• Posted by : AMCC Tuesday, May 31, 2011

    Shaun's Top 5 Anime of all Time

    Before we dive into my list, a small disclaimer on my anime preferences. I prefer a good story above all else in an anime. If the action is good, the jokes are hilarious, the music is sexy, the animation is fap-able but the story is sub-par, it goes to my recycle bin.

    For my picks of Top 5 Anime, I do tend to favour shows that have plots I will never forget, heart wrenching stories that result in me thinking for hours or days about the ending, what others think about it, memorable characters and basically the feeling of  “wow, wth did I just watch! I can die happily now”.

    I also happen to prefer having an anime from each genre in my list. As you can see from the list, I prefer drama/romance shows compared to Action/Shonen and the likes. To me, comedies are great to watch and unwind and all, but they never, ever hit the heights of other genre as well as the criteria that I set for Top Animes.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Rozen Maiden, Toradora, Shakugan no Shana, Seto no Hanayome (My favourite comedy), Code Geass (Wonderful show, might be 6 on my list), One Piece (I do not watch the anime, but I follow the manga. It is the only Long series that I recommend. Naruto and Bleach are utter crap), Fate-Stay Night (Fail story, but other than that great show)

    5 ) Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

    “Humankind cannot gain anything without first giving something in return. To obtain, something of equal value must be lost. That is alchemy's first law of Equivalent Exchange.”

    Sorry for placing one of the most popular, most watched and most recognized shonen anime ever, but credit must be given where it is due. There is really nothing I can say about this show that you have not probably read online. It is really the ideal show. Great and likable characters, an engrossing story that has parallels with the real world, some of the best OP and ED music ever and great and fluid animation. If any of my friends who do not watch anime ask for a recommendation, I say FMA, without hesitation. It really reflects anime as a whole very well and to me, it is the poster series of animation.

    Similar shows of the same genre:
    Samurai X (The show that made me start watching anime. Please stop after Kyoto arc),
    Full Metal Alchemist (The first adaption that deviates from the manga in the 2nd half)

    Other shows from the same studio:
    Scrapped Princess (Real good), Eureka Seven, Ouran High School Host Club, Darker than Black, Stardriver (Epicly glamorous)

    Not for people who:

    Err, everyone will like this. It has no niche group.

    4) Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann ("Break-Through Heaven Gurren Lagann")

    “Don't believe in you who believes in me, don't believe in me who believes in you, believe in you...who believes in yourself!”

    This show barely relegated Eva as my favourite GAINAX work. That sentence by itself speaks volume of how awesome this show is.

    The best way to describe it is that it is the most epic anime of ever. Really, no show has a genre entitled epic other than this. The dictionary definition of epic should be Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Over the top action, over the top GARRRRR, over the top shouting, over the top mecha, the scale of this show is mindblowing, MINDBLOWING! (Oh and plus points for Yoko’s outfit). After every episode, I just sit there and thought I watched something something amazing. Then the next episode comes along, takes a shotgun and obliterates the epicness of the previous episode by completely eclipsing it, only for the cycle to repeat again.

    The amazing thing is that like FMA, anyone can follow this show. It really drives home the message of self believe, hope, never giving up and the likes, while putting it in a package a gazillion times better than the other shows that try to push this message across (I am looking at you Naruto, Bleach.). Do yourself a favour, watch it.

    Similar shows of the same genre:
    None. It’s in a genre of its own……..Fine, if you view it as a mecha, then Gundam (Wing), Fafner and Macross (Frontier)

    Other great shows from the same studio:

    Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, Diebuster

    Not for people who:
    Hates epicness.

    3) Kanon (2006 version, which is the remake. Not the 2002 version)

    "It's called a miracle because it doesn't happen."


    Errr, wait, please?

    I just had to have a Kyoto animation show somewhere on this list. Their animation quality is out of this world (as much as I hate to admit it, even better then Shaft) and they have made some of the most popular animes in recent memory. Ever heard of a small little show called K-ON? Yeah, it’s by these guys.

    I had a hard time deciding which of their shows to pick and which spot to place it. It was finally a four way fight between Kanon, Air, Clannad and Haruhi. Kanon eventually triumphed.

    Why? My favourite anime genre is drama/romance so I eliminated Haruhi. The next step was harder as all 3 genres are similar (What I call the emotional trainwreck that requires 3 boxes of tissue for crying 1000liters of tears genre), but I felt that it was easier for a show with a sad and depressing ending to stay in ones memories then one with a brighter ending, but for some strange reason, Kanon managed to still be one of my favourites despite its slightly more optimistic ending. Thus, I decided on it.

    Make no mistake thou, Kanon will make you emotional. Do not be offput by the term Haren,  it is only harem in name as there’s more than potential love interest. This is not a series that has your typical harem ending but one with a solid, amazing and beautiful conclusion.  And if I may be so bold to add, the harem element actually enhances the show as all these girl’s characters are well flushed out, each with a tragic story that will make you feel for them. The story requires you to watch till the end to fully understand it and there is a small hint of the supernatural in it. Stick through this show and you will be greatly rewarded with one of the finest and most touching stories ever. I personally assure you that.
    If you want to cry more tears:
    Air, Clannad (Together with Kanon is the holy trinity of tears)

    If you want to cry tears and be depressed (Yes, theres a difference):

    Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (Warning,you will get emo and lock yourself in your room for at least a week after watching this)

    Other great shows from the same studio:
    The Melancholy of of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, K-on(If only for moe overload and the ending songs), Full Metal Panic (All of them!)

    Not for people who:
    Do not want to feel sad, cry, emo, blah blah blah.
    People who need pew pew guns and swords and can’t watch a slice of life anime.

    2) Puella Magi Madoka Magica

    “Make a contract with me, and become a Mahou Shoujo!!!!!!” (◕‿‿◕)

    My list likes to change. This show just came out of nowhere and kicked lyrical Nanoha out of this list (Sorry Nanoha, but you are still my second favourite Mahou Shoujo anime) First and foremost, I am a total sucker for Shaft’s (it is an animation company) production, I love love love them. Almost everything they touch in recent years turn to gold and have become some of my favorite animes. I do try my best not to get influence by recent animes and follow the current in-flavour but Madoka is truly one of the best. 

    To sum up the show, it is a unique Mahou Shoujo (Magical Girl) anime =D. It also happens to get my best 3rd and 10th episode of an anime ever award. Let’s just say this shows plot will make you mindf**k. Really great animation (its Shaft!) and an engrossing tale that is just wonderfully paced despite being a mere 12 episodes makes madoka the epitome of  the mahou shoujo genre. You will feel for some characters, you will hate some characters, you will cry (I am heartless so I didnt) and you will remember this show for life! Madoka is your lord and saviour. (Reread this phrase after watching the show)

    Similar shows of the same genre:
    Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (Fate is the best character ever!!!)

    Other great shows from the same studio:
    Bakemonogatari (First Class Show), Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (Surprisingly deep despite moe overload), This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, Maria Holic

    Not for People who:
    Do not want to have their vision of mahou shojou crushed.
    Do not like shows that redefines a genre.

    1. ef -Tale of Memories/Melodies/Fairytale of the two

    (Memories is the prequel, Melodies is the sequel, fairytale of the two is the name of the VN that the anime originates from)

    “Do you have any memories that you don't wish to forget?”

    What do you know, another Shaft production. Although Shaft produced various animes before this, ef was the first one that Shaft started experimenting with and in the process, created what I call ‘the shaft style’ (Head tilts, full screen text, quotes galore, epic ambience and environment, awesome colour coordination, monochrome scenes, still art .etc. If you have watched a recent shaft show, you will know what I mean) and I feel ef epitomizes this style. This unique and top notch animation is not just for show as it really sets the mood and artistic direction of the show itself and sucks you completely in. It is really impossible for me to put the animation perspectives into words. All I can say is that it suits the setting and story extremely well.

    For me, what makes this my favourite anime of all time is that it really is like watching literature and a work of art come to life in an animation. Symbolism, motifs, metaphors, quotes and themes all play a part in this anime. They are not just randomly flung around like what you see in other animes, tv shows or movies, but rather really help pan out the story. The story itself is not something shallow and superficial (like summoning giant frogs to kill giant snakes), but rather something deep, something most people can hopefully relate to and something you will remember for years to come. This show is what I would call, a masterpiece (that is one level above epic) as everything falls perfectly into place, story, character, animation and music (it is the ONLY anime that I bought the OST) and it has had an everlasting impact on me. Now that you have read this, go watch it.

    Similar shows of the same genre:
    True Tears(Another masterpiece of the genre), H20 – Footprints in the sand

    Other great shows from the same studio:

    Refer to Madoka Magica

    Not for People who:

    Are unable to live without action and comedy (You will find little of it here)
    Hates watching the best anime ever

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