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My Top Anime List (Top 5)

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This is a list of my favorite anime! I will list out my favorite anime and discuss why I think they are good. This list isn't objective--but, I will be giving a reasonably objective analysis of each. Anime series that include movie(s) (and in one case, a movie only) are counted together, along with multiple seasons; specifics will follow. This list is just a portion of the full list of twenty, which will be published separately. Images and the like will eventually make this more of an engaging read.

  • 5. Hyouka

    This is a show that took advantage of every technique that KyoAni's staff has mastered over the years of producing shows like Haruhi and K-On! and perfected them. This show is flawless, and it has its own strengths to stand proud upon. It's funny, it's dramatic, it's exciting, it's thrilling, action and in-action are played to their strengths and every scene is set perfectly.

    Hyoka is single-handedly the best case for creative freedom on the part of the production studio--descriptive imagery has nothing on the actual imagery that Hyoka uses, and KyoAni will continually surprise you with their aptitude for visuals that invoke feelings and thoughts from every part of your mind.

    It might not be ambitious enough to receive widespread acclaim, but it nails every shot that it takes. It's conclusion is ambitious enough (and of course, flawless) to receive that appreciation, but for some its not enough and Season 2 is clamored for... maybe after Haruhi Season 3.

  • 4. Time of Eve (or Eve no Jikan)

    The only stand-alone anime movie here, Time of Eve is extremely pointed and intelligent.

    Science fiction in anime generally tends to get stuck on creating a proper atmosphere or creating compelling characters and Time of Eve wastes no time in making you believe it to be the most natural thing in the world. For some it might be a familiar cautionary tale of robotics in society, but, its spin and elegance are not wasted. Its exciting and makes you care about its inhabitants more than anything else.

    Hollywood Asimov adaptations aspire to be even a fraction of the movie that Time of Eve is. I, Robot, the closest comparison, was a deeply flawed story and movie. Time of Eve takes something similar and executes flawlessly.

  • 3. Monogatari Series

    This is a show that not everyone will enjoy--in fact, it may make some people just uncomfortable and that's ok. However, if you enjoy Monogatari at all, it will instantly become one of your favorites (if not your favorite).

    When Monogatari isn't cruising on the back of witty dialogue and exaggerated visuals, it pushes boundaries in the discussion of personal responsibility, sexuality, social responsibility and morality.

    While Monogatari juggles amazing action sequences with high-energy visuals, most of the screen time is dedicated to, as one reviewer aptly stated, "talking shit." It ends up being fifty episodes of the same characters talking shit with each other, and it somehow being the most entertaining shit talking of all time. Some sequences are rife with fan service, and in the same arc you'll find deeper reflections on the nature of life itself.

    I went into the series not thinking it could possibly fulfill the hyped expectations that others had set on it--it delivered and left my expectations in the dust.

  • 2. Rebuild of Evangelion & Neon Genesis Evangelion
    Some not-so-subtle ordering of the canon in titling this series shows where my faith lies(Rebuilds of Evangelion are the (in a relative sense) reproduction of the original 1995 series Neon Genesis Evangelion)--the original series was revolutionary but not timeless. It aged, and its audience grew up. Anno brought it back in an incredible way, in the shifting landscape of anime and by its own merit.

    The Rebuilds take the most celebrated series of all time and cuts the extra fat, and injects scenes so integrated into the overarching themes that you wonder how the original series imparted viewers with even a fleeting impression in the first place. Peerless action (well, it has to be after ten years in the making) with the most uniquely human world and characters in anime (that you'll find every anime try to copy and fail) makes Evangelion.
    Any fleeting SciFi impression you get is dashed. As defined by Asimov, "Science fiction is an existential metaphor, that allows us to tell stories about the human condition."

    Evangelion isn't a metaphor, nor does it tell stories of the human condition. It is the human condition, captured and ephemeral. The Rebuilds of Evangelion might have this lightning in a bottle and in twenty years from now, we could be looking back at them with the same grimace that we might look at Neon Genesis Evangelion today--but until then, we can watch the Rebuilds and they will resonate and be heard proclaiming:

    "This is what anime should be. This is what you didn't know you wanted. This is what you needed. This is how it will be."

  • 1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica & Rebellion

    Flawless and ambitious, Madoka Magica's critical and commercial success has changed the landscape of anime forever.

    It manages to keep you grounded through the most surreal of scenery and asks incredibly pointed questions that you won't be able to answer. What would you do? No matter how you answer, you'll be shown how wrong you are, mercilessly. This is a must-watch for everyone, regardless of your background.
  • 0. Shinsekai Yori
    The absolute best anime I've seen. It is an adaptation of a Japanese science-fiction novel in the style of more classical sci-fi, think H.G. Wells rather than Asimov. The world, the atmosphere, the plot... its exciting, its mysterious, it will make you think, it will make you cry. Maybe. I'm not sure that I'll ever see an anime that resounds so profoundly as this one. This is marked as number zero in my list because it really is separate from the rest.

Updated 03-04-2015 at 09:50 PM by Mathies

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