Today. Today is our second birthday. I started this site two years ago because I always wanted to work on some sort of anime site, and I made that dream come true very randomly on a whim. Over these two years, I had some friends submit articles, but it was always purely for fun and because they wanted to. Now as they busy and have, for the most part, moved on, but I continue to work. Just me writing three articles a week, every week and having fun with it.
I have fun writing, save for some times of burn out, but I have loved watching this site grow. Every month viewership has consistently risen. However, the best part of this site has always been knowing that I maybe helped someone find something else good to watch because I know how great that distinct electric tingle of discovering a really good anime series can be.
In that vein, to celebrate our second birthday, I am going to divulge a certain amount of personal information – My anime list. No, not MyAnimeList, but rather my favorite anime series of all time and why I like them. I’ve seen a lot of series, infinitely more since I started this site, and many of them I never would have watched if not for starting this site. And yet, among those series, I found some I absolutely loved. So hopefully, if you respect the amount of work that has gone into this site, you may see something on this list you haven’t seen and discover it too.
I’ve been keeping up with the Berserk manga for about 15 years, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that long considering I took a two year break from it in college and only came back to 6 new chapters. However, that interest in the manga started with the anime. The 1997 anime, just to be clear. The modern movies and anime series are so much less than Berserk deserves, and yet, I watch them because it is likely all we will ever have.
What enticed me about Berserk was the sheer struggle of it all. Gutts struggled from his first breath and will until his last. While not every character in Berserk is very complex, the three main leads are exceptional characters, all motivated by different, very real things to reach their goals. Even Gutts, who doesn’t even know what his goal is until later in the series, is always searching for something more than just swinging a sword.
From the New World
There are series that like to introduce a lot of questions for the sake of mystery, and then never address most of them again. Then there is From the New World that creates many questions, and answers them all in excruciating detail, right down to why the children want a cuddle. This series does such a magnificent job of both creating and explaining its world, particularly through the device of curious young children that like sticking their nose into things. Furthermore, it has a twist near the end that I just didn’t see coming and it blew my mind in such a great way.
My Hero Academia
This is one series I discovered via Recommend Me Anime, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I don’t like Marvel movies or Western super heroes at all, so I figured I wouldn’t much care for an anime inspired by them. Oh, how wrong I can be. After the first few episodes, I was hooked and went on to binge watch the first season, then spread the holy word unto my real life friends. What hooked me was probably the interesting facial expressions used throughout the first episode. However, after that the array of likable characters carried the show. They were all unique, if not in quirk, in their design. However, what solidified was the electricity of All Might’s final fight of the first season. It was such a beautifully animated display of power. I felt the power of those blows even just sitting in front of a screen. In subsequent seasons, that carried on. The Todaroki fight in the Sports Festival, the Muscular fight in the training camp, each epic, spine-tingling fight leaves me ready and wanting more.
I watched this show a few months before starting the site. It was a show that reignited my passion in anime because unlike many other new series, it drew me quickly and I couldn’t get enough. It made me remember what watching a really good series felt like and how exciting that was. Despite having a disappointing ending, the way it built itself up, there was very little way it could have ended in a satisfactory way.
Erased created a mystery that you could care about. It made you not care why he time traveled and that they never explained it, you simply cared that he saved all those kids that ended up his friends. Each episode, you guessed whodunit, and even if you suspected who ultimately did it, they did a great job of covering it back up so you kept wondering.
I also want to note that this series has a fantastic live action version (on Netflix, actually) that stayed spot-on true to the series, but with only a change to the ending. It was actually a change that, I think, worked a little better.
Higurashi: When They Cry
The horror genre is by far my favorite genre, but just like horror movies, horror anime is not always so great. However, Higurashi remains one of my favorites. While it can be difficult to watch for first time viewers because the story resets multiple times like the visual novel, it is a wonder of brutality and mystery. You get some nice moe gore porn, but that also makes you want to know what the hell is going on. Little by little, the mystery unravels…
I enjoy school life shows, but I can acknowledge that often it is the same boring formula. Well, Assassination Classroom keeps everything one likes about school life shows and adds a fun-filled round of action through assassination. I also enjoyed that, instead of just the core group with a bunch of filler students, the show utilized the entire class and made them actual characters with back stories and interests. Furthermore, many of them were fun characters too. I’ll admit that a lot of the anime reference comedy was a big part of my enjoyment as well.
No one here has ever seen the list of manga series I have read, but at least 40 percent of it is about survival games like Future Diary. I enjoy the struggle for survival and watching the characters succeed and fail. I enjoy how fear quickly turns upstanding citizens into murderous maniacs. Future Diary is one of the few survival anime series that does it right. While it has some flaws, I admit, it is a fun romp watching how the characters struggle to stick to their morals and also not die. Every episode is a new surprise and features a new peril.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
CGI and mecha are perhaps my least favorite things in anime. While Gargantia has both, it uses them in a way that it isn’t the major center of the story. The mechs are really the only noticeable bit of CGI, and that makes sense because…They’re mechs. However, the rest of the story, and the world it takes place in, make it completely it so you don’t care that the mech looks clunky at times. Plus everything else is so…Shiny and gorgeous despite being in a post-apocalypse. This is one of those series, that should have gone on longer, but it ended in a way that closed up the series nicely.
Long story short, I loved the animation of the characters, the characters themselves, and the beautiful waterworld even if it didn’t have Kevin Costner in it.
This series is an interesting case. It is JSDF chest beating in the finest regard where they are the heroes and everyone else in the world is evil, but dammit, the series fun. Even if it is just another harem show, it is oddly satisfying to see what a machine gun nest does to armored cavalry or what a bazooka does to a dragon. It is fun to watch the modern characters learn about a world different from theirs and the people and dynamics within it. The interesting bit is this is one of the few shows where the characters weren’t what got me hooked on it. They’re not bad, but they’re not particularly special. I really just enjoyed the action scenes and watching them solve medieval fantasy level problems with modern weapons.
Due to its visual novel origins, the Clannad anime just became what appeared to be a harem anime with one easily guessable main girl. However, unlike more fan service-oriented harems, Clannad is of a more touching nature. Instead of perving on all the girls, the main character helps them with their various – and numerous – problems. I think mostly there are a lot of things that people can relate to in this series, and that is something I found too. We won’t be discussing what I related to, but that is why I think I enjoyed Clannad so much.
Another horror series, yes. However, what separates this from other horror stories is that some of the short stories that are told are actually legitimately scary, or at least, creepy. While many of the short stories aren’t hits in the terror department, the ones that do hit are glorious. This anime series features everything that can make Japanese horror movies superb. They are not all about gore, but rather atmosphere that can make or break a horror story.
I don’t land on either side on the sub versus dub debate. If I can watch an anime in English, that just means I can watch it while I do my other work, and thus, can consume more anime. However, Ghost Stories is, in my opinion, the best dub in the world. It took a mediocre show aimed at a younger audience and made it infamous. I’ll even go so far to admit that some of the episodes were creepy despite the fun dub. That piano episode kind of creeped me out, man.
Anyways, the ghost stories show within were mildly interesting, but what I enjoyed the most is how much fun it seemed like the voice actors were having. When dubbing it, as the story goes, they weren’t really given a good script from the creators in Japan, so they just kind of winged it, and it turned out to be a dark comedy anime series that I can, and often do, watch multiple times per year.
Aside from horror anime, I also am a sucker for the romance genre. Yet, so much of it is just the same shit with different characters and maybe one hook that separates it from the rest. Yet, while Toradora has many of the same tropes, it has a main couple that anyone can love. A girl that is pretty but with an antisocial attitude. A boy that looks like a thug but is actually the ultimate house husband. Both of them in love with someone else until they realize they love each other. It was a titillating tale to watch them slowly realize their feelings, and even when they do, continue to sacrifice their happiness for the happiness of the other.
Who doesn’t love a dirty joke, right? When I read the title – Shimoneta: A World Where Dirty Jokes Don’t Exist – I knew exactly what this series was going to be. I just didn’t know the extent of it. Almost every minute there is a dirty joke thrown at you at an almost manic pace, and it was glorious. It was base humor, to be sure, but sometimes you don’t need complexities in plot, character, or even comedy. Sometime you just want to laugh at stupid jokes and innuendos.
If nothing else, this list proves I have some pretty shit taste in anime, but you can’t really help what you like. In fact, if you like it, then nothing else really matters. I hope that maybe it inspired you to go watch some of these shows, or otherwise give some anime a shot you didn’t think you would like.
To end all this, I’d like to thank you, very sincerely, for reading. I want to help you, but you help me by checking out these articles. If you have any suggestions for the site or even anime series you want me to do recommendations for, always leave a comment here or on any article.