By Thunderstarter 61 Comments
First, allow me to say that I am currently watching the following anime:
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Digimon Xros Wars (Sue me! :P)
I won't list the completed ones, because it might give away my #1 (or not, it's not a very common #1, I must say...)
5) Code Geass
This is a bit typical…but why not? It’s hard to argue that this wasn’t a good anime. The animation was a bit questionable (everybody in the show was anorexic, it seemed) but otherwise it was a pretty well-rounded and fun anime…if not a bit drawn out.
What I loved about this anime is that it explored the blur between the concepts of good and evil. Lelouch was convinced that he was using his Geass for the betterment of the world, but his actions end up getting more and more innocent people killed. He realizes his wrongs and you see him slowly descend into madness, but at the same time you’re hoping that he does well. You know he has good intentions, but they just aren’t going over too well is what you keep telling yourself.
The show takes a spiral downward when it comes to quality in the middle of the second season. For me, it’s because it devolved into a bunch of meaningless mech battles when more time could have been spent on plot and character development. This is the reason why it’s only number 5.
I wish they had ended it sooner, but unlike most anime, this one has a GOOD ending. It gave closure to the story, and all loose ends (as far as I’m concerned) were tied up.
4) Darker Than Black
What gets at me about this show is that it didn’t have much of a plot or main character development. A boy named Hei (or Lee, pick one) is a contractor, a human being with a special power that can be used as long as one pays a price to use it, which can range from self-mutilation to having a drink of a beverage.
There are also beings called dolls. These beings are humans, but have no emotions and can send out spirits which they can see through. Dolls aren’t normally found alone and are usually seen helping contractors.
That’s the plot, well, that and Hei is trying to solve the mystery of his sister and the disappearance of a whole chunk of South America. The plot isn’t really mentioned until the last 5 episodes or so, which isn’t a bad thing, instead you get to know the characters. Hei isn’t developed as much as he should’ve been, I think, but the show is filled with a diverse cast of characters. Ranging from a two-bit detective to a talking cat (who is also a contractor), all of the characters seem genuinely human (even the dolls at points). The show is really fun to watch, and the ending is as intense as it should be.
However, for a while I was confused as to why I was watching the show, because the main plot was barely ever mentioned until, like I said, the last 5 episodes. Too late. It does deserve number 4 on my list though.
3) Elfen Lied
Oh, Elfen Lied. One of the most disturbing heart and gut-wrenching animes I have ever seen. The plot starts when a girl named Lucy (known as Nyu by some other people she meets later) breaks out of the laboratory she was being held captive in. Soldiers tried to stop her, but she was able to decapitate, maim, and just downright kill them without so much as laying a finger on them. This is because she’s a diclonious, a being that is born from normal human parents and one that can only be female. These beings are born with horns on their heads and will kill their parents once they get their vectors; invisible arms that are extremely powerful. Lucy escapes the lab and washes up on a beach completely naked and docile, the only words she’s able to say are “Nyu!”. A boy and his cousin stumble upon her and take her in, but Lucy is still inside her, and can awake at any point of time.
What makes this series so wonderful is not the horror and blood-soaked battle sequences, it’s the psychological elements that are shown throughout the story. All of the victims and characters close to Lucy go through many moments of fear and paranoia, and many times insanity if they’ve seen the extent of her powers. The characters here are great (notice what I look for in anime yet?), most notably Lucy, for you get to experience her backstory first-hand, and trust me, it’s not for the weak of heart.
A very popular show, no doubt. A very good show, no doubt.
.hack//SIGN takes place in a MMO called “The World”, which is a notable game primarily for its use of headsets that allow you to see through your character’s eyes. This show follows the story of…well…just about all of the main characters on the show as they try to unravel the mystery of Tsukasa, a male player-character who can’t log out of the game.
What draws people into the show at first is the opening, of course. It just has to be seen, it can’t be described by mere words on a page. Despite the setting, there is not much combat in the show, in fact, it’s practically non-existent in many episodes.
Some of the best parts of the show are when the soundtrack kicks in, .hack//SIGN’s soundtrack is one of the best-composed soundtracks in any anime I have ever seen. The music blends in perfectly with the surreal-ness of The World and what the characters themselves are experiencing in it.
The only thing that keeps this anime out of my number 1 spot is the ending. It’s horrible. Many plot points that were introduced at the end are unresolved and stay that way…for a reason…they want you to buy .hack//INFECTION for the PS2! Enjoy that one…
While the game may suck, the anime is fantastic.
1)Now and Then, Here and There
“What the hell?” you say, “I’ve NEVER heard of that show!”
That’s just fine; I love it all the same.
The story revolves around a boy named Shu, who while coming home from school one day finds a strange girl sitting on a smokestack. He climbs up the smokestack and learns that her name is Lala-Ru, but afterwards is forcibly torn from his world and teleported into a large fortress called Hellywood (symbolism is the name of the game here. No, it is not bashing American culture). Here he is seen as an intruder and is imprisoned, and he slowly finds out what’s going on in this world, a war over water, waged by the mad king of Hellywood, King Hamdo.
This show is my favorite anime because of the sheer amounts of emotion it managed to pull out of me. You feel happiness, sadness, anger, frustration and everything inbetween over the 13 episodes of this anime. It explores the human condition and ideas of rape, child abuse, kidnapping, religion, friendship, betrayal, and innocence in such an effective way that one will not come out of the series without a new perspective on something.
The characters here are deep, while Shu may seem like the inspiration of Naruto’s character at first, there is no way that he is. Shu is deeply conflicted with his ideas of justice and right and wrong when he comes to Hellywood. There are times where you feel that should just jump out into the anime and kill King Hamdo yourself. It is a wonderful show.
The only bad thing is that the animation budget seemed to only allow paper and a box of colored pencils (it doesn’t look THAT bad but it’s certainly not the best animation out there). I recommend watching the subtitled version, the dubbed version of King Hamdo’s voice might just make you want to kill yourself. It’s that bad.
So yes, that’s my top 5. No DBZ or FLCL to be found. I’m pretty proud of this list. What do you guys think? *builds wall from DBZ fans*