It’s finally been a full year since I got myself into anime. At first, like most people, I always thought anime was a strange thing with endless amounts of violence, gore, and fanservice, so I never really made an attempt to understand it. However that changed overtime as I got into the Persona series, and was introduced to Evangelion by MementoMorie (due to it having similar themes to Persona 3), and never looked back. Here’s a list of the ten anime that resonated the most with me throughout my journey.
10) Kill la Kill
Ah... Kill la Kill. I have an endless love for this show due to it’s over-the-topness, and not for one second was bored by it. It felt like a combination of western animation and silliness, and Japan’s linear storytelling and action, and for that I loved it.
Psycho-Pass was my first Sci-Fi anime, and boy did I love it. It’s gripping story, setting, and characters really drew me in and made me fall in love again with police procedurals due to its uniqueness compared to anything I have seen before. Its ability to make you think and consider all of the sides’ perspectives was great too.
8) Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
What really needs to be said here? :-P
Being the second show that I picked up during it’s current season, Barakamon was a wonderful surprise. While the slice of life genre didn’t really sound that appealing to me at first, the great clamor about this show here on Ani-TAY lead me to pick this up. And really, it’s probably the only anime that I’ve seen so far that has used every single episode effectively. Not one time was I ever bored or disinterested in this show. The visuals were beautiful, the comedy was fresh and hilarious, and I couldn’t help but love nearly all the characters, especially the young kids. (That didn’t act like miniature adults at all!) And thus, until later (or maybe never), Barakamon will be my #1 slice of life show.
Honestly, if it weren’t for the other shows on my list below, then this would have been my favorite anime full stop. It’s just packed with greatness: Enjoyable characters, good soundtrack, enjoyable filler, awesome serious arcs, drop dead hilarious joke episodes and mini-arcs, and so on. Everything you love about long-running shounen and more is in here, and really I can’t ask for more. (Other than for this show to keep going as long as possible. ^^;) I’m so glad I gave this show a shot despite its 250+ episodes. I’ve just loved almost every single second.
5) Garden of Sinners 5: Paradox Spiral
While I love The Garden of Sinners film series as a whole, the fifth film is a masterpiece on its own right, even without the other episodes supporting it. It’s confusing nonlinear storytelling and sudden jumps between events consistently kept me on my toes and guessing until it nicely tied together near the end. Ufotable also, as always, did a magnificent job of bring Type-Moon’s world to life with gorgeous scenery, animation, and coloring. Even if you don’t want to get into a 8 film and 1 short series, I highly recommend you at least see this one.
4) Perfect Blue
Perfect Blue is one of the best films I have ever seen. It’s weird, creepy and disturbing, sometimes confusing, and is a solid psychological thriller akin to Alfred Hitchcock’s films throughout. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it so I can’t say much more about it, but I still feel it’s a masterpiece worthy of everyone’s attention; anime fan or not.
3) Cowboy Bebop
Ah... Cowboy Bebop. What can I say that hasn’t been already said? Besides the the fact that this show is a fucking masterpiece that every anime fan needs to see at least once, what really hooked me into this series was the fact that the story of this show has long been over. Everyone has left their pasts behind, and the show never always fully describes what has happened before. Just what lead them to be who they were now. Finally, the end of the show was just so well plot out that I couldn’t help but cry for the second time in so many years and since starting anime. Though I’m not sure exactly why I did though...
2) Evangelion (Original Series + End of Eva)
Honestly, as a show I don’t think I’ve ever really “liked” Eva. Though being my first anime and highly recommend by Morie due to having similar themes as Persona 3, I wanted to see it all the way to the end. And boy was it a train-wreck. Until The End of Evangelion that is. What before was a show I just went through with the motions, became something that suddenly and violently gripped my subconscious, shook it up, and threw it down to let it lick its wounds and cry, taking over my conscience simultaneously. Still to this day I’m not completely sure what made me snap (though not as mysterious as my problem with Bebop), but in the end I guess it was because it was the first thing that I’ve ever encountered that truly understood how I felt during the worst phase of my depression.
1) Welcome to the NHK
God... What can I say about this show? The pinnacle of my personal holy trinity of anime, Welcome to the NHK was the most difficult show to watch I’ve seen so far. Seriously, if I recorded myself watching this show, it would be endless scenes of me looking sullen, cringing, tearing up, and crying horribly as I went to bed after the final episode. Nothing I’ve ever see, read, or played has affected me to this degree, other than PTSD Simulator Muv-Luv: Alternative. (Even that didn’t make me cry like I did here. Though I still occasionally rage over one particular scene that scarred me horribly...) Anyways, as a (near) hikikomori myself, NHK just clicked with me on so many levels, and while I’m nowhere nearly as bad as Sato, it was hard not to relate to him and some of his friends during many of their weaker moments. Sigh... To all fellow NEETs and hikikomoris, do yourself a favor and watch this show to the end. I don’t guarantee you’ll enjoy it (hell, I’ve dreaded continuing watching NHK on multiple occasions), but it’s a very worthwhile experience and lesson.