All-time Favorite Anime

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1. Gintama

Gintama is to me, pretty much a comedic masterpiece. While it has shown time and time again that it can juggle between drama and comedy with utmost quality, the series’s main highlight is still definitely, it’s satirical comedy-and is something most people would know the series by. Pulling out tons of jokes, parodies and references-Gintama is one of the craziest shows I have ever seen, and truly one of the greatest.
 
 
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2. One Piece

There are a lot of elements which contribute as to why One Piece is such a great show. It has very genuine characterizations which creates a cast of very believable friends; it has a creative and immersive world exploration perfect for it’s pirates/sea adventure theme; it has great soundtracks which just helps to get you into the mood whether or not the characters are fighting for their lives or crying their eyes out. One Piece is an excellent show and it made sense why even after 10 years, it’s still going strong-because it’s just that damn good.
 
 
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3. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is another great shounen which really knows what it’s doing. Everything moves along in perfect pacing and every plot element introduced feels important-because all of them are actually building up to something. For the entirety of it’s 64 episodes, you get a show full of great content-fast-paced plot, action, drama, theme exploration and excellent characters.
 
 
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4. Steins;Gate

Time travel stories aren’t uncommon, the trope had actually been used in various shows. Steins;Gate however is one of the few shows who actually used “time travel” as the central theme of it’s story, and it’s definitely a time travel done right. The expository is done well, especially considering the fact that this is actually a very heavy-infodumping series; but no doubt it’s also contributed to the fact that this series is carried by a group of well-written characters too.
 
 
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5. Clannad

Clannad understands slice of life needs a culminating impact. Clannad understands that life isn’t just all fun and games, and all these result in a very emotional Clannad After Story, which also makes the entire journey of the series to get there that much emotional and nostalgic. There’s a reason why Clannad is regarded so highly as a “crying anime”, why it invokes so much nostalgia whenever the name is mentioned-because it just really knows what it’s doing. Like a master manipulator, Clannad is just so good at tugging our heartstrings that it’s hard not to feel emotional once you finish the series.
 
 
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6. Code Geass

The moment I noticed Lelouch’s theatrics, I know I’m in one hell of an emotional ride, and Code Geass really delivers on all fronts. But it’s no exagerattion to say that the main highlight of the show is definitely the characters as they are indeed extremely well-written-all of them have clear goals and motives, and feel like real people. The two main characters especially paints a grey area on morality-which is always an interesting characterizing approach for me. Additionally, the Death Note-style of outwitting your opponents and mecha battles just sealed the deal for me-Code Geass is truly a great anime, even if it’s not exactly perfect.
 
 

7. Fate/Stay Night

Like it or not, the entire Fate/Stay Night franchise has grown superbly huge over the years. Started as a visual novel, and then an average anime adaption by DEEN, the series has since grown by then, with excellent adaptions of the other routes, prequel, spin-offs, all with exceeding quality. Fate/Stay Night has an intriguing system and concept, but what makes the series so great is that it has always treat their characters very seriously-each of their goals, motives and flaws are all highlighted extremely well.
 
 
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8. Toradora

Toradora features one of my favorite anime couples ever, Ryuuji and Taiga. Going through hardships, misunderstandings, facing their real selves – it was a very heartwarming sight to see two different individuals struggling through their love life, and finally discover the love that they had always wanted was always just right next to them. The paid-off after all the struggles and drama that they went through, makes their new-found discovery with each other, and the conclusion that much bittersweet. I mean, I’m not even exaggerating here-Toradora is truly my favorite romance anime ever-no doubt also contributed by the fact that the show just understands how the genre works.
 
 
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9. Aria

Aria has always been pretty synonymous with “iyashikei”, or healing, because watching Aria is really that much of a therapeutic experience. It is calm, soothing and relaxing; which I’m sure is a feeling you would remember watching moe anime. Yes, before moe anime even got as popular as they had now, there was Aria, arguably the predecessor of them all. Aria is the anime of ultimate tranquility and serenity.
 
 

10. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni

Anime adapted from visual novels have always been pretty iffy, but fortunately Higurashi’s adaption is decent, in fact I feel it was able to capture the “psychologically haunting” spirit of Ryukishi07’s writing perfectly. In fact, I dare say it even bolstered it, what with the improved visuals, music and animation. The anime is just so good at foreshadowing, at showing you that something is wrong despite the peaceful surface. As a psychological horror, I truly think Higurashi is one of the best.
 
 
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11. Sakamichi no Apollon

Sakamichi no Apollon tells a life-inspiring, coming-of-age tale of Nishimi Kaoru as he discovered how fun and exciting jazz music can be. At it’s very base, Sakamichi no Apollon tells a coming-of-age story dealing with the protagonist’s maturity and self-discovery, and the element that supports this development is, you guessed it, jazz. As Kaoru discovered jazz music, he also found his new best friend, and at the same time, also discovered his new self. While the anime has one of the best jazz soundtracks, it remember it’s role of being a catalyst for character’s development-resulting in one of the most natural characterizations and drama ever.
 
 
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12. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka is famously known as a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, for good measure. Not once have I watched a magical girl anime so raw, angry and grim. It is an anime about flawed “humans” who hesitated to be magical girls. It is an anime about friendship. It is an anime about consequences. It is an anime about sacrifices. It is a realistic and pessimistic rendition of the magical girl genre-Madoka portrays a great thematic element compacted tightly, but perfectly in 12 episodes.
 
 
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13. Shirobako

One of the most interesting things to question about Shirobako-does it paints a realistic picture on real life anime industry? Or is everything too idealistic and sanitized? I personally think it’s the former. Even if it may be a bit sanitized, one of the reasons why I like Shirobako so much is that it is especially grounded to reality-it depicts Musashino Animation just like any other workplaces, just with the exception that they are working in the anime industry, fitted in with compelling, but realistic characters. Other than being informative and realistic, Shirobako also hits all the feels in the right, perfect places. Shirobako is an excellent anime with a lot of things to offer on the plate.
 
 
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14. Hibike! Euphonium

KyoAni has always been great at with “quiet atmospheres”; they are the master of the “show not tell” approach, they are the master of visual narrative instead of verbal. Hibike! Euphonium is one of my favorite KyoAni works ever-the anime is full of those little moments where each gorgeous photographic screenshots can tell a thousand words. People enjoy Hibike for it’s subtleness; though while there are fun moments nonetheless, Hibike also executed an almost perfect high school drama centering around concert band throughout the whole series. To encapsulate my point, Hibike is clearly one of a kind anime which just accomplished everything it sets out to do.
 
 
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15. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru

OreGairu is a romantic comedy, but as you can expect from the title, it’s also /not/ exactly a romantic comedy in the truest sense. It is a deconstruction of the genre, and exposed the more cynical sides of socialism-something OreGairu excels in whether or not it’s through monologues, visual cues and subleties. OreGairu is a wonderful series-while it may depict social cynicism, at it’s heart, it’s also purely just a slice of life-of insecure teens who desire simple, genuine friendship-something shown through layers upon layers of lies and deceit.

15 thoughts on “All-time Favorite Anime

  1. Pingback: Kai’s Best Anime of All Time « deluscar

  2. Whenever I get around to expanding my list of favorite shows, FMA Brotherhood will have a spot on it. That’s a show that was so influential in me becoming an anime fan.

    Also, this reminds me that I need to get around to watching Nodame Cantabile soon.

    • Indeed I know right^^ It’s shounen, but it’s deep, insightful and influential, it’s completely unlike any other shounen anime out there. It’s pure awesomeness.

      I’m sure you like it if you like classical music and orchestra :D

  3. I think Id struggle to do a top X of my favourite anime’s there are too many :)

    However, that said I have to say after going through your list, good taste :D

    Happy Blogging :D

  4. Pingback: The Anime Blogger Interrogation Game | deluscar

  5. Nice list, featuring a number of shows I like such as Code Geass, FMA and Steins;Gate. I too was disappointed with how Shana turned out. I loved season one and season two was okay, although they rushed things at the end. The third season lost the plot. The reason why both sides were fighting didn’t make a lick of sense.

    • Glad to see you like it. Shana is a series I plan to check out the novels soon, which I would assume the content would flow better, lol. Think I will have a field day with all the Flame Hazes’ nicknames though.

  6. hey Kai,

    wow I guess I should have posted my VN comment here since my question really was an anime one. Oh well I’m sorry about that :(.

    Anyway, Umm… how could you choose Clannad over Kanon? I don’t understand… and then you didn’t include Angel Beats which is Key’s only anime-only work. Angel Beats has the comedy of the best comedic animes, and the emotional epicness of Kanon (and I guess Clannad, but seriously Clannad is boring compared to Angel Beats and Kanon).

    ALSO OMG WHY IS FAIRY TAIL NOT ON HERE?!?! DUDE, YOU CHOSE ONE PIECE OVER FAIRY TAIL?!?!?!??!

    • (Please bear in mind that After Story is included in the discussion) Clannad to me, is actually one of the most emotional-investing shows as I had ever seen. I think I felt for the characters much more in Clannad than I did with Kanon (one of Air’s scene deserves an honorable mention but overall, it don’t come close to Clannad’s level).

      Angel Beats is a good anime, and I might like it better if it’s longer and they fix that one “infodump” episode which I think you would know which specifically one I’m talking about.

      And I’m not sure about Fairy Tail being an “all-time favorite”, still a great show I admit.

      Anyway, take my lists what you will, there’s no way my lists would favor anyone’s choices around the world.

      • You’re right Kai. I feel now that was kind of a little too selfish and biased in my comment. I’m sorry about that… This is, after all, your list. (though I was really just hoping you hadn’t watched Angel Beats yet. :P)

        But I guess, I tried watching One Piece, and the story of the first 3 eps, and the quality of the animation… I mean compared to Fairy Tail, it doesn’t hold a match. But maybe that’s because I need to watch more than 3 eps? I dunno. It just feels to me that if you had a list of only 10 – 20 anime, and it was either One Piece or Fairy Tail, Fairy Tail would be the winner. (Although I do admit that the after the Tenrou Island arc, the story gets really really really cliche’d or “forced”. It made me sad to see FT dip like that like how Natsu wins against the **** without dragonforce… there just wasn’t any logic there at all.) (or Natsu suddenly developing super human hearing powers without any explanation or anyone even noticing, as if it were always there) (and then the uber uber stupid “motion sickness” suddenly having been affecting everyone even though obviously that wasn’t the case…. idk)

        I just hope that’s a *snag* in Fairy Tail and that the plot becomes rich and good again like it was before.

        (And yes I know that scene in Angel Beats with the info dump. If that’s what’s keeping Angel Beats from kaing itt o your list, I’m sort of dispapoitned, but I’m also encouraged. That means that Clannad + AS is so good that you can willfully throw away Angel Beats without any thought. I’m really looking forward to watching the rest of Clannad and then AS.)

        Also btw, Ufotopable is making a remake of Fate/Stay: Night and it’s airing (in Japan) this October. Although I don’t know what the Heaven’s Feel route is, I’m pretty sure the remake isn’t going to follow it (or even follow it it completely if they do). It will obviously be a continuation of Fate/Zero, and Fate/Zero isn’t even based on the VN, it’s based off of the light novels by some totally unrelated author who probably got a license right from Type-Moon. And tbh, I liked Studio Deen’s adaptation of FSN. Fate/Zero just doesn’t have that feel. And it seems to me like Ufotable is just a larger company with more funds that’s “jumping onto” the Type-Moon band wagon. If you look closely, Type-Moon wasn’t so popular until FSN was released. Then Studio Deen jumped in to do FSN, and its awesome ratings got Ufotable interested. It undertook F/Z and now the FSN remake, and even worse, it started monopolizing on Kara no Kyokai too (antoher work by Type-Moon.) The anime of Kara no Kyokai was by a different company up until after Ufotable decided to take over Type-Moon works – now all the new Kara no Kyokai OVAs are by Ufotable too (see Wikipedia). So it seems to me that Ufotable just decided to jump in and hog the glory that Type-Moon had to offer.

        Btw, I’m glad you have Higurashi on your list. I watched most of the first and second season, but it sort of isn’t portrayed “right”. I know the anime is complex, but it’s just they make it seem so incoherent that the only way you’d know it was complex is if you watched all the way up to the 11th – 13th ep. But most people would give up before then because of all the inconsistencies and abrupt restarts of the same story (even though they already died).
        However despite that, Higurashi is still great. Have you watched Shiki and Another? I believe they’re on par, if not slightly above, Higurashi…

        And sorry that you didn’t like Robotics;Notes. I agree with you that Steins;Gate is the best of all three animes. I decided to watch Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) because people said it was like Steins;gate. Well, it’s not, but it’s its own jewel :).

  7. Pingback: Kai’s Favorite Anime of 2015 | deluscar

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