EDIT: Wow I cannot believe I messed up and forgot to add the other number… Thanks for pointing that out. Anyway here’s the completed list. Enjoy while I go cry in my bed for my failures.
The title says it all.
But first off, you’ll see from this list that I have specific taste in anime. It’s ok to disagree with me, because you have every right to have your own opinion, just as I have every right to have mine. Just know that this is my opinion, and you have yours. Also, I haven’t seen that much anime in my life. As I’m getting older, I find myself having less time to watch it too. But this is a list from what I’ve watched so far. Enjoy.
Fate Zero… Whoo boy… Such a tragic story… Of how this prequel is damn better than anything else in the Fate series. Fate Zero takes on a story about a bunch of magicians who decide it’s a good idea to do a dragon ball z tournament using summoned legendary/historical figures and pit them against each other. The winner would get to use the Holy Grail, which apparently has the power to grant a wish.
(So it’s like Pokemon meets Dragon ball?) Each legendary/historical figure is portrayed excellently in the show. Like for instance, Alexander the Great is a big red-haired badass with a beard that has “seen more adventure than the normal man has in his entire lifetime.” (You know you’re pathetic when you’re weaker than someone’s beard.) The animation is great, and it’s some of the best I’ve seen. I especially loved the episode dedicated to Lancer. It was beautifully done, with how they portrayed his character. The ending is somewhat… Bittersweet if you’re someone like me, and have to know with the knowledge that the original series is a speck of dirt compared to the greatness that is Fate Zero. You watch the end and get hyped for the next part, and the knowledge that Fate Zero is a prequel only brings you hope for the original series – which disappoints greatly.
Ah yes. The anime that showed people how amazing the mind games genre of anime could be. Genius against genius, L vs Light. Honestly, if you haven’t watched this yet, what the hell are you doing? Anyway, Death Note is about a bored student (Light Yagami), who has a strong sense of justice and morals one day coming across a magical item: The Death Note.
“The person whose name is written on this note shall die.”
Following this, Light begins to exact his idea of ‘justice’ unto the world, killing serial killers using the death note, all while at the comfort of his home. Nobody suspects anything, until the arrival of his counterpart
(And every girl’s wet dream) L.
I loved this series because it was one of the first anime that introduced the ‘mind games’ concept to me. Back then, all I was watching was Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Death Note was really a game of wits, and when you’re watching it, you may even wonder at the marvel that is L and Light’s mind.
Jojo’s bizarre adventure: Stardust Crusaders
So… I chose this anime to be number 9 because of the sheer aura of quirkiness that it gave out. I mean, most of the characters and villains from the entire Jojo franchise is named after famous singers. Even the main villain from this series, Dio Brando, is named after the iconic actor Marlon Brando. And there is a character in this series called Vanilla Ice. Imagine, your friends fighting against Vanilla Ice. That’s something right there.
Anyway, I loved this series because almost all the characters ooze out a sense of ‘badassery.’
(Except for Polnareff.. He’s a idiot and he will never change.) This show has such iconic catchphrases that you might’ve heard of like “ORAORAORAORAORAORAORAORA!!!” and “MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA!!!” not to forget: “ZA WARUDO!”
I felt like this anime created it’s own subculture in a way, like how Death Note did for a while, and we can still see people buy Death Note replicas on the internet. Jojo’s bizarre adventure made it’s mark on the world with it’s interesting characters and notable quotes.
Before the creation of the “My sword is so big that it makes up for the lack of character development, even though I shouldn’t be able to swing this damn thing”
(I’m looking at you, Ichigo.) trope came into play, there was greatness that is Guts. Guts is a tank. That’s the most simplest way to describe him. This is one man who had lived through hell (literally), all while swinging a sword the size of Cloud’s blade from FF7, except he doesn’t need no stupid Jenova cells. He takes it all like a man.
Berserk is still to me, one of the greatest fantasy genres out there. I love the fact that it takes the age old fantasy genre of anime and renews it with the idea of: What if the main character was a human? A down to earth, pure-blooded Homo Sapiens?
Even in the animations, you can see the weight of the sword, unlike most of the shounen stuff, where even though the sword is as big as my car door, they swing it around like they have a stick, all the while having the muscle mass of a starving Ethiopian child.
But despite being one of my favorite anime/manga series, the anime sadly ends at a bad timing… The manga continues on being awesome, and I would have gladly put Guts on number one if the anime was still going on, but sadly it isn’t. As I’ve said, this is an anime specific list.
Baccano! It means ‘ruckus’ in Italian. Man… I like to think that this is the Christopher Nolan style of anime. With a movie like Memento, the whole narrative is scrambled, and we as the audience make sense of it as we are watching the film, piecing together the different parts of our story in a chronological order. And Baccano! does that as well. Even perhaps better. Set in America during the time when alcohol was prohibited, we follow the different stories of each character, as fate calls them together in this grand fiasco. The title itself befits the story completely. The whole series is loud, action-packed, full of explosions and even manages to be smart about it.
(Unlike a certain Hollywood director, who is only about explosions.) I just never can get over the fact that the destructive narrative aspect has been done in an anime! Only after you’ve seen the whole season, is when you’ll go “Oooohh… So that’s what happened…” And trust me, you’ll feel satisfied and want more of this. Luckily, there’s another series on this list created by the same people.
Man do I love that intro.
So this is the other one I’ve talked about…
(What, the exclamation point in the name gave it away?) Durarara follows the same non-linear narrative format shown in Baccano!, and now I’m thinking it’s a trait the creator follows often. One thing I felt that separates Baccano! from Durarara however, is the fact that Durarara gives a deeper understanding of its characters, which you get to love instantly. My favorites have got to be Shizuo Heiwajima, the Japanese Hulk, and Shinra Kishitani. The setting itself hooks you on. It’s set in Japan, but there’s a supernatural element in it. (Like every other damn anime in the universe, I swear this shit gets too repetitive.) The story involves around the increasing chaos in the city of Ikebukuro, which is a real region in Japan. (I’ve been there myself, but it seemed pretty normal to me.) Anyway, I felt like this deserved to be on a higher ranking than Baccano! because the characters were somewhat more relate able, (As far as relating yourself to teenagers with crime fighting abilities go,) and were expanded upon better.
Welcome to the NHK
This is the only anime in this list that is considered part of the ‘slice of life’ genre. And it is different to the other anime I’ve listed so far, which deal with fighting, conflict, and the ‘good guy vs the bad guy’ tropes. Welcome to the NHK talks about the rising problem of the Hikkikomori lifestyle. (Hikkikomori basically means a total bum who does nothing but stay in his room and home and never gets out. They refuse to get a job, and overall they lack motivation.
Hey wait a minute this sounds like me.) So Welcome to the NHK explores why and how someone becomes a Hikkikomori. You might just think it’s a matter of ‘just get over it, and go outside and socialize.’ but it’s not that simple. Some people may suffer from depression. Some people may have a crisis in their lives of what they really want to do in life. Welcome to the NHK explores these themes using dark humor and emotional conversations. It’s one the first anime that I have watched that had made me truly consider how much anime can inspire and heal people. It’s an anime that’s like the rebellious older brother who left your house, who one day came to visit you, with a cigarette in his hand, and a knowing smile. You feel like you can tell him anything that hurts you. All the expectations the world tries to make you live up to, he understands.
There’s a lot of you going like: “What? What is this?” And I understand. This is a pretty obscure anime that not many people would’ve heard about. It’s probably because it’s not in the popular genres of shounen fighters, but it’s more focused on mind games and puzzle solving.
(Also the weird ass drawing style. The manga is worse by the way.) Kaiji tells the story of a young man named Kaiji, who is unemployed and is suffering financially. It sounds similar to Welcome to the NHK, but here’s the twist: He gets called to take on a huge debt, that must be paid back, or his organs would be sold to compensate for the payment. But there is hope for him. A gambling event hosted by the same company that he owes money. In that event, where the stakes are insanely high, he makes his final stand to earn back all the money that he owes them.
If there’s one thing I can say about this show. It’s that it has thrill. Every second, you’re thinking with him, to try and plot each death game’s rules in your favor, to try and win back the money in order to survive. And each game has it’s own fun variety, ranging from the rock paper scissors card game, where it truly shows how evil humans can be, to the nerve-wracking E-card, which makes poker look like Uno.
(Try these games with your friends with the same stakes, I’m sure they’ll love it.)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Well damn. Some of you may have seen this coming, but it was inevitable. This is one of the greatest shows period. Some people would even consider this to be their number one anime, and I would probably agree with them, except that I have a distinct personal taste on what I define to be my number one anime.
Anyway, Fullmetal Alchemist takes on themes like coping with loss, knowing when to move on, and how to move on. I really enjoyed this series because hidden underneath all that action and fancy alchemy
(magic) are those themes, carefully organized and portrayed so beautifully. Our two heroes, Edward and Alphonse Elric have screwed up bad when they try to bring back their mom through human transmutation alchemy. Now, alchemy is not perfect. It can’t create something from nothing. So our heroes, devastated over the loss of their mother, gather up the ingredients that form a human body, and clap their hands and draw a transmutation circle (a portal to hell.) and try to bring her back. Guess what? The screw up. The transmutation goes wrong, and Ed has to find a way to get his brother Al’s body back. And for the time being, Al’s soul resides in a suit of armor. Another reason I really liked this anime is because of the concept of alchemy was so interesting! I love the fact that there are limitations to their abilities, and you actually have to be smart to be powerful. (I personally hated the “kid gets strong for no reason, show tries to portray him as an underdog but in reality he’s the most powerful being in the show.” trope.) It’s a world where magic meets science, and it’s definitely worth visiting.
Now you know why I kept repeating to you guys about how I had ‘specific tastes.’ I’m not a goth, nor am I into the myths of vampires and werewolves, but damn, Alucard is such an amazing character that he won me over with this thing. He’s insane, dark, likable, and the english VA, Crispin Freeman does an excellent job at portraying him. Hellsing is about a vampire named Alucard who works for the Hellsing organization, a group dedicated to defending the Great Britain from supernatural threats, like other vampires or ghouls, etc.
So why did I put this on number 1? Well, besides having such a crazy character such as take the lead, other amazing characters are in the show that contrast around his insanity. The Major for instance, a Nazi commander who vows to destroy England with the surviving members of the Nazi army, who are now all vampires. Or even the great Father Anderson, who is a priest from the Vatican who dedicates himself in the elimination of all things evil, and is the only human Alucard deems fit to be able to kill him.
How can you beat an insane group of characters like that? I would even like to be in the same room with these guys with nothing going on. I would most likely die, but I’d love to be able to see what kind of small talk these guys make before they start killing each other.
So, to wrap this up, I urge you guys to definitely check these out. And tell me what your top 10’s are!