My Favorite Anime

I can't believe this blog has been going for nearly 4 years, and I have barely scratched the subject of anime. Well that ends now! Here are my top 5 anime series of all time.

(If you don't know what anime is, start here, though odds are you've already seen it. Apparently, I was watching it as a kid and didn't even realize it.)

(For my top anime movies, please see the entire collected works of Hayao Miyazaki.)

#5 Samurai Champloo
Genre: Hip-hop historical fiction, samurais
Premise: Two rival master swordsmen are rescued from execution by a teahouse waitress, who makes them vow to help her find "the samurai who smells of sunflowers."
Why I like it: Awesome fight scenes, unique liberties taken with the Edo period, and hilarious banter between the two swordsmen.

#4 The Vision of Escaflowne
Genre: Science fantasy, mechas, dragons, steampunk future-telling devices
Premise: A girl gets transported to the magical world of Gaea, where she must use her psychic gifts to help a dispossessed prince fight off an evil empire.
Why I like it: Mechas, dragons, and clever questions on what it means to know and change the future.

#3 Neon Genesis: Evangelion
Genre: Science fiction, mechas, metaphysics
Premise: A teenager is recruited as an elite mecha pilot by his estranged father, to protect the Earth from a series of increasingly-deadly "angels."
Why I like it: Mechas and clandestine gov't organizations
Why it's not #1: Cuz the ending is weird, man. Really weird.

#2 Naruto
Genre: Fantasy, ninjas
Premise: A ninja orphan, shunned because of the monster that was sealed inside him at birth, is determined to become the greatest ninja in his village.
Why I like it: Ninjas, clever tactics and strategies, ninjas, like a hundred characters with backgrounds and motivations that matter, ninjas, ninjas, ninjas
Why it's not #1: Because it's at 477 episodes (and counting). About a third of those are filler.

#1 Cowboy Bebop
Genre: Science fiction
Premise: Spike and Jet travel the solar system, scraping a living as bounty hunters.
Why I like it: Witty banter, smart characters, mysterious pasts, a tight storyline from beginning to end, and one really smart corgi.

Keep in mind there are lots of series I haven't seen (Fullmetal Alchemist, for example, would probably be on this list, but I've still got over 20 episodes to go!).

What's your favorite anime? And if you don't have one, why aren't you watching Cowboy Bebop right now?


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ok, Naruto. Um, I've heard of that one? My anime knowledge is pathetically pathetic.

And clearly I must watch Cowboy Bebop. Just so I can find out what a corgi is.

Matthew MacNish said...

I take it you're not counting Avatar, because it really isn't technically Anime, right? And how is it that I have not heard of Samurai Champloo? That really sound like it's right up my alley.

Andre said...

Still happy you got me into Cowboy Bebop. Managed to get the girlfriend into it too.

Cap'n Heine said...

Adam - Then you have the best episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist left and it will be in the top 5. Although, I can't imagine which of these series would be bumped off...

Susan - A Corgi is a breed of dog with short stubby legs, a long body, and a fox face. The Queen of England has 13 or so of them. I have one named after the Corgi from Cowboy Bebop. :)

Carrie Butler said...

Hah! When I saw the title of this post, I thought, "He better say Cowboy Bebop." *Grins*

Erik Winter said...

Thoughts on Last Exile? For my personal tastes it tops Escaflowne.

I've been intentionally avoiding Evangelion due to warnings about the ending (described as "hateful" by some recommenders I trust).

Strong agreement with Cowboy Bebop as #1.

Lori M. Lee said...

I agree with everything! Except Evangelion b/c I haven't seen it and I refuse to since I know how it ends lol. And also those filler episodes are why I stopped watching Naruto--now I just read it :D

Cowboy Bebop is PHENOM <3

Lori M. Lee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lori M. Lee said...

I'd like to recommend D.Gray-man which is the bestest thing ever and which usurped Naruto as my #1.

And as to Full Metal Alchemist, I really hope you choose to watch Brotherhood b/c it follows the manga storyline and is a thousand times more epic than the original anime series. IMO. hehe

Adam Heine said...

I haven't seen Last Exile, but this is the second recommendation I've gotten which bumps it to the top of the Must See List.

I rewatched Evangelion a couple of years ago, and I think I understand the ending now. It's still weird though. If you do watch it, it might help to remember the series is about Shinji's personal journey, not about defeating the angels at all.

Adam Heine said...

I still power through the Naruto filler, as the real episodes are worth it, IMO. I'm lucky to have legal access to the show, but not the manga, I think.

I've heard FMA Brotherhood is better, but that the original might be easier to understand for the newbie. Fortunately my brother (Cap'n Heine, up there) gave me FMA as a gift, so I don't have to choose. I will watch Brotherhood someday though.

And thanks for the D.Gray-man rec. I'm always looking for new anime recommendations!

Anonymous said...

I haven't been into Anime, but I did see the movie Blood: The Last Vampire, and the Blood series. I had also started another fantasy Anime series on Netflix. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it is called and can no longer find it :(

I was surprised to find I quite liked the stuff I did see, and even more surprised to realize how much the story I've been working on for years could fit into the world of fantasy Anime.

You've just ignited my curiosity again, so I think I will explore some more. Netflix seems to have quite a selection :)

linda said...

Aha! Dispossessed! :D

I've never gotten super into anime myself even though most of my high school and college friends are big manga/anime fans. So I've only seen a couple episodes each of Naruto and Cowboy Bepop. I think I tended to like the schoolgirl romcom animes better, haha. :P

Jessica Silva said...

you MUST finish Fullmetal Alchemist because it's way better than Naruto. while I have lots of love for Naruto, I have no idea why it's be on your top five, man. and why no Bleach? but big A+ for Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop <3 and their soundtracks.

ALSO, I ditto the D.Gray-man rec. I think you'd really like Last Exile, too (it's steampunky), and lots of others, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Adam Heine said...

Well, Bleach isn't on here cuz I haven't seen it. Naruto is on here because the non-filler episodes (which are still most of them) are some of the most powerful storylines I've ever seen. I welled-up repeatedly during Naruto's battle with Pain.

Matthew MacNish said...

So I've finally finished Samurai Champloo, and I can't decide if I hate you or the producers more, for turning me on to something so incredible that has only one season.

In other news, I saw that Susan hooked you up with Korra. You caught up yet?

And please email me, because I'm not sure if I'll see it if you reply here.

Unknown said...

This is probably a bit late, but you should definitely check out One Piece. It's ridiculously long, but it's so, so worth it. The plot is deep and amazing, and the characters are both diverse and fun. Highly, highly recommended. It's in its own league, much better than anything else I'e ever seen.

Also, for a very short anime, watch Baccano. It's amazing.