Top 10 – Anime
Anime was a genre that I hadn’t checked out a ton until a few years ago. Kristen was really the one who got me into it, so before 2015, I’d probably seen two or maybe three anime, and now I have seen plenty to do a top 10 list. It’s one of those genres that does so many weird things, but it can do them well because it is animated. Let’s see the list.
10 – My Roommate is a Cat
This is just a really fun anime, slice of life story about a writer who has a cat adopt him. The writers life is hard, his parents have passed away and he’s living in the house he grew up in. But with the help of the cat, he’s able to start to reach back out into the world, though not always because he wanted to. The story does a great job with it being focused on what the human is doing, but then the second part of each episode gives you the cats perspective on everything that happened and what the cat is worried about with the human. It’s very adorable and just one of those anime that is relaxing to watch.
9 – Space Dandy
He’s a dandy guy in space. This anime is just a completely silly romp as you follow around crew of the Aloha Oe as they travel space looking for exotic and new monsters to bring back to the central processing agency in order to get a reward. Now, it would work better if he was even remotely competent at his job, but he’s not and his crew is even less competent than he is, possibly? All the while, well doing this, they are being chased by Dr. Gel who is out to get them. The whole thing is just absurd but such a good time.
8 – Dagashi Kashi
Another sillier and lighter anime, this one delves into the world of dagashi, cheap candy and snacks. The main character works at his families dagashi shop, Shikada Dagashi but doesn’t want to take it over. When someone from the Shidare corporation comes to try and get Shikada Dagashi to join them, the owner agrees but only if they can convince his son, the main character to take over the shop. The story is just little vignettes for the most part and stories about how certain dagashi came to be. It’s a lot of fun and has more energy than the previous two, but is still very relaxing to watch.
7 – The Devil is a Part-Timer
Another slice of life anime, I do like them quite well and they tend to run less into fan service, though, this one has it’s fair share, The Devil is a Part-Timer focuses on what happens to the devil when he ends up on Earth with no way to get back to his realm. That means that he has to take on a part time job and a lot of weird adventures ensue has he starts to figure out how to deal with the mortal world and maybe, it turns out, the Devil isn’t such a bad guy after all. Very much a slice of life, but has more of a full through storyline running along in the background than some others.
6 – The Disastrous Life of Saiki K
Saiki K has special powers. He can teleport objects, read minds, and do many amazing crazy things. But for the most part, he just wants to be left alone. Of course, he can’t be, and it’s even a bigger issue because he doesn’t notice the pretty girl who everyone notices, so she wants him to notice her, he can’t read the mind of an idiot so he can sneak up on him and wants to be Saiki’s friend, and of course, there are the evil forces of Dark Reunion, a completely made up organization. It’s completely absurd and just little vignettes into Saiki’s life but very much worth checking out.
5 – Sword Art Online
SAO, one of those classic anime that really isn’t that old but has gotten a huge following and even a spin off show, which I didn’t like. Sword Art Online is the story of what happens when full dive MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role playing games) go wrong and everyone becomes stuck on it. The only way to get out of the game is to clear the game and if you die in the game you die in real life. This could have been a massive hack and slash adventure type of game, but instead we get an interesting look into the minds of those trapped in there, those who want to survive, and those who have something to fight for, and those who let them game twist them.
4 – Assassination Classroom
An alien has landed on earth after destroying half the moon, and what he really wants is to die. But he won’t go easily and he won’t let just anyone kill him, because most normal methods of death, he can avoid. Instead, he wants to teach a class, and those students, through training, will be the ones who will be creative enough how to kill them, plus, they just might learn something along the way. A completely absurd premise, but they do a really good job with the anime and with the students. It’s less about assassination and more about how he ends up helping all the students in some way. Also, he’s a human size yellow tentacle monster, so there’s that weirdness going on as well.
3 – Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon
It’s a long title and one that seems like it should just be a dumb fantasy anime, and in some ways it is, but it is really entertaining. There’s some fan service in it and falls into the trope known as a harem anime, but it feels different, probably because the main character never puts together that hes the person the harem is forming around, he is too innocent and pure. All he cares about is becoming strong enough to be worthy of the girl, Aiz Wallenstein who saved him from a Minotaur in the dungeon. It’s a lot of fun, and it takes something that you see a lot in anime, leveling up, and codifies it into the story so that while it is silly that it’s in the world, it makes a lot of sense. A light hearted fantasy anime that’s definitely worth checking out.
2 – Cowboy Bebop
Now if we’re talking revered anime, Cowboy Bebop has to be up there. This space opera follows a group of bounty hunters as they travel around to different planets, meet different people and tell their story. However, what really makes this anime work is the music. The music is just amazing and it’s a new for each episode. And each episode has it’s one distinct style and feel to it because of the music, the story was woven into the music, not the music put around the story. It’s just so well done and while it might not tell some massively epic tale throughout everything, it creates a mood that just works so well and you care about the characters.
1 – Steins;Gate
I don’t thin there will be many surprises with my #1, I’m pretty sure every time I do a top five, it’s my number one as well. But Steins;Gate is just so good. It’s a time travel story, which generally I’m a sucker for, and it tells it really well. The characters are so sympathetic and what seems like just a silly quirk early on ends up revealing way more about the character than you’d think later in the show. The time travel aspect is well done and while there are some completely implausible things, overall, I think it works really well. There’s just a sense of the conspiracy around it and the story just speaks so much into the characters and the world. Clearly I highly recommend this one, it can be intense and times, but so very good.
There are a few that just missed the list that I wanted to mention as well. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, I need to finish watching it, but I did enjoy it. Ghost Story, just a really enjoyable anime and something different in how it told it’s stories. After School Dice Club which is about board game. There’s so much out there that’s good that I probably could have done a top twenty, also a lot that is pretty crappy, so hopefully this’ll give you some new shows to checkout.
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