Alright, so, my list changes every now and then as the years pass and I watch new shows, but for now, here's my current top ten:
10. Digimon Adventure
- This is a bit of an unfair position, since it's been years since I've watched the show, and my impression will surely change if I watch it again, but this is a blissful, friendly episodic show that, though it might have been a bit silly at times, remains my favorite kid's show to this day. I've never actually watched the dubbed version.
9. Monogatari Second Season
- Akiyuki Shinbou's style and Nisio Isin's wit created Bakemonogatari, which was an intriguing watch because of its clean implementation of magical realism into the focal point of its story. This gets fantastic in Second Season, where the characters are all given their individual arcs and can't rely on Araragi to help them deal with their problems anymore. Nadeko and Kaiki's arcs take characters that were previously no more than archetypes and develops them in an unexpected and unconventional manner - like the best gift under the tree.
8. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003)
- Take the journey of two brothers that commit a grave sin for the pursuit of happiness and you get a 51 episode epic about how the road to hell is paved by good intentions. Then take the wittiful concept of equivalent exchange from Arakawa herself and create its antithesis. You ultimately get a cathartic tale about two boys who aren't necessarily redeeming themselves, but are simply trying to undo their mistakes in the same manner that they tried to undo their mother's death - and how they really only have each other when it boils down to it. Pure brilliance.
- Anything can be a passion. Even a card game about poems. People might not be able to see what that passion is, especially when it's something minor, and just call it obsession or hobby. I love passion. I respect passionate people: sports lovers, anime lovers, video game lovers - you name it. This show reinvigorates the feeling of passion extremely well, and is plain fun to watch all the while. The card game looks fun because Chihaya truly loves it. Passion can be stronger than the face of love - or can create that face.
6. Mimi wo Sumaseba
- I just plain relate to this. It's about a girl trying to find her path in life while others scorn her when the mistake her lack of motivation and drive for laziness. As a writer, myself, I am always inspired to watch the events of the movie take place - it legitimately makes me feel like I can really do anything I'm passionate for. People mistake going against conventions for angst when you're you're young. But that's when you truly prepare for your dream - why should you give up in the face of society because everyone else is cynical and unmotivated about the world?
5. Shinsekai Yori
- Slow and steady, this series seems to lack impact at first - but every little hint to the world's composition makes the story grow ever more frightening as the realities of those things come out. This show is scary - and the most frightening thing about it is that there's nobody to really blame for the events that occur.
4. Hunter x Hunter (2011)
- Chimera Ant Arc anybody?
3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
- Free spirited and genuine; this show is never pretentious. This is definitely one of the funnest things I've ever watched. Why should a simple tale of people coming out from the underground and eventually reaching outer space be so high on my list? It's not deep or symbolic, nor is it complexly written. It's free. Free from the arrogant air that most shows have about themselves - indeed, why is Kamina standing up against the big machine with just a sword? It's Kamina - he doesn't have to be logical! Instead of trying to be witty, or trying to set up a set of rules that should be followed, or get mad at itself for not being good enough at times, it laughs at the face of writing structure and does what it wants, because a story doesn't have to be perfect, and if it's fun - truly, genuinely fun - why should I care if it has flaws? It doesn't act like it doesn't, it just doesn't throw a fit when people scream that it does!
- The character chemistry is like a fireworks display - every character is defined as a human being, and each individual has a complex relationship with the others. There are no stock characters or static characters for the sake of forcing any events or emotions onto the series. There's just a whole bunch of life going on, here. And life is life - tough. When the actual drama begins to happen, you have a feeling of inevitability and helplessness that you should have, rather than just getting angry at the characters for screwing up. And believe me, they do screw up. Nana is one of the most emotionally powerful experiences in anime, and I wouldn't give that claim to any other title. Not even a Jun Maeda piece.
1. Kill la Kill
- Take Gurren Lagann, add in even more fun, some style, and an even greater sense of absolute freedom, and you have Kill la Kill. Just - if you didn't have fun with this show, I'm sorry, but I legitimately think this is a masterpiece. How many shows can have so much control over themselves without seeming to have any control at all? How many shows are so free of pretension that you never feel bothered by the show's endless amount of risks? Writing is writing - it doesn't have to follow a jackhammer set of rules just because people determined what was okay to write and what wasn't. This show does its best to remind you to be creative and do what you want - so long as you're having fun and aren't being a jerk doing so. This show is like that nice breeze you feel after the end of the school year - relief. Yes, anime has been saved indeed.
Of 2013 (Only applies to the shows that ended in 2013)
1. Shinsekai Yori
2. Monogatari Series Second Season
3. Chihayafuru 2
4. Little Busters: Refrain
6. Uchouten Kazoku
8. Aku no Hana
9. Servant x Service