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Friday, July 31, 2015

Apples to Apples Anime Rankings:

The overall rankings are a comprehensive resource to draw upon, but wouldn't it be fun to sometimes compare apples to apples?  What if I did a rankings of exclusively short series compared to each other?  How about rankings of exclusively completed series versus each other?  If I carve these rankings up into smaller pictures, a new picture of quality comes to light not reflected by the overall head to head competition.

Incomplete short stories have the most working against them.  If we filtered out everyone who comes from a more advantaged background, however, who shows up as a diamond in the rough?

(Incomplete, for the purposes of this post at least, is defined to be missing such a large segment of the the show that it gives you no sense of resolution whatsoever and leaves you wanting to kill someone because your show has been so severely butchered.)

Top Incomplete Series with fewer than or equal to 25 episodes of non-filler content (and no announced sequels that would bring the episode count above 25 or to a satisfying conclusion):

1.  Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai
2.  Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai
3.  Haruhi Suzumiya
4.  High School of the Dead
5.  Berserk
6.  Kiniro Mosaic
7.  Outbreak Company
8.  Sakura Trick
9.  Claymore
10.  Hyouka
11.  Kokoro Toshokan
12.  Joukamachi no Dandelion
13.  Akame ga Kill
14.  Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku
15.  Break Blade
16.  Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
17.  Lucky Star
18.  Gokukoku no Brynhildr
19.  Sora no Otoshimono
20.  Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
21.  No Game No Life
22.  Binbou Shimai Monogatari
23.  Akatsuki no Yona
24.  Bastard!
25.  Hataraku Maou-sama!
26.  Btooom!
27.  Hanayamata
28.  Locodol
29.  Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru!
30.  Negima! Magister Magi Negi
31.  Hibike! Euphonium
32.  Amagi Brilliant Park
33.  Kyoukai no Rinne
34.  Alien Nine
35.  RG Veda
36.  Ao Haru Ride

These are basically the 36 shows that are great despite getting terribly shafted by the anime gods.  There's no telling what their potential could be if they had been given either more length and/or a satisfying ending.  They could be top 10 shows.  For all we know they could be the best anime ever.  Since they never got a chance to be heard, their worth is totally obfuscated and plunged deep down into the rankings through no fault of their own.  These are the 36 unsung heroes of my rankings, who managed to be some of the best anime around with both arms and both legs tied behind their backs.

Top Incomplete Series with fewer than or equal to 50 episodes of non-filler content (and no announced sequels that would bring the episode count above 50 or to a satisfying conclusion):

1.  Sword Art Online
2.  Seikai no Monshou/Senki/Danshou
3.  The World God Only Knows
4.  Full Metal Panic!
5.  Maria-sama ga Miteru
6.  Strike Witches
7.  Yuru Yuri
8.  Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
9.  Non Non Biyori
10.  Aishiteru ze Baby
11.  Chihayafuru
12.  To Love-ru
13.  Sailor Moon
14.  Guyver
15.  Twelve Kingdoms
16.  Zero no Tsukaima
17.  Flame of Recca
18.  Nichijou
19.  Shinryaku! Ika Musume
20.  Spice and Wolf
21.  Kimi ni Todoke
22.  Yama no Susume
23.  Miyuki
24.  H2

These shows were given a little more support, but still not nearly enough length to get the story told.  They're just as betrayed as their shorter cousins, and likewise, any of these shows may well be a top 10 or #1 contender if they'd just been given a chance.  24 more missed opportunities.

Top Incomplete Series with length beyond 50 but still clearly not enough because it still abruptly breaks off midway (and no announced sequels that would bring the series to a satisfying conclusion):

1. Fate/Etc
2.  Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha
3.  Bleach
4.  Major
5.  Da Capo
6.  To Aru Majutsu no Index/Kagaku no Railgun
7.  Hayate no Gotoku
8.  Saki
9.  Ranma 1/2
10.  Rurouni Kenshin
11.  Prince of Tennis
12.  Hikaru no Go
13.  Tales of 'X'
14.  Hunter x Hunter
15.  Baccano/Durarara
16.  History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi
17.  Soul Eater
18.  Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
19.  Touch

These shows were given a lot of support, but the rug was snatched out from under them at just the wrong moment, toppling them down from any chance to compete for the title of the best.  Like usual, a lot of these shows could be in the top 10, or even try for the position of #1, if the support had been as thorough as that given to One Piece or Naruto has been.

That covers all the incomplete but still great ranking series.  Now let's fairly compare shows that reached their conclusions but did so with varying lengths.  Short series should only have to compare to other short series, medium to medium, and so on.

Complete Series with length fewer than or equal to 25 episodes of non-filler content aired or announced:

1.  Kanon
2.  Shinsekai Yori
3.  Ef
4.  Katanagatari
5.  Basilisk
6.  Angel Beats
7.  Kobato
8.  Grisaia no Kajitsu/Meikyuu/Rakuen
9.  Puella Magi Madoka Magica
10.  Girls und Panzer
11.  Sora no Woto
12.  Air
13.  Tari Tari
14.  Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
15.  Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
16.  Ro-Kyu-Bu!
17.  Shukufuku no Campanella
18.  Majikoi
19.  Rocket Girls
20.  Kiki's Delivery Service
21.  Summer Wars
22.  Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
23.  Vividred Operation
24.  Akaneiro ni Somaru Saka
25.  Scrapped Princess
26.  Mononoke Hime
27.  Record of Lodoss War
28.  Usagi Drop
29.  Natsuiro Kiseki
30.  Valvrave the Liberator
31.  Spirited Away
32.  Seitokai no Ichizon
33.  Shamanic Princess
34.  School Days
35.  Grave of the Fireflies
36.  Zettai Bouei Leviathan
37.  Gosick
38.  Wake Up, Girls!
39.  Sore ga Seiyuu
40.  Myself;Yourself
41.  Fatal Fury
42.  Atelier Escha & Logy
43.  Happiness!
44.  Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

These shows are impressive because they managed to enter my rankings with a short story that introduced everyone, created a wall of complications, and broke it down all within just 25 eps or fewer.  To think that you can do so much with so little really proves the genius of the creators behind these shows.  The movies especially are impressive, because they only had essentially six episodes to work with to fit everything in.  That they can be that short and still reach my rankings says a lot.  If anyone is looking for a satisfying list to start watching anime on, these short stories with proper conclusions are probably your best bet.

Complete Series with length fewer than or equal to 50 episodes of non-filler content aired or announced:

1.  Clannad
2.  Little Busters!
3.  K-On!
4.  Cross Game
5.  Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
6.  Working!
7.  Love Live!
8.  Hanasaku Iroha
9.  Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
10.  Toradora!
11.  Shirobako
12.  AKB0048
13.  Angelic Layer
14.  Vandread
15.  Uuchuu no Stellvia
16.  To Heart
17.  Steins;Gate
18.  Amagami SS
19.  Evangelion
20.  Cowboy Bebop
21.  Samurai Champloo
22.  Death Note
23.  Valkyria Chronicles
24.  Azumanga Daioh
25.  Martian Successor Nadesico
26.  Battle Athletes
27.  Ginga E Kickoff
28.  Tears to Tiara
29.  Tamayura
30.  Mahoromatic

I love this category.  This category has zero flaws.  It's sufficiently long to tell almost any tale imaginable, while still reaching a proper ending and not just wandering off into eternal no plot progress hell.  It gives you the story, the whole story, and nothing but the story.  These shows are like laser beams of greatness.  It's no wonder so many of them are such famous classics that the whole world showers them with praise, even people who generally hate anime still end up liking shows that fall into this category.  This is like Goldilocks' favorite porridge.

Complete Series of length beyond 50 of non-filler content aired or announced:

1.  One Piece
2.  Fairy Tail
3.  Naruto
4.  Pretty Cure
5.  Dragon Ball
6.  Bake-(etc)-monogatari
7.  Code Geass
8.  Higurashi/Umineko no Naku Koro ni
9.  Bakuman
10.  Inuyasha
11.  The Idolm@ster
12.  Ojamajo Doremi
13.  Utawarerumono
14.  Galaxy Angel
15.  Shakugan no Shana
16.  Macross
17.  Ghost in the Shell
18.  Yu Yu Hakusho
19.  Card Captor Sakura

This is the measuring rod.  These shows were given everything they could possibly ask for.  All the length they could dream of to do whatever they wished with, while still reaching the end of their story and resolving all the loose threads.  If you can't win with this much support, then there's no one left to blame but yourself.  If you aren't #1 after this, then you just plain don't deserve to be #1.  These are the most envied shows in anime, the gods of the anime world that everyone says to themselves "if only they'd treated me like they had treated them, if only those elite pampered stuck-up shows of privilege had to live down in the hood like me, I'd teach them a thing or two!"  There's no woulda, coulda or shoulda about these guys.  They just are.  And it's no wonder they almost completely hog the top ten rankings between each other.  You could call these guys the 1%.

Two shows are currently unclassifiable, because we don't know how long they'll be in the end, or whether they'll reach their endings.  These are:

1.  Shingeki no Kyojin
2.  Assassination Classroom

* * *

My top anime rankings is a realistic depiction of how things just plain are.  If a show is longer it's better.  If a show is complete it's better.  And I take those factors into account, despite it being unfair to the shows that were gypped by the anime gods.  There's no equal starting lines on this race course.

This list is different, however.  With these rankings, it's fair to say that 'in an ideal world' all of these shows are about equal to each other.  For instance, PapaKiki, SAO, Fate, Kanon, Clannad and One Piece are all about equally well written.  They're on the same tier of artistic ability, though they don't end up ranked the same due to forces outside of their control.  The same would be true of Haganai, Crest of the Stars, Nanoha, Shinsekai Yori, Little Busters! and Fairy Tail.  The same would be true of Haruhi, TWGOK, Bleach, Ef, K-On! and Naruto.  And the same would be true of the last matching segment, the #19's of each bracket, Sora no Otoshimono, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Touch, Rocket Girls, Evangelion and Card Captor Sakura.  Each of these shows is the nineteenth best comparing apples to apples in their own field.  It means all of these shows have been clobbered quite fairly in even competition, which means there really is something lacking about them that they can't blame on anyone else.  Still, the fact that they're in my rankings at all means they're great shows everyone should and must see sometime before they die.  It's just more fun when you can compare anime without any excuses left to forgive a show with.

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