Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (The Top Ten)

Revolutionary Girl Utena Tenjoy Himemiya Anthy Akio Ohtori

[Ranks 30-21] [Ranks 20-11]

It takes a view of the whole list to characterize myself as a fan of anime. An observant reader pointed out that ranks 27-17 is an uninterrupted streak of robot anime. The relative absence of which up higher in the list shouldn’t be indicative that I am less of a robot anime fan, only that I have a lot more in common with other fans who love good anime in general.

In the end I really think that the more anime we watch, the more diverse and varied our taste becomes and we will tend to favor the shows that while incredible for their subgenre, are transcendent of them so much so that we enjoy them despite our lack of affinity with such subgenres. How else would I explain how high Revolutionary Girl Utena is on this list, or K-On!! for that matter?

It’s for the same reasons I know people who adore Turn A Gundam without liking the Gundam franchise as a whole, or mecha anime for that matter. I know you Neon Genesis Evangelion fans can be like this as well. Ditto for Eureka SeveN, or even Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. All of these shows I love precisely because they are mecha anime, but other people love them too, albeit they do so despite the mecha element no matter how significant it’s featured.

Does this make the exercise of anime appreciation any less arbitrary or subjective? No, not really. It only goes to show that there are ways of appreciation that apply for different kinds of shows for different kinds of people, with different kinds of purposes all under the larger circle of hobby in this universal Venn diagram of entertainment.

ghost in the shell stand alone complex 2nd gig motoko kusanagi tachikoma batou

10. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig

While the plotting is less intricate than the previous installment, it is no less perfect in my eyes. It delivers everything I could ask for in a show that invites me to take it seriously: superb production values, contemplative and introspective moments taking on very interesting themes; expertly planned, choreographed, and directed action scenes (with robots too!), crowning moments of both awesome and heartwarming (at times the same moment!); and ultimately a very human story.

It’s that parallel between The Major’s anxiety that with her full prosthesis she is losing whatever there is left that makes her human, and the growing complexity of the AI of the Tachikoma that provide me the most meat to chew on in this show. It’s particularly great how this all plays out in a spectacular battle in the end. I love anime.

Nina Purpleton -- Gundam 0083 Stardust Memory

legend of the galactic heroes yang wenli reinhard von lohengram

09. Legend of the Galactic Heroes

This show is one of those things, and perhaps the best example of what I consider better than perfect. There’s so much in it that I’d fault a lesser series for: from the off-model character designs, the annoying close-range rifle battles where battleaxes beat rifles every time, Reuenthal doing back flips, and the general lack of female characters whose roles aren’t auxiliary to the males. These things don’t really matter because this show is so incredible. It is epic in the old-school sense of the world.

What I feel is different from enjoying the show despite these faults, or even forgiving the show for having or lacking these things. I just think that the awesomeness it does provide over such an expansive amount of material for such a long time goes beyond these things that would otherwise be complaints. I actually feel petty for writing them as if they matter so much. So here is where you get galactic scale, a phenomenal set of characters great and minor, scored by chamber and symphonic music by masters (Mahler, Beethoven, Mozart, and a whole lot more), and a superb level of strategy (political and military), tactics, and scale of space battles portrayed by moving illustrations.

Morita Shinobo -- Honey and Clover Season 2

Tradition of the GAINAX protagonist and TTGL -- Ikari Shinji to Takaya Noriko to Kubo Kenji; Simon remembers love

08. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

One thing I remember about the first time I watched this show is how it became part of a wave of incredibly enjoyable experiences that got me so excited about anime I had to go to the internet to look for people talking about it. This led to Mechafetish and me starting our own anime blog which thanks to luck, hard work, and guts, still exists to this day as the site you’re browsing now. This show is Epic in the internet sense of the word.

It has a level of frenetic energy that existed in shows long, long gone but was never presented at this level of consistent volume and playfulness. It was also the love song to robot anime as a whole, as the major arcs of the show corresponded to styles and movements within the robot anime tradition beginning somewhere between Mazinger Z and Getter Robo, passing through the darker days of mass-produced mecha in shows like Mobile Suit Gundam, and culminating somewhere between The End of Evangelion and Diebuster (and Getter Robo again).

It committed to a theme of ‘going beyond the impossible,’ and went for it with the force of galaxies spiraling through time and space… and drills, very big drills. It is EPIC.

Bobby Margot -- Macross Frontier

K-On!! Macross 7 Yui Hirasawa Basara Nekki cosplay LISTEN TO MY SONG

07. K-On!!

This shouldn’t be here. I didn’t want it to be here. Let me tell you though, when the show finished (and yes I am talking about the second season) I wanted to put this show as high as number two on this list. That’s how much it got to me. There is something about the mundane that can capture the imagination – so much of creative writing class time is spent working with the mundane memories of childhood, of family, of school into something akin to literature. The remarkable thing in this show is that in its treatment of the most mundane of things it created for itself a fantasy world where there’s nothing to get hung about.

John Lennon wrote about such Strawberry Fields where nothing seems real. This is that same world, almost completely devoid of anything that reminds you of your physical self. There are only these girls who spend their time preoccupied with cake and tea and somewhere in between create moments of absurd emotional power. It’s because perhaps, of the bubble surrounding this fantasy world that I can be free to feel all those things I felt during the show’s run. That’s the real joke perhaps, how I could feel so much for characters whose best quality is their exceeding excellence at being with each other.

Yoko Littner -- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Mobile Suit Z Gundam -- Quattro Bajeena Kamille Bidan Sayla Mass four Murasame Jerid Messa

06: Mobile Suit Z Gundam

I believe in the sign of Z and let it into my heart. This show isn’t like Unicorn in that it represents everything awesome I would like to see in Gundam. In fact I actually see in here something of a betrayal of what made Mobile Suit Gundam the apotheosis of real robot anime. I started seeing the rise of the individual pilot making more of a difference in the theater of war. I started seeing the variable and arbitrary damage of beam weapons hitting plot armor. I started seeing the rise of the annoying young side character fated to fuck things up for the main cast. I saw really, really, really ugly mobile suits (some of which even transform!). I saw a legit trainwreck of a plot line that would’ve derailed the whole thing so close to the end if not for the end itself that was just oh-wow-did-this-show-just-do-that-oh-damn-me-to-hell-it-sure-did kind of awesome.

Then again, we get the most entertaining angry emo kid ever in Kamille Bidan. Future copies of this template will fail miserably (Judau, Shinn) but Kamille’s perpetual intense rage (often powered by Karate) is nothing short of amazing. The Titans as enemies are less impressive as menacing threats but rather as incredible assholes — truly remarkable jerks. Quattro Bajeena and Haman Karn deserve their own shows (and both got them seperately, to varying degrees of disappointment), but while they were in Z Gundam, they were perfection. And I will never ever forget Jerid Messa, for being the ultimate in unrelenting, never-give-up, obsessive rivalry and for his indestructible space hair. I will shed the Tears of Time.

Fabulous Max Jenius -- Super Dimension Fortress Macross

eureka seven gekkostate talho holland renton

05. Eureka SeveN

“When you think of music or movies, instead of remembering what they are about you’re more likely to be reminded of the memories you have of that time and the people you knew then.” Stoner

I almost perfectly agree, until I force myself to remember so much more because I want to write posts like this one and generally am in the hobby of remembering love. Thus I remember so many things about this show that dares not only be thrilling with its aerial exploits and intense fights, but also charming not only with its adolescent love stories but with the general free-spirited feeling that rises above the world-ending threats and the cruelty of war and the people who foment it.

The love I felt for this show was not immediate. I dropped it the first time I tried watching it. But eventually I got it, and got into it. It rewarded my willingness to take all it had to offer because I took it on its own terms: I didn’t ask for it; I went and won it on my own. That’s why I succeeded, and why I remember so much love for this show and its incredible cast.

Ohtori Akio -- Revolutionary Girl Utena

cowboy bebop ed ein jet black spike spiegel jet black faye valentine swimsuit

04. Cowboy Bebop

I am currently ticking off an item on my bucket list by blogging this show the way I’m doing it. The very idea that doing something anime related exists on my personal bucket list should indicate my love and regard for this show.  I watch this show over and over because I want to feel the blues. I want to carry that weight. Life is hard enough, so why look for such misery or melancholy in entertainment? I don’t know for sure, but I’m a very happy guy; I have the emotional hit points to take in Cowboy Bebop. Besides, it’s not like it’s heavy all throughout. For the most part it is quite lighthearted and humorous (then it hits you).

And it’s also important to remember that it’s all executed exceedingly well. Each episode is filled with so many tricks from visual presentation to storytelling that’s derived from such diverse sources of film and television. It’s subject matter is filled with secular joys  that re-present so many elements or even traditions of popular culture that it’s a treasure trove for viewers who are willing to observe closely. Also, it will be very, very rewarding to listen.

Marida Cruz / Ple Twelve -- Gundam Unicorn

Neon Genesis Evangelion Unit 01 Ikari Shinji Misato Katsuragi

03. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first discovered Japanese cartoons as a child, it had always meant giant robots. In high school this had changed since the Philippines did not show any anime from the 1980s during the 1980s and 1990s. Thus I discovered shounen battle anime, shounen sports anime, shounen cooking anime, Ranma 1/2, etc. When anime started showing up on cable, and started getting called anime in the early 2000s, I hadn’t seen a single robot show since Robotech and Macross Plus. Vandread came and was kind of fun, but it wasn’t until I finally got to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion in 2003 (after watching the first few episodes on VHS in the 1990s) that all was right in the world.

I want you to imagine how mind-blowing this was for me. I started out knowing little else but robot shows, then the supply of these shows ran out; Then I kind of faffed about watching all these shounen shows that while being entertaining enough, didn’t quite ignite my burning passion. I started watching Eva (dubbed LOL) and suddenly I was this kid again, only that the robots looked weird and slick and moved like humans; then the monsters weren’t quite robots and were all weird. But it was all good because it was how robot anime was for me as a kid, only different.

Then it started getting very, very weird… until its stunning end. At this point I had not seen anything like this. Sure I had seen “intelligent” anime like Akira, and Ghost in the Shell, but again nothing on the TV anime level — which is my preferred format. Needless to say, I was profoundly impressed by what this show tried to pull off, and many rewatches later including the one I did a year ago, I think it is a glorious venture overall. This is the show that got me interested in anime beyond being just a viewer who wants to watch more. I needed to know about things now. I started going to the internet to read about anime around 2004 and it was really because I finally got to watch Evangelion.

Anemone -- Eureka SeveN

Revolutionary Girl Utena Tenjou Himemiya Anthy Kiryuu Touga Saionji Kyouichi Arisugawa Juri Kaoru Miki

02. Revolutionary Girl Utena

I loved it the first time I watched it. Out of a whim I rewatched all of it over the course of a week and it is pretty much the reason why I am doing this ranking exercise. It was the very reason (along with K-On!!) why I listed a top 30 last year, becoming my fifth most favorite show instantly. It has an abstraction to it that feels appropriate for anime, that it uses to turn a fairy tale on its head and tell a story with startling misery and wretchedness for its characters that it makes fun of almost as much as it sympathizes with.

The simplicity and lucidity of its abstractions is an achievement in itself. I’ve seen what could arguably be a more mature and complex anime in Tatami Galaxy but its abstractions in both illustrations, storytelling, and content do not impress me the same way as Utena’s. It takes something like Evangelion to take on themes of identity, relating with other people, and keeping integrity and give it the same gravity and breadth as Utena. This Utena does without leaving what would be a confining setting. I’ve seen shows likeBakemonogatari confine its story in its very local environments and the effect is quite different. Somehow, Utena made me believe that the most important thing in the world was transpiring within a junior high school.

It’s a world I’d never want to belong to. I have no wish to be any of the characters nor would I find them good company.  However I could look at them all day and would see their stories play out over and over again. It’s not that hard, because the Be Papas alumni keep remembering love for it in the shows they made after and are still making.

Nono -- Toppu o Nerae 2 Diebuster

super dimension fortress macross sdf-1 lynn minmay

01. Super Dimension Fortress Macross

I am very glad to have rewatched this show recent enough to make me feel confident that Revolutionary Girl Utena is not my favorite show. The recent rewatch also gave me an opportunity to blog this show in a way I never thought I’d ever get done. So that’s another one off the bucket list. The fact that the exercise isn’t on the same level of effort and intensity as my current Cowboy Bebop project is indicative of how I feel about the show. The experience of making those posts however, is tied with the core purpose of this blog, as I got to rewatch the show with fans both old and new — and I fancy myself contributing to their appreciation of my favorite show all my life and for all time.

So what have I learned from this rewatch with all these new eyes I shared it with? The show is as awesome as I remembered it. Furthermore, it is a whole lot more grim than I gave it credit for. Sure it’s rightfully remembered as a sillier, takes-itself-less-seriously show that remembers love for Space Battleship Yamato and Mobile Suit Gundam. But for those willing to look closely, it’s hella grim, though not as dark as the robot anime shows that took hold of the 1980s. To explain further is to spoil, so I’ll leave it at that, and reinforce that any grimness or darkness is either secondary or entwined with how the show is a love story set against the backdrop of great battles, warping my silly 8-year old mind with a taste for fictional love triangles for life.

Misato Katsuragi -- Neon Genesis Evangelion

I never will. Good things come in threes, and end with a table. So here it is:


*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).

Endnotes (I had to shoot bullets because I want to keep the line spacing under control).

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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91 Responses to Countdown to the End of the World/Galaxy: ghostlightning’s 30 Favorite Anime of All Time (The Top Ten)

  1. Vucub Caquix says:

    “When you think of music or movies, instead of remembering what they are about you’re more likely to be reminded of the memories you have of that time and the people you knew then.” Stoner

    That smacked me like a ton of bricks when I first saw Eureka Seven, and being within the opening moments of the show as a whole caused me to sit up and take immediate notice for the next 50 episodes. I still remember watching Kannagi with my old friend Russ, our buddy Lunchbox, & the incredibly sweet Margaux. I barely remember the details of the show itself, but watching it from a laptop hooked up to a projector with the image on a bedsheet nailed to the wall as we all drank Coronas and laughed our asses off the whole time stands as some of the finest memories I have to date. Kannagi isn’t the greatest show, but the memories associated with it give me an affection for it that causes me to overlook a lot of it’s flaws.

    Which is something you bring up in your post about Legend of the Galactic Heroes. When my regard for a show is related to how emotionally invested in it I become, my affection allows me to gloss over it’s imperfections. It’s happening in this current season, as I’m watching Steins;Gate and Tiger & Bunny with Emily. I think I hold Steins;Gate in higher esteem, but I have more affection for Tiger & Bunny. It’s entirely related to how much I’ve become emotionally attached to the characters in that show that I’m willing to forgive it for the crass commercialism that’s encoded in it’s DNA and an occasionally horribly animated episode.

    Um, well, other than my little spiel cool list!

    • Indeed. It’s because I watched all of LotGH with my wife that it feels like a tremendous life achievement as an anime fan.

      It’s because I watched all of Macross 7 with my wife, and how it became her favorite Macross PERIOD that I too, saw the Power to the Dream.

      It’s because I watched all of The Prince of Tennis with my wife that… I’ll stop here.

  2. Shinmaru says:

    Seen and liked every show on this list save K-On!! (Well, I haven’t finished LoGH, but I have liked what I’ve seen a lot.)

    The thing about Macross’ grimness is that it never feels like it is being grim purely for its own sake — it’s there because humans fuck through action and inaction, and because their personalities put them in a position to fuck up. Even when juxtaposed with all the goofy shit, I could never look at any of Macross’ darker moments and think, “lol that is soooooo grimdark lolololol”. The darkness felt legitimate, possibly because Macross doesn’t wallow in it nor ignore it.

    • Well yes, Macross doesn’t portray people dying for its own sake, though it extinguished more human lives more than the entire Gundam franchise many times over, though Tomino still has the upper hand over Kawamori thanks to Ideon, because Geppelnitch eating a whole galaxy happened off-cam/not in the Macross 7 timeline. Both make Anno seem tame. But this little exercise I just did… it doesn’t feel right to lump Kawamori or Macross with those mass-murderers and celebrations of death. Take Z Gundam for example:

      Something like this would never characterize Macross, despite the gross body count. Also, it’s because Tomino puts names on girls (and guys) before he guts them.

      Macross’ ending is incredibly grim for me though, perhaps the grimmest thing ever because Minmay lost. Fuck.

  3. ojisan says:

    You are hereby awarded your very own Internet. Plus you can captain everyone else’s Internet on Tuesday nights.
    I’m at the point now where good new anime arrives too slowly, and I’ve watched enough of the backlog that I wonder if I’m running out of shows to like. These posts give me a map to a whole set of new viewing, most of it space-opera. I think Gurren Laagan is the only show we disagree on, so I’m looking forward to Macross Plus, LoGH and Mobile Suit Z Gundam.

    • Thank you very much. I hope you get a lot out of my subjective advocacy.

      To get the best out of the shows you’re about to watch, here are some pre-requisites:

      Z Gundam: 1. Mobile Suit Gundam/Movie Trilogy (must) 2. 0083 Stardust Memory (optional, but this will serve you well)

      Macross Plus: SDF Macross/DYRL

      I do wonder why and how much we disagree on TTGL.

  4. Turambar says:

    Oh god right, I still have to finish LOTGH. It’s been a year. Where did I even stop at.

  5. Best top ten list ever! I like how Kon! Got on this one great show xD

    Hell ya TTGL!! WOoooooooo! Still one of my top ten shows too, And Eureka oh boy that series is so much fun and the combat scenes?! Always so much fun to watch well when they get that jet mode dodging all those missiles ❤

  6. kimaguresan says:

    Good show! Macross (even if it was called Robotech here) was the reason I ran home from school every afternoon. I’d gladly empty my wallet for any Macross related stuff here in the US, but the licensing shite keeps that from happening, which is a shame.

    Your post series reminds me that I need to write about the 15 Gainax shows/movies I’ve watched…well, I’m waiting on finishing 16: good old, Ebichu.

    • That’s a perfectly normal reaction not knowing what the Zentrans will do next and how further Minmay is growing apart from Rick…

      The Oruchuban Ebichu anime is a ton of laughs. I never got to finish it though, as the fansub’s translation notes are ridiculous.

  7. WhatSht says:

    That picture for SDF-Macross is AMAZING. I have nothing else to say.

    • This is an important illustration.

      All of the iconic images pertaining to the great showdown with Bodolle Zer are from DYRL. Admittedly, as I’ve said in the previous post for many people those were the most amazing 8 minutes of anime they’re ever seen or have first seen.

      However, I love SDF Macross far more than DYRL. I love the whole set of events that transpired in episode 27 so much. And while there’s no Ai oboete imasu ka? playing, hearing the medley was far more believable for a battle.

      Also, in that image you get to see the SDF-1 as I prefer to remember it: with Prometheus and Daedalus for its arms. In DYRL you had the ARMM carriers (which was the original design, these carriers were the first victims of Britai’s initial attack on Earth in SDFM). So yes, so much more awesome. Now I made sure it’s represented.

  8. megaroad1 says:

    It doesn’t cease to amaze me how similar our tastes in anime are. I guess a quality production made with passion will reach through to the fans irrespective of their national backgrounds or life history. Last night I made a quick exercise of writing down my 10 favourite shows, (doing the 30 would take me rather more time), and half of them (GITS 2nd gig, NGE, Bebop, SDFM and LOGH) appear on your list, while Zeta and TTGL were just on the outside looking in. I’ve just watched E7 and really enjoyed it (well except those annoying kids), but I guess it requires a couple of more viewings before I can place it somewhere. K-On and Utena I have not seen, but plan to address that by watching Utena soonest.

    I have to say that I thought that at some point Kare Kano would appear, specially since you have written about it before in fond terms.

    • Hehe.

      I am very fond of Kare Kano, but I am also very fond of Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu, PLANETES, Bakemonogatari, Hataraki Man, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Banner of the Stars I, Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team, Mobile Suit Gundam Char’s Counterattack, Shin Mazinger Z-Hen, Akira, Ghost in the Shell (Film), Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, Macross Zero, Berserk, Mononoke Hime, Porco Rosso, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Honey & Clover S1, Martian Successor Nadesico, Code Geass, Mobile Suit Gundam Original Movie Trilogy, Monester, Ruroni Kenshin Death & Betrayal, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Redline, Seirei no Moribito, and Sword of the Stranger.

      Ugh, that’s 28 shows. The culling process is a painful one.

      • Reid says:

        I feel your pain, sir. I’ve been diligently trying to come up with my own Top-30 list (can I really be the only one on the blog who’s willing to attempt it?) but the culling process has literally made me lose sleep over the past two nights. I’m so afraid that you and others will denounce most of it, but I promise I’ll go out on a limb and try to put as much thought into it as possible so as to justify my selections, though I’ll try to keep my explanations on each selection to a minimum. That is, I’d rather answer for my wrongdoings on an individual basis rather than write out my rationale in full. Put another way, it’s easier to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

        • There will be others who already have such lists on their own respective blogs or at least a short list on their MAL profile. But do go on, brave sir. I’m the one in the line of fire and no one really took shots, because this isn’t Sai Mecha which means WRL is the safest place on the internet to share about your anime passions. Explain as much as you want, but do understand that there’s no real need to apologize.

  9. JoeQ says:

    Great picks and for the most part I wholeheartedly agree. Makes me want to come up with my own list, but then again that would propably just be everything I rated 9 or 10 on MAL with some half-hearted reasoning. On that note, it was interesting to see how your rating of a show corresponded with it’s ranking. Guess your personal enjoyment of a show doesn’t affect your rating as much as it does for me.

    Also, nice to see that Sai Mecha hasn’t completely embittered you towards Getter [;)]

    • LOL Re: Getter, that was just Sai Mecha nonsense. All year round you’ll never find a web log that’ll be more welcoming to any kind of robot anime discussion. But during Sai Mecha, I can’t be wishy washy and nice-nice. That would be boring. So I really made a commitment that whichever mecha the one I’m voting for is set up against, I’m going to flame them with Spiral Energy and Getter Rays.

      Because this IS Sai Mecha, not some tournament of girly boys picking out the most defenseless, harmless 2D chick and have the gumption of calling her CHAMPION. Here in Sai Mecha our winner will be unit that will survive the carnage of endless metal in a galactic battlefield.


      Your list is indeed very badass. However, the thing about favorites list is that they’re less about the shows and more about the one favoring them. Thus it’s possible to create a narrative of how and why you picked the shows you picked. And yes, stories are interesting and so I invite you to share yours.

      • JoeQ says:

        Oh, I know. Completely asshattery is all part of the fun of Sai Mecha. I’m already looking forward to being total elitist douchebag in Sai Mecha 2012!

        We’ll see, maybe after I’m finally done with moving and have had a chance to rewatch some of that stuff. It’s been years since I saw Gunbuster, Spirited Away, RahXephon, Eureka 7 and a lot of others too. The core of my tastes has largely remained the same, but my scope has expanded greatly, so it might be interesting to see them with some fresh perspective. I certainly managed to enjoy Nadesico more the second time around, even if it still didn’t really click with me.

        BTW, how about making a top 10/20/30 list for manga too?

        • Excellent.

          That’s really all we want — to keep the core of our tastes, only more expansive; to not let our ideas of self get in the way of discovering something we’ll love.

          The manga list is difficult for me to do because I don’t think I’ve read a lot. Definitely a lot less compared to the amount of anime I’ve seen. But I’ll do it, probably before the year ends — though it’s tough because I seldom re-read manga and it’s tougher to remember or validate my feelings. But yeah, I’ll do it, probably on a smaller scale.

      • “Because this IS Sai Mecha, not some tournament of girly boys picking out the most defenseless, harmless 2D chick and have the gumption of calling her CHAMPION.”

        I promise you saimoe has seen far bloodier battlefields than Saimecha. Though I’ve never been on one myself (I have, however, fought in the Megatokyo Anime Grand Prix, which was always intense and huger than SaiMecha).

        • Yeah but it ain’t GAR man. It’s bitchflaming yeah. AGPs are different and awesome, but they ain’t robots. Sai Mecha is a tiny pond and is unlikely to get hueg since the fans are in 4chan and in Mechatalk etc. We’re just anime bloggers.

  10. This was a very interesting countdown, with a number one that anyone should have guessed. I will not comment on any of the shows, this a personal list after all and it never be the same one as another person’s.

    Instead I will quote this phrase: “In the end I really think that the more anime we watch, the more diverse and varied our taste becomes and we will tend to favor the shows that while incredible for their subgenre, are transcendent of them so much so that we enjoy them despite our lack of affinity with such subgenres.”

    This is sooo true, as I can safely say after 800+ completed entries on my lists.

    • Thank you. There is some homogeneity in peoples lists, of course accounting for general tastes. This is also why I picked the number 30 — so the list can actually tell three stories:

      1. I am a robot fan;
      2. I love Macross above all robot shows and all other shows; and
      3. This love did not turn me into a fan with narrow tastes; that I have the ability to find ways of enjoying different things.

      Thus, this makes me someone that other fans can talk to. They will be more willing to share and recommend shows they love and more WILLING TO WATCH MACROSS willing to try things I recommend. Thus my experience of this hobby becomes more fulfilling.

      • Recommending things to each other is a great way to watch shows you would have never considered otherwise for various reasons. It’s exactly how I ended up watching some of them in any case, shows that I would have avoided normally because their description seemed not to apply to my “established” tastes.

        PS. I really must finish Utena, damn it I only have 5 or 6 episodes to go, but have it stalled like forever!

  11. “This shouldn’t be here. I didn’t want it to be here.”

    What the fuck are you bitching about, you put it all the way back at 7. I’ve got this shit in my #1 slot!! I mean fuck, you put Zeta Gundam ahead of K-On, you’ve hardly sacrificed anything! Maybe K-On is up for a rewatch from you. (From both of us. We should watch it together over Skype.)

    • Past tense. It’s up where it should be. I almost put it on #2 last year, but that was a major case of recency bias LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I am always watching and loving K-On!! I’ll wait for all the Blu-Ray rips to finish before doing a proper rewatch. But yes, LET’S!!!

      In other news, holy fuck I was right not to start watching Infinite Ryvius while making this list. I’m 5 eps in and FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF

  12. animekritik says:

    Well, it definitely looks like a great list to dip into when one is looking about for something to watch.
    I think one of the lessons to learn from lists like this is that it’s always worthwhile to give classic anime, and anime with widespread appeal, a shot. Chances are reasonably good that one will come out pleased. Most of the stuff I haven’t watched on your list is stuff I am familiar with and have heard about over and over. So it’s simply a matter of making the time to watch it. I feel the same about literary classics.

    • Indeed, and there’s also this interesting behavior I’ve noticed over the years among younger fans, and/or fans who haven’t seen a lot of anime. I notice how some watch these “classic” shows with the intent to judge (harshly), as if to prove how these shows do not deserve the acclaim people give them (though most likely this is a reaction to some level of snobbery). A shame really.

      I suppose it is us who can be considered outliers in this case, because the general public isn’t educated/indoctrinated to have a healthy curiosity about tradition. They encounter “classic” works as indoctrination/snobbery and not celebration. Of my top 10, a full 6 are shows that I watched while I was already blogging anime. I find this remarkable in that I think of it as a return on the time and effort invested in this hobby, as well as how recently how I discovered them.

      • animekritik says:

        There’s definitely a backlash against classics and popularity.

        The thing about blogging is you feel a need (a pressure) to know your subject well. That motivates you to watch classics just so that you can properly discuss them when people bring them up. That redounds to the blogger’s benefit in the end.

        • Yes, this is one of the things I instinctively know but have never articulated even in my mind so thank you. Furthermore this is especially true for my own practice which concerns itself with mapping traditions.

  13. sadakups says:

    Why am I not surprised with your number one pick? 🙂

    Interestingly enough, I’ve seen all but three titles in your top ten (Utena, GITS: SAC and LoGH), with the exception of K-ON (which I’m not really fond of, sorry).

    I’ve been wanting to watch LoGH, but I’ve been making excuses for myself to not watch it (read: couldn’t find it or too busy with life).

  14. It took you three tries but the one post is now complete (I kid, I kid; I’m such an ass; it’s all in good jest, I promise).

    Loved the talking heads. That was a nice touch, something to set your list apart. It was also good of you to properly tag the images so that a simple rollover can tell me just who that cute chick is and from what show she came from. Seems minor, but I swear little details like that make a big difference to me.

    Top X lists have always been impossible for me. I could never pull the trigger on a (temporary) final order. I’d have to break the whole ordering system to make one. Hmm… No, no, I have to move on to fiction writing after I finish off these last 3 essays. But maybe one day I’ll throw together one of these love-remembrances myself. Until that day, I can only salute you list warriors who overcame all doubts and cried out to the world your joy like a Nono in the passions of a unyielding determination to be a Nonoriri.

    • Thank you!

      Also thanks for noticing these things and letting me know, it allows me to discuss craft — which is obviously of significant interest to me.

      The talking heads are indeed intended to produce the effect you mentioned. Internally, they also served something specific to list-post making that I have trouble with. A post of favorites, in my mind must:

      1. Allow a reader who has not seen shows on the list to ignite their curiosity, but satisfy them at some level even just from the paragraph as written;
      2. Give the narrative that marks the personal significance of the work to the author; (author is not dead, since this is a confessional/manifesto kind of essay)

      It sounds easy but there’s a risk of spoilers that results in blog posts that have write-ups of the shows become either bland summaries due to #1, and/or build a wall of opacity or just plain weirdness c/o #2.

      While I knew I could not address both of these on every write-up, I wanted to do something else. Each talking head is a character from one of the shows listed. They allow me to publish my shorthand insight on the shows they are discussing, while at the same time attempt to demonstrate further insight on the show they are from. Thus, an intimacy with the material that goes beyond listing the number of viewings I have of the show is established (or that’s the goal, anyway).

      The image tagging is something I’m enforcing again because over the last few months, my referral page views from Google image searches have all but dried up. I rely on these for the serendipitous encounters with readers, the kind that led me to discover anime blogs in the first place.

      • You might want to name your images while you’re at it. Instead of aldf124akahi1234eah.jpg or 01.jpg, you would want macross.jpg. This is assuming, of course, that wordpress gives you that level of control (I don’t know; never used wordpress myself). Google images was my number one referrer by far (before I reset Low on Hit Points and stopped using images).

  15. otou-san says:

    Somebody’s predictable…

    but seriously, as if you couldn’t guess, I agree with most of these. I wouldn’t put GiTS:SAC in my top ten, it was enjoyable but didn’t, you know, move me. And of course K-ON!!, whose first season I couldn’t make it through (and if LoGH were that good though, wouldn’t it be easier for me to finish?).

    I suppose you could replace those with FLCL and Gunbuster, or possibly Haruhi (yes I’m serious) and we’d have ourselves a deal.

    • Yes.

      (Also, Tachikomas sound TERRIBLE in english)

      Of course I’m the guy who tried watching FLCL 5 times, made it through once, and nothing. No dice. It had everything going for it but no love from me.

      Haruhi was part of this list last year. I just had to confront how I’m not gunning for it as much as I know I could be. I mean, I loved Disappearance, and yet I couldn’t bring it in. Maybe next year my feelings will change again. After all, no one in the business remembers love for Macross the way the Haruhi franchise does.

    • tou-chan maybe try skipping straight to season 2 of K-On. I don’t know, I feel like you might be able to appreciate how absolutely fucking amazing it is (fuck the first season). But I can’t be sure.

  16. Sakura says:

    Hehe was there ever any question of what would come out on top? 😉

    @ Otou-san, I have to absolutely agree with you on FLCL, it still one of my faves 🙂

    • No question at all!

      Utena gave me a bit of an identity crisis though! Good thing I had just finished rewatching Macross too so I had perspective on my side. Like I said to the old man, I gave FLCL everything I’ve got, but nothing. No magic.

      • If sleeping through most of it is giving it everything you’ve got, then you sure did!

        • Why would I even watch it a 5th time? How many people do that (bring home an S-class fanboy of the show from halfway around the world to help me watch it to boot)? Falling asleep was due to how fucking boring the experience was. So shut your bitch mouth.

      • Sakura says:

        I’ll have to check out Utena since I’ve never seen it. Ahh well FLCL isn’t for everyone. I’m the same way with EVA, I just can’t bring myself to like it.

      • FLCL… a strange one. First time I watched this one I was like… WTF is this crap?!? Then, after a couple of years I found myself in a strange mood, a kind of “screw everything” mood, and found myself rewatching. I really enjoyed it that second time, but I don’t really know if I would do so again.
        I believe that certain shows can only be watched and fully enjoyed when one is in a certain state of mind, otherwise it just won’t work. Or so my own experiences seem to point at.

  17. Snippett says:

    I really enjoyed watching K-On!! because its simplicity made it extraordinary. This is one of those anime that I didn’t really need any deep reason to like it because the fact that I was well-entertained and it hit me in realistic emotional level is sufficient enough.

    Evangelion became one my gateways to anime (thanks to my onii-chan). I’m not really a mecha fan, but I really enjoyed the symbolisms, mythos and psychologies attached to it. Misato and, most especially, Rei’s character played such integral roles for me to really enjoy this anime.

    P.S. I checked the first episode of Utena, and it’s already heading to my “like list”. Perhaps, it might also end up on my favourite list.

    • My rhetoric re K-On!! is the way it is because for some reason I’m not supposed to like it. Many of the fans who like the things I like are quite dismissive towards it. No one would accuse it of any kind of complexity but I say that there is brilliance in its execution.

      I’m glad you started watching Utena. It’s going better and better until it ends. Them watch the Adolescence of Utena film.

  18. steelbound says:

    Great list, I’ve been in the process of updating my own top list when I realized a certain recent magic girls anime from Shaft did the impossible and actually supplanted Gurren Lagann as my number 1.

    It funny when I look over your list, sometimes the picks and what you say makes me think I have long lost twin out there but sometimes our opinions are so radically different. For example, what you say about TTGL, K-On!!, and GiTS:SAC 2nd Gig sound like what I’d say – if I was a better writer – but I wasn’t all that impressed by Cowboy Bebop, disliked the ending to Evangelion and my DVD’s have sat collecting dust for years, thought Eureka SeveN made progressively less sense as it went on and didn’t much care for it. This makes it hard when a show like Revolutionary Girl Utena comes up and I haven’t seen it and I don’t know if I can listen to your recommendation.

    • Thank you!

      Ultimately our experiences are our own. All I can do as an advocate is own my experience as authentic. The list does have a recommendation function, but it is tempered by a very personal share.

      As I mentioned to Michael above, this list is composed of 3 structural parts:

      1. General information about the show (most of the time), including opinion;
      2. Personal experience with the show (testimonial);
      3. Condensed, specific analysis via character-provided (meta) testimonial. As each talking head is from a show on the list, I intended to demonstrate a close affinity and an extended level of thought about the shows.

      I don’t expect you to enjoy the shows the way I do. After all, I can’t fault a favorite of yours (Ichigo Mashimaro), but I can’t enjoy it either. I won’t think of your taste any less for liking a show I don’t; conversely disliking a show I favor.

      Having said all that, I have little doubt that you’d be disappointed with Utena. You may end up not liking it as much as I do, but I doubt that you’ll ragequit or something like it.

  19. Matt Wells says:

    LOVE that Simon montage. The whole Gainax character archetype over the last twenty years over a single series. Can’t believe I fogot about Otaku no Video…ah well, I didn’t care for the documentary halve of it. Too many in jokes about Gainax employees, not enough TATAKAE! OTAKINGUUU!!!! And RE K-on creeping up, the list, I know exactly what you mean. Same thing happenend to me with one of my choices. We can’t pick our favourites I guess. Excellent list man, and thanks again for giving me the oppertunity to show you mine.

    • No problem. I’ll contact you via email re DYRL. I do suggest you get a gmail account because 1) more awesome, 2) see number one, 3) there’s a whole suite of useful things that we use for collaboration.

      I forgot all about Kubo Kenji too until I was refreshing my knowledge about these series I’ve listed. I’d have thought Noriko was the pinnacle, but no. There’s a self-assertion to Kubo that is beyond Noriko who pretty much peaks at protecting everyone.

  20. krizzlybear says:

    Great list. I’m a bit worried that you’d have to wait until next year to write another top 30 to include Disappearance, which by then, the giddyness that you displayed, as witnessed by many others via Skype, may have worn off. Always remember love for Haruhi. GLORY TO THE COMPUTER CLUB!

    • You overestimate my affinity for Disappearance. I’m pretty intense watching anime period. As much as I like it, I could never prefer it over the first season, and the first season used to be #30 last year. I was actually counting on Disappearance last December to ignite my fiery passion for the Haruhi franchise, but right now I love it as much as I would love a show I rank #31, right above Bakemonogatari (if you wonder how intense I felt about this show, it’s all over the archives).

  21. Matt Wells says:

    Here we are, my top ten. These picks are my absolute, heart of hearts favourites, so feel free to mock my bizarre choices. Not much variation in these last ten, they really reveal my core tastes as an anime fan. and my tastes are suprisingly goofy. Zany even. I might go as far as to call them “Wacky”. Eccentric is a term for cowards and people with a sense of shame and dignity.

    10. Tetsujin 28 (2004) – And to begin with, a show only about 0.001% of people on /m/ have even heard of. I think Geneon was hoping to bank on the Gigantor fans when they licensed this, but it completely bombed stateside. And that really is a shame, because Tetsujin is a superlative show in terms of content and execution. Its the first of Yasuhiro Imagawa’s shows on my countdown, and he treats it in a similar fashion to Shin Mazinger Z. He goes back primarily to the original 1950’s manga as his source of inspiration, stripping it of much of its childlike spirit and enfusing it with a starkly serious and mature tone. This was a show made for men in their 50’s who grew up watching Tetsujin punch baddies and commies in black and white, men who have since faced the demons of their country’s past, just as Shotaro is forced to. An innocent of post-war Japan who falls victim to the old, arrogant men who put the people through a spiritual and physical war of attrition, and brushed their atrocities on the rest of Asia under the carpet.

    It ties in nicely with Imagawa’s central obsession of boys and their fathers, of the choice between Good and Evil, in this case using Tetsujin as a Tool of Justice instead of a Weapon for Evil. Shotaro is given the responsibility of his father’s tainted legacy, and he must use it to defend the still fragile Japan from the ghosts of its past, returned from the grave to punish those who survived. It even works as a educational series about the reality of life in American-occupied Japan: the stakes in the ending aren’t saving the world from some enormous threat, but preventing the Japanese economy from spluttering! Its a bizarre show, a mixture of Boy Detective heroics, Cold War techno-thriller, and a thoughtful reflection on the moral dilemmas faced in the aftermath of the War. The fact that Giant Robots are often only incidental to the main proceedings demonstrates its adult tone; that you’ll hardly miss them shows the power of its storytelling.

    Rounding it out is a suitably forboding and doom laden score, with excellent vocal performances by all the main cast. It even features ton of cameos from Giant Robo alumnus, and the Immortal Murasame Kenji himself returns as a second protagonist! A phenomenal series, it is Imagawa’s underated masterpiece. There’s definitely an analysis series to be made from this show, if anybody in the blogging community ever bothered to watch it (hint hint). Its hardly a barrel of laughs, but Imagawa crafts something important and vital from a terminally silly concept, and for that alone it should be commended. Even if the mecha designs will have you pissing your pants with laughter. It makes a nice companion to Giant Robo, and Shotaro takes his problems on the chin. He doesn’t cry and bitch constantly like Daisaku, he arrests Yakuza thugs with Bananas and fends of thirty year old ladies who want his boy penis. He’s an anime O.G!… in school boy shorts.

    9. Shin Mazinger Shockwave!! Z Chapter – Yep, Imagawa again. There is just something about the guy’s work that grabs me in heart, soul and mind. I really resonate with his concepts, and his highly… theatrical storyteller’s verve never fails to entertain me. Shin Mazinger is perhaps the greatest example of fan fcition dressed up as somethinf professional, as Imagawa fuses characters from Go Nagai’s other madcap work into the definitive Mazinger show. He takes inspiration from the original 70’s manga, it’s remakes Z Mazinger and God Mazinger, even a one shot by Getter Robo creator Ken Ishikawa. From this Frankensteinian amalgamtion, he makes one of the most plot intensive and driven series I’ve ever watched, all from material that Japan’s most honoured pervert drew to blow of steam from writing Devilman. He takes butt monkey lackey and pseudo-transexual Baron Ashura (He IS a Rocky Horror fan after all) and turns him into one of the most enthralling anime antagonists I’ve ever seen.

    The duology of good vs. evil reaches its apex, as Mazinger literally becomes a shining God when defending the weak, or frigging MAO DANTE when used for evil. Its just an orgyiastic tribute to Uncle Go’s entire creative output, all of it filtered through Imagawa’s demented brain. And like all his shows, it throws the kind of “Holy Shit!” twists at you that make you reassess the entire series. It may drag a little in the middle episodes, some of the performances are lacking and the animation is frankly shit, but Shin Mazinger is a shining example of how important story is to all other elements of a series. And to cap it off, the score is beautiful, the attacks go beyond the impossible (Shine in the name of Zeus! BIG BANG PUUUUUUNCH!!!), and Nishkiori Tsubasa is the greatest female anime character of the last decade. The appaling lack of dojinshi of her makes me sad. 😦 Now where is Great Chapter dammit! Best cliffhanger ending/sequel hook ever!!!

    8. Mobile Fighter G Gundam – I admit it, I am a whore for Immagawa’s work. And this show was the first of his that I saw in its entireity. He took the venerable Gundam franchise, Bandai’s sacred cash cow, and he liberally pissed over every single advancement it made for the Real Robot genre. An act like that takes REAL balls, and G Gundam displays it’s Super Robot colours with pride. It crahses Gundam headfirst into classic Hong Kong martial arts films and 70’s Shonen sports series cliches, and emerges a triumphant action masterpiece. It may objectively be Imagawa’s worst show; the first twenty or so episodes are plagued by filler, paper thin characterisation and villains so hammy you’re surpised they don’t twirl their mustaches. But then the Guyana Highlands arc kicks in, and it morphs into something glorious.

    You begin to invest yourself in this goofy premise of war being reduced to a martial arts tournament, and the rivalry between Domon and his sensei Master Asia becomes the stuff of legend. It even overwhelms the main plot; instead of saving his Father and defeating the Devil Gundam, the heart of the show becomes pupil and teacher forced by circumnstances to fight to the death. G Gundam may be a few degrees short of moronic, but the sheer honesty of that inherent dumbness becomes something that you will love forever. Every episode in the Hong Kong arc is solid 24 carat gold, the performances are superb (in Japanese!), the cast is larger than life, and the music ranks as some of best of Kouhei Tanaka’s career (and THAT is saying something). Even the riduclous mecha designs are some of the best in the history of the franchise. I’m deadly serious, where the hell is my Master Grade Gundam Windmill Gundam model Bandai?! Say it with me everyone! GUNDAM FIGHTOO, READDDYY, GOOOOOO!!!

    Sorry for the delay, but I’ll try and post the rest tonight, tomorrow if not. Internet access in my house is strictly controlled by the parents, damn them.

    • 10. I have this show, and I’ll get to it eventually. I just need to get into the proper mood.

      8. Hehehe awesome. I really like this show, which is really ripe for an animation update. The fights get really sucky which was a shame, because THEY DESERVE TO BE GLORIOUS.

      As I keep saying, giant mecha combat is the best showcase for animation, and so G Gundam is one of the biggest missed opportunities ever. That said, there is so much to love.

      • Reid says:

        Your list takes my love, my anger and all my sorrow. What a good write-up for each of your selections too.

        I’ve always wanted to check out “Tetsujin 28”, but every time I get in the anime-watching mood I forget about it. I have resolved myself to never forget it.

        “G Gundam” is sooo amazing that it hurts me to the core to think I left if off my own list. I SUPPOSE I could take off “Transformers: the Movie” since you seem to think it doesn’t count as anime (you troll). and then shift everything except the top-10 down one and replace it with G Gundam. Maybe that would be the just thing to do.

        And Ghost, I agree with you about G Gundam needing an update. Hopefully one day we’ll get an animated sequel or…something. “Age” could be good, but seeing as how “Unicorn” is such a home-run I quiver in joy at the thought of what similar dedication to craft would look like if it were brought to bear on the GANDAMU FAITO!

        • Matt Wells says:

          Thanks guys. I doubt G Gundam ever did well enough to warrant a remake, so the closest we have is the new manga remake written by Imagawa and drawn by the original’s character designer, Kazuhiko Shimamoto, of Anime Tenchou and Blazing Transfer Student fame. I understand its a basic reimagining of the original series, just expanded and improved here and there.

          Chibodee kicks the shit out of Domon in their boxing match, but manages a draw in their Gundam Fight. There are jokes about Domon having a lousy sense of direction, fights are more balanced, typical rewrite/expansion stuff. And as fun as it is, nobody’s bothered to scan it into English, and we are still bereft of seeing those fights redone in the high budget animation they deserve.

          • Reid says:

            Chibodee is my favorite anyway. You don’t see that aloof Domon or that foppish George de Sand running around with all those hawt chicks, you do? I somehow missed news of this manga rewrite but my interest is piqued for sure. Hopefully someone will scanlate it sooner rather than later.

          • Matt Wells says:


            Yep, Chibodee is the best. Sai Saici comes second, or Schwarz Bruder if he counts as the “Wild Card” of the Shuffle Alliance.

  22. Matt Wells says:

    7. Castle of Cagliostro – This one is the first load of a whole spate of Miyazaki. And believe me, I KNOW: a favourite anime list filled with Miyazaki?! What startling originality!!! I’ve only seen the first few of Miyazaki’s theatrical films, plus Monoke and Spirited Away; I have yet to see the middle period of his work (Kiki, Porco Rosso) or his earlier TV work (has anyone subbed Future Boy Conan yet?). And while all his work has its merits, I find I personally enjoy his earlirest film works the most, they have the beginnings of his musings on man and the enviroment, but lack the heavy handed treatment his later works have (Howl’s Moving Castle: WAR IS BAAAD, M’KAAY?). Case in point, Cagliostro. Its a rollicking action blockbuster, with awesomely cheorographed sequences reminding us just how good an action director Miyazaki can be.

    It was my official induction to the Lupin III franchise, and looking back at the younger, chivalrous Lupin makes for a great contrast with the traditional Red Jacket lech. It’s simply a very well made film that entertains the viewer first, and makes them think second. Not much else to say, odds are most of you guys have seen it, and Ghostlightning did a superb post on how CoC is the prototypical Miyazaki film, the hint and promise of what he was to become.

    6. Laputa: Castle in the Sky – Another film by Miyazaki in action mode. Laputa tends to get overlooked in favour of his later films, but the first picture by the fledgeling Studio Ghibli encapsulates his creative ethos. A longing for the rustic past in Pazu’s mining village, and indictment of the military seeking power for the sake of power, the cold and alien sterility of technology contrasted with the heartbreaking beauty of nature, floating ever beyond man’s grasp, a castle in the sky. The animation is great, Joe Hisashi’s score is glorious, and the characters are wonderful. Dola and her family of Sky Pirates is another of Miyazaki’s wonderful female characters, and Sheeta and Pazu one of the all time great anime couples. A big influence on Eureka and Renton in my opinion. Just a truly excellent piece of animation.

    5. My Neighbour Totoro – Alright alright, last Miyazaki flick, swear to God. Totoro is very much the evolutionary leap from Miyazaki’s action oevure to his smaller, intensely personal flicks. There’s no grand battles between good and evil, as far as plot goes, the most harrowing thing is that two sisters argue and one runs off. Totoro helps Satsuki find Mei with the aid of a magical Catbus. Thrill a minute stuff! No, I love Totoro for how keenly it capture the atmosphere of childhood, the wonder, the make believe, and the magic. Watching this as a 16 year old gave me a crippling nostalgia for my passed childhood and innocence, which was rather embarassing for a teenager, as you might imagine. Thank goodness I managed not to cry in front of my family when I saw it, I’d have never heard the end of that… But my love for Totoro is hard to articulate. I couldn’t really tell you what makes a film so lacking in story and high on atmosphere so great in my estimations, it just is. And now I need to find a way to buy a cuddly Catbus without my family ever finding out…

    4. Aim for the Top! Gunbuster – A solid gold mecha classic. I don’t have much to add, pretty much everyone has spilt mountains of digital ink on the sheer quality of this series. A parody of a 70’s TV show about girls playing tennis that turns into a deadly serious adaptation of “THe Forever War”, just with teenage girls instead of professional soldiers. Gunbuster just radiates with a fierce love of anime in all its shape and forms, the Gainax ethos of made by fans, FOR fans, perfectly embodied. It plays with and subverts cliches and genre conventions into something almost new, and it does so with infectious aplomb.

    The pacing may be a little wonky, as the story crams in enough ideas for a fifty episode TV series into a six part OVA. But Anno achieved something with this series, something that inspires people of any age, race or gender. It’s superlative science fiction, and the Gunbuster itself remembers love for 25 years worth of mecha design. Part of me wishes Anno missed out on EVA just to make shows like this for twenty years, but try as he could I doubt anything could truly match this masterpiece. And Noriko went beyond the impossible before Simon was even a glint in Imaishi’s eye.

    3. King of the Braves: GaoGaiGar – This one creeped up on me. I really didn’t think I would put it so high until I realised just how fond I am of it. Quality wise, there are far better series on my list. But GaoGaigar inspires something magical in me; the nostalgia of Saturday Morning Cartoon heroics, but told with the sophistication of a modern series. It may follow a monster of the week formula, but unlike classic super robot shows, this one has an actual overarching plot (Voltes V and Daimos are the exceptions, not the rule). The bad guys work out that humans prioritise the life of civilians, and they begin attacking heavily populated centres. The GGG team counters with a wepaon designed for minimising property damage. The Zondarians discover a way to use the Dividing Driver against GaoGaiGar, and the our heroes have to invent a new robot to rescude Gai, the Dimension Pliers. The kind of technological arms race you’d expect in a real robot series, and it happens here. It may just be one huge toy commercial, but the first twenty episodes are a superb example of Super Robot attitude.

    But when the Tokyo invasion arc begins, the entire show leaps from entertaining to concentrated gar, everything raises up a notch. The Gutsy Geoid Guard pushes itself beyond their limits to save the earth, only to discover the monsters they fought were an expeditionary force: the main army is coming, and their first battle sees our heroes annihalated. At the last minute, King J-Der enters the scene, and the show constantly betters itself, episode after episode. The scale of the fight for humanity expands, GGG gets a new headquarters in space, repelling Zonder attacks across the globe. The stakes are higher, the opponents stronger, and the action ever escalating. GaoGaiGar Goldion Hammer’s a Primeval that has absorbed the great wall of China, re-entering the atmosphere as it kicks monster ass. J-Der and the warriors of Abel join the struggle as an uneasy lone agency, fighting Zonder and GGG alike. The mysterious force of ZA POWA changes the playing field, as everyone seeks to control this mysterious energy from Jupiter.

    Time travel happens and the Ryu Twins accidentlly wipe out the Dinosaurs. The strongest primevals infiltrate GGG’s space base, leading to Gai taking these on these monsters on foot. Mamoru discovers his alien heritage, the fate of his home planet and the destiny planned for him by his father, and our heroes say goodbye to their loved ones as they head to Jupiter to rescue the stranded King J-Der. There the remianing Primevals have absorbed the moons of Jupiter, before combining to make a planet sized Zonder that our Brave Heroes have to invade and destroy from the inside. And in the 11th hour, one of the main cast is forcibly converted to a new, supremely powerful machine species which comes close to destroying the world. It all adds up to a tear stained finale that had me weeping out of joy. GaoGaiGar may be a kids show, but its one that resonates with me, and I find I cherish it above all others. In my mind, there’s no question about it. GGG is the atypical Super Robot show, the most perfect definition of everything that genre is and means.

    2. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – Yes i know. I am little better than those morns you see on the internet who say GRRN LAGGAR IS DA BEST ANIMEZ EVAR. But I adore this series, I truly do. Everyone does really, and I do too. I love how its Gainax covering the entire spectrum of mecha history over the course of 26 episodes. i love the circular nature of the plot, a literal and metaphorical spiral. I love the hyper-kinetic animation style, the memorable characters, the eminantly quotable dialogue. I love the constant escalation and incermental development of its themes, I love how Getter Robo’s theme of humanity’s infinite potential growth achieves a far happier ending. I love how Simon learns and grows as a human being, and how the perfect ending refelcts this (if any of you thought he should have just used Spiral Power to bring Nia back, CONGRATULATIONS ON MISSING THE ENTIRE POINT OF THE SHOW). I even love how it managed to fit in both a Hot Springs episode AND a Beach episode, very Gainax. So much love for this show.

    And my current number one favourite anime of all time is…

    1. Giant Robo: The Animation – I truly adore this OVA. It has everything I want in an anime, and superb production values to boot. Decent animation, awesome action, a score that will sear itslef into your brain, a breakneck plot filled with intrigue, twists and turns that reward multiple viewings, and characters that you’ll fall in love with (Ginrei-saaaaaannnn…). Without a doubt the best thing Imagawa has ever produced, which only makes the absensce of a proper sequel the more galling. This series was the middle part of an envisoned trilogy that would have knocked our socks off, and it took them the better part of a decade just to finish six episodes. It takes characters from 30 years worth of a single creator’s output, and moulds it into a retro-60’s tale of sacrifice, love, betrayal, legacy, hate, and venegence. It asks IS HAPPINESS TRULY POSSIBLE WITHOUT SACRIFICE, and brother, I STILL don’t have an answer to that (but yes, it is).

    Chinese folk heroes fight alongside alien invaders and criminals in Italian suits, everybody has superpowers, and robots are big, cumbersome things, like bringing an ICBM to a knife fight. The mecha design is unique in a word, and Robo himself is perhaps my favourite mecha of all time. A Giant Robot/surrogate father that obeys your every command froma mere wristwatch? That is every child’s DREAM. The only treatment of “A Boy and His Giant Robot” I can think of would be the Iron Giant, and that is high praise indeed. The final battle in episode 6 is my favourite animation sequence of all time, and thg ending reduces me to a blubbering wreck. I simply cannot reccomend this show enough. EVERYONE needs to see it. That simple.

    And there’s my top thirty. Thank you Ghosty for your own list and invitation of replies, and to Reid for encouraging to bare my shame alongside him. Thanks to everyone, and I hope you found at least one thing on my list that peaked your interest.

    • Reid says:

      Wow. What a finale! Matt, you’ve some serious skills, brother – and, if might quote Robert Howard for a moment – “suffer ye no guilt”, because this, sir, is what I call a fantastically thought-out list! You don’t have a single reason to be ashamed of either your selections or your defense/explanation of each one. Particularly powerful was your rationale behind “Gunbuster”, “GGG” and “Giant Robo”, which befits their high standing in this list.

      Gunbuster is, to me, the most emotionally rewarding anime I’ve ever seen. It gets me pumped with the super-robot attacks and crazy battles (BUSTAAAA MISAIRU! BUSTAAA SHIIIIIIRUDO! BUSTAAAA BIIIIIIIMU!), it makes my spirit soar with its scope and depth of character and it makes me longingly wish Noriko and Kazumi never had to make such a huge sacrifice. However, their tearful “welcome home” after fighting at the reaches of space for a millenia crushes my heart with happiness – all they gave up was not in vain at all! The people haven’t forgotten them even if their language isn’t the same any more and I’ll never forget Gunbuster either.

      GaoGaiGai is one of those shows that is greater than the sum of its parts (how fitting since it’s a gattai show!) and it truly does have the capability to transport a person who grew up loving the super-robot tradition into that exciting Saturday morning state of mind. I think you summed that up in a clean, concise way that shows just how much enthusiasm you have for the show, so I won’t belabor the point. GaoGaiGar will forever stand as the most glorious, shining example of a super-robot show because of its undying uptimism: there’s no grimdark here – there is suffering and there is pain – but courage is ulimately all that’s needed to make any situation right! That is some powerfully motivating stuff.

      Finally, we’ve got “Giant Robo: The Animation: The Day the Earth Stood Still”. I’m so happy to see that you chose this as your number-one-favorite because that takes me off the hook. I had it poised there for a long time but my fanboyism for other shows sadly carried it down the list. I still can’t help but feel cowardly for doing this (though not quite as bad as Daisaku, so I don’t need to have you cut a line OF FIRE across a bridge or anything, OK?). However, all those bad feelings get mitigated by the obvious love you’ve shown for GR. I’ll never forget how hard you campaigned in SaiMecha for Robo. You’ve said all the things about the show that I wish I knew how to say. I saw the first episode of Giant Robo at age 7, around the time I watched Guyver and Gatchaman, and that experience is a large part of what made being an anime fan so rewarding for me as I got older. However, Giant Robo is one of those things that transcends not only its genre (what IS its genre anyway?!) but its medium to stand among the greats of film tradition.

      Thanks so much for sharing your list. I’ve got a lot of work to do to get mine on your level.

      • Matt Wells says:

        You may always quote Robert E. Howard. In fact, new rule. Everyone quote him. NOW. Didn’t know you were a Conan fan! 🙂 You just continue to impress me man… That last episode of Gunbuster is so good it almost overshadows the entire series. I don’t care who you are, if the ending didn’t make you cry then you have no soul. Thanks for summing up the appeal of GaoGaiGar in a single paragraph, it took me three. With the power of courage, even the impossible becomes possible!!!

        No problem dude, you don’t need to leave stuff off your list just to appease me. You pu the stuff on there that you love, and you can definitely appreciate something even if you don’t love it more than something objectively worse. I am just smitten with Giant Robo, heart and soul. I was a generation or two after the guys who saw thew Manga dub of Giant Robo, and even then I saw it as a semi-grown man. To love it for as long as you have, and at such a young age, that completely validates your opinion. And GR CAN be limited to a mere two genres, though as you point out it’s more like twenty at once. TV tropes to the rescue! Robo is a cross between traditional tragic opera (but without the singing) and a Chinese literary and film convention called “Wuxia”.

        But I wouldn’t call what I did for Robo in Sai-Mecha “campaigning”, all I did was flail ineffectually at Ghosty as he called Robo a fake Egyptian crybaby… PHILISTINE!!!

    • 5. My Neighbor Totoro — this was my favorite Ghibli film for many years. I fucking watched this with my mom. This gives me peace that even if my next child is another daughter, I’ll be more than ok with it.

      4. Diebuster was better, and Evangelion better than both. Why? Both went beyond just remembering love. This isn’t to say I disagree with your claims about Gunbuster at all. To take Evangelion away from history is a huge idiocy. I too love this show and have just recently rewatched it.

      3. GGG — nostalgia is a tremendous part of your reasoning. Nothing bad or wrong about it.

      2. A lot of people hate TTGL, for all sorts of stupid reasons. However, there are also many who’ve seen it who were initially impressed but hold less and less regard for it as time goes by. I know where I stand: the show is a triumph. I love it for being such and for being a great part of increasing my affinity for anime: as did Evangelion did before it, and Gunbuster & Diebuster later on.

      1. Happiness can exist without sacrifice. People conflate happiness with something external, like a goal that you have to fight a dragon (or a giant robot) for. They think it’s something to check yourself if you have it: as if to stick a thermometer up your ass. Happiness is a choice. It is a way of being.

      Do you think Taiso “has” happiness as he fights to the death against Alberto? He HAS it? No, he IS happy.

      • Matt Wells says:

        EVA is important, and a world without it would be all the poorer for its absence. No EVA, and western fandom would likely have never experienced the turn of the century anime boom; we’d have far less anime, it would be far less profitable here, and the presence of mecha titles would be neglible. And I would likely not be fan of it. Trust me, I GET just how influential EVA is.

        I just meant a part of me wishes Anno hadn’t gone batshit insane, bitterly turned on the stuff he used to love as a kid, and go into the wilderness for ten years. Still, it was probably either that, or he would have ended up putting a bullet in his head age thirty. Mental illness is not something you should get out of your system through hard work (unless you’re Vincent Van Gough, or your name is Yoshiyuki Tomino).

      • Matt Wells says:

        Whether happiness is possible without sacrifice is a matter of personal opinion. In Giant Robo, we are EMPHATICALLY given the answer YES. This is a show built around the concept of heroic sacrifice, what else could Imagawa’s answer be? What we think is irrelevant, the show says it is necessary. Dr. Folger was willing to sacrifice his reputation and livelihood if it meant achieving the beautiful night for his children. When he saw the incomplete Shizuma Drive, he pushed himself so hard he died, just to ensure that the sacrifices humanity had been through so far would not be in vain.

        To paraphrase Murusame, look at Taiso, look at Youshi? If they didn’t sacrifice themselves for Daisaku, what the hell did they die for?! They were happy to help him alright, they loved him like a son. But would they have rather lived? Would Taiso rather have lived to 100, his wife be able to concieve and a brood of children to mourn him? Of course he would! When he faces Alberto, he’s not happy because he’s brawling with the closest thing he has to an equal. He’s happy because he knows his sacrifice has saved his wife and his friends, that his death is not in vain. He is SATISFIED. But is he truly happy? Even the momentary satisfaction he gets is built on his own self-sacrifice.

        Every person in that series makes sacrifices to achieve happiness for others, even if that happiness is just restoring order and peace. For every choice we make, every happy end, we sacrifice the possibility of something else. One outcome might result in less happiness than the other, but it is still a happiness forgone. That’s what gives happiness its meaning and value, would happiness be worth a damn if it didn’t cost us something? To achieve happiness without sacrifice is a noble goal, but as Murasame points out to Daisaku, to believe you can always be happy without giving something up is the height of childishness.

        And by the example of his friends, he finally matures and accepts the truth of what Murusame has to say. But that still doesn’t stop him from forever searching for a way to achieve that happiness without sacrifice. He resolves to never let anyone go through the losses such sacrifices cost him. He decides to become a man who makes the world a better place. And THAT is the best way to honour the sacrficies made for him.

        • That’s one way to read it.

          What I’m saying is that regardless of circumstance, one can choose to be happy.

          One can go into battle with great things hanging in the balance being an angsty little fuck (Ikari Shinji, Kira Yamato, 98756586985678687295287 robot pilots).

          Or one can go into battle when all of existence hangs in the balance with EFFERVESCENT JOY regardless of circumstance (Simon the Driller).

          This is all I mean. Giant Robo poses this dramatic question, but that’s all it is, a dramatic question.

  23. Yi says:

    I knew Utena would be somewhere on this list. ^ ^ “End of the World.”

  24. kadian1364 says:

    Cool list, bro. Kind of makes me want to watch less anime momentarily to write more. Like finishing that favorites list I started a year ago, or something.

    “perhaps the best example of what I consider better than perfect.” My thoughts exactly on LotGH. True love of a favorite show isn’t blind to its flaws, but being especially cognizant of what aspects you’re attached to. Zeta, on the other hand, would likely make a very different kind of list of mine.

    • Hehe, I believe that Z Gundam would be beloved by a Gundam fan, that is someone who watches Gundam shows and has crossed a certain threshold of affinity. This won’t hold true for everyone who likes Z, but I think it works as a general touchstone.

      The dynamics of this also work within something like LotGH, where at some point… you LOVE the fact that Reuenthal did those backflips, and stopped Shenkcopp’s battleaxe of deadly death with a fucking butter knife (it was a dagger but still).

  25. Reid says:

    Here’s the middle 10 of my Top 30 Anime List. At the risk of reiterating what others have said about some of these same selections, I’ll try to remain true to the spirit of the list-making process. Hating will be kept to a minimum because there is still so much love to go around!

    20. Mazinkaiser SKL (OVA, 2011) – If “Bokurano” is what happens when somebody decides to emphasize the realistic outcomes of a giant robot battle, “Mazinkaiser SKL” is what happens when somebody decides to emphasize the most testosterone-infused, brutal and METAL aspects of the genre without any of the consequences. Seriously, if you haven’t seen SKL, you don’t know what real robo-carnage is. Magami and Kaido (our…”heroes”?) are homicidal maniacs – they make Ryouma Nagare look like he isn’t even trying with their disregard for decency – but they are probably some of my favorite protagonists in recent years’ anime viewing. This whole (short) series is one giant refuge in audacity (an invincible tower of iron, perhaps?) and it works. It’s like a more metal Old Spice commercial with giant robots thrown in. It’s so manly I don’t even know if females can watch it without getting pregnant. We need a sequel. Yesterday. When the last sequence remembers love for the Master Gundam Riding Fuunsaiki how can the eventual sequel be anything but even more amazing?! Don’t answer that.

    19. Macross Plus – Movie Version (Movie, 1995) – No point for me to say much more about “Plus”. Ghostlightning, Mr. Macross himself, already said everything worth saying about it, so all I’ve left to say is something from my own experience: as an aviation enthusiast, this entry in the Macross series goes the farthest to fulfilling everything I want to see in a fictional work involving fighter pilots and their machines. The fact that these planes are also giant robots just adds to the appeal. This is the best dogfighting I’ve ever seen in anime – not the most realistic or the ones with the highest stakes – but the BEST.

    18. Getter Robo: Armageddon (OVA, 1998) – Matt, King of Getters, said what needs to be said. Just look at his entry about it. This is my favorite hot-blooded super-robot series, even moreso than GaoGaiGar, which appears higher in the list. How do I rationalize this? Getter Robo Armageddon doesn’t have much in the way of a positive message. It does, however, satisfy a very basic need I have for super-robot shows: they have to make me understand raw power – and Shin Getter is about as powerful as it gets. Stoner SUNSHINE indeed.

    17. Turn A Gundam (TV series, 2000) – This is my most recently completed Gundam series and I was blown away by just how good it is. What a change in direction from Tomino’s past efforts…well, all his previous (read: more gruesom) efforts except “Brain Power’d” but that’s neither here nor there. My enthusiasm for the show was initially dampened somewhat BECAUSE of the lack of violence and killing, which had for so long been a staple of every Gundam show I’d seen. Loran, with his allegiance to his earthnoid friends and his Moonrace heritage, is in no hurry to see both sides kill each other. And that’s another interesting take on Gundam’s perpetual “earth vs space colonists” conflict – in “Turn A”, neither side is shown to be even remotely bad at all! Sure, there are agitators on both sides, but the real source of the conflict is just a misunderstanding between two basically good groups of people…until Gym Ghingnham’s forces show up and try to continue all the wars humanity’s moved past.

    Beyond the funky mechanical designs (Turn A is one of my favorite Gundams and Harry’s SUMO is one of my favorite mobile suits – period), what keeps drawing me back to “Turn A” is the posibilties afforded by the setting. I’m a big fan of Robert Howard and other 30s pulp writers and one of their major themes is the passage of time. In the Kull and Conan stories, Howard included just enough detail for readers to figure out that the setting was actually Earth’s distant past. In “Turn A Gundam” we’ve got the opposite scenario – the Universal Century’s distant future (indeed the future of all the different Gundam alternate universes made up until 2000, so there’s no SEED to be found).

    16. Vision of Escaflowne (TV series, 1996) – I first watched the awful English dub of this show when it briefly aired on Fox Kids here in the States, a decision I suspect was made to cash in the success “Gundam Wing” had on Cartoon Network. I liked the show but never finished it since it didn’t finsh airing before Fox yanked it off their Saturday morning programming block. Years later, while browsing at Best Buy I came upon the full box set and knew I had to pick it up. I watched, totally swept up by the drama and scope of the story. The music, my first exposure to the work of Yoko Kanno, was just as moving as the personal struggles of the show’s great cast of characters and romance of the its medieval fantasy setting (not so differnt from “Dunbine” actually). The conclusion of the story was handled very well, to my notion, filled as it was by the sad parting of our hero and heroine. The experience of rediscovering this classic was one of my favorite anime viewing experiences.

    I’ve got to head out for a while, but I’ll try to get the rest of the list posted when I can get back to a computer. Sorry for breaking up the list like this.

    • Matt Wells says:

      Yay! Part Deux! Some quick impressions:

      20. MEEEEEEETTTTTAAAAAALLLLLLLL!!!!! (Cue epic guitar solo/headbanging).

      19. Awww man, Plus. It’s weird: I liked this show, but beyond a rather superficial level (the animation, the music, the fights) it didn’t connect with me emotionally. And I was pissed off that the otherwise inferior movie version contained a load of scenes that actually explained the emotional context of the series. And the movie ending is so good, it pisses me off that they couldn’t include it episode 4. Guess they ran out of cash (again).

      18. The second to last attack in this show cuts three moons of Jupiter in half. By accident. The last “shine sparks” a fuck wound in the universe, because “if there’s a
      hole, it’s a man’s job to THRUST into it!!!” Getter King? Moi?! I reserve that honour for the maestroes who to this day are scalating the entire Getter Robo saga. Drop by their site and give ’em a donation sometime, if you can spare it. That goes for everyone reading this!

      17. I promise I’ll watch this, just as soon as Bandai USA releases the DVDs! Swear by all that is holy, unholy, blasphemous and aetheistic!!!

      16. Err, I saw the Youtube abridged series, does that count? Nope, thought not. Okay then. More for the mountain of stuff I have yet to watch. 😦

      Keep it up man, my body can take it!

    • 20. Here’s how: A VOLCANIC ISLAND IN SPACE, WHERE THE EARTHQUAKES AFFECT THE WHOLE GALAXY. Of course the island will have medieval fortresses, with tower defenses that CHANGE into giant mechanical beasts.

      17. That denouement is king.

      16. I used Flying Dragon as my personal theme during my wedding reception:

      Was born in the year of the Fire Dragon.

  26. Reid says:

    Sorry for the huge delay. I realize that few may be interested in me continuing to harp on this thread, but at the risk of being too late to the game for many to care, I’m going to continue. Between a crazy-busy work schedule and visiting my grandfather in the hospital, obviously completing and presenting my list has been low on my priorities list, so I hope you’ll forgive my tardiness.

    Anyway, on with the list! I’ll try to hammer it out as quickly as possible since the discussion on the blog has for the most part moved on. Do feel free to comment if you want to!

    15. Rebuild of Evangelion 2.22 (Movie, 2009) – This is the second of three ongoing series in my list but it already has done what I wanted it to do: restore my faith in a story that I came to violently reject. I felt betrayed by the end of the original “Evangelion” storyline – I realize this is nothing new, many people feel this way – but I felt so much compassion for the characters that to have things wind up like they did…well, to say the least I was not happy, nor even satisfied in a sad, melancholic way with the conclusion of the story. Even if this is the case or not, I can’t help but feel like I was deliberately punished for having genuine empathy for the tragic characters centric to the show, to say nothing for all the innocent peole who died offscreen. “Rebuild”, particularly its latest entry, my choice for the No. 15 spot, has already accomplished much of what I wanted to see in Eva but was “cheated” out of in the original series: Shinji becomes a man, Asuka gets a chance at redemption, Rei opens up to others, etc. I feel like this movie series is, like Kawaru said as he descends from the heavens in Eva Mk. 06, rewriting the established “Evangelion” timeline as he does it, going to “give [me] a chance to be happy” this time.

    14. The Cockpit (OVA, 1993) – I ALMOST put the seminal “Megazone 23”, the first successful OVA, in this spot at the turning point of my list. Despite some stellar music and a story that remembers love for one of my favorite “rock n roll” fables, “Streets of Fire”, the lack of “payoff” from the first movie and sub-par quality of the second two leaves me enjoying mainly just the music. Instead, I’ve got “The Cockpit”, a powerful three-short-film anthology based on Leiji Matsumoto’s manga “Battlefield”. This was one of the first works of fiction other than the wonderful Lee Marvin/Toshiro Mifune movie “Hell in the Pacific” that looks at WWII from the perspective of the Axis powers, and though I definitely don’t harbor simpathies for the ideologies that lead the Nazis and the Imperial Japanese military to make war on their neighbors in the name of conquest, I can and do feel for the rank-and-file soldiers who took up arms at their country’s behest. Particularly moving is the first entry in the OVA, called “Slipstream”, which deals with disgraced Luftwaffe pilot Erhardt von Rheindars and his moral dilemma: save the woman he loves (the daughter of a German scientist coerced into building a nuclear bomb for the Reich) or allow the destruction of the bomber carrying the weapon and his love, thereby preventing the use of an atomic weapon by the Nazis. Erhardt’s predicament makes for an incredibly haunting piece of drama and it’s stuck with me over the years since I first saw it. This is the kind of story that makes me wish Gundam tried to tell truly great stories more often.

    13. Sword of the Stranger (Movie, 2007) – This movie has the one of the best-animated fight scenes in anime, hands down. That final sword duel between the nameless ronin hero (who pays tribute to the great samurai action films of the ’60s and ’70s) and his European rival (who really just wants a strong opponent) in the employ of some twisted Ming Dynasty cultists, is right up there with the best sword fights I’ve ever seen. The story itself is plenty action-packed but obvious from the start. There’s no guile to this one, just terrific fights one after another until the end. For me, that’s reason enough to love it.

    12. Science Ninja Team Gatchamn (TV series, 1972-1974) – This show and me go way back. My first love as far as cartoons went was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and after that came “Batman: The Animated Series”, which was followed by “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” at age 5 in 1993. Then, when I reached second grade, Cartoon Network stared broadcasting this crazy thing called “G-Force” about the time I got home from school. I was hooked from the start. It took the teamwork and sometimes antagonistic family dynamics I loved from Ninja Turtles and Power Ranger, the awesome gritty superhero stuff from Batman and the crazy japanese-ness I quickly came to love after seeing “Guyver” some of “Giant Robo” all in one. In my later life I tracked down some of the dvd releases of the original “Gatchman” (much much more gritty than “G-Force” “Battle of Planets” “Eagle Riders” etc. as the show was called upon Western localization) I got even more into the show. The enormous length of the series, at 105 episodes, is daunting – I’m first to admit I haven’t seen every episode yet, but it’s just so freakin’ cool that I know it’ll always be my top superhero show. I’ll put it to you this way: if I had a choice between Batman or Joe the Condor to have on my side in a fight, I’m going with Joe all the way.

    11. High School of the Dead (TV series, 2010) – This was the most pivotal anime of 2010 for me. Even more than my No. 1 choice, which says a lot about how much I got into “HSotD”. I’d need way too much space to talk about this one and my web browser is acting wonky as of this writing, so I’ll field any questions as they come in. Like Ghostlightning said in his “Purpose of Anime” series, “High School of the Dead” is the best way to get fanservice and character development in one go. Animation is great, action is tense, story is pretty gripping, characters are well-fleshed out (kukuku) and the girls…oh Lord. I would eagerly fight through the zombie apocalypse with Rei or Saeko at my side…

    I gotta take a break because I think the power is going to go out soon thanks to this awesome topical storm in the Gulf of Mexico, so hopefully there will be a conclusion to this fiasco of a list sometime this evening. Thanks again!

    • Reid says:

      Jeez, guys. I’m really sorry for the typos. I was trying to hit “post comment” as quickly as possible and I didn’t have time to proof this entry. Sorry again. You’d think I’d be better at this, being a scribe by trade as I am 🙂

    • Nothing to forgive, I always care. If you notice anything about me as a blogger, I give more fucks.

      15. Don’t get your hopes up necessarily. Fuel your speculation with this: In any case, I wrote my piece on Eva TV and my opinion on it stands. What I expect from Evangelion is cruel, bitter, twisted darkness in the guise of a hopeful message. More of this please.

      13. Best swordfight ever.

      12. I watched these as a kid. Galactor wore lipstick. Trauma ensued.

      11. Love this show. I don’t really have a lot of affinity for the term “development,” but then again characters are fictional constructs so I will live with it.

      • Reid says:

        Those girls in “HSotD” were already pretty “developed” anyway, so any more “development” and they’d probably fall over bwahahaha. But seriously: I am Kohta. The fact that he is Guy Shishio/Joe Higashi/Shiro Amada means that I am awesome…doesn’t it?

  27. fanaddict22 says:

    First time visitor here. Real swell site ya have here. 🙂

    I’m just so happy you’re not a K-On! hater. That’s all I wanted to say, really.
    More power to ya! u_u7

  28. Xard says:

    Haahahahahahahahhahahaha so I DID end up guessing your entire top 5 correctly! Haha!


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

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