My Top 10 Best Anime Series
Here is a break from the normal game reviews and other similar articles. Anime is the shortened version of Animation/Animated but, it is usually used in reference to Japanese animations. Depending on which side of the internet you lay on; Anime could either be the best thing ever or the worst thing ever or you just don’t really care about it.
Hate them or love em, there is an anime for everyone out there. These are my top 10 Animes, in no particular order.
DISCLAIMER: to make it to the top 10, I must have watched 80% or more of all of the published episodes in the specified series. Honorable Mentions come close to the top 10 and are also in no particular order, I just happen to like those in the top 10 better. These are based on the Anime TV series, not movies associated with the TV Animes. I will not to include spoilers in these reviews.
#1: Tengen Toppa Gureren Lagaan
Words cannot explain the inspiring, blood pounding, jaw droppingly awesome moments that make up this Anime. The story is written like two seasons with a time jump in the middle, but it produced as once season with two “parts”. Main characters are memorable and there are moments/lines in this Anime that you might remember for the rest of your life. The entire series is non-stop, blood-pumping, awesome that will evoke emotions of rage and motivated joy. Gainax really hit it out of the park with this one.
#2: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
I found this Anime series to be a kind of thinking/philosophical man’s anime. There is rarely any story based action or combat, unless it is a comical spin off the character’s personalities… But that’s not what you are here for. You are here for the many life lessons or “Despairs” that exist in life; these “Despairs” that we all fall into as a civilization and don’t notice until pointed out. The intro and outro songs are sung by the voice actors of the Anime and are pretty darn good. I can easily say, I enjoyed this one greatly compared to many other animes.
Minimalistic art style and short term characters; there are really only 4 main characters that make it through to the last episode (kinda…). It is hard to explain the emotions felt after watching this anime without releasing multiple spoilers. I have to say this Anime is about 80% character development and 20% combat. Combat ends up being short and sweet, except for the last episode where the entire thing is pretty much a sweet, sweet, well written and drawn one sided, curbstomp of a battle. The ending is mildly unexpected but fits very well with the message/character development the story was trying to convey.
#4: Naruto Shippuden
To be blunt, I liked both the Original series and the Shuppuden series/arc but one of the major reasons I like Shippuden is because of the lack of excessive filler. Yea, the Original Naruto had a truckload and a half of filler, but all of that filler taught you new things about the characters, got them stronger, and actually ended up being canon or used as a springboard into other arcs rather than silly side stories that have no impact or relation to the main story. The fight/action scenes have improved greatly since it started and the large cast of different characters will keep you entertained for a long while.
#5: Lucky Star
This one is a mixed bag of sorts and is actually one of the only Animes I would consider ever watching last. It is a pretty laid back comedy anime of sorts following the lives of 4 high school students, and eventually the rest of their class. The main focus for this series is the everyday culture of Japan and a multitude of cameos/references to many other animes. Because of these references you might as well watch this one last or you will miss out on many of the jokes. (Which are still funny, but you won’t really “understand” them. Also the feeling of making the connection is a pretty good feeling as well.) Whether you get the many other references or not, it is still a funny anime to watch.
#6: Cowboy Bebop
Ah, now here is an anime that I have only heard good things about from other people. This goes for both the entire series and the movies that came out for it. (Personally I enjoyed both greatly). The animation, music, and scenarios seem to have an American 80’s feel to it… plus massive technological boosts for spaceships and other logical futuristic devices. The characters are memorable; dialogue can be quirky but is usually believable and flows well with the story, setting and characters. One of the things I like most about Cowboy Bebop is how there aren’t really any “game-breaking” power or super-special abilities; All of the characters are as “normal” as you can get within the anime’s environment without being “special.” I will agree with the general populace on this one, Cowboy Bebop isn’t an anime you should let slip by.
#7: Soul Eater
I came for the art and the action, stayed for the story and the characters. As far as an anime series goes, the characters are pretty normal and fit well into the story’s environment. Sometimes this can be a bad thing as the story would become bland and predictable but in Soul Eater’s bizarre story and constant twists, this becomes a good thing. Soul Eater has a light gothic setting and keeps to it very well. The quality of the animation for the fight scenes is impressive. One major unique aspect that drew me into this anime is the over the top facial expressions (Sometimes over the top creepiness too…). The series draws on for a good bit but ends well with all of the characters being true to their roles and nothing breaking the scenario. If you have a spare afternoon, give this anime a chance.
#8: Full Metal Alchemist
Who hasn’t heard of Full Metal Alchemist? Its popular for a good reason, it is an extremely well done and well written anime that continued to get better in terms of character development and art style from the first episode to the confusing ending. The Anime opens up with an explanation of “Equivalent exchange” and follows that pattern of through all the way to the end. It is actually one of the few anime’s where the beginning goal is actually still the ending goal, no strange twist, or absurd plot jump, just a straight-forward story from beginning to…well, end, I think. There are still a lot of guessing about what the ending means. The Manga version is much more straightforward than the anime, both are still amazing.
#9: FLCL (FoolyCooly)
Studio Gainax seems to be on a roll creating amazing anime. Once again, following their general “coming of age” story line, we have a crazy/strange 6 episode series of a boy, a robot, and a guitar wielding girl (from space?) I am not even going to try to explain the plot because it is so strange; I wouldn’t be able to fit it into a page, much less a paragraph. One thing I liked about the story was that it maintained some sort of childish attitude while maintaining and staying stuck to mature subjects and content. FLCL is definitely a great anime series to sit down, watch, contemplate, and then watch again.
#10: Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo’s story revolves around three characters, all with different backgrounds, stories and motives. There is a bit of character development as the story progresses, going into the background and current situation for the various characters and their social ties to their environment. The entire anime is refreshingly mature rated; lots of blood and 18+ themes but nothing ridiculously over the top to where it becomes untasteful. There seems to be an urban Japanese environment spray painted on-top of an old traditional environment, makes for a strange but interesting juxtaposition for the setting of the series. If you are old enough, I would recommend this anime as a break from other “super power” or “cute” animes.
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt: Incredibly smutty, definitely +18 but it’s hilarious and well made. Strangely, it’s created by Gainax. You should be afraid.
Death Note: If I had to be honest, just watch the first half… and then the last 3 or 4 episodes. When the two new protagonists show up, the anime seemed to slow-down for me. Ending was great though.
Slayers: Couldn’t go without mentioning a classic. Just overall fun all over.
Claymore: Action and lots of blood. A bit mature and the story doesn’t take too many crazy jumps.
One Piece: The only reason this isn’t on my top 10 is because I haven’t finished/caught up… So many episodes… So little time.
Berserker: Violent, gritty and oddly entertaining. I find it kinda similar to Claymore in brutality. Still awesome.
Rurouni Kenshin: Another classic. The fight scenes are fun to watch and the characters are inventive.
Tenshi Muyo: A generally fun Anime through all of the seasons. Beware of bath house scenes/censors.
Bleach: It would be on my top 10 if the fillers were actually enjoyable… and worked alongside the story.
The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi: More fun all over. It’s hard to describe it but it’s worth a look.
Azumanga Daioh: Similar to lucky star. Almost made the top 10. School girl comedy, gets pretty silly.
Fate Stay Night: I loved this series… Except the last episode. Watch everything to the last battle, skip the ending.
Trigun: General fun in a setting not often visited in Animes. It is kind of a relaxing anime to watch.
Paranoia Agent: I love symbolism and metaphors, and this one’s got a ton of them. Prepare to think.
Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Specifically this series. If you don’t pay attention you might get lost.
Evangelion: Another awesome popular Gainax anime. I recommend this one as well, It even comes with the typical mindscrew Gainax ending.
Fist of the North Star: Amazing from start to finish. I would recommend this and all other renditions or series of this anime. Not for children, lots of blood and body-part explosions.
Bakemonogatari: I came due to some funny scenes I saw on youtube and one of the Opening videos, I stayed for the character development and the amazingly written dialogue. The story is broken into 5 parts, each focusing on a different character. Some characters don’t even join the story until their part comes up. It is a very fun and relaxing anime…with the exception of a few brutal beat down scenes. It is refreshing to not have an over-powered main character “win at everything” for once, but still find the good ending somewhere in the middle when everything comes together.
Nichijou: Incredibly funny, similar to lucky star. A-lot of hilarious running gags and the mentality of DRAMATICIZE EVERYTHING seem to pay off very well. I can’t wait for the rest of the series to come out.
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