Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Top 15 Favorite Anime

So, I'm not only fan of comics, but manga as well. However, the thing that got me to read manga was in fact the cartoon versions. I have watched several and I love each and every one of them, and here I would like to tell you about my top 15 favorites! Hope I'll get you to check them out :D

15) One Piece

This anime in particular has sunk down to last place because it has been going on for forever! I watched it in the beginning, I loved it a lot. Still do! I re-watch the beginnings over and over again - simply because I can't get enough of it. But after a while, I couldn't follow the story anymore. It was on at 14.30 every day and sometimes I couldn't get home in time from school to see it. However, I loved all the characters, I love the story, the idea, the colors behind it and finally the music - completely off the hook! (Click here to see the opening!)

14) Saiyuki

I used to watch this in secret really. I love the idea of it, seeing that martial arts and demons is one hack of a combination! And I love everything in it, again, the interactions, the characters, this universe is just one hell of a ride! Seeing that the stories are a bit more mature, and that it was on quite late on a weeknight, I ended up not seeing nearly as many episodes as I would've liked. And that is the only reason why it is so low on the list. (Click here to see the opening!)

13) Beyblade

I literally went crazy for this series. I didn't like the prequel and the sequels so much, but I did see all 70-something episodes of this one. I actually have my own beyblades to prove it! A small arena and the manga series on my shelf. I even have the yin-yang head banner! Anyway, loved every second of it. For me it was as huge as Pokémon was for others. (Click here to see the opening!)

12) Lupin III

I loved the characters, however, I never saw too many episodes. What I actually saw was the many movies that were made in the meanwhile. The key of the cartoon was staying true to the characters. We have the playboy Arséne Lupin, his best friend Daisuke Gigen - always with a gun and a cigarette - the quiet Goemon, who stays true to his samurai ancestry and finally Fujiko Mine, the one that got away. She is a perfect contrast for Lupin, as the two are equally smart, but have a soft spot when it comes to the other. I wanted to mention this series simply because I think a lot of people don't know about it, while they really should! Even if you just want to watch the movies, trust me, it is worth it! (Click here to see the opening!)

11) Cyborg Kuro-chan

I am almost 100% sure that you don't know this series. Not many do unfortunately. I first saw this, again, on TV during several other anime for kids. And again, this falls into the category of series whose manga is meant for a slightly older audience. Long story short, our hero Kuro-chan is a cat, who almost loses his life in a car accident, only to wake up half cyborg by the machinations of a slightly evil Professor Go. Kuro-chan, not particularly interested in serving him, goes back home to the elderly couple that raised him all of his life. The Professor of course wishes now to destroy him - something at which he fails miserably several times, seeing that he made Kuro-chan the strongest cyborg of all. The series is highly comical and just the whole idea of it is somewhat absurd. I loved every second of it. (Click here to see the opening!)

10) Cat's Eye

This is an old favorite - again. It was created by one of my favorite manga artists, Tsukasa Hojo. He has three major series, and I loved them all. However, as far as cartoon versions go, this is the best. The story is about three sisters who steal back their father's art works in order to be able to find him, seeing he has disappeared years ago, leaving clues behind. The only problem is, that one of the sisters is dating a policeman whose job is actually to capture them. I always loved the music and these kind of crime stories. Not to mention the drawing style - over the years it had achieved a very important spot in my heart. (Click here to hear the opening score!)

9) Slam Dunk
 

Takehiko Inoue, the creator of the series was actually a pupil of Hojo's. This is something I discovered only years later, however I did always see a kind of resemblance in the drawing style. The story is about a high school basketball team, whose members are all seniors and the coming season is their only chance of winning. For that, they need a couple of people who are not so eager to join in the beginning. All my life I have been a big fan of basketball and this series just knocked it out of the park for me. It reached number nine on my list because the ending of the cartoon was very different from the manga and I was a bit disappointed for that singular reason. Otherwise, awesome! (Click here to see the opening!)

8) Kareshi Kanojo No Jijyo

This was actually my brother's favorite, but after a while I decided to watch it myself. The title literally stands for "His and Her circumstances". Her, Yukino Miyazawa, is an over-competitive introverted girl who gave up on friends and love in her conquest to become the best at everything. Her position is however in jeopardy when a boy by the name of Soichiro Arima beats her in a test in school. Being completely unaware that this boy has no intention of beating her, and that he is in fact in love with her, she drives herself crazy into beating him by becoming his friend. She, however, doesn't realize that she had fallen in love with him. It is a very sweet story, as we see these two fight through everything to be able to stay together. It is really a beautiful story! (Click here to see the opening!)

7) Tokyo Mew Mew

This was sort of a Sailor Moon reboot, it is however the version I grew up with and I loved it very much. The story is about five special girls who were born with the mission of saving the earth one day from an alien invasion. The story is actually for a very young audience, but the last five episodes were really creepy! I remember crying, despite the absurdity of the beginning. Not to mention that the transformation sequences equally took up half of the running time - just like in Sailor Moon. But the colors and the overall story is really fantastic. And this is one of the few series where I NEVER skipped the opening sequence! (Click here to see the opening!)

6) Full Metal Panic

This is one of those series that I watched in one whole night. It was actually the first night I ever spent alone at home. The DVDs on the shelf have been staring at me for months before I took up the courage to see it. It is a thriller really. A secret military group is given the mission of protecting a young girl whose brain was injected with special information, before she was even born. The person who is sent to defend her is a young boy who knows nothing about life, as he grew up in war. He has no social skills whatsoever, but he learns from the girl. The story variates from comedy to drama. There was a second season that was actually very dramatic and another short series that simply concentrated on the comedic adventures of the two. All three are wonderful, but it is one of those 26 episode long series that you need to watch all together, so don't start if you can't finish! (Click here to see the opening!)

5) Detective Conan

I loved this series so much I wanted to become a detective myself! The story is about a young man - Shinici Kudo - who ends up butting into business that doesn't concern him. He is given a formula that turns him back into his seven year old self. Not knowing what to do and how to search for the men who did this to him, he manages to move in with his actual girlfriend Ran whose father is also a detective - except he is awful at it. Using him to solve cases and advance toward the organization that ruined his life. He is an exceptional and fantastic detective whose stories are very thrilling! (Click here to see the opening!)

4) Ranma 1/2

This was the very first cartoon I ever watched. It is what marked the beginning of my love for Japanese culture. The story is about Ranma who fell into a cursed stream in China, and now he becomes a girl when he touches cold water. He turns back when he touches hot water. All this is complicated when his father forces him to marry his best friend's daughter Akane. The two begin to hate each other, and even though they do fall in love - they are way to stubborn to admit it to each other and everyone else. The story complicates when we discover that Ranma isn't the only one who has been cursed. His father turns into a panda, his arch enemy into a little black piglet, a girl who fights for his affection turns into a cat, and at a certain point their whole life turns completely upside-down. It is one of the funniest series I ever watched and the love story between these two is literally beautiful. It ran for seven season, several specials and a couple of months. (Click here to see the opening!)

3) Marmalade Boy

This series has actually taught me about love. Although it officially came out a year after I was born, I was luck enough to catch re-runs almost a decade after it first aired in Japan. The story is really about finding your soul-mate and being in love. The thing I learned from it was really that we cannot choose who we fall for. And even if our love isn't returned, we will learn from the experience and it will make us stronger. Such feeling has to be embraced, no matter what. The cartoon ran for three years with 76 episodes. It has one of the best soundtracks I've ever listened to. (Click here to see the opening!)

2) Cowboy Bebop

Science-fiction at its best. Set in the future where two friends, Spike and Jet become bounty hunters after leaving behind a past that we discover over the run of 26 episodes. They are joined by a dog, Ein; a woman, Fay Valentine; and a real genius on the territory of modern technology, a little girl by the name of Ed. Everything from music, to the conflicts among characters, to the mystery behind every person and just generally the awesomeness that comes with a science fiction story that doesn't have aliens, but just humans. I cannot recall how many times I re-watched every single episode. It is literally top quality! (Click here to see the opening!)

1) Great Teacher Onizuka
 

What makes a good teacher? Certainly not Onizuka, let me tell you that, but I have asked myself that question several times.After being a student for what has now been 15 years, I can tell you that I've spotted those who are in fact good teachers. For some it is the ability to teach you a subject in a such a way that it stays with you - even if you don't care for it. For others is he ability to change your life. To listen, care and show to you the same respect that they expect of you. Onizuka is that kind of a teacher. If one day I do start to teach I hope that I'll be able to give my students memories that will stay with them forever and help them achieve - or at least figure out - their dreams. The story of this anime is that of a bandit, who once grown up, decides to become a teacher. He gets a job at a private school and sets right a bunch of bad kids whose intention in life up until that moment was that of destroying everyone who dared to educate them. Onizuka's unorthodox methods seem to do the trick in the end.
I could talk to you about why I love this anime for days to come. But if you need me to use one word to describe it, I would go with: special. Do try to watch it, trust me, you won't be disappointed!

Until the next item on my list!

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