26 votes

What is your favorite anime, and why?

A basic question to help get the ~ started.

45 comments

  1. zptc Link
    K-On is mine. I only started watching anime a couple years ago and wanted a show that didn't have a lot of strife or conflict. K-On had a rep as being one of the best CGDCT shows, so it was one of...

    K-On is mine. I only started watching anime a couple years ago and wanted a show that didn't have a lot of strife or conflict. K-On had a rep as being one of the best CGDCT shows, so it was one of the first anime I watched. It didn't disappoint. I was immediately drawn in by the attention to detail paid to the instruments and performance animation, the latter in particular being frequently neglected or just not shown in many depictions of musicians performing in both animated and live-action shows. I've dabbled in or taken lessons for all 4 instruments featured in K-On, so it had a particular appeal for me. Of course, the music is great on its own, the animation is just bursting with life and personality, and, well, it's considered one of the best CGDCT shows for a reason. I don't know if anything will ever surpass it as far as my tastes are concerned. Fun things are, after all, fun.

    10 votes
  2. [2]
    CALICO Link
    If you don't count stuff like Dragon Ball or Pokemon, I've been watching anime for a little over 15 years. I've watched a lot of good shows, and a lot of hot, hot trash in my time. I probably only...

    If you don't count stuff like Dragon Ball or Pokemon, I've been watching anime for a little over 15 years. I've watched a lot of good shows, and a lot of hot, hot trash in my time. I probably only remember a small fraction of what I've watched. While there are plenty that I love, I don't know that I could pick a favorite. But there is one series that sticks with me:

    Now and Then, Here and There

    I must have last watched this about a decade ago, but I still think about it sometimes. Hands down the heaviest shit I've ever watched, and I've seen Grave of the Fireflies. Dealing with themes such as child soldiers, kidnapping, and the consequences of war, Now and Then manages to be a masterpiece of writing. It is brutal in much the way that people can be; the characters are brilliantly believable. I'm not sure I could express how highly I think of this series. The writing is absolutely exemplary. Over what must be a couple hundred series by now, this is one of maybe three or four that have made me care enough about the characters to cry for them.

    9 votes
    1. PetitPrince Link Parent
      Now and There is such a masterpiece. I think the short length of the series (13 episodes) is ideal: next to no filler, brisk pace but lengthy enough to let the full horror of the situation sink...

      Now and There is such a masterpiece.

      I think the short length of the series (13 episodes) is ideal: next to no filler, brisk pace but lengthy enough to let the full horror of the situation sink in.

      The art style is a bit simplistic but helps us distance a bit from the very harsh world it presents. A more typical anime style would have a weird cognitive dissonance.

      The characters are brilliantly believable

      I find that is mostly true except for Shu. He is your typical shonen hero, but boy am I glad that he is that way.

      2 votes
  3. [2]
    tablesoup Link
    Ghost In The Shell; Stand Alone Complex. My single favourite show; anime, tv or otherwise - for the last 15 years. In a world of cyberisation; it explores what does it mean to be human when all...

    Ghost In The Shell; Stand Alone Complex. My single favourite show; anime, tv or otherwise - for the last 15 years.

    In a world of cyberisation; it explores what does it mean to be human when all that remains of the biological being is a few cells. The implications of being able to modify memories; sight, etc.

    Series 1 is a mix of world-building mixed with an arc about a mysterious hacker - the laughing man. The second series is a full arc relating to the refugee crisis post WW3.

    9 votes
    1. joseph Link Parent
      Seconded. I really enjoy how the series switches between stand alone episodes and "complex" (serial) ones. It helps flesh out backstory, build understanding of the characters, and ties everything...

      Seconded. I really enjoy how the series switches between stand alone episodes and "complex" (serial) ones. It helps flesh out backstory, build understanding of the characters, and ties everything to the central season plot. More shows should do this.

  4. [3]
    Whom Link
    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. My appreciation for this one mostly comes from it being possibly the most thematically tight and consistent thing (not including Dark Souls) which has gone through my...

    Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.

    My appreciation for this one mostly comes from it being possibly the most thematically tight and consistent thing (not including Dark Souls) which has gone through my eyeballs. It's one of those beautiful and mind-boggling things where the more and more you look into visual details, bits of dialogue, or other elements of the show, the more cohesive it all feels. All the different ways the spiral / drill motif is used alone puts it leaps and bounds ahead of most things, in my book. There's also a lot of small nuances in how it handles the political ideas that get more prominent toward the middle section that I don't feel like getting in detail on right now, but that I think are way more applicable to things beyond the surface level than people give it credit for.

    It's also just hype as fuck and cool to look at.

    8 votes
    1. [2]
      PahoojyMan Link Parent
      It's in my top 3. So well done, the animation and fighting are great and the satire of mechas is refreshing. What blows me away about Gurren Lagann is the exponential growth of the characters,...

      It's in my top 3. So well done, the animation and fighting are great and the satire of mechas is refreshing. What blows me away about Gurren Lagann is the exponential growth of the characters, powers, plot, stakes etc. It never stays at one level for long before rising to new heights.

      3 votes
      1. Data Link Parent
        This is what I loved about this show as well. Going from living underground in a small space to where they end up was a great journey. Watching the final battle unfold blew my mind.

        This is what I loved about this show as well. Going from living underground in a small space to where they end up was a great journey. Watching the final battle unfold blew my mind.

  5. [8]
    PahoojyMan Link
    Neon Genesis Evangelion. Excellent animation, insane fight scenes, awesome mechas and a quality english dub. There's no hand-holding, or overly expository introduction; you're thrown into an...

    Neon Genesis Evangelion.

    Excellent animation, insane fight scenes, awesome mechas and a quality english dub. There's no hand-holding, or overly expository introduction; you're thrown into an organic world and watch a story that's already well in motion. Plots, subplots and sub-subplots allow for multiple viewings, encourage light reading of synopses, and don't treat the viewer like an imbecile. Every time I start a new anime, I'm hoping it will topple Evangelion, but they all fall short.

    The last two episodes are pure introspection, so be sure to watch the alternate ending movie 'End of Evangelion'.

    8 votes
    1. [3]
      zptc Link Parent
      I'll just copy my first ever public comment about NGE, from reddit: I absolutely believe that everyone who wants to get into anime should see NGE, even if you end up like me and feel that one...

      I'll just copy my first ever public comment about NGE, from reddit:

      Either I'm not intellectually sophisticated enough to appreciate its genius, or it's not as deep as it wants us to believe it is.

      I absolutely believe that everyone who wants to get into anime should see NGE, even if you end up like me and feel that one viewing is enough.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        PahoojyMan Link Parent
        Have you read any explanations? There is so much happening without exposition, that you won't believe half of this was actually in the show until you watch again....

        Have you read any explanations? There is so much happening without exposition, that you won't believe half of this was actually in the show until you watch again.

        https://moonlightknighthk.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/neon-genesis-evangelion-explained/

        1. zptc Link Parent
          I've read a little. It didn't really affect my enjoyment of the show, or occasional lack thereof, and it did nothing to change my opinion of the parts of the show I really disliked, like Asuka's...

          I've read a little. It didn't really affect my enjoyment of the show, or occasional lack thereof, and it did nothing to change my opinion of the parts of the show I really disliked, like Asuka's behavior, Gendo's apparently terrible planning, and those last two NGE episodes.

          NGE deserves its classic status, absolutely. It's just not my cup of Tang.

    2. [2]
      Foamed Link Parent
      It's one of the few shows I can still come back to and enjoy every few years due to all the sub-plots and scenes I might've glossed over or forgotten. Still waiting for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 to come...

      It's one of the few shows I can still come back to and enjoy every few years due to all the sub-plots and scenes I might've glossed over or forgotten.

      Still waiting for Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 to come out and 2020 is still far off.

      1. PahoojyMan Link Parent
        Have you seen Shin Godzilla to tide you over? He's basically an angel.

        Have you seen Shin Godzilla to tide you over?

        He's basically an angel.

    3. [2]
      devlinium Link Parent
      Have you watched the movies that have come out recently? I haven't seen them yet, but I remember Eva being one of those formative experiences when I was much much younger.

      Have you watched the movies that have come out recently? I haven't seen them yet, but I remember Eva being one of those formative experiences when I was much much younger.

      1. PahoojyMan Link Parent
        Yeah, they're pretty good. I prefer the original, but have no problems with the reboot either. They do differ from the original series. Only slightly in the first movie, but by the third movie the...

        Yeah, they're pretty good. I prefer the original, but have no problems with the reboot either.

        They do differ from the original series. Only slightly in the first movie, but by the third movie the story is barely recognisable. Looking forward to the last movie coming out in 2020.

  6. [6]
    yellow Link
    I've hardly watched any animes, but I liked Baccano. Its set in prohibition-era USA so I actually have a small sense of the setting; this also means the English voice actors fit really well. It...

    I've hardly watched any animes, but I liked Baccano. Its set in prohibition-era USA so I actually have a small sense of the setting; this also means the English voice actors fit really well. It shifts perspective a lot and gradually builds a clear picture of a just a few incidents. Its mostly light-hearted humor and quick action with only a few serious moments. However, it is fairly violent and at time kinda gory. Its a quick, cohesive 13 episodes with 3 extra episodes tacked on that are worse, but not too bad. I've been trying to be kinda vague because the show explains itself pretty well and I'd imagine it could be a fun surprise if you went in unaware of what happens.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      Chopincakes Link Parent
      Baccano is fantastic. Easily in my top 10. Those last 3 episodes were absolutely not needed though :( I know there are visual novels out there that do pick up the story/add side stories, but most...

      Baccano is fantastic. Easily in my top 10. Those last 3 episodes were absolutely not needed though :(

      I know there are visual novels out there that do pick up the story/add side stories, but most of them aren't translated and I haven't been able to find them.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        Durinthal Link Parent
        The original series is a bunch of light novels, so far the first seven have been released and are available on Kindle as well as hardcover. The anime (minus the three extra episodes) covers...

        The original series is a bunch of light novels, so far the first seven have been released and are available on Kindle as well as hardcover. The anime (minus the three extra episodes) covers roughly the first four volumes though the fourth is greatly cut to fit in.

        2 votes
        1. Chopincakes Link Parent
          No shit! That's awesome -- thanks for the heads up

          No shit! That's awesome -- thanks for the heads up

    2. [2]
      otto Link Parent
      Almost a month later, but if you want a recommendation, try Durarara!. I think it's by the same writer, and it's definitely similar on a lot of levels. It's a bit longer as it has three seasons,...

      Almost a month later, but if you want a recommendation, try Durarara!. I think it's by the same writer, and it's definitely similar on a lot of levels. It's a bit longer as it has three seasons, but the first one stands on its own well too.

      1 vote
      1. yellow Link Parent
        I Tried Durarara! I watched at least the first season of it, but stopped watching before the the third I think. I didn't like it as much, but it did have some good moments.

        I Tried Durarara! I watched at least the first season of it, but stopped watching before the the third I think. I didn't like it as much, but it did have some good moments.

        1 vote
  7. moocow1452 Link
    Puella Magi Madoka Magica is probably the tightest anime thematically I've seen, and without spoilers, has and will continue to inspire many anime for years to come.

    Puella Magi Madoka Magica is probably the tightest anime thematically I've seen, and without spoilers, has and will continue to inspire many anime for years to come.

    7 votes
  8. [3]
    TreeBone Link
    I typically don't like anime because I can't stand a lot of the tropes of the genre, but I have watched a lot of it. My two favorite are One Punch Man and Golden Time. Everybody knows One Punch...

    I typically don't like anime because I can't stand a lot of the tropes of the genre, but I have watched a lot of it. My two favorite are One Punch Man and Golden Time.

    Everybody knows One Punch Man, at least I assume it's as popular as I think. Golden Time is about a high school boy who loses his memory before he goes to college. He struggles between making new friends or trying to regain his old memories and life. Really pretty interesting and it's also got a nice love story in there.

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      SplatTim Link Parent
      One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 (written by the same guy) are my favorites. I've heard both have been confirmed to get second seasons, but I don't think either has a confirmed release date yet.

      One Punch Man and Mob Psycho 100 (written by the same guy) are my favorites. I've heard both have been confirmed to get second seasons, but I don't think either has a confirmed release date yet.

      2 votes
      1. TreeBone Link Parent
        Every time I tell someone I like One Punch Man tells me they like Mob Psycho 100. I guess I should get on it.

        Every time I tell someone I like One Punch Man tells me they like Mob Psycho 100. I guess I should get on it.

        1 vote
  9. Durinthal Link
    Spice and Wolf remains my favorite for a few reasons: The dialogue and banter between Holo and Lawrence is fantastic. There's tension and drama that's not purely action focused and (usually) not...

    Spice and Wolf remains my favorite for a few reasons:

    • The dialogue and banter between Holo and Lawrence is fantastic.

    • There's tension and drama that's not purely action focused and (usually) not driven by a misunderstanding between the characters, giving it an "us against the world" aspect that I love to see with a romance series.

    • The series has a bittersweet undertone to it, encapsulated by a wariness of the future in the relatively somber OPs and a melancholic acceptance of how their relationship will inevitably end.

    Most of my other favorite anime also have a bittersweet feeling to them, including Honey and Clover and Cross Game.

    5 votes
  10. [2]
    Chopincakes Link
    Cowboy Bebop - Excluding pokemon & DBZ, this was one of my first real experiences with anime as a genre and it's something that I've been able to watch over and over again throughout the years....

    Cowboy Bebop - Excluding pokemon & DBZ, this was one of my first real experiences with anime as a genre and it's something that I've been able to watch over and over again throughout the years. The way the music blends in with the animation and fight scenes is stunning.

    Steins;Gate - I fucking love everything about this anime. I was drawn into the characters emotionally and got hooked into the plot hard. Supah Cool! Haven't watched the new show yet; will probably wait until it's all finished.

    Nodame Cantabile - Generally not one that's recommended often, but I loved the humor and the development of the relationship of the romance through the anime. I love the way the music is presented in the show (and have a deep hatred for a lot of other anime that use classical music) as I think it gives it the deserved gravitas. It's adorable in so many ways, but also is one of a few anime that features college students/adults, giving it a bit more of a serious tone at times.

    4 votes
    1. acr Link Parent
      The cool thing I always liked about Cowboy Bebop was how the first episode is basically the same as the last episode.

      The cool thing I always liked about Cowboy Bebop was how the first episode is basically the same as the last episode.

      2 votes
  11. Akir Link
    It's honestly very very hard to tell. I like different anime for different reasons. The newest favorite is Violet Evergarden. They somehow managed to make a series where every single episode has...

    It's honestly very very hard to tell. I like different anime for different reasons.

    The newest favorite is Violet Evergarden. They somehow managed to make a series where every single episode has managed to make me cry. I am still pretty amazed at how deeply affective that show is, and I am excited for the next season, whenever it comes out in this country.

    There is an old favorite that has really aged terribly because of what the studio did to the property, and that is the original Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA series. it's packed with action, the characters are all likable, the designs are creative, and amazing things happen all the time. Kill la Kill does all of that and turns the dial up past 11 into completely new territory, and that is just exhilarating.

    There are also a lot of smaller shows I love that I have never heard anyone talking about. Tatami Galaxy is a coming of age comedy series that uses a deadpan delivery, running gags, and an experimental style of animation to give a surreal and unforgettable experience.

    Anything Sayo Yamamoto does is incredible. If you grew up watching Lupin III, I would highly suggest watching A Woman Called Fujiko Mine.

    Lastly, I need to give a shout-out to Yuri!! On Ice. Anime is filled with fanservice. Yuri is the first anime that has fanservice that works on gay men. Free doesn't count.

    4 votes
  12. spctrvl Link
    Hm, can't pick a particular favorite but I'd say Madoka Magica, Kill la Kill, and Little Witch Academia would all be contenders. Honorable mentions to FMA Brotherhood, One Punch Man, Steins;Gate,...

    Hm, can't pick a particular favorite but I'd say Madoka Magica, Kill la Kill, and Little Witch Academia would all be contenders. Honorable mentions to FMA Brotherhood, One Punch Man, Steins;Gate, and Gurren Lagann.

    Some reasons why: all of them have fanatic casts, Madoka and Steins;Gate are incredibly emotionally intense, Kill la Kill has one of the best soundtracks I've heard and an incredibly distinctive animation style, and LWA is anime Harry Potter in the best possible way.

    3 votes
  13. clerical_terrors Link
    Genshiken remains mine, for nostalgia reasons. Especially at the time when I watched it I was very lonely, with no friends in my place of residence, so the idea of one finding a group of friends...

    Genshiken remains mine, for nostalgia reasons. Especially at the time when I watched it I was very lonely, with no friends in my place of residence, so the idea of one finding a group of friends based on shared passions appealed to me. Over the years I simply grew to love the characterizations and the pastiche of Otaku culture it presented.

    3 votes
  14. [2]
    Heichou Link
    Honestly? Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. That anime (and manga) is so filled to the brim with style and flair that it's hard to outright hate it. It's iconic, to the point where it's considered the...

    Honestly? Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. That anime (and manga) is so filled to the brim with style and flair that it's hard to outright hate it. It's iconic, to the point where it's considered the father of shounen anime (with Hokuto No Ken as the grandfather), and many anime have references to it in them, some not even shounen. Stands are such an interesting and varied mechanic and Araki can go wild with them. Fight scenes are amazing, too.

    Toradora, while a tad cliche, will forever remain in my heart as one of my favorites, and the anime that got me into anime. Arguably the quintessential RomCom anime, it's sweet, emotional, and funny. Humor, however, does not interrupt the plot, which I really loved. There were no real joke characters that mattered, and it focused on a love triangle, but made the feelings feel real. The animation and character design are fantastic as well.

    For most recently, My Hero Academia is making it's way into my top anime. Much like Jojo, the author has developed a mechanic much like stands that allows for a ton of flexibility and creativity in creating conflict and hero variety. Almost every episode feels like a small victory, it's the first anime in a long time to straight up make me tear up over fights, and the animation is fantastic. Definitely one of Bones' best.

    3 votes
    1. Shruke Link Parent
      I picked up the first JoJo manga on a whim a couple of years ago since it was recommended, and since then I can't believe how much it's wormed it's way into my life. Part 5 is probably my most...

      I picked up the first JoJo manga on a whim a couple of years ago since it was recommended, and since then I can't believe how much it's wormed it's way into my life.

      Part 5 is probably my most anticipated anime right now, and I'm still reading Part 8 every time it comes out.

      1 vote
  15. DMonitor Link
    Overlord is my current #1. If season 4 isn’t confirmed, I plan on reading the light novels.

    Overlord is my current #1. If season 4 isn’t confirmed, I plan on reading the light novels.

    2 votes
  16. h313 Link
    Mine would probably have to be Hanasaku Iroha, a slice-of-life show about a high school student from Tokyo who goes to a rural inn to work. It's surprisingly wholesome, and I watched it just as I...

    Mine would probably have to be Hanasaku Iroha, a slice-of-life show about a high school student from Tokyo who goes to a rural inn to work. It's surprisingly wholesome, and I watched it just as I was getting ready to leave for college on the opposite coast, so I really related to it. The themes also hit me hard, as it talked about finding purpose in life as well as overcoming one's insecurities. The main character is also probably one of the most relatable characters I've seen in almost any anime series.. Be warned, however, it may seem really slow to you.

    2 votes
  17. insomnic Link
    Jeebus... what a big question... how do you pick a favorite after 30 years or so of watching... some I can barely remember anymore (though I recognize them when I see them). Do I pick ones that...

    Jeebus... what a big question... how do you pick a favorite after 30 years or so of watching... some I can barely remember anymore (though I recognize them when I see them). Do I pick ones that had an impact like Robotech or Fist of the North Star or Akira ... or the first Ghost in the Shell movie which was one of the first largely released and promoted to theaters and video stores (I still have my theater version poster from working at Blockbuster) ... do I pick the classics from Toonami that brought it to a wider range of folks or the proliferation of digital fansubs like original harems like Love Hina and Ah My Goddess and Tenchi (leading to CCCP, KLite and ultimately VLC)... or maybe Naruto and Bleach that interested an entire new generation of anime fans (my nephews were absolutely floored when I identified their "niche" anime tshirts from Hot Topic despite being the guy that got them all the Teen Titans videos before they finished airing - thanks Australia!) ... Do I pick the esoteric ones or the commonly popular ones? Maybe the classic "crazies" like Evangelion and Serial Experiment Lain or Elfen Lied? Some of the newer crazy ones like Steins;Gate or Madoka? A movie or series? Would picking a Miyazaki film be cheating? Should I pick more obscure but popular ones like Read or DIE or Noir? Maybe Black Lagoon or Gangsta because they're similar to Cowboy Bebop without being Cowboy Bebop?

    Fuck it... Cowboy Bebop - it's timeless and enjoyable subbed or dubbed and throws a great mix of what makes anime interesting and with a killer soundtrack. It also doesn't have too many anime tropes so people not familiar with anime can watch without missing the "rules" you need for some other ones.

    Speaking of soundtracks... that'll be a good new topic. Excuse me.

    2 votes
  18. acr Link
    Trigun and FLCL I just like all the hidden meanings in FLCL. And it was just a test of their equipment but is so good anyway. The episode where it starts with them in the corn field was so well...

    Trigun and FLCL

    I just like all the hidden meanings in FLCL. And it was just a test of their equipment but is so good anyway. The episode where it starts with them in the corn field was so well animated. The whole nothing ever happens here makes me nostalgic.

    Trigun because I like characters like Vash and Wolfwood.

    1 vote
  19. ali Link
    I feel a serious lack of one piece in here

    I feel a serious lack of one piece in here

    1 vote
  20. Bishop Link
    bobobo bo bobobo. nose hair.

    bobobo bo bobobo.

    nose hair.

    1 vote
  21. Elite_Pigeon_Spy Link
    Hatoful Boyfriend. Not really an anime, but close enough! I spent quite some time with it during university.

    Hatoful Boyfriend. Not really an anime, but close enough! I spent quite some time with it during university.

    1 vote
  22. Emerald_Knight Link
    I can't really say that any one in particular stands out as an absolute favorite, but The Vision of Escaflowne was the first to really get me into anime in general and will always be up there for...

    I can't really say that any one in particular stands out as an absolute favorite, but The Vision of Escaflowne was the first to really get me into anime in general and will always be up there for me because of it. I haven't seen it in years, but I recall enjoying the world and animation. I should really look into watching it again sometime.

    1 vote
  23. asterisk Link
    Well, it’s hard to write about favorite anime, cause I cann’t choose. But I would like to mention Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei: Good absurd comedy on many [mostly japonic] thematics. Very, hm… special...

    Well, it’s hard to write about favorite anime, cause I cann’t choose. But I would like to mention Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei:

    • Good absurd comedy on many [mostly japonic] thematics.
    • Very, hm… special OPs, example: evolution of one.
    1 vote
  24. VozyCozyX Link
    Gabriel Dropout, probably. It's pretty funny. and the girls are cute. Basically it's about this chick named Gabriel coming down from heaven after graduating from some sky school or whatever, and...

    Gabriel Dropout, probably. It's pretty funny. and the girls are cute. Basically it's about this chick named Gabriel coming down from heaven after graduating from some sky school or whatever, and she's gotta learn about how humans work. Some where along the lines she becomes a sloth of being, becoming addicted to video games. From there, in short, it's basically another high school anime but with an angels and demons mechanic. The manga is pretty good, too. Give it a look into if you haven't already!

    1 vote
  25. Fiddler Link
    FLCL and Tatami Galaxy are neck and neck. In both cases I discovered them when I was going through similar stages of life to the main character, and they both resonated really strongly with me. I...

    FLCL and Tatami Galaxy are neck and neck. In both cases I discovered them when I was going through similar stages of life to the main character, and they both resonated really strongly with me. I guess I'm lucky in that regard, as I can totally understand someone watching either of these later in life and enjoying them but not really falling in love with them.

    Shout out to Your Lie In April for being released only a few months after dealing with the death of a friend and my subsequent withdrawal from all of my hobbies. This show was important to me in the same way as the other two, but I feel its not quite on the same level in terms of artistic vision.