Every aniblogger has to have a Top Anime List. That’s the unspoken rule. You are not an aniblogger until you have one such list for people to judge you on your best taste, not even if you already have a thousand blog posts of analysis, reflections, and reviews written. Top Anime List makes it whole.
In this (supposedly) comprehensive list, I will go into details on how I determine the ranking of my favorites and more importantly, why.
1. Nodame Cantabile
I’m heavy on anime rewatch; and I must have rewatch this fantastic show for at least 4 to 5 times.
Nodame Cantabile is one of my very first music anime. It introduced me to the of world music created through anime; and I’m very thankful for that. Because of that I’ve come to a realisation that I really love music, despite not learning any musical instrument at that moment.
Or perhaps it is exactly because I’m not enlightened on the world of music that I find this show an absolute eyes-opener. It let me understand, feel, even, the vast gap between listening to music and actually pouring your everything into making one.
The next reason for this being at the top is Romantic-Comedy. I’m a big sucker for rom-com. The show excels at it and kept its comedic quality across all seasons, while slowly building up the romantic relationships between Nodame and Chiaki.
Along the lengthy show, we see them growing together, both musical skills and character development. One of the most compelling themes is Talent vs Desire. We get to see exactly how their relationship, musical drives and results get influenced and complicated by their conflicting career goals. What you do best isn’t necessarily what you want best.
More importantly, Nodame x Chiaki is the best ship so this show is already automatically number one.
2. Silver Spoon
Here comes the hard part. Number Two spot is actually contested by many other anime, but Silver Spoon claims it simply because it dealt with more life lessons. I love real, hard-hitting life lessons in anime, and this show deliver its punches.
I love that how Hachiken is ‘forgiven’ for running away from his failings, while not brushed over. It is important to let yourself move forward, but also equally important to understand that “you cannot run away at the most important time”.
It taught me that as long as you don’t run away at the crucial moment, you can and should forgive yourself for past mistakes and decisions, and strife to be better.
The show has a lot of green. Fields and mountains populated by people and animals. The show spoils us on the harmony between human, animals and nature, and the symboitic relationships among all of us. Coexistence between people and animals is an important theme!
It is also a rom-com, even though it is never spoken out loud. Their romantic awkwardness is our joy and warmth.
3. Hunter x Hunter 2011
The. Best. Shounen. Action. Anime.
All the other popular ones are so far behind on HxH 2011 that I don’t think I will go back and finish them (mostly because it’ll take too long, but, I don’t think I will miss out much).
There are plenty of analysis, reflections, reviews, and blog posts on HxH 2011, and it deserves all the attention it gets.
The original Hunter x Hunter was one of the earliest contact I have with anime. I first watched it in Cantonese (living in a multi-racial country and all) when I was way younger. It was very engaging and I loved the characters.
When I eventually started watching anime very fervently, I picked up HxH 2011, which is known as a better and more faithful version.
There are a lot to say about HxH 2011, however, I thing I always like to bring up is how HxH 2011 does genre blending. Jumping from genre to genre is done seamlessly, with very natural story progression.
4. Recovery of MMOJunkie (Netojuu no Susume)
The new favorite, a Rom-Com, another anime that delivers real life relevance to an astonishing and at the same time, scary, degree. It ticks many boxes.
It talks about:
- Social anxiety [x]
- Real relationships online [x]
- Self-depreciation, low confidence, running away from problems [x]
Which, perhaps, is the main benefit you get from the show as a viewer.
We can recover from our weaknesses and be better.
Old favorite. I wrote a post on Kekkaishi before. Even though I’m not sure how well I conveyed my thoughts on this anime through my lackluster writing skills, I still really hope more people will read about it and, at the very least, check out this anime that most never even heard of.
I really, really liked it.
6. Blood Battlefront Blockade (Kekkai Sensen)
This show is so colourful. So beautiful. So stylish. So much class.
It is an anime that appeals to me on an artistical level instinctively. When I first saw its visual effects I felt that this is the kind of visual imagery I always wanted. So vibrant and cheerful.
The stylish skill shout-outs is one thing, but the sound effects that accompanied the choreography of skill names is what brings life to the whole motion of skill activations. Block and block of characters combined with thump and thump of sound beats make this one of the best action sequences in anime. The synchronisation of the whole motion enhanced with various cinematic techniques avoids the trap of over-used style effects. It never gets bored.
In fact, the show never gets boring, even on its slower episodes. The soundtrack supported those slower moments with subtle borderline melancholic music. There are some jazz thrown in, too. The OP sets a good mood to the whole show as well, helping you be comfortable with and ready for the mundane daily lives in Hellsalem’s Lot.
When the quiet gets angry, it’s wordless rage.
When Leo opens his eyes, it’s divinely mesmerising.
This short piece is part of the 12 DAYS OF ANIME 2017 aniblogging series. Things have been hectic and I couldn’t write as much as I wanted to. What originally is supposed to be a post spanning out of several days, are turned into a 6-days-in-one kind of post. I think that instead of rushing and churning out really shallow posts, it’s better to turn this “Top Favorite Anime List” into one Day 12 post. Thank you appropriant for hosting this and the opportunities it brings.