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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Top 150 Anime:

I've finally done it, and ahead of schedule!  The long awaited, nicely round numbered top 150 anime rankings!

I have now watched at least three episodes, or the equivalent (like if the series is shorter than three episodes or it's a movie), of 450 different anime franchises.  It's all thanks to my diligent pursuit of 'lost world' anime that aired in 2000-2009 before the internet and the fansub community was really strong enough to deliver it to the outside world.  But now, thanks to great websites like Nyaatorrents and Bakabt, all these shows have steadily trickled into the 'available' category and people can scan through the past freely.  Even as we speak, Daa Daa Daa is still being translated, so it's not like this 'Lost World' project could have come much sooner than I embarked upon it.  It's the same for Yes Pretty Cure 5 Go Go, there are still three episodes that haven't been translated yet, even though it's my favorite anime of all time.  Go Go is another one of those ancient series of surpassing value that just wasn't picked up at the time.  Most of the rest of Pretty Cure was only recently translated in the last year or two.  Good anime has only just now become available for a variety of older series, like Ranma 1/2 or Gundam Seed, via its blu-ray release.  Only a few days ago Macross Plus's blu-ray oav's finally received English subtitles, ending a project that spanned decades to get a worthy copy of this show.  Newly remastered shows, newly subbed shows, and newly seeded torrents to shows, all combined to rediscover the past that passed us by.  Sadly, the precursor to Pretty Cure, Ojamajo Doremi, still hasn't been translated, so it's still a complete unknown as to whether it should belong in these rankings or not, but that's pretty much the only exception left.  Every other series that might possibly be good has been translated and posted online for the curious onlooker.

As a result, for the first time, these rankings are an exhaustive survey of the quality of all anime across all time, instead of just a peephole through a door into a wider world.  Because I have only watched three episodes each of these 'lost world' ranked entries, I can't accurately place how good they will be once I've seen all of them in full.  My goal today is to simply put them on the radar and get people interested in seeing them.  Once I've finished watching them all myself, I can decide exactly how good they are compared to my other favorite series.  Therefore, they will all be slotted in to the newly opened up positions of 140-149 (150 will belong to Gundam, as it is always my last ranked series in every ranking ceremonially.)  Of the 100+ shows I surveyed in the Lost World, these are the ten that most struck my eye:

140.  Daa! Daa! Daa! (2000-2002)
141.  Aishiteru ze Baby (2004) 
142.  Jigoku Shoujo (2005-2009)
143.  Maria-sama ga Miteru (2004-2009)
144.  Futakoi (2004-2005)
145.  Binbou Shimai Monogatari (2006)
146.  Kokoro Toshokan (2001)
147.  Rocket Girls (2007)
148.  Saiunkoku Monogatari (2006-2008)
149.  Gakuen Alice (2004-2005)

Doubtless some more 'Lost World' anime will appear in these rankings once I expand to the top 160, but for now these ten are enough.  Through their quality, they more than justify the endless search through awful series I've been conducting for the last few months.  Lost gems no longer, they can now stand polished in the spotlight alongside the best of the best.

These new anime series exhibit many of the same problems all other anime series have -- most of the adaptions are not entirely faithful to their sources, like with Daa Daa Daa and Gakuen Alice (and no doubt more of these series).  And most of the shows that were adapted have no proper ending, like with Saiunkoko Monogatari, Aishiteru ze Baby and Maria-sama ga Miteru.  In the case of Maria-sama, even the source material hasn't ended yet so it's impossible to view the ending.  In the case of Gakuen Alice, the manga is over but the scanlation of the manga isn't.  I doubt it's possible to find translations of the light novels in Saiunkoku Monogatari that occur after the anime ends as well.  Basically, if you get attached to any of these series, you have to expect heartbreak and betrayal at the end.  That's the fate all anime fans have at the end of virtually all series.  Only once in a blue moon do we get something like Oreimo, a light novel series animated from beginning to end to a satisfactory conclusion, and even that series cut a lot of content and changed a bit around from the light novels.

To give a short review of why I liked these ten shows most, Daa Daa Daa and Aishiteru ze Baby are like Usagi Drop, Kokoro Toshokan is like Tamayura, Saiunkoko Monogatari is like 12 Kingdoms, Futakoi is like Happiness!, Rocket Girls is like The Idolm@ster, Binbou Shimai Monogatari is like Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai, Jigoku Shoujo is like Death Note, Maria-sama ga Miteru is like Air and Gakuen Alice is like Kimi ni Todoke.  The feelings these shows give me resemble the feelings those shows gave me, which is a good thing.  My Lost World first impressions posts should be enough to describe why I liked these series for those seeking more details.

Since this is just a preliminary ranking until I've seen the shows in full, they don't disturb the previous 140 I've already chosen, but just line up behind them in undisturbed order.  As a result, the rankings look like this now:

1. Pretty Cure (2004-2013+)
2. Clannad (2007-2009)
3. One Piece (1999-2013+)
4. Naruto (2002-2013+)
5. Higurashi/Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (2006-2013+)
6. Code Geass (2006-2013+)
7. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (2004-2012+)
8. Fairy Tail (2009-2013+)
9. Dragon Ball (1986-2013+)
10. K-On! (2009-2011)
11. Kanon (2002-2007)
12. Da Capo (2003-2013)
13. To Aru Majutsu no Index/Kagaku no Railgun (2008-2013)
14. Bake-(etc)-monogatari (2009-2013+)
15. Sword Art Online (2012+)
16. Seikai no Monshou/Senki/Danshou (1999-2005)
17. Saki (2009-2013+)
18. Ef (2007-2008)
19. Fate/Etc (2006-2013+)
20. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (2011-2013+)
21. Bakuman (2010-2013)
22. Hayate no Gotoku (2007-2013)
23. The World God Only Knows (2010-2013)
24. Full Metal Panic! (2002-2006)
25. Haruhi Suzumiya (2006-2010)
26. Working! (2010-2012)
27. Shinsekai Yori (2012-2013)
28. Kobato (2009-2012)
29. Toradora! (2008-2011)
30. Ore no Immouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai (2010-2013)
31. Little Busters (2012-2013+)
32. Katanagatari (2010)
33. Galaxy Angel (2001-2006)
34. Major (2004-2012)
35. Basilisk (2005)
36. Inuyasha (2000-2010)
37. Ranma 1/2 (1989-2008)
38. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007-2009)
39. Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai (2011-2013)
40. Hunter x Hunter (1999-2013+)
41. Record of Lodoss War (1990-1998)
42. Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai (2012-2013)
43. Hanasaku Iroha (2011-2013)
44. Love Live (2010-2013+)
45. The Idolm@ster (2007-2013+)
46. Angel Beats (2010)
47. Sora no Woto (2010)
48. Air (2005)
49. Bleach (2004-2012)
50. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) 
51. Rurouni Kenshin (1996-2012)
52. AKB0048 (2012-2013)
53. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu (2010-2012)
54. Sailor Moon (1992-2013+)  
55. Uuchuu no Stellvia (2003)
56. Utawarerumono (2006-2010)
57. Angelic Layer (2001-2002)
58. Strike Witches (2007-2012)
59. Vandread (2000-2001)
60. 12 Kingdoms (2002-2003)
61. Summer Wars (2009)
62. Nichijou (2011-2012)
63. Girls und Panzer (2012-2013+)
64. Claymore (2007)
65. Macross (1982-2012)
66. Sora no Otoshimono (2009-2012+)
67. Card Captor Sakura/Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (1998-2009)
68. Mononoke Hime (1997)
69. Berserk (1997-2013)
70. Yuru Yuri (2011-2012)
71. Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku (2013+)
72. Cowboy Bebop (1998-2001) 
73. Prince of Tennis (2001-2012+)
74. Usagi Drop (2011-2012)
75. Shakugan no Shana (2005-2012)
76. Kiniro Mosaic (2013)
77. Amagami SS (2010-2012)
78. Valkyria Chronicles (2009-2011)
79. Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)
80. Battle Athletes (1997-1998)
81. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (2011-2013)
82. Natsuiro Kiseki (2012)
83. Hyouka (2012-2013)
84. To Heart (1999-2012)
85. Broken Blade (2010-2011+)
86. Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka (2008-2009) 
87. Azumanga Daioh (2002)
88. Scrapped Princess (2003)
89. Steins;Gate (2011-2013)
90. Hikaru no Go (2001-2004)
91. Chihayafuru (2011-2013)
92. Tamayura (2010-2013)
93. Baccano (2007)
94. Evangelion (1995-2013+)
95. High School of the Dead (2010-2011)
96. Guyver (1986-2006)
97. Death Note (2006-2008)
98. Lucky Star/Miyakawa-ke (2007-2013+)
99. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2010-2013)
100. Kimi ni Todoke (2009-2011)
101. Spice and Wolf (2008-2009)
102. Seitokai no Ichizon (2009-2013)
103. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
104. Spirited Away (2001)
105. Ginga E Kickoff (2012-2013)
106. Martian Successor Nadesico (1996-1998) 
107. Zero no Tsukaima (2006-2012)
108. Tari Tari (2012)
109. Flame of Recca (1997-1998)
110. Bastard! (1992)
111. Shamanic Princess (1996-1998)
112. School Days (2007-2008)
113. Hataraku Maou-sama! (2013)
114. Zettai Bouei Leviathan (2013)
115. History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi (2006-2013+)
116. Ghost in the Shell (1995-2013+)
117. Gosick (2011)
118. Cross Game (2009-2010)
119. Ro-Kyu-Bu! (2011-2013)
120. To Love ru (2008-2013+)
121. Vividred Operation (2013)
122. Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru!  (2013)
123. Happiness! (2006-2007)
124. Valvrave the Liberator (2013+)
125. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (1993-2013+)
126. Shingeki no Kyojin (2013)
127. Alien Nine (2001-2002)
128. Akira (1988)
129. Mahoromatic (2001-2009)
130. Fatal Fury (1992-1994)
131. RG Veda (1991-1992)
132. Tears to Tiara (2009)
133. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
134. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (2009)
135. Soul Eater (2008-2009)
136. Moshidora (2011)
137. Yu Yu Hakusho (1992-1996)
138. Trigun (1998-2010)
139. Gunbuster (1988-2012)
140. Daa! Daa! Daa! (2000-2002)
141. Aishiteru ze Baby (2004)
142. Jigoku Shoujo (2005-2009)
143. Maria-sama ga Miteru (2004-2009)
144. Futakoi (2004-2005)
145. Binbou Shimai Monogatari (2006)
146. Kokoro Toshokan (2001)
147. Rocket Girls (2007)
148. Saiunkoku Monogatari (2006-2008)
149. Gakuen Alice (2004-2005)
150. Gundam (1979-2013+)

I'm very confident in this latest batch of anime adds.  The truth is, they probably won't be sticking around at the 140's for long.  They'll float upwards as I watch them more and get more attached to them, and as a result, we're looking at a 'bottom 10' that's actually much, much better.  Whether you watch the top 10 anime in these rankings, or the bottom 10, you'll laugh, cry, and fall in love.  There are no weaknesses in this list.  This is the most definitive and decisive anime rankings post I've ever made, so I'm ready to stand by all my inclusions without hesitation.

The empire of length shows up in these latest ten series as well.  Though a few short stories did succeed -- Rocket Girls, Binbou Shimai Monogatari and Kokoro Toshokan -- the remaining seven range from long to very long running franchises.  Aishiteru ze Baby, Futakoi and Gakuen Alice are 26 episodes or thereabouts.  Jigoku Shoujo, Maria-sama ga Miteru, Daa! Daa! Daa! and Saiunkoku Monogatari are in the 50-100 range.  Longer shows allow for more involved, in depth settings and characters, more natural pacing and more opportunities to express your theme.  Plus, every additional entertaining episode is beneficial in its own right as thirty more minutes of entertainment.  You just can't beat length.  Plus, good shows tend to be the ones that receive sequels, so it's a virtuous cycle of strength feeding on strength.  Because these ten new franchises are so long, they'll be able to entertain people for a good long while.  Hopefully by then I'll have my top 160 rankings list out, and eager viewers can find out the next big thing without slowing down~
(P.S.  With ten new shows out, I'll also be updating my Anime Voices + Rankings permapost, so be sure to check that out if you want to know in full detail the voice talent that went into these ten artistic triumphs.  You'll see a lot of familiar names.)

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