Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Updated Top 12 Anime of All Time

Before I start I need to apologise. I should never promise a date for posts, as I rarely seem to deliver on these promises. I'll be honest, I simply couldn't be bothered to edit this post before uploading it. I'm sorry.

Also, I hope you have noticed the change in appearance the blog has received. Personally I think it looks much better than it did before, which looked a bit admittedly empty. This uses the screen more, and is better for it. But I'd like to hear what you think of the new look. Anyway, on to the post:

I was looking through some old posts on my blog when I ran across a top 12 anime of all time set of posts I had done quite early after starting this. It was baaaaaad. Not only has my opinion on some of the shows changed over time that the list is essentially invalid it was wrote quite poorly I think as well. So I've deleted them and I'm going to write two new posts with more detailed, intelligent evaluation on my favourite anime of all time. Some new additions are here compared to before and some shows have gone. In fact, it was a show I recently watched that caused me to update this in the first place.

One thing I noticed when I was compiling this top 12 is how influenced I've been by noitaminA shows. I have always loved the timeslot and all the different shows it brings and I have liked almost every single show that has come out of it to some degree. However, I only realised how much I liked it when I noticed that almost half of the shows in this list are from that timeslot. I was shocked actually. But anyway, you'll find out what these shows are as you read on, so I think it's best to get started.

12. Usagi Drop

The first noitaminA title on the list is a one that aired back in Summer of 2011 and I really loved. I even own the first volume on Japanese BD! The show is about a 30-year old single man named Daikichi Kawachi who visits his grandfather's old house for the funeral of him along with the rest of his family. There he meets the illegitimate child of his late grandfather, 6-year-old Rin Kaga. With no one willing to look after her now he's gone, he decides to step up and look after her in his place.

The show then meanders through the everyday life of these two individuals, and how Daikichi copes with looking after Rin while trying to juggle a job and living on his own. The whole show has a heartwarming feel to it that you can't help but love, and it's a show to relax and watch and enjoy. Very few shows I find I can sit down to no matter what mood I am in and know that they will cheer me up watching them. One thing that helps with this is Rin, who is such an innocent character that you can't help but love. She's is just a child, and has the same cares and worries of a child her age. The way she develops over the series is just as interesting as it is to see Daikichi develop, and it's as though they're both growing up together, learning from each other. This relaxed feel and character progression are why I love it as much, and why it deserves a place on this list.

11. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Now what's there to say about this show that hasn't been said before. A stone-cold classic of an anime watched by most people, the way the story develops and the characters make this a show that everyone remembers long after watching it, including me. It deserves the praise it gets. The reason it isn't higher on this list is that I do feel other shows are better. I know some will disagree with me here but it's the truth. I'm not going to go on for long about this show, since I don't want to repeat that which has been said before. Watch it, and watch the newer movies as well. You won't regret it, trust me, and the newer movies that have been released are something I'd also recommend watching sometime soon.

10. Steins;Gate

The first show in the top ten is a very recent anime, adapting the second game in the 'science' series of games by 5pb (and I'd argue, the only good adaptation of one of these visual novels), the story is based around mad scientist Okabe Rintaro goes to the Radio Kaiken building to go to a conference and finds a girl called Makise Kurisu lying in a pool of blood on the floor. Dead. After texting Daru, an overweight technological

genius helping him, about this, he finds her alive and well moments later. Not only that, he receives the text he had sent, time-stamped to a date 1 week previous. He had invented a way to send messages in to the past, 'changing' it.

The reason this show is not higher is due to it's slightly slow start. Once it kicks in to gear you are sent on a roller-coaster ride through the rest of the show which never lets up, getting very dark at times, intense, and never boring. The problem is those first few episodes. While it is very good in this time all the same, it doesn't feel like it begins to develop till a few episodes in, and really starts at episode 10. That set of 14 episodes is one of the most intense I've ever seen. But before that, it just needed a little more. All the same, it's still a brilliant show, easily deserving of it's place here on my list.

9. Cardcaptor Sakura

Everyone's heard of this before. The shows made in the late 90s are the ones that are best-known now, this being one. Based on a CLAMP manga, the story is based around a young girl named Kinomoto Sakura who stumbles on a set of Clow Cards while in her father's study. She becomes interested in the book and opens it, releasing all the cards inside of it out and far away, and because of this, is tasked in collecting the cards back together. Couple in help from her friend Tomoyo Daidouji and a rival in Syaoran Li, and they together try and find the Clow Cards.

My first memories of the show are of the airing on UK TV in it's Cardcaptors form, and ended up being one of the first anime I watched when I saw it that way. I remember waking up early on a morning to do so every day, loving it. It wasn't till much later that I discovered and watched the show in it's original form, liking it more for doing so. Some of the more questionable themes had been removed, but this interfered with the plot. With the story in full I found the show much stronger. It is also helped by the strong characters, helping to make the whole thing a joy, and one of the pinnacles of magical girl shows.

8. Melody of Oblivion

A truly underrated show, yet one of my favourites all the same. Instead of being set during the war in the 20th century between humanity and an alien being known only as the 'Monsters', it is set in the 21st century where the Monsters now rule the Earth, and anyone born after the end of the war is unaware that it ever happened. Now only the 'Warriors of Melos' are still fighting, and children are disappearing mysteriously, only to be used as sacrifices for them. The Melos Warriors can see the 'Melody', personified as human, and are trying to save her, in the hope it'll gain victory for the humans at long last.

One thing I like about the anime is how it uses a lot of imagery and references to society throughout the show. One I constantly remember is a scene from one of the earlier episodes where a coach arrives at a hotel in White Night Cape, a place where the sun never rises, and an endless stream of giant babies are walking out in a line, showing how the humans are being controlled and are being told what to do by the monsters like a parent to it's baby. There's loads of things like this littered in the show, giving it a thoughtful charm I loved. This bundled to the fact that it never really has a happy moment throughout really emphasised the meaning the show was trying to bring across, and I loved it for just this. Thoroughly recommended.

7. Kaiji

The last show for this first part of my top 12 is another under-valued show, and one that has criminally never had a release out of Japan apart from the recent license by Crunchyroll as a catalogue title. This show is Kaiji. It follows Kaiji who has gambled day after day and got himself in to millions of yen in to debt, and seemingly no hope for the future. Until he is visited by Endo, a loan shark promising to wipe his entire debt

clear in one night.

The thing I liked about this show was how it was able to make some mundane events interesting, and interesting for as long. For example, in season 1, the first half of the series is what is essentially a rock-paper-scissors tournament. Now that should get boring very quickly. But with the high stakes, tough decisions and money on the line the show presents it makes it a very tense experience that thrilling and exciting throughout. The second half of season 2 is pachinko too, yet that is arguably more thrilling. I could watch 10 episodes in a row and not even realise, I'd just be desperate to find out what happened in these high-stakes underground gambling events. A brilliant show, and one I beg anyone who hasn't seen it to go and watch it right now, you will not regret it.

That ends part 1 of this updated list detailing my top 12 of all time. All the shows I will mention in these two posts vary wildly in terms of content and reasoning for deserving a place here, apart from the fact they are all quality shows. If you can, I recommend watching any show I have wrote about here, and I especially recommend any show mentioned in part 2 of these posts that will be uploaded tomorrow. I hope you look forward to seeing it.
Full Post

No comments:

Post a Comment