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Below is my top favorites in anime titles and characters. My top favorites in regards to my favorite anime based on enjoyability and for characters and seiyuu are those that I have a fondness for. I enjoy mainly the classic anime of the 80's and 90's because of the variety of anime that came out during that time, accompanied by the talented seiyuu, artists, and writers that brought these titles to life. When it comes to the modern anime shows, there's a handful of them I do like. However, when it comes to some anime series that are highly regarded by others, there will be some where I won't share the same opinion.
When it comes to the anime I watch/would like to watch, the criteria I look for is a good story/plot, likeable characters, and a talented cast of seiyuu. I also look for well-established character development when watching the anime. How I rate anime is by looking at the whole picture and not give something a good score just because it has a handful of good episodes. Enjoyment is key when I rate anime, most of those I rate 8-10 are those I like to re-watch. At times I'll watch a light-hearted/guilty pleasure anime that seems like it will be a fun watch and with those, I rate it differently than I would a serious anime.
When it comes to things like ecchi, I tend to like the ecchi shows of the 90's more because the female characters had realistic proportions and designed well, a good number of them were not placed in school settings, adult characters were among the main characters, voiced by a variety of talented seiyuu, and have a certain charm about them. I dislike recent ecchi shows because they're filled with bad, carbon-copy characters, hardly any set outside of those bland school/harem settings, horribly made with the god-awful shine to them, and voiced by the same, over-used seiyuu. I also dislike loli-con anime, shows with "imouto" and "onii-chan" in the title, and those long running shounen anime that goes on for 200+ episodes, they become a chore to watch and often run into predictable territory.
I feel in today's anime, it is lacking in having certain great female seiyuu that made their mark in the 80's and early 90's (like Megumi Hayashibara) in voicing main characters and are cast aside to supporting roles, which is sad. I'm mainly a fan of the female seiyuu that were active in the 80's and the 90's because I love their voices and those that I favor are excellent in terms of their acting and singing talent. I feel they deserve more respect, love, and fans than the currently popular ones. So I ask and encourage everyone to support veteran female seiyuu for their amazing talent in both voice acting and for some, their singing talent.
As a fan of older anime, I disagree with those who base their superficial arguments on disliking/not watching older anime because of the animation. When it comes to anime; the story-plot, characters, and how both progress is what counts, not what the series looks like or how pretty it is. I encourage everyone to watch older anime from the 80's and the 90's, there's plenty of awesome titles to choose from and you'd be surprised on how entertaining the classic anime titles are.
MY CHARACTER OF THE MONTH-TOMOE YUKISHIRO
In my Character of the Month feature for March 2014, I present Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen’s graceful and beautiful Tomoe Yukishiro, a young woman torn between her desire to avenge her slain fiancé and her growing love of the young man who had slain him, someone who is just as torn as she is in his current cirumstances…the young man whom alters Tomoe’s life who in turn alters his, is Kenshin Himura, in a time when he was a master assassin for the Choshu Clan who aimed to change the status quo of the late Tokugawa Dynasty. As of late February of this year marks the 15th anniversary of the release date of the 1st OVA episode. She is a young woman marked with the trademark scent of white plum, a flower perfume fragrance she wears. What endears Tomoe to me the most rather than Kaoru Kamiya, Kenshin’s love interest in the main series is that despite Kenshin coldly slaying her fiancé and knowing the kind of young man he was when she came into his life, and when she and Kenshin were in hiding together in the final months of her life; she found it in her heart to forgive Kenshin, accept the “dark side” of what he was, and love all aspects about Kenshin. Tomoe also reached deep within his humanity and encourage him to pursue interests that would give him calming peace, such as farming seeds to grow into food, an activity that both she and Kenshin did together that gave them a small bit of happiness in the short time they were together in their small home in Otsu. However, I still admire what Kaoru gave to Kenshin in her bond with him, especially through her pure-hearted feelings. Tomoe herself is a multi-faceted character such as the depths of herself as a woman, someone who is truly nurturing and loving…if she had lived and had a bright future with Kenshin, Tomoe would have made an excellent mother. The creator of the series, Nobuhiro Watsuki cited Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Rei Ayanami as the inspiration for Tomoe, as both characters are quiet and introverted characters, but my feelings are that Tomoe represents qualities of a pure Yamato Nadeshiko type character, one who is refined and elegant…more-so than characters like Maison Ikkoku’s Kyoko Otonashi.
Tomoe was born to a low-level samurai family that served the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo and was forced to become a surrogate mother to her younger brother, Enishi after their mother died giving birth to him, which explains the deeper bond that Tomoe and Enishi have that is beyond that of siblings. As a child she had a childhood sweetheart named Akira Kiyosato, a son of similarly ranked samurai family; that led to them planning to marry one another as they grew older. Enishi felt jealous, but he came to accept it in time only wishing for his older sister’s happiness. That happiness came to an end when Kiyosato was on a bodyguard assignment that led to him being slain by Kenshin Himura, who was then an assassin. Kiyosato would provide the first mark that would become his infamous cross-shaped scar. His death greatly saddened Tomoe and she fell into depression that drove her to leave home, however Shugunate spies would take this opportunity to take advantage of Tomoe and the situation she was in. Before her fateful rain-soaked encounter with the assassin that took the life of her beloved fiancé, she drank sake to drown her pain. In her drunken-state the night she finally came eye to eye with Kenshin, she collapsed into his arms, and despite how much sake she drank, she still had her trademark scent on her of white plum.
Kenshin had taken her to the inn where Kogoro Katsura’s faction was regulars at and she had taken up employment as one of the inn’s servants. It was during this time together that Kenshin and Tomoe would grow close to one another that Katsura would request to Tomoe to become Kenshin’s “sheath” in order to preserve his humanity, as the Choshu leader was becoming worried for his young charge, fearing what he had been having the youth do was eating away at his humanity. In the aftermath of the infamous Ikeda-ya Incident in which involved the Shinsengumi dismantled a plot against the Shogunate, Katsura instructed Kenshin and Tomoe to leave Kyoto at once as it has become too high risk for them to stay and live as husband and wife in a remote location in Otsu that he had arranged, telling them he would be sending his aide, Iizuka to keep in touch with them, both unaware that Iizuka is the catalyst that would lead to their doomed romance in the months to come, as well as being the suspected traitor among the ranks. For the time being before that fateful winter, Kenshin and Tomoe would live a peaceful existence as a married couple who would pass their days farming, selling their wares as apothecaries, and sharing meals together.
It was also during this time that Kenshin and Tomoe would intimately get to know one another better than they have before-hand and that their feelings for one another would grow, that any thoughts of avenging Kiyosato would no longer be in Tomoe’s thoughts, although it would still conflict with her heart and mind as the romantic feelings for Kenshin, the young man that had killed Kiyosato was growing stronger. Tomoe would reunite with her younger brother, Enishi through Iizuka who tried to convince her to follow through with killing Kenshin, as he too had become entangled in the same Shogunate spies that recruited Tomoe. Tomoe told Enishi that she wanted him to return home to take care of their father and not get involved, but the young boy wouldn’t listen. It is clear from their first encounter that Enishi had a strong hatred for Kenshin, also that Tomoe had no intention to kill Kenshin as she had fallen in love with him. Realizing they can’t dwell in the past anymore, Tomoe and Kenshin decide to make a future for them and they share a passionate embrace, in which it would be the first and last time they would have such a feeling. However, Tomoe knows they can’t move forward until she ends her ties to the men who still want Kenshin dead, the same men who recruited her into carrying out her vengeance against him. The road to their inevitable tragedy would take root when Iizuka appears before Kenshin to say Tomoe was the suspected traitor, who tells him to look at Tomoe’s diary, and he looks at it and it revealed her innermost secret to Kenshin, which shakes Kenshin to the core of his being. Despite his newfound feelings of guilt of the sin he caused in killing the man that Tomoe loved, he can’t deny his own heart in his romantic feelings for Tomoe and the realization of his love for her and is driven in a state of conflict, in which the scar on his cheek begins to bleed again, a sign of a bad omen to come.
Tomoe would confront the leader, Tatsumi who called her out on her weakness for not doing what needed to be done to avenge Kiyosato, and takes it upon himself to do what she could not. Tomoe is then visited by the spectre of her former fiancé who appears with a look of peace on his visage. She then goes out into the brutal elements of winter and sees a beaten Kenshin struggling against Tatsumi in battle, strained from his emotional state and being ambushed by Tatsumi’s thugs which pains Tomoe greatly. Tomoe decides to intervene, to save Kenshin from being killed, although it would end with her own death. Kenshin sees what he had done in his desperate move against his opponent left him with a breaking heart as Tomoe lay bleeding to death in the snow. There, she completes his infamous cross-shaped scar, although in the manga the circumstances of the scar’s inception are different. She gives him a final smile along with her love before she dies. In the background, Enishi witnessed the scene with a totally different point of view that would traumatize him to the core that made his dark hair turn silver and lead him on a dark path as seen in the fan-favorite Jinchuu arc of the series, long hailed as the holy grail of the most desired manga arc to be seen in anime format. Kenshin’s life is forever changed because of what he shared with Tomoe, who inspired him to take a different path in life that would lead him on a journey in the years to come with his future bonds with Kaoru and their friends at her dojo. At their small home, Kenshin speaks from his heart to Tomoe and he is then visited by Katsura. Although Katsura had his new assassin, Makoto Shishio dispatch the traitorous Iizuka, he is still plagued with guilt over what happened to both of them. Tomoe’s spirit would continue to watch over Kenshin throughout his final times as the Hitokiri Battosai in the revolution to return power to the Emperor in the final years of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
Tomoe Yukishiro is voiced by, in my opinion, the highly versatile and talented Junko Iwao who is able to bring any character to life with her fantastic voice. It’s a shame really, because she is so under-used and I can think of quite a lot of series that would’ve been much better if she were in the cast. For example, I think she would’ve been a better Kotomi Ichinose for Clannad to be honest and even reprising her role as Kotori Monou for the X/1999 TV series, I prefer her voice used in those kind of characters. Junko Iwao is among my top favorite female seiyuu of all-time and she is fantastic in any role she does, plus she has a great singing voice that I love, truly angelic sounding. Iwao is credited for voicing a variety of different characters such as; Ceres of Ayashi no Ceres, Tomoyo Daidouji of Cardcaptor Sakura, Jun Fudou of Devilman Lady, Tokiko “Key” Mima of Key the Metal Idol, Akane Higurashi/Soir in the MaiHiME/Otome series, Hikari Horaki of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mima Kirigoe of Perfect Blue, Mint Adnade of Tales of Phantasia, Mayuka in Tenchi Muyo!: Manatsu no Eve, and Ayaka and Serika Kurusugawa in the ToHeart series…roles in anime of which I really enjoyed her in and many more. I think Junko Iwao is more deserving of love and favorites than she gets…as well as more anime roles, it’s sad to think that such a great voice actress such as her gets so limited in roles these days and none of them are as main characters. Anime needs more of Junko’s graceful voice IMHO.
This a song Junko Iwao sang for the 2000 anime series, Ayashi no Ceres called “Scarlet”. Tomoe doesn’t have an image song for her own and I felt “Scarlet” is a fine song that suits Tomoe very well. The Ayashi no Ceres is also quite the fantastic series as well that I recommend for romance anime fans. “Scarlet” is a song that signifies why I find Junko Iwao a great and talented singer with a voice of an angel.
”Scarlet” From Ayashi no Ceres, Sung By Junko Iwao
Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen is one of the finest anime masterpieces with its’ fantastically crafted story that reaches all aspects of human emotions and weaves them together into developing a bond towards Tomoe and Kenshin throughout their life-changing journey together. The character designs are truly a gorgeous sight to behold for a late 90’s cel-animated series and Tomoe’s design in the OVA is especially breathtaking in bringing out her elegant beauty. The visuals are a sight to behold in bringing the beauty of Japan’s classic era with scenes of nature and life before modernization in the country’s industrial age. Taku Iwasaki’s music is another ingredient that brings this exquisite piece to life that combines orchestral and traditional Japanese music so brilliantly. The seiyuu cast is one of the best with Mayo Suzukaze, Hirotaka Suzuoki, and Shuichi Ikeda reprising their characters as Kenshin Himura, Hajime Saitou, and Seijiro Hiko respectively with Tomokazu Seki as Kogoro Katsura, Ryusei Nakao as Iizuka, and Nozomu Sasaki as Enishi Yukishiro. It is hard to find any flaw in this well-regarded chapter in the legacy of the Rurouni Kenshin anime series. What makes it even more enjoyable for me is the Director’s Cut version where all four episodes are made into a feature length movie. I feel this would make a great live-action film as well, so I hope the next film for the Rurouni Kenshin after the Kyoto arc movies is an adaptation of the Tsuiokuhen arc, followed by at least two movies dedicated to the Jinchu arc. It was one of few anime that has brought a tear to my eyes with genuine emotion. Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen is certainly a jewel from Studio DEEN, an anime studio that is generally not well received by a majority of people. This is a definite anime to see and one I highly recommend to any fan who desires to see a strong story and well-written characters voiced by a fine cast of seiyuu over the generic, status-quo of anime today.
Below is one of my favorite music pieces from the anime, it sounds so much like a love theme for Kenshin and Tomoe.
Rurouni Kenshin Tsuiokuhen Theme Music-Sound of Snow Falling
My Rating System
10.Masterpiece-Ultimate perfection, re-watch is a must because it was so terrific a series to watch that I can enjoy endlessly without it ever being a dull moment.
9.Great-Truly awesome and a definite re-watch, but just barely makes it to the level of masterpiece.
8.Very Good-A pleasant watching experience, some re-watch worthy, but has at least one or two flaws that prevented it from getting a higher score.
7.Good-A decent series, just a few flaws, yet was entertaining to see.
6.Fine-Could've been done much better, but wasn't too bad.
5.Average-Just meh, not bad but not great either.
4.Bad-Nothing really good to speak of because the flaws outweigh anything good about it.
3.Very Bad-Flawed and possesses no redeeming qualities.
2.Horrible-Too flawed and too horribly made, a complete waste of time.
1.Unwatchable-Things like a modern ecchi and lolicon anime is what I would consider unwatchable. Fanservice done to the extreme like that is disgusting. Also anime that makes me facepalm myself and say WTFPWP!
Top 25 Anime Shows I Dislike-Those With An Average Rating of 6 or Higher
Aki Sora (Both OVA's)-All this series has going for it is the pretty art, Sora was a lame ripoff of Pico of Boku no Pico although being a sis-con. I wish this was more of a yuri with Nami and Kana as the main couple...too much Aki/Sora scenes and not enough Nami/Kana.
Bouken! Iczer 3-Terrible sequel to the much better Iczer-1 OVA.
Chobits-The main characters weren't that great, especially Chii who had zero personality. Their romance wasn't that great either. Side characters like Shinbo and Takako were better characters and I feel they should've been the mains.
Code Geass-This series felt like a bad combination of Gundam SEED & LOGH. I am not a fan of this series and its' characters, plain and simple.
Devilman OVA's-These 3 aren't that good, they lack any real structure and underdeveloped the story. I found the Devilman Lady anime much better.
Dirty Pair OVA's-Just followed the same format as the TV series and really never developed Kei and Yuri's characters to a new level. Nolandia was the worst of them with a bad story and character animation. I was really never fond of the character animation of the OVA's and preferred the TV series character animation.
Evangelion Rebuild Movies-These are sad excuses for a reboot, they have nothing on the original series in terms of story and character development, also they take a number of the characters and twist them in an unflattering way that ruins them, such as Misato for example. After seeing 3 of the 4 films, all they did was disappoint me greatly. The only true Evangelion for me, is the original series and The End of Evangelion film finale...not this horrible reboot.
Girls und Panzer-Aside from a supporting character I did like not having enough screen-time and development, and this is one reason why I hate anime shows like these that don't develop its' adult characters. About half of the characters in this series were annoying and lame as shit that I could care less about as well. This series was a waste of my time and at times I wish Sentai didn't license series, there is better stuff than this.
Inuyasha-The worst of Rumiko Takahashi's works; Kagome was a terrible heroine, Shippo was a lame-ass sidekick, and Naraku was a shit antagonist. It could've been better if were a shorter series.
Macross 7-This was overall a pretty weak series for me; I didn't like Nekki Basara and hearing him sing the same old songs got real old fast. The villains were also lame as shit. This series didn't need to be 49 episodes long, the standard 26 should've sufficed.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica-Quite a pretentious series that didn't do anything for me through most of the praise it gets, the title heroine Madoka was more of a crybaby than NGE's Shinji. She seemed like she was on the sideline through most of the series and was useless. I didn't find her an admirable heroine at all and I also don't find Homura that interesting either. Characters like Sayaka and Kyoko were better characters than the both of them and more interesting.
Magic Knight Rayearth OVA-Just one big facepalm, the TV anime was much better than this shit.
Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack-Quess and Gyunei killed the movie for me, Char and Amuro bringing up the past over Lalah didn't help either as that aspect of their rivalry felt rather wishy-washy.
Mobile Suit Gundam SEED/Destiny-The worst of the Gundam series IMHO that I've seen, all it had going for it was the gorgeous male/female characters and that's all that its' popularity can show for it. Flay was the worst thing going for the first series. I also find the series guilty of the over-use of plot armor and a lot of the characters and how they develop are poorly written; especially in Destiny, such as Kira and Athrun, they start to show too many bad flaws. This is also too much of a teen soap melodrama than a war story.
Najica Blitz Tatics-Overall a weak story and the worst episodic format I've ever seen. Najica didn't impress me that much as a protagonist and Lila was another AI character with zero personality.
Ozma-Too predictable a storyline that seems rather outdated.
Rurouni Kenshin Seisouhen & Shin Kyoto Hen-The worst of the worst of DEEN's adaptations, sheesh can't they get it through their thick skulls that RK fans want a true anime adaptation of the Jinchuu arc, and not shit like these?!
Sailor Moon R & SuperS-Other than Chibi-Usa being a horrible character, the plotlines of each of these two seasons were not my cup of tea, especially that horrible SuperS season. The filler arc in R was also lame.
Sengoku Basara-What a horrible representation of great historical figures with no regard to accuracy and the over-the-top shounen antics. It's not good enough as a guilty pleasure.
Tamako Market-Lamest KyoAni anime ever, why did Sentai have to license this shit? At times I feel they make horrible choices when it comes to what they license.
Urusei Yatsura TV-That douche-bag Ataru Moroboshi killed any enjoyment I had, most of the time I wondered why Lum is in love with that loser.
X/1999 (Movie)-Total snores-ville and very dull, there was nothing about this movie that was interesting. I'm glad that it was re-made into a TV series years later, which is the better adaptation.
Top 25 Anime Characters I Dislike
Gavlet Gablae & Quwasan Olibee-Heavy Metal L-Gaim
Kozue Izumi and Michelle Cay-Infinite Ryvius
Kagome Higurashi, Shippo & Naraku-Inuyasha
Nekki Basara-Macross 7
Madoka Kaname-Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Suzu Sakuma & Jinny Golding-Marmalade Boy
Nina Purpleton-Mobile Suit Gundam 0083
Quess Paraya & Gyunei Guss-Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack
Flay Allster, Shinn Asuka, and Athrun Zala (in GSD)-Mobile Suit Gundam SEED/Destiny
Glemy Toto & Chara Soon-Mobile Suit ZZ Gundam
Kodachi Kuno & Genma Saotome-Ranma 1/2
Chibi Usa-Sailor Moon R/S/SuperS
Ataru Moroboshi-Urusei Yatsura
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My Top 50 Favorite Female Anime Characters
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My Top 50 Favorite Male Anime Characters
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