Here it is: the list of my favorite anime of all time. This is only including TV series, not OVAs or movies.
This list is objectively accurate, and anyone who disagrees is WRONG. OK, now seriously, the only thing it’s based on is my gut feeling for how much I enjoyed each show. I don’t even agree with myself on the ordering on the list from day to day. The shows may all have flaws or whatnot, and even I may see the flaws, but I enjoyed watching them, and in the end, that’s why we all watch anime, right?
Choosing your favorite anime is hard. For me, picking number one was easy. Picking the next twenty-nine was easy too. But ordering the next twenty-nine? Not so easy. I reordered them at least twenty times while writing this, and I’m sure that since I’ve published this list I’ve already changed my mind several times more.
My tastes are pretty varied, I feel, although sci-fi, fantasy, and horror are each heavily represented. The two things that draw most of these shows together are strong characterizations and creative settings.
Without further ado, here it is: the list of my favorite 30 TV anime.
30. Gunparade March
Gunparade March is a pretty good show all around, but I wouldn’t call it great. The reason it managed to eek onto the tail end of my favorites list is because of a single episode which I absolutely loved. For those who have seen the show, it’s the episode where Hayami and Mai are stranded in the snow, surrounded by monsters. Normally Mai is complaining about how Hayami is useless because he can’t fight, but here the situation is reversed. Only Hayami can walk among the monsters, because he doesn’t hate them or fear them as he chants the children’s story to himself. He has to knock the wounded Mai unconscious and carry her around so they can survive. This episode just pulled all the right strings for me: one of my favorites of all time.
29. Starship Operators
Starship Operators has a very interesting premise: a group of students commandeer a battleship, fight in a revolution, and are filmed by a reality TV crew. It has some good politics and raises interesting moral questions, and is a solid watch from start to finish. I particularly liked one character’s turn-about towards the end of the show.
28. Gigantic Formula
Gigantic Formula follows a tournament between countries’ giant robots to determine who will rule the world (more or less). The overall plot is kind of stupid (and let’s pretend the ending never happened) but the majority of the show is spent on episodic stories about the pilots from individual countries before they fight. This is where Gigantic Formula really shines: as a character study. With this episodic format, the creators were able to fully flesh out a large cast of characters and deliver a series of touching short stories.
27. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
*Tear* The show that made me cry the most. The empathy for the characters is made possible by some brilliant characterizations— the main lead, especially, grows tremendously over the course of the series. A very moving show, with some great twists.
26. Turn A Gundam
My favorite Gundam show. Turn A uses the Gundam for farming just as often as fighting. The show involves interstellar politics and traps, but the characters remain thoroughly human. Turn A shows the absurdity of war through a lighter touch than other Gundam series, and has an understaded sense of humor. The ending was a bit of a letdown, however, descending into epic mecha battles with a villain I didn’t particularly care for.
25. Crest / Banner of the Stars
This is one of my favorite romance series. The first reason being that it isn’t all about the romance, with the first series focusing on an escape from a war zone, the second focusing on large scale galactic warfare, and the third on the breakdown into anarchy of a prison planet. I also like the fact that each season makes progress in the characters’ relationship, and they are actually monogamous (somehow, monogamy seems quite rare in anime). In addition, the two lead characters complement each other very well. We have neither an unpopular loser male protagonist nor a damsel in distress. Both of them have to work together to get through their struggles. There are also deep cultural differences between the two characters. And finally, they actually have to make sacrifices for the sake of their relationship. Shows where everyone gets what they want and live happily ever after ring hollow to me.
24. Welcome to the NHK
The reason I love Welcome to the NHK is quite simple: it’s funny. The antics of Satou and friends are hilarious. It’s a wonderful dark sort of humor too. The show takes a look at hikikomoris and their efforts to overcome their problems, as well as people who are broken in other ways.
The atmosphere is what I love the most about Kamichu. It’s a show about a girl who becomes a goddess, and it’s able to maintain just the right amount of seriousness (or lack thereof). It’s humorous, relaxed and down to earth in spite of the outlandish premise. Most of our new goddess’ efforts are spent on getting the boy she loves to recognize her. The animation is also superb.
22. Rozen Maiden
Rozen Maiden is one of the most all-around solid series out there. Not a moment is wasted. It manages to tell a great story, develop some fabulous characters, and has a good sense of humor interleaved with the more serious moments. Rozen Maiden has a rather unique charm, being based around fighting magical dolls, with a lead male character whose main special power is the ability to sew. But for a show based around a boy who is too afraid to leave his house, Jun develops into a surprisingly lovable character.
21. Hourou Musuko
Hourou Musuko is the most recent addition to my favorites list. The cast is enormous, especially for a show of only eleven episodes. But the thing is, every one of the characters is more well-developed than many series’ main characters. Not a single moment in this show is wasted as it uses its time to flesh out the characters fully. I love the direction (especially the scene transitions, which flow remarkably smoothly for a show that jumps all over the place) and the animation style is unique. My only complaint is that the show wasn’t long enough.
I appreciate the double length episode format: each episode has enough time to tell a self-contained story. Katanagatari has an excellent sense of humor, along with a plot filled with twists and turns. I reccommend giving Katangatri a try… but by then, you’ll have been torn to pieces.
This is a science fiction story about orbital garbage collectors, but manages to keep its feet firmly planted on the ground and remain “realistic”. It treats on the absurdity of corporate bureaucracy, has an imaginative and believable futurisitc setting, and still finds the time to tell a moving tale of love and loss.
A truly epic show about a doctor’s quest to right his wrongs by killing the murderer whose life he saved. Monster has one of the best senses of suspense, some unforgettable and larger than life characters, and is filled with astounding twists and turns.
17. Oh! Edo Rocket
Oh! Edo Rocket isn’t all that popular, but I adore this show. Why? I thought it was hilarious, it had a unique animation style, and it also had an interesting story to tell. It even has a mathematician.
Genshiken has a special place in the hearts of many anime fans, as it follows the lives of the members of a club of otaku. It’s humorous, has a lovable cast of characters, and can be touching when it decides to. The characters show a remarkable amount of growth throughout the series, and yet also remain the same.
This doesn’t seem to be all that popular among western fans (although my impression is that it had a bigger impact in Japan), but sola is my favorite romance show. It often seems to be placed in the same category as Air, Kanon, Clannad, etc., but I honestly don’t see much similarity. All of the characters are adorable (especially the two little girls), the animation is beautiful, and it’s one of the few romance shows that has a message deeper than the glorification of erotic love. Suffice to say it has a spectacular ending as well, although I won’t spoil it.
14. Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (Kai)
Who doesn’t love watching cute girls lose their minds and brutally murder each other? In all seriousness, I didn’t originally think I would like this one either. But then I watched it and was blown away. The first season is incredibly intense— it takes a while to get going, but when it gets to Shion’s arc, around episode 15— damn. I don’t think I ever wanted a show to get a happy ending quite as badly as this one. The second season is even better, where instead of horror the focus is on unravelling the mystery, discovering the truth and everyone working together to escape their terrible fate.
13. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
This show really captured for me what it was like to be in college (well, aside from actually going to class). The format of a different alternate universe for each episode worked out beautifully, as did the wacky animation style. This show had some remarkable characters, as well as growth for the main lead as he learned to accept the choices he made.
12. Shion no Ou
This is a show about playing Shogi, but also so much more. It examines the lives of the players and their interactions, and solves a murder mystery in the process. Shion is just too cute. And an embarrassing confession: Shion no Ou inspired me to learn to play Shogi.
11. Red Garden
Red Garden is set in New York, and it actually gets the setting down surprisingly well. The characters seem genuinely American. Once again (this seems to be a recurring theme) we have an excellent characterization of four girls and their relationships. We also have an epic battle between insane vampires and immortal dolls: what’s not to love?
10. Figure 17
The second show on this list with double length episodes. The extra length helped both Katanagatari and Figure 17 a great deal, as they are able to fully flesh out a short story arc in each episode. Figure 17 has a unique format: approximately half of each episode is a down to earth, slice of life story surrounding two “sisters” and a girl’s coming of ageThe other half of each episode involves battling space aliens. The two components fit together surprisingly well.
9. Ghost Hound
Ghost Hound has strong characters (love that psychologist) and an interesting story, but the reason it’s on my favorites list is mainly due to its tense and downright spooky atmosphere. This show has some of the best production of any anime, especially the sound effects. The immersive atmosphere makes you feel fully involved with the show.
8. Book of Bantorra
Book of Bantorra has a great premise: a library collects books containing the memories of the dead. There’s also an enticing mystery regarding the true nature of the library; larger than life characters; and overall, it’s simply a lot of fun seeing what crazy things the characters will do. Volken and that ant guy are two of my favorite characters from any anime.
7. Princess Tutu
Princess Tutu is a show about little girls doing ballet. And it is beyond awesome. At first it appears to be like every other gather the magical ____ to save the prince story, but later the lines between good and evil merge and everything comes together for an unexpected but extremely satisfying conclusion.
Noein has simply one of the best sci-fi / fantasy settings, with heavy use of quantum physics and parallel worlds. It’s an emotional ride as we see the character’s growth and see their endless possibilities in parallel worlds, and as we watch the last death-throes of a falling world.
5. Denno Coil
This is another show that doesn’t seem all that popular. Denno Coil revolves around a group of children in a setting with a parallel virtual world that can be experienced by wearing special glasses. It explores the boundary between the real world and the virtual, as well as the relationships between the characters. Excellent characters and production combine to tell an immersive coming of age story. And Densuke is awesome!
4. Mouryou no Hako
I have a special place in my heart for mythology and religion, and Mouryou no Hako satisfied this craving more than any other anime. The deepest most anime go into these topics is shrine maidens and nuns, so an anime which spends over an entire episode with people sitting around a table discussing the nature of mouryou is a real treat. It also has an engaging mystery, some disturbing horror (that head honstly disturbed me more than most of Higurashi), and is the only show on my favorites list involving bishounen.
Baccano is simply the most fun show I’ve ever watched. We have several mass murderers, one of whom makes a moving love confession while covered head to toe in blood, a hilarious robber duo, several mafia gangs, a secret society working on the elixir of life, an intrepid news organization, and more. The show’s pace doesn’t skip a beat, and the characters are a joy to watch.
2. Haibane Renmei
This story follows a group of children who have been reborn as angels in a mysterious town, and follows them in a slice of life style format as they come to accept themselves and one another. This is yet another show with a great setting. And what I really like about it is that it actually doesn’t unravel most of the mysteries, leaving much open to interpretation. And once again, we have some fantastic characters.
This is it: my favorite show of all time. It’s occupied this position ever since I first watched it several years ago, and doesn’t appear to be losing its place anytime soon. Simoun is an amazing character study. I love (or hate, in the case of Neviril) every single one of the characters, all of whom are deeply flawed. The relationships between the characters are intricate and at times tragic, and the gender ambiguity adds yet another layer of depth. Simoun has a fantastic setting (another falling world show, I am a sucker for these), and even makes a creative use of time travel. The animation is beautiful, and it has the best soundtrack of any show I’ve ever seen. Simoun even has one of the best fansubbing jobs of all time (I am honestly not making this up). I love every bit of it. If you’re afraid of yuri, as I was before my first watch: don’t be. The relationships are authentic and meaningful, and this is not your stereotypical yuri show. (I’ve since become a yuri fanboy, but that’s a different story).
These shows are the ones I love the most, and the reason I watch anime.
What are your favorite anime? I look forward to hearing about your favorite shows in the comments.
100 thoughts on “My Favorite Anime”
Nice – what a surprise!
Speaking of surprises, I’ve only seen five of your top 30 series! That’ll change by summer’s end, but WOW! I guess it’s a difference in preferred genres. I don’t have much time, so I’ll post my top 20 list I keep around and then comment on the five I know about later.
20. Kaichou wa Maid-sama
19. Seto no Hanayome
18. Cross Game
16. Rurouni Kenshin
15. Arakawa Under the Bridge
14. Great Teacher Onizuka
10. School Days
9. Honey & Clover
8. Yakitate Japan
7. Samurai Champloo
4. Spice and Wolf
3. Haijime no Ippo
2. Gurren Laggan
1. Nodame Cantabile
Nice list, I like a lot of these as well and they’re a bit further down on my list (Nodame, Gurren Laggan, Spice and Wolf, Yakitate Japan, Onizuka, and Seto no Hanayome especially). I like seeing Yakitate Japan especially- it is one of my favorite shounen shows as well- absolutely hilarious. My favorite part was that episode where the stupid friend posed as The Thinker in a bread sculpture and had to go to the bathroom- potty humor at its finest.
I haven’t seen Haijime no Ippo, Major, Cross Game or Kaichou no Maid-sama. As you say, different genres, I’m not really a sports fan. I do plan to watch Cross Game though, I’ve heard that it’s very nice outside of the baseball as well. I watched halfway through Kanon and ditched it- just not my thing. I’ve gotten halfway through Honey and Clover as well, but I actually really liked that show, just kind of forgot about it. Will have to start watching it again.
Yeah this list pretty much sums up my anime interests: sports, romance, comedy and slice of life. I think anime (and television in general) exists to help fill or supplement a void in our lives. That’s a big reason the comedy and reality (or slice of life) genres are so popular: we are able to live vicariously through the characters and experience events which otherwise would never be possible.
As to your list, I’ve seen Kamichu, Katanagatari, Genshikin, Princess Tutu and Haibani Renmei.
I ended up dropping Kamichu before finishing it, but it really deserved a better fate. The plot and story aren’t bad, I just couldn’t get with it for some reason.
Katanagatari was amazing. The characters, artwork, dialogue, story and plot were all top notch. Like you said, each episode was more or less self contained. That added a unique element to the story which put it in my top 5.
Genshikin was for anyone who ever joined an anime club. As an anime itself, I didn’t think it was anything special, but I liked it a lot because of what it represented.
Princess Tutu was good. I probably would enjoy it more after watching it a second time. The thing that stuck out to me here was the ritual. You mentioned it in your Penguindrum routine and I think it applies to Tutu as well – rituals are power especially when broken.
…And finally Haibane. This probably should have cracked my top 20 list. The story was wonderfully entertaining. This and So Ra No Wo To really showed me that anime can be viewed as an art form. Good stuff.
I don’t like baseball in real life, so that would explain the hole in my watching habits. 🙂
Have you read the Genshiken manga? I actually liked it a lot more than the TV show.
So Ra No Wo To was another great show.
Wow, I’ve only seen Ghosthound and Haibane from that list. And I did like them both!
Awesome, if you’re looking for more shows to watch you know what I recommend now! 🙂
> Shion no Ou inspired me to learn to play Shogi.
Have you already watched HIDETCHI’s How to Play Shogi Videos on YouTube? If not, please check them out.
No, I haven’t, thanks for the tip! I “learned” to play Shogi but only the basics- I’m not any good at it, so this should be interesting.
Mine are kind of cliched and I’ve only watched some of what you’ve seen, but I guess I’ll say my top ten.
10. Angel Beats- story’s a mess and a bunch of the characters are kind of one-note, but I still enjoyed it. I especially loved how a lot of the episodes were basically about a bunch of bullies picking on a girl for terrible reasons, only the bullies are the protagonists.
9. FMA: Brotherhood- Do I really need to say why? However, it’s low on the list because it doesn’t have much rewatchability.
8. Samurai Champloo- Great main cast with enjoyable episodic stories, but some of the episodes were weird.
7. Baccano- So fun, but the characters don’t develop and there was no reason to play all three plotlines at the same time if they don’t have much to do with each other.
6. Mushishi- Episodic stories that made you care about the people involved within twenty-two minutes, a great main character, unpredictable endings, and great themes and animation.
5. Natsume Yuujinchou- same reason as Mushishi, but with a more likable cast.
4. Kino’s Journey- another episodic with great themes, a likable protagonist, and nice animation
3. CLANNAD (both seasons)- loved the main character, other characters weren’t as cliche as they seemed, had no fanservice, took biggest pile of cliches and went int a new direction with it, loved transition from high school to adult life, and liked the ending (even if it was a Persona 3/4 ending with more miracle power).
2. Cowboy Bebop- I don’t think I can say anything about it that anyone else hasn’t already said.
1. Durarara- One of the best cast of characters I’ve seen, loved the fact there was no main character, loved the intersections between other characters, tons of rewatchability, didn’t think second half was bad at all, looking forward to another season, and really loved how none of the relationships were stable or healthy, as well as the fact that entire show runs on those relationships. It’s like Twilight, only good.
I tend to watch anime with great characters, anime that does something different from the norm, and anime that I can re-watch a lot without getting bored. Especially love it when you can see what people don’t like about an anime you like, but you can see why and love it anyways. About to watch Wolf’s Rain and see if it affects my list or not.
I like Durara, Natsume, FMA and Angel Beats as well, just a bit further down on my list. I agree completely with you on Angel Beats – so messy, but yet so enjoyable. I’m not a big fan of Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, and Mushishi, although I couldn’t even really say why- probably I’m just not so fond of episodic series in general. Durara was fun too, but I preferred Baccano, probably because of the faster pace.
I haven’t seen Mushishi or the second season of Clannad. The first season of Clannad was decent, but from what I’ve heard the second season is much better so I will have to give it a try.
Wow, my top ten has changed a lot since a year has passed. Some of the anime I have even switched places. For example, I now like Baccano more than Durarara.
Your taste has taken a step for the better! Mine hasn’t changed that much, but I did realize I left out Code Geass, and Penguindrum has earned a place somewhere in my top 30.
Hmmm, I’ve seen exactly half of the series you have listed, and I must agree, all 15 of them are high up on my “good anime” list. You should make this blog entry a permanent page so future blog readers can easily look at it and compare their tastes to yours! I’m surprised that the other half of shows I haven’t seen consist of a lot of shows that I have never heard of before; I look forward to looking them up individually and seeing if I’ll be interested.
My favorites from your favorites list: HNKN(kai), Baccano!, Dennou Coil, Kamichu!…man, it’s tough to pick them out from the ones I’ve seen, since they were all good 🙂
Good idea, I’ll put a link to this at the top!
My favorites in no particular order:
Tatami Galaxy (just watched a few weeks ago)
Pani Poni Dash!
Worst animu ever: Clannad: After Story and Strawberry Panic
Welcome to the NHK and Princess Tutu are also excellent from your list.
I didn’t like Rozen Maiden, Sola, or Higurashi.
Kaiji: Excellent gambling/psychological anime. Kaiji goes through this series of life-or-death gambles, and the way the suspense is built up for each arc is perfect. The narrator is amazing, and he adds to the tension/drama. Visually it’s somewhat like Tatami Galaxy because it has a lot of neat metaphorical imagery and a lot of philosophy.
Pani Poni Dash: Much funnier version of Lucky Star, loaded with not just Japanese references but also a lot of Western references too (Star Trek, McDonalds, etc). The main character is a 10 year old loli who graduated from MIT and then teaches a crazy high school group. Lots of random comedy and parody. Never laughed as hard for any other series.
Those are the two most obscure ones, so I gave them some extra notes.
These are the other two on your list that I haven’t seen along with Golden Boy: I really need to give them a try, especially Kaiji. I watched the first few episodes of Pani Poni Dash but couldn’t really get into it- maybe I will give it another shot.
Just to make a top 15, I’ll add 3 more
-Welcome to the NHK
-Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
Azumanga Daioh is a great show, brings back memories. 🙂 Pokemon brings back memories too, although it hasn’t aged quite as well for me.
I’ve heard great things about Golden Boy from other people too, need to watch it.
Clannad: After Story seems to be getting mixed reviews, I stopped watching Clannad after the first series though.
Actually, Oh! Edo Rocket has two mathematicians. And Densuke is the greatest dog in anime, virtual or real.
Genzo? Who’s that?
I can’t believe I forgot about him. Ah, the metahumor.
Best romance and/or drama since I didn’t get into that earlier:
Bokuraga Ita (personal favorite)
Kimi ni Todoke
Manabi Straight! (personal favorite for drama/slice of life)
5 CM, Boku, and Manabi were big tearjerkers.
Interesting – Simoun at #1, eh? Believe it or not, I’ve never seen it. It’s been on my list for ages, though…
It’s great, you should give it a shot!
I’ve only completed about eight of these have never heard of around ten of them. On my in progress favorite list, we have three in common: Monster, Baccano! and Higurashi.
Thanks for sharing your favorites! I’ll have to try watching some of these.
Thanks for sharing!
It’s a tough to pick a favorite anime, but I’d go with H2O: Footprints in the Sand. The drama really drew me in. Great story, didn’t drag at all. From episode 6 to the end is amazing It’s comparable to AnoHana or Clannad: After Story.
Monster and NHK are very good. Baccano is good…Wouldn’t it be just as good with a linear story? The characters make up for the weird story telling, though.
I’m starting Sola…looks promising so far.
The non-linear storytelling was actually one of my favorite things about Baccano. 🙂 It really brings across the feeling of pure chaos that way.
I saw H2O but wasn’t a big fan, unfortunately. It was pretty good as far as that kind of story goes, but the whole genre just isn’t really my thing.
Are Baccano’s time-skips totally random, or were the jumps in some kind of order that made sense to you.
I re-watched H2O a couple weeks ago…I noticed that the art is average at best, and AnoHana did a better job with the same themes (ghost girl meets up with boy who has issues, etc.)
It’s still top 10 for me, but after consideration it isn’t the absolute favorite. And I can seen where people didn’t like the comedy or other aspects…especially when the comedy sometimes came out of nowhere!
It made sense to me. Part of the fun of Baccano was being confused. It might have also been totally random though.
I’ve found the same thing: for some shows I’ll go back and not enjoy them as much the second time.
I’ve only seen two of the shows: Haibane Renmei and Tokyo Magnitude. Haibane was a great show, but the focus on one of the characters in the later episodes wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted mystery, hah! 😀
My top 5 would include Aria, Toradora, Natsume Yuujinchou, Pale Cocoon (OVA), Spirited Away (Movie). If we only count shows, Cross Game and maybe… Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei ? would be in the top.
I haven’t watched so many old shows, so it’s basically just new stuff for me.
In my opinion, the best mystery is an unsolved mystery. That’s part of what I found so enchanting about Haibane Renmei’s setting.
I enjoyed Aria, but couldn’t really get into it. I have a short attention span. I’m not a big fan of Toradora – thought the whole running away from home thing was just silly.. Natsume, Pale Cocoon, Spirted Away, and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei were all great. Haven’t watched Cross Game, but it’s on my to do list.
Yeah, I also liked that Haibane Renmei. But still, it felt like the great wall-thingy was kinda left out… from mysterious to a workplace :p
If you can’t get into Aria’s atmosphere, I believe it’s pretty much impossible to watch it. It’s such a slow, calming and healing show that it plays in its own league. I yawn a lot when I watch it! But if you do happen like it in the future, you will love it. Trust me.
Toradora had a bit of a lame ending, yes… I believe the main reason I’m so in love with it is that it was one of the shows I watched when I was starting to get back into anime. It left a big impression on me. I’m still a bit scared to rewatch it.
1. FullMetal Alchemist/Brotherhood
2. Cowboy Bebop
3. Natsume Yuujin cho (all seasons)
4. Death Note
5. Code Geass/R2
7. Haruhi suzumuya (only season 1 and 1st ep of season
8. Samurai Champloo
9. Noein, 10.princess tutu, 11.ghost hound all impressed me!
12. School Rumble – funniest show EVER
13. Last exile
14. honey & Clover
15. Pandora heart (except its incomplete!!)
16. Fruits basket (same here but read the manga :P)
17. Dantalian 18. Gosick (like their timeline style)
19. Darker than black season 1
20. Shigofumi: Stories Of Last Letter (interesting concept)
thats not counting anime movies i loved!! like mononoke-hime, the girl who lept through time, spirited away, grave of the fireflies…
Haven’t finished baccano yet took so much time cuz i find it confusing, but still interesting.
Alot of ppl compare natsume to Mushishi so definitely gotta check it out (when i got the time!!)
Thanks for sharing! I personally enjoyed Natsume a lot, but couldn’t get into Mushishi. I think mainly because Mushishi was more laid back, and much less humorous.
I haven’t seen Shigofumi yet, although it’s on my todo list. I liked most of your list as well, except for Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo and Fruits Basket. And School Rumble is hilarious.
Have you seen Kaiba (directed by Yuasa Masaaki, who also did Tatami Galaxy)? I saw that recently and it is fantastic.
I have, it’s pretty good. Didn’t like it as much as Tatami Galaxy though.
The two are way different, so I don’t like to compare them. They’re both top 20 or 25s out of what I’ve seen. TG is probably better due to the comedy and a much better ending though.
I really loved Dennou Coil (just finished it two days ago)! Can’t get enough of Densuke and Kyoko, they are very cute. I really liked the beard episode. The ending worked well, but the best part is actually the first half when they are fooling around. 9/10 and highly recommended!
Noein was awesome too, I even picked up the box set for $20. Like you said, Noein and DC aren’t that popular (I’d never heard of them before your blog) but still great..
Very unique…can’t remember any other series that’s similar to either one.
Awesome, glad you liked them! The beard episode was hilarious, one of my favorites as well.
They are pretty unique. I can recommend a few things which are kind of similar, but not as good. Fantastic Children is a bit similar to Noein, lots of kids in a sci-fi setting. Haibane Renmei gives a similar feel to both Noein and Denno Coil— lots of children interacting in a mysterious fantasy setting. Kamichu has a similar feel to the more lighthearted parts of Denno Coil. Ghost Hound gives a similar feel as well, but with a touch of horror.
I’ve heard of Haibane. It has the same director and art style as Lain, which I’ll also watch very soon. Also planning to watch Simoun at some point, and I’ll also look at those other suggestions.
Maybe Angel Beats is loosely similar to Dennou Coil, with group kids in the sci-fi world, but ABeats isn’t nearly as good.
Oh, I didn’t realize it had the same director as Lain. I should watch that again, I don’t remember much. I know I vastly preferred Haibane though.
I agree, Dennou Coil is vastly superior to Angel Beats.
I felt that our tastes are very similar, which is why I’m curious about your opinion of my all time favorite anime,
Code Geass (both seasons)
(but then again it could just be my excessive love for wars stories and tragic heros…)
I love Code Geass, it actually should be on this list but I forgot. You can find some of my thoughts on it here and here.
Thank you for this list. I will definitively watch these.
Awesome, let me know if you like them!
My top 20 favorite anime are…
20. Ie Naki Ko Remi (both 1977 and 1997 versions)
19. Princess Tutu
18. Bungaku Shoujo
17. Secret of Cerulean Sand
16. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
15. Happy Birthday: Inochi Kagayaku Toki
13. A Little Princess Sara
12. Haibane Renmei
10. Les Miserables Shoujo Cosette
8. Nabari no Ou
6. Ringing Bell
5. Natsume Yuujinchou (all seasons)
4. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
3. Dog of Flanders
2. Amuri in Star Ocean
1. Shounen Onmyouji
Welcome to the site, thanks for commenting! That’s quite an interesting list, I haven’t seen seven at all and haven’t finished two. Will need to give them a try…
Yeah, I’m more into the more not-so-popular and under appreciated anime (At least two on this list are criminally underrated. One only has a Russian sub in existence!). I see you’re a bit of a sci-fi guy. You should try out Secret of Cerulean Sand: it’s a sort of kid’s anime based on a Jules Verne (famous pre-sci-fi writer and father of science fiction) book. It’s very good! You can find all the subbed episodes on Veoh.
I think I watched all these in English, so maybe you should check again…
I’ll have to give Secret of Cerulean Sand a try, sounds interesting. I used to love Jules Verne when I was younger…
Nice. Though just so you know, Secret of Cerulean Sand has no English dub. It never got licensed.
That’s ok, I can’t stand dubs to be honest…
Your list seems well thought out. While I have seen about a third of the series on your list, your enthusiasm has compelled me to check some of your other favorites. I invite you to check my humble site at chanotaku.com. Here is my top 30 list:
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
2. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
3. Neon Genesis Evangelion
4. Space Battleship Yamato
7. Cowboy Bebop
8. Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam
9. Great Teacher Onizuka
11. Samurai Champloo
12. Mobile Suite Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory
13. Kanon (2006)
17. Darker Than Black
18. Kurokami: The Animation
20. Naruto Shippuden
21. Turn A Gundam
22. Dragon Ball
23. School Rumble (First Semester)
24. Welcome to the NHK
25. Sound of the Sky
26. Gurren Lagann
27. Ouran High School Host Club
29. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
30. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Nice list! Code Geass should really be near the top of my list too, I need to update it to fix that rather glaring omission.
I’d actually never even heard of Brigadoon before. The premise looks really interesting though. I think I’ll try it.
Brigadoon is a nice series; just be a bit patient for it to start rolling.
I recently moved up Blood+ to number 9; it is a very complete series. I also moved down Bleach to 15 after taking the fillers into account and the recent announcement that it will be ending next month.
I hate lists, but your #1 choice is a win.
I have seen 19 animes from your lists and was thinking to pick up old anime, but it’s indeed definely hard to order your top 30 favorites, to be able to confirm my favorites I have do rewatch anime.
Maybe this year I can add some top favorites but top all favorites can wait.
Your Number 1 is Simoun
I can really tell that’s your favorite genre is yuri, I like that as well and one of the best.
The story plot is also actually interesting.
I can’t remember well but I do think I have rewatched it like 4 times.
Sorry my rating is not accurary over MAL (Blackbird) but will put up a reviews that will be good.
I had Starship Operators at plan to watch lists over MAL but never actually try watching any old animes, but will check it out.
Picking your favorites is hard, if I did it again now the order would probably be different.
Yuri’s actually not my favorite genre. My favorite genres are fantasy and sci-fi, which Simoun is as well. With that said, I do like yuri as well. 🙂
Since everyone is sharing:
1 – Berserk: Though I don’t watch or read it anymore since it’s so darn misotheistic
2 – Puella Magi Madoka Magica
3 – Neon Genesis Evangelion
4 – The Count of Monte Cristo: Gankutsuou
5 – Gungrave
6 – Steins; Gate
7 – Cowboy Bebop
8 – X/1999
9 – Serial Experiments Lain
10 – Ergo Proxy
Ugh, bump everything down 1 from 7 and put in Welcome to the NHK!
An excellent selection! I’m a big fan of Gankutsuou as well. I actually haven’t seen a lot of these: Berserk (although I read the manga), Gungrave, X/1999, and Ergo Proxy. I tried to watch Ergo Proxy several times but I got depressed in the first episode and dropped it.
I haven’t seen Ergo Proxy in awhile and have been meaning to re-watch it. Another I forgot to put up there would be Now and Then, Here and There. Another powerful, yet disturbing, anime.
Oh, yep, I love Now and Then, Here and There too. Need to rewatch it at some point.
Hey dudes what happened with One Piece!!! this is one if not the best anime… also the new ones like Sword Art Online
I haven’t updated my list for a while, I may have to correct SAO’s oversight soon
Interesting list, I usually see anime like Cowboy Bebop right at the top!
Here’s my personal list of favourites: (in no particular order because I can never decide what I like the most)
1. Death Note (the annoying fanboys can really ruin the experience, but I was completely hooked and I can only say that I truly enjoyed it. It was worth every bit of hype it got, for me at least)
2. NANA (I’m a sucker for romance, so our tastes are definitely different, but this was superb. Character development was amazing, soundtrack was great and great production values. Totally screams the reason why I love Madhouse so much.)
3. Monster (I seem to enjoy dark psychological thrillers. A LOT.)
4. Lovely Complex (The best shoujo anime I’ve seen to date. And I see a LOT of shoujo, but most of them just have characters that piss me off or totally unrealistic romantic situations/developments between characters.)
5. Code Geass (damn those plot twists. And that evil laughter. Unforgettable.)
6. Samurai 7 (Animation can be pretty bad sometimes, but no matter how I tried to judge this show more objectively I still ended up realising how much I liked every moment of it.)
7. Chihayafuru (This is a Josei done right. Poems are so freaking cool now, I spread the word about Japanese poems in school like I’m spreading the gospel now.)
8.Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Again with them plot twists and utterly deceptive art style. Damn Japan, you got me again.)
9. Nodame Cantabile (I always love a good josei.)
10. Baccano! (It’s the only violent show I was able to handle, and yet it’s one of my favourites. What amazing storytelling.)
You have a nice list too. Code Geass should be somewhere on my list as well, I forgot to include it and need to update. Samurai 7 was also a great show that most people have completely forgotten about.
The only one I haven’t seen is NANA, which I’ve heard tons of great things about. Need to give it a whirl at some point.
have u seen save me lollipop,mew mew power,kirarin revolution or magia (german version cant remember full name didnt watch u have to pay to see i saw the trailer suppose to be realy it was creepy at first
No, I haven’t seen any of those… Should I check any of them out? I’m not really a fan of shoujo though.
sad left out the word sad
Just to say thanks a billion for sharing the list, Draggle. Without you, I would of never found Simoun (just finished it for the third time, lol).
Yay! Every new Simoun fan I help guide makes this entire site worthwhile.
A lackluster list honestly not to impressed with it.
Just revisiting the page for stuff to check out, and I’m wondering if you’ve watched Hikaru No Go before, since you liked Shion No Ou and all? The series inspired me to try playing Go too, and I thought it was one of the best shonen series around that turned out to be so much better than I thought it would be. One of my favorites now!
I actually haven’t, although it’s been on my to watch list for a while! It’s so long I’ve been having trouble getting the motivation to start it though…
Hmm, try out the first five episodes or so? The first 30 episodes or so are the best and you’d generally enjoy the series if you liked the first few episodes. If you didn’t then there wouldn’t be a need to continue, the show most probably wouldn’t be your thing. Some found the ending of the show less than satisfactory though, so you might wanna keep that in mind if you’re planning to pick it up! (Though I had no problems with it)
Sounds like a plan. Thanks!
I haven’t heard of the 19 first animes that you’ve listed. Thank you very much.
Always glad to rope new people into what I like! 🙂
Hmmm…going about making a list. Not really too sure about the order since i like these more or less the same
Fullmetal Alchemist: I loved Bro-hood too, but I don’t wanna let it occupt two spots, heck it”d probably be my number 1 if I was to compile a solid list anyway
Gungrave: I staved off tears from Clannad After Story (which I like) but the end of this one was too much, the middle portion is godly
Gankutsuou: The prettiness is too much, and I can be a sucker for a well done revenge tale
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: The manga is my all-time favorite for that medium so there’s no way I’m leaving it out
Revolutionary Girl Utena: Amazing in it’s theme’s and characters, ZETTAI UNMEI MOKUSHIROKU
Baccano!!: Nothing to add
Great Teacher Onizuka: Has 2 of the greatest opening themes ever.
Bokurano: Has an OP that could go toe-to-toe with GTO, Genuinely sad
Welcome to the NHK: Watched it as a NEET, how’d you think that turned out?
Great list. Have watched all but Gungrave and Bokurano. Gungrave I dropped after the first episode, but I heard recently that the rest of the show is nothing like the first episode so I plan to give it another chance. Bokurano I know I am going to love since I am a big Mohiro Kitoh fan. Don’t want to watch it since then I will have nothing to look forward to…
I find it hard to believe a Kitoh fan could exist without reading/watching Bokurano, but the anime took it’s own direction out of the director’s spite towards the source material, even so, I sure as heck didn’t notice.
So, Draggle, I finally watched Simoun! Actually I marathoned it over the weekend – it has been a while that I experienced a show so immersive as this one.
I’ll try to boil down my pages of notes to a few remarks:
1) The cast: Most of the main characters were impressive but some left a particularly strong impact. I couldn’t quite emphasize with ultra-feminine princess Neviril (btw, why do you hate her?) and boyish prodigy Aaeru, but together are were literally a pairing for heaven. My favourite was probably Mamiiya as I tend to like those who fight and lose. I still can’t believe how the show’s creators could let her end up like this! Paraietta also was a fighter and I emphasized with her to a degree, but it was hard to figure out what exactly her objectives were. Finally, I would have appreciated to learn some more about Yun!
2) The score: It certainly is one of the best anime soundtracks I know (Utena and Penguindrum are close contenders, though). I was happy to find that it was sitting on my hard disc already for a while as I’m listening to it nonstop by now. The classical tracks seems to vary familiar themes (Beethoven symphonies, Strauss waltz, Tchaikovsky ballet). I love how they add a somewhat nostalgic air to the sci-fi setting. Two girls dancing in a derelict grand hotel ballroom in the midst of a falling empire could be a scene right out of a world war movie!
3) This leads me to the setting: I love the falling world scenario, too! Actually I felt almost disappointed about the missing climax in the last episodes as I expected a more dramatic ending like in Gosick. Nevertheless I could immerse myself endlessly in such a setting and I’m yearning for more (you already mention Noein in your list – any other suggestions? I would strongly suggest NGE but I understand you don’t like it!).
4) The art: Extremely impressive close-ups. I also loved the penciled still shots!
Simoun has instantly become one of my favourite anime although it’s close but not (not yet?) in the top ten of my favourites. Why not? Perhaps one reason is that the main couple (Neviril/ Aaeru) felt too detached to emphasize with? Perhaps because the show is somewhat short on symbolism for my taste? As you can see from my list below my current top ten either feature lots of symbolism or tragic action heroines or they are pure, relaxing slice of life/ iyashikei:
– Gunslinger Girl (Perhaps my #1. Emotionally draining like no other.)
– The End of Evangelion (Asuka fight scene)
– YKK (Perfect iyashikei. Manga is immersive like no other!)
– Elfen Lied (Excessively violent and tragic)
– Haibane Renmei (Had a very strong emotional impact on me.)
– Hourou Musuko (Saorin! The manga is even better, though.)
– K-ON!! (The girls almost became family for me. Another favourite soundtrack btw!)
– Kite (Dark and gritty – left a strong impact)
– Whisper of the Heart (For the visual pleasure and the country roads performance)
– Utena (For the symbolism and as I love Nanami.)
Yay! Glad you watched it and enjoyed it!
1) Neviril is easy to hate because she spends most of the series locked in her room crying about her dead friend. Then for most of the rest of the series she acts like an entitled brat. Still I love to hate her. 🙂
It’s really hard for me to pick a favorite as well. I think I’d have to go with the orange haired sister with glasses. Her arc was one of the most powerful and was totally unexpected. My favorite two episodes were the one with the suicide bomber and the one where they look inside the Simoun.
2) Wow I can’t believe I don’t have the soundtrack. This is a brilliant idea…
3) There’s really nothing like it. You might like Noein. I’d check out Kannazuki no Miko which has a similar yuri / mecha vibe going. Be warned that the first half of the show is crap though. You might want to check out the Arcadia of my Youth Harlock movie and Hi no Tori as well, although those are a bit more of a stretch. Still great shows though.
I have to agree with you in that Neviril and Aaeru didn’t go over that well with me either. In a show with such great characterizations and relationships those two stuck out like a sore thumb.
I actually haven’t seen Gunsinger Girl, End of Evangelion, YKK, Elfen Lied, or Kite. Wow. I have my work cut out for me. If my list included movies Whisper of the Heart would be either #1 or #2.
I also had some mixed feelings about Neviril’s kinda inherited privilege. But it is not her fault, is it?
To be honest, on my first watching I found the sisters rather annoying. Perhaps, b/c they didn’t look too attractive. I’ll focus more on them on my second watching.
The episode when they look inside the Simoun is one of my favourites, too! I think basically due to Dominura screaming. The screaming and crying is very well done in this anime, e.g. the girl who visited the spring in episode 1 was awesome, as well!
I still find myself rewatching the final scene on the sunken Arcus Prima again and again, though!
No, the privilege isn’t her fault, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her. 🙂
The sisters aren’t the most attractive of the bunch, that’s for sure, but their arc was great. So was everyone else’s though… it’s really hard to say which is my favorite.
Yep Dominura’s scream was the best part. The crying is also great. And it works well together with the still pictures.
Interesting list! A lot different from what I usually see. Can’t make one myself atm has I feel I haven’t seen enough anime yet. (maybe around 20?)
I’m wondering if you liked the end of Planetes? The girl having a baby and staying on earth really felt shitty to me. I’m all for the dude following his dream but damn give the poor girl a life.
Yeah what happened to the girl was pretty crappy. But still a great show overall, didn’t ruin it for me.
Hi, Jello-kun. I recently straetd listening to your podcast and thought I’d comment on your list. Out of your five, I’ve seen all but Cobra the Animation, but also never finished B Gata H Kei. Overall, I’d have to agree, The World God Only Know is definitely up there (with its high production values and great music), but I would probably place Baka to Test higher. I’m more biased towards comedies and all the characters were fun. I thought TWGOK was somewhat handicapped by the pace of some of the arcs. I watched MM! after listening to your review, but found its ending somewhat disappointing. I find myself somewhat an Arashiko shipper, and any sympathies for Mio died with her voice being the same as Kirino (from Ore no Imouto). I really like Ayana Taketatsu (the VA), but there’s only so much bitchiness I can take. ^_^ But it was still more enjoyable than B Gata H Kei for me. That series was funny at first, but for some reason Yamada ended up on my nerves. Maybe I’ll finish it someday, since I only have 4 more eps to go. As for Cobra, it never came to mind. I only knew of it as the 80 s series, about the guy with the odd gun arm.Still, if I had to pick a top five of my own out of all I’ve seen from 2010 (which was about 20+ series for me), it’d probably be something like this:1) Cross Game (great balance of character, fun, and drama)2) Toaru Kagaku no Railgun (more fun that the Index series it spun-off from)3) Working!! (kind of silly at first, but I really liked Mahiru)4) Arakawa Under the Bridge (crazy fun)5) Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (The Tatami Galaxy) (starts out slow but it ties everything up in a great way in the end)Keep up the good work!
I think you think I’m someone else…
I can’t complain about this list. I’d put a lot of these on my own, but when I see Dennou Coil and Noein that especially makes me happy because I just don’t see them around that often.
I love those two. Don’t know why they don’t appear to be all that well known.