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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Anime Rankings Adjusted:

It isn't quite the end of the winter season, but I decided to do my seasonal rankings adjustment anyway.  This is because so much has changed since my last rankings update that the situation was getting rather absurd.

For starters, by rewatching Naruto (which I'm still in the middle of), I was reminded of many massive flaws in the show.  The #1 anime of all time should not have any flaws, so I really wanted to demote it in favor of something more solid.

Meanwhile, Kira Kira Precure had a very good first episode, which gives me renewed confidence in the franchise.  If the whole season is as good as that first ep, we're in good hands with Precure.  As a result, Pretty Cure is back on top as the #1 anime of all time.  Most likely, Kira Kira won't even be the final season of this massive franchise, and more jewels will await us far into the future, so this #1 position will be hard to lose.

Naruto didn't fall far, just down to #5.  Clannad, Code Geass, and Bake-(etc)-monogatari are #2, #3, and #4, and they all share the trait of being totally flawless, something I put a premium on this time.  (Once Monogatari finishes, which Shaft has already said they intend to do, it will be flawless, at least, and these rankings are with an eye to the future as well as the present.)

Fate/etc is #6, SAO is #7, Fairy Tail is #8, Nanoha is #9 and Cross Game is #10.  Fate, SAO, Fairy Tail and Nanoha all share the same trait, that of extremely high quality series that can't climb any higher in the rankings because they're all left unfinished.

Yes, Fate/Heaven's Feel will finish one long desired story in the universe, but unless Kaleid Liner is finished it just won't amount to much, because Kaleid Liner is the main driver of quality for this franchise.

SAO has a vague promise to return, but until I know Alicization is going to be animated in full it can't climb any higher.  If Alicization is animated in full it would probably be my favorite anime of all time.

Likewise, Fairy Tail has a vague promise of returning, but unless it promises to animate the story all the way to the ending it can never beat Naruto, which does have a proper ending.  If it does animate itself to the end, it may well be the #1 anime of all time.

Nanoha also has a vague promise of a new season of Vivid being released, but until that comes to fruition it will always lag behind its potential.  The Vivid manga isn't even over yet (nor is Force), so there's no way to properly complete this franchise as of now.  But if it ever did animate all of Vivid and Force, I could see it reaching #1 as well.

One Piece is back at #11, all the way from its previous punishment ranking of #41.  The Big Mam arc wasn't as horrifically bad as I anticipated, at least so far.  I guess it could precipitously drop in quality based on what happens next.  But at least for now, it isn't so bad that it manages to undo the entire quality of the franchise that existed at least up until Merman Isle, which was an excellent series all the way until then.  One Piece was my #1 anime for a long time, #11 is already a severe enough punishment for the bad writing we're seeing these days.

Little Busters moves up to #12 due to receiving its Kud Wafter expansion (some time in the far future).

Dragon Ball, meanwhile, moves down to #15, on account of the latest episodes being terrible.  Goku getting hurt by a mere bullet, ignoring other people's advice and endangering the universe, etc.  It's been a poor run recently, not like the great Zamassu arc, and it's dragging the value of the whole brand down.

Full Metal Panic! is down to #21.  First off, I'm not in the least certain this show will actually be animated properly to completion.  For all we know the new season this fall will just be filler.  Second, even if it is animated in full it's difficult to say whether that would surpass the quality of Bleach, Dragon Ball or the like.  It will have to earn that level of respect episode by episode.  For now I think #21 is pretty accurate.

Macross moves up to #59 due to the announcement of a new season in 2018.  Keep it coming, Macross, and you'll keep being rewarded.

Madoka Magica moves down to #74 due to my increasing frustration with the 3rd movie.

AKB0048 moves down to #65 because its silly to rank it ahead of Macross.

Sailor Moon moves up to #70 due to the announcement of a fourth season.

Tales moves down to #81 due to Zestiria being mostly filler.

Shingeki no Kyojin moves down to #103 due to the manga having a disappointing reveal of the secret to the basement.  Now that I know that the next season is just going to be confusing and full of politics, the story has lost a lot of the pizzazz it began with.

Youjo Senki moves up to #105 based on the strength of its latest episode.  It's good to see the official anime of the alt right keep climbing in quality.

BanG Dream, not to be outdone, moves up to #108.  This show reminds me of a slightly better execution of Natsuiro Kiseki, whimsical and funny and pretty and full of music, so that's where I put it, slightly ahead of Natsuiro's #110.

Sakura Trick moved down to #109.  The manga in the future refuses to move the plot forward, and it cheapens even what we saw on the screen.

A few shows hitherto not marked were marked 'flawless,' like Record of Lodoss War and Cowboy Bebop.

My anime wishlist has also changed.  I added a lot of Tales games I think they should animate -- Vesperia, Graces, Xillia, Destiny and Eternia.  Having read the manga or played the games personally, I know these would all be fantastic anime series, much better than just getting extra seasons of, say, K-On!

Gokukoku no Brynhildr's manga is nearing its fully translated completion, and the ending is just awful.  One random plot twist after another, everything squeezed into a tiny amount of time with no continuity or development.  I have no wish to watch an animated version of this nonsense, so I replaced it with a desire for a Zero no Tsukaima remake, which this time follows the books, which is now possible because the final book of the series is going to be published in just a couple weeks.

Wouldn't it be nice to watch the true Zero no Tsukaima from start to finish?  That's deserving of a spot on my wishlist.  Though I also wish someone would just translate the remaining books already.

I took out a desire for more Da Capo III, now that you can just play the translated version of the game.  In its place is Aiyoku no Eustia, which still lacks an english translation for the game, so the anime would add a lot of value.

As you can see, with all these changes being necessary, waiting until April just wasn't an option.

I finished listening to Tales of Zestiria's soundtrack 100 times.  It was really good, maybe the best Tales music so far.  Once I listen to Berseria, my Tales listening project will finally be complete.

To Love-ru Darkness seems to be approaching its finale, just like Brynhildr, except it's going about it the right way, like Akame ga Kill! did.  I feel like whether Rito shacks up solely with Haruna or creates a giant harem with every girl in the series, it will have earned its ranking as the 14th best manga of all time.  The anime will never be able to compete because A) the first season is filler, B) the anime doesn't go all the way to the ending, C) Xebec as a company isn't as good artists as the manga-ka, so the whole purpose of this show, beautiful naked women, is rubbed out.

But none of that diminishes how amazing this manga has been.  From such a silly and simple premise, it managed an epic masterpiece, one of the most popular, well known and longest manga series around (36 volumes plus a 'secret project' which might result in even more).

Hayate no Gotoku looks like it will take a bit longer than expected before it, too, can end.

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