Saturday, September 20, 2014

Top Ten My All Time Favorite Anime Series

My first introduction to anime or Japanese cartoons was in Dec 1992. A friend purchased a VHS tape of Ranma 1/2 season one episodes 1-3. My second anime series was Record Of Lodoss War episodes 1-3 in July 1994. I became an anime fan in Summer 1996 when I watched dubbed Sailor Moon. The ending music woke me up because I worked nights at Blockbuster Video. Sailor Moon is number 4 in my top ten.

Japanese anime is my second longest tenured hobby. I had lots of fun. I met lots of people and I made lots of friends. Anime was an entertainment medium that satisfied me American television failed from the late 90s to the 2000s. I watched my share of good anime and my share of bad anime.

I have been hinting retiring from anime via blogging, updating my webpage, and telling people. I'm officially retired from anime. Anime gave me lots of experiences, lots of adventures, lots of lessons learned, and lots of fun. It's time to move on. New priorities. New choices. I look forward to a new life with new experiences, new adventures, new lessons to learn, and new fun times.

There are some notes before I list my top ten.

*Where's *fill in the blank* anime series? If I didn't see it, then it's not on the list. Steins Gate, Inu Yasha, Hunter X Hunter, Mushishi, One Piece, and Fruits Basket are examples not on the list. I didn't watch them.

*Retirement from anime doesn't mean I stop watching anime forever. There is a moment I feel I want to turn back the clock and watch anime. I can watch Tenchi Muyo, Bleach, Totoro, Space Brothers, or Gall Force.

*I have unopened boxed anime series I plan to watch. They're Silent Mobius, Black Cat, Princess Tutu, Comic Party, and Canaan.

*I watched Robotech, Star Blazers, Transformers, and Voltron when I was a kid. I didn't know they were cartoons from Japan at the time. Those series obviously were watched with English dubbing.

*The list is my top ten. The list is not the top ten all time anime series. The list is my personal top ten that gave me the greatest entertainment, joy, laughs, sorrows, and life lessons.

*The top ten list includes the year(s) released and a brief description. I also include personal memories related to the anime series.

Here are my top ten all time favorite anime series:

10. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha (2004). An elementary school girl helps an archaeologist recover Jewel Seeds with help from a magical device. Nanoha A's (2005), the second season, is included in the top ten. Thank you tsubasa for introducing me to the series. I wore a costume as one of the minor characters in 2008.

9. Movies and OVAs (various years). There are movies and OVAs that made the list. Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi) (2001) is about a girl who must find strength and courage to rescue her parents turned into pigs in a spirit world. Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) is a young female witch who must live independently that includes earning an income, being self-reliant, and interacting with new people.

Voices Of A Distance Star (2002) is about two close friends separated by space communicating via email from their mobile phones. And Stink Bomb (1995) is about a lab technician who admits a deadly odor from his body. Stink Bomb is part of a three short anime series from the series Memories.

8. Ben-to (2011). Customers engage in fighting half-priced bento in supermarkets. The main characters are high school students in a club called Half-Priced Food Lovers Club. My jaw dropped watching the first episode when I saw everyone fighting for the half-priced bento.

7. Ano Hana (2011). One of six friends died in an accident during their childhood years. The remaining five estranged friends as teenagers gather together to fulfill the dead friend's wish to enter the afterlife and bring closure to the other five friends. Be prepared to cry.

6. K-On! (2009). Four high school students create a band. A fifth student joins later in the series. The series is light, easy going, funny, and entertaining. No sex, violence, drama, and romantic triangles. The music is good. The second season K-On!! (2010) is also in the top ten.

5. Azumanga Daioh (2002). The chronicles of six high school students and two teachers. Tests, culture festivals, leisure time, vacations, and class trips are some of the chronicles. I think of Azumanga Daioh as Seinfeld. There's really nothing going on. I think what I just wrote is something Osaka might say.

4. Sailor Moon (1991-1997). A klutzy naive middle school student encounters a talking cat. The cat gives her a magical brooch which transforms her to Sailor Moon battling the forces of evil. More characters who become sailor scouts are introduced. A total of five seasons, three movies, and one OVA were released.

There is a Sailor Moon remake airing in Japan titled "Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal". The remake began on July 2014.

3. Cowboy Bebop (1997-1998). A twenty six episodes series taking place in the year 2071. The series is about a group of bounty hunters on the spaceship called Bebop.

I'm disappointed many of today's anime generation either have no interest in watching Cowboy Bebop or disliked it. The series includes action, comedy, and drama with parodies. Characters develop is great. There is plenty of time to learn the characters and their back stories.

I'm going to receive criticism Cowboy Bebop is number 3. They respond saying number 3 is too high.

2. Space Brothers (Uchu Kyo-dai) (2012-2014). The anime series is about two brothers who vowed to become astronauts when they were children. The younger brother becomes an astronaut going to the moon and the older brother is fired from his engineering job. The older brother is lost. The younger brother applied his older brother to the astronaut training program. The series chronicles the older brother from training to becoming an astronaut.

I was inspired to watch Space Brothers because my younger brother was smarter and popular when we were children. My younger brother is more successful than me today. He works at a telecommunications company and raises two children with his wife.

1. Fullmetal Alchemist (2003-2004). Two brothers searches for the Philosopher's Stone. The stone is needed to recover the older brother's right arm and left leg and the younger brother's body from a failed attempt to revive their dead mother.

I watched the first 17 episodes during the Fanime Con '04 Midnight Madness from midnight to 7am. I said I watched four episodes and go home. Then I said eight episodes. I said to myself after episode eight, "I'm (wearing the costume of) the main character". I stayed awake during the entire 17 episode marathon. The series has been my all-time favorite since 2005. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (2009-2010) which followed the comic book series is also in the top ten.

Fullmetal Alchemist saved me from quitting anime at the end of 2004. I continued being an anime for almost 10 more years.


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