Hey! It’s been a while folks! Two weeks was it? Three? I know I said there’d be an article on “moe”, but I’ve been really busy these past few weeks (University and FUN stuff like that >_<), and it ain’t letting up. At least I’m done with all that in three weeks. Look forward to then! For now, Happy 1-year Anniversary Wan Abrar! Let’s go for that 2nd! XD
Here is my top 10 anime of all time… for now anyways. Let me say it wasn’t easy putting this together – I’ve watched hundreds of anime and there are hundreds more to go, and that list keeps getting bigger. That said, the following are what I consider not only the best, but the best examples of what anime as an art can be. Well then, here goes!
Special mention. To Aru Majutsu no Index / To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Before the top 10, I’d like to say that I love both of this anime. Like, LOVE THEM. Huge fan of the series. Yet, they didn’t quite make my top 10. So why mention them? Simple, these series are what got me back into anime. (They also serve as my greatest inspiration when it comes drawing doujinshi) Around the 2006-08 period, anime was pushed to the back of my mind. What did you expect? Not many good anime came out that interested me then. When I heard about Index, I found myself attracted to the world of science and magic, where espers and magicians exist. The story was as interesting as the concept – I found myself surrounded by a unique, memorable, and colourful cast of characters; many with amazing powers and/or quirks and loose screws (Kuroko oh so much). The music ranges from humorous instrumentals to badass techno-beats, and the animation is solid. Wait, now that I think about, I could go on-and-on about this series, but it might be a bit hard to recommend it due to its major flaw in storytelling and pacing. Still, if you’re interested then check them out, it doesn’t matter which one.
10. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya & Nichijou
I really hate my indecisiveness. But then I thought, “it’s my list, so whatever!” So here you have it, sharing 10th place is Haruhi and Nichijou.
You know what Haruhi is, right? All its characters and their personalities are unique, likeable, and are so rich with charisma that you can’t help but feel attracted and entertained by them. But where it’s real charm lies is in its story, delivering brilliant comedy with a touch of mystery not found in any other anime.
Nichijou is a throw-back to more old school style of entertainment; a fusion of gag, moe, slice-of-life and slapstick comedy that’s very reminiscent of Azumanga Diaoh and Lucky Star. The animation and art style is absolutely gorgeous to look at, with characters and their interactions nothing short of hilarious (and heartwarming).
I want to punch the person who started the moe-hatred. Let me make this clear now: if you hate K-ON, it means you’ve never had best friends before since you can’t relate to the characters and their strong bonding. Well, enough of that. K-ON is my most favourite moe anime, and for a good reason too. The idea of “cute girls doing cute things” is there, but with an emphasis on not only music and friendship, but on the future (University and onwards), a rather difficult issue to tackle in any story. What I love most about it is that it reminds us of what a good slice-of-life/moe anime can be, and how it can reflect our lives and ourselves. And sometimes I think we’re too easily forgetful of that fact.
8. Angel Beats
Funny how we don’t usually consider the consequences of our actions until after we’ve made them. And that’s the dawning comprehension of life I live for. Angels Beats is a little different, as the characters contemplate how their lives were now that they’re dead. A school-like purgatory for dead kids? Sounded like my cup of tea, and boy it was. It’s refreshing to see a series where characters actively defy their fate, even though their lives are over. Because of this, there’s ALOT of char. development and tear-jerking moments. Sure it lingers between comedy, drama, romance, and action, and sure there are many characters painfully underdeveloped. But Angel Beats tugs at our hearts and reminds us just how wonderful living truly is.
7. Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica
You all knew this was coming. I personally think this series is a bit overrated, but it’s a masterpiece none the less. At first, I walked in expecting fluffy cakes… only to learn that the cake was a lie! (YEAAAHHHHH! XD) The ‘Magical Girl’ genre I adored so much was deconstructed and torn apart. Madoka Tragica is a tragedy, trapping the characters in a cruel fate where hope is all lost and there is nothing but despair. It’s a story that will toy with your emotions from beginning to end – and you’ll love every minute of it.
The world of anime never ceases to surprise me, always coming up with new and fascinating series, original and/or interesting stories, or iconic and highly memorable characters. Durarara!! proves that this is indeed the case. Set in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, this series deals with stuff like friendship, love, betrayal, gang wars, the urban lifestyle, identity and the lack thereof, consumerism, and even the supernatural, in a story that is beautifully complex, surprisingly understandable, and features several intertwining story arcs that blend together in an invigorating way. What’s impressive is depspite the sheer amount of characters, every single one of them are memorable and relevant. What’s even more impressive is that you don’t have to be an anime fan to like Durarara!!
5. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Gee, I hope this picture doesn’t spoil anything. Then again, who hasn’t watched FMA? From the manga to the original anime to Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist proves time and time again that no other shounen anime can even come close to being compared to it. A part-personal part-grand scale story, it tackles themes like death, suicide, hatred, love, genocide, family, and pretty much everything I said in my “What is Art?” post while blending in flashy and well thought-out action scenes as well as a large cast of entertaining and likeable characters. FMA Brotherhood is the standard in which all other anime should be judged.
4. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
This anime is a bit controversial. Many say it’s a masterpiece while others say it’s a complete melodramatic mess. Maybe it was the deceptively bad screenplay, or its many facepalm-worthy moments. Or its the fact they left alot of loopholes? But melodrama isn’t a bad thing per say, and for every little thing AnoHana gets wrong, it nails everything else with heart-wrenching precision. This anime reminds us of how death feels like such an alien concept; it exists but is somehow detached and unrelated to our own little world until it comes crashing down on our footstep. And that effect lasts forever, whether we want it to or not. Definitely one of the most touching anime ever.
Please ignore the Bandai logo. I love how Xana and STIA also have this anime on their lists. My most favourite romantic-comedy ever, Toradora! is a wonderfully fresh story about two unique people finding an unlikely relationship with one another. We all knew how it would end – what was surprising is how they got there. And as it continued to play out, it actually manages to surprise us by ending up somewhere that we did not expect, but is infinitely so much better. The steps Ryuuji and Taiga take in order to become adults and overcome themselves makes their love all the more touching.
Time travel, oh how wonderful. I’m always annoyed by that concept in any story. That is, until Madoka. Steins;Gate I was kinda sceptical about… and boy was I mistaken. Like Xana, I’m gonna quote Rei on this (since he said it best); “It will twist your emotions in multiple ways loads of times. It’s an absolute must-watch, and it’s definitely one of THE best thrillers in the history of anime.” I can’t remember that last time I was on the edge of my seat. This anime drives on plot-twists and incredible character development. Did I mention that the cast and their interactions are best I’ve ever seen? I’ll leave it at that. This is the best anime ever, truly a masterpiece… that is, until I watched…
1. Clannad & Clannad: After Story
I just watched this series on Christmas break. WHY DIDN’T I WATCH IT BEFORE?! This my most favourite anime in the world – a perfect blend of high-school comedy, romance, drama, adulthood, tragedy, and the supernatural. The direction is masterful and the animation is simply wonderful. The music and soundtrack are absolutely unforgettable. The characters themselves are more than they seem, each one cleverly playing off and averting their fixed archetypes. But what I love most about Clannad is the that it’s the only anime to ever make me cry… HARD. I actually burst into tears once in the 1st season, and twice in After Story (while my family was there. Damn, that was embarrassing). Clannad means ‘family’, and as such it reminds us all “that a family can come from anywhere and with anyone, whether it’s people who care that you have a warm bed and roof over your head, classmates whose lives you impact in some way or the other, a best friend who sticks with you through everything, or that strange girl who likes to mumble to herself.” (Quote by a fan.)
That’s my top 10! It might change in the future as I watch more anime. ^^ Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to post what you think in the comments!