Monday, August 19, 2013

Anime Insider: 50 Best Anime Series

As I slowly get myself back on track I thought I'd deliver one more anime post for those looking to educate themselves on some of the best options out there within the genre.

Unfortunately, this is yet another odd, random list from Anime Insider #18 (2005).  I'm not exactly sure what the operating variables were in their selection process for the 50 Best Anime Series. For me personally a series denotes something with continuity or more than one. So, why would some full-length feature films make their list and not others?   It's a completely bizarre assembly of the best and certainly defies logic, but I thought I would give that list to you in the event you were looking for a starting point on films or series despite the Anime Insider's complete disregard for the English language while I strategize on more robust future posts. I've edited the list to try and note this Sci-Fi Fanatic's highlights.  This is a small complement to the previous Anime Insider Best Anime Ever post here.

46. Saikano
43. Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
39. The Animatrix
34. Ghost In The Shell
32. Witch Hunter Robin
30. Macross Plus

29. Trigun
28. Interstella 5555 (music by Daft Punk)
27. Hellsing
26. Urusei Yatsura: Beautiful Dreamer
25. The Castle Of Cagliostro
24. Wolf's Rain
23. Perfect Blue
20. Ninja Scroll

19. Castle In The Sky
18. Rahxephon
17. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust
16. Escaflowne
15. The End Of Evangelion
14. Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
13. Grave Of The Fireflies
11. Cowboy Bebop

10. Fruit Basket
9. Read Or Die
8. Robotech: Macross Saga
6. Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex
5. His And Her Circumstances
4. Akira
3. Rurouni Kenshin: Legends Of Kyoto
2. Spirited Away/ Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Gatchaman (Battle Of The Planets), Starblazers (Space Battleship Yamato) and other classics just never get the love.  And will they ever release ISao Takahata's Only Yesterday on DVD or Blu-Ray? What is the hold up? 

It's sad to think the anime industry has really taken some major hits in the states as far as economic viability. As an industry it has become increasingly fragile with many of the free streaming sights and bootlegging options harming companies and even forcing some to close their doors entirely.  I've always been a firm believer and advocate of purchasing officially licensed and produced product to support the industry.  With the downturn in the economy over the last many years anime has struggled and any opportunity to support the industry is the way to go.

Having said that, there has not been a great deal of new anime product that has captured my attention.  I am looking forward to Ghost In The Shell: Arise and maybe Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (both slated for release in 2013 in the states).  Still, I often look to the classics and many of the titles from the heyday of anime.  It would be nice to see anime have a strong resurgence in the market.  Still, there are plenty of wonderful ideas and concepts being generated from anime and the art form deserves better.


Cannon said...

What are your thoughts on Eden of the East? I found it surprisingly good.

As for films, I, too, rank Ghost in the Shell (and sequel) higher than Akira, and I'm glad Blood: The Last Vampire got some love. But Paprika, Memories, or The Girl Who Leapt Through Time? No Lensman? Sadness.

SFF said...

Well, that's funny Cannon, maybe someone else can comment on that.

I actually owned Eden Of The East and then parted company with it. It looked really good. I'm glad to hear that from you. I may need to grab it again.

How about King Of Thorn? It's by the Cowboy Bebop studio and looks quite good.

But, yeah, this list is quite old and wouldn't have knowledge of Paprika or Girl Who Leapt, the latter of which I did see with my daughter and thought it was VERY good.

So, yeah, not really an Akira fan at all. Love the GITS stuff.

Cheers pal.

TL Foreman said...


I have to say, I am not a fan of Anime. I've tried in the past and even recently to get into it, but just couldn't.

Now, with that being said, I grew up watching Battle of the Planets which I loved, especially the opening them music. That's an adaption of a Japanese anime show correct? I thought I saw it in the post. That's the only one I could actually watch.

Roman J. Martel said...

Well to chime in on "Eden of the East", it is a really solid series. The television episodes are the highlight, with a great build up and fun (if inconclusive ending). The two follow up films are pretty good, but loose some steam as you through them. The ending works, but it seemed a bit anti-climactic. Still it is one of the best recent series I've seen. You can check out my two reviews of the series at DVD Verdict if you are interest in more details.

I also really enjoyed the series "Rideback" from a couple years ago. The main character is interesting, the set up is solid, and the development of the story really clicks.

It is funny to see a few people here feeling that "Akira" is over appreciated. I fall in the same boat. I really appreciate what it did for the medium, and why it is executed the way it was, but it never really clicked for me. When I rewatched it for my blog earlier this year I finally realized why I didn't come back to it frequently. It is a very angry movie. Compared to "Ghost in the Shell" which is very cool and level headed, and EVA which is about dealing with fear - Akira is all about rage and anger. I find that a little of that goes a long way with me.

Still there are some amazing visuals in "Akira" and the color section and design really impressed me in this latest viewing. It certainly deserves to be on any list of most influential anime/sci-fi films.

Roman J. Martel said...

Oh I forgot to actually chime in on the list here. :)

Some interesting picks. Good to see "Macross Plus" on there. That is a really enjoyable series with some great animation and one of best AI's out there... Sharon Apple.

"Interstella 5555" is an odd pick. I mean it's a lot of fun, the music is great (if you like Daft Punk, and I do). The animation is handled well, but there isn't much substance there. It's like watching a long music video.

"Vision of Escaflowne" is a real blast. Great to see it on the list.

"His and Her Circumstances" is a real charming romantic series. Good to see it on here too.

Good to see some Miyazaki on here! "Spirited Away" is still my favorite of his films. I had the opportunity to see it on the big screen and it was amazing.

Great list overall and pointed out a few shows I'd forgotten about and need to check out (Fruits Basket, FLCL, and Rahxephon)

SFF said...

Hi Troy,

It's an exciting genre. At least, I always find something exciting in it when I'm watching a great series.

But, I suppose it would be even bigger than it is if it appealed to everyone. I understand.

Yes, Battle Of The Planets was adapted from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. The Japanese series is roughly 106 episodes but was shortened and translated to 85 episodes for Battle Of The Planets thanks to Sandy Frank who brought in some heavy hitters on the voice talent front.

And Roman, I can't deny Akira's influence and I do enjoy aspects of it regarding the every things you metnion but it is an intense and angry vision and thus I found it hard to connect with on that level as well.

There's no denying its influence.

I'll be sure to check out your write up on Eden Of The East.

I'm going to watching His And Her with my daughter. I never finished it and she's the right age for it now.

I'd have to say Prince Mononoke and My Neighbor Totoro rank among my favorites but they are all exceptional.

As for Rahxephon. It's a strange but intriguing series and I did enjoy it. The animation is very good but it is a little bizarre but in a good way. It's interesting.

SFF said...

BTW, it looks like EVA-02 arrived in Vancouver in that video clip.

The End Of Evangelion is truly incredible.

Watch Anime Online said...

I would have to say Sword Art Online be the best anime in 2012 :)

SFF said...

Cool. Thanks for the mention on that one.