
Link: ROD OVA (January 2012), ROD the TV (July 2013)