Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (20-11)

macross 7 do you remember love collage

[Ranks 30-21]

I thought I’d refine how I presented my guideline criteria from the last post. I think it’s very important to say that while I love characters, drama, crowning moments, etc. It is perhaps even more important to say that character design, mechanical design, and how these are animated are critical to my appreciation of anime. After all, I’m not talking about my favorite things in all of media – albeit my passion for anime exceeds that of the rest of film and television. I don’t consider the very best of anime to be as good let alone superior to the best of television and cinema (let alone printed literature).

Thus, you can have superb characterization, an interesting plot, great scale, superlative music and all, but if the illustrations in your anime aren’t good, and are not in motion in a way that makes love to my eyes then I will have difficulty favoring your show. Some of you may think this is a superficial means of appreciating anime. I say to you that you are wrong. Anime is nothing without moving illustrations and for me to favor a show I demand to be satisfied at some level regarding this element.

For this same reason, I welcome remakes, retellings, and rebuilds of past anime. Many of the shows I love suffer in some way from budgetary and/or time constraints during production and the results speak for themselves: characters go off-model, previously shown footage gets reused, characters conversing with each other are shown as dots on an escalator viewed from a hundred meters away, characters conversing with only their mouths moving, and so on.

The most spectacular things to animate are battles, showing the dynamism of the human form in the most exciting of ways. Expand this to the proportion of giant robots and you’re looking into the core of what gets me hot-blooded about anime. Older shows are often limited by budgets and the technology of the time. When such shows are remade, retold, rebuilt, we never lose the shows we’ve seen. We get a net of two works, and get to remember a whole lot of love with all the power and effort of new blood, new eyes.

Back to the list!

Gundam Unicorn Kshatriya

20. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn

How could I rank a show that’s barely halfway done (as of this writing)? There’s two ways to think about this:

  1. I’m so starved for Gundam that I’d take any new show set in the Universal Century and make babies with it; or
  2. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn satisfies the very possibilities that attracted me to Gundam as a mecha anime franchise in the first place.

I mean, I did write all of 7 blog posts corresponding to a whopping total of three episodes right? I really must be crazy about this show, and I am. While not an ideal introduction to the franchise, and even less for the Universal Century, it brings with it everything I’ve wanted to see in the franchise as the standard bearer of real robot anime. This is a show for the big boys, and doesn’t apologize for it.

What do I mean? A romantic context further explored for the conflict that swept the Universal Century; an incredible exploration of the Newtype concept — once an albatross around Gundam’s neck as far as I was concerned; and perhaps most importantly incredibly choreographed and animated mobile suit battles. The stuff here is the best in the franchise, and I can’t be happier.

For the love of God Gundam make the next episode come sooner!

Fuhrer King Bradley -- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood

macross do you remember love minmay ai oboete imasu ka

19. Macross: Do You Remember Love?

“I’m not alone anymore, now that you are with me” the dissonance of these lyrics, with what the song is doing to countless giant aliens, and the context from which the song came and is performed with… It’s an unmatched brilliance. Yes, there’s an 8 minute stretch of this film that constitutes for many, one of the finest moments of animation history.

It certainly captured my imagination, and its influence is something I’ll forever feel even in a matrix of meaninglessness that I wade through in my appreciation of this work – related to how this film is the prime example of how a continuity fan like me cannot approach my favorite franchise the way I want to, the way that feels natural to me. Whatever. I can look upon this movie as a pseudo-free and independent work that tries to get away with being unencumbered by continuity and at the same time remembering love for it. And Minmay, I can keep looking at Minmay.

Gym Ghingham -- Turn A Gundam

macross 7 fire bomber ozma lee ranka lee

18. Macross 7

I never tire of dealing with the hate Macross fans have for this show, the sequel in the franchise that I favor above all others. It’s interesting how casual anime viewers will never hate this. They will drop and dismiss it, but the activity of hating Macross 7 is a pastime of the passionate Macross fan. I don’t blame them, because they are ignorant and lack spirit. They seem to think of Macross as some beacon of excellence and purity at some level… perfect in some ineffable way of being both taken seriously and not taking itself seriously.

But they’re not prepared at what not taking itself seriously looks like in Macross 7. Granted, for its time the production values suck monkey butts after a banana buffet and the whole exercise is that of getting a show out every week in a 4-cour TV series. But those who really let Macross into their hearts experience something truly incredible at some point. Just like how enemies turn into allies by the power of song, we are all in awe of the Power to the Dream that is Macross itself, and Fire Bomber sings it out to us across the stars.

giant robo eyecatch

17. Giant Robo: The Day The Earth Stood Still

This show remains one of the most exhilarating anime experiences I’ve had, or can imagine. Everything about it is devoted to a presentation that is as awesome as possible. The integration of the OST with the action scenes is incredible, but not only that… the bombastic and dramatic score punctuates every dramatic moment giving it a gravity that feels far impressively heavier than the actual story is. I once sat through an 11-hour queue with the complete OSTs as my only company. It gave my pathos a dramatic dignity that entertains me when I look back upon the ordeal.

But the music is great too because it is more than matched by the stunning animation filled with extreme POVs which make everything bigger, deeper; move faster, with more power, and generally just be more awesome that if you’re not moved by the excellence of all this, then you have no emotion.

banner of the stars 2 lafiel jinto

16. Sekai no Senki II

Banner of the Stars is a great space opera franchise, notable for its unique fleet battle dynamics. The use of inter-dimensional (fantasy) physics is a brilliant coup in creating believable, and incredibly exciting space battles. It is also notable for making the “bad guys” be the protagonists. The human lead, can also be easily read as a collaborator, a turncoat that serves the interests of the conquering “space elves” of the Humankind Empire Abh.

But this isn’t why I truly love this show. I love it because of the love story between Jinto and Lafiel. It had its beginning in Crest of the Stars, pushed along in Banner of the Stars I, but it’s in this OVA that it’s demonstrated in full. Jinto gets to be awesome without changing his character. Lafiel gets to be vulnerable despite being the one who saves the day. And Beneej Spoor steals the show in her usual spectacular fashion (and how!). So many little scenes that burned in my mind: Lafiel asking Samson for advice on how to face Jinto… Soobash taking over negotiations for a seething Lafiel and talking about Abh Hell… these are my most favorite moments in this franchise.

muto rikaku -- ocean waves i can hear the sea

Summer Wars OZ

15. Summer Wars

A film like Redline will amaze and astound me, in incredible ways even. However, it takes something like Summer Wars to go beyond pumping me up like crazy and truly move me. This film has both crowning moments of awesome and crowning moments of heartwarming. Maybe it helps that I too come from a big ‘ol’ family with colorful gatherings, albeit we are neither landed nor have samurai histories that figure in notable battles in the Sengoku period (nor Japanese for that matter).

Also, I really enjoy how it’s almost present-day in its futurism. That sounds incredibly illogical but bear with me here. The interconnected world of OZ isn’t that big a leap for me to imagine, as it’s kind of like making payments and generally running your day-to-day lives using social media like Twitter and Facebook. Of all these I like Google+ the most, and it’s not terribly difficult for me to imagine how such a big bully of the internet can put all the pieces together at some point — albeit its current stance on avatars and real names. I suppose one must use real names on OZ.

Google goes Koi Koi! in my face.

Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivursky IV -- Cowboy Bebop

ocean waves ghibli

14. I Can Hear The Sea/Ocean Waves

This film is unique to my list because there is no spectacle here in any way. Even its most dramatic moments are executed with a lot of restraint, which is wholly not in keeping with the stories of how this production went over schedule and over budget as a showcase of what would’ve been the “future” of Studio Ghibli. What it is, is a high school love story in the countryside — complete with the appropriate slow pace and fine attention to detail.

It is in these details, that you’d find in a show like K-On!! but not with the same level of restraint and (somehow, gravitas) that this show truly shines. It’s a mundane story about young love, but even if we could not relate to it (my high school and university experience is certainly quite unlike it) it gives me a sense of the universal. It’s a movie to fall in love with.

Hiiragi Kagami -- Lucky Star

whisper of the heart

13. Whisper of the Heart

This film is even sillier and more child-like than any of the previous films, but I watched it relatively recently and I was spellbound by its charms. Certainly the ending would have gone down rather startlingly rough had I not been enchanted by Ghibli magic. It’s a funny place to look, here in these quiet urban story of a little girl discovering love in a rather unusual way for a high school romance.

Perhaps what got me about this story is the simple, heartfelt music. The dissonance of a city girl singing “Country Road” in re-interpreted Japanese verse is strangely affecting for me. There is a longing for an existence she knows little about, having grown up in the city… but she writes about a “Concrete Road” that will take her home… but she has never left! This leads to two different kinds of journeys, buy I don’t want to give too much away. Talk to me when you’ve seen it.

Akiyama Mio -- K-On!!

Aria Alice Carroll Aika Granzchesta Mizunashi Akari

12. Aria the Origination

One thing that never fails to strike me about this installment is how it doesn’t lose the slow, pondering way that allowed us to take in the air of Neo Venezia over the previous 39 episodes and yet make us feel the weight of a ton of bricks on our chests for how we are seeing it for the last time, as if rushing to this end being set up so carefully and for so long. The passing of things is to me so bitter — not so much the career turns of the vaunted trio primas, but with the ascension of the friends means the passing of their days spent together.

But was it not for this end? It always was. But the show made us forget it as is the work of the undine themselves: they’re not there to be the attractions, they’re there to show us Neo Venezia. But of course they would be the attractions too, as if they could help it. They’re the humans that humanize the place, and Aika who is the most human of all, steals this show is its dramatic best.

Vrilwthai Krdanik -- Cho Jikuu Yosai Macross

Honey and Clover

11. Honey & Clover Second Season

I did not expect anime to come up with such a remarkably heart wrenching and relatable show. I too, was in university once, and was frustrated by love in an even more bitterly fought triangle caught up with heady notions of all the art I’ll do in life.

The first season was damned good, but it’s the finality and resolution that this installment brings that sends the show home for me. The bigger questions were all asked here, and while some time was spent with characters I care less about, it’s how it all points towards the big compromise at the end that makes the show unforgettable for me. I mean, how can I ever be satisfied with anything that happened  in the end? But it is exactly this, how Honey & Clover went out of its way seemingly to frustrate me, to deny me the wholesome feeling I craved that I appreciate so much.

It makes me be at peace at how the character I like the least gets to narrate the show, as if this was his own story. I don’t accept him even if he gets to eat those sandwiches. I just console myself that whatever sweetness is there between those slices of bread is turn to ashes in his mouth by the burning tears falling like a firestorm from his eyes. Wait, why am I crying too?!

Motoko Kusanagi -- Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex 2

My ghost is glowing with an awesome power and its loud roar is telling me to seize victory, and put up a table summary:

image

*Shows that are still ongoing as of this writing, but I’ve convinced myself they could tank the rest of the way and I’ll still love them (at least until I watch more anime).

As you’ve probably begun to notice, the friends  that I’ve brought over to comment on the different shows are stars of their own respective shows on the list. I needed to rely on their being to articulate things I have trouble saying myself, despite my variable abilities of appreciating anime. It’s also strange to me how the animated films kind of bunched together at 15-13 excluding DYRL at 19; it kind of just worked out that way. I do realize now, after a year of thinking through this list, that as amazing anime films can be, I can’t prefer them to the sustained excitement I get from quantity. I like long series because I get more goodness in more episodes. But does that mean Legend of the Galactic Heroes at 110 episodes will storm the highest of ranks? Let the opening paragraphs of this post also be your guide.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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101 Responses to Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (20-11)

  1. chii says:

    I hate Macross 7 only because of SPACE FUCKING WHALES. otherwise 😦
    Oh and Basara sucks. That jerk.

    Aria should have been about the cats. I would have liked it more and not HATED IT WITH THE PASSION I DO. President Aria Pokoteng ❤

    lol illustrations XD

    • SPACE WHALES ROCK AND SO DOES BASARA.

      Ugh the cats were my least favorite thing about Aria. Aria the Natural had soooo much of them. It used to be my favorite installment of the franchise, but yeah, FUCK CATS.

      Don’t get me wrong, I had 16 cats when I was a kid and I still have dear old Suzaku who I can see sleeping on the garage roof from my room. But cats in anime… give me something else please (like giant robot cats NO NOT GOLION/VOLTRON).

      • chii says:

        Uhhhg Basara…. Macross 7 would have been enjoyable if it weren’t for him. It’s like they took Kaifun and all his ANNOYING qualities, made him sing and gave him his own show.

        I only suffered through the first Aria soooooo yeah…. Can’t really comment on Natural. Even for the cats I just can’t stomach sitting through more. Robot cats would certainly make cats in anime more awesome though.

        • TCH!

          Kaifun and Basara are not alike. Basara doesn’t go for underage girls, much less cousins. Instead he’s filled with HOT BLOODED AWESOMENESS AND THE POWER OF ROCK. Also, mad piloting skillz.

          • chii says:

            Basara is too busy masturbating to his image in the mirror to think about girls. Both are still huge jerks and get in the way of people protection other people by their own methods and bitch about it cause they suck and think their method works best.

            PHOOEY!

        • WhatSht says:

          1 thing i like about Basara, he doesn’t care about his life, and the only VF-19(not YF-19) variation i liked was his Fire Valkyrie.

  2. kimaguresan says:

    I will read this more intently later, but I had to express my love for 13 and 14 in this post. They’re great finds, and I do thank you for more or less getting me to watch Ocean Waves through your recommendation and others you influenced. Truly it’s one of my favorites.

    • So glad to have done so! It’s not an easy sell, slow-paced animation. Even for myself, with my bias for action that brings out the goodness of moving illustrations. But there will be exceptions as in most things, and these Ghibli films give it, and I Can Hear The Sea is especially poignant because you can somehow still see your adult self in those silly circumstances.

      • kimaguresan says:

        When my wife and I got back together when we broke up for a while (before we married), there was a similar moment when I saw her sitting on a planter on Coventry Road near Cleveland…“And that’s when I knew, I’d always been crazy about her.” It was like that. Remembering that love put I can Hear the Sea way up in my list.

        Now that I’m home, like you said, I don’t get a sense of ranking in these thirty pieces you’ve chosen to call out. They all seem like equals, I feel like their places in your heart are matched and set. The differences between the shows in the group are wide and varied at points that you could make any of several other groups to show love for them as well. It will be interesting to see people argue the merits of number one, where I will see all of these as number one.

        I lurk a lot, have been for many years in the anime scene. I poke my head out once in a while, but from what I know of you and your passion for this medium, your tastes vary nicely. I don’t want to compare my favorite anime with you, I’d like to discuss their merits, whether in agreement, or lively disagreements. There are select few I can do this with, I feel like you’re one of them.

        • What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing it.

          The ranking is a difficult thing and the justifications for their places are in themselves engaging exercises of creative (non)fiction. I think there are several ways to go about sub-rankings and such, but there are complications to consider. For example:

          I don’t really feel I can rank moe-centric favorites because I don’t think of myself as that big a fan or a connoisseur of such and that I haven’t really seen that many shows. Thus the list tends to show what I see across many casual, or even elitist fans:

          They watch and like what they think is good, despite the core value proposition of the show… like how I know very passionate fans of Evangelion who aren’t mecha fans — and some don’t even like mecha and are loath to think of NGE as such.

          As far as another important consideration of this listing, is how I see my role in relation to the work. I see myself as an advocate and I must feel comfortable waving the flag of these shows and inviting others to watch them. This should be very indicative of what would be standing on top of the list.

          Thank you for your occasional visits here, you know I truly appreciate it.

  3. Tronulax says:

    Why do Macross fans hate 7? It might be because of its sheer length. Adding up all the episodes from Macross 7, 7 Plus, 7 Encore, and Dynamite 7 comprises of nearly 50% of all Macross. That’s a LOT of 7. Which makes it harder to ignore for the so-called “passionate” fans.

    Personally, I enjoyed Macross 7 Not as much as Plus, or DYRL though ;).

  4. jpmeyer says:

    ::makes obligatory Macross 7 hate comment::

  5. Karry says:

    “Banner of the Stars is a great space opera franchise, notable for its unique fleet battle dynamics.”

    What’s so unique about it ? Its exactly the same kind of garbage battles most sci-fi shows have, when you have no idea where anyone is in relation to each other, and all you see is fucking beams everywhere. Everything is on ecstasy, ships zipping around on near light speed…speeds.

    The only space battle anime i can say being actually unique is Starship Operators.

  6. Shinmaru says:

    Whisper of the Heart is wonderful. Definitely one of my favorites from Ghibli.

    Banner of the Stars II is next up for me after I finish Hunter x Hunter. It shall be glorious! More Jinto and Lafiel is never a bad thing.

  7. Snippett says:

    The only one that I’d seen on this list is Aria. I really that enjoyed that anime because of it’s relaxing atmosphere, and all lovable characters.

    The other ones on your list seemed really nice too, I’m going to add them to my “plant to watch” list.

    • From all 20 titles? Wow.

      But if you’ve seen the entirety of Aria through Origination then that’s pretty good. Have fun watching the shows and do share parts of your own list if you wish.

      • Snippett says:

        Oh no, from the 20 titles I saw two. Hanasaku Iroha and Aria 🙂

        I know, I’m such a noob when it comes to anime. I just even recently found out that Sailor Moon SuperS, was actually directed by Ikuhara.

        • Watch out for a future post where Digiboy and I collaborated to map out the careers of the Be Papas gang… and to some degree show how their post-Utena work remember love for it and each other.

  8. The bunching of the movies is a sign of something that will eventually tear apart your list, or at least tear your heart out over it when you’ve seen enough anime. It’s a mark of a fjord—between the unmoving favorites that make up your anime stonehenge, the movies that you can recognize as utterly amazing but can’t let into your heart because of their length, and the other shows that you love that lack what it is that stakes a permanent residence in the densest part of your ability to like anime. What will happen is that section three will get more and more full, and as it does, it will become harder to tell which of those series you like the most—which you truly adore and which don’t really belong. Then you’ll wonder if the movies really belong when the front part of the list is so god damned powerful (this will be at a point where your front part is something like 15 shows that are beyond the impossible in how much you love them). That’s when the whole thing will really bust open, and you’ll have to decide between having a top 50 that includes everything you love (but everything past 15/20 feels phoned in), or a top 15 of truly pure favorites.

    • Maybe next year. The thing about 2011 so far is that I haven’t been watching a lot of old shows in my backlog. I’ve been rewatching my favorites, and watching a lot of new, ongoing shows.

      About movies, one thing that keeps me thinking about them is how digestible they can be. I may never ever rewatch Legend of the Galactic Heroes in full again (I tried twice and failed, watching about 60 something episodes all in) but I can certainly get my rocks off watching Summer Wars any given afternoon. This isn’t absolute, but it gets me thinking.

      I can imagine my list turning into that kind of nightmare, but I’ll deal with it when the time comes. By next year I’ll just make a single update post without the same fanfare (unless I BLOW UP MY LIST) and make a blog page for easy reference.

  9. Matt Wells says:

    Meh. Too much moe and underage girls, not enough giant robots and laser beams.

    WHEN MY CRAPPY HYPOCRITICAL ARBITRARY LIST IS MASS PRODUCED…

    • Shows with moe girl(s):

      Macross: DYRL
      Macross 7
      Aria the Origination
      Honey and Clover

      None of these shows are characterized as primarily moe anime. Your ignorance is deafening. This is the most un-moe part of the list, unlike the previous 10 which had:

      Lucky Star
      Hanasaku Iroha
      Macross Frontier
      Diebuster

      …all of which are notable for embracing the moe aesthetic for fanservice purposes.

      • Matt Wells says:

        WHAT PART OF ME BEING A HYPOCRITICAL ASSHOLE DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND HERE?

        Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch Gaogaigar; a manly robot animeyz for menz without stupid dumb little girls andohshit moe fanservice in every single episode. Not like Gunbuster, a serious war story detailing the exploits of a whole army of adorable underage schooolgirls and… WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE.

        Well at least Hokuto no Ken is pure from the taint of moe, with blood, guts and an annoying loli screaming “KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEENN!!!” every five minutes. But hey, blatant homoeroticism is far better than the cardinal sin of watching teenage grils being cute! That’s EVIL.

        I don’t have a problem with the character trait of moe being used (thanks to your work), so much as I do with it being used as an excuse for the absence of any real personality or character in a show beyond bumping into things and apologising constantly. See 95% of the shows currently airing in Japan, and none of the superb series you listed.

        …Well, except maybe Lucky Star, but I think we have to agree to disagree on that one.

        • No you’re faking this hypocrisy a lot more to disguise actual ignorance. Use this as a guide and get your maths straight:

          http://www.awesome-engine.com/2010/03/06/what-anime-actually-looked-like-in-2009/

          (he did it for 2010 too, but that’s the year where he explains stuff).

          Also, one can make the same argument for the shitfucktons of stupid robot shows in existence. We like them by default because they have giant robots, same banana with moefags. It’s just the same database animal shit with regards to things we like. Not being a moefag in the strictest sense, I tend to go for shows that I feel offer more than moe. It’s the same way you see these anime elitistfags would only like certain mecha shows because “they’re actually good” and not really watch it for the robots.

          • Matt Wells says:

            Ahhh, fair point. Sorry, I do tend to fall back on the whole “moe is murdering real anime!” thing. We’ve been over this before, and both times I’ve come out looking like an utter cunt. Sorry again if I have offended you in any way, that was not my intent in the slightest. I can appreciate a moe show for sheer quality, but the style itself is just something I personally don’t care for.

            Moe isn’t why the collective anime industry is creatively bankrupt and terrified of experimentation or change, that problem is the fault of the fans. My recent comments being a perfect example. We are the cancer etc. Sorry again, and I’ll by mindful of not being a dick about things I don’t like, understand, or take the time to not be ignorant of.

          • Nah bro I’m not offended by you. I know a real douchebag when I read their shit. If I see real rubbish I delete the comment.

            Creatively bankrupt? I think that better describes other, larger industries… or is the condition of every mature media production industry so used to making shows at a particular cost and thereby expecting a certain level of return.

            What is creatively daring and innovative? Are you watching Mawaru Penguindrum? Creativity and daring are nice, but only when they serve to deliver a product that goes beyond interesting.

            Are you watching Usagi Drop? Brilliant.

            Are you going to accuse Gundam Unicorn, or Redline of creative innovation? Really? These shows just give us shit we already knew we wanted, and none of the things we are dubious of.

            How many such shows do we expect per season? Per year? I’m more than happy to get a steady stream of my long-running robot toy commercials. I’m a fan who wants to be serviced, and I’m less about being a connoisseur of creativity and innovation.

  10. ViolentLucius says:

    I did expect them to be some good movies but all of good quality budget. As for Unicorn, for exceeding its limits I’m so waiting for the next episode as well. For Macross 7 as well as We Remember Love, no doubt why they came in a good rank but I was amazed you didn’t include Encore. As for Aira, Honey and Clover and Summer Wars good going.

    • Well, as for Encore I it’s just a couple of episodes. The shows in this list is very specific. The show is the show and does not include its sequels, OVAs, etc.

      I’m not terribly fond of lists that, for example, lump all of Macross or all of Gundam into one rank. Do share your own favorites and maybe I can clog up my backlog with interesting shows some more~

  11. megaroad1 says:

    Wow. I’m kinda surprised that the film that gave your blog its name is this high up the list. And below M7 too. I was under the impression that it would be in the top 5 for sure.

    M7 is an acquired taste, that takes a couple of viewings to appreciate. I remember hating it the first time I saw. Then I watched it again and began appreciating it more. And then eventually I found myself humming Totsukegi Love Heart in the subway and I knew that I was sold. BOMBA! I think a recommendation for anyone watching M7 is to be patient, the first 10 episodes or so are not the best of the show. It improves enormously after that.

    I was glad to see that one of the Seikai series made your list. I think Crest/Banner of the Stars is one of the most underrated anime out there. I cannot help but thinking that if it had come out a decade sooner it would have been a massive hit.

    Looking forward to the last installment of the list. I’m expecting some real heavyweights (SDFM, NGE, LOGH, Bebop) mixed in with a couple of surprises.

    • Ultimately, it’s a film. This means whatever excellence it executes can only be sustained for a few hours. In my mind, films can’t really hold up to the sustained pleasure of watching long series and Cho Jikuu Yosai Macross at 36 episodes is my idea of sustained levels of amazing. So if I love how everyone looks in DYRL, is that ever going to be worth gutting Roy Focker’s story? Is that ever going to be worth not seeing Max and Millya’s absurd courtship? Is that going to be worth not getting to see the Minmay effect on the Zentraedi operate on the grassroots level? Where did the Little White Dragon film go?

      It’s not DYRL’s fault that it can’t account for these things, which is why I rate it quite high, but no matter how many times I watch it (and you can tell how much I love it too — because I’ve seen it at least 11 times in my life) I know precisely what I’m missing.

      As for Macross 7, yes the first 10 episodes, no the first 20 are seriously rough. When I first watched it, I even published a survival guide:

      Macross 7: Surviving The First 20 Episodes.

      As for Sekai no Senki, I don’t think it’s underrated, just not very well known. Most of the people I get to talk to about it generally favor it. We wanted to make a big ol’ Great Battles in Anime History post on the Aptic Gate stuff, but it was too hard for Mechafetish to finish and haven’t had the energy to make those kinds of posts the past 2 years.

      Yes, I’m finishing the top ten post and you’ll probably find some familiar names there indeed.

  12. I don’t know ghostlightning as long as other commenters here and for some reason I was expecting weird old timer robot shows on this list. But he surprised me with shows like Sekai no Senki and Aria The Origination.
    As as space opera fag, I love Sekai no Senki, and hopefully LotGH will be in the next list! Aria is another favorite of mine, used to watch it late at night before sleep, always managed to calm me down.
    I have no clue why all the Macross 7 hate, I mean… who would ever take Basara seriously? I listened to the OST so many times, macross 7 = Firebomber in my mind.
    The rest of the shows, either I haven’t seen (mostly the movies) or are I didn’t think anything special about them.

    • As I’ve said, I’ve enlisted a bunch of friends to provide color commentary on the shows I’ve put on this list, and they’re all from the very shows in this list of favorite anime. So check out the ranks from 30-21 and you’ll see Miracle Yang give some astute commentary on the dynamics of Democracy and an open market economy re Hanasaku Iroha. You know Legend of the Galactic Heroes will show up in the list soon.

      Well, Fire Bomber is a big part of Macross 7, but that’s not all of it. Macross 7 is to me, representative of the foppery and whim of Macross itself as a franchise. Sure it’s the extreme end of this, but Macross as a franchise is rather extreme under close scrutiny.

  13. BRUNO J. GLOBAL says:

    I JUST FINISHED MACROSS 7 AND HOLY SHIT EVEN IF I HAVE BEEN SPOILERED SO BAD ON MANY PLOT TWISTS THE JOURNEY OF ACTUALLY WATCHING THE EPISODES WAS AMAZING I DO NOT EVEN NEED YOUR FUCKING SURVIVAL GUIDE I JUST WATCHED IT AND ENJOYED IT AND I AM HIGH ON ANIMA SPIRITIA RIGHT NOW SO YOU SHOULD JUST EXCUSE MY ALL CAPS AND LACK OF PUNCTUATION

    • NOTHING TO EXCUSE. NOW YOU NEED TO WATCH ENCORE AND MOST ESPECIALLY FLEET OF THE STRONGEST WOMEN BECAUSE THAT IS THE MOST MACROSS THING EVER IN THE HISTORY OF MACROSS!

      (and then move on to The Galaxy is Calling me and then SPACE WHALES).

      • Wait, he didn’t watch those two already! Go back and watch them ASAP, I liked those two very much!

      • Bruno J. Global says:

        YES I HAVE WATCHED THESE THREE EPISODES. I’M JUST TAKING A BREAK BECAUSE MY BODY MIGHT NOT TAKE THE CONTINUOUS MACROSS 7 EXPOSURE. I AM GOING TO WATCH MOBY DICK IN SPACE AND HEAR ANGEL VOICE.

        • DYNAMITE EXPLOSIONS WHEN MYLENE GETS LESBIAN RAPED AND BASARA TAKES A BATH WITH A NAKED SPACE LOLI IN AN OUTDOOR ONSEN. Kawamori is an S-class perv.

          • Bruno J. Global says:

            YES I SAW THOSE BUT I DON’T WANT TO GET V&.

            ALSO, HOLY SHIT ENGLISH FIRE BOMBER SONGS AND LIVE ACTION ED! AND MY BODY WAS SO READY TO HEAR RAY SING, I IMAGINE IT WOULD BE SOMETHING LIKE HONEY SWEET TEA TIME, BUT THEN IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. WTF KAWAMORIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII

  14. bluemist says:

    I present you with a funny pattern. You got SF/Mecha all bunched up between 27-16, no breaks. As admittedly a non-mecha fan, I had to crawl just to keep myself alive, thankfully there was Macross Frontier in-between there somewhere, one of my rare mecha watches.

    With so much robots already done with, I look forward to the top 10 where you admit defeat by moe and proclaim K-ON!! as your favorite anime of all time. Hahaha!

    • Well it’s because Macross Frontier tries to give EVERYTHING, which oldfag asshole tryhard purists hate it for doing.

      As for K-On!! if only it were true I’d have no problem. But even my love for that show can’t eclipse my now indestructible love for Revolutionary Girl Utena. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I’m writing the final entry to this trilogy and here’s a little spoiler: there will be mecha shows.

  15. Sakura says:

    oldfag asshole tryhard purists can suck it. I love MF for trying to give us everything, I think its the pure spectacle of it that I enjoyed so much. At least you got to enjoy the ride until Kawamori kills you with his trollness.

    I can’t disagree with anything Ghibli. If I’m in a mellow mood Whisper is great movie. I’m also partial to Return of The Cat for a bit of enchantment. And I expect some day my copies of Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away are actually going to burn out from over use.

    I’m a fan of FMA, so I adore Brotherhood. The first attempt at Fullmetal was emotionally gutwrenching at times. But Brotherhood racks that up a few notches and full on punches a hole in your gut and rips them out at times.

    The rawness of emotion when Mustang repeatedly burns Envy, going for weak spots like his eyes, basically pretty much torturing him to death, almost to the point of losing himself in the madness. That’s just awesome t.v right there. FMA made me think Mustang was pretty cool. Brotherhood made me think, OMG he’s a fucking badass!

    • Here’s where I differ with many fans of Ghibli films… I don’t have the real big ones in my top 30. You won’t see either Mononoke Hime or Spirited Away in this list, as much as I like them. I did, however, make my own separate rankings just for Ghibli films, though I didn’t publish it here. You may find the post quite interesting though:

      Ghibli Movies Ranking and Analysis and my ranking is in the comment here.

      I’ve never seen the original FMA series nor read the manga, but I am content to have seen Brotherhood. That scene you mention involving Mustang is pretty awesome precisely because he was losing himself, that he had Riza Hawkeye ready to cap him with bullets just for that moment. It was badass in the way it both almost broke the show’s strong moral appeal and at the same time enforces it.

  16. jGLZa says:

    Don’t worry ghostlightning, i got your back. Just you mean and Basara!! Macross for Life!

  17. animekritik says:

    Glowing with power indeed 😀 The points in the intro are well argued and deserve thought.
    I actually haven’t watched any of these shows to completion, so I must make a mental note of this post for future reference.
    I love cats, I don’t see how cats could hurt a show. I don’t see cats could not but improve a show.

  18. Thanks for such a fascinating list. I guess we have pretty different tastes, anime wise, but it’s great to see your thought processes behind the selections.

    I also adored Whisper of the Heart, even if it’s been a good while since I last watched it. Deliberately simple, nostalgically ‘dated’ and certainly childish; the type of story that would fall apart in many hands, but was made glorious by Ghibli. Imo, only Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service have ever come close to its brilliance.

    Re: Banner of the Stars; Jint and Lafiel may have sold the series to me in ‘Crest’, but I found the true stars to be the higher ups. I could have easily embraced 26 episodes show of Nereis and Nefee’s discussions, or Admiral Lafiel constantly teasing his poor chief of staff. Spoor alone may well elevate this show in my top ten; she’s certainly a good contender for my no. 1 favourite character.

    I’m still not entirely sure what to make of Macross 7. I would have bad mouthed it regardless of seeing the previous instalments (I don’t consider myself that big a fan of Macross, bar SDF1, and possibly Frontier), but you’re right that I’d have simply dropped it if new to the franchise. After the 40 ep mark I learned to make my peace, accept and eventually embrace the ludicrous elements of the show. However, I never developed an attachment towards the majority of the cast or enjoyment for the music, so that soured the experience somewhat.

    Maybe I’ll rewatch the show in a few years and try and collect my thoughts again. In the meantime I guess we’ll always have the space whales! 🙂

    • I do agree that Spirited Away and Kiki’s Delivery Service are similar in providing a charming brilliance akin to Whisper of the Heart. A work as incredible as Mononoke Hime doesn’t attempt to provide the same subdued charm. I don’t think of it as a lesser work than these, I simply do not favor it because many of the things I like about it — a grand sweep, great battles and violence, are provided by other shows (and with robots to boot). Here is my ranking of Ghibli films if you’re interested.

      You’re talking about Banner of the Stars I, which is a great show no doubt about it. It had great battles, and as you said, the secondary characters fleshing out the character of the Abh as a race and culture entirely through dialogue. Don’t forget about Dusanyu trolling his XO Keneesh about the Beebaus twins. That shit is fucking classic. But as I said in the post, I love Banner of the Stars II most precisely for Jinto x Lafiel, or in this case, Lafiel x Jinto.

      Aw man, the rock n’ roll aspect of Macross 7 is what gives it such power! I mean, we’re used to the sugary pop of Minmay, and got treated to weird electronic WTF music by Sharon Apple, but it’s Fire Bomber who gives us rock n’ roll! This allows for the diversity of songs you’ll hear in Macross Frontier. Bless Sheryl and May’n for being able to take on rock tracks:

      • Re: Banner of the Stars; Yes, in all honestly Banner I was by far my favourite instalment in the franchise, I loved everything about it, from the discussions, the tense atmosphere leading to the battle, and of course, said action sequences. Also, I was referring to Dusanyu/Keneesh when I mentioned Admiral Lafiel and his chief of staff. I just forgot their names, lol.

        As great as Banner II was in terms of Jint/Lafiel, there were a few pacing issues plot-wise that let it down a little. Nothing as bad as Crest, but still apparent. Besides, the top brass will always be my highlight of the series.

        Also, I’d really love to like the music in Macross 7, I really would. Sadly I’m an indie/acoustic music fan at heart; 80/90’s rock anthems/ballads have just never done it for me. Sorry! 😦

        • I don’t know if I consider the plot instances you mention in Banner II and Crest as particularly bad.

          Re: acoustic/indie, you mean something like this?

          IMO mellow music won’t work trying to stop Galaxy-eating space vampires. Just sayin’

  19. kadian1364 says:

    I believe I have your last 10 pegged (vague idea of the order), and the only thing from your full list I haven’t seen is Macross 7. A sign?

  20. kadian1364 says:

    Also, nice 11 times viewed, bro. Watching one thing nearly a dozen times isn’t something I’ve done consciously, but it is easier for movies than a series. My quirk about rewatching lengthy series was to wait at least one year between rewatches. However, SCCSAV has somewhat changed my habits because the opportunity to see something I fondly remember with others trumps whatever self-imposed rules I had.

    • Yes, the SCCSAV affects one’s viewing habits, but let me tell you. I get to rewatch a lot precisely due to watching shows with other people. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve seen the first 4 episodes of TTGL, and the first episode of Giant Robo, or the first episode of Macross Frontier, oh and the first episode of Utena. I never even count these viewings on MAL because there’s no easy way of accounting for it. DYRL being a film, makes it easy to finish while sharing the viewing with others, thus the sheer number of completed viewings I am able to complete.

      You’re one of the people I know who has seen (a lot) more anime than I have so I am not surprised that you’ve seen most of the shows on my list. Macross 7 is probably going to be very rough for you, but given the overall feel-good value I certainly get from its sub-franchise, I say go watch it (as much as it’s going to hurt if you end up only enjoying it for terribad values).

      • kadian1364 says:

        Well, I certainly have you to owe for bringing to my attention at least a few of the anime on your list. I remember I hadn’t even heard of Ocean Waves until you advocated it, so whatever you’re doing on this blog must be working somewhat!

  21. MACROSS 7 WHY IS THAT SHOW IN YOUR… Just kidding. I was actually wondering where in the top 30 it would rank. For me it’s kinda like the ZZ Gundam of Macross. But the thing is I liked M7 and hated ZZ.

    So far, I’ve seen everything in your list from 30th – 11th, except for Ocean Waves. I’ve seen some very positive comments about that, so I think I’ll get to watching it sometime.

    One more thing… Do you think that Gundam UC will be getting into your top 10 when it’s done?

    • That’s an excellent question! I think it just might, after all its value for me as “everything I wanted Gundam to be” should carry some value — unless Gundam: The Origin somehow trumps it. Will it ever replace the Zeta I let into my heart? Probably not, but the top 10 is not improbable.

  22. Pingback: Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (The Top Ten) | We Remember Love

  23. Myssa Rei says:

    Gosh, I’m not sure if I have to be worried that I’ve watched all of the shows on your favorite list so far, or just nod due to experience brought by years of anime watching. Wisdom of fools indeed.

  24. Matt Wells says:

    Round 2 here. Sorry that my choices become ere, odds are everyone on this site has at least heard of them if they haven’t seen them. As fans go, my tastes are quite generic. Sad but true. But they are good shows to me regardless.

    20. Gaogaigar FINAL – I have to admit, as much as I love GGG, FINAL doesn’t do that much for me. I still love it, but compared to the TV series my appreciation for it is somewhat muted. As I recall, my reaction was Episodes 1-3, awesome. Episodes 4-6, why is this show suddenly about Gai’s crappy pseudo-French cousin getting bondage raped by a creepy alien bee…lady…thing? Episodes 7-8 HOLY SHIT FUCK DID THEY…I CAN’T BELIEVE THEY…THEY…WAAAAAHHHH…SOMEDAY, IN THE SEA OF STARS…ON THE OATH SWORN THROUGH COURAGE!!! Still a superb show if you haven’t seen the TV series, but I found the pacing in this one a little off. Awesome opeing and ending, crappy middle section. Still, these eight eps contain some of the most brilliant examples of Super Robot Spirit.

    19. Mazinkaiser OVA – Now I am willing to admit, this a very VERY dumb show. Dumber even than Getter Armageddon. But in that stupidity lies purity of conviction. There is no attempt at making great art here, or important statements about humanity. Just a robot stronger than God or Satan combined, kicking ass and taking names. Kaiser was my official introduction to Super Robots in particular, and Mecha in general, and for that much I love it dearly. It was also my introduction to the Gods of Rock and Gar that are JAM Project (as one guy said on Baka Raptor’s blog: “FIRE WARS. Because nothing is manlier than WARS that are on FIRE”). A great crash course intro to Go Nagai’s brand of Super Robots, a back to basics action OVA with fluid animation and neat performances, it even has the best version of Boss Borot ever. Because he sounds like GENDO IKARI. WHAT THE FUCK YES.

    18. Spirited Away – My first ever Ghibli film, and my first Miyazaki film. It may lack the ambition and scope of his older films, but this very Japanese take on Alice in Wonderland was a great first entry to my knowledge of Japan’s foremost animation studio. And the bit with the giant baby and Chihiro’s parents turning into pigs was so cool, in a fucked up kind of way. Plus, it even had a solid English dub. Yes I saw it in English first, so what?! I was young and reckless!!! I DIDN’T KNOW ANY BETTER, STOP TAUNTING ME SO PLEASE…

    Sorry but nature calls, I’ll be back in a second with rest.

    • Yes, GGG is a bit daunting for me to take on at 50 eps but I’ve seen FINAL twice and man I do love it. Yes I did get bored with some of the middle parts but any time King J-Der appears I’m happy again.

      Mazinkaiser BWAHAHAHA. That guy on Baka-Raptor’s blog is IKnight whose blog The Animanachronism is my biggest influence starting out as an anime blogger. He’s still my idol and yes he’s British. He doesn’t blog much due to work AND graduate school but I keep in touch with him over twitter and the rare chat over gtalk (via gmail). He’s currently almost done rewatching Legend of the Galactic Heroes because he’s badass that way. Mazinkaiser made me remember love for Mazinger Z.

      TRUE STORY: I asked my then not-even-girlfriend-yet to marry me while I was wearing a Mazinger Z t-shirt. She didn’t say yes then, but after a few years she asked me to marry her. ROCKET PUNCH GENERATION, that’s where I’m from.

      I did see Spirited Away in English first, as did many of the anime I saw before fansubs got big. More on this when you get to read my entry on Evangelion.

  25. Matt Wells says:

    17. Rebuild of Evangelion – Not much to tell here. This is my only exposure to Eva, I never quite managed to see the actual series. Horrified descriptions of the ending sort of indicated it might piss me off to much to be enjoyed. Still, Rebuild offers a fresh, invigorating take on the definitive anime of the 90’s. I’ve only had the two movies to base this on, so we’ll see how I feel when 3.33 finally rolls along next year. And after Movie 4, I think I’ll give the horribly flawed yet still brilliant original a go.

    16. The Big O – Ahhh, to count the ways Big O remembers love for all that came before it. Big O walks the fine line between brilliant homage and shameless rip off, but I’d call it innovative enough to stand out on its own merits. Sunrise crashed Gerry Anderson puppet shows, 40’s detective novels, Blade Runner and Batman: The Animated Series together in a strange multi-genre schmorgasboard, or as one WRL poster called it “Retro-Noir Steampunk hanging from the Greek Tragedy tree”. Even the music pays tribute, sampling the Godzilla theme, Gerry Anderson’s U.F.O. and Queen’s Flash Gordon.

    Big O to me is this wonderful fusion of classic movie aesthetics with modern era ongoing multi-episode story arcs, and fantastic characters to boot. R. Dorothy Wainwright is the best Rei Ayanami clone ever, inarguably so. Moe and drily deadpan, a fearsomely cute combo. Roger Smith is a fine protagonist, sort of a Mecha Bruce Wayne to Banjo Haran’s Mecha James Bond. The supporting cast is solid gold too, particularly the voice of Yazan and Chibodee himself as the theatrical two-bit hood Jason Beck. And the mecha battles thmeselves have the strangest grace to them, its like watching Battleships serenely knock the shit out of each other. Neo-Retro kitcsh at its finest. My one complaint is how its thriteen episodes short of a proper ending, so we got a Gainax ending instead. Whoop-de-friggin-do.

    15. Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team – This show is the apothesis of Gundam as a Real Robot show. No flashy super prototypes, no Newtype hax ppowers, just a good old fashioned war story with giant robots (and a love story cribbed from Romeo and Juliet. But at least it doesn’t hog the plot). Its the perfect introduction to the venerable Gundam franchise for converts who don’t want to get mired in continuity, and just want a short, satisfying and self-contained show. Characters you love, and a protagonist who isn’t a whiny teenager. My one regret is that it doesn’t last longer (well that and the fillerish last episode with those proto-Cyber Newtypes), but the best of shows usually know when to call it quits. And the battle between Norris Packard and the entire 08th MS Team is one of mecha’s all time greatest fight scenes. Breathtaking choreography there.

    14. New Getter Robo (2004) – What Macross Frontier is to the Macross franchise, New Getter is to Getter Robo. That’s this show in a nutshell. It fuses story elements from the original 1970’s series in its first arc, throws in a crazy original time travel storyline set in an alternate steampunk Heian era Japan, and caps it off with some heavy cribbing from the 90’s mangas Shin Getter Robo and Getter Robo Go. This show is a microcosm of the Getter franchise, throwing in all sorts of surpises for old fans. For example, the Musashi in this series is a combination of the original and his fatter replacement Benkei…and he doesn’t die in this entry! The animation is acceptable as is the music; but the performances are great and JAM Project provides insert songs.

    The ending has our lone heroes take on the four major deities of Buddhism in a pocket galaxy dimension underneath Saotome Labs. Ryoma goes insane and gives into the Getter rays, fighting so hard he almost kills Musashibo and Hyato from the sheer G-Force involved. And our hero files off alone, his story having ended for now, joining Getter Emperor in the great Getter Valhalla last glimpsed at the end of GR: Armageddon. This show means everything to me as a Getter fan, so casual fans are unlikely to get the most out of it. If you know the backstory, get ready for the most faithful and accurate realisation of Ishikawa’s masterpiece.

    13. Dai Guard – When Studio Xebec decided they weren’t done with making fun of Super Robots in Gekiganger 3, they made this show. The most realistic Super Robot series ever, Dai-Guard is both subversive parody and loving pastiche, like its predecessor and sister show, Martian Successor Nadesico. The 21st Century Security Corporation unexpectedly turns its hand at actuallly saving the world when they’re protoptype for an anti-Heterodyne robot isn recalled from mascot duty, nearly a decade after the project was scrubbed. They face inter-departmental rivalry, interference from the bearuacratic military, and personal problems, all the while saving Planet Earth on a shoestring budget.

    A slice of life comedy where Salarymen and Office Ladies get to act like the TV heroes they grew up watching, Dai-Guard is a wonderful show, simple and yet intellectually satisfying on so many levels. Moments of genuine hilarity (the greatest rocket punch ever, with apologies to Corin Nander) are intersped with genuine pathos and character depth. 26 episodes long and all of them hit their mark, I cannot reccomend this show enough. You’ll adore every single member of the main cast, and there’s even a lengthy Dai Daigoji cameo. He’s overjoyed at existing in a universe where he can pilot a Super Robot, even if they are a bit crap.

    12. Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn – Remeber what I said about 08th MS Team being free of the crap that huants Gundam? This show is a superlative example of that stuff being done WELL. Discussing personal philiosophy in the middle of space battles is kept to a minmum, Newtype powers have their limitations and defined boundaries, and the cutting edge tech of the titular Gundam Unicorn is something horrifying rather than a source of comfort: the mobile suit made to kill Newtypes. Unicorn is of such a uniformly high quality it astounds me. Production values, animation, editing, score, performance, this is feature film level stuff ladies and gentlemen! And its only halfway done! I’m not sure if the second halve will effect my initial enjoyment, but in just three episodes this show jumped to the top of my priorities list. For that alone it earns its spot on my list. And I know many people on this blog feel the same way.

    11. Akira – I know, I know. Easy choice huh? Akira is quite simply the most influential anime series to ever reach western shores. No Akira, no early 90’s anime boom, no 2000’s manga boom, western fandom would forever associate Japanese animation with only Speed Racer or Star Blazers. It kick started a craze for psychic powers in Japanese media that lasted the better part of a decade. While as an adaptation of the brilliant manga it may lack a little something, but from a technical viewpoint it still stands up today. The sheer imagination on display is astounding, first we get a dystopian action film, then a military thriller, then a morality play on absolute power corrputs absolutely, before the film (and Tetsuo) devolves into David Cronenberg style Body Horror.

    Everything to say about Akira has been said better by more people than I can count, and far better than I could hope to, so I’ll just drop this video by Joethepeacock explaining what makes Akira so great.

    A sci-fi action satire on the Japan of Otomo’s youth and the WEIRDEST remake yet of Tetsujin 28 (Akira himself is Number 28, Kaneda is named after Tetsujin protagonist Shotaro Kaneda), in many ways Akira has never been equalled. Otomo certainly knew he’d never have to bother writing another story, how could he top himself after this?! (Steamboy certainly couldn’t.) And that soundtrack kicks ASS to this day. Brace yourselves for the horrible live action Hollywood remake everbody…

    • Evangelion: LOL Horribly flawed. Stop regurgitating opinions like cattle. Watch it and compare notes with me (easy because I wrote a comprehensive post complete with logs of the experience on a per episode basis).

      Die-Guard is my next project after I finish the SUPERLATIVE oh my god this is unbelievably good Infinite Ryvius. It’s like a mashup of Dai-Guard, Planetes, Lord of the Flies, and Space Runaway Ideon. I’ve NEVER seen a show this heart-stoppingly intense in almost every episode. No, EVERY EPISODE from 1-15 (of the 26). Incredibly brilliant.

      I had just rewatched Akira recently and indeed it is a great film. I don’t have the same affinity with it as you do, but yes it was awe-inspiring.

      • Reid says:

        Don’t listen to him, Matt. Eva is horribly flawed. It’s ok to repeat it even if you’ve not seen it yet. ^.^

        • Get your lame ass flame out of this game. Bring your own list instead of throwing crap from the cheap seats.

          • Reid says:

            Be careful what you ask for, sir bwahaha.

            By the way, it’s called trolling because it tries to “get your goat.” Billygoat Gruff and all that. Obvious trolls are obvious because they’re big and ugly and dumb and stand right out in the open.

          • Yeah but I just told you your game is lame, and now you think you can explain what trolling is to me? BRB TRYING NOT TO DIE LOLING. I love you.

          • Matt Wells says:

            WHERE IN THE HELL IS YOUR LIST MAN?! I STICK MY ASS OUT WITH YOU AND YOU DANGLE YOUR SHAME TANTALISINGLY BEFORE US, ONLY TO DUCK OUT?! Seriously though. I want to see what you chose as your faves.

          • Reid says:

            Ask and ye shall receive.

  26. Reid says:

    Aight folks, here’s my nearest approximation of a “Top 30 Anime” list. As will become painfully clear, I almost exclusively like action, sci-fi, military and robot junk but there are some “random” choices thrown in too. It’s just how I am. Basically, I’ll try to keep my rationale for each choice to a minimum and answer comments or questions about each on an instance-per-instance basis. So please, feel free to chime in/call me out. I throw myself at your mercy, gentlemen. Thanks for making this blog an environment where I feel comfortable sharing my thoughts. A final note: sometimes the titles of the various programs will be in Japanese and other times they will be in English depending on which they are more commonly known as.

    So, with the encouragement of Matt Wells, Mr. Ghostlightning and others here’s 30-21. The others will follow.

    30. Sonic the Hedgehog The Movie (OVA, 1996) – Yes, I know it’s pretty awful. And yes, I have the English dub-only version, but this is still a movie I can enjoy any time I watch it (the final battle between Sonic and Metal Sonic is forever a thing of coolness to me). I love everything Sonic the Hedgehog-related probably more than anything other than my family and closest friends, so when I saw this on VHS for all of $10 I had to pick it up. It’s basically everything I love about ’90s anime (the bad jokes, the slight fanservice, random profanity, the dynamic fights made of pretty static animation, etc.) but with plenty of awesome Sonic stuff going on. The action is still pretty exciting to me, even 12 years after I first watched it as a 6th grade student. Furthermore, it doesn’t hurt that USED copies sell for $80-$100, thus it is one of the staples of my collection. Only that I know I love it earns it a spot on this list, because the fact is it’s just not that good. But is it a guilty pleasure for me? Nah.
    The story doesn’t bear much resemblance to the Sonic games except for the appearance of the main characters from the franchise – Sonic, Tales, Knuckles (with a pimp cowboy hat) and Dr. Robotnik all show up for the fun, which amounts to this: Robotnik creates a terminator-like Metal Sonic to beat the normal Sonic a$$. Somehow, the made doctor has implanted Sonic’s memories and personality (what?) into the robot version, which somehow enables Metal Sonic to anticipate his organic counterpart’s moves. I don’t know either, but it’s cool to watch them fight.
    The music is ok but the voice acting is bad. Both the English and Japanese tracks are pretty much crap, so I stick with the English one because that’s how I first saw it. This movie/OVA is strictly for hardcore Sonic fans and probably many of them won’t even like it, but I’ll love this movie so long as I can pop it in the VCR and take a trip back to some of middle school’s happier days.
    29. Agent Aika (OVA, 1995) – This is one of three titles on my list that I consider to be solidly in the fanservice-heavy camp. “Agent Aika” is, in fact, almost exclusively fanservice of the T&A variety with a few semi-gratuitous full nekkid shots of the comely female leads. Most of the time I can’t stand this kind of show, not least because it makes me feel really immature and a little sleazy, because in most cases the T&A is the whole point of the show. However, Agent Aika would still be a decent action/adventure tale if it didn’t have the copious panty shots all the time. I genuinely liked the funny moments, the fights were pretty good as well and the animation is really quite decent for a mid-90s title.
    The setup is basically that the earth got flooded because of blah blah blah *environmental lipservice* and now there are specialized companies that search the ruins of the flooded cities for artifacts and technology left behind after the deluge. Sounds kinda like “Megaman Legends”, doesn’t it? ^.^ Anyway, the TITular Aika and her pal Rion, the snobby daughter of a salvage company’s big boss, get caught up in a madman’s plan to wipe out humanity with an ancient power source/macguffin and then, hilariously, to repopulate it via his “seed” and the ovum belonging to his ARMY OF COLOR-CODED BATTLE MAIDS. “Sacred Seven” apparently learned something from this show: maids are good. Really good.
    While the story ain’t bad and the characterization is decent in a ‘90s anime kind of way, I’d be deluding myself if I said the MAIN appeal is the unrelenting supply of hawt women to ogle. Finally, Aika herself has become, with repeat viewings (lol), one of my favorite anime heroines – she’s mature, dependable, capable, intelligent and loyal, and those qualities, along with the short skirt, makes her very, very sexy. It also doesn’t hurt that she is of legal age, being 26 years old.
    28. Sacred Seven (TV series, 2011) – Here it is; the first of my selections that’s currently airing. Though “Sacred Seven” is only planned to run for 12 episodes (and, as of this writing we’re up to the ninth), I wouldn’t doubt it if we’d see more from it eventually. I like where the story is going so far, so I don’t think there is much of a chance that it will take a huge turn for the worse in three episodes, if indeed that is all that there is left of it.
    It makes my list because, as a fan of the “Kamen Rider” series, I feel like “SS” comes as close as possible to being that series’ anime entry without making many references to it. Other than Arma’s (the hero) scarf and the fact that he does transform into a super-powered suit (though he needs would-be girlfriend/token loli [dang] Ruri to help him do it and her catchphrase beforehand is nowhere near as awesome as just shouting “HENSHIN!”) and fights monsters of the week, there isn’t anything that screams “KAMEN RIDER!” about “Sacred Seven”, at least not yet. There are no “finisher attacks” or “form changes” in the tokusatsu tradition, but there ARE a lot of shout-outs to anime, which is appropriate considering the medium. We can get into those if you all feel like it, but Ghostlightning already covered some of it in his posts on the show. One thing that definitely stands out about “Sacred Seven” is how it pulls all these shout-outs together. The confluence of good elements from the superhero/school comedy/real robot/martial arts genres is what makes “SS” a unique show among its peers.
    While nobody will say that “SS” is as *good* a show as the admittedly much smarter “Tiger and Bunny”, it does mark a return to the ideals of more optimistic (read, simplistic) superhero shows of the past. What “Sacred Seven” isn’t, however, is a reaction against a deconstructed superhero show. That is, this is not like how “GaoGaiGar” got back to super robot shows’ roots as reaction (retaliation?) against “Neon Genesis Evangelion.” In the end, “Sacred Seven” has cool action scenes and not much else, but that’s par for the course; if more shows of this ilk were as committed to being as entertaining as “Sacred Seven”, no one would find much time to complain about a lack of depth.
    27. The Transformers: The Movie (Movie, 1986) – My first viewing of this movie at age 6 is one of my most beloved childhood experiences and one that, I believe, started me down the road to mecha fandom. The fact I still enjoy it today and even prefer it to the more recent live-action Transformers movies says a lot about its staying power. For everyone who hasn’t seen it, the movie takes a pretty big risk by killing off a VERY popular character early on (after a tense battle) and forces the young Hotrod to step up and become a hero to “light [the Autobots’] darkest hour” when the planet-eating god of destruction Unicron shows up and ruins even Megatron’s machinations.
    Good music, you’ll see, will quickly become a theme in my list and “Transformers” has some amazing music. Seriously, it’s got one of the best movie soundtracks for fans of ‘80s inspirational rock (“Dare” is Rocky-movie material and the “Tranformers Theme” is as hot-blooded as something from JAM Project) and good period electronic music (in fact, the remastered cd released a few years back is one of my go-to discs for when I need to get pumped up for jumping rope or interval training.) The voice cast is star-studded. Leonard Nimoy as Galvatron, Judd Nelson as Hotrod, Robert Stack as Ultra Magnus…even Eric Idle of Monty Python has a role! To top it off, Orson Welles plays the evil Unicron in his LAST MOVIE ROLE BEFORE HIS DEATH. It’s tough to beat that. I love that my favorite Transformer, Grimlock the robo-tyrannosaur, gets a prominent role as well.
    Ultimately, this movie deserved to make my list just by virtue of the Optimus Prime’s famous reply to Megatron’s challenge: the famous “One shall stand. One shall fall.” This was seriously awesome stuff to hear as a 6-year-old, and it’s still awesome at 23.
    26. New Mobile Report Gundam Wing/ New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz (TV series, 1995-1996/OVA, 1997; Movie, 1998) – Like many American fans of the Gundam franchise, “Gundam Wing” is my “gateway Gundam” thanks to its selection as Cartoon Network’s debut Gundam series. In a lot of ways, it is the perfect introduction to the franchise for people unfamiliar with the “rules” established in the Universal Century timeline. What it does preserve are the core aspects of most Gundam narratives: colonial rebellion, ace pilot rivals, mysterious and misguidedly heroic masked men, large-scale battles, political considerations (lol), philosophizing about war, death, love, honor, peace and purpose, and, most importantly, the fact that mobile suits called Gundams are bad as hell.
    It is far from the best in the Gundam metaverse, and it is not even the best Gundam Alernate Universe (I tend to think “00”, “X” and “G” all make their own unique cases for that distinction). For all the plodding convolutions of its attempts at political intrigue and wordy debates about war and pacifism, “Wing” fails on other levels as well – the action sequences are mostly static affairs that do not have the benefit of a great budget to pull them out. This was remedied in a big way in “Endless Waltz”, which is a darn good OVA or movie purely for the animation of the battle sequences, even if the story is not the best. The biggest fault that gets heaped on “Gundam Wing” by many people is that it marked a decided shift in attitudes about Gundam-class mobile suits themselves: Heero and his pretty boy team of heroes can hardly be touched. In fact, they mow down whole armies of hapless mecha mooks wholesale and on the regular.
    “Zeta Gundam” had arbitrary damage (“plot armor”) and some of the fancy Newtype powered-by-the-souls-of-the-dead shenanigans and the Nu Gundam used humanity’s wishes to push away Axis from a collision course with earth in “Char’s Counterattack”, but the Gundams in “Wing”, especially the titular Wing Gundam and Wing Gundam Zero, are straight up super in their execution. Heck, even the self-destruct systems installed on the Gundams themselves fail to, you know, DESTROY the mobile suit.
    However, this super-portrayed-as-real conceit is part of the charm of the series, at least to me. It was certainly (and still is) quite a spectacle to see our heroes wipe out lots and lots of Leos while the hopeless pilots of those death traps yell “OH MY GOD! NOOO! IT’S A GUNDAAAAAAAM!” I’ll never be able to escape from “Gundam Wing”. I’m not sure I want to. It established my love for Gundam junk in general, and for that I am eternally grateful.
    25. Hajime no Ippo (TV series, 2000-2002) – I first got into “Hajime no Ippo” around the same time that I began my own training as an amateur fighter. A fellow anime fan from the gym and I were discussing “good” fighting anime that didn’t involve flying or beam-shooting (DBZ mainly) or nothing but panty-shots (Ikkitousen mainly) and Studio Madhouse’s “Ippo” came up as a decent, semi-realistic show about competitive fighting instead of “fist fighting for the sake of the world,” as my friend called some other shows. While I trained at an MMA gym and Ippo and his pals at the Kamagawa Gym are strictly boxers, there are a lot of parallels between what I went through as a young inductee into the pugilistic world. This helped the show resonate with me – to see Ippo and his band of brothers making weight for fights or training through injury or overcoming self-doubt or balancing life obligations with the love of fighting was something that felt very personal and intimate to me.
    Also, the fights are outstanding. Some of the best usage of “speed lines” and slow motion in anime is to be found in “Hajime no Ippo”, if you ask me. The tactics used are dramatized, but the fighters are no more indestructible than in a “Rocky” movie, which goes a long way toward treating the show seriously. Of course there are some concessions to shounen anime expectations like the “super techniques” (although the smash punch and Dempsey Roll are indeed real techniques that are not only cool but incredibly effective if done right) but for the most part everything is played pretty straight. The comedy in the show is…just ok, but that’s not what we came here for anyway and the character design is not for everyone. Females especially get the short end of the stick – there are not too many good-looking ladies at all. This show is about men fighting each other and that’s what is given the most detail.
    This title made my list of favorite anime mainly because of the obvious love for the sport of boxing that was put into the show and the feeling of camaraderie between training partners – a bond that can’t really be described. Those who have stepped into the ring will know what I mean though. While my experience pales in comparison to Ippo Makunouchi’s, I often see a lot of parallels between his personal development and my own. He grew into a better man after learning how to fight, and I think I did to.
    24. Aura Battler Dunbine (TV series, 1983-1984) Keep your “Zeta Gundam”, “Victory Gundam” and “Ideon”. If you want to see anime where everyone dies in gruesome ways (and it really matters), then “Dunbine” is your show. I probably just gave away the ending, but considering the director is “Kill-em-All” Yoshiyuki Tomino, this should come as no surprise. Dunbine suffers from a rather formulaic plot (dude from earth winds up in a strange new world where he has awesome powers and must fight against evil) and dated animation but excels in terms of its character development and unique aesthetic. The Aura Battlers are much smaller than most other mecha and their insectoid design helps them stand out, as does the medieval setting of the world of Byston Well.
    I could go on and on about “Dunbine” but there isn’t much else to say, really. It’s something even more depressing (in my opinion) than other so-called master-works of depressing robot anime from the master of depressing robot anime. The sequels (“Wings of Rean” and “Tales of Neo Byston Well) may or may not be decent – I don’t know since I haven’t seen them, but I’d love to watch them if given a chance. Check it out if sword fights between big beetle robots or fantasy worlds with robots are your thing. I like the quirkiness of it, so that’s why it made my list of favorites.
    23. Biobooster Armor Guyver (OVA, 1989-1992) –I’ll never forget this one. Most Fridays my mom would take my sister and I to the movie store to rent some videos after school and I was digging around at the local video store in search of cool sci-fi junk when I came upon two movies that would change my life (hahaha maybe). They were the live-action “Guyver 2: Dark Hero” (1994) and “Biobooster Armor Guyver” (1992, U.S. Renditions dub). As a fan of Power Rangers shows (this was in 1995 and I was 7, mind you) these things were a revelation. I can’t believe my mom consented to let me watch these things, for one – there was SO MUCH blood and SO MUCH killing and SO MUCH swearing that completely destroyed the notions of my Power Rangers-loving little brain. And it destroyed them for the better, because these are some of my favorite things ever, not just my favorite anime.
    By this time in life I’d already watched some of “Giant Robo” (I rented it from the same video store) and loved what I saw and I knew it was from Japan, so “Guyver” was probably my second real anime show. There have been three different Guyver animated products: a 1986 movie called “Guyver: Out of Control”, which has much better animation (oh the gore!) but a really really dumb story that deviates a lot from the manga, “Biobooster Armor Guyver”, which has worse animation but is the best interpretation of the story, and finally 2005’s “Guyver, The Bio-Boosted Armor” which, while closest to the original story, is animated in a rather clunky fashion and is…I dunno…just boring somehow, like everything about it was just phoned in. So “Biobooster” strikes a good balance between the gore that sets it apart from its obvious influences like Kamen Rider, Kikaider and Super Sentai stuff, good animation and a distilled storyline that doesn’t leave out the good parts but gets rid of the superfluous junk any long-running series will accumulate over time.
    I’d be lying if I said I don’t love the live-action “Dark Hero” the most of all though. It has some of the best fight scenes I’ve ever seen. Also…FREAKING SOLID SNAKE IS THE GUYVER. That is all.
    22. Patlabor: The Movie and Patlabor 2: The Movie (Movies 1989, 1993) – I never got into “Ghost in the Shell”. I didn’t think it was nearly as profound as what everyone made it out to be, for one, especially not compared to say, Ridley Scott’s seminal “Blade Runner”. There, I said it. I’m not a fan of GITS. So sue me. To me, “Patlabor 1 and Patlabor 2” are the real standouts of Mamoru Oshii’s career, even if he’ll always be remembered for GITS. For the record, I haven’t seen any of the other Patlabor properties except the third movie – yet!
    However, I can’t claim anything so noble as preferring “Patlabor” for the storylines and tight characterization or the proto-cyberpunk police procedural stuff of the setting. No, I just came for the entrenched real-robot ideals. Other properties might have more “realistic” robot designs (“Flag” and even GITS come to mind) but “Patlabor” is easily the best anime of all in terms of treating mecha like nothing out of the ordinary, fulfilling Gundams promise of treating giant robots no different from tanks or jet fighters. In “Patlabor” we hardly even see military labors. What we get are the ones that take out the trash or are used by the police to more easily navigate traffic (to write speeding tickets, of course!).
    This verisimilitude is what first got me into the movies; it’s true, but after the first viewing I knew I was onto something special. The first movie is the better of the two, but neither is bad by any stretch. The animation is flawless and the voice acting is great, as is the hauntingly evocative soundtrack that reminds me a lot of “Akira” for whatever reason. Furthermore, I actually prefer the English dub (of the most recent Bandai Visual release) to the original Japanese audio track, so that’s saying a lot. Also, the themes of both movies, which amount to reconciling our dependence on faulty technology with the demands of a modern world and the concepts of a just war and an unjust peace, are heady, exhilarating stuff when seen through the eyes of Noa Izumi, the female protagonist Gundam would kill for.
    21. Bokurano (TV series, 2007) – There’s no such thing as a realistic super-robot show, though “Dai-Guard” tries to deconstruct the tropes associated with the genre in a funny way and “Evangelion” tries to make the viewer feel bad about liking robots (and anime in general). However, “Bokurano” does the best job of conveying what would be the horrible effects of a super-robot style battle for the fate of the earth. To wit, one of the kids contracted to “pilot” Zearth (the titular HUUUUUUUGE mecha) is guaranteed to die after each successful battle, which often involves several thousand civilian casualties due to collateral damage. And that’s if a battle is successful – if our heroes fail, then the earth is destroyed.
    It’s all part of some culling process being carried out by this Lovecraftian predecessor race of godlike beings who think there are too many universes in this multiverse, so what better way to decide who stays and who goes than to give innocent kids the control of a huge robot? It would be funny if it weren’t so deadly serious. The CG robot fights are little wonky and the designs are unusual in a not-so-good way, so this isn’t a show to watch for robot fights, even though that’s what it’s all about. What it’s really about are the characters – 12-year-old kids with the Earth’s destiny on their shoulders. And these kids are screwed up. Trust me. Some are bad, bad people and others have so much to live for that it’ll break your heart to see them go. And they will go.

    So that’s my first ten. Fire away with your questions – I’ll work on the rest of them this weekend. I hope I did a decent job explain my affinity for each one of these shows, but your criticisms are as equally welcome as your praise. Thanks everyone.

    • Matt Wells says:

      Nice job man! You’d think Sonic would be a simple enough concept to pull off, but as Sonic X and pretty much everry game for the last 15 years shows, people just keep fucking it up. I try to avoid fansevice shows myself, but shows like Aika, as you describe, an already good show with added panty shots, is something of a rare treat. Ain’t tried Scared Seven, but the continuous praise of it from you guys has definitely got my attention. Transformers the Movie?! It was only ANIMATED in Japan, you fucking cheater… 🙂 But yes, even today it still holds up as solid entertainment. And Stan Bush does indeed have THE TOUCH. I stress quality music and performances as a deciding factor in my own list, mainly as a way of distingusihing my choices as superb examples of the medium, much like you do.

      With Gundam Wing; maybe its the yaoi bait and the nonsensical twists (like Heero blowing up his Gundam while he’s standing in the frigging cockpit, AND HE STILL SURVIVES), but it seems to be a show you had to grow up with to truly love. It IS a great concise intro to basic Gundam concepts like Space Colonies, Mobile Suit combat and dudes in masks kicking ass, so as preperation for better Gundam shows it seems a wonderful primer. And the main Gundams are cool looking and distinctive. I just can’t believe that this show was more successful in the West than G Gundam, especially with Dragonball at its peak.

      Hajime no Ippo is one of the greatest manga to anime adaptations ever. Superb stuff, I might have included it had I actually seen the anime, but I’ve only read the manga. Have you seen the OVAs and New Challenger yet? They manage to keep up the high quality of the TV series, without the Shonen series syndrome the manga has suffered from of late. Even the music kicks ass, see Op 2 for proof. “Sore ga STTAAAAARRTT, Za Way!” The comedy can grate occasionaly, but Takamura makes up for it with his very existence. DUDE PUNCHED OUT AN ANGRY BEAR, ATE ITS FLESH, AND WORE ITS SKIN AS A TROPHY: FIGHT OOOONNN, SEBEUN! ULLLLTORA, SEBUUNNN!!!! Nice story about how Ippo inspired you in your personal life, its rare for an anime to ever really do that. Kudos to you old chum.

      Perfect, now I REALLY want to see Aura Battler Dunbine, and it costs thirty bucks a DVD. And even then, I’ll never see the actual goddamn ending. $1000 for Volume 11!!! Do you know anywhere its available for download on the net, or being streamed? Don’t see how else its possible for me to ever see the show otherwise. I hear Wings of Rean is good enough, uses the Dunbine universe to examine the differences between the Imperial Japan of WWII and the modern, “westernised” country it is today. Not sure about Tales from Byston Well. And as for bloody Garzey’s Wing…

      Ahhh, Guyver! I’m familiar with the concept, but of them all I’ve only seen Guyver: Out of Control. It was solid enough for a forty minute condensed version of the first story arc, and the animation was cool. I lol’ed at how Guyver 1’s trasnformation was all painful and disfiguring, very metaphorical for adolescense. And then the (female) Guyver 2’s transformation was basically tentacle porn without the sex! 🙂 Maybe it goes back to Power Rangers with me, but I’ve always been fascinated with stories about transformation, be they horrific (sometimes in Kamen Rider), heroic (such as in Super Sentai), or both (Guyver). Perhaps its because that’s these shows are the closest Japanese media comes to Western-style Superheroes… I really want to get into Kamen Rider, but after reading the AWESOME Kamen Rider Spirits manga, I don’t want to watch the modern shows, I want to see the classic riders like V3 and Amazon! But aside from Kamen Rider Black, nobody’s bothered subbing them 😦

      Patlabor is the realest real robot anime ever. I second your opinion there man. The only real concession to fantasy is those giant ass revolvers the police labors carry, and those I let by on rule of cool. I’ve only read a few chapters of the manga, but I understand the entire franchise is worth a look. The TV series, the OVAs, the manga, all great. When are we gonna get this show in SRW? Bokurano I know only by reputation, but again everyone who watches it can’t shut up about how good it is. More material for viewing pile I suppose…

      Great list man, thanks for sharing. Can’t wait for the rest!

      • Reid says:

        Sorry for the novel, but I had some time to kill, and thanks for the kind words, Matt. A few things I had to say before heading out on an assignment:

        I have no idea where to find Dunbine online. This sucks because, like you say, the final volumes are REE-DICK-YOU-LUSS-LY expensive nowadays. I only lucked out because a buddy of mine had the whole series before they became prohibitively pricey. There’s no chance he’ll sell the last two volumes to me now…sad face.

        I have not seen the new series of “Hajime no Ippo” but I did see the movie. And it was great. “Inner Light” is some pure hot blood. That OP gets me so pumped I thought about using it as my entrance music in my first fight but I was perhaps wisely counselled by some friends that another song would be more…appropriate for mass consumption. So I went with “Dead Men Tell no Tales” by Motorhead instead. 🙂

        Finally, YES YES YES YES TO KAMEN RIDER SPIRTS. That is some amazing junk right there. I so wish that Black would have made an appearance though. However, Stronger’s B-A boast (“The earth cries out…”) more than does it for me. My favorite character was Needle ^.^ (Sonic fanboy on deck lol). Also, where did you find Kamen Rider Black with subtitles?! I have wanted to finish that show for years!

        • Matt Wells says:

          “Even if there is no God or Buddha, there will ALWAYS be a Kamen Rider…” Yet another awesome manga series that nobody is currently scanning. And they just got halfway into the main plot! I think someone even did two chapters of the prequel, Shin Spirits, but no one’s doing the original, which sucks big time. All the Old School riders are so awesome, but if I had to choose, I’d pick Amazon and Riderman. Riderman was the original evil rider turned good, and Amazon is just a Rider version of Tarzan. Skull Rider kicks ass too! No superpowers, he just has a gauntlet loaded with shotgun shells to Rider Punch, and a Taser strapped to his leg for Rider Kicks. Badass normal indeed.

          I haven’t watched Black actually, but I do know where it’s available for download with english subtitles: http://www.centurykings.com. Just one guy who’s been subbing the entire 50+ episode series for years now, and he’s almost done.

          • Reid says:

            That’s amazingly good stuff, ain’t it? Man I love Kamen Rider. And you’re right, there was such purity to those old-school riders. None of them were these weaksauce little girly emo kids with a billion forms and dumb trinkets. I blame Super-1 for starting the series down that road, but he’s still so awesome I don’t blame him much.
            But anyway, thanks for the think to centurykings. I’ll definitely check it out.

    • 28. Sacred SeveN

      HAHAHAHAHA. Good job! I am really enjoying this show also in part due to how shamelessly trashy it is. I highly doubt it’ll be my favorite anything, but yeah I’m enjoying this show very much.

      27. Transformers the Movie

      T__T Endless tears from my 11 year-old self. I didn’t get to watch it until around ’89 or so but I eventually did, on Betamax LOL. I loved it so much that I felt forever betrayed by American TV animation. In ’88-’89 I was pretty much a G.I. Joe fag along with my brothers and neighbors and would play all afternoon staging elaborate battles in our yard. Transformers toys were too expensive for us, and this movie made us curse our poverty even more. Also, Starscream’s greatest moment! (I am a shameless Starscream faggot and I have at least 15 pieces in my collection).

      26. Lumping sub-franchises together is cheating. Pick a show. Someday I’ll try watching this horror again. After all, I survived GSD. Also this:

      24. I checked out the first ep, and it was slow and dragging and confusing Tomino — WHICH I DON’T MIND, but I moved it down my backlog in favor of Infinite Ryvius, and Dai Guard. But I’ll get to this eventually.

      22. Cheating again. Also, it’s lame to build up your love for something by shitting on another as if you’re better or more special or interesting than the fans of the other work. I’ve seen a lot from both franchises. Patlabor has its really cool charms. I wrote a fair bit on it, as well as GitS.

      21. I watched the first ep, but ended up reading the incredible Manga. Wrote about it too. Awesome shit.

      • Reid says:

        I don’t think Sacred SeveN is shamelessly trashy at all! It’s just an old-school action show without the any pretense of being anything else. Also, Gundam Wing is Gundam Wing, so I don’t see Endless Waltz as being a sub-franchise. Even if it is an OVA it’s literally the same thing only better looking. Honestly I didn’t even think for a minute about it qualifying as cheating. If I had to pick between them for the sake of following the rules, I’d go with the TV show though, since that was what got me into Gundam to begin with. Finally, sorry again about cheating but I just couldn’t pick between the first two Patlabor movies. And I wasn’t SERIOUSLY trying to “sh*t on” other people’s interest in Ghost in the Shell. I thought this was like during Sai Mecha where we could all joke with each other. I just happen to think that the Patlabor movies are better than the GiTS stuff – I’m just not into the whole “to what measure a human” thing so I threw in the bit about Blade Runner (interestingly I remember seeing a promo for the original Ghost in the Shell that said it “makes Blade Runner look like child’s play”). I don’t want to be a jerk so I’ll take your warning to heed in the future. Thanks for looking at my list.

        • It is shamelessly trashy because of the sheer number of otaku database gratuitous content in it. One maid, two maids, twin maids? Oh yes, all the soldiers/specialists are in maid costumes. Oh, they’re not costumes? They’re actually maids too. For shame! Wait, no shame? Awesome.

          It is a different show, don’t lump it Wingfag.

          Pick a Patlabor film. I SURVIVED THE ORDEAL. Between them I pick the first, even though the 2nd is better. Why? Business? Pleasure? COMBAT.

          Nope, favorites lists are personally important and we want people to feel free to share what they find awesome and you can see the examples set by most commenters when they disagree with my choices. I want people who discover these posts months from now to be willing to share as if the conversation is ongoing. It will be discouraging if they see us having a Sai Mecha type brawl. No apologies needed, just keep this in mind.

          Lastly, don’t take advertising and fan hype as bases for your appreciation of a show.

  27. Matthew Gigathorpe says:

    Oh, that group shot’s a real Macross reminder! I’m newish/peripheral to Japanese cartoons, so can you kindly tell me what the story with the second Macross Frontier movie getting fansubbed is? I’m not familiar with the timetable for these things in the past, and it seems it’s the only way I’ll see it in Europe. What’s the vague schedule been in the past, Ghostlightning?

    • Thanks for dropping by. The only thing I know is that the Wings of Goodbye will have fansubs later this year, probably November.

    • megaroad1 says:

      The bluray is being released in japan on the 20th of october (its regionfree so feel free to purchase it online to add to the cause). It will then take the subbers a week or two to post online, so Ghost’s november estimate is pretty accurate.

    • Xard says:

      Doki at least has confirmed it will fansub Sayonara no Tsubasa. In other words it’s pretty certain it won’t be another weeks long wait like for first film before we got the /m/-subs

  28. Xard says:

    “After all, I’m not talking about my favorite things in all of media – albeit my passion for anime exceeds that of the rest of film and television. I don’t consider the very best of anime to be as good let alone superior to the best of television and cinema (let alone printed literature).”

    Unreasonably modest, I think. I don’t know about putting best of different mediums against each other but in principle there’s no reason anime can’t achieve the level of quality any other form of art can – and in my opinion has surprisingly often. Grave of the Fireflies may be anime but it’s as good war film as anyone has ever made, period. Also, I’ve rarely seen tv series as good as most of the great anime shows I’ve seen. Well, this isn’t the point here so moving on to the list itself…

    So, bunch of great anime here again…and Macross 7, that ungodly piece of garbage gsagasgasgagasdfvafaasdgdsgfffgf. Mylene, Gamlin and Flower Girl deserved a better show to be in, gahh. I do have more love for spinoffs of Macross 7 (Encore+film+Dynamtie 7) but the mother tv series is pretty irredeemable in my eyes. I will never, ever want to suffer through it all again.

    Gotta say you really nailed Britai’s take on Aria. I had a good laugh at that for sure.

    “Yes, there’s an 8 minute stretch of this film that constitutes for many, one of the finest moments of animation history.”

    For me DYRL’s climax and Macross Frontier episode 7 defined what “Macross experience” is all about. My favourite scene from any 80s anime film, hands down. Just mesmerizing.

    Anyway, nice to see DYRL here in top 20 (wasn’t sure if it’d be there since I know you much prefer SDFM over it) and it deserves it. Giant Robo would be in my top 20 too and it’s my favourite OVA of all time alongside with FLCL, Gunbuster and Macross Plus.

    Banner of the Stars is one of those Eternally On My To Watch List shows/franchises. I have very high expectations for it.

    As for the film trio, I really like Summer Wars and it was a joy to see it on big screen in Helsinki International Film Festival last year but personally speaking I don’t rate it quite this high…as far as family blockbuster goes, Ghibli has it covered. MAD PROPS for putting I Can Hear the Sea here. Sometimes I feel like I’m only person who has seen and loved it. It’s Ghibli’s lost underrated gem, really. Whisper of the Heart is hands down the best Ghibli film not by Miyazaki or Takahata and one of my very favourites too. i love everything about it, even the slightly abrupt ending note for the story.

    I’ve only seen first season of Aria as of now but it’s already my absolute favourite work in SoL genre as far as anime goes (if we include manga you can’t top Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou, recommended). Just beautiful, tranquil and life affirming. I value every second of it I’ve seen. Can’t wait untill I get to Origination as I hear it’s the best of them all and this list is no exception.

    Honey and Clover I haven’t yet seen.

    • I can’t make that claim you do, especially how as much I respect Grave of the Fireflies, it’s one of the Ghibli films I like the least.

      Fleet of the Strongest Women, IS part of the main series.

      Glad you liked my work with Britai, I put a lot of love in that bit.

      Of course DYRL would be part of this, so much glorious Minmay.

      I would’ve loved to see Summer Wars in a theater. I did get to see it with a bunch of fellow anime fans at my house, most if not all with similar large families… it was one of the greatest viewing experiences I’ve ever had.

      Ghibli family films are intimate, instead of loud and sprawling, which isn’t bad, but isn’t really my family hehe. I watched Totoro with my mother LOL.

      Origination is brilliant, but only more so after Natural which will be the most immersive thing in the franchise. The immersion will be rewarded by Origination.

      Honey and Clover is a triumph of teenage drama. I too came from an “artsy” university experience and the elements of the show resonate with me — not least the heartbreaks.

      Banner of the Stars… the only thing I caution against, expectations wise, is the shit animation. It really kind of looks bad, though it won’t piss you off. Everything else about it I praise and love immensely.

      • Xard says:

        “Fleet of the Strongest Women, IS part of the main series.”

        it’s one of the three Encore episodes which were released with VHS/LDs of the show back in the day, but they were clearly animated later specifically for this release as bunch of bonus episodes. The animation quality etc. being so much higher than in series in general is very telling. Heck, Fleet of the Strongest Women barely recycled anything!

        “I would’ve loved to see Summer Wars in a theater. I did get to see it with a bunch of fellow anime fans at my house, most if not all with similar large families… it was one of the greatest viewing experiences I’ve ever had. ”

        it really was great fun in theatre with people as the film was very much loved. It even won the competition it took part in (despite being only animated film in there aka it competed against “real” films).

  29. Pingback: We Remember Love Says Goodbye, and Thank You For All The Memories | We Remember Love

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