All-time Favorite Anime
Gintama. A comedic masterpiece. That’s all you need to know in regards to one of the best anime to ever been shown in the anime industry. With humors and randomness the same level of Beelzebub, parodies to the same level of Hayate no Gotoku and action sequences the same level to that of One Piece, there is just no stopping this anime in it’s path on becoming the best anime ever made!
2. One Piece
One Piece had been aired for over 10 years already and it’s still going strong. In my opinion, One Piece is the better one out of the big three. The actions are great and although the powers may seem funny and ridiculous at times, the creative techniques the character uses with their powers are entertaining to see. What’s even better about One Piece is their character developments. Each main character and even some of the supporting cast have their fair share of developments and some characters may be connected to the main cast in the most unexpected way ever.
3. Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal Alchemist is another great addition to the anime world. Although the original series aired in 2003 turned into ruin on the later part of the series, it’s remade, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood literally strikes gold. Because Brotherhood follows the manga more closely, more fun characters are shown which isn’t exposed in the 2003 original series, and some of these characters shown pure badassery. The bond between the brothers, Edward and Alphonose is lovely too. They are strong, yet simple-minded and it’s because of characters like these two which drives the plot further into more interesting elements.
Time travel had been a concept used like a thousand times in anime, however, none can accomplish that what Steins;Gate does, tackling on the more technical and scientific parts of time traveling. The backgrounds are great, showing the buzzing streets of Akihabara, which used to be the same settings for a much MUCH more inferior show. The characters are fun too, most notably Okabe Rintarou and Makise Kurisu.
If Gintama is a comedic masterpiece, then Clannad is a dramatic masterpiece. Clannad, especially Clannad AS, is one of Key’s best works to even be produced. It is an extremely tear-jerking anime so much that I believe that it’s hard not to shed a tear, or at least developed a sense of emotional attachment after watching Clannad AS. The Another World episodes are good too, featuring other girls as the heroines, basically showing us the other girl’s routes from the visual novels. So far, both Kyou and Tomoyo had their own respective Another World episodes and it will be nice if Kotomi had one too..
6. Code Geass
It’s really hard to describe and summarize what makes Code Geass great in one paragraph. It has great, thrilling tactical mech battles, it is a study of morally ambiguous characters and a battle of wits, both latter elements reminiscence of L and Kira of Death Note. Code Geass also concludes rather perfectly-that ending is the epitome of going out while taking the hatred of everyone with him. It’s a rather lackluster end, but seems oddly fitting.
7. Fate/Stay Night
Ahh, Fate/Stay Night, one of the greatest franchise ever. Great characters, intriguing plot and exciting battle scenes became the core of Fate/Stay Night. The first season, which features the “Fate” route from the game, is good though not the best. It’s only when the other parts of franchise are animated which overall, turns Fate/Stay Night into a gem. The Unlimited Blade Works movie, which obviously features the “Unlimited Blade Works” route from the visual novel is a great addition. Some may complain about the pacing and some changes from the game but in my books, the movie is awesome. Then along, comes Fate/Zero, the prequel of Fate/Stay Night, with an even more intriguing plot settings and an even more smoother animations. Of cause, this won’t be the end of the Fate/Stay Night franchise. There are still MORE original material just waiting to be adapted, with some major examples being the “Heaven’s Feel” route from the game and the sequel Fate/Hollow Ataraxia which is only available as a Japanese visual novel at the moment.
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, which 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.
The Aria series, is what I considered one of the best, if not, the best slice-of-life series out there. Aria is calm, soothing and relaxing. It is an anime with the ultimate tranquility and serenity. Set in Neo Venezia, the anime features a young gondolier, Akari Mizunashi, and her friends, Aika and Alice. Have a seat, have a cup of coffee, and have your cute tourist guides show you around the wonders of Neo Venezia!
10. Nodame Cantabile
From all the anime I had watched which deals with music, Nodame Cantabile takes this spot. Nodame Cantabile tells the story of two aspiring musicians, Chiaki and Nodame. The show features a lot of classical and orchestral pieces, like Chopin’s Piano Concerto and Beethoven’s Pathetique. The series is about how Chiaki’s aspiration in becoming a well-known conductor in an orchestra so obviously, orchestras will be the main focus of the entire series. They are however, music which only features piano, violin and other musical instruments as separate entities from the orchestra as well. This anime is for all lovers of classical and orchestra music in general, but of cause, for those who are looking for a romance story won’t be disappointed as well.
11. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni
The whole Higurashi series, is one of the most bloodiest, goriest and most violent series ever to date. Think Elfen Lied, but more violent and longer. The anime is a shocking mess, and I mean that in a good way. It is especially so shocking that a few innocent-looking school girls would become so, so… scary. Delivery suspense and thriller is no doubt Higurashi’s specialization. At times, the anime may have an exceedingly calm atmosphere and shows the characters playing a game in the club, but we all know that the girls aren’t as cute or innocent as they look, waiting for them and the series to “explode” into a bloodbath in a way, is the “beauty” of Higurashi.
12. Sakamichi no Apollon
An anime series under noitaminA, Sakamichi no Apollon tells a life-inspiring, coming-of-age tale, featuring Kaoru Nishimi, as he underwent struggles and hardships to be accepted by society, and he finally made a friend after he transferred to a new school, and learned how fun it is to play music with others. At it’s very base, Sakamichi no Apollon tells a coming-of-age story dealing with the protagonist’s maturity and self-discovery. However, the element supporting all these development is music. Indeed, aside from the drama and slice-of-life segment of the story, one which supports and ties all these developments in one coherent knot is Jazz music. A lot of references are made to Jazz musicians, and the anime also features one of the best soundtracks ever in my opinion. The music aspect of the show however, doesn’t over-focused itself unnecessarily, remembering it’s role for being a supporting point for the character’s development. This is what I like best about Sakamichi no Apollon – it is both a coming-of-age story, and a musical anime at the same time. Incidentally, Sakamichi no Apollon’s official English name is called Kids on the Slope; the “slope” here can most probably represent a metaphor of being an obstacle for the protagonist, Kaoru, to overcome, discovering another aspect of himself.
13. Samurai Champloo
Samurai Champloo is a wacky show set in an anachronistic samurai era period – with lots, and lots of hip hop references. As the three protagonists journey throughout Edo in search of a samurai who “smells like sunflower”, they are met with con artists, assassins, graffiti-spraying samurai gangsters, samurai rappers and so on. As you can see, the mix between traditional Edo-period and modern hip hop elements is one of the highlight of the show. I believe the synopsis from AniDB and MAL best describes the very essence of this anime – “This is a story about love, friendship and courage… NOT!”
14. Hellsing Ultimate
Hellsing Ultimate features what I call, an epic three way battle between three major organizations – the Hellsing Organization, a group consisting of Integra who controls her very own vampire to hunt other vampires, additionally with her butler, Walter and a new vampire minion, the Vatican, consisting one secret group, namely Vatican Section XIII who are all executioners of demons and heretics, and Millennium, a Nazi group who discovered a way of turning humans into artificial vampires, and had formed a group of Nazi vampire army. Hellsing Ultimate has a lot of badass moments and great action fighting scenes, but other than that, it also features very complex characterizations, and even offers a few food-for-thoughts despite all the bloody chaos on the forefront.
15. 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.
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.