My 50 Favorite Anime

I have been genuinely looking forward to redrafting this massive list for years now. As arbitrary and obvious as that sounds, there’s a certain satisfaction I get from organizing all of my thoughts and feelings about the anime that I love, and internally debating what deserves the top spot. Every single anime I placed on or removed from the list had me strenuously debating with myself. The process was mind-numbing, requiring frequent breaks and monstrous amounts of brain food to keep my writer’s block at bay.

It’s been roughly three years since I made my last top 50 update. My favorite thing to analyze as I was revamping this list were the changes between three-year-younger me, and my present day self looking into the mirror. How many anime have been added to my list in this time? (15, to be exact.) What anime were taken off? What anime have changed spots due to my growth as an anime fan, and just how much do I love the “worst” anime on the list? Three years ago, I had several anime on my list that I gave a 8.5/10. This time I couldn’t even fit all of the straight 9/10 anime. This means that I can say for certain that everything on this list is something I have an extreme attachment to, which also made trimming off number 51 and beyond excruciatingly difficult.

To help you understand exactly how this list is quantified, I need to stress that this list represents my taste, and my personal reaction only. There are anime on here that I would rarely recommend to the average fan, and there are some absent from this list that many consider classics. If I only like a particular season of an anime, I will specify so and explain why. Otherwise, all anime listed represent the entire series. These are the 50 anime that, after pouring 25,000 words of text for, basically comprise my entire identity right now. These are the 50 anime that continually inspire me, instill me with empathy, and keep me crawling back for more. These are my official, precisely placed favorite 50 anime of all time. Please enjoy!

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My Top 50 Anime

 

It wasn’t even four years ago that I sat down with resplendent wonder to watch what I consider my first anime. Sure, I grew up watching Dragonball Z, Digimon, and Pokemon, but they were “cartoons” to me. They had English voice acting and I didn’t even know of the word “anime” back then.

So when I decided to watch my first anime, which was Death Note, it was with the mindset of discovering anime for the first time, and I cannot begin to describe the impression it left on me.

My first thought after finishing it was that there was a whole world of anime beyond Dragonball that I could explore. Death Note awakened a hunger in me to experience the countless imaginative stories that this industry offered. The same level of creativity that I was missing from other mediums I enjoy finally presented itself. It was a bright new horizon that I immediately set sail towards.

I started by watching anything that featured eye-catching artwork or an interesting synopsis on Netflix. Once it got to the point where I wanted to find a website to track what I was watching, my horizons expanded yet again upon discovering Anime Planet and My Anime List. Those websites made me realize that Netflix was equipped with only a small fraction of the anime out there. I soon came across Crunchyroll which allowed me to ease my way into following current anime. Finally, I could be excited about new anime and talk about it with others as soon as new episodes aired.

It was a little bit after that when I named my ultimate anime goal that would take the two years between then and now to complete. This goal was to watch or try every anime on the top 100 list on Anime Planet. During those marathons, I came across an inspiring anime called Bakuman, which gave me the motivation to start this anime blog. I became so fascinated with anime that I wanted to share my thoughts and discuss it with everyone. The only step from there was to watch the anime that I see on other anime blogger’s top anime list, which helps me catch those extremely obscure anime that had something memorable about them.

This brings me to where I am today. I am someone who once knew nothing of anime that became a self-proclaimed otaku. Now I am here to share with both my fellow admirers of anime, and curious wonderers who are looking to take their first step into anime like I did a few years ago, my 50 favorite anime I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in this non-stop marathon of watching every anime I am interested in. I have finally reached the point where even my lowest, fiftieth entry is an anime that I’d enjoy watching again, and therefore I’m finally ready to share these choices with you all. Let me remind you that this is a personal list. These are “my” favorite fifty, and therefore my own personal preferences will play a role in where I rank everything. Just because an anime is positioned higher on this list than another, doesn’t mean I think more people will enjoy it than the previous one. I’m only speaking for myself.

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My Top 50 Anime Characters

The role of almost every character in any medium is to become someone you can relate to. Whether by collapsing with uncontrollable laughter at the hilarity a character summons, or by wielding a dignified passion and appreciation for a character who enacts your own ambitions and inspirations, the number of ways you can find interest in a character is incredibly varied. The design of a great character can go down many starkly different paths, some of which never have to intersect, making characters that can be terrific in one person’s eyes, be a complete disinterest in someone else’s.

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My Top 20 Anime Opening Videos

Anime openings have become a staple of this industry, and of the TV industry in general. When you think about it, the repetition of an anime opening for 13 episodes is pretty much the length of an episode in itself.  The week to week breaks do a lot to take the viewers’ immersion away, and as such, the opening video serves as a minute and a half long opportunity to assault the senses of the audience and get them back into mindset of the respective anime. They stick with you through the entire series and serve as the anchor to which the anime develops it’s actual story and world around. They tease you of what’s to come, and delight you with what’s already happened. The non-stop animation and composition of the music and art can make anime openings some of the most distinctive part of the actual anime series. However, just like anime itself, there are good ones, and there are better ones. I don’t like to say there are bad ones, just ones I don’t prefer as much as my personal favorites. Continue reading