Haven’t seen me in a while, huh? Or do you even remember me? Either way, I’m back and I’m not pulling any punches. Since the other authors seem to be busting out these top 10 lists, I thought I’d join in too. A top 10 list is something I’ve avoided for a while. I think someone once told me “I hate to say a show is the best because there are always shows that I haven’t seen.” That’s part of the reason why I’m so wary about these top 10 things. Another part is that ranking them is just so hard for me. But still, I summoned all of my mental faculties and did the best I could.
10. Gundam 00
I don’t care what anyone says. I liked this show a lot. First off, I liked how realistic the setting was. It’s years into the future and fossil fuels have run out, so we rely on solar power. The nations have conglomerated into three main superpowers that stand off against each other. And of course, conflict in the Middle East. All of this sounds so much like stuff that can actually happen. Also, the designs for the Gundams seemed to have leveled up from the stuff Sunrise usually makes (which makes Gundam AGE so much more disappointing). And throughout the entire show, you have to ask yourself: Is it right to end war through conflict?
It’s a show about mahjong, so it probably has yuri undertones and people playing like they have superpowers. Nope, this is not Saki. Akagi is probably the polar opposite of Saki. Rather than the cutesy girls show that Saki is, Akagi focuses on the gambling aspect of mahjong. Our main character is another one of those morally ambiguous characters that seems to be helping out others who are fighting for their lives, but shows no hesitation in torturing his opponent and taking everything away from him. I had a hard time not watching this show…I just loved watching Akagi being a total boss.
This is one of those shows that you watch not for the action, but for the dialogue. The animation style is kinda strange and random stuff flashes, but the story just kept my interest. Also, it features what I believe is the best love scene I’ve ever seen. There is fanservice there, but it’s not excessive (coughNisemonogatari), so it doesn’t make me cringe (coughNisemonogatari). I liked that this show caught me off guard and kept me hooked despite the lack of action.
7. Kara no Kyoukai
This is actually a set of movies, rather than a typical series of episodes. Kara no Kyoukai is an excellent example of what can be done with the right budget. Everything looks amazing…the battle scenes still haunt me. Throw in the lovely music of Yuki Kajiura and a TYPE-MOON story and you’ve got something going. I really liked how the story jumped back and forth through time, only showing parts of the story so you can piece it all together in the end, where everything finally comes together. It’s only seven movies, but it is LONG. If you think you can handle the blood, I’d say it’s worth your time, though.
6. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Admittedly, this show is kinda slow at first, but after episode 3, you just kinda start going “WHAAA?” a lot. I don’t really know how the magical girl genre works, but this was not it. Everything is dark and you’re always questioning Kyubey’s motives. And a lot of the story is the main character questioning what’s important to her, what she really wants, which is something I ask myself a lot. Man…why can’t my little sister watch shows like this instead of the Sailor Moon-ish stuff she tells me about?
5. Spice and Wolf
This isn’t a show that you watch for the action. Trust me, it’s there, but the main selling point is the insight into a market system. The comedic efforts of the main characters aside, it was incredibly entertaining to watch Lawrence as he struggles in the merchant society. He has to rely on his cunning and intellect to solve his problems, rather than brute force. Also, Holo’s just an amazing character…Also, there’s a second season that surprisingly doesn’t make the show awful.
Let’s face it…this is just a super heart-wrenching love story. Typical of Key, Clannad’s story has the main character solving the problems of other girls around him to eventually get to his happy ending. I think this show is the reason I started watching romance anime in general. It just worked that well. The fact that I never cried actually makes me question my humanity.
3. Mawaru Penguindrum
What can I say about this show? It’s just crazy. Every single episode is wacky. No character is who they seem to be, and there’s something deeper going on with every single event. A lot of stuff doesn’t make sense at the beginning, but by the end of the show you realize that it’s because everything you know at the beginning is basically false. The show really gets you thinking. The ending is a bit sad, but I think that it was very appropriate and effective. Also, thumbs up for epic penguins!
This show surprised me in that it actually successfully used a main character that was…nuts. He literally acts like the mad scientist he proclaims to be, but he does it in a way that’s entertaining. The next part is the time travel. I’ve always thought that the theory of time travel is split into two main ideas. The first is that going back into the past will either cause the future to change accordingly or create an alternate world with the appropriate future. The second is that history is absolute, so going back into the past will never change things because it was already determined that you would go into the past. What this show does is use BOTH of these ideas, which absolutely blew me away. I was definitely skeptical when I first started watching, but after a certain point, I just couldn’t stop watching.
1. Code Geass
Well, of course this is the top anime…I love this show to death. Probably the most epic protagonist you will ever see. Lelouch Lamperouge sells it with a cocky attitude and the brains to back it up. Throw in the ability to make anyone do what he orders them to do and an ambition that will make you question your morals. He’s like Light Yagami done right. I’ve heard many people say that this show and Death Note are very similar, but I think that this is where the similarities stop. I’ll contend that Light and Lelouch are pretty close to the same person, but everything else is pretty different. What Code Geass does right (and pretty spectacularly right) is the ending. I can re-watch that ending scene a million times and still get the same feelings from it. Also, the mecha part didn’t really bother me because I’m cool with mecha. This show means a lot to me. It’s the first show that I actually watched while it was airing and it’s probably the show that made me realize that anime is amazing. Heck, my younger brother hates anime and he still says this show is the best he’s ever seen.