[Updated 08 April 2017]
These are, in my opinion, the best anime out there. Keep in mind that if I haven’t seen them they can’t make it here, so don’t worry if you don’t see your favorites.
I have recently removed a number of titles; those remaining are series that I feel a lasting connection to.
There’s no way I can single out a top ten here, so i’m going to go ahead and include every anime I think you should watch. Nonetheless, i’ve divided the series into those that have my full support and those that I enjoyed but would be slightly more hesitant about recommending.
This list is not in any particular order.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The death of their mother spurs Edward and Alphonse Elric to attempt the forbidden art of Human Transmutation. In a land where Alchemy, the ability to manipulate and transform matter, permeates everyday life, it seems only natural that it could also bring their mother back to them. After the attempt to restore life goes horribly wrong, leaving Alphonse’s soul trapped inside a suit of armor and Edward’s arm and leg lost to the nether, the two brothers set out to find the only thing left that can undo what they have wrought: the Philosopher’s Stone. They’re not the only ones after the Stone, however, and they soon find out exactly what its terrible power is capable of.
No anime recommendations list is complete without Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, and summarizing its plot in just one paragraph is all but impossible. While I can’t comment on how it compares to the original series, I loved just about every minute of this show and think that watching it should be more or less mandatory.
The characters, the plot, the action and every other aspect of FMA:B come together to form an experience that you simply won’t forget. Don’t mistake it for average shounen fair, though, as there’s plenty of emotion scattered throughout its impressive 64 episodes.
Attack On Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
It’s been over a century since humanity learned to live in fear. Behind their great Walls they continue to eke out an existence, desperately thinking of anything but the outside world. The Titans seemingly live solely to eat humans according to some bizarre instinct, needing only sunlight to survive. Towering above all but the Walls themselves, they wait for any opportunity to breach them. Then, suddenly, that opportunity had arrived in a flash of thunder. For Eren Jaeger, as for many others, it was the end of life with his family. Determined to have his revenge on the Titans that took everything from him, Eren aims to join the Recon Corps, the human race’s only source of hope. With their 3D Manoeuvre Gear and Ultra-Hardened Steel blades, they are the only ones that can stand up to the Titan threat.
Let’s be honest, if you were on the internet at all when Attack on Titan (or Shingeki no Kyojin) aired you’ll know that “popular” is a bit of an understatement. I found Shingeki no Kyojin to be an incredibly well-made and gripping series that makes amazing use of cliffhanger endings to keep you needing more. I may be relatively new to this anime game, but I’m reasonably confident that Shingeki no Kyojin will be counted alongside other classics in the near future.
Area Eleven, formerly Japan, is just one of the many nations now under the control of the Holy Britannian Empire. Its citizens reduced to Elevens as Britannians infest their new territory, Japan is a mere shadow of what it used to be. Lelouch vi Britannia, a student at Ashford Academy and noble in hiding, is granted the power of Geass during an Empire-ordered purge of Elevens. The ability to command anyone he makes eye contact with to do whatever he desires. The ability to rebel against the nation that spurned him and his sister, against his father, the Emperor. From student to strategic commander of Japan’s rebellion, Lelouch will have his revenge.
As with many shows on this list, I simply cannot convey all that Code Geass has to offer in just one paragraph. It’s exciting, it knows just how to play its cards to keep you on the edge of your seat and it will constantly force you to review your concept of who is right and who is wrong in the series of events that take place. Exciting like few anime manage to be, it will play with your emotions and thoughts alike. Often called a classic, Code Geass well deserves that title.
Note: Best if you see Fate/Stay Night first.
Fate/Zero is set in Japan, where a deadly battle for the mysterious artefact known as the Holy Grail takes place. The aptly named Holy Grail War isn’t an ordinary scrap, either – Heroic Spirits from the past with extraordinary powers are summoned by 7 Magi (chosen by the Grail itself, incidentally) to compete for their prize: the granting of any wish their hearts desire. The Heroic Spirits, known as Servants by the Masters that summoned them, are grouped into 7 classes: Saber, Archer, Berserker, Rider, Lancer, Caster and Assassin, each with their own specialities and each with the desire to claim the Holy Grail.
Having to summarize these anime is going to kill me! I can’t even begin to hint at the number of separate storylines that run parallel and finally converge in Fate/Zero, so you’re going to have to watch it and find out! Fate/Zero is a prequel to Fate/Stay Night and easily makes my top two or three favorite series to date. Everything in this show is damned near perfect, from the characters and action to the animation and overall plot. There are very few anime that fit together as well as Fate/Zero. The only issue is that you have to watch Fate/Stay Night first to get the most enjoyment out of it, and the original series isn’t nearly as good.
Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (AnoHana)
Not in employment, education or training, Yadomi Jinta spends his days lazing around the house and playing video games while seeing or speaking to no one. It’s a little out of the ordinary when his childhood friend Honma Meiko (or Menma, as her friends call her) pays him a visit in the middle of a scorching summer’s day. After all, she passed away ten years ago. As memories of days gone by and the friends Jinta has drifted away from flood to the surface, he vows to fulfil Menma’s last wish. During the struggle to convince his old playmates of the existence of a ghost only he can see, the crippling effect of losing a dear companion on the group he used to lead becomes all too clear.
I’ve often said that it’s incredibly difficult to fit a meaningful story into just twelve episodes. AnoHana is wonderful, shining example of what shorter productions can do. The series grips you with extreme emotion and holds you in place with the believability of its characters and their experiences in a way that few anime do. If you have even a shred of ability to empathise you’ll probably find yourself in tears at least once, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I certainly did. Unless you’re allergic to emotion this is required watching.
College (or university, as some may call it) represents a new start for many people the world over, though at the moment Tada Banri isn’t entirely sure what he’s signed up for. Making an awesome new friend has mostly made up for missing his entrance ceremony, but who’s that stunning beauty walking straight toward them? Why is Mitsuo’s face going pale? And why is that girl slapping him with a bouquet of roses?!
That beauty is Mitsuo’s childhood friend, Kaga Kouko, and their ensuing altercation stems from the fact that she has been stalking him for most of their lives together. She’s gorgeous, she’s larger than life and…in private she hates herself for what she does to the man she loves. While that man can’t take it anymore, Banri finds himself infatuated. Could this be the new life he’s been desperately waiting for? Hopefully, because he can’t remember a thing about his old one…
With the potential to be The Geek Clinic’s favorite anime for 2015, Golden Time was an absolute blast to watch. Though many anime focus on the lives of society’s younger members, few manage to tackle realistic drama, romance and comedy with Golden Time’s maturity and style, and the believability and realism of the characters and their relationships are what make it all stand out.
Highly Recommended Series
Haruyuki Arita has things pretty rough. Constantly bullied and stuck firmly on the bottom rungs of the social ladder at High School, virtual reality games are all he can turn to for comfort. Suddenly introduced to the mysterious Brain Burst program, allowing extreme acceleration of thought speed, Haruyuki finds himself confronted with a whole new world. In order to keep the program, however, he is forced to take part in a virtual reality combat simulator with a unique culture of its own. Accompanied by friends both new and old, Haruyuki becomes more and more invested in the Accel World.
Looking past my love for all things virtual reality, Accel World is a gem I really wasn’t expecting to find when I started watching it. Along with the frequently used “double life while at high school” aspect, the rules surrounding Brain Burst and its associated game make for an incredibly unique combination. Poignant real world relationships and clashes accompany the virtual reality focus which leaves you with an entertaining and well-rounded series.
Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is the newly released VRMMORPG, or Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game, and as expected all 10,000 released copies logged on simultaneously for the grand opening. When it came to logging out, however, the highly anticipated game became something much more sinister. Trapped in virtual reality, the players are forced to come to terms with the fantastical world that is as deadly to their real-life selves as it is to their avatars. The only way out is to finish the game. Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya was in Sword Art Online’s beta test; he knows the starting areas like the backs of his hands. What he’s not so familiar with, however, is how to work with others to survive, and how to deal with the grief when they are killed. Is it still a game when your life is on the line?
Okay, so Sword Art Online has some major flaws. That doesn’t stop it from being a huge amount of fun to watch, however, and it easily makes its way onto this recommendation list. With some of the strongest character personalities in the anime business, i’d be incredibly surprised if you don’t feel some sort of connection with one or more of the characters it involves. For entertaining action and romance with a loose video game setting, you probably can’t do much better than Sword Art Online.
Yuzuru Otonashi finds himself in a world where he cannot die. In fact, neither can anyone else. Devoid of any memories of his past, Otonashi is picked up by a local resistance group, the Afterlife Battlefront. This world is a place between life and death; if you’re not careful you will simply disappear, a fate the Battlefront is determined to fight. What I haven’t yet made apparent, however, is that the centre of this world is a high school, and simple attendance is enough to make you vanish. While most of the school’s students are empty but lifelike NPCs (that’s non-player characters to those of you still in the stone age), the school’s student representative is an artificially augmented girl known only as Angel, who uses her surreal powers to oppose the Afterlife Battlefront. Otonashi’s very first meeting with her ends in his first “death” in this new world, causing him to throw his lot in with the Battlefront to fight for the life he’s already lost once before.
How could you possibly explain everything that Angel Beats is in such a small space? From its ridiculous comedy to the far more serious themes lurking beneath its surface, Angel Beats just screams Key classic. Series with only 13 episodes have a lot of trouble getting me on board but I love Angel Beats and can’t wait for its upcoming visual novel adaptation.
Takasu Ryuuji looks damned scary. Even the teachers are afraid of him, with his height, strength and the way he glares at everyone that walks by. Compare this to Aisaka Taiga, A.K.A. The Palmtop Tiger, who is barely half his size and still scares the living daylights out of everyone she passes. Is it not fitting that these two would discover the people that nobody else sees hiding behind the misconceptions that have been piled on top of them by others? After a rocky start, the big blue-haired softy that loves to clean and cook, and the petite blonde bombshell (yes, we’re talking temper here) with ridiculous amounts of Dere beneath her Tsun shell team up to help each other get together with their respective crushes. They may succeed if they can ever convince their friends that they’re not actually a couple themselves.
Toradora is funny, compelling and will touch your heart on multiple occasions, all in one package. I don’t like all of the characters, I don’t like all of the jokes, but I love Toradora. While there’s something about it I can’t quite put my finger on, there’s a reason it’s one of the few slice of life anime on this list.
Yomiyama North Middle School’s class 3-3 isn’t quite normal and its new transfer student, Sakakibara Koiichi, can’t quite put his finger on what’s off about it. Odd enough is the fact that 3-3 is the only class in the school, or perhaps in Japan, that has a Head of Countermeasures (whatever that means), but there seems to be a girl in the class that only he can interact with. Though Misaki Mei seems normal enough despite her eyepatch, it’s as if no one but Koiichi can see or talk to her and whenever he tries to ask anyone they seem too scared to reply. As Koiichi tries his best to unravel the secrets surrounding his new class, a series of gruesome deaths begin to plague everyone around him. Is it even worth knowing the truth?
While Another isn’t going to do anything for your mood, it will provide you with 12 episodes of solid, mysterious and gruesome entertainment. I’ll almost guarantee satisfaction if you’re into more morbid storylines (Final Destination, anyone?). If you’re not, then pick it up anyway because Another is simply well made and you might just find that you like it. If you’re after some visceral slice of life horror with a little bit of mystery thrown in (if such a thing exists), then you won’t go wrong with Another.
Hataraku Maou-Sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer!)
Ente Isla had been rescued from the verge of destruction by the Hero. Forcing back the armies of the Dark Lord Maou, she cornered the beast himself in his forsaken citadel. At the last moment, however, Maou fled through a dimensional gate to another world, vowing to eventually return and take his vengeance. Now on our Earth, the Dark Lord must survive the harsh reality of everyday life in order to regain his power and return to Ente Isla. Having secured a new Evil Fortress (one-room apartment) and Mighty Steed (bicycle), and gained power over the local populace (learnt Japanese), Maou sets his eyes on a new goal: becoming Shift Manager at MgRonald’s.
Hataraku Maou-Sama is a very entertaining comedy series with a setting unlike any other you’ve seen. It may not have you laughing constantly but the quality of the story and action scenes is good enough, and the characters are likeable enough, that you won’t find yourself bored at any point. That probably doesn’t sound like high praise but it’s the most entertaining comedy-focused series i’ve seen so far, and that’s worth recognizing.
Ao no Exorcist (Blue Exorcist)
Imagine you’ve lived the last 15 years of your life with your priest foster father at a monastery along with your twin brother. You’ve gone to school, maybe gotten into a few fights, but as far as the world at large is concerned you’re normal. Now imagine that, on what may as well be any other day, you are attacked by a demon, saved by your foster father who turns out to be an Exorcist, and told that you’re the son of satan. And then your foster dad is killed by your real dad. Sweet. For Rin Okumura, all that is an unfortunate reality. Before he can stop to really take stock of what has happened Rin is thrust into a world where demons are a part of everyday life and one of the country’s most prestigious high schools is actually the True Cross Academy for training Exorcists. Oh, and his brother has been going there for years without him knowing. And he’s now Rin’s teacher. Double sweet. Rin vows to grow stronger to take revenge on satan for what he has done, but before he can do anything he needs to learn to get on with his classmates and, y’know, study.
Ao no Exorcist is one of the few shows that has made me really sit up and pay attention within its first few episodes. With a great story, relatable characters and some really epic scenes, it’s an amazing series that still has room to grow. If it wasn’t limited to 25 episodes (and one movie), and hadn’t finished without waiting for its source material, I think it could have been one of the greatest Anime out there.
Yagami Light is a high-school student with exceptional academic ability but an otherwise unremarkable life. However, this all changes when he comes across a mysterious book known as the Death Note. After picking it up, Light encounters a fearsome Death God from another world, Ryuk, who appears to oversee its use:
- The human whose name is written in this note shall die.
- This note will not take effect unless the writer has the person’s face in their mind when writing his/her name. Therefore, people sharing the same name will not be affected.
- If the cause of death is written within the next 40 seconds of writing the person’s name, it will happen.
- If the cause of death is not specified, the person will simply die of a heart attack.
- After writing the cause of death, details of the death should be written in the next 6 minutes and 40 seconds.
Light, being the son of a distinguished police investigator, immediately realizes the uses of such an artifact and begins judging criminals, aiming for the creation of a world without crime and suffering – one that he will reign over as God. Of course, the deaths of hundreds of high-profile criminals does not go unnoticed, and the unrivalled detective known only as “L” is called in to find the mad killer calling himself “Kira” (which is Light, in case you hadn’t guessed).
Death Note is another classic that deserves its title. The battles of wits between L and Light are fierce and exhilarating, and to be honest there’s nothing quite like them. While the final portion of the series drops the figurative ball, the rest of it grips you, rapidly escalates in excitement and intrigue, and refuses to let go.
The Cultural Research Club at Yamaboshi High is as close knit as it gets; the members attend it each day more to spend time with one another than for any research purposes. Are they as close as they appear on the outside, though? Are they as close as they themselves believe they are? When a supernatural entity known only as Heartseed takes an interest in them, their bonds are stretched to their very limit as they discover just how little they really know about their “friends”. While swapping bodies with others may sound amusing to begin with, it’s only the first in a series of unbelievable circumstances used to extract every drop of entertainment possible from the group. It’s not a question of whether someone will break, so much as who will break first.
I find myself feeling overwhelmingly grateful to the person that recommended Kokoro Connect to me. Its incredibly simple formula and series of events maintain a wonderful level of entertainment because of the complexity and believability its characters and their relationships add to the near-perfect mix of romance, comedy and drama already present in the show. It’s a little bit deeper than what I normally recommend but the mere fact that it made me sit back and really think is a major achievement.
Kazuya Kujo came to Saubure in 1924 as an exchange student from Japan. Shunned by his fellow students because of a local legend, he takes refuge in St. Marguerite Academy’s massive tower of a library, and at its highest level forms a bond that will never be broken. Victorique de Blois, the Golden Fairy of the tower, is a tiny girl with flowing blonde hair, a fiery temper and a brilliant mind. Confined, practically held hostage by her father, she spends her days attempting to fend off the boredom that plagues her. In the midst of chilling murders and swirling intrigue, the two desperately struggle to avoid being torn apart.
What can I say about Gosick? It starts off slowly while beckoning for your curiosity to follow it through the twisting halls of its mysteries, gradually placing block after block of new information beneath your gaze before finally entering a grand finale in a crescendo of revelations and emotion. That’s about it. There’s mystery, romance and drama all bundled into the kind of ball you might call a cult classic.
Nagi no Asukara
Many generations ago mankind left the oceans for the surface, though a portion of seadwellers refused to leave their ancestral home. In modern times Shioshishio isn’t your average town, but Hikari, Manaka, Chisaki and Kaname have lived there all their lives. They and the others residing there have a special lining to their skin called Ena which allows them to breathe and live entirely underwater. When the town’s school is closed down the four friends are forced to take to the surface for their education and are soon exposed to the tensions between those beneath the waves and those who have left them behind. They’ll have to find where they fit into things on the surface, making new friends quickly, but at the same time they need to make sure of how they feel about each other. Meanwhile the God of the Sea, creator of all life, finds his power dwindling as he is forgotten by those leaving the sea for the surface. Without his presence, there’s no telling what will happen to the Earth itself.
Nagi no Asukara is unique, novel and entertaining. The plot itself, the themes surrounding it and character relationships within it drive an experience that doesn’t get boring from beginning to end. Great visual design and animation quality adds to the series to earn it an emphatic Geek Clinic recommendation.
Zetsuen no Tempest
Tragedy. Revenge. Love. Aika Fuwa. In the face of the greatest threat the world has ever known, retribution trumps all. When Mahiro Fuwa comes into contact with someone calling herself the princess of a clan of mages stranded on a desert island, he agrees to help her in exchange for one piece of information: the identity of his sister’s killer. The Kusaribe clan worships a being known as the Tree of Genesis, the creator of all life and opposition to the destructive Tree of Exodus. By offering sacrifices of modern technology the clan gains the ability to use the tree’s power. Hakaze Kusaribe, the princess, had been betrayed by her people, and Mahiro is the only person able to act on her will. Unfortunately, Hakaze’s greatest hope couldn’t care less about the fate of the world, so long as he gets his revenge.
I have never liked Shakespeare. Granted, my only exposure to his work was forced reading in high school, and I’m most likely unable to appreciate the style of writing of the time, but the fact still stands. So when an anime with links to The Tempest was recommended to me I was a little apprehensive. Thankfully, Zetsuen no Tempest was a thoroughly enjoyable experience that I don’t hesitate to recommend. The realistic setting and characters mesh with magic and an out of this world story to form an experience that is just about impossible to not enjoy. If you’re after entertainment, then look no further.
The Future Diaries. Items with the ability to predict aspects of the future based on their owners’ characteristics, irreversibly linked to their lives. What better way to choose a new God? Amano Yukiteru is the recipient of one such artefact, with his classmate Gasai Yuno gaining possession of another. They are but two of twelve involved in battle royale to the death, with the winner being granted ultimate power over time and space. For Yuno, this couldn’t be more perfect. Though he doesn’t know it, and though they’ve only talked a handful of times, she love Yukiteru with every fibre of her being. She adores him. She idolizes him. She lives for him. She would die for him…and she will KILL anyone who dares to get in the way of her feelings. All for her beloved Yuuki, of course.
For those that think they like the idea of a crazy, knife-wielding girlfriend taking part in a future-diary-fuelled fight to the death, Mirai Nikki is a must-watch. Its ending may be on the weak side compared to the rest of the show but that’s no reason not experience all of its good bits which, due to some great animation and interesting characters, are incredibly entertaining. Even if the concept doesn’t immediately jump out at you, I’d recommend giving Mirai Nikki a go because of how few other series out there are like it. Who knows, you might discover a new niche you’re interested in.
Tiger and Bunny
In the futuristic Stern Bild City a small population of humans are known as NEXT. These individuals hold a variety of special abilities, with the strongest among them able to become Heroes, commercialized defenders of justice whose goal is as much to promote their sponsors on prime time television as it is to fight crime. Hero TV provides 24/7 coverage of the Heroes’ escapades, ranking them by the number of criminals they capture or civilians they rescue. Kaburagi Kotetsu, better known as Wild Tiger, is one such Hero, a veteran, and when his supporting company goes under he is placed together with Barnaby Brooks Jr, a newbie on the scene. With the seasoned Kotetsu’s desire to help to populace in every way possible, and Barnaby’s desire to rack up Hero Points, the two might find themselves spending most of their time getting in each other’s way.
Tiger and Bunny immediately plunges you into its unique setting with visuals of caped crusaders with colourful company logos emblazoned on their costumes bringing home the reality of commercialized justice. The series absolutely nails the portrayal of this key feature to an impressive degree: Special catch-phrases, TV interviews and even a Hero whose only goal is to appear in the background of as many TV shots as possible to show off his sponsors. Among several other themes, the conflict between the media’s need for ratings and the unobstructed pursuit of justice makes for icing on the cake.
Ayase Chihaya first encountered Karuta when she met Wataya Arata as a child. The game which combines memorization, reflex and knowledge of a select set of iconic Japanese poetry was introduced to her by Arata when she stood by him against the bullying he suffered from the rest of their class. Together with Chihaya’s other friend Mashima Taichi, the three learned Karuta as a team and formed memories they could never forget. Now, as Chihaya enters high school, she finds herself the sole proponent for beginning a competitive Karuta club, with Arata having moved far away and Taichi having lost interest in the game. Chihaya’s will does not waver, however, as she aims to master the art of Karuta and become Japan’s, and the world’s, next Queen.
While some may argue the “sports” label for Chihayafuru, I would assert that the series earns it repeatedly. The game of Karuta is made interesting and the team atmosphere the show cultivates is impressive. Characters are realistic and easy to identify with as well as diverse, and their efforts to work together are that much more poignant for that reason. Every single component of this anime comes together to form a cohesive whole, with the technical aspects backing up both the writing and concept wonderfully.
Albert de Morcerf is the son of the great General Morcerf, hero of the intergalactic war and leading candidate for France’s presidency. Having been raised in a life of luxury, Albert is visiting the moon (Luna) for its grand festival with his childhood friend Franz when the two encounter the eccentric yet charismatic Count of Monte Cristo. The Count claims to be a nobleman who has travelled to the far reaches of space and back, and after saving Albert’s life from a gang of kidnappers he asks for the boy’s aid in moving to Paris, where the Morcerf family holds great sway. Monte Cristo’s very presence will bring great change, however, to Paris, France and the world at large, though whether his hidden plans are beneficent or malicious remains to be seen.
It’s been a fair while since I first watched The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the viewing having been forced by a high school class I found it to be pretty enjoyable. Gankutsuou is an anime adaptation with a slightly different focus which adds in a little of its own spice to the mix and overall does a great job of bringing both the characters and story to life. It’s unique visual style can only be described as fantastical, and in a way I have never seen before and probably won’t encounter ever again.
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru (OreGairu)
Hikigaya Hachiman is an outcast in just about every meaning of the word. By his own admission he hasn’t even talked to a girl in years and can count the number of friends he holds dear without any hands at all. His every waking moment would be a struggle, if he actually cared about what anyone else thought. His impressively cynical attitude ends up getting him forced into the newly formed Service Club by a worried teacher, with the only other member being the similarly isolated Yukinoshita Yukino. Naturally, the two can’t stand each other, but as they work together to help others as part of their club duties they find the opinions and attitudes of others rubbing off on them and, along with the bubbly but conflicted Yuigahama Yui, desperately fight to navigate the complexities of normal high school life.
That summary…doesn’t really capture what Oregairu is, but it’ll have to do for now. What begins as an average romantic comedy goes on to become Interpersonal Relationships: The Anime, and does so with style. Each character is repeatedly shown to have more and more layers of personality to be explored, meaning that even those who appear to follow simple archetypes can’t be taken at first glance. The drama and emotion are poignant throughout the second season with some refreshing and effective comedy scattered here and there, while the first season merely serves to set the foundation for what the series aims to achieve. Overall, however, the balance between tension and light-hearted everyday living is handled beautifully.
Suisei no Gargantia
Ledo is a Machine Caliber pilot for the Galactic Alliance of Humankind. The purpose of his existence is to eliminate the greatest threat to his species, the terrifying alien race known as the Hideauze, and his entire sixteen years of life have been spent preparing him for combat. Any individual who cannot fight holds no value for the Galactic Alliance. So when Ledo is stranded on a foreign planet light-years from the battle, he finds himself at something of a loss. The people there survive by living on a massive collection of connected boats known as Gargantia, for the vast majority of their home is covered by ocean. Their speech, their customs and their way of life represent entirely new territory for Ledo, though he will need to learn to survive in this new place. For it is Earth, the planet his ancestors abandoned.
Suisei no Gargantia is one of the best 13 episode series I’ve seen to date. The show covers a lot of ground that doesn’t commonly show up in anime and is backed up with a unique concept, refreshing visuals and endearing characters that come together to form a fun production that also presents a thought-provoking view on one of humanity’s potential futures.
Sakamichi no Apollon
Kaoru Nishimi has been forced to move in with his relatives while his father is out to sea. He’s used to moving, though, and doesn’t expect his new home to offer anything different from the norm. When he runs into the class delinquent, Sentarou Kawabuchi, however, his expectations are shattered. Over the next year Kaoru comes out of his shell as he discovers a love for jazz music along with his new friend, as he falls in love, and as he faces the trials and tribulations of teenage life and relationships. Whether the future holds joy or the same loneliness he knew as a younger child, he will never forget the time he spends with Sentarou.
Sakamichi no Apollon is a straightforward and fun romance anime that fits the word “genuine” more than most others I’ve seen. It’s down to earth, simple and well made for the most part, with endearing and believable characters that easily kept me entertained during each sitting. While the ending is unfortunately rushed, Sakamichi no Apollon is an easy recommendation to make for anyone interested in the romance genre.
Deadman Wonderland – Carnival Prison + Strange Powers
Note: Not finished and never will be.
Carnival Phantasm – Hilarious Type-Moon Parody
Note: Only actually funny if you’ve seen and/or played Fate/Stay Night and/or Tsukihime.
Oreimo – Slice of Life Comedy + Otaku Themes
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike – Fantasy Setting + Video Game Prequel
Note: Set before the Xbox 360 game Tales of Vesperia.
Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio (Arpeggio of Blue Steel)
Love Live! School Idol Project – High School Idols + Carefree Slice of Life
No Game No Life – Game World + Devious Strategies
Kakumeiki Valvrave – Space Mechs + Loss of Humanity
Nisekoi – Romcom + Not Much Else
Sakasama no Patema (Patema Inverted) – Reversed Gravity + Dystopian Earth
Eve no Jikan – Robots as People + Sadly Unfinished
Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka? (DanMachi)
Real Life RPG + Action/Comedy
Nanatsu no Taizai
The Geek Clinic’s Shounen Battle Comedy of Choice
Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majou
High School Rom Com + Interesting Powers
Destitute God + Interpersonal Relationships
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199
Ship Battles + Space
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Economics + Demon King Love
If you’re interested in other recommendations, please take a look at my MAL profile. Anything with a score of 7 or over can be considered worthwhile.
A lot of mainstream sweethearts. Not surprising. Some of these shows are on my schedule with varying priorities.
Never thought Another would be so loved. I thought it was above average at best.
I guess i’m a mainstream kind of guy XD
When it comes to Another i’m not about to go out and buy plushies of all the characters, but it was different from the norm and I enjoyed that. I’m going for personal enjoyment rather than objective quality, so it makes the list.
Accel World is the only one of the top list I haven’t tried in some capacity and could actually try (no horror never horror). I guess I should, sometime. Thanks for the list and happy anniversary~
I always think of Code Geass as a sort of Death Note with Mecha! Type of thing especially when it comes to mood, so I should ask: Death note or Code Geass?
I’m still really torn on recommending Fate/Stay Night or Fate/Zero first. They both nonchalantly spoil things from each other… (When it comes to quality, I’m of the opinion FSN VN > FZ but I realize Fate fandom is pretty split on this).The entire course of the Grail War is basically spoiled by FSN, but Sakura and Kotomine and Saber are spoiled by FZ…
Sword Art Online was something I was a huge fan of the premise for, and I really liked the first LN. Watching the anime diminished my opinion a bit… However, I’m of the firm opinion that the Sword Art Online experience could never be complete without the troll reviews you get! Some of them are great.
Attack on Titan is pretty good… If you read up to a certain point in the manga and don’t interact with the fandom which has a really odd popular ship and is convinced that AoT was some beautifully unique mystical unicorn when it shares MLA’s premise and the author admitted to being a little ‘inspired’ there. Plus “friendly reminder that Levi never does anything wrong ever and is the bravest soul anyone’s ever known (◕‿◕✿)”. 3DMG are still super cool, and it’s a pretty fun ride in general.
You might wanna give the full title of OreImo. And then translate it. That’s the barrier to entry.
….I rewatch Carnival Phantasm from time to time and the first episode with the Holy Grail war is always great. Archer excelling at karuta (although someone out of Chihayafuru would be able to beat him) “Which hero ARE you?!”…. I also like other episodes, though. Rin trying to figure out Blu-Ray. And of course the “Let’s Make Everyone Happy!” episodes. My brother liked Carnival Phantasm just fine given he’s only heard about FSN and didn’t know anything of Tsukihime, so it can be funny with minimal information (read: siblings gushing for hours about how Lancer is a bro).
Thanks! Haven’t seen you around for a bit; played/watched anything noteworthy recently? Accel World was just another anime on my list, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s actually written by the same guy as Sword Art Online, which I thought was pretty interesting.
Code Geass -is- Death Note with mecha. That similarity made itself clear to me very early on in the series =P They both excel in their own way. The mind games in Death Note are far more intricate, while Code Geass operates on a much grander scale. And they both betrayed me in their final episodes =/ If I had to pick one…Code Geass. It kept me very entertained for a greater amount of time than Death Note.
Fate/Zero is very much intended to be watched after Fate/Stay Night, I think. FSN gives you a lot of preconceptions about characters and events that are addressed in the prequel, and I think Fate/Zero is just that much more enjoyable if you’re already invested in the story (without even going into those spoilers you mentioned XD). Still, if someone was only going to watch one of the two i’d recommend Fate/Zero, hands down. I’d find it pretty tough to compare the Fate/Stay Night visual novel to Fate/Zero because they’re just so different. The latter’s plot is condensed to a greater degree than the former, so I think it might come out on top by just a smidgen for me.
I actually hate Sword Art Online and only included it to enrage the other bloggers who don’t like it. In all seriousness though, I hate SAO for how much better it -could- have been. There’s so much wrong with it but I think I would be doing others a disservice if I didn’t recommend it because I loved the ride even as some sad, shriveled little part of my brain pointed out all of its flaws >.>
I can’t even begin to tell you how disadvantaged I feel because of my dislike for reading manga online. I have to have the physical book in my hand which means I miss out on the vast majority of good manga out there. Having only watched the anime, I can’t find any major problems with Attack on Titan (not that i’ve looked, admittedly). It’s concept, plot and production quality are unique and excellent and it managed to perfect the art of the cliffhanger ending. I can see what you mean by there being a connection to MLA but I feel that the stories are sufficiently different that Attack on Titan remains relatively fresh. Speaking of Levi, I don’t think I actually have a favorite character from that series. Odd.
Oreimo’s full title is incredibly unfortunate and would turn away potential viewers when the series really doesn’t have that much of a focus on the implied subject. In the review i’ll be posting I include a disclaimer that a dislike for the concept of incest is no excuse for avoiding Oreimo, and I stick by that statement. It’s really just a slice of life comedy with an Otaku theme in my opinion ^_^ Whether his little sister really can be that cute or not isn’t something that gets addressed till very near the end of the show, and even then it’s not as controversial as one might expect. I was also pleasantly surprised by the near-lack of fan service.
I’m just gonna leave this here >.> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEOCJeqoWVo
Also! Dat race.
*Scurries off to watch Carnival Phantasm*
It’s embarrassing but I’ve been around a bit but haven’t had anything interesting to say so I haven’t commented. Although you could argue I still don’t…. The biggest thing I did was catch up to Yowamushi Pedal, I guess (sports anime/manga make my life sometimes.) …I haven’t even finished Ayakashibito… Yes, Accel World was later than SAO, right? I’m hoping that makes for better quality… I’ll watch it once I’m satisfied with my fujoshi bait (…I mean Hakkenden).
I always liked both of their endings, honestly. And I realize I’m pretty odd in that. But after Death Note’s bloated final arc, that Matsuda… Lelouch and Suzaku’s endings were fitting, too. But I also liked the ending of Persona 3. So you can ignore me.
I always see FSN as the journey of Shirou which is something I find much more interesting than the journey of Kiristugu. Even Alexander and Waver can’t really make up for that one (also part of the reason UBW is my favourite route and I almost completely dropped HF…).
True, the potential in SAO was awesome. The author seemed to want to play in to every trope he felt was cool, though, which is sad. And it has an imouto. Those imoutos…
Online manga is great because it’s only a time investment, and even then you can limit it. I wouldn’t have thought I was into half the genres I like if my money was on the line or the anime was long. Also it’s difficult to find physical copies of BL. And if you finish an anime that came from a manga, you can just continue. Which can be important to avoid withdrawal. Yowamushi Pedal’s manga is only scanlated up to the anime ;.;
Well, there’s certainly no Major Walken in AoT. I can understand if your heart was holding out for him. Moe MLA Best Girl. It is different enough from MLA to be fresh, but not so much to be the pinnacle of originality a lot of the fandom believes it to be.
I on the other hand was pretty put off by the direction second season went. I believe that people should probably be aware that this material is about how cute his little sister is when it comes down to it. Your point stands about the first season, though.
Wow… I wanna watch Carnival Phantasm again… That’s a certifiable bad idea… Backlog… It’s too good.
I’m not trying to imply you’ve been neglecting commenting duties or anything >.< I haven't watched many (any) sports anime to be honest. I guess i'm not especially interested in sport normally so they don't really appeal to me either. The fact that they often have a pretty large number of episodes and I watch anime like a snail is also something i'm a little wary about. Accel World, while still being virtual reality focused, is different enough from SAO that I find it hard to compare them. It's pretty unique, so it should be interesting for that reason if nothing else.
I didn't like Persona 3, period. So I guess most people on the internet can ignore me XD
Now -that's- an opinion that I find interesting because most people seem to hate Shirou and find HF to be the best route. I don't have strong feelings either way on that one, though I wouldn't really call Fate/Zero Kiritsugu's story.
My other unpopular opinion is that SAO's second season was better than its first. Or rather, that I want the second season's pacing and focus mixed with the first season's story. I guess I can't have nice things like that though =/
I can appreciate that you just can't find physical copies of some things, and if you can find them it's an expensive hobby to fuel. All of the manga i've read so far have been from friends or the library, so my pockets aren't quite empty yet ^_^ I just can't relax while reading from the computer, I guess.
Since we still both agree that Major Walken was Best Girl, I think i'm totally justified in waiting for his cameo (how amazing would it be if that actually happened, though?). I find that originality isn't hugely important to me yet (given the relatively low number of series i've watched) as long as the plot is good and not a blatant rip-off at least. There's a common theme of near-annihilation by an overwhelmingly strong enemy, but everything else is quite different so i'm happy.
Having finished Oreimo sitting firmly in Kuroneko's camp, I would be willing to argue that it's not just about Kyousuke and Kirino's relationship. Given the lack of depth of exploration of the idea of incest, I have trouble seeing Oreimo as more than a normal rom-com (not trying to start a for/against incest argument here, just saying that it didn't stand out to me as a huge focus of the series in the end for me).
I need to just extract all of my favorite scenes from Carnival Phantasm to watch on demand. There's a bit too much fluff to sift through, unfortunately. Dat backlog though…I feel your pain T_T
Congrats on your first year, man.
…I still say everyone should watch Berserk and Aria. The very best of two completely different worlds, one of the few shows I can label 10/10 easily. Props for putting Fate Zero in there though!
It’s funny you should mention Berserk, because it very nearly made it onto the list! It was actually the first anime I ever watched, long before I realized it was its own medium, so I decided that I need to re-watch it before I can make a decision about including it here. There are the new movies to consider as well since I haven’t watched them yet.
Aria’s on my “To Watch” list, so it might show it here in the future as well.
I vouch for both Berserk and Aria too, both are one of the best in their own specialized genres^^ Although I might want to add, I only just read the manga for Berserk. The art looks gorgeous nonetheless though. Not sure if the anime can adapt that level of art in the manga due to possible budget/planning issues, but I don’t know, it’s something I think I should be watching before I comment more, lol.
Berserk’s anime is very different from its manga, I think. The anime is more like a prequel series, so it’s definitely worth watching if you enjoyed the sequel material ^_^
Don’t take this personally because I would call the anime list of *anyone* who hasn’t watched anime greats like Cowboy Bebop, Evangelion, Stiens;Gate or Ghost in the Shell among many many other classic series a little premature.
But considering many of the series on this list come from shows you’ve watched recently I can only assume some updates are going to be in order when your anime lexicon widens in the future. At least it’s an exciting future, you have a lot to look forward to.
I realize there’s a lot I have yet to watch, which is why I have the disclaimer at the top of the page ^_^ It’s also just a list of my personal recommendations rather than a concrete “Best Anime” post. I’ve got all of those shows on my list though (except Steins;Gate, unless you recommend watching it as well as reading the visual novel), so i’ll be sure to keep this list updated in the future =)
Shit should have read past “These are, in my opinion, the best anime out there.”
And yeah the Steins;Gate anime is brilliant too.
Lots of good stuff here. Cool to see .Hack Sign get some love. Several of these are pretty high on my list as well. FMA:B, Another, Toradora, Sword Art Online and Angel Beats in particular are all shows I really love.
Looks like our tastes are pretty similar for everything but Ef XD. Are there any others you would recommend? I’ve got Kokoro Connect next up on my list now.
Have you seen Blast of Tempest? What about the No Game No Life? I think you would probably enjoy both of those. Future Diary and Golden Time also come to mind. If you are okay with old school DEEN animation Higurashi is pretty great. Hrmm, I could list anime all day. >_>
I don’t have a modern favorites list,(something I should really fix) but I do have a decades favorites list for 2000 – 2009. http://www.anime-planet.com/users/Lifesong/lists/16648 Do you have a MAL or A-P account?
Blast of Tempest, No Game No Life, Future Diary and Golden Time are all on my To Watch list, so i’ll be sure to let you know what I think when I get around to viewing them.
While I haven’t seen the anime i’ve played Higurashi’s visual novel and didn’t particularly enjoy it (review being posted this Sunday, actually). I’ve heard the anime is significantly different so I may watch it eventually but it’s not on my list of priorities.
My MAL is at http://myanimelist.net/profile/Silvachief and I don’t have an AP account. I’ll take a look at your list though!
I haven’t touched Higurashi’s original VN. I might take a look at it after it gets the new sprites on steam. It seems like a lot of the original VN fans hated the anime so it probably is fairly different from the source.
From my experience I would be tempted to say that the anime may be better. However, that’s a complete guess on my behalf =P
So many good anime! All of the shows on your list that I’ve seen, are on my top list too XD I guess we’re both mainstream kind of people (;
Currently watching Sword Art Online and I’m liking it, but I keep expecting it to go sour. I guess all the critique I’ve heard is messing with my experience of it. However, I didn’t think the second part of Death Note was as bad as people say, so maybe it’ll be the same with SAO.
I’m seconding Lazarinth in his Steins;Gate recommendation. Absolutely Fantastic.
Other recommendations custom made for you: Btooom!, DN Angel, and of course the original Fullmetal Alchemist (it’s the better one ok believe me)
I think a lot of people overreacted to SAO. It makes some really obvious mistakes but that doesn’t stop it from being entertaining in my opinion. I wouldn’t worry too much about waiting for it to suddenly get worse >.<
All of those have been added to my list (which is long, so don't hang out for me to watch anything unless you're dying for an opinion XD). Steins;Gate is a bit iffy because i'm planning to play the visual novel, so we'll have to wait and see whether I feel like watching the anime as well.
Many mainstream anime here, lol. And some of them are actually quite new. I always hesitate to put up new anime in my Top Favorite list (then again, yours is a recommendation list so I would think you have a bit more leeway :p) but given some more time, I think I might just add Shingeki no Kyojin to mine, despite some flaws in which I personally think was a bit “over-criticized”.
And nice for adding Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, as far as shounen anime goes, it’s definitely one of the best^^
Maybe I should make a separate “Hipster Anime Recommendations List” >.> I personally have no problem including newer anime, as their relative age doesn’t make any difference to whether I would recommend them or not. I also like to go for overall enjoyment factor rather than stumbling on small criticisms, so Shingeki no Kyojin and (to a lesser extent) Sword Art Online were always going to make the list, despite the flaws they both have.
I still need to watch the original series so I can finally join the debate over which one is better 😉
I’m so happy to see that you liked Kokoro Connect. You are very welcome 🙂
Huzzah for mainstream hits- nice to see Hataraku on the list-though the humor got a little stale, it was a surprisingly enjoyable watch. I tend to avoid most slice-of-life stuff, even the stuff that people insist is terrific (cough, cough, Clannad). Angel Beats was pretty good though, after an unsteady start. Will check out Kokoro Connect and Toradora sometime in the distant future.
Mainstream hits are hits for a reason =P
I think slice of life is incredibly hard to do right. I have a lower tolerance for it than most though, so hopefully you’ll enjoy the ones i’ve recommended ^_^
I have a feeling that after awhile this is going to be a very long list.
That’s the aim in a way. There are top 10 lists everywhere, but what do you turn to when you’ve finished those series? If I enjoy a series, I may as well share it ^_^
So far, I like everything on the list with an exception of Fate/Zero. I don’t have a problem with the franchise itself, but it was abit to grandiose for my taste. I can appreciate all the ambitious work and details that got poured into it (dialogue especially between Kirei and Archer), although it just became too laborious to sit through, especially near the 2nd half. Then again, I’m not a hardcore fan of the franchise or visual novel – so that might also have a lot to due with it. Would like to name drop a few recommendations of my own, but since I’m still working on an improved list and can’t exactly work on it from a tablet (like now), guess I’ll save it for later when I next return home from cert training.
I’d be more than willing to hear a list of recommendations from you! I’m always looking for new series. It’s a shame you didn’t particularly like Fate/Zero but I acknowledge that everyone has different tastes.
Hey, good list of anime. I was surprised to see Hataraku Maou on the list because not many people talk about it. Also Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi’s manga has been on the back burner for a while, and I didn’t realize I got an anime. Thank you for the post.
Thanks for the comment =) One of the issues with a lot of anime lists is that some really enjoyable anime, like Hataraku Maou, get missed out because they don’t make the top ten. I like the make sure that all good anime are recognized, so i’m glad you liked the post!
Yeah most of my favourite anime don`t make many top ten lists. I guess that they are not too popular, but they are great. You had a good variety of anime on you list and I thought I should tell you that.
Lol, you say there is no particular order to these but with the subtitles ‘must watch’, ‘highly recommended’ and ‘other’ over them they really kind of do have a “particular order” to them, just not exactly to the number (eg. Code Geass going above Attack on Titan by your review ratings.)
If they were to the number, or at least in a rough order, I would have watched all of them up to #15 (plus 5 from your ‘other recommendations’ list), which I am watching now along with #17 ready to try out. But then again when it comes to reading visual novels you blow me clean out of the water.
Well, what I mean is that within the categories there’s no order; i’d have too much trouble coming up with something that concrete for anime. If they seem to be by review score then that’s purely coincidence, as is any resemblance they may have to other real world productions or people.
I’m not entirely sure how I managed to read all of those considering how little free time I seem to have XD That first Summer break I discovered them, though, probably makes up about 50% of my read-count.
I’m sorry, but Another was just horrible. Cardboard characters, OTT kills that make Final Destination look believable, and a story that descends into supernatural stupidity.
Thanks for the comment!
It’s cool if Another wasn’t your kind of thing. I liked it because of how different its atmosphere was to regular fare though I can see it not appealing to some people. You say that the story descends into supernatural stupidity but it was always supernatural, so it didn’t really have anything to descend into. Likewise, because there was a curse involved over the top deaths are par for the course (though I would argue that Another’s get nowhere near Final Destination’s level).
As for the characters…well, they’re not fantastic, I agree, but that’s sort of the point in this case. Another does its best to be mundane in every way except for its curse; it isn’t meant to have the larger than life, exaggerated personalities you see so often in series because they take away from the believability of the show.
Whoa! How did Deadman make ut into favorites and not Magi? The most enjoyable part about the series was its OP, which was just bloody fantastic. The anime itself was entertaining(kinda) at first, but then the battles got lamer, the director ran out of lights and finally Kenpachi’s doppelganger was the last straw.
It wasn’t even a decent shōnen, which it had very much potential to be.
It was actually here just a day before you commented =P I’m on the edge of deciding whether I want to include it. I’ll have a review up eventually and probably make a final decision then, but for now i’m just not sure about whether I want to include it. I guess for now i’ll roll back to the earlier post so that it’s here until I can decide.
As for the difference between it and Deadman…it probably has to do with the ratio between enjoyment and time commitment. Deadman hits hard and fast, with new concepts every episode, even if it doesn’t finish. I enjoyed it and it didn’t take long to get through. Magi, on the other hand, was enjoyable to start with but slowed down and at the end turned into a series that I didn’t enjoy very much, and it’s really long to boot. Still, I did love Magi’s characters, so I may include it just for them.
I suppose you’re talking about the whole series in general?
Well, I didn’t really enjoy the war arc at the end but the magic school-esque setting of Alladin’s arc nearly made up for it. 🙂
And I’m a bit of a(read: huge) sucker for epic fantasy setting, so I probably enjoyed this more than I should have.
I’ll agree that parts of the magic school arc were enjoyable but that doesn’t quite make up for the ending for me. I would have loved to see more Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana together, since it was their interaction that I enjoyed the most. Like I said in the Music Spotlight post: If Magi had been like its opening, I would have been a very happy viewer. Adventuring together, exploring dungeons, meeting new people in strange lands. That sort of thing.
As for the ending…it didn’t really do it for me. I mean, the main characters were barely involved XD Still, the series is probably worth seeing and for that reason i’ve reinstated it to the list.
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Well, here i am again… I was kinda hoping to wait until you finished reviewing Golden Time to say this, with my second semester ongoing at the moment , but i just noticed you had updated your recommendations list with GT in the top half and i just had to spit it out.
Now that the screaming is done, let me ask something WHY?!!
I agree GT has a great opening and one of the best first cours of a romantic drama in anime i’ve ever seen. The first 10 or so episodes had me hooked to the computer screen, which in some instances meant watching it through my fingers, like for instance Banri’s cross-dressing near-cheating moment. That scene basically said it outright, that getting into a relationship was the easy part, being in a steady one was much much harder.
And then… the second half came and it began to falter. The way they started behaving felt really stupid.I mean seriously dude!!! Start behaving your age for God’s sake. It felt like everybody had drunk a Reduce-Your-Maturity Potion. Though what really REALLY ****** me off was the author’s over reliance on Mr. Ghost-from-the-past for introducing some incredibly stupid complication in the plot. It’s like Toradora except in reverse. Like Toradora was just silly gags and crazy shenaningans in the beginning it really picked up the pace in the last half and the last 6 or so episodes were fabulous. I remember thinking that “if this is how this show ends(with them running away) i’m giving it a 1, but the way it wrapped itself up was ******* great.Whereas GT has a great first half, but the second one bogs it down into the mire of nice-but-forgettable-series.
It’s like you said your experience of the 2nd half of ZnT didn’t destroy the first half, but in case of GT it did for me.
After all the saying goes “All’s ____ that ends ____.”.
I have funny feeling this will end up with one of those “agree to disagree” conclusions XD I hummed and hahed for a long time over where GT deserved to be on the list and in the end it had to go under must-watch because of how well written it was. Having said that, it’s the lowest series in that portion of the list and almost didn’t make it there.
Golden Time, for me, worked because it played its cards almost exactly right and did so in a manner than pulled away from anime norms. I really enjoyed seeing a mature take on university relationships that was believable while still being incredibly entertaining, and the entire memory loss aspect lines up with a series of posts I wrote in the past (under Editorials, if you’re interested). So I could follow the emotional developments of the second half with great interest.
Of course, my enjoyment of the series pretty much ignored the ghost because he was never important to the plot (I viewed him as more of a representation of what the original Banri might have been thinking, rather than an actual entity) and everything that occurred did so without him. The car crash? Didn’t need the ghost. Regaining memories? Didn’t need the ghost. To be honest, the second half is what loses the show points but I can’t think of anything specific (except for the ghost) that was done poorly. If you have any scenes that you want a comment on, fire them at me ^_^
Hmm, well since most of the second half deals with the ghost’s possession of Banri and its consequences on his relationship with Kouko, with few slice of life scenes in between, so it’s hard to pick a point. But if I have to say one, it was when Kouko decided to break it off with Banri after he’d bought something(?) for her. I can’t remember why but I do know the scene felt wrong and the reason very shallow. Also the side characters(except Linda) aren’t developed at all. That Hayato look alike and Camera-chan become background characters unessential to the plot. And there’s the last episode, where Linda tricks the ghost(or not???). That felt kinda low. 🙂
I guess my disinterest in it, is because it wastes nearly a cour to wrap up the series, when it could have done it in half or less.
I get where you’re coming from. However, it wasn’t so much that the ghost was possessing him (I mean, there was no “Hah! I’m back in control!” moment), as his new memories and the old ones were vying for dominance. For me, the first season was Banri and Kouko sorting their shit out while the second was about them trying to come to terms with his memory condition. The ghost was there…but it never had any impact on the plot (from my point of view, anyway…I realize the argument of “but that bit doesn’t matter!” isn’t exactly a strong one).
I also very much understand your argument about Kouko’s actions because I hate when characters decide they can’t be with the other person for an unimportant reason. In this case, though, I think it fits. She predicted that his memories would come back and that there was nothing she could do about it, which meant that two things would happen: she would feel absolutely shattered as her loved one gradually forgot about her and Banri would be made to feel extreme guilt and sorrow as he would be the cause for her pain. We know that she’s not an emotionally mature person, so her response to cut everything off before the situation reached that point makes sense for her, because in her mind it’s the only way to at least save Banri that pain. Of course it doesn’t work that way in practice but I can follow her thinking. The buying thing was actually unrelated, and that was just her excuse because she knew Banri would never accept her actual reason. Not entirely sure what you mean about the ghost (i’m terrible at remembering specifics, sorry!).
I’ll wait for my review to reveal the score, but it’s the lowest a series can get and still qualify for the top category on the list. Eliminating the ghost and fleshing out the plotlines involving the other two characters would have earned it a much higher score (though I did still enjoy Chinami’s stuff and though her camera was a nice plot device, especially because it was a constant thread and not a random one-off).
If you reply to this one, make a new comment…we’re gonna get too thin otherwise XD
All I noticed being different it the Other Recommendations being shorter.
Yeah, I removed some of that section here. The re-jigging was more on the VN list.
How can you unironically recommend SAO to anybody?
It’s mainly the first season that i’d recommend, things go downhill a fair way after that (thought they do pick up again with the latest season).
It’s not particularly deep, but it’s fun to watch and an entertaining take on virtual reality gaming.
Yew shud watch True Tears the Anime and review it. It’s short, 13 eps? A personal challenge.
It’s probably not your style, and maybe you already hate it, but after reading your other reviews, I kind of wonder how you’d react to it.
For my part, I like it. I think it’s a masterwork, just like I think Cross Channel is. I kind of have a feeling you dislike certain things, so you might react with the same aversion to it. Then again, maybe what I think you dislike isn’t what you dislike and you just had some problems with CC.
It’s funny you should mention True Tears, because I wrote a short parody review of it which I eventually decided to not post. I didn’t hate it, possibly because it’s not as well liked as Cross Channel (i’m aware of my tendency to push harder against popular opinion if I disagree), though I didn’t think it was good either.
It’s been a while since I watched it so unfortunately I don’t remember enough to have a serious discussion, but i’m willing to post the unposted “review” here. As an aside, it’s interesting to note that we appear to agree wholeheartedly on where Chaos;Head belongs, but have entirely different opinions regarding Cross Channel and True Tears.
Borderline Serious True Tears Review
Director: Junji Nishimura
Writer: Mari Okada
Animation Studios: P.A. Works
Version Watched: Subbed
I watch a lot of anime that I simply can’t be bothered writing full reviews for. Whether it’s because I’m particularly busy or I don’t feel very strongly about them, it just doesn’t get done. That’s where BS Reviews come in (acronym intended). One paragraph, thoughts that may or may not be true, no context and a legitimate score. Let’s go.
True Tears is a Romance/Drama/Slice of Life. The one thing I can confidently say about the series is that things happened on the screen while I was watching. It had characters and art and stuff as well. There was a female co-lead that probably had a major learning disability or psychiatric disorder as well as alektorophilia (that’s an obsessive love of chickens) and another who thought that the best way to make a guy interested in her was to tell him they were siblings and that she liked someone else. There was apparently a third heroine. The main story, however, is about a guy who writes a picture book about chickens dying and then tries to throw it into the ocean. Overall the characters were defined by their one major stereotype (as unique as alektorophilia may be…) and it was hard to sympathise with their inability to think like normal human beings. The plot in general is characterised by a series of horrible decisions, the first of which was watching True Tears.
Score: 5/10 – Would Exist In Its General Vicinity Again (But Probably Be Doing Something Else)
I must say I am surprised that you had seen it/humored my request. I read what you said about Cross Channel, and I am someone who often has different opinions as well. Most of the literature that people think is amazing does not interest me, and I’ve had my share of people acting like I was too ignorant to grasp something.
With that in mind, I try not to be that. I’m definitely not offended by you disliking it. Except that maybe I wish you did? I kind of have that childish hope that people would like what I like so that another person could experience what I did. Most of the time, when I like something and someone else does, we still can’t talk about it because we have different reasons for liking it.
A lot of things are weird, though, talking to people on the internet is also weird. I don’t need to really understand why characters do what they do. I don’t mind dysfunction because most people are dysfunctional. I think True Tears was extremely sad, for me, and when I watched it again to make sure, I kind of understand why people wouldn’t like certain parts.
The main part I think someone could argue is trash is his picture book and the role that plays, but… the two differ (cross and true) in that one is entirely character focused (true) and the other is more mainchar/reader focused. The way they do things, to me, is similar though. Not a lot of why, and a lot of emotional nuance that plenty of people will find boring.
I felt so bad for the chicken girl. In a composition sense, it was executed very well. There weren’t really any wrong moves in how it unfolded, but I could see just saying who are these people and why should I care about them. haha. That is why I wanted to see your reaction, and I think I understand.
Chaos;Head started as though it might be interesting, maybe. I had to put it down pretty fast though. I think there just wasn’t enough that I wanted to know after the beginning. They didn’t pace it well.
I didn’t finish Chrono Clock, either. In honesty, I probably wouldn’t have played it had there been more choices that I hadn’t played out. I played most of the ‘lad’ girl’s route then when it turned out like I thought (that she was dying) I was like zzz. Still, some luls.
Now, I’m going way back and trying i/o… which you have probably reviewed. I think it’s gonna be good.
Thanks for the comments as well.
I’ll agree with the literature comment there; many of the titles that are often referred to as landmarks in literature have failed to interest me. I think people get too caught up in the prestige of a famous novel or VN and don’t realise that different readers look for different things in their media.
I also totally understand the feeling of wanting others to like what you like, though. When someone likes one of your favorites they become someone to share opinions and thoughts with, like a comrade – even if your reasons are different you share an appreciation for something that ties you together. Whereas when someone dislikes what you like it’s easy to take that as an attack on your own personal tastes (and, as mentioned earlier, some people -do- try to make it that).
So i’m glad you’ve taken the time to understand my opinion of True Tears and Cross Channel. Likewise, given the reasons you’ve written for enjoying them, I can understand where you’re coming from too.
Chrono Clock is not a title to play for its story, and I can definitely see why many people wouldn’t like it. I needed something low-stakes and relaxing at the time that I played it, so it worked out well for me ^_^
Haven’t played I/O, unfortunately. I’m on the fence about starting it so i’d be interested to hear your thoughts!