What are my Ten Favourite Anime Series?

Wow!  People seemed to really enjoy my articles about anime.  It seems to be a popular subject.  I ended up having questions about my favorite anime series in general.  I won’t pass up a chance to write about what you all seem to love as much as I do!  Because this is a bit easier to write about without  breaking it in half, here is a top ten list for you!  I present to you all, my top ten anime series.  Let me know what your favourite anime series!

Number Ten:  Cyborg 009

This was the first anime that I ever saw!  So, of course it had to make my top ten list!  This show has had so many forms and all of them have been awesome.  The first time that I ever saw this show it was in black and white.  I loved it.  The show is based on based on the manga by Shotaro Ishinomori that ran from 1964 to 1981.  Despite this being my first anime series, it was the 2001 form that made me fall in love with anime.  The series is about nine cyborgs that are trying to stop the evil Black Ghost organization that had kidnapped them when they were still human.  Black Ghost wants to start a world war and these nine cyborgs must fight against them to stop it from happening.  I know it sounds like quite a few movies and stories from today, but trust me on this one.  This series is really quite good.  I love it and I have it to thank for getting me into anime.  The English dub isn’t that bad either.  I was surprisingly happy with it.

Number Nine: Cardcaptor Sakura

In the States this show was marketed under the name Cardcaptors.  That has always confused me a bit.  I guess the reason being that when it was released it was at a time when anime was starting to become popular outside of Japan.  As such, a lot was cut out to make it acceptable for children in Western countries.  There are some thing in the Japanese version that would not fly for children’s telly in the West.  That being said, I like this series.  Just not the English dub of it. It was a bit confusing because of all the editing and at times extremely difficult to follow.  I mean the first few episodes didn’t even air on telly at first!  What I found out later was that because anime was at first seen as a male watched form of animation, they decided the first few episodes were too “girly” and cut them.  The series is actually considered to be in the shōjo genre and is one of the most widely known of its genre along with Sailor Moon which was marketed in the States as a girl show.  On a whole I really dislike shōjo anime and manga.  I don’t care for the flowery sweetness of it all.  However, Cardcaptor Sakura is one that I genuinely like.  The reason is that it has a lot of action and fantasy in it.  I love stuff like that.  It really seems odd that I would like a show that the entire series, of the anime mind you, pretty much revolves around collecting tarot like cards with mystical powers.  Overall, it is cute, but you really need to watch the Japanese and not the English dub to appreciate it.

Number Eight: YuYu Hakusho

My first experience with this was on Adult Swim and I really liked it.  The animation style is typical of the 90’s, but who cares!  This show is awesome!  It is full of action and characters that are just so amazing at kicking butt and have wonderful back stories.  The whole story flows well and is fun to watch.  Even the parts that are not overly exciting are good. Fun fact, the creator of YuYu Hakusho, Yoshihro Togashi, is married to the woman who created Sailor Moon and they have two kids!  That would be an awesome set of parents to have.  The English dub isn’t the best in the world, but it is pretty good.  The original is by far better.  For those of you who watched it on the telly, be aware that in the States there were two different showings that aired here.  It aired on Adult Swim with some edits that made it a bit less graphic and cut some of the cultural references that people in the States wouldn’t get.  Toonami also showed it, which surprised me when I heard about it moving to the Toonami block until I watched it.  The editing was heavy that I barely recognized some of the episodes I had previously watched on the Adult Swim block.  Thankfully, Cartoon Network saw the error and fixed it by allowing the show to air at the end of the Adult Swim block so that it was early in the morning.  That way the adults watching it could be up to watch it and if the kids were dumb enough to wake up that early then they would be greeted by the delight that was a fairly graphic version of the show that they had started to watch halfway through the show.  Like Cardcaptor Sakura, this is one show that is better to watch in Japanese.  The English leaves out quite a bit even in the “uncut” version of it.

Number Seven: Shaman King

I love the manga of this!  The anime is great too, but the ending goes in a different direction than the manga ending  and in a way that I really don’t care for.  This show can be watched by children, but really only because they won’t get the adult content.  The anime has a bit of a light hearted feel at times that the manga doesn’t really have.  Seriously, the manga can be borderline depressing at times.  The English dub was aweful!  It got the same treatment that Cardcaptor Sakura got when it came to the States.  Granted, it actually is a shonen genre show.  So, they didn’t have to turn it into something it really wasn’t.  The Japanese version is far superior to the dub in so many ways.  This is one series that almost require someone to know a bit about Japanese culture and the Shinto religion before they get into it.  Once you get further into the story though, it does branch out into other cultures.  Of course, it branches out in some really weird ways that are almost disturbing and were edited for the anime release in Japan!  This mainly has to do with the character of Iron Maiden Jeanne.  She is a weird character and I am not overly fond of her in any incarnation of the show or manga.  At times I find this series goofy, but overall, it is a great show that has amazing animation despite being geared more towards pre-teen boys.

Number Six: Elfen Lied

This series is definitely not for children.  In fact, it kind of grosses me out at times.  There is quite a bit of blood and gore in this series.  The story is interesting and it makes you not want to look away, but it still is kind of disturbing at times.  However, since this show is not aimed at children there wasn’t much editing.  In terms of animation, it is really pretty.  It also flows well, but part of me just can’t get over how oddly gory this anime is.  So, why is this even on my list?  It is strangely fascinating to watch in the same way that a train wreck is.  Elfen Lied has some odd characters.  Nyu is the split personality of the diclonius Lucy.  Diclonii are these odd humanoid beings that use invisible arms that are called vectors.  They are usually violent in nature, but Nyu is fairly calm unlike her vicious other personality.  There is also Kohta, the main male character, that ends up getting married to his cousin Yuka…yeah…really odd.  There are also human-diclonii hybrids called Silpelits.  Nana is the Silpelit in the series and is calmer than Lucy, but still almost violent.  Overall, it is an and intriguing series.  Not for children though.  Way too much blood and adult concepts. 

Number Five: Trigun

My father taught me to love westerns and sci-fi.  This series has both and it is delightful.  I love this series.  I did a review of the movie that goes with the series.  The animation is surprisingly great despite being made in the 90’s.  The animation stands the test of time because it is done in such a classic style.  This is actually a surprisingly good dub.  I was happy with it.  The Japanese version is great as well, but if you want to watch it in English, by all means do so.  They did a great job and I couldn’t really find anything that was cut from it.  I am just fascinated by Vash’s gun, the chambers are flipped.  It is just so awesome.  This is one anime that I would recommend for those that love westerns and those that love sci-fi.  Now, if you would like a more story that is not so light hearted and has a bit more content, then read the manga.  This anime is so happy despite all the depressing things that surround Vash and the other characters.  Vash is a pacifist that is also a complete goofball.  Were it not for his crazy antics, I doubt I would watch it.

Number Four: Fullmetal Alchmeist: Brotherhood

This is the incarnation of the anime that follows the manga very well.  That is something that I love.  It makes me incredibly happy when that happens.  Not a lot was changed for this series.  Also, the animation is so much better than the original anime series.  While I don’t care too much for the openings or endings of Brotherhood, the rest of the series is amazing!  The characters are memorable and complex enough that it makes you love them and you can find at least one character that you can sort of relate to.  This incarnation of the series actually deals more with actual alchemy, as it was thought to exist in the past.  It is pretty great and it makes me smile because I have always found historical alchemy fascinating.  As far as the story goes, it is full of action and keeps you interested the whole time unlike the first anime.  A wonderful first anime if you are wanting something to start off with.

Number Three:  Saint Seiya

Alright, so the animation of this series isn’t the best in the world, but the story is great!  This was one of the first manga that I read and I love the anime.  The English dub is a bit odd and it cuts quite a bit from it.  If you are in the States you may know this show as Knights of the Zodiac it aired on Toonami for quite a while.  You can tell that it mas made quite a while back, but the complexity of the story makes up for it.  It is definitely a blast from the past if you are judging it on animation style only.  However, the story is interesting even today.  It will always be one of my favorite anime series because of how great it the story is.  However, it is one that I would recommend watching in Japanese and not really in English.  Unless you are wanting to watch some really bad dub.  Also, the really interesting part starts when you get to the part where Mu is introduced.  Just keep watching if you find the first episodes a bit boring.  When you get to the Gold Saint it gets fun.  

Number Two: Durarara!!

Durarara!! is one of those series that a lot of people don’t know about it it really is a shame because it is great.  They are going to be coming out with a new season next year and I am so excited because the light novels that it is based on are amazing.  Izaya is my favorite character because is so odd and complex.  He is the main antagonist of the series, but acts pretty much indifferent to everyone around him.  Also, it is one of the only anime out there that features a supernatural being from a completely different culture.  Celty is an Irish Dullahan.  She is fantastic.  This show blends modern technology with fairly traditional street gangs that is interesting and slightly baffling.  It isn’t just the main characters that are memorable in this story, but the supporting characters are as well.  I mean Simon the Afro-Russian that helps his fellow Russian in run his sushi shop in Ikebukuro, Japan is memorable because he stands out from those around him with how tall he is and his past that is shrouded in so much mystery that it makes you want to know more about him.  The English dub is great and Blake Lewis is in it!  I love Blake Lewis!

Number One: Cowboy Bebop

This series is quite possibly one of the best ones out there.  I love this series!  It has action, amazing characters, a good story, and the animation is classic.  Also, a fun little thing for music lovers is that the episode titles are mostly references to songs.  This is one of the most popular anime series in the States and in the rest of the English speaking world.  It was one of the first ones that made it on the Adult Swim program block on Cartoon Network and for good reason too.  Cowboy Bebop is one of those shows that isn’t for children, but in a different way than Elfin Lied.  Rather than being so graphic that it is disgusting, this is graphic in the same way that a show about the mafia would be.  The main characters on the this sci-fi show are bounty hunters that travel space looking for the baddies.  That being said, the main bad guy of the series is known simply as “Vicious”.  It is left unanswered as to if this is his real name or just an alias used in the crime syndicate.  Spike is the main character and he is amazing.  He is sassy and scrappy that make him a dangerous combination.  The ending of the series always gets me.  As I mentioned in my favorite anime endings article, found here, I have never been able to make it through the end  of this series without crying.  Ever.  It is sad, but it is also a bit of a relief too.  All the pieces finally fall into their proper place and you get the whole picture that you have been trying to grasp for the entire series.  It is left open ended as to what really happens and it actually works in a way that isn’t annoying.  Overall, this series has the perfect mix of everything a good anime should have.  It isn’t too over the top on anything.  There are some episodes that are a bit weird and kind a freak me out a bit.  The episode “Pierrot le Fou” makes me cringe every time I watch it.  It is just really freaky and sort of frightening.  My favorite episode though is “Speak Like a Child”.  Mainly because of the use of archaic technology in the episode.  If you are looking for an awesome anime that isn’t too long, this is the one to watch.  It has twenty-six episodes of awesome space cowboy, bounty hunting action.

The Five That Almost Made The List

Here are the five that are pretty much tied for number eleven.  I like each of these shows, but there are just a couple of things about them that bother me enough to not include them, but I would still recommend them for those that want something to watch.

Lupin III

Despite my love of this goofy series, it is really difficult to find the whole series available in the States and a great number have never been dubbed period. I mean, I like it, but since it is really hard to get a hold of and they don’t show it on Adult Swim anymore, it didn’t make the list.

Naruto

Naruto’s English dub just bothers me so much that I can’t find it in myself to include this series on the list no mater how much I love the original Japanese.  Also, Naruto gets a bit annoying at times.  I love the ending of the manga though.  Great ending there.

Hetalia

The various Hetalia series is entertaining, but the episodes are so short.  If they were longer, it probably would have mad the list.  Great animation and stories though.

Spirited Away

Alright, I do love this movie, I really do.  It is one of my favorite movies of all time.  So, why did it not make the list despite it being an anime if I love it so much?  Well, it is a movie.  Since it isn’t a series it didn’t make the list.

Bleach

I have a love-hate relationship with this series.  I love the parts that follow the manga, but there are characters that were kept in after their filler arc that just really bother me.  I mean, they really bother me to the point of me not wanting to really include this anime in my list at all.  It make it hard to just skip over those filler arcs when they include the characters in later episodes so that you have to watch the stupid filler arc to know who the heck those characters are.  

 

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