Number 5: Urotsukidoji
This is the only hentai anime on my list, and it deserves it. While many otaku my age had Akira as their first real anime experience, this was mine. Urotsukidoji is a story about cosmic rebirth and destruction. In this story there are three worlds: The World of Beastpeople, The Demon World, and The Human World. A legend of the Beastpeople tell of the Chojin, bourne of the human world, who will recreate the three worlds and unite them into an eternal kingdom of peace. Amano Jyaku is a beastman that believes it is his destiny to find the Chojin, and searches with his sister, Megumi, and Kuroko, his perverted imp-like minion. While Amano seeks the Chojin out of the prospect of peace, the demons wish to destroy him for their own reasons. Urotsjkidoji spans 6 parts in 16 OVA episodes, but really shines in its first 2 parts. The story telling is thrilling and extremely erotic. The art is some of the best art I have ever seen in my life, and is completely without CG due to when the first parts were made. The movement of the characters is lifelike in all actions (I'll leave it at that.). Lighting and sound effects are excellent, in fact, the THX tone from Lucasfilm actually comes from a sound effect from Urotsukidoji (hmmm...). This was also one of the first, if not the first "tentacle hentai."
Other good anime in the genre include Angel of Darkness, La Blue Girl, Violence Jack, and Devilman.
Number 4: Berserk
Berserk is one of the manliest anime ever. Berserk centers around Guts (sometimes erroneously referred to as Gatsu due to common phonic incompatibility between English and Japanese), who is also known as the Black Swordsman. Guts is a battle-hardened one-man army on a mission of revenge against the established ruling nobility. Berserk shows how Guts became the Black Swordsman, and his career with the Band of the Hawk. The Band of the Hawk is led by Griffith, Guts's one time enemy and closest friend. Caska is Griffith's lieutenant, and is the greatest warrior in the Band of the Hawk, after Griffith and Guts. Tensions and attractions between all three ebb and flow to create a great back-story to the plot. Berserk has all of the dramatic elements in it: battle, love, betrayal, rape, murder, ambition, good, evil, and the question of the nature of man. Berserk culminates in all of these elements in one act of moral depravity.
While I cannot really think of any anime that truly shares the same spirit as Berserk, Record of the Lodoss War is an epic fantasy anime with many of the same elements, but not as intense. Claymore is also a violent and bloody anime of revenge.
Number 3: Cowboy Bebop
"And the work which has become a genre unto itself shall be called: Cowboy Bebop" These words were used in a prophetic commercial intermission bump for Cowboy Bebop. Before Cowboy Bebop, never had space travel, bounty hunting, action, love, loss, philosophy, and unique story telling been married in such a perfect blend. Even the filler episodes are delightful and add to the story, rather than detract from or derail it. Cowboy Bebop's characters are three "space cowboys," or interstellar bounty hunters, Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, and Faye Valentine. They are brought together by strange circumstances from their pasts. Edward the hacker(a girl) and Ein the "data dog" aid them in their pursuit of criminal bounties and provide comic relief to the series. Working and living out of their mother ship, the Bebop, each of the crew tries to come to terms with the demons from his or her past that they can no longer run from. The art is top notch and was one of the first anime to feature what I remember being termed "silver tone magic."
Anime series that share the spirit include Outlaw Star, Dirty Pair, Neon Genesis Evangelion,Trigun. Samurai Champloo, and Lupin the 3rd.
Number 2: Bleach
I have to start out by saying that Bleach is my favourite recent anime made. To me, Bleach is like Star Wars because it combines ancient elements and seamlessly incorporates them with more modern ones. Bleach's main protagonist is a teenager named ichigo Kurosaki. Besides being bourne with bright orange hair, Ichigo also has the ability to see and communicate with spirits. His life is completely changed when he encounters a shinigami, or soul reaper, named Rukia. Rukia is mortally wounded by a hollow and is forced to transfer some of her spiritual pressure to ichigo to fight the hollow because he has supernatural abilities already. The interaction makes him a "substitute soul reaper." Like most great anime series, Bleach has an eclectic group of characters that support and oppose Ichigo. I also like the treachery that occurs throughout the series among many of the characters. It is still being translated into English, but I have watched the entire series in sub, and it was a bitter sweet moment to watch it end.
Other spiritual adventure anime include , Death Note, Saiyuki, Kekaishi, Devil Hunter Yohko, and Yu Yu Hakusho.
Number 1: Ranma 1/2
My absolute favourite anime of all time is Ranma 1/2. Ranma 1/2 was written by Rumiko Takahashi, one of the most talented and well-respected anime artists and authors in the business. Ranma 1/2 is a romantic martial arts comedy about Ranma Saotome who is betrothed to Akane Tendo. Ranma and Akane's fathers, Genma and Soun, were students and sole heirs to the "Anything Goes School of Martial Arts," which prides itself on no holds barred brawling in which every style, weapon, or technique is considered fair play. Akane is a tomboy that does not like boys. What complicates things even more is that Ranma is cursed by changing into a girl whenever he is splashed by cold water. The only remedy is to be splashed again, but with warm water. Most of the conflicts occur when other powerful martial artists arrive with crushes on Ranma, Akane, or each other, and all are forced to fight for love. Many of the cast are also cursed with amusing transformations. Ranma 1/2 has great awkward romantic moments. The fight scenes are unique and action packed, and have more dramatic and cooler sounding moves than Street Fighter. The stories have to be seen to be believed. Rumiko Takahashi raised the bar with all of her anime series, and has more favourite series than any anime artist or author.
If you enjoy Ranma 1/2, you will most likely enjoy some of her other series like Lum, Maison Ikkoku, Rumic World, and InuYasha. Tenchi Muyo!, Devil Hunter Yohko, and Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple are also good series that are very similar.
In recollection, for Part 1, there were some honourable mentions that I neglected to make: Number 9- Star Blazers, The Transformers and Thundercats, and Number 8- Paranoia Agent and Shin Chan.
There are also some anime that never really piqued my interest, but have a good buzz, like One Piece, Gantz, and Naruto.
So there you have it. In my opinion, these series are the best in the business and the reasons that I love anime. Some of them are not the best animated by today's standards, but this is also an age when every anime is showroom perfect but a toss-up under the hood.
I think if you give them a chance, you will definitely find something you like and possibly a new favourite.
Did any of these make your list? What do you like? Share it with us. Share it with your friends. We'd love to hear from all of you.
"Anything in Return" by Toro Y Moi is good, it's really good. This album mixes in a bit of an R&B vibe, not as much as the Hodgy Beats remix of its track "So Many Details" which we covered here before at AllGoodThings but it still adds some soul into the mix. It's not too far removed from the 80s synth pop sound of chillwave which he pioneered but somehow it makes these tracks poppier than his previous work. That's not necessarily a bad thing because it also makes everything catchy and accessible.
It's not something you will ever hear playing in the club but it's still something you'll be playing everywhere else and something you'll be playing on repeat. As I've mentioned before, I appreciate the rare opportunity these days when I can enjoy an album as a whole instead of just a couple singles buried in filler and "Anything in Return" is enjoyable from beginning to end. So if you would like to hear what I'm talking about for yourselves then it officially releases January 22, 2013 via carpark records but you can freely stream it right now via pitchfork, right here.
P.S. The first track, “Harm in Change,” is really good.
Number 10: Crying Freeman
Crying Freeman is about a very unlikely assassin, named Yo. Yo was a famous Japanese artist whose skill with his hands in both sculpture and painting is so splendid that it catches the eyes of the 108 Dragons, a powerful Chinese crime syndicate. They kidnap him, and through a combination of ancient and cutting edge mind control, memory editing, and reprogramming techniques, make Yo into their greatest assassin. Despite all of the manipulation, his will and spirit remain strong, and his psyche gives release to his juxtaposition by streams of silent tears that stream down his face every time he makes a hit. This gives him his codename: Crying Freeman. His true destiny is sparked when he is spotted during an assassination by a beautiful, yet modest, young artist, named Emu. His assassin's code dictates that he kill her under penalty of death, but he falls for her. Yo and Emu's lives are never the same. The series has beautiful classic anime art, and Crying Freeman's fighting style is unconventional and clever.
Other anime like Crying Freeman are Grappler Baki, Golgo13, and Rei-Lan: Orchid Emblem.
Number 9: Voltron (Go Lions!)
This series is about as classic as it gets. Voltron was not as Astroboy or Gigantor, but it was old enough to not only to influence anime, but endear itself to a lot of people that helped to make anime the juggernaut that it is. Voltron is the story of the worlds protected by a planetary alliance. Various teams are sent to the worlds and defend them using giant robots. For the purpose of this article, I am only going to refer to the superior "Lions" Voltron Team, and not the "Cars" or "Gladiator" Teams. In Voltron, a team of adventurers from The Alliance go to the planet Arus to find one of the Voltron robots, who used to defend that galaxy. Voltron was tricked by a witch named Haggar, who was not powerful enough to destroy him, but separate him into five elemental robot lions. The Voltron Force must find the hidden lions and learn to pilot them. If found, The Lions can be united to reform Voltron, and protect the galaxy again. Voltron had great stories, but some otaku might consider it lacking because of the art style and lack of intensity. Like I said, this is an old anime series, and just how movies in the 1940's might be considered tamer by some, others love them for the stories and nostalgia; it is the same for me and Voltron. I think the thing that I, and many classic otaku have loved about Voltron is that Voltron is a synergy of technology and magic with a soul.
If you think you might like Voltron, cheque out Robotech, which also encompasses Macross, and Speed Racer.
Number 8: FLCL
I cannot express the joy I get thinking about the insanity that is FLCL. without giving away plot twists, but I will do my best. The story is about a boy name Naota whose older brother, Tasuku, is a pro baseball player that lives in the USA. Naota's life was already abnormal enough considering his father and grandfather are quite eccentric, and his brother's ex-girlfriend, Mamimi uses him as a proxy for his brother, to molest. The story picks the weirdness up a notch when Haruka, a girl on a Vespa runs Naota over. After this, Naota and Haruka find out that when she hits him in the head with her bass guitar, things come out of it. This story covers love triangles, coming of age, conspiracy theories, inter-dimensional portals, philosophy, humor, and action packed into a 12 episode series...each episode only about 15 minutes! I know it might seem unbelievable that such a short series could make my top 10, but it really is that good!
Another series that you might want to check out is Soul Eater, which, like FLCL, one of the better recent series that shares the same kind of insanity of FLCL.
Number 7: Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood is a more manga accurate remake of Full Metal Alchemist. It is about two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who live on a world where alchemy is a developed and well respected central science of their society. There are only two taboos: human creative and re-creative alchemy, and attempts to create a Philosophers' Stone. Both actions attempt to ignore the central rule of alchemy, "The Law of Equivalent Exchange:" in order for something to be gained, something equal must be lost. While the elements in a human body are cheap, what is the value of a human being, and what must be lost for the alchemic production of one? The Philosopher's Stone is a perversion of The Law because it seeks to bypass it altogether, and what must be lost to achieve that? The Elric brothers attempted to resurrect their mother using alchemy when they are small children. The result was gruesome, and costs Edward an arm and a leg, and Alphonse his entire body. Edward binds Alphonse's body to a suit of armor. The two become State Alchemists in order to unlock the secrets of both taboos, and find their father. Edward and Alphonse meet some colorful characters in their travels, and learn truths that seem to link the two taboos. Most of you reading this have probably watched at least one episode.
Case Closed sort of reminds of Brotherhood because of the pursuit of truth.
Number 6: The Dragon Ball Series
This had to end up somewhere on the list. This series spans not just Dragon Ball Z, but Dragon Ball GT, the original Dragon Ball, and the re-edited and restored Dragon Ball Z Kai. For any of you that do not know about this series, it centers around a very virtuous and kind martial artist named Goku. He is taught martial arts by an old martial arts master named Gohan. Training from the legendary fighter combined with the child's extraordinary origins make Goku one of the strongest warriors on Earth. This series has some of the most diverse and remarkable cast of characters in all of anime, most of which are enemies of Goku, and most of them become his allies and trusted friends. Aiding Goku and his friends are the seven Dragon Balls, which can be brought together every year to grant a wish, before scattering all over the Earth again. While the Dragon Balls are powerful enough to resurrect the dead in multitudes, they are not omnipotent, and there are rules affecting the wishes.
Other favorite anime with fighting spirit include Yu Yu Hakusho, Rurouni Kenshin, and Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.
How do you like the Top 10 so far? Have any of mine been any of yours? Well, I'm only half-way through, and there is still a good chance that some of yours may make my list. Stay tuned to All Good Things TV to find out, and keep the comments coming!
By: HERETICPRIME of Otaku no Baka