1. Clannad (2007-2009)
2. Pretty Cure (2004-2012+)
3. One Piece (1999-2012+)
4. Code Geass (2006-2009+)
5. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (2004-2010+)
6. Seikai no Monshou/Senki/Danshou (1999-2005)
7. Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni (2006-2012)
8. K-On! (2009-2011)
9. Kanon (2002-2007)
10. Fairy Tail (2009-2012+)
11. Naruto (2002-2012+)
12. Dragonball (1986-2011)
13. Haruhi Suzumiya (2006-2010)
14. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007-2009)
15. To Aru Majutsu no Index/Kagaku no Railgun (2008-2011+)
16. Angel Beats (2010)
17. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011+)
18. Da Capo (2003-2011)
19. Katanagatari (2010)
20. The Idolm@ster (2011)
21. Vandread (2000-2001)
22. Full Metal Panic! (2002-2006)
23. Kobato (2009-2010+)
24. Working! (2010-2012+)
25. Bakuman (2010-2012+)
26. Record of Lodoss War (1990-1998)
27. The World God Only Knows (2010-2011)
28. Hayate no Gotoku (2007-2012+)
29. Sora no Woto (2010)
30. Toradora! (2008-2011)
31. Evangelion (1995-2009+)
32. Basilisk (2005)
33. Galaxy Angel (2001-2006)
34. Saki (2009-2012+)
35. Major (2004-2012)
36. Prince of Tennis (2001-2012+)
37. Inuyasha (2000-2010)
38. Ranma 1/2 (1989-1996)
39. Sailor Moon (1992-1997)
40. Air (2005)
41. Hanasaku Iroha (2011+)
42. Usagi Drop (2011-2012)
43. Angelic Layer (2001)
44. Rurouni Kenshin (1996-2011+)
45. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
46. Ef (2007-2008)
47. Ore no Immouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (2010-2011)
48. Uuchuu no Stellvia (2003)
49. Utawarerumono (2006-2010)
50. Summer Wars (2009)
51. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2010-2011)
52. Cowboy Bebop (1998-2001)
53. Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)
54. Battle Athletes (1997-1998)
55. Bleach (2004-2012+)
56. Bake-(Nise, Kizu, etc)-monogatari (2009-2012+)
57. Amagami SS (2010-2012+)
58. Macross (1982-2011)
59. 12 Kingdoms (2002-2003)
60. Mononoke Hime (1997)
61. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (2011)
62. Berserk (1997-2012+)
63. Claymore (2007)
64. Valkyria Chronicles (2009-2011)
65. Negima! Magister Magi Negi (2004-2012)
66. Sora no Otoshimono (2009-2012+)
67. Strike Witches (2007-2010+)
68. Nichijou (2011-2012+)
69. Hunter x Hunter (1999-2012+)
70. Fate/Stay/Etc (2006-2011+)
71. Card Captor Sakura (1998-2000)
72. Gundam (1979-2012+)
73. Shakugan no Shana (2005-2012+)
74. Martian Successor Nadesico (1996-1998)
75. Read or Die (2001-2004)
76. Break Blade (2010-2011)
77. Kimi ni Todoke (2009-2011)
78. Spice and Wolf (2008-2009)
79. To Heart (1999-2012+)
80. Bastard! (1992)
81. Mahoromatic (2001-2009)
82. Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka (2008-2009)
83. Fatal Fury (1992-1994)
84. Lucky Star (2007-2008)
85. Azumanga Daioh (2002)
86. Alien Nine (2001-2002)
87. Iria: Zeiram the Animation (1994)
88. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
89. Guyver (1986-2006)
90. Spirited Away (2001)
91. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
92. Scrapped Princess (2003)
93. Steins;Gate (2011-2012+)
94. Gunbuster (1988-2012)
95. Shamanic Princess (1996-1998)
96. Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai (2011)
97. Akira (1988)
98. Moshidora (2011)
99. Soul Eater (2008-2009)
100. High School of the Dead (2010-2011)
101. Flame of Recca (1997-1998)
102. Hikaru no Go (2001-2004)
103. Kanokon (2008-2009)
104. Ninja Scroll (1993-2003+)
105. Tamayura (2010-2011)
106. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2010-2011)
107. Zero no Tsukaima (2006-2012+)
108. Sora no Manimani (2009)
109. Ghost in the Shell (1995-2011)
110. Gosick (2011)
+ denotes the fact that additional content is planned to be released in the future. But not all + signs are created equal. Some just mean a minute long special, or a few additional edited seconds to the original screening. Others mean a small oav or longer movie is planned. Others mean entire new tv seasons. To guide people through this maze of plus signs, let's look at each of them closely:
2. Pretty Cure: Pretty Cure is a flourishing series with a long-term TV season, Smile Precure, planned ahead plus at least one extra movie, Pretty Cure All Stars New Stage: Friends of the Future, releasing today, March 12. A lot of ignorant fools have been criticizing Smile Precure as not measuring up to the previous seasons. For one thing, this is to be expected. Not every season of Pretty Cure can be the best, everyone will have their favorites and every series has its ups and downs. But for another, it's comparing apples to oranges. Every Pretty Cure series focuses on a slightly different theme. Pretty Cure seasons are like Magic blocks, it retains the same core but changes out many things to keep a fresh feeling of innovation and excitement throughout its long lifespan. Just as in Magic design, blocks are meant to define themselves by staking out some novel terrain in people's mindspace, Pretty Cure seasons all try to differentiate themselves from each other. Smile Precure has chosen to manage this through humor and tropes. Smile Precure isn't meant to be a tearjerker, it's meant to be funny, bright, and lighthearted. Look at the title! SMILE. Lighten up. The idea behind this season is a fun filled romp through the Pretty Cure adventure. It's totally different from Yes Pretty Cure 5's battle against despair, or Fresh Pretty Cure's overthrow of a sci fi dystopia.
If you open your heart to Smile Precure, you'll quickly realize how happy you are when you watch it, how light and fluffy your soul becomes under its rainbow radiance, and you'll relax already and stop waiting for it to become Yes Pretty Cure 5, just because they both have 5 Pretty Cure. On that note, Smile Precure isn't going to stop at 5 Pretty Cure just because it started there. I'm betting on a record breaking 7 Pretty Cure by the end, because there are 7 gems on their transformer, and 5 of them light up when the 5 Pretty Cure put in their cure decor corresponding to their color -- so what are the other two colors there for? Just a whim? I think not.
Smile Precure is the most exciting '+' on the list. There's nothing more important being contributed to the total artistic value of Japan than this series. Also, the Suite Precure movie will come out in blu-ray March 21st or so. There's a lot of blu-ray anime coming out this March.
3. One Piece: One Piece is still steaming ahead with the excellent Fishman Island arc. It's the first time we get to see the whole crew together in years, both within the story (there was a 2 year timeskip), and literally, since it took years to animate Luffy's adventures in Impel Down and Marineford headquarters. Naturally it's far more fun this way. This is the best One Piece arc in years, and it just goes to show that this series never loses steam, it just goes from height to height with one of the most unbelievably epic tales ever told. Incidentally, the arc after this one, which the manga has barely started on, is also amazing. How does Eiichiro Oda do it? He's the most creative person on Earth. Hands down. And his manga sales probably exceed all other manga sales from all other authors combined, (around 300,000,000 volumes) which kind of proves my point.
One Piece will surely come to an end someday. But hopefully not this decade.
4. Code Geass: Code Geass is planning a silly OAV, Nunnally in Wonderland, and a serious, slightly longer OVA, about some sort of fight in Europe. I'm sure these will be good, but they won't fundamentally change the content or value of the actual series. Both will be coming out in 2012.
5. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha: The first two Nanoha series wasn't widescreen or high definition. It was in the dark old days of the early 2000's. That is why the good people at 7arcs decided to make theatrical versions of their series with all the bells, whistles, and budgets that could be desired. The 2nd Movie, covering A's, comes out July 7th, 2012. Since it's the same content, but more rushed, but more beautiful, it will be a welcome addition to the series, but nothing earth-shaking.
10. Fairy Tail: Fairy Tail is currently summing up the last arc before the arc the manga is actually on. In a few episodes it will be done with Tenrou island and then God Only Knows what the anime plans to do from there. Maybe the anime is about to end? Maybe it will have years of filler? Maybe it will plunge right into the next manga arc and damn the torpedoes? The anime is still going, but who knows what that will, in effect, mean. There's also a movie coming out in 2012, which will just be a side-story outside the canon continuum, so *shrug*.
11. Naruto: Naruto is finally entering the 'great ninja war' arc that the manga is still in. Hopefully it will cast aside all the filler nonsense which has endlessly bogged down Shippudden and just animate the rest of the story already. It has plenty of room to spare, but the content is pretty bland anyway. Unlike One Piece, Naruto is ending in a whimper. It is ending, right? Surely?
15. To Aru Majutsu no Index/Kagaku no Railgun: An Index movie is in the works. The script is being written by the author of the Index series, so it will be good, no doubt. However, it's outside the canon timeline, so how important a plot development can it be? This will probably be as good as the Fairy Tail movie. What we need aren't random side story movies, but a new Index tv season.
17. Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Many movies are planned for Madoka, deep in the future. None will be out in 2012, and they'll just be recaps of the tv series, so *shrug*. The last movie will be new though, and that will surely be awesome.
23. Kobato: Kobato will be out March 30th in blu-ray. It will finally be widescreen and HD, a huge improvement over its current state. It will also have lots of specials to go with the core episodes, which is the 'new content.' The real new content though is that it will be widescreen, like God intended.
24. Working: There will be a few edited seconds' difference between tv Working and blu-ray Working. These edits = the new content. Working will be fully released in June or so.
25. Bakuman: The 2nd season of Bakuman is coming to a sad close. This season was nigh-perfect. It was full of drama, romance, humor, friendship, effort, and victory. There's still a couple episodes left of this season, but naught to fear. There's also an entire third season planned to begin in the fall of 2012. We haven't heard the last from Bakuman. Since there's still plenty of manga content to cover, every episode in the third season will also be, no doubt, perfect in every way.
28. Hayate no Gotoku: The Hayate no Gotoku movie, blu-ray special addition, just came out, and still isn't subbed. It's a side-story, so ho-hum. The actual + sign goodness is the promised 3rd season that will follow this movie release. There will be a 3rd season. Whether it will be fillericious like Season 1 or follow the manga like Season 2 is unknown. When it will begin is unknown. But it's a very, very anticipated season.
31. Evangelion: Rebuild of Evangelion is finally continuing after three years of unhappy waiting. This movie won't have much of anything in common with the earlier tv series. The 1st was pretty similar, and the 2nd still had some parallels, but now you can expect an entirely different story. Will it be good? Sure. I trust the author/creator, so it will definitely be a good story somehow or other. But will it be a sizeable contribution to the glorious history of Evangelion? Unknown.
After the third movie there will supposedly be a 4th, perhaps coming out in 2013? If we're lucky? What that will be about is anyone's guess.
34. Saki: Saki's blu-ray box came out March 7th. But that's just the beginning. April 7th or so, Saki Achiga-hen begins. This tells the tale of a different school's rise through the national tournament, on the other side of the brackets, no doubt to face Saki's school in the finals. It's a brilliant storytelling idea and a brilliant embellishment to Saki proper. My only fear is that, since it isn't being made by the author of Saki, it won't be any good. If it is good though, it will also make Saki better as well as be fun in itself, which is a worthy gamble.
36. Prince of Tennis: Prince of Tennis is currently zooming through the Shin Prince of Tennis manga. It looks great and the source material it's drawing from is fun and exciting stuff. Part of why Prince of Tennis is so highly ranked is because of this ongoing tv season. I hope it doesn't end anytime soon, but it might, since the manga version is still pretty short.
41. Hanasaku Iroha: The final blu-ray volume of this comes out March 22nd or so. But the real reason for the + sign is a vague promise by the company that the series isn't over yet and there will be more, someday. Until I know what that 'more' is, though. . .
44. Rurouni Kenshin: Retelling the Kyoto arc is a silly waste of time, though I'm sure the graphics will look great and it will be nostalgic. Kenshin could've become much better if they had done the Revenge Arc. But apparently that's not to be. What a waste. There's more of this Shin Kyoto Hen junk, but it's just a bitter pill to take when they could've used these resources to tell the true ending to Kenshin that was in the manga.
55. Bleach: The immortal Bleach series is slated to end in a few episodes. It beggars the imagination, but this is probably it for Bleach. It's understandable. The series wasn't really going anywhere, and if it continued, it would have to do endless filler anyway, because it's almost caught up with the manga again. Maybe Bleach will someday return once the manga is finished and give the Bleach anime a proper ending. But then again, they never finished Kenshin, so why would they finish Bleach? Anime companies love leaving every long story unfinished, so why buck the trend now? I just feel saddened by the whole thing. Bleach had such a great start, it's a shame it had to end like this.
56. Bake-(Nise, Kizu, etc)-monogatari: Nisemonogatari is nearly done. It was the best Winter Anime by far, and far better than its predecessor, Bakemonogatari. I can't praise this show enough. The dialogue, the choreography, the plot twists, the art, the characters, everything is unique and amazing. This is art. And it's not done yet. After this comes the prequel movie, Kizumonogatari, which also follows the books, so is also sure to be good. And after that, surely, surely, the anime will continue. The series gets great sales, rave reviews, and has tons more book content to go. Surely there's more planned. If Japan hasn't gone insane.
57. Amagami SS+: This extra filler season is a pale shadow of its original canon season. But I'll forgive it because it covers genuinely interesting after stories, and doesn't just tread water like most filler. It also has one of the most incredible openings, sung yet again by the irreplaceable Azusa, of all time. There's a few more episodes of this, including a bonus sister episode, still in the pipeline.
62. Berserk: The original series was made so long ago that it was practically still frames stitched together. The movies are a good idea, retelling the golden age arc with modern tools and budgets. But ultimately, a retelling of the same content won't add much value to the worth of the series. There was plenty of other Berserk content to cover, but I suppose it was too weak and unpopular to garner the animator's notice, so they preferred to retread old, safely popular ground. Dumb but that's capitalism.
66. Sora no Otoshimono: The movie just came out, and it was good, though yet again it messed up the manga, cutting some things, adding others, and changing still others. The movie is good if you ignore the shriek of rage in the background about what a massacre the anime is making of the manga. But the reason for the + sign isn't the movie, but the promised third tv season which will follow the movie. There's no telling when this will happen, or whether this season will follow the manga or butcher it, so who knows if it will be good or not.
67. Strike Witches: Strike Witches has the advantage of being an original idea, so whatever it does is canon. The movie is coming out in just two days. I'm sure it will be amazing, but for people outside of Japan, we'll be lucky to see it this year. There's no telling how important this movie addition will be. It's hard to imagine the movie can bring peace between humans and neuroids, so even after the movie I'm going to be unsatisfied unless they promise more.
68. Nichijou: Nichijou blu-ray has a few edited seconds of difference from Nichijou TV. The blu-ray should be done sometime this summer.
69. Hunter x Hunter: The remake of Hunter x Hunter is moving right along. The hunter exam is over, and the infinite tower arc is set to begin. I like the better graphics, voice acting, music, and widescreen of the remake, but I hope this is all just a prelude to them getting into the new, chimera ant arc, which has never been animated before. That's when the promise of this series will really deliver.
70. Fate/Stay/Etc: Fate/Stay Night has a lot of spinoffs. Fate/Zero is slated to begin again in April, which is the main strength of this entire franchise. The action, dialogue, and characters are uniquely interesting and well-done. It really feels like a polished work of art. But there's also a Magical Girl Ilya anime planned, and the joke spinoff Carnival Phantasm. (Maybe that ended recently? Who knows.) And who knows, maybe if the franchise stays popular, we'll finally get an anime covering Heaven's Feel, and all the sequels. . . The potential for this series always exceeds its actual quality.
72. Gundam: Gundam AGE continues, though its a pretty rotten series at this point. It's nowhere near as good as 00. There's also Gundam Unicorn, which I don't like either. But this is Gundam. After this, there's sure to be 50 more Gundam series. Gundam is like the Red Army. Quantity has a Quality all its own. It's been airing since 1979. At this rate, it will still be airing in 2079.
73. Shakugan no Shana: This long-running series is finally winding down. Season 3 relied on a giant plot twist, a big war, which I just never bought into or understood. I don't like the direction this series took or what the characters decided to do in it. I'll be glad to have this Final series over and done with. Then Shakugan won't fall any further in my estimation.
79. To Heart: To Heart has another OAV planned. I think it's coming out March 21st, but I also heard it was being delayed until summer. In any event, like usual it's just advertising for the actual game, and it's impossible to keep track of characters or events without going and playing the game. Cute, but also annoying. After that the anime is over -- until, no doubt, they need to advertise their next To Heart game.
93. Steins;Gate: A movie is planned, but I don't know what it could be about, since the plot was wrapped up nicely within the TV Series. No telling when it will come out, either.
104. Ninja Scroll: A new Ninja Scroll movie is planned, but heaven knows when it will actually come out. Maybe never.
107. Zero no Louise: A good thing this is the Final for this anime. Any more and it would drop out of the rankings entirely. This last season has been atrocious. It completely discredited the worth of Season 2. It was even worse than Season 3, if that's possible. A few more episodes and then goodnight to this failure of a series. My advice to anyone who hasn't seen this series yet: Save yourself the heartbreak and stop at the end of Season 2. You can still enjoy this series if you stop there.
That's 32 series with + signs in all. Many of them are +'sing this March, which makes this a sort of bonanza month in anime. With all these blu-ray releases coming out, and the spring season just a month away, anime enthusiasm should be red hot. Now's as good a time to start as any.