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:
- Slayers OVA
- Read or Die OVA
- Hikaru no Go
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.
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.
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
It’s strange, in every season there’s always a single opening sequence and ending sequence that stands apart from the rest as the example that compels me to seek it out. And while there are several incredibly good opening songs this season (Persona 4’s comes to mind easily), there’s only been one song that has truly grabbed me like no other. That’s Un-Go’s “Fantasy”, by LAMA. The melancholy minor key tonality of the vocals being pulled along by the repetitive lilt of the piano transfixes me like no other. I’ve enjoyed several opening songs so far, but none have really grabbed me viscerally so much as this particular song has. Perhaps I need a little more time for the songs to grow on me. I know for instance that I didn’t know how much I enjoyed Tiger & Bunny’s Orion wo Nazoru until it was gone.