Monday, November 29, 2010

My Top 10 Favorite Anime

The question "What are your favorite anime series?" always rises when going to conventions and being surrounded by otakus. Strangely enough, I actually have a hard time answering that one. I've watched so many that I've never put them in any particular order or preference. There were just the ones I liked and ones I never found favorable. Still, I think there is always at least one anime you like over others, and it shows when you are either buying merchandise or speaking to a fellow anime enthusiast.

After giving it much thought, I've  managed to come up with a list of my personal top 10 favorite anime. It was difficult at first, because I had so many that I liked, but I didn't want to make a top 20 or a top 50 for that matter. Again, it is a personal list. I am not saying the anime I've chosen are the best ones of all time. I just feel like the anime I've picked touched me in a way that others could not. Some are nostalgic, funny, action packed, dramatic and just plain random.

I'd also love to hear from you guys! What are your top favorite anime series?


#10 Lucky Star

Lucky Star, an anime about the every day life adventures of several Japanese school girls attending high school, was recommended to me by a friend who found out I liked Azumanga Diaoh. "You should watch Lucky Star if you liked Azumanga, you'll love it!" Taking her recommendation into account, I sat through the first episode and fell completely in love with the series from the start.

Visuals: The first thing that came to my attention was the art style. Never had I seen such cute...almost edible looking character designs! It was like nothing I had seen before. The colors used for each character stood out in a way that made you want to keep watching in awe. It was like pure eye candy. That's it, it was candy.

Relatable: Konata was a character I completely related to. She loves video games, anime and manga, and is constantly distracted by them, especially when exams are right around the corner, so she has no choice but to do last minute cramming. Staying up till 3-4 in the morning playing mmorpgs is something I did all the time, and couldn't help but laugh when I saw this fictional anime character doing it to. She's a complete nerd and I only wish I could find a friend like her in real life!

Hilarious: At first, I had a hard time catching on to the jokes that were made, especially because the girls would ramble on about things that were completely irrelevant. But as I continued to watch each episode, I found myself laughing more and more at the silly parody jokes (Konata's cousin driving Initial-D style) or the American foreign exchange student who thinks Japanese culture only revolves around Maids. Also, at the end of each episode, they play a small segment called "Lucky Channel" which is hosted by Akira, a cute, energetic school girl with an awful temper and her assistant Minoru, who is normally threatened and even physically abused by her. This anime will really make you laugh!


#9 Trigun
Trigun, the story of a man named Vash the Stampede who is wanted for sixty billion double dollars, is number 9 of my list. When I first caught a glimpse of Trigun on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, I was fairly impressed. The dubbing was actually very good, and the characters incredibly likable. I continued watching every each episode diligently and came to love it. 
Hilarious: One thing I loved about Trigun was the humor. At first, I thought it would be a stuck up, serious anime filled with nothing but action. But when Vash made that face in episode one after almost being blown up by bounty hunters, I knew it would be funny. Along with its complexity and emotional characters, Trigun always knew how to lighten up the mood and make you laugh out loud. The way the two insurance ladies chased after Vash in order to cause less damage and his partner in crime, Wolfwood, who was ironically a priest skilled at yielding guns, added to the story's humor as well.
Action packed: It was a real relief to watch an anime that wasn't a high school drama where there would be one male protagonist and over 10 females trying to win his love. The story took place in a western themed atmosphere, where there existed bounty hunters and cowboys. The action scenes were amazing to say the least. It flowed smoothly and wasn't overwhelming either. The things Vash would do to avoid taking someone's life made the action even more interesting, where he didn't just use his gun just to kill people off, but used clever techniques to win a battle without having to end anyone's life.

#8 The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
The popular anime, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, is number 8 on my list. I found out about Haruhi after attending New York Anime Festival 2007 and seeing so many posters and merchandised based off the anime. I was incredibly puzzled and amused when I saw people dancing in large numbers to "Hare Hare Yukai" and was convinced to take a look. After watching the series, I finally understood what the hype was all about.

Fantasy: At first, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya just seems like a normal high school drama. I really didn't know it was science fiction until around episode 3, when Yuki begins to reveal to Kyon that Haruhi isn't an ordinary girl. After finding out that she has the ability to change the world to her liking, and that others even look at her as a god, I was totally shocked. It was a refreshing idea. The anime does a great job of balancing fiction with reality and sometimes you can't even tell them apart. The fight scene between Yuki and Asakura must of been one of my top favorite scenes from the series.

Funny: Aside from the science fiction, Haruhi Suzumiya is one funny anime. Kyon is just cynical, Haruhi is extremely bossy and does anything in her power to get what she wants (literally), Mikuru is constantly being violated by Haruhi, Yuki won't show any emotions no matter how drastic the situation and Koizumi is a laid back esper who worships Haruhi. The blend of these characters and personalities makes it a great anime.

Puzzling: Another reason for loving this anime is its ability to confuse and bewilder its audience. If you watch the anime in the order it actually aired in Japan, the episodes are actually out of order. I did notice something was strange as I watched it, noticing that each episode didn't smoothly flow after the other. It was then that I found out that Haruhi was putting them in the order she pleased, and just a she wished, they were aired as so. It was hilarious finding this out and then watching them in the right order, which made more sense to me. Other things such as the time Mikuru fires an actual beam out of her eye confused me until I finished watching the series.


#7 Outlaw Star

Outlaw Star is number 7 on my list. It is set space and based on a man named Gene Starwind with his associate Jim who go through many adventures after become the pilots of the Outlaw Star and become caretakers of Melfina, an android needed in order to guide the ship correctly.  I caught episodes on Cartoon Network's late block, and it quickly became one of my most favorite anime series growing up.

Nostalgic: It has become my favorite for personal nostalgic reasons. I remember first watching it back in 2001, when it started airing on Cartoon Network, and I was only 12 years old. I was just getting into anime back then, so I was completely fascinated. It had some adult themes and even a bit of nudity (very little because they tried so hard censoring everything, even Melfina's cleavage!) which made me realize that this type of "cartoon" was wayyy different from the usual western cartoons I watched. Trying hard to stay awake until 12:30am and making sure my mom wouldn't catch me watching TV that late, were a few of my challenges when trying to catch an episode ^-^; *sigh* Good times xD

Action Packed: The action in Outlaw Star is fast paced and kept you at the edge of your seat. From the first episode, you a put in a world full of outlaws, space ships, guns and really hot girls. It is definitely a change from the normal high school dramas I normally watch which makes this anime special. The story line works well with all the action and even for such an aging anime, it still looks and sounds amazing on a large flat screen with surround sound.

Funny: As always, I have to mention the humor in the anime. It is one of my most favorite aspects when it comes to watching anime series, and truthfully, every anime series has its own humor. But in Outlaw Star, the humor is more adult orientated and less silly compared to high school dramas. For instance, as a little girl I didn't notice Fred Lou was a homosexual until I watched it over as an adult, and I couldn't help but laugh. Aisha Clan-Clan was one of my most favorite characters and supplied some hilarious comedic relief.


#6 Azumanga Daioh

Azumanga Daioh, making it to number 6 on my list. I was introduced by a good friend of mine, who lent me the entire DVD box set for a few weeks to check it out myself. At first, I couldn't believe there were animes out there like this: plotless and completely random. But as I continued watching, my love for Azumanga Daioh grew deeper. What is there not to love about this anime?

Random: I wasn't particularly aware of this type of anime at first, where there was absolutely no plot. I remember trying to figure out what the plot was. But after watching a few episodes, I gave up and started to enjoy the anime and its randomness. It was a nice change from trying to keep up with a complex story like in other animes. I loved being able to feel relaxed and just laugh, without having to put much of my own reasoning into it. You can catch any episode, even it if wasn't in order, and still enjoy yourself.

Relatable: I related a lot with this anime. At the time, I was also a high schooler, and because we didn't have aliens or time travelers or space ships, we just made random jokes about life. We enjoyed ourselves and lived our daily lives keeping each other company until we all graduated high school. We even matched ourselves to the characters that we were reminded of the most. I got compared to Miss Osaka, someone I did act a lot like. I was the airhead in the group and made absolutely no sense of things ^-^;;

Funny: Again, it was hilarious! The everyday life adventures they have and the different personalities added the the anime's charm. Chiyo-chan was an adorable child prodigy, who was the one who made the most sense in the group, but also still acted her age. Ms. Sakaki was a large girl self-conscious of her own height, and was perceived as being cool, but in reality, loved small and cute things like cats, who all seem to hate her. There are so many girls to talk about, I'll be here all night, but they all make the anime incredibly entertaining.


#5 Gurren Lagann

We've finally made it to my top 5 favorite. Gurren Lagann, an anime that follows Kamina and Simon who escape their small underground village into the outside world, where they meet Yoko, a girl who fights off "beastmen" with her large gun and go through many mishaps along the way. Aside from it's popularity, it is my 5th top favorite anime for many reasons.

Mecha: I'm usually not into mecha because I've ironically found it a bit boring. Giant flying robots never was my thing, and I remember when I tried watching Gundam episodes and be bored to tears. But I have to say that Gurren Lagann has done an excellent job at introducing me to mecha the right way. From the first episode, I was completely fascinated by the different mechas involved, and how each one had a personality corresponding to the person piloting it. The mecha's even had their own emotions and facial expressions which was hilarious.
Visuals and animation: I love the art and flow of this anime. It's crazy and face paced, which reminded me alot of FLCL (in fact Hiroyuki Imaishi, the man who directed Gurren Lagann, also animated FLCL). The art is is still unique from any other anime and beautiful in its own way. It's the only anime that can have both Kamina's masculinity along with Nia's cute and bubbly character design. The fight scenes are amazing and will keep you on the edge of your seat; it is practically impossible to remove your eyes from the screen.

#4 Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura was one of my most favorite show as a kid. It first aired in the states on KidsWB in 2001 I believe. It follows a young girl granted with magical powers in order to seal cards created by a powerful sorcerer named Clow Reed. The concept seemed interesting to me so I continued watching and fell completely in love with the series. 

Visuals: I mainly love Cardcaptor Sakura for it's art. As many of you already know, the show was created by a team of female Japanese artists named CLAMP. Their popular shojo art style had me hooked. I loved how the colors were used, and the individual character designs. The Clow cards themselves looked pretty darn awesome and Sakura's outfits were absolutely adorable. I looked forward to every episode just to see what outfit she would be wearing next (which was another thing I remember finding interesting as a child; the fact that in anime, characters changed their outfits once in a while when they we'rent obligated to wear their school uniforms as opposed to western cartoons where they would wear the same clothes every single time!). 

Magical girl anime: I never really watched "magical girl" anime until I started watching Cardcaptor Sakura. It was interesting seeing a small, adorable Japanese school girl kick some serious ass with magic. The fact that each card gave her a unique power was so cool to me. Being able to use the basic elements such as fire, water, earth and wind along with other powers like flying, jumping high, stopping time and putting people to sleep was what made this show so amazing. The different scenarios and strategies she had to come up with when being encountered with a new card in order to seal it kept the show entertaining. 

Story: The story starts off simple enough; seal away some cards and everything will go back to normal. But as each episode goes on, things begin to get a bit complicated for poor Sakura. She has to try hard to keep the fact that she is a magical girl a secret from her family; she has to face Lee who starts off as a competitor for the Clow cards and ends up falls in love with her; after sealing all the cards she then has convert them under her own name and ownership; the list could go on! That's what made the story so intriguing, even for a kid's show. However, I have to say, after watching it over in Japanese (because the English dubs were wayyyy off) as an adult, this anime is actually more mature than it seems ^^;;


#3 K-ON!
K-ON! started airing in Japan in 2009 and I learned about it when my favorite blogger Danny Choo spoke about it in his blog. I became curious and began watching a episodes until I was almost sure this was going to be a personal favorite. It became incredibly popular over a short course of time, and before you knew it, 
K-ON! was everywhere. I have my own reasons for liking the anime so much.

Slice of Life: There is something about K-on! that is different from other anime. It is super laid back, with no plot or actual story line, except that the girls want to start a light music club and perform during the high school festival. That is all you need to know. Anyone can sit back, relax and enjoy this anime with little effort. It is fun seeing the girls go through their everyday lives while all having something in common, which is their love for music.
Creative: I love K-on! for it's creativity. Each character has a different unique personality, such as Yui's child-like behavior, Mio's maturity and cuteness, Ritsu's hyper-activeness, the list could go on. The art style is also adorable in its own way, with plenty of funny facial expressions, lovely scenes, and awesome opening and ending themes. And of course, most importantly, the songs the girls sing are awesome. I have several on my mp3 player I am willing to share with you on my upcoming blog posts.

Inspiring: I'm not sure if I'm the only one who felt this way about K-on, but I was totally inspired by the entire series. The girls are strong, talented and independent, making them excellent heroines. They practiced hard together as a band and made awesome music, all while having fun. This truly inspired me to pick up an instrument and start playing!

#2 Clannad

Clannad has made it to my number 2 spot (almost number 1) and I'm sure those who are familiar with the anime know why. It is an excellent anime filled with drama, comedy, romance, action, the works. I was introduced to it through an anime review podcast and fell in love through the first episode alone. It is such an great anime, it's sad to say I can't even cover how good it is through this one blog post alone.

Story: The story revolves around a boy named Tomoya who is sick of his life, the town he lives in, his school and his family. He wants to escape from it all, until he realized how wonderful life was when he meets a girl named Nagisa, who is weak and fragile, and repeating another year of school because of her sickness. The two characters go through a lot together, in the course of two amazing seasons. It is a deep, emotional story nicely balanced with humor and a little bit of action. 

Visuals: The visuals of Clannad is amazing. The anime is crisp and clear, with lively colors and great character designs. The scenery is realistic, romantic, fun and relaxing. There are a bunch of desktop wallpapers out there with amazing official art, and I would even love to one day personally own all the Clannad art books there are to buy. 

Emotional: There aren't many animes out there that make me cry, so I was shocked to find myself tearing during many episodes of Clannad. It has a way of getting to you in an emotional level, and you can truly feel for the characters and the pain they are going through. Alot of crazy stuff happens that would make you want to curl up in a ball and cry like a baby. It was expertly written, animated and directed to get a hold of the audiences' hearts.

#1 Toradora!
I would like to proudly announce Toradora! as my 1st most favorite anime of all time. I think it truly deserves this spot. I first started watching Toradora! after watching an anime review podcast. It allowed me to check out the first episode and make my own opinion of it. I continued watching diligently, and fell completely in love with the story.

Story: I love Toradora's storyline. It starts off in a very interesting and creative way, and completely does a u-turn at the end. The anime revolves around Taiga and Ryuji, who both have crushes on each other's best friends. So once they find out (they live right next door to one another), they decide to help each other. To me, this was a completely refreshing idea! It's funny because it's usually one guy and a million girls trying to get with that one guy, but both Taiga and Ryuji are such an odd couple, it makes this anime incredibly interesting.

Taiga: Yep, I like the show for Taiga alone! I'm sure others would agree with me. First off, she's voiced by Rie Kugimiya, a famous voice actress who is known for doing tsundere roles. She is amazing at portraying Taiga as a stubborn, high-tempered girl with a secretly sweet personality. Taiga is not afraid to speak her mind and will not allow others to take advantage of her. And still, she is incredibly shy and can sometimes get caught up with words. She's just adorable!!!

Romantic: I think the romance is one of the things that made this anime my favorites. It isn't mushy romance, actually, there's only a small taste, but its so satisfying and sweet. I don't want to reveal too much because I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't watched the series yet, but it is an anime about dating so yes there are some cute romantic scenes.


  1. My favorite Anime this year has to be K-ON!! both seasons although I watched part 1 last year and it was still 1 of my favorites last year as well. It is a totally laid back series and I enjoy every moment of it especially when they start singing a new song and when that happens it just brings tears of joy to my watery eyes :'D ...btw I heard you're into figure collecting so maybe you should share your love & passion for it by joining the community as well ;)

  2. Thanks for commenting! Yeah, K-ON! was really one of the best anime to come out this year. The last episode killed me though! Poor Azu-nyan~ But at least they are coming out with a movie, can't wait!

    I've actually been thinking of joining! But I'm so intimidated by everyone and their awesome figurine collections. Mine's is so tiny. (T-T)

  3. Wonderful list that was wonderful to read!
    I found it very informative, yet fun to read. You made some good points, without KILLING the reader lol.

    Most of the animes you posted where the same ones I grew up with, so overall it was very nostalgic to read (^o^)/

  4. Haha, thank you xD I'm glad you were able to enjoy it.

  5. i love k on and i have watched liked 10 times and i still dun get tired of it

  6. I friggen love clannad, great choice of order on ur list

  7. Toradora was.... Amazing, but i honestly believe Clannad is first in my heart.

  8. clannad devería estar en el numero uno. :D