It was so much fun the first time, let’s do it again!
But this time around, I will be limiting myself to only Japanese cartoons; also known as anime.
Now, the nature of this list is also a bit different, because, unlike 90’s cartoons, I have not seen every show ever made. So I am working from a much smaller pool of content, and I am sure that some of the more hardcore Otakus out there will be a bit cross with me by the end of this.
But for the rest of us, the ones that only allot a small portion of time to anime, I offer you a list.
A list of the animes that have offered me the most enjoyment, the most fun.
Or, in one case, the most sadness.
So reader, let me bring you into a new word. A world where hair is outrageous, and time freezes so you can announce your attacks.
A new and strange world.
A Brave New World, if you will.
6.) Soul Eater:
Generally speaking, I am not a fan of this sort of thing; pure action anime bores me.
I can’t stand the likes of Bleach and Naruto anymore. I was a diehard fan, but now, it just does not do it for me.
The constant flashbacks in these things especially bug me. That sort of story progression should have started in the beginning, not just constantly retconed in. It’s almost like they didn’t plan the story beforehand, or something…….
But there’s one exception to this rule.
An anime that is long, but does not overstay its welcome. Taking us through only a few story-lines; each one building up to the next. The action just getting tighter as the anime went on. The power levels only rising once or twice through the anime. Unlike some shows I could mention.
Then there is the ending. The last episode is easily watched on its own, and is beautiful. A fight scene, ended the perfect way. The final moments giving me chills.
For those that have seen it, I only have to mention one word: CRACK.
For everyone else, you just need to go see it. Erase your lines in the sand, and cross over.
5.) No Game, No Life
A guilty pleasure for sure, filled with risqué content and skirting the line of becoming a harem anime.
Yet, despite the constant need for me to make sure people walking by didn’t get the wrong ideas, this show never pushes it too far. Instead delivering a fun, and engaging world.
This list, as you will see, is filled with anime that is proper grim-dark.
But this breaks the mold.
The colors are vibrant, the animation fluid, and the characters fun to look at (eye candy, or otherwise). It details a world where everything is decided by games, and brings you into the shoes of the two best gamers in the universe.
They always win, but like an episode of Sherlock, it’s the understanding of how they win that’s the fun part.
Now speaking of games…..lets jump over to the next one.
4.) The Future Diary
Meet Yuno. She’s a bit crazy. Just a bit.
The first anime that managed to really catch my attention. I would sit and stare at Hulu, wishing the next episode would come. I binged-watched it like a madman, and I don’t regret it for a second. Telling the story of a game of murderers who are trying to kill each other; with the prize being Godhood. The twist? They can see limited glimpses of the future.
Killer premise, and while the show does not stand up to re-watches, it still stuck with me. Giving the teen-aged version of me exactly what he wanted. Violence, girls, and truly psychotic characters.
In fact, that last thing seems familiar……
3.) Death Note:
Perhaps the most controversial anime to ever be made. The beginning of the series was possibly the best thing I have ever seen. But then, the show went on too long. The original story was finished, and everyone (mostly) felt satisfied. But then they went and continued it, bringing in characters that were not only unnecessary, but boring.
But Oh, the glory days. They truly were brilliant. With clever plots that I would not see topped till I watched Sherlock (if it was not obvious by now, I f*****g love Sherlock) the characters were well fleshed out, and there was this general feeling of tension with every episode.
It takes a lot to make you like the villain, but in this show, the antagonist and protagonist were so balanced, that fans had arguments over it. Personally I like Light more, but I always did love a good villain.
I promise you that it is worth your time just to watch the first twelve episodes. Though chances are, if you’re a fan of anime, you already have.
2.) Angel Beats:
It takes a lot to make me cry.
I am generally good at dealing with pain, and I, thankfully, do not have much to be sad about. Yet there are a few things that will make me cry Every. Single. Time.
- The “Oh Captain my captain” scene
- The end of Bridge to Terrabithia.
- “Someday” by John Legend
- The ending of Angel Beats
This anime will destroy your soul. Rip it to pieces and spit it back out. An anime that disguises itself as a comedy set in high school, turns out as an exploration of the afterlife, and what it means to live. With brilliant visual touches that show you more that it could ever say in words.
A friend of mine summed it up best in one sentence.
“To cry with a character, you must laugh with them”
Watch at your own risk, and bring tissues.
1.) Madoka Magica
Ever seen Sailor Moon?
Yeah this is nothing like that.
Part orchestra, part surrealist painting, part satire. This anime is subversion of the magical girl anime. Taking the concept of teenage girls gaining magical powers and showing us what that means.
Removing all the adventure that we imagine.
Because, It is not a power fantasy, it’s a nightmare.
Wrapped up in a twelve episode package, this show continued to leave me staring, unblinking, at my television. When I finished, I simply went to bed. My day done. There was nothing else worth doing.
With animation that will make a jaw drop, and a score that will make your skin prickle, this anime is not a television show; it is a piece of art.
It has ruined my ability to talk to people about anime. Because despite all odds, none of my friends have seen it, and I’m cursed to promote it at them, till just one person can finally talk to me about it.
I have seen it in one sitting, twice, and as I am writing this, I really want to watch it again.
Or a DVD box set.
Yeah, that works too.
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