Tag: Top 10

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition)

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2019 Edition)

Introduction

Today is December 19, 2019, which means it’s officially the second anniversary of DoubleSama.com. And with this second anniversary comes my third (second annual) top 10 anime post. Basically, every year I make a countdown list of my top 10 anime of all time.

It’s just an excuse for me to discuss some of my favorite anime once per year.

And while the list doesn’t change entirely from year to year, I do watch a significant number of anime. So every year some anime get dropped from the list, some anime I’ve watched in the past year get added to the list, and some anime simply swap positions on the list.

If you’re interested in reading the previous two top 10 anime lists, they can be found here:

But before we get into this year’s list, let’s quickly go over the anime which had to be cut this year, and one honorable mention.

Re:ZERO got bumped from the 10th position, but considering the second season has been announced, there’s a chance it’ll make a comeback in the 2020. From 9th position, Your Lie in April also got bumped off the list. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but it’s just not a top 10 anymore.

And the honorable mention is for Attack on Titan, which nearly made a comeback onto this year’s list. It was featured in the 8th position on my original list, but didn’t quite make the cut for the 2018 list. Season 3 Part 2 was almost good enough to bring the series back.

10. Fullmetal Alchemist

Once at a comfortable fifth position, Fullmetal Alchemist is barely hanging on to a place in my top 10. Is it a great anime? Yes, obviously, but as I’ve seen more anime, I’ve come across even more which are better than it.

And although I mention this every time I discuss this series, when I talk about Fullmetal Alchemist, I’m generally referring to both the original version and Brotherhood. I have both versions rated the same, though I do actually prefer the story of the 2003 version which is a pretty unpopular opinion.

If you haven’t seen this series yet, no matter who you are, I recommend you watch it. The other series on this top 10 list might not be for everyone, but Fullmetal Alchemist is one of those rare anime which is. I’d also suggest watching the 2003 version first specifically because it’s hard for some people to go back and watch that after watching the improved visuals of Brotherhood.

9. A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice is the first movie on this list, and is an anime movie I don’t think can truly be appreciated until you’re completely done with school. I know that some high schoolers, or even college students, will think I’m talking down to them when I say this, but that’s not the case.

This is a story about school bullying and the effects it can have on people, specifically those with disabilities (in this case deafness). I don’t believe that you can actually reflect on the movie and how it ties into your own school experiences until you’re beyond them.

I know that if I had watched this movie while still in school it wouldn’t have had nearly the same impact. So basically, if you’re in school still, this is a great movie, but if you’re out of school I think you’ll be able to appreciate the messages of this movie a lot more.

Shouya Ishida in elementary school from the anime movie A Silent Voice
A Silent Voice

8. KonoSuba

KonoSuba is the only comedy anime on my top 10 list, and I think it has been every single time I’ve made one. The problem with most comedy anime is that comedy is extremely subjective. And while that’s still the case with KonoSuba — and this may just mean it’s my kind of comedy — the way this series tackles comedy is what sets it apart.

You get four completely irredeemable people with nothing in common and throw them all together because they’re misfits. Then you drop them into crazy, yet stereotypical situations and see how they react.

The beauty of KonoSuba is the combination of the characters interacting with the situations they find themselves in while also interacting with each other. Most comedy series which try to go this route end up focusing more on one or the other, but KonoSuba has the perfect balance.

7. Mononoke (New!)

The first new anime to this list this year is Mononoke, and no, I don’t mean Princess Mononoke. Everyone thinks that’s the anime I’m referring to when I mention it. Mononoke started off as a short story as part of the Ayakashi: Japanese Classic Horror anthology, but later became a series of its own.

I had wanted to watch this anime for a long time, but simply didn’t get around to doing so until this year. It’s a bit hard to explain, but it’s formatted in a way which I really like — it has mini arcs which each deal with a specific kind of yokai from Japanese folklore.

If you’re already familiar with the Monogatari Series, or even the lesser Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai, then that’s basically what this series is like. However, Mononoke is also much more visually stylized than either of those series, which is also something I enjoy about it.

The medicine seller and Kayo from the anime series Mononoke
Mononoke

6. March comes in like a lion (New!)

The second new anime to this list is March comes in like a lion. Specifically, it was the second season of this series which bumped it onto my list. The first season was good, but nowhere near good enough to be within my top 10. The second season basically takes everything good about the first season and drops the bad.

If you like slow burning drama anime, then I highly recommend March comes in like a lion. Actually, eight of the 10 anime on this list are technically dramas. But if drama specifically is what you want, then this is my pick for you.

The series follows a young, professional shogi player as he learns to balance school, shogi, family, and life in general. The second season, however, focuses a lot more on the supporting cast, and I think developing all of them really helped the series as a whole.

Rei Kiriyama's shogi friends from the anime series March comes in like a lion
March comes in like a lion

5. Your Name.

Your Name. is basically the definitive anime movie. When it came out it was the highest rated movie ever in Japan, and while I haven’t checked, it still probably holds that title. But, “spoiler,” it’s actually no longer the top movie on my list. Your Name. has been dropped from fourth place down to fifth.

And, I do feel the need to mention that some people will say including this movie on my list is a cop out because everyone has it on their list, or that it’s overrated. Well, I sort of agree with those points, but at the same time I think they’re incorrect. There’s a reason this is considered the best anime movie by many.

It looks great, the characters are engaging, the soundtrack is outstanding, the plot is good too when it’s there, and it was one of the few anime to actually make me feel something. That’s not the easiest thing to do, so any time it happens I know there’s something special about the anime.

4. In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World is the movie Your Name. was swapped with on my list. I’ve had an entire year more to think about these two movies since I last ranked them, and in that time I’ve come to appreciate In This Corner of the World even more.

As far as I’m concerned, it was always a 10/10 movie, but the more I think about this movie the more attention and love I feel it deserves. It’s a historical drama which takes place in a town on the outskirts of Hiroshima during World War II. If you know anything about history, you already know how that’s going to go down.

But what makes this movie so special is how it tells its story. It’s from the perspective of a Japanese civilian — a girl who’s just trying to live her life and has nothing to do with the war. And, the watercolor aesthetic the visuals have adds another layer of innocence onto the whole thing. If you want to watch the best anime movie I’ve ever seen, watch this.

Suzu Urano and Harumi Kuromura from the anime movie In This Corner of the World
In This Corner of the World

3. Violet Evergarden

I considered bumping Violet Evergarden up to the number two spot, but decided against it after a bit more thought. I love Violet Evergarden, and I’ll go on record saying that episode 10 is the single greatest episode of any anime ever made. However, I don’t think it’s the very best anime overall.

And another reason why I didn’t want to bump it up on my list quite yet is because I actually haven’t seen the OVA movie which came out back in August. I saw the OVA episode, but not the OVA movie. There’s also another movie for it coming out in April of 2020 I believe. So Violet just might be higher up on my list by this time next year.

But the main takeaway here is that if you want to see the single best anime episode ever, you need to watch Violet Evergarden. There’s also a significant chance that this series will make you cry — and as far as I’m concerned that means it’s doing its job perfectly.

2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Madoka Magica is still here on my list after being my first ever 10/10 anime (the top six anime on this list I have rated at 10). I’ve had a soft spot for magical girl anime ever since watching Sailor Moon as a kid, but younger me could never have imagined that a series like Madoka Magica would come along.

This series changed everything when it came to magical girl anime. It follows just enough of the tropes to be recognizable as a magical girl series, but breaks all the rest in the most satisfying ways possible. And, we’re getting new Madoka Magica content in 2020 after seven years of waiting.

Also, for any males out there who look at Madoka Magica and think it’s a “girls’ anime,” I thought the same thing too at one point. But then I was convinced to watch it and realized how wrong I was for judging this series based on the visuals. That’s part of the reason why I’ll watch basically anything now.

1. The Monogatari Series

For the third time in a row, the Monogatari Series takes the top spot. And no, I don’t have it listed as number one because it’s my favorite anime — although it is. If that’s how I was ranking these series, then Naruto: Shippūden would be right up here as well, but it’s not.

At this point it’s almost hard for me to explain why the Monogatari Series is so good because I feel like I already do that every chance I get. What more is there for me to say about it to convince people to watch it?

However, although this is the best anime in my mind because of its characters, witty dialogue, and visuals, I recognize that this series isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s pretty niche. But at the same time, I think it’s safe to say that the majority of anime on this top 10 list are fairly niche — general anime just aren’t typically as good.

If you’re into extremely developed characters, Japanese wordplay and folklore, reading a lot of dialogue, committing a lot of time to one series, and, of course, cute girls, then this is the anime for you. But if even one of those aspects doesn’t seem like something you’d be into, then you might not like this series much because it doubles down on all of it.

Conclusion

If you enjoyed this top 10 list, or if you found any good recommendations thanks to it, click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And, come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN and CaptainRainbowPizza for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Sensei tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2018 Edition)

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime (2018 Edition)

Introduction

Today is DoubleSama.com’s first birthday! That’s right, one year ago today I posted my very first anime review, on the Monogatari series, and I’ve been doing it just about every day since then. So, to celebrate this special occasion which only comes once per year, we’re going to be doing something special.

Back on April 4th, I wrote up a very long post which covered my top 10 anime of all time. Today, I’ve updated that list for you all by including everything I’ve watched since then into the mix. My hope is that this will become an annual tradition in which I can talk about some of the anime I think are the best.

However, before we begin I should point out that this is a list of top 10 anime based on my ratings of them, not how much I enjoy them. It may sound strange that my highest rated anime aren’t necessarily my favorite, but we all have series which we love, and yet understand that they aren’t the greatest (Naruto: Shippūden).

And, finally, my last top 10 was a very long post, so in an attempt to shorten this one, I’ll try to stick to explaining why you should watch each of these series rather than an in-depth summary/review of each one.

10. Re:ZERO

Re:ZERO has been pushed to the bottom of this list from its previous position of sixth, and unless a second season of it comes out within the next year and really “wows” me, I have a hard time believing it will remain where it is today. That said, I enjoy this series very much and have seen it at least four times now.

By now we should all by familiar with the isekai genre which has been the dominant force in anime for the past couple of years, and this is exactly where Re:ZERO falls. However, instead of being a generic isekai like most series, Re:ZERO went for the dark, psychological thriller route.

While I think fantasy fans of all varieties should check out Re:ZERO, I really think anyone who likes fantasy, but is tired of all the other generic isekai, should watch this series. I think one of my favorite parts of the series is that the protagonist, Subaru Natsuki, understands all the isekai tropes, but unfortunately for him, that’s not the kind of story he’s in.

9. Your Lie in April (New!)

Kaori Miyazono from the anime series Your Lie in April
Kaori Miyazono

Maybe a dark, fantasy, psychological thriller isn’t for you; I get that. Maybe instead of being on the edge of your seat, you prefer to be a puddle of tears when you watch anime. If that’s the case, then Your Lie in April may just be the perfect series for you.

This anime is a romantic drama which leans heavily in the drama direction. The story is about a boy who’s a pianist and a girl who’s a violinist, so music nerds, this one’s for you. But, while the series is centered around music, it’s really about the relationship between our main characters, which if you’ve been around this blog long enough, is something you should know I’m a sucker for.

In fact, 8 out of the 10 anime on this list are tagged as drama on MAL, including Re:ZERO which I just went over. However, if pure, romantic, drama in a modern, realistic setting is what you’re looking for, I don’t think you’ll find a better series than Your Lie in April.

8. Fullmetal Alchemist

I almost don’t think I need to say anything about Fullmetal Alchemist because just about everyone reading this should have at least heard of it at some point. If shounen series are for you, then watch this because it’s considered the best anime of all time in the West. That said, if you enjoy shounen, you’ve probably already seen it.

So instead of going over what I think makes this series so good, let me give a few of my hot takes about it. First of all, out of the 10 series featured on this list, this is the only one which I believe to be overrated by the general masses. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s not perfect.

Next, I prefer the 2003 version over the 2009 version, Brotherhood. Yes, Brotherhood looks much nicer and at times feels more like an adventure, but the story of the 2003 version is simply better. That said, I have them both rated the same, and I don’t really care which you like more.

7. A Silent Voice (New!)

Shouko Nishimiya from the anime movie A Silent Voice
Shouko Nishimiya

Have you now finished Your Lie in April since I recommended it two spots ago on this list? Do you crave more drama in your life? Then A Silent Voice is my next recommendation for you. However, unlike everything I’ve gone over so far, A Silent Voice is an anime movie, not a series.

Anime movies come with pros and cons. The good thing about them is that they generally have much higher production values and so look better than most TV series. But, they’re also shorter which means you’re trading in length for “value” (I guess?).

A Silent Voice is a story about a boy who once bullied a deaf girl in school, but then reconnects with her years later and wants to apologize for what he did. Honestly, this is the only anime I can think of which puts physical disabilities at the forefront of the story, and it does so in such a well-done fashion that it’s something everyone should watch.

Yes, we at first feel bad for Shouko Nishimiya due to her disability and the fact that she gets bullied for it, but over the course of the movie we’re shown how much of a strong character she is. And, yes, we see her in some very low lows, but she’s anything but helpless.

6. KonoSuba

KonoSuba is the lone comedy anime on this list. Generally, while I enjoy my comedy as much as the next person, I don’t typically think they should be rated above a 7/10. However, KonoSuba, as with everything else I’ve covered so far, is a 9/10.

It’s the second isekai anime on this top 10 list, but unlike Re:ZERO, it goes in a very different direction. This time around, instead of putting a dark twist on many of the genre tropes, KonoSuba decides to parody them through the use of both situational and physical comedy.

But, what makes KonoSuba truly stand above the rest of the comedy anime is its main cast of characters, Kazuma, Aqua, Megumin, and Darkness. All of these characters exemplify exactly what you wouldn’t want to have in your adventuring party, and that’s just part of what makes them great.

Really, it’s the chemistry between this main cast which makes the series so perfect. When watching KonoSuba, it doesn’t just feel like you’re watching a comedy anime, it feels like you’re actually there, hanging out with your friends who always get into trouble.

5. In This Corner of the World (New!)

Suzu Urano from the anime movie In This Corner of the World
Suzu Urano

The first 10/10 anime on my list is another movie, In This Corner of the World. However, unlike everything else on this list, this is actually a historical anime, which, I know, doesn’t sound all that exciting to some of you. But, considering I studied history in university, this is something I really like.

While I do think anyone can enjoy this movie, I’d specifically recommend it to those of you who are interested in seeing a different side of World War II. In the West, we tend to see the Second World War from an Allied military perspective, but this movie sheds light on how the war affected the average Japanese civilian.

But, not only is it a great movie from a historical perspective, it’s also a great movie in terms of its art and storytelling. At first I wasn’t sold on the watercolor-like art style, but as the movie progresses it makes a lot of sense for the narrative and is even used to devastating effect during the climax of the movie.

In fact, I think out of the three movies on this list, this is actually the one I’d recommend the most even though it’s not the highest one up on this list. I really think everyone can take something away from this movie.

4. Your Name.

The final movie on my list is the highest rated anime movie ever made, Your Name. While I think the story of A Silent Voice and the art of In This Corner of the World are better than those of Your Name., I still have to put this movie higher up on the list because of the characters and how it made me feel.

Your Name. is another drama, but this time with a supernatural twist which I won’t spoil here. The story follows two high school students who are from vastly different worlds, and yet are connected by the red thread of fate. But, as I mentioned, the characters are what I really loved about this movie.

Not only are the main characters simply enjoyable to watch, but they act just as many of us would in their situation. In too many anime the protagonists don’t act like real people would in crazy situations, and so it’s difficult to actually relate to them, but Your Name. doesn’t have this problem.

Finally, I also mentioned that part of why I love this movie is due to how it made me feel. There are very few anime which actually make me feel anything, and somehow Your Name. was able to hit both the highs and lows that made me feel. I didn’t cry, but I came close, and that’s a sign of a great anime as far as I’m concerned.

3. Violet Evergarden (New!)

Violet Evergarden and Ann Magnolia from the anime series Violet Evergarden
Violet Evergarden and Ann Magnolia

Violet Evergarden is, hands down, the best anime to come out during 2018. In fact, I debated putting this series in the number two spot, and I might in the future depending on how good the upcoming movie is. While the next series on the list is also technically a drama, Violet Evergarden is the definitive best drama I’ve ever seen.

I know I said something similar about Your Lie in April, but that one is just the best modern, realistic, romantic, drama. Violet Evergarden is the best drama, period. The story follows a young girl around the age of 14 named Violet as she searches for the meaning of the words “I love you” after her world is thrown into chaos.

However, chaos for Violet isn’t what you might expect. She was previously a military weapon during the Great War, and now she must adjust to civilian life after the loss of her arms and disappearance of her commanding officer who served as a father figure for her.

My one real complaint about this series is that it’s 13 episodes long, but peaks at episode 10. That said, what a peak episode 10 is. I just mentioned how Your Name. almost made me cry, well, episode 10 of Violet Evergarden was the closest any form of media has come to making me cry.

Seriously, go watch this series even if character driven drama isn’t for you. This series is probably the best looking anime series I’ve ever seen, and Violet is the purest girl in all of anime and deserves more fans.

2. Madoka Magica

For anyone who’s been around my blog for the past year, you already knew what these final two entries were going to be. Of course Madoka Magica is still up here near the top of the list. I’ve written a lot about this series and the next series on this list in the past.

Madoka Magica is the magical girl anime of this top 10 list and deserves to be viewed by even those who don’t see the magical girl genre as something they’re interested in. People typically say to give this series three episodes before forming an opinion on it because that’s when the twist comes in, but I say just watch the whole thing; it’s only 12 episodes.

This series is to the magical girl genre as Re:ZERO is to the isekai genre. It took the tropes of the genre and gave them a dark twist, which was something no other magical girl series had done at the time. Since then, there have been many “clones” of Madoka Magica, but the original is still the best.

Besides having a great plot and character chemistry, which are obviously important, Madoka Magica also boasts one of the greatest anime OSTs ever along with superb animation thanks to my favorite studio, Shaft. Shaft anime may not look as pretty as KyoAni’s Violet Evergarden, but I love the unique styles they use.

1. Monogatari Series

Did you guess that the Monogatari series was going to be number one? Because you should have. I’ve honestly written so much about this series in the past that I’m not entirely sure what more I can say about it to convince anyone to watch it. So, let’s just run through some of the things this series nails.

The character designs, characteristics, and chemistry are all flawless. The OST is great and the OP/EDs are near perfect. The art and animation are crisp. The dialogue is witty and actually very important for the series. And, there’s no shortage of content from this series.

Aside from the character designs, the main draw to this series, for me at least, is the character chemistry and dialogue. The interactions between all the various characters are just so well written, and the wordplay is woven into each conversation so perfectly.

If you don’t already appreciate copious amounts of Japanese wordplay, you will after watching this series. And, I know that dialogue heavy series that don’t have dubs can be daunting for a lot of casual viewers, but I promise that this series is well worth it.

Conclusion

So, there’s my top 10 anime list updated for the 2018 year. I should also note that not everything which was newly added to this list released in 2018. For example, Your Lie in April released in 2014 and A Silent Voice released in 2016, I just hadn’t watched them until this year.

And, I should point out that although the majority of my content are reviews of either series or episodes, I’m not against creating top 10 or top 5 lists like this. If you’d like to see more content like this, just let me know down in the comments, and if you add some list ideas, you might even see yours chosen.

So, I hope you enjoyed this special post celebrating one year of DoubleSama.com. If you did, let me know by clicking the like button ❤ down below, and maybe even share this post via the social share buttons down there as well. And, follow me on Twitter @DoubleSama as always.

To commemorate one year of DoubleSama.com I’m also releasing a special sticker on the shop which will be available until the two-year anniversary, at which time it will be swapped out. But, if stickers and other physical merch isn’t for you, you can still show your support for the site via Patreon.com/DoubleSama where you can obtain a variety of other benefits.

The 2019 edition of this list is available here.

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10 Worst Anime (That I’ve Finished)

10 Worst Anime (That I’ve Finished)

Introduction

It’s time for another “Top 10” list, although this time you can think of it as a “Bottom 10” list. Since my Top 10 Anime post was much longer than anything else on this site, I’ve decided to try to shorten the description of each anime for this list to keep it reasonable.

Instead of basically doing another full review on each entry, I’ll simply be picking one or two reasons why I think they deserve to be on the list.

Further, this list only mentions anime I’ve finished. There are other anime that I dropped, but would have made it onto the list had I finished them, such as Magical Girl Ore, Pop Team Epic, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Deadman Wonderland, Fairy Tail, and the “newly” dropped Lucky Star.

10. Yuki Yuna is a Hero (5/10)

Gin, Nogi, and Sumi from the anime Yuki Yuna is a Hero: The Washio Sumi Chapter
Gin, Nogi, and Sumi

I’m sure Yuki Yuna fans are tired of hearing that it’s simply a Madoka Magica clone, but I’ve honestly never seen a good argument against this. The best argument I can come up with for why it isn’t a Madoka clone is that Yuki Yuna is mediocre at best, while Madoka is amazing.

The first season of Yuki Yuna was a 6, the Washio Sumi Chapter was a 4, and the Hero Chapter was a 5, which is why I averaged these ratings and gave the series a 5/10 overall. But if I like Madoka so much, how could I hate a Yuki Yuna, which is so similar?

Yuki Yuna attempts to take the core concept of a dark magical girl anime from Madoka, but then introduce a hearty amount of slice of life content into the mix. This simply doesn’t work. One minute we’re watching the girls playing outside, the next someone dies.

The series constantly jumps back and forth between these two opposing plot structures, but fails to properly lead from one to the other. There’s no buildup leading to a fight, and similarly, there’s no cool-down after a fight, everything is perfect once again.

Further, the slice of life aspects of the series just feel like filler since they really add nothing to the story. Filler isn’t something you want when your first season is 12 episodes, and then your next two seasons are only six episodes each.

9. Sword Art Online (5/10)

Kirito from the anime Sword Art Online
Kirito

Sword Art Online does have a lot of things going for it, but the reason I don’t consider it to be a good anime is mainly because of the writing.

Sure, nobody liked the two times it went back to ALfheim Online because it wasn’t the same concept that we initially signed up for, however, the issues with the writing go beyond that. Just looking at the two main characters, Kirito and Asuna, we can see how poor the author is at making compelling characters.

Kirito is our standard light novel protagonist, who’s essentially a blank slate. This already shows that the series probably isn’t going to be the most compelling story. However, while the blank slate protagonist is supposed to be relatable, he was written as a jerk who’s completely over powered.

Asuna, on the other hand, was originally a strong female lead, but after the first cour she’s pushed into the background and is essentially just Kirito’s “trophy girlfriend.” I’ll skip over Asuna’s rape for now since I already covered that in my Sword Art vs. Evangelion post, but I’ll probably do a full breakdown of it at some point in the future.

8. Log Horizon (4/10)

Naotsugu, Shiroe, and Akatsuki from the anime Log Horizon
Naotsugu, Shiroe, and Akatsuki

Look at that, the second MMORPG Isekai on the list, what a surprise. The first season of Log Horizon was actually a better story than Sword Art Online (although executed poorly), but the real issue is that there’s a second season of Log Horizon.

While season one follows the main characters of the anime, who are fairly interesting, the second season mostly follows a group of side-character children who I couldn’t care less about. They don’t get into exciting battles, their backgrounds aren’t interesting, and they’re generally boring.

I feel that because of this second season, we won’t ever get a third season and therefore will never actually learn the mystery of the world the characters were transported to. Good job, Log Horizon season two, you ruined everything.

Log Horizon is a perfect example of what happens when a side arc takes over the main arc of a series. Side arcs are generally less involved, so dedicating most of a season to one is generally going to be pretty slow (like the Lizardmen arc of Overlord II).

7. Knights of Sidonia (4/10)

Izana and Tsumugi from the anime Knights of Sidonia
Izana and Tsumugi

Knights of Sidonia is the mecha entry of this list, and showcases some of the things I dislike the most about newer mecha series (Darling in the FranXX doesn’t apply). First, take a look at the CGI animation; gross.

While this isn’t the worst CGI I’ve ever seen, it’s a fairly typical example of what the mecha genre has become over the past decade. I’m not really sure why mecha has been the genre to take CGI and run with it almost exclusively, but it really needs to stop.

Moving past the visuals, this anime has two other things working against it. The first is the giant alien tentacle monster (why do you do this to me, Japan?) and the slice of life elements which detract from what would otherwise be a good space opera plot.

I think the reason why I consider the giant alien tentacle monster to be a bad thing is fairly self-explanatory, so instead let’s briefly talk about the slice of life aspects.

This is an anime about a war in outer space using mechs to fight off an alien race. So why do I need to watch the two main humans, and the giant alien tentacle monster, play house? What does this do for the plot that some brief dialogue or one or two scenes couldn’t achieve?

It really made me feel like I was watching the ALfheim Online portions of SAO all over again, and that’s never a good thing.

6. Sakura Quest (4/10)

Yoshino Koharu from the anime Sakura Quest
Yoshino Koharu

Although it’s a 4/10, Sakura Quest isn’t really that bad. It’s just not an anime I ever felt like watching when the next episode was released.

This past Winter season we had Laid-Back Camp, which was cute girls doing cute things, and A Place Further Than The Universe, which has been called cute girls doing cool things. If that’s the case, then Sakura Quest was cute girls doing boring things.

It wasn’t really comedic, it had no action, no adventure, and it was only somewhat “feel-good.” Basically, it was as plain a story as you can get about some girls working as tourism board members. I don’t watch anime to see the same mundane things I could be seeing by working myself.

The art for the series is good, but that’s just about the only thing it has going for it, and that’s not really enough to make it a good, or even average, anime.

5. Alderamin on the Sky (4/10)

Ikta and Torway from the anime Alderamin on the Sky
Ikta and Torway

Alderamin on the Sky had potential, it really did. It’s a story about a military officer who climbs through the ranks by strategically winning battles in a magical version of world war one. Okay, so the magic part immediately takes away from the potential, but the strategy is the main thing here.

Unfortunately, I found all of the characters to be unbearable, and the strategies used inevitably always came down to sacrificing large numbers of soldiers as a distraction while the rest of the army attacked from the rear.

I guess you could say the protagonist Ikta is kind of an anti-hero since he doesn’t care about the number of casualties as long as he wins the battle, but while I like that, it’s not enough to make the anime good. He even goes a bit too far sometimes and sacrifices hundreds of soldiers because why not? It’s not him dying.

Also, to go along with the use of magic and fairies, there’s a princess who’s in love with the protagonist. I guess you need some generic light novel stuff thrown into the mix in order to sell anything these days.

4. Gunslinger Girl (4/10)

Henrietta from the anime Gunslinger Girl
Henrietta

Despite being this far down the list, Gunslinger Girl is probably my favorite anime featured in this post. The concept behind the show, as well as the execution, may be mediocre, but it does tell a compelling story about the mental state of cyborg child-assassins.

While I really enjoyed the darker themes of this series, the art, animation, and pacing weren’t always the best. By this I mean that the series doesn’t always look too nice, and it can be very slow at times despite there being plenty of action throughout.

Also, the song that constantly plays throughout the second season is just an instrumental version of Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel. This song, lyrics included, is also used multiple times. It’s almost like an OST was outside the budget so they got the rights to a single song instead.

3. School Days (3/10)

Makoto, Kotonoha, and Sekai from the anime School Days
Makoto, Kotonoha, and Sekai

School Days was the first “bad” anime I reviewed on the site if I remember correctly, and guess what, it’s still bad. The series is infamous for the ending scene in which both Makoto and Sekai end up being murdered, but even that doesn’t make up for the rest of the anime.

Basically, this anime is a fairly low quality anime version of an eroge visual novel (hentai, but it’s a game). Just based off that, we should know that the plot isn’t really going to be any good. However, the anime also cuts out the pornographic scenes so all that’s left is the bad plot.

*Disclaimer: I believe there is an uncensored version of this anime simply due to what I saw while picking an image to use here.

Terrible plot aside, all of the characters except for Kotonoha are the worst people you’d ever meet, much like the cast of A Silent Voice. So, without a good plot, or likeable characters, there’s nothing really going for this anime.

2. Koihime Musou (3/10)

Kan'u from the anime Koihime Musou
Kan’u

Koihime Musou is very similar to School Days, except it’s a Yuri anime based in history instead of a straight anime based in school. Other than that distinction, they’re basically the same thing and Koihime Musou suffers from much of the same things School Days does.

So, I’ll skip over all that and talk about the cast. There are way too many characters in this anime. Even after finishing season one (which is all I ended up watching) I only knew the names of about three of the roughly 30 recurring characters.

With that many characters there’s very little time for each one to make enough of an impact to really be memorable. This, combined with the fact that many of the characters had similar appearances like hair color/style, made it hard to keep track of everyone if I didn’t see them for an episode or two.

Koihime Musou is also an excellent example of how not to use ecchi in anime, but if you want to read more about that topic, you can find it here.

1. In Another World With My Smartphone (2/10)

Kohaku, Touya, and Yumina from the anime In Another World With My Smartphone
Kohaku, Touya, and Yumina

We’re finally at the worst anime I’ve ever finished, In Another World With My Smartphone, and I know what you’re thinking, how can this be the worst if it’s only a 2/10 instead of a 1? Well, dear readers, it’s simple: why would I want to finish an anime that’s a 1/10?

As you can tell from the extra-long title, In Another World With My Smartphone is a light novel adaptation. However, this could be considered the ultimate light novel adaptation because it takes just about every terrible trope from light novels and combines them into one.

We have an extremely overpowered protagonist who was transported to another world and is suddenly the best at everything there is in this new world such as fighting, magic, and, of course, getting all the girls to form a harem centered around him.

Also, just look at him, he’s just as edgy as Kirito from SAO, but also wears that stupid white coat just in case you weren’t sure how much of a tool he is. Oh, and unlike most harem anime, he actually agrees to marry all the girls in his harem so this one takes the wish-fulfillment aspect to a new high (or low?).

I truly believe that liking this anime should be classified as a mental disability. Either that, or the person who likes this is literally 12 years old and is always wearing an Angry Birds or Minecraft shirt. Take your pick.

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DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime

DoubleSama’s Top 10 Anime

Introduction

Since this is my 100th post I decided to do something a little different. Today I’ll be going through my top 10 anime from everything I’ve reviewed so far. Since I’ve already reviewed each of these anime, this time around I’ll mainly be discussing why they make up my top 10 rather than doing general reviews.

All of my 10/10 and 9/10 rated anime are on the list, but there wasn’t enough room for more than two 8/10’s. Due to this, I’ll list the runner-ups in no particular order here: Samurai Champloo, Naruto: Shippuden, Yuru Yuri, School-Live!, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Made in Abyss, Mitsuboshi Colors, and Karakai Jozu no Takagi-san.

I won’t say this is the most well-rounded top 10 list, but it does include various genres such as horror, mecha, action, romance, fantasy, comedy, drama, and of course, magical girl. As one final note before we begin, I will not be holding back any spoilers for this post.

10. Parasyte (8/10)

The composite Parasite Gotou from the anime Parasyte -the maxim-
Gotou

In 10th position we have the 2014 action-horror anime Parasyte -the maxim-. Parasyte was originally a manga and was adapted by the studio Madhouse

Just as a general overview, Parasyte is about alien parasites who descend to Earth and consume the brains of humans. Once they have consumed the brain, they blend in to society as their human host and prey on other humans.

The dark themes of this anime are why it made it onto this list. Like many sci-fi plots, this one centers around the question of “who are the real monsters, the humans or the parasites?”

While the parasites do in fact kill humans, they do so in order to survive just like how humans eat other animals. The humans, on the other hand, fight back and kill parasites in self-defense.

Besides the overarching themes of conflict adding to the dark setting, our protagonist, Shinichi, also doesn’t have things go his way. His mother is killed by a parasite, he causes the death of a crazy girl who has a crush on him, and after everything he goes through, he almost loses his girlfriend in the end.

Near the end of the final episode Satomi, Shinichi’s girlfriend, is pushed off a building. Luckily Shinichi is able to catch her in time thanks to the help of the parasite, Migi, living in his own hand. However, when I first watched this scene I thought for sure that Satomi was dead as a final kick in the stomach to Shinichi.

Those couple of seconds when I thought Satomi died were the first time an anime really made me feel something which is why Parasyte won its way onto this list.

As a bonus, the opening song “Let Me Hear” is an electronic-screamo song similar to some of the music I enjoy listening to.

9. Gurren Lagann (8/10)

The combined Gurren Lagann from the anime Gurren Lagann
Gurren Lagann

Position #9 belongs to 2007’s Gurren Lagann. This Gainax original is a mecha anime in which the battles and mechs continuously get bigger and bigger (literally).

The general plot of Gurren Lagann is that humanity has been pushed underground due to the anti-spiral races which have taken over the surface. With the help of a mech found by our protagonist Simon, humanity takes the fight to the anti-spirals.

While this anime is in my top 10, the real reason it’s here is because of the first third of the series. In episode 9, we lose one of the greatest characters ever written, Kamina. Although the rest of the series is still good, it’s not nearly as good as when Kamina was alive.

However, even though Kamina dies, his death fit his character perfectly. Sometimes a character needs to die in order to become the best character in a series as we’ll discover later on in this list, but for Kamina it was just another reason to love him. After he dies we also get the scene of the Gurren Lagann in the rain which I chose as the gif for this series.

The combination of the Kamina’s character and the general over-the-top-ness of the series is what got Gurren Lagann in my top 10. However, the art style used by Gainax and eventually adopted by studio Trigger also adds to my love of this series.

The art and animation style may take some getting used to for those who usually watch anime which are more “refined,” but the sharp, occasionally jagged edges and extra lines emphasize the high-intensity scenes. This isn’t to say that the art style is always like this, but when it counts, they aren’t afraid of throwing a bunch of exaggerated expressions and extra lines in there for emphasis.

8. Attack on Titan (9/10)

Mikasa Ackerman killing a Titan from the anime Attack on Titan
Mikasa Ackerman

Coming in position #8 we have the first 9/10 on the top 10 list, Attack on Titan. In 2013 the manga was adapted into the first season by Wit Studio, but then we had to wait four more years for a second season to be released.

Unfortunately for Attack on Titan, the hype for the series died off over those four years and the second season didn’t really get the same amount of attention as the first. It was half the length of the first, and I’ll admit it wasn’t as good which is why this is the lowest ranked 9/10 on my list.

In Attack on Titan, humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction with the entire known population living within three concentric walls. Beyond the walls are giant humanoids known as Titans whose only purpose appears to be devouring humans. One day, a colossal Titan appears and breaches the wall, and this is where our story begins.

While some people would classify Attack on Titan as an action-horror anime, it’s mainly just action unlike Parasyte. That said, it has some great action scenes and just great animation in general. One of my favorite scenes involves two members of the Scout Regiment grabbing hands midair and doing a flip-like maneuver to throw one of them towards a Titan.

So besides having amazing animation, what makes this series worthy of being #8 on the top 10 list? For one, the soundtrack isn’t bad, but more so it’s the plot of the first season.

While I did mention that the second season dropped off a bit, the first season of Attack on Titan was one of the most binge-able things I’ve watched. Although the story isn’t realistic, it didn’t do anything to break the viewer’s immersion. There were surprises and twists, but they still felt natural in the world which was set up from the start.

Throughout the anime we also become attached to various characters, and then learn we should have never become attached to Petra in the first place because she’s too pure for the world of Attack on Titan. She didn’t deserve to be stomped against a tree like that.

7. Saekano (9/10)

Megumi Kato talking on the phone from the anime Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend
Megumi Kato

For position #7 we’ll be taking a break from action anime and looking at a romantic comedy in the form of Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend. Saekano was originally a light novel and was adapted by A-1 Pictures in 2015.

As the only romantic comedy to make it into the top 10, Saekano has some different things going for it compared to the other entries we’ve already taken a look at. The charm of Saekano isn’t the plot, it’s the characters. Sure, Saekano is a harem romantic comedy, but the characters work so well together that it doesn’t matter if the genre is overused much like the isekai genre.

As with most series in this same genre, a majority of the characters are just character tropes rather than real people. We have the childhood friend tsundere, the attractive and intellectual older classmate, the little sister type who isn’t actually related by blood, and the sporty girl who just hangs out like one of the guys.

Of course with all these generic female character tropes we also have the main character-kun who’s an otaku with a pretty generic appearance so many male viewers can identify with him. As I said, all of that is pretty standard, however, Saekano adds a new character type to the mix which we don’t normally see in these types of anime: the real girl.

Megumi Kato just acts like a real person would in most of the scenarios she’s put into. She has no trope she follows with exaggerated reactions and tendencies. Instead she’s just a normal, “boring” girl and that’s what makes her such a great character. However, it’s not just her character that makes the show as good as it is; it’s seeing how she interacts with the other characters who are tropes.

Besides the characters making the series good, it also just looks really good. One thing I especially like is when it occasionally changes the line colors to emphasize certain points. One second the lines will be normal, then the next they might be bright green or pink or blue.

While I think the second season of Attack on Titan was worse than the first, Saekano is higher on my list because the second season was even better than the first. The first season was good, but what made the second season so much better was that by this point the viewer is already familiar with all the characters and so they no longer need to be built up.

6. Re:ZERO (9/10)

Ram, probably about to kill Subaru from the anime Re:Zero Starting Life in Another World From Zero
Ram

In position #6 we have the first of two isekai genre anime that made it into my top 10. Re:ZERO is another light novel anime adaptation, this time made by White Fox in 2016.

As you may know from some of my reviews, the isekai (another world) genre is one that I often have issues with due to the tropes associated with it. There’s usually some harem aspect which can take away from the show, and while Re:ZERO has this, it doesn’t hurt it. The other major trope is the overpowered protagonist.

Subaru, the protagonist of Re:ZERO, however, is anything but overpowered. The whole plot revolves around Subaru dying horrible deaths multiple times. He has no magical abilities, no weapons training, nothing but an optimistic outlook on life which slowly gets beaten out of him.

So why is Re:ZERO so good? It changed the game for the isekai genre in the same way Madoka Magica did for the magical girl genre. It took what we knew as the basis for the genre, some exciting fantasy world where anything is possible, and turned it into a harsh reality in which we as normal humans are weak and disposable.

Other than the story, this series also has some great character designs. Sure everyone likes Rem, but I’m actually partial to Ram due to her pink hair. However, I feel I need to mention the real best character in the series, Betty.

Betty, Beatrice, or Beako, whatever you want to call her, is my favorite character in the anime as I’m sure I mentioned in my original review of this series. She dresses in lolita fashion which I’m always a fan of and she has the dependable tsundere vibe going on. She acts like Subaru is an annoyance, but we can tell she really doesn’t mind having him around.

If the story and character designs weren’t a good enough reason for this anime to make it onto my top 10 list then let me also just mention the music. Both opening songs for the series are absolutely amazing and the OST is great too. One of my personal favorite songs from the soundtrack is “Overture to the Battle.” *This song was linked, but is no longer available.

5. Fullmetal Alchemist (9/10)

Roy Mustang killing the Homunculus Envy from the anime Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Roy Mustang

#5 on the list is actually a double entry because I’m counting both the original Fullmetal Alchemist as well as Brotherhood as one entry. Studio Bones first released the partial adaptation of the manga in the form of 2003’s Fullmetal Alchemist, then released a more faithful adaptation in the form of 2009’s Brotherhood.

While most people seem to prefer Brotherhood over the original because it follows the manga more faithfully, I actually prefer the original because it’s just a better story. That said, I think they’re both pretty equal and the real choice between the two just comes down to personal preference.

Fullmetal Alchemist is the darker of the two, but Brotherhood is newer and so has better art and animation (which is why I chose the gif for this entry from Brotherhood). Since the two series diverge around the 10th episodes, you can basically view them as alternate timelines and just enjoy both for double the Fullmetal Alchemist content.

But what is it that makes this series top 10 worthy? For starters, it’s just a great story. Two brothers risk, and lose, almost everything they have, including their bodies, in an attempt to resurrect their mother. After they learn that death is permanent, they start off on a quest to return their bodies back to normal.

Further, not only does it have a good main storyline, but the supporting characters also have their own struggles to deal with along the way. One of the most notable is Colonel Roy Mustang who’s often forced into playing the bad guy by his superiors.

He keeps all of his anger bottled up so that he can eventually make it to the top of the military and change it from the inside despite being forced to take part in a genocide and losing his best friend because he dug a little too deep into the secrets of the country.

Fullmetal Alchemist is also a fairly accessible anime for those who are just starting out on their anime watching careers. It’s easy to find, is well-known, and has a pretty good dubbed version since most anime beginners usually don’t start out watching subs.

4. KonoSuba (9/10)

The Goddess Aqua being eaten by a giant toad from the anime KonoSuba
Aqua

Studio Deen’s 2016 adaptation of the light novel KonoSuba is #4 on my top 10 list. KonoSuba is the second of two isekai genre anime on the list despite my general dislike of the genre, how could this be?

Well, like with Re:ZERO, KonoSuba isn’t your typical isekai anime. Sure, it is your typical isekai anime in a lot of ways such as the harem aspect and the fantasy world, but it’s also a parody of the genre at the same time. Kazuma isn’t an overpowered protagonist, and the rest of the gang are just as useless, if not more so than he is.

So we had a romantic comedy earlier on the list in the form of Saekano, but KonoSuba is the true comedy of the list.

It all starts with our NEET protagonist, Kazuma, dying because he went out in the real world to buy a new game. He then is given the option to be resurrected in a fantasy world with one special item of his choosing. To get back at the goddess Aqua for making fun of the way he died, he picks her as his one item and they’re both sent to the fantasy world together.

Once in this world, the pair quickly learn that life there isn’t going to be as easy as they once thought. Along the way, our lovable gang also gains a chunibyo mage, Megumin, who can only use her explosion magic once per day, and a masochistic knight, Darkness, who can’t hit a single thing with her sword.

Between these four characters there’s something for everyone and like in any good comedy, their interactions with each other and their reactions to the situations they find themselves in are what make the show. The interactions between Kazuma and Aqua are some of my favorite parts of the series, although Megumin is my favorite character because of how entertaining she is on her own.

But as always, why does this comedy deserve to be so high on my top 10 list? It made me laugh.

It’s a genuinely enjoyable entry into the isekai genre which pokes fun at the tropes we’re used to seeing in the genre. Sometime this is done through subverting the trope, while other times it’s done through emphasizing the trope to the extreme.

One example of this is when the gang saves the town from one of the Demon King’s generals. They get rewarded with money and it appears as though everything will be easy-going for them from there on out. However, just as they’re celebrating their victory they’re also billed for the damage Aqua caused to the town during the battle which puts them in even deeper debt than when they started.

In closing, someone once explained KonoSuba to me by saying that all four main characters are terrible people who you would never really want to hang out with, but that’s exactly what makes them so appealing. Because after all, don’t we all think of our friends like that from time to time?

These four characters don’t always see eye to eye, but when it really counts, they wouldn’t trade each other for anything.

3. Your Name. (10/10)

Mitsuha Miyamizu looking at the comet from the anime movie Your Name.
Mitsuha Miyamizu

We’ve finally made it to the top 3 and we’re starting things off with the only standalone movie on the list, 2016’s Your Name. This movie is based on an original script rather than a manga or light novel and was made by CoMix Wave Films.

While I highly recommend every anime on this list, these top three are my must-watch anime regardless of what genres you usually watch.

Your Name. is a romantic drama with a supernatural twist to it. The general plot of the movie is that two high school students with very different backgrounds randomly swap bodies. Mitsuha is a girl who lives out in the countryside, while Taki is a city boy.

The majority of the movie is actually one long flashback which happens after these two characters see each other on passing trains.

The reason I like Your Name. so much is that, like other anime on this list, it actually made me feel something. This movie was an emotional roller coaster that ends without any real closure. The happy ending we all wanted was hinted at, but in the end we don’t know for sure how the relationship between Mitsuha and Taki ended up.

The movie makes the viewer actually care about the characters because of how normal they are despite the supernatural phenomenon happening to them. Sure, they switch bodies with each other at random, but they still act like normal teenagers for most of the movie.

By the time we get to the point where they’re trying to save Mitsuha’s town from the comet, we’ve already become attached to the characters so seeing a bunch of kids run around trying to save everyone doesn’t break the immersion.

To me, one of the most depressing parts of the movie was towards the end. Mitsuha and Taki have swapped bodies so many times that they each know each other inside and out, and yet, after they save the town they forget each other.

We see the beginning of this when they are writing their names on each other’s hands so they won’t forget each other, but eventually this turns into forgetting the whole experience they had with the comet. All they’re left with is a sense of deja vu when they see each other passing by on the train years later.

Your Name. is probably the anime that made me feel the most of any anime I’ve seen. It definitely came the closest to making me cry, but I was also genuinely happy for the characters when things went their way.

2. Madoka Magica (10/10)

The death/transformation into a witch of Sayaka Miki from the anime Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Sayaka Miki

The second best anime ever made is the Shaft original series Madoka Magica. In 2011 the magical girl genre changed forever, and then in 2013 Shaft was back at it again with the Madoka Magica movie Rebellion.

The magical girl genre is sort of the opposite of the isekai genre for me. While I generally hate isekai, there are some great ones such as Re:ZERO and KonoSuba. However, while I generally love the magical girl genre, there are really very few which I would consider to be above average.

Madoka Magica is able to carry this genre into second place though. It takes everything we thought we knew about magical girls and turns it on its head. You thought the power of friendship was important? Think again.

This series follows the titular character, Madoka as she and her friends trade their souls to become magical girls in order to save their city from witches that prey on human misfortune and death. Just about every character has some depressing plot line in the series and even the ending is bittersweet.

The first magical girl to die is Mami Tomoe who gets beheaded by the witch Charlotte in front of Madoka and Sayaka. Mami’s death was the beginning of the downward spiral the series took us on. It wasn’t until she died that Madoka, Sayaka, and the viewers truly understood what it means to be a magical girl.

Next we have my favorite pair of girls, Sayaka Miki and Kyouko Sakura. Sayaka, after losing her crush to another girl and learning that she traded her soul to become a magical girl, goes off the deep end and essentially kills herself and is turned into a witch (pictured above in one of my favorite gifs from the series).

Kyouko, originally an aggressive girl, realizes that Sayaka was just lonely like she has been her whole life. In part to protect Madoka and Homura, and in part to keep Sayaka from being alone for the rest of eternity, Kyouko kills the witch version of Sayaka by using a suicide attack.

The tragedy of Sayaka and Kyouko doesn’t stop there, however, as when they are both resurrected at the end of the series by Madoka, Sayaka dies yet again, this time to save the other girls. Then, later on in the movie Rebellion we get a reunion between Sayaka and Kyouko in which Kyouko mentions how she’s felt like she’s been living in an endless nightmare ever since Sayaka died.

Well, eventually we’re just left with two girls: Madoka and Homura. It’s at this point that we learn Homura’s full story which involves going through the same one month loop of time for what amounts to hundreds of years. Her reason for doing this is to try to save Madoka from becoming a magical girl, and then a witch.

What this means is that Homura has watched all of her friends die over and over again countless times, and even in the final timeline she goes through, she is still unable to stop Madoka from making the contract.

Finally, we have Madoka’s story. For most of the series she wasn’t a magical girl, but in the end she trades her soul for a wish that will, in theory, eliminate the tragic end of all past, present, and future magical girls. However, in order for this to happen she trades not only her soul, but her very existence.

In the end, only Homura who has wields time magic has any memory of Madoka’s existence.

I’m a sucker for a good tragedy and that’s why I loved Madoka Magica so much. There is some redemption in the movie Rebellion, but even that has a somewhat bittersweet ending.

Finally, if the perfection of both the magical girl and tragedy genres wasn’t enough, this series also has the best anime soundtrack around. It’s actually the only soundtrack I have downloaded onto my phone and I’ve even listened to the whole 3+ hours of it three times in one day.

1. Monogatari Series (10/10)

Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu Oshino) from the anime movie trilogy Kizumonogatari
Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade (Shinobu Oshino)

In order for something to beat Madoka Magica in my mind it has to be something truly one of a kind, and the Monogatari Series is exactly that. Shaft is back for the number 1 position on my list with their adaptation of the Monogatari light novel series which began in 2009 with Bakemonogatari and is still going to this day.

While I’ve seen and enjoyed more anime by other studios, I think at this point it’s fair to say that Shaft is my favorite anime studio simply due to what they did with both Madoka and Monogatari.

I think for a lot of people who haven’t actually seen the Monogatari Series, there’s a stigma against it as “that ecchi anime with the toothbrush scene” and yes, it is that anime. However, while it does fall into the ecchi category, it’s much more than that. It’s a psychological, supernatural, mystery-drama with a fair amount of action too.

I can understand why this anime might not be for everyone at face value. For one, it’s very dialogue heavy which may make the pace of the series feel slow at times. It also uses thousands of still frames of text throughout the series, many of which flicker past without giving the viewer much time to absorb what they said, but that’s all part of the aesthetic.

If you can get past how the series presents itself, what you’ll find is one of the most well written stories in all of anime coupled with beautiful art and animation. And I don’t just mean the stories of the small arcs, which are good, I mean the overall story of our protagonist and antagonist duo.

The Koyomi/Shinobu duo is probably the greatest anime duo of all time (sorry Sayaka and Kyouko). Koyomi is the main character-kun perfected and Shinobu is the epitome of protagonist foil characters.

I’ve mentioned for a number of these top 10 entries how the characters are the real driving force behind what makes some anime so good, but for the Monogatari series this is true even more so than with the others. Almost every character in this series is better than any character you’ll find anywhere else.

I say almost because I’m actually not much of a fan of Tsubasa Hanekawa.

While I do feel the need to go on some sort of rant about how perfect the character of Mayoi Hachikuji is, I’ll instead focus on the relationship between Koyomi and Shinobu this time around. They’re relationship can be summed up with one simple phrase, “You’ll never forgive me and I’ll never forgive you.”

Koyomi will never forgive Shinobu for the murder of thousands of humans, and Shinobu will never forgive Koyomi for keeping her alive after she wanted to die. That said, while the two have a mutual understanding that they’ll never forgive each other, they do share the same fate and have grown fairly close over time.

There are many examples of their closeness throughout the series. One example comes at the end of the Mayoi Jiangshi arc when Koyomi comes face-to-face with the full-powered Shinobu, also known as the vampire Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade.

Although she could have easily killed him, she sees the relationship between her future self and Koyomi and decides she would rather have that future than one in which the entire planet it dead. When it really comes down to it, these two are inseparable not just physically, but emotionally too. Their relationship is actually quite similar to that of Shinichi and Migi from my #10 anime, Parasyte.

As always when discussing the Monogatari Series, I need to at least mention the opening animations/songs which are potentially the most well-known parts of the series (other than the toothbrush, but that one is infamous, not famous). Instead of linking one of the actual OPs, I’ll instead link to the full song from the most recent OP; “Dark Cherry Mystery” from the Ougi Dark arc of Owarimonogatari season 2.

Finally, before I end for today, I feel I should leave a chart of the release order of this series because it can be confusing at times.

Conclusion

So there’s my top 10 anime of all time. I hope you enjoyed this 100th post special, and remember: if you don’t agree with my choices for top 10 then you just have trash taste in anime like everyone else.

The 2018 edition of this list is available here.

The 2019 edition of this list is available here.

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