Category Archives: Favorites

For Certain Definitions of ‘Favorite’

katanagatari

Generally, I try to come from a straightforward place when I talk about “favorite”. Years ago (like 10 or 15), I came to this decision when people asked me about my favorite movie. It remains The Princess Bride for the simple reason that it’s the one movie that I’ve seem more times than any and can always be convinced to watch. When I went to assemble my list of top anime, this didn’t work as easily. If we list the the works I’ve seen the most, it goes something like this:

  1. Iria
  2. Slayers OVA
  3. Read or Die OVA
  4. Hikaru no Go
  5. FLCL

This is not my Top 5 list. When it came time to make a Top 5 for Anime-Planet’s list features, I made a different call. But why? I’m not entirely sure. When I look at the list above, I am struck by how many of those things are solid, easy-to-watch OVAs that can sort of be chewed up in the space of a day, which explains why I watch them so much.

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Quantifying the unquantifiable: A Golden Drop In the Ocean

So, 2012 found me pummeling this corner of the internet with my presence on yet another blog, thanks to the magical compulsion power of vucub_caquix. Now he’s compelled me to do yet another deviant, uncharacteristic, and hateful act: a top 5 post. So let’s skip the ado and get on, in no particular order.
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On the 7th Day, Lily Awaited

Mika Nakashima as Nana Oosaki

When you think about someone’s favorite anime, one of the first factors you consider might be bias. Someone’s favorite anime might be Toradora!, and yet you, the reader, run away from romantic comedies like the Apocalypse is actually real and “romcoms” are Satan, or his minions, trying to make your brain melt out of pure, horrifying boredom.

Since our interests might be conflicting, let me attempt to explain the circle of hell that I presently guard. Or, as you’d call it, my taste.

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Quantification of Art and Commodification of Identity in the Postmodern Age: A Forensic Exploration

ジャスティス by ゴロボッツ

Ichigo Mashimaro

Planetes

Heartcatch Precure

Sengoku Collection

Hidamari Sketch

Oh, that was easy.

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Relationships, Chemistry, & Favorite Anime

summer_wars_artwork_02

The task of collating favorites is both an exciting and an onerous endeavor. The excitement is in sharing what you love; the burden is in setting limits, in the cherished tales left unspoken. What sets these stories apart? What magic endears them to our hearts–renders their characters our close friends, their experiences our own–that these few deserve mention above all others? I could chart each objective quality–from writing to editing to cinematography to sound–delineating the success of each ingredient in delivering the recipe’s divine flavor. But I must admit I’ve always lacked the attention and capacity for such detail. So, glancing at the garish plastic adorning my bookshelf, I asked, “What do I love about stories? What spurs my hunger for the next tale to devour, cel by cel?” And, as I eyed the titles before me, my mind’s eye conjured images of their characters–the interactions between them–that move us  to laughter, tears, or a simple smile of pleasure at a tale well told.

So, here are a handful of my favorite anime, with an eye for the relationships that spoke most deeply to me. I hope you enjoy! Continue reading

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My top five shows this time I think about it. All roads lead to Maison Ikkoku.

Maison Ikkoku

Source: pixiv

My task today is to lead you through a list of my five favorite shows. This is something that will benefit from both a little structure and a little rule breaking. First the former: this will be a path, a road if you will from one trait to another, tying the shows I love to each other. And the latter is fairly forgivable I suspect: a sixth show to start my journey from. Shall we?

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Schnitzel with Noodles

Like everybody else here at Altair & Vega, I’m amazing at playing favorites: that is to say, narrowing down a list is a nigh impossible task. Nonetheless, I’ve managed to hammer out a list; the following five shows are those that have stood the test of time. Here, listed in alphabetical order, are a few of my favorite things:

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Surrender at Five: Database now live!

source: pixiv

source: pixiv

A little secret: I hate writing reviews. I also despise putting together “Top Lists” due to an inability to rate one thing over another. Say I was called upon to list my favorite series of this past year, 2012. Immediately springing to mind is Tsuritama, for I honestly cannot think of an anime more jubilant than that one. It was tightly-plotted, colorful, and emotionally satisfying. Then again, how could I possibly compare the burst of emotion and energy I received from Tsuritama with something that make me laugh warmly week after week like Polar Bear Café? This idea continues to fall to pieces when fondly remembering the other series I so loved this past year: Hyouka for it’s exploration of detective fiction, Tari Tari for its warm heart in spite of a rather cynical backdrop, Aquarion EVOL for its over-the-top ridiculousness, Smile Precure for its Cinderella episode alone, and Acchi Kocchi for washing away the troubles of the day with fuzzy romantic sweetness.

The fact is, that when called on to compare them, I simply cannot. They’re all too different. I loved watching each and every one of them, and this is well before any mention of the perpetual war between emotional resonance and objective quality in reviews; a war in which I refuse to speak for one side – although one may hazard a guess to where my opinion would fall. Now having established my hatred for these sort of things, what should follow this introduction when asked to list my top five anime of all time? Well, I refuse to rank them, although feel free to argue amongst yourselves in the comments section about quality versus emotion and how to place things on your MAL user list with an insignificant number. I am simply here for the sole purpose of speaking to five spectacular series, in no particular order. All are highly recommended.

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Edifying Those of Lesser Taste: Dragonfly Edition

Against All Hope

I had finished my sweet and was the sole remaining passenger in the restaurant carriage, when he passed me the package. It was a relatively bulky plain brown envelope. Intrigued, I glanced up at the waiter who was now placing a cup of coffee before me. Noticing his lapel pin, I quickly realised the nature of his business.

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