Archive for November, 2015
The idea that you are going to like every anime title you watch is foolhardy. I’ve found several titles I didn’t like at all throughout my anime viewing. So I’ve decided to close out my celebration of reaching over 150 posts by posting my top 10 worst anime titles. I hope I don’t offend too many people with this list.
10. Deadman Wonderland–I have an aversion to overtly gory or sexual series. This one seems to glorify its violence and I just felt uncomfortable the whole time I watched it.
9. Tenchi in Tokyo–How do you make a bad Tenchi Muyo? How about make all the heroines annoying and weak in order to make the new villain stronger? How about changing the origin for the third time in a row? How about wasting the opportunity to move the story forward?
8. Pom Poko–This anime disproves the idea that Studio Ghibli can do no wrong. It’s way too preachy and did we really need those jokes about the male tanookis you-know-whats? I tried so hard to like this one, but in the end, I couldn’t like it.
7. Speedgrapher–This series had a lot of potential. It had mystery and intrigue and had a great dark future. But it really revved up the disturbing nature as much as it could and made me feel more and more uncomfortable, to the point that I stopped watching it after 10 episodes.
6. Tales From Earthsea–This was the most disappointing anime from Studio Ghibli I ever watched. What made it so disappointing was that I loved the Earthsea books from Ursula K. LeGuin, so I had high hopes that this would be faithful. But in the end, it was as if the movie crammed the whole series into one two-hour movie. That’s at least 4 books. You can’t do that in two hours.
Last week, I gave you my top 20 anime series. This time, I’m continuing my celebration with my top 20 anime movies.
20. Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro— Before Hayao Miyazaki founded Studio Ghibli, he made this movie featuring one of his heroes, Lupin III. We get to see early examples of his style of animation that he would later use in his own studio.
19. Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade–A great alternate history story from the creator of Ghost in the Shell that even uses “Red Riding Hood” motifs in a subtle way, without beating you over the head with its symbolism.
18. Secret World of Arriety While it’s not made by Miyazaki, it shows that Studio Ghibli can still make beautiful movies. I love the way it shows the perspective of its heroine and how big everything looks.
17. Read Or Die (OVA) Meet Yomiko Readman, a secret agent who can bring paper objects to life. Think actual working giant paper airplanes! It’s a truly imaginative work.
16. Memories Three separate stories from the creator of Akira. In my opinion, this is a better showcase of Otomo’s talent than Akira, because you actually get a full story.
15. Steamboy–Katsuhiro Otomo ditches his post-apocalyptic motifs for a steampunk story about a boy inventor. And did I mention Patrick Stewart’s in the dub?
14. Perfect Blue: Satoshi Kon’s first movie shows all the brilliance of this animator who was gone far too soon. It’s a story of paranoia worthy of Hitchcock.
13. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (aka Knocking on Heaven’s Door)– The bounty hunters of the Bebop are back with all the fun of the series, just on a bigger budget.
12. Project A-ko: I admit this is a guilty pleasure, but it’s fun to watch A-ko kick robot butt.
11. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind–This was Studio Ghibli’s first major movie and a grand epic. It was also the first anime that the creator of Neon Genesis Evangelion worked on.
I’ve made over 150 posts on this blog! I think it’s time to celebrate! In my years as an otaku, I have found many anime series and movies that I love. I’ve decided to narrow it down to 20. If you’re new to anime, I think any of these titles would be a great place to start. Before I start, I want to give you a special note: In order to qualify for this countdown, I have to have watched at least most of the program. So, shows like Dragonball Z and Pokémon will not be on the list.
20) Monster: Naoki Urasawa’s psychological drama about a brain surgeon haunted by a patient he saved is a gripping story that I enjoyed from start to finish.
19. Now and Then, Here and There: A dark story about the endless cycle of violence and what happens when someone decided to stop that cycle. It’s a powerful story that’s not for the faint-hearted.
18. Last Exile: A steampunk anime that has beautiful music and some great designs for airplanes.
17. Ranma 1/2 The hilarious story from the mind of Rumiko Takahashi of a boy who becomes a girl when he gets wet. Yes, it’s longer than it should be, but it’s one of the few long-runners I’ve watched all the way through.
16. Serial Experiments Lain: Without a doubt, one of the strangest shows I’ve ever watched. It really kept me guessing.
15. Bubblegum Crisis TV: This is basically an anime version of the cult classic sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner. It’s a true homage to a great movie.
14. Death Note: We’ve all wanted to become gods. It was fun watching Kira manipulate the world and attempt to create a world based on his own twisted view of justice.
13. Baccano! I actually didn’t expect to enjoy this anime as much as I did because I don’t like mobster stories. But this one had well-developed characters and was a thrill ride.
12. Clannad/Clannad After Story: An engaging slice-of-life that tugs at your heartstrings. It’s a beautiful story that I’m glad I tried out.
11. Tenchi Universe: Since the first version of Tenchi Muyo was an OVA, I picked the first series instead. It has a better structure to it, and the characters are at their best. None of the other Tenchi Muyo titles stand up nearly as well as this one.
10. Slayers: Which one? Well, actually, the whole series is great. It’s part parody of fantasy tropes, part action-comedy fantasy. Lina Inverse is one of my all-time favorite anime heroines.
9. Princess Tutu: I adore this story. It’s a fairy tale that’s just beautiful and great for all ages, something that you can rarely say about anime.
8. Haibane Renmei : This is a beautiful story about redemption and it’s just the kind of story I really love.
7. Gundam Wing: Picking my favorite Gundam wasn’t easy. In the end, I decided to go with the first one I ever watched. A true classic with great social commentary.
6. Rahxephon: A symphonically-driven mecha anime that I couldn’t complete this list without putting in the top 10.
5. Neon Genesis Evangelion: This was another anime that I didn’t expect to like. It’s Armageddon in anime form and it’s probably one of the most landmark titles out there.
4. Ghost in the Shell: Stand-Alone Complex: I like this even more than the movie that inspired it. It has a more engaging story and the world is more realized.
3. Rurouni Kenshin: The story of the Battousai Kenshin Himora as he attempts to atone for the murders he committed in the name of revolution by never taking a life again.
2. Trigun: Vash the Stampede is a wanted man in this well-done space western. Plus, it’s the debut of one of my favorite voice actors, Johnny Yong Bosch.
- Cowboy Bebop: Four bounty hunters and their dog track down criminals, all to the sound of one of the best soundtracks ever. I can’t recommend this one enough. I’m sure many of you predicted this would be at the top because many anime fans enjoy this series.
Next week: Top 20 anime movies.