October 27, 2009

Top 5

Stripey asks, "What does your top 5 anime say about you?" An interesting question. It's been a long time since I've even thought about a top 5 list, so I had to stop for a moment. But here it is:

Dragon Ball Z
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha A's
Banner of the Stars
Divergence Eve: Misaki Chronicles
Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars

So what does that say? I like engaging characters engaged in desperate struggle for the highest possible stakes.

UPDATE: I think I should amend that slightly: "...for the highest possible stakes, without getting angsty."

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:37 PM | Comments (36) | Add Comment
Post contains 98 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Ah, let's see.

1. Ghost in the Shell (Stand Alone Complex)
2. Here is Greenwood
3. Sol Bianca - The Legacy
4. Pat Labor - The Movie
5. Crest of the Stars (Never watched banner though, curious)

Sigh. I give up.

Posted by: Standing in the Shadows at October 27, 2009 05:41 PM (awY+b)

2 Looks like you like science fiction.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 27, 2009 05:59 PM (+rSRq)

3 Except for the "Greenwood" thing. (I had to look it up; I've never heard of it.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 27, 2009 06:01 PM (+rSRq)


Let me see here...

1. Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

2. Betterman

3. Martain Successor Nadesico

4. Armitage III: Polymatrix

5. Dual: Parallel Trouble Adventure

 ...Of which, the only commonality is that many/most people hate the titles I find are my favorite.


Posted by: cxt217 at October 27, 2009 06:13 PM (Bhzsk)

5 It's not "hate" as such, but the complete cop-out ending in Dual left a sour taste.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 27, 2009 06:15 PM (/ppBw)

6 cxt217, all those shows are either about mechs or artificial humans.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 27, 2009 06:20 PM (+rSRq)

7 Steven, I'm sure there must be more to it than stakes or else Stellvia would've beaten Banner. In Stellvia, whole humanity is about to be wiped out, twice, but in Banner it's only the matter of some empire or other winning some armed conflict.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 27, 2009 06:32 PM (/ppBw)

8 1.  Azumanga Daioh
2.  Kanon 2006
3.  ARIA (all three as one entry)
4.  Noir
5.  Clannad

One of these things is not like the others...

Posted by: Wonderduck at October 27, 2009 06:50 PM (4Mcos)

9 Pete, did you notice the "engaging characters" part?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 27, 2009 06:56 PM (+rSRq)

10 Yeah, otherwise I'd have recommend Bokurano to you - and Bokurano is terrible.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 27, 2009 07:17 PM (PiXy!)

11 Gah, yes.  I've heard nothing but horror about Bokurano.  Apparently, this extends to everything else written by the same guy.  He writes Crapsack Worlds run created by a particularly sadistic God.

Posted by: metaphysician at October 27, 2009 07:22 PM (vM63Z)

12 Going from the last time I compiled my list, mine are:

1. Slayers
2. Dirty Pair
3. Kamichu!
4. Urusei Yatsura
5. Tenchi Muyo

Not sure that anything has changed since then.

The obvious common theme being cute girls who will destroy your entire neighbourhood by accident.  (Okay, Yurie less so than the others, though the first thing she did was inadvertently invoke a massive typhoon.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at October 27, 2009 07:25 PM (PiXy!)


I'm only really comfortable putting together a top 3 series (I haven't watched enough series to put together a good list, really):

1. Ghost in the Shell: SAC & 2nd Gig

2. Haibane Renmei

3. Crest and Banner of the Stars

(Actually, that's 5 series total, right?)  So I guess what this says about me is that I need to watch more anime.  Thing is, I'm on  a streak of stuff I didn't much care for, like Trigun.  I liked Noir, but I didn't love it.  Same for Hellsing, which was fun and enjoyable while watching, but ultimately kinda pointless and thus it hasn't really stuck with me...

Posted by: Mark at October 27, 2009 08:24 PM (1y5ce)


Mark, give Nanoha A's a try. Truly awesome series. And it's 13 eps, so it's not as much of an investment (time or money) as some.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 27, 2009 08:51 PM (+rSRq)

15 1. Noir
2. Lucky Star
3. Nanoha A's
4. Le Chevalier D'Eon
5. Ghost in the Shell (etc.)

I guess that means I prefer somewhat-complicated storylines and characters with secrets, and Lucky Star.

Posted by: Mikeski at October 27, 2009 09:17 PM (GbSQF)

16 I have a hard time coming up with a "favorites" list, as when I put together a list of what I think was high quality stuff has little in common with what I re-watch.  So I have two lists:

Top five re-watchable anime:
  1. Spirited Away
  2. Bubblegum Crisis
  3. Shingu
  4. Vandread
  5. RahXephon
Top five "high-quality, I'd recommend them to people, etc" anime:
  1. Spirited Away
  2. Haibane Renmei
  3. Ghost in the Shell (original movie)
  4. Crest/Banner of the Stars
  5. Cowboy Bebop

Posted by: David at October 27, 2009 09:49 PM (4NX60)

17 Mine differs week to week.  This Week.

Cowboy Bebop
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Haibane Renmei

Posted by: BigFire at October 27, 2009 11:46 PM (JylMM)

18 Mine is easy: 1) SDF Macross 2) All three Nanoha's 3) Banner/Crest of the Stars 4) NGE 5) varies according to mood I'm a romantic who loves crowning moments of awesome and sappy love stories. When I don't feel like that kind of show, I like visceral, over-the-top sci-fi/horror mind screws. Although I have become quite wary of religious symbolism. Oh, and Mark, second on Nanoha A's.

Posted by: Ben at October 28, 2009 06:43 AM (LNHCk)

19 Thanks for the recommendation Steven... I notice that Nanoha A is actually the second series... does that matter?  Or is it easy to jump into the middle like that?  (For the record, I truly enjoyed Crest of the Stars and wouldn't have minded watching that before Banner - does Nanoha have a similar amount of worldbuilding going on?)  For now, I'm putting both in my Netflix queue

Posted by: Mark at October 28, 2009 07:58 AM (aUPJJ)


As David in #16 noted, there's a gap - for most of us, I think - between what we regard as our favorites and what we might commend to others; especially beginners.

Heck, that's even true personally.  I have the highest regard for Haibane Renmei, but it's more than a year since I've rewatched it.  OTOH, a random ep of Lucky Star is about a 2-3 times/week event here.  And don't even get me started on my owner's current obsession with Fate/Stay Night.

Posted by: Tiberius at October 28, 2009 08:25 AM (TXmvK)

21 I raised that question before, and the consensus was to start from the first series. The result was a monumental disaster and I soured on anime period. Now some people (like Sagematt) claim that they dissented (towards going with A's) back then. Not that it really matters who was wise and who wasn't, the fact is most everyone made that suggestion (except Steven who had not watched A's at the time).

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 28, 2009 08:29 AM (/ppBw)

22 The problem is that the first five or so episodes of the first series are completely atypical of all the rest of the franchise. And some scenes in it are extremely difficult to watch.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2009 08:42 AM (+rSRq)

23 My favorites Series:

1.  Crest/Banner of the Stars
2.  Last Exile
3.  Vandread (Both Seasons)
4.  Trigun
5.  Moon Phase

Favorite Anime Movie ( one of my favorites overall): Princess Mononoke

I tend to like shows where people/relationships change (hopefully for the better).

Posted by: schaumannk at October 28, 2009 09:20 AM (npu+U)

24 It's noteworthy how many of us have listed Crest/Banner of the Stars.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2009 09:29 AM (+rSRq)

25 In no particular order:

Maison Ikkoku
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Gunslinger Girl

Interestingly enough, there's one representative each from four of my favorite studios... and Studio Deen.

Posted by: Andrew F. at October 28, 2009 11:47 AM (KY8yE)


1) Azumanga Daioh

2) Lucky Star

3) Elfen Lied

4) Clannad

5) Minami-ke (first season)

Humour is the key for me, plots are optional. yuri and brokeness is also good (have a seperate list for those shows!)

Posted by: Andy Janes at October 28, 2009 01:07 PM (cEaZp)

27 1) Dragon Ball
2) School Rumble
3) Ouran High School Host Club
4) Samurai Pizza Cats
5) Black Lagoon

Posted by: Jaked at October 28, 2009 02:42 PM (mc2+T)

28 Andy, you consider Elfen Lied to be funny? Or Clannad?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2009 05:16 PM (+rSRq)

29 1. Aria (First and Third Seasons)
2. Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha (First Two Seasons)
3. Ouran High School Host Club
4. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
5. Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (First Season)

Dual!, El-Hazard and the original Tenchi Muyo! hold a special place in my heart, and are eminently rewatchable.

Posted by: Civilis at October 28, 2009 05:17 PM (aH7a3)

30 Banner is only the greatest military classic in anime, ever. And I'm saying that after watching The 08th MS Team. Masterfully made as 08th was, it was driven by the agenda too much, and then there was ep.12.

It really is too bad that Banner's excellence is all in the story and characters. I rage about its budget every time I rewatch it and see all the stock reuse, same ship exploding for the 3rd time.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 28, 2009 06:47 PM (/ppBw)


The quality in Crest/Banner comes from the author of the original books. He did a hell of a job. All the inferior parts are the responsibility of the studio.

But it remains the case that the quality redeems the inferior parts. Good story and bad animation is better than bad story and good animation. (As proved by the classic Bullwinkle cartoons.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at October 28, 2009 07:18 PM (+rSRq)

32 No particular order:

Crest/Banner of the Stars
Divergence Eve/Misaki Chronicles
Code Geass

Grand stories, and unique characters you can care about.  I'll forgive bad CG, disorganized pacing, and lousy art.  Given that, no wonder i've soured on anime the last few seasons; I've been chasing harem fluff, which may have a lot of the latter and isn't known for the former.

Posted by: ubu at October 28, 2009 08:08 PM (FxDET)

33 Well Clannad is a comedy-drama in my book, but yeah Elfen is the odd one out in my list. (even though it has a very few lighter scenes it is def not a comedy)

Posted by: Andy Janes at October 29, 2009 10:26 AM (cEaZp)

34 Not necessarily in order (and this changes from time to time): Haibane Renmei Noir Madlax Princess Mononoke Spirited Away

Posted by: dkallen99 at October 30, 2009 12:43 PM (1PFDl)

35 Rats - re previous comment - sorry for the bad formatting. Also, I found "Grave of the Fireflies" affected me terribly -- which may argue in favor of it being well-done. But it is definitely NOT my favorite. I notice in reviewing my list, the lack of lighter titles which I enjoyed (e.g., Strawberry Marshmallow, Hand Maid May)... they're just not my favorites, which probably takes us back to what our individual lists say about us.

Posted by: dkallen99 at October 30, 2009 12:47 PM (1PFDl)

36 I rewatch shows that aren't in Top5 as well, sometimes Chobits, Mahoraba, etc. Why? Well, there's more to the anime than just the 5.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at October 30, 2009 03:09 PM (/ppBw)

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