Zod’s Top 10 Anime Favorites March 10, 2010Posted by General Zod in Movies, Sci-Fi, Television, Top Lists.
A few days ago, Desslok and I were talking about trying out some new anime, which led me to browsing around Amazon in hopes that my “recommendations” would lead me to something I’d not seen before. (In case you’re interested, I eventually ended up borrowing Samurai Champloo from Netflix… which I’m in the midst of watching at this very moment.) Anyway, this also inspired me to do what so many before me have done and share my Top 10 anime favorites with the world.
Now I prefer my anime to have some action in it. Stories of Mecha are the best, but nearly any science fiction anime will do as far as I’m concerned… and I can get into some Samurai tales from time to time as well. I’m mostly impartial to comedy and horror anime, but I may give one a chance if it’s heavily recommended to me. I’ve no real interest in romance features.
So anyway, here’s my Top 10 list…
| #10: Ghost in the Shell
I hadn’t bothered watching this for years. Many of my friends raved the virtues of the original film when it first came out, but I just couldn’t get into the idea of it. Then, it dropped off my radar and I didn’t think of it again for years. Later, I discovered it could be streamed from Netflix, so I decided to finally give it a try… and I was glad that I had waited to see it. I thought the original film was OK, but it wasn’t great. Had I only seen the first film when it was first released in the USA, then I would have probably written off the sequels without a second thought. It was sheer boredom that had driven me to try out the sequel films and series. I definitely enjoyed the Stand Alone Complex series much more than the original film.
| #9: Dirty Pair
This is an old favorite. My first experience with DP was a subtitled bootleg of “Project Eden” that I’d picked up at a Comic Con when I was 16. I’d gone to this Con with the objective to complete my “Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man” collection (and nearly did). As I was leaving, a table with a TV playing this film caught my eye, so I asked the seller about it. It looked good, so I took a copy home. I found it to be pretty well drawn, energetically paced, and cleverly amusing. I’ve been a Lovely Angels fan ever since.
| #8: Space Battleship Yamato (aka Star Blazers)
One of my earliest memories is watching “Star Blazers” on a tiny black-and-white TV every afternoon. I had discovered the series during summer vacation one year, and made a point of being home every afternoon early enough so that I’d have time to fiddle with the rabbit-ears antenna to tune in the TV in time to sing along with the theme song. My favorite character was Sandor.
| #7: Martian Successor Nadesico
Leader Desslok and I share anime back and forth, and he’d lent me his DVD’s for this series a few years ago. I’d started the series fully expecting it to be another serious space opera, but was surprised when I discovered that it was actually a campy dramatic comedy. I enjoyed the story, and chuckled my way through it. My only wish was that they’d made Gai Daigoji more of a central character to the series. He’s just hilariously awesome…
|#6: Super Dimensional Fortress Macross (aka Robotech)
When I first experienced Macross, it was disguised as the first of three series under the alias of “Robotech”. I instantly fell in love with this show as it was my first real exposure to Mecha… and I’ve been a fan of big robots ever since! Mind you, I thought the show needed a bit less Minmei, and more Zentradi bloodshed.
| #5: Infinite Ryvius
This series was originally pitched to me as “’Lord of the Flies’ in Space”, but it’s so much more than that. Essentially, the story involves 500+ teenagers who are stranded on an training space station, and doing what’s necessary to survive. However, they are not only dealing with their own anger, anxiety, and fear over their situation. With the loss of their innocence comes the necessity to accept the responsibility for their own actions… and to develop a political power structure that is composed of almost continuously shifting alliances. It’s a story that I never seem to tire of.
| #4: Witch Hunter Robin
I had discovered WHR when I was browsing around Bandai Visual’s website out of boredom one day, and had decided to blind pre-order the first DVD. I found it to be a welcomed change for me. If Chris Carter (creator of The X-Files) had worked in anime, then this would have been the result of his labors. The series told a great story and the artists painted an eerie backdrop. It grabbed my attention immediately, and I was solidly along for the ride. Truthfully, it does follow a rather simple “monster of the week” format, but the growth of the character relationships and the development of the series’ main plot was engaging enough to keep me coming back for more.
| #3: Bubblegum Crisis
I’m a fan of both the original BGC or the Tokyo 2040 re-make. Both series have chicks in form-fitting battle armor fighting killer zombie-esque robots… while telling an entertaining story with good artwork and music. However, if I were forced to pick between the two, I’d have to go with T2040 re-make. This decision is based simply on artistic styling as I personally prefer the way the characters are drawn in it as compared to the original version.
| #2: Neon Genesis Evangelion
NGE is another series that was introduced to me by Leader Desslok. I really dug the Mecha in an Apocalyptic era concept, and the development of the story was really interesting. More importantly, I find it fascinating how the episodes shift gears in the middle of the series, and flip from heavy Judeo-Christian imagery to a psychological analysis of the major characters. (This was apparently a reflection of the clinical depression that the director [Hideaki Anno] was suffering from when the series production started.) Roll it all up into a big ball of symbolism, and trying to comprehend it all will require a lot of skull sweat. Of course, if that’s not your thing… then just watch it for the Mecha battles and the chicks.
| #1: Cowboy Bebop
“Awesome” is the best word I can think of to describe Cowboy Bebop, and even that doesn’t do it justice. I’ve seen this series so many times that I can almost recite all 26 episodes from memory… but unfortunately, I just can’t seem to remember where I first saw it. I only recall that I’d gone into it with no preconceptions other than that it was a science fiction adventure series… and I was sold on it within mere minutes. The artwork is brilliant! The music is astonishing! The characters are appealing! The action is thrilling! The stories is compelling and witty! If you only ever watch one anime in your life, then make this the one to see before death claims you.
One last thing…
If anyone out there has any suggestions on what anime you think I should indulge in next, then please comment below! I’m always looking for something new.