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Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Top 118 Anime?:

I may have jumped the gun when I made a list of the top 120 anime.  It's impossible to fairly combine Baccano with Durarara unless I also combine Triangle Hearts with Mahou Shoujou Lyrical Nanoha, Umineko with Higurashi, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle with Card Captor Sakura, and so on.  As a result, I'm six series short of the 360 watched, and going by the rule of the top 1/3 of watchable anime getting ranked, my rankings can only extend to 118, not 120.

Since I have to change my rankings anyway, I also decided to fiddle around with their placements.  So here's the more fair and accurate current anime rankings, subject to change (TM).

1. Clannad (2007-2009) 
2. Pretty Cure (2004-2012+)
3. One Piece (1999-2012+)
4. Code Geass (2006-2009+)
5. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha/Triangle Hearts (2000-2010+)
6. Seikai no Monshou/Senki/Danshou (1999-2005)
7. Fairy Tail (2009-2012+)
8. Naruto (2002-2012+)
9. Dragonball (1986-2011)
10. Higurashi/Umineko no Naku Koro Ni (2006-2012)
11. K-On! (2009-2011)
12. Kanon (2002-2007)
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. Full Metal Panic! (2002-2006)
22. Bakuman (2010-2012+)
23. Kobato (2009-2012)
24. Working! (2010-2012+)
25. Record of Lodoss War (1990-1998)
26. The World God Only Knows (2010-2011)
27. Hayate no Gotoku (2007-2012+)
28. Sora no Woto (2010)
29. Toradora! (2008-2011)
30. Basilisk (2005)
31. Galaxy Angel (2001-2006)
32. Saki (2009-2012+)
33. Major (2004-2012)
34. Vandread (2000-2001)
35. Inuyasha (2000-2010)
36. Ranma 1/2 (1989-2008)
37. Sailor Moon (1992-1997)
38. Air (2005)
39. Evangelion (1995-2009+)
40. Prince of Tennis (2001-2012)
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 (2010-2012)
52. Cowboy Bebop (1998-2001)
53. Battle Athletes (1997-1998)
54. Bleach (2004-2012)
55. Bake-(etc)-monogatari (2009-2012+)
56. Macross (1982-2011)
57. 12 Kingdoms (2002-2003)
58. Strike Witches (2007-2012)
59. Nichijou (2011-2012+)
60. Hunter x Hunter (1999-2012+)
61. Fate/Stay/Etc (2006-2012+)
62. Claymore (2007)
63. Amagami SS (2010-2012)
64. Sora no Otoshimono (2009-2012+)
65. Card Captor Sakura/Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle (1998-2009)
66. Shakugan no Shana (2005-2012)
67. Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai (2011+)
68. Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai (2012+)
69. Mononoke Hime (1997)
70. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (2011)
71. Berserk (1997-2012+)
72. Valkyria Chronicles (2009-2011)
73. Negima! Magister Magi Negi (2004-2012)
74. Samurai Champloo (2004-2005)
75. Gundam (1979-2012+)
76. Martian Successor Nadesico (1996-1998)
77. Read or Die (2001-2004)
78. Break Blade (2010-2011)
79. Kimi ni Todoke (2009-2011)
80. Spice and Wolf (2008-2009)
81. To Heart (1999-2012+)
82. Bastard! (1992)
83. Mahoromatic (2001-2009)
84. Akane-iro ni Somaru Saka (2008-2009)
85. Fatal Fury (1992-1994)
86. Azumanga Daioh (2002)
87. Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
88. Scrapped Princess (2003)
89. Steins;Gate (2011-2012+)
90. Ghost in the Shell (1995-2011)
91. Flame of Recca (1997-1998)
92. Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2010-2011+)
93. Zero no Tsukaima (2006-2012)
94. Gunbuster (1988-2012)
95. Tamayura (2010-2011+)
96. Lucky Star (2007-2008)
97. Akira (1988)
98. Moshidora (2011)
99. High School of the Dead (2010-2011)
100. Hikaru no Go (2001-2004)
101. Shamanic Princess (1996-1998)
102. Soul Eater (2008-2009)
103. Sora no Manimani (2009)
104. Kanokon (2008-2009)
105. Gosick (2011)
106. Baccano/Durara (2007-2011)
107. Guyver (1986-2006)
108. Iria: Zeiram the Animation (1994)
109. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
110. Alien Nine (2001-2002)
111. Spirited Away (2001)
112. Ninja Scroll (1993-2003+)
113. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
114. Death Note (2006-2008)
115. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (2009)
116. X (1996-2002)
117. AKB0048 (2012+)
118. RG Veda (1991-1992)

Previously I had Hyouka in at 120, but as you can see my rankings no longer even reach 120.  Saint Tail and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time were also shunted out, and one new series put in:  AKB0048.

AKB0048 comes as a real surprise to me.  I expected nothing from the series based on the previews, but the first three episodes have been spectacular.  It has genuine characters, who disagree with each other and fight with each other, but make up and stay friends afterwards.  They're complex, human individuals.  It has beautiful music and dance and artwork bolstering the tale.  And the plot, aspiring to reach your dream, and the power and value of entertainment, are both rich veins of material to work with.

I hope the series continues building on itself, but you just have to hold your breath until the last episode to know whether a series is truly good or not.  For now 117 is right, but perhaps later I'll discover the series sucks and kick it out, or is much better and will pole-vault its rankings up.

Two series I did give massive upgrades to are Boku ha Tomodachi and Papa no Iukoto.  Thinking back fondly on them, I realize they had a hell of a lot more important content to them than a lot of series I had ranked above them, simply out of momentum or nostalgia.  I tried to downgrade short stories and movies to their proper place, below longer TV series that had a lot more to say and do, and basically not favor old things over new just because they were old as best I could.  Another series that got a welcome upgrade was Ghost in the Shell, mainly for the first tv season, which though slow at times really told the heart of its idea well and had a real tear jerker of an ending.

I shot Samurai Champloo down 20 slots because, upon rewatching it, I found it far less satisfying than I remember.  In fact it may still be ranked too highly, to be honest.  The characters just all break up and go their separate ways at the end.  Really?  So their entire journey was pointless?  Why did I even watch it then?  I never had a good understanding of how they felt about each other, it was all left so vague.  Sorry if I can't read minds, but did they ever care about each other at all?  And episodes that were meant to be humorous were instead just boring and obnoxious.  Like the episode attacking a Christian charlatan. Attacking charlatans is an easy out, it's meaningless, it has no wider significance because everyone knows charlatans and hypocrites are the worst sort of scum.  You don't need an episode to prove something everyone knows.  You don't tell stories to repeat things any 2 year old could tell you.

Or what about the episode about zombies?  It was just stupid.  Zombies don't exist, so why were they in Samurai Champloo, that was at least trying to stay realistic?  It was just stupid.  It was completely unsuited to the series, it just didn't belong.

Anyway, these are the reasons behind my new rankings.  The reason why AKB0048 beat out Hyouka is Hyouka isn't going anywhere.  I still hold out hope that it will go somewhere at sometime, but right now it just feels empty.  A bunch of people who don't really like each other are doing an activity they don't really care about.  It's like the exact opposite of Prince of Tennis or Saki, it's a terrible formula for a story, and the only chance of Hyouka improving is for everything to change in the episodes to come (which may well happen.)  This is a real shame because the surface visuals and music are so pretty.  But what's the use if the content is no good?  To be frank, Sengoku Collection is better than Hyouka.  Almost anything is.

If I had to rank the spring anime (watchable anime only included), in terms of what am I most looking forward to coming out as an episode every week, it would look like this:

1.  Smile Pretty Cure
2.  Saki Achiga
3.  Hunter x Hunter
4.  One Piece
5.  Fate/Zero
6.  AKB0048
7.  Ginga E Kickoff
8.  Naruto
9.  Natsuiro Kiseki
10. Sengoku Collection
11. Shining Hearts
12. Hyouka
13. Kore wa Zombie
14. Kuroko no Basuke
15. Sankarea
16. Haiyore
17. Medaka Box
18. Dusk Maiden
19. Sakamichi no Apollon
20. Accel World
21. Area no Kishi
22. Kimi to Boku
23. Space Brothers
24. Kuromajyo-san
25. Mouretsu Pirates

Hyouka's at the freaking median, when everything else Kyoto animation does is at the top.  This is a total disappointment when you consider they could have done more Full Metal Panic, Haruhi, Little Busters, K-On, or virtually anything else instead of this stupid mystery series.  Hyouka and Sankarea ended up failing me, but I will give a little smile for Natsuiro Kiseki and Shining Hearts, both of which have gotten better every episode and really won me over since their ill-fated beginnings.  25 series is a rather lot, huh?  Sassaga Japan.

Ranking series spot by spot is a lot more accurate than my loose tiers, I should switch to this system for every season.  My overall ranking and my seasonal rankings, huh?  Sounds fun.  I'll break this new system out for the upcoming summer season then.

I'm okay with the current spring season, but we're already most of the way through it.  It's time to start looking forward to the summer season, to see where anime is going next.

The summer tv lineup is somewhat inscrutable because it's mostly new series I've never heard of before.  But just consider what's assured to be awesome:

The K-On! movie will come out in blu-ray, and thus be available to the outside world for the first time.  Same for the first Berserk movie.  There's a new episode of To Heart, a new episode of Squid Girl, a new episode of Idolm@aster, a new episode of Papa no Iukoto, a new episode of Tamayura, and new episodes of Code Geass coming.  Also a bunch of movies we won't get to see till 2013, but the sooner they air in Japan the sooner they'll air over here, so still worth noting.

Suite Precure, Squid Girl, Idolmaster, Working, Nichijou, Boku ha Tomodachi, Tamayura, Shakugan no Shana, Papa no Iukoto, Nisemonogatari, every good series is coming out in totality in blu-ray this summer.  As a result, summer will be a collector's paradise.

 If on top of that there's some decent summer tv series worth watching, well that's just bonus.  The blu-ray releases alone could occupy anyone.

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