Add Blog

Hitsu's Blog

December 24th, 2021
Anime Relations: Mawaru Penguindrum
While this blog isn't really used all that often, once in a while I actually participate in little events where using the blog turns out to be of advantage - which is in fact why this little entry here gets written. About two months ago, I stumbled across the Secret Santa event by the AGC (All Geeks Considered) podcast through a retweet of a friend, and despite never having heard of the podcast before, I had experience with Anime Secret Santa events - in fact, I used to organize a few of them in the past for a German forum I used to moderate. I've never actually participated in one before though, so I figured - you know what? Sounds fun, count me in!

In the end, I received three recommendations, and I had to pick at least one of them to watch and review in the end (but could do more than one, which I initially wanted to do, but lacked the opportunity to do so). My choices were between Hidamari Sketch, Mawaru Penguindrum and Hyouka, and as far as I could tell, whoever recommended me those titles was struggling a little bit because of the size of my list (they admitted as much in the text I received alongside those recommendations, even). For what it's worth, though? All three titles are anime that I had on my radar to some level or another before, so they did a pretty decent job picking out what to recommend to me, all things considered.

I knew pretty quickly that I wouldn't pick Hidamari Sketch as my title for this event - nothing against the anime itself, but I just couldn't imagine actually getting a proper review of sorts out of the anime - since it's in all likelihood the sort of anime that speaks for itself, considering that it's one of the earlier 'cute girls doing cute things' anime. Those can be fun, but frustratingly hard to actually write about. As for Hyouka, I genuinely wanted to fit that into my watch schedule as well, especially considering that some of my close friends consider it to be the best KyoAni title (for me that will always be Fumoffu, but I disgress), but it wasn't meant to be just yet - will definitely be watched later on, though.

With that out of the way, it's obvious at this point that the anime I ended up watching for the AGC Secret Santa was Mawaru Penguindrum - which was recommended to me on the basis that my anime list has an Utena design, and that those who like Utena usually like Penguindrum as well. Admittedly, I'm only using the Utena list design because it's yuri (and I like the colors), but I DID enjoy Utena when I watched it a couple of years ago, even though parts of it weren't quite as good as people made it out to be. (Still an overall very good experience, of course.)

So how did Penguindrum fare then, both standing on its own and by comparison to Utena? Well, for starters, Penguindrum will probably be the sort of anime that will keep evolving in my head long past the point where I finished it, because even now, I'm still trying to put the pieces together in my head even though it's been around three weeks since I actually finished watching it - I hoped time would give me a bit more clarity here, but Ikuhara never had any intentions from the start to make this easy for the viewer. As such, I'm not really feeling confident in calling this an actual review on Penguindrum - hence why the title of this blog post calls it impressions and thoughts instead, which, hey - is still fairly close, right?

Perhaps the hardest part of Penguindrum was to actually get through the beginning itself. It had brilliant hooks from the get-go, as the first episode was all I needed to get invested. You could immediately tell even before the incident of Himari's death that SOMETHING was going on in the Takakura family, it was just a question of what exactly it was. The three siblings bounced off each other well, with Kanba and Shouma standing out more than Himari to me, and even more so after Himari actually "died" and there was first friction between their opinions - and of course, that's before things got weird by the penguin hat possessing and reviving Himari, or the three of them receiving invisible mini penguins that do their bidding (and provide for some nice background comedy here and there).

But that alone would be boring, wouldn't it? Perhaps Ikuhara was wondering how much he could get away with on television, or perhaps he thought the last stretch of Utena didn't go far enough for his liking, and so... enter Ringo, simultaneously both the best and the worst character of the show at the same time. Oh Ringo, what a weird journey you were going through. My reactions regarding her ranging from "She's annoying, don't let her get too much spotlight going forward." to "Well, at least her mental fantasies look pretty neat in that Shoujo style, I don't mind that one as much." to "GIRL, WHAT THE EVER-LIVING HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?" to "Thank god, she's finally pulling herself together." to "Wait, when did she suddenly become the most sane member of the cast?" to finally "Well, she genuinely did deserve better in the end.". And as might be obvious, a character that can go through such a journey is an experience on their own alright.

Ringo made that first stretch of the series to be a bit of a chore at times - in particular, her total obsession with Tabuki and her one-sided catfights with Yuri over him was quickly getting old without actually having the proper context about just why she was doing any of this, especially as she was dangling her diary as a reward over Shouma's head the entire time as she kept roping him into things. The impression of something going on with the Takakuras continued, with little hints dropped here and there, but until episode 6 finally gave the first pieces of information regarding Ringo's actual motivations, it was a little bit hard to get through the material - thankfully, I watched the anime alongside a friend, so that helped me keep motivation through that first quarter.

Things were finally looking up... and then episode 8 happened. Not cool, Ringo. Not cool at all. For an episode or two, any remote sympathies I had for her already crashed again, because, well... why did Ikuhara think again that she needed to try to rape Tabuki (and drug him beforehand)? If only I knew that would start a little pattern down the line...

On the other front of the plotline, there was the whole Masako and her chasing after Kanba subplot, but at that point in time, I wasn't really invested into that just yet - again, because not much about Masako was actually known, and she herself only really repeated her one catchphrase over and over again at that time.

Thankfully, just when things were about to take another dip, Shouma did what Shouma does best - improving the plot. Stopping Ringo and talking some sense into her? Very good. Actually risking his life to keep Ringo safe from a car crash, therefore showing her just what she could have done to herself? Also very good. Sure, it took another incident for her to snap out of the Tabuki obsession for good (frog Tabuki was creepy, I'll give Ikuhara that), but I'd argue from that point onwards, Penguindrum only went up instead of down anymore.

The first Himari flashback episode and by extension Sanetoshi's first appearance provided some much needed focus to the plotline again by bringing things back to the trio that actually started everything instead of Ringo's obsessive love life, which was just what the anime needed or the midpoint climax of the story (Himari's second death) just would not have worked as well as it did.
... if you're wondering why I haven't really mentioned any of the Survival Strategy segments yet, it's more or less because they blended in all together - they're nice when they appear, but also so cryptic most of the time that there really wasn't much to take away from them on a first viewing other than "Oh hey, cool song!". But Utena already did that too.

A lot of what happened in the second half is stuff that I'm still working through in my head even now, admittedly, so I don't quite have as many organized thoughts about it as I had for the first half, but for what it's worth, it ended up being a lot more engaging. The backstories for Tabuki and Yuri, and how they tie into Momoka, the character looming over the plot all along. One of the most disturbing concepts I've seen in anime in a while, the child broiler. Getting more focus on Masako and actually explaining what the deal with her is. Kanba getting more and more involved with the Penguin group, while Ringo actually becomes sane again and somehow the most likeable character of the show now. The sudden revenge plot from Tabuki, the revelations about what the Takakura family actually did in the past, and of course Sanetoshi sinking his teeth into the people he hopes to make use of more and more. A lot of it can be summed up with "Family can be really messed up depending on which one you're born into.", but then you also get commentary alluding to the real life Aum cult and the Tokyo subway sarin attacks, which I only read about after I already finished the anime (I wish I knew about this earlier, this could have given me more context for the final stretch of the anime itself). There was a lot to process, and because of that, the anime probably lends itself to a rewatch extremely well, but that's something for a few years down the line, not earlier than that.

Suffice to say though, I genuinely did enjoy Mawaru Penguindrum on the story side despite the nitpicks I had about it, and on the character side as well - even if some characters leaned a bit too much into the crazy at times for my liking (there was no need to have three separate attempts at drugging + rape within the anime, but somehow Ikuhara thought that was necessary...).

In the visual department, I liked the way the anime looked - you shouldn't really expect too much commentary from me on this front, because I usually tune out slighter animation hiccups and only really notice when they're super blatant, which obviously wasn't the case for Penguindrum or the internet would never let you hear the end of it. A bit minimalistic at times by not even giving unnamed characters any semblance of a character design, instead showing them as little figure cutouts, but that seems to be more or less Ikuhara's style as well - the same thing was done for Utena too, after all. One thing I definitely have to point out though is that I loved the selection of end cards - not just that the anime had them at all (nowadays, this unfortunately isn't a guaranteed thing anymore), but also the choice of pictures for the cards themselves - I don't take screenshots of anime often, but I definitely did stop and take one for each respective end card because they just looked that good (hence why you can see me including a few of them in here to break up the text every now and then).

As a final thing to talk about, there's the music, openings and endings - which also won't get that deep of a mention, but I wanted to shortly talk about them anyways. Ultimately, the soundtrack was pretty much unremarkable for the most part, with the only track that actually stayed in memory being the vocal track for the Survival Strategy segments - but that one really is catchy, isn't it? The openings and endings on the hand were for the most part excellent - I already knew the first opening for years and liked it a lot, but I didn't know the endings before, and turns out... that first ending is the best piece of music that the anime actually has. The endings for the second half of the anime, done by the in-universe group Double-H... were good, for the most part, but not quite as memorable as the first ending, if I'm being completely honest. As for the second opening... fine, but didn't measure up to the first one in the slightest.

With all that being said, did I enjoy Mawaru Penguindrum overall? Yes, definitely. It's nowhere near being a perfect anime, but it's definitely a very entertaining one, especially as you get past certain points of the story, and as such I do think I'd be able to recommend it to certain other persons in the future (providing some caveats, considering that some of the scenes definitely aren't for everyone). Did it measure up to Utena, the anime that made the person who gifted me Penguindrum recommend it to me in the first place? Well.. no, but it didn't need to, I'd argue. I had a good time with the anime all the same, and in the end, that's what counts. I was on the fence about just what score I'd give to the anime, whether it'd be a 7/10 (still good in my book) or an 8/10... but in the end, the second half was good enough for me that I felt an 8/10 was more than justified here. Whoever gifted it to me - thank you, it finally gave me the push I needed to actually start it! As such, I'd consider my participation in the AGC Santa to be a success.

Posted by Hitsu | Dec 24, 2021 9:24 AM | 0 comments
January 2nd, 2018
Anime Relations: Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou
I'll say this in advance: At least quantity-wise, 2017 was the weakest year in a long time, and in fact one of the weakest years (if not THE weakest) since I started watching seasonals as they aired. That being said, you wouldn't notice that just from looking at the year's top 10, since it was actually pretty good this time around - though that was in part helped by the fact that a lot of sequels aired this year. Heck, you'll find that half of the top 10 consists of those (plus one reboot of an older anime), so new stuff is actually in the minority (which worries me a bit, but there's nothing that can be done about that). But well, I guess most don't care about me ranting like this, so I might as well move on to the main purpose of this post, my top 10 of the year. So with that being said, I hope you'll have fun reading through this.

10. Kemono Friends
In my opinion, it's not actually the #1 of the year that's hardest to pick, but rather the #10 - mostly because a #2 or #3 will still appear in the list after everything is said and done, but a #11 or #12 isn't (unless I expand the list further). There's a couple of anime that made serious claims for the top 10, most notably Onihei, Net-juu and Maid Dragon, but in the end I decided to settle for Kemono Friends instead. The reason for that is actually pretty simple - while it definitely shows that the budget for it wasn't the highest, it also definitely showed that the production team poured a lot of love into the project. It's not even something quite that tangible like the visuals, soundtrack, story or whatever - it just feels right. And I appreciate that a lot, since not many anime actually get that part right. Sure, it might not be the most amazing thing to exist (though the fanbase seriously is amazing), but on some level it resonated. I simply appreciate this one.

9. ACCA-13
You know, I bet people have never seen a coup d'etat that was so chill. ACCA actually ended up completely different than what I expected going in - I knew a bit about the basic premise, and that Natsume Ono is the mangaka (the only other work of hers that I'm familiar with is House of Five Leaves), but well, otherwise nothing. And the early few episodes did have me a bit fooled about what I should expect too. But what can I say? Much like with House of Five Leaves, the slow pacing did somehow manage to pull me in. As one of Madhouse's only notable productions in the past year, the presentation and soundtrack was great, which helped it a lot, but honestly, if there's one thing I had to criticize, it's probably that the finish was a bit weak. Not bad by any stretch, just weak. Word of warning though: Don't watch this if you're hungry. The food porn (in particular if you like bread) is off the charts there. Natsume Ono sometimes does get fixated on the weirdest things, huh?

8. Uchouten Kazoku S2
Uchouten Kazoku is very similar to Kemono Friends in one aspect - it's very obviously a labor of love from the production comitee. I tend to rant for various reasons whenever it comes to anime done by PA Works (though that's mostly because Uchouten Kazoku and Shirobako showed that they can do well, so it is frustrating when they don't follow up on that quality), but well, Uchouten Kazoku is one of the few anime where I can't bring myself to do that. And well, it immediately managed to bring me back with its charming portrayal of Kyoto, Tanuki and their foolishness. I wouldn't be able to tell which season I ended up liking more, since both had their own merits, though S2 both had new things I liked, and old things I didn't like as much (most notably Benten, who I already didn't like in S1). Nidaime made for a great new addition to the cast, and so I hope that if a third season ever comes around (Morimi would need to write volume 3 first, which might take a while), it'd feature a lot of him. Special shout-out to the episode that had Yasaburou in the painting of hell - that was just the right kind of artsy, even if I normally dislike that word.

7. Hoozuki no Reitetsu S2
Two things about Hoozuki no Reitetsu. First thing being is that I pondered on whether or not I should include this in my list or not - I usually only consider stuff for the year it finished airing, and Hoozuki was confirmed as split-cour on December 30, so I was a bit torn on what to do with it. I settled for excluding it from the yearly 3x3, but to include it in the write-up anyways, simply because I had so much fun with it, and well, split-cour is kind of an iffy territory to begin with.

The second thing is actually a confession I have to make: I'm kind of a geek when it comes to mythological trivia. It started out simply enough with the SMT games - I'd collect all the demons in there so that I could read their compendium data. Eventually that evolved into reading up on various lore about other stuff from various mythologies and religions from around the world, and eventually I reached the point where I could consider calling myself a bit knowledgeable, even if by no means an expert. So Hoozuki no Reitetsu immediately struck a nerve once more with its second season, since it's essentially "Mythological trivia from around the world (but mostly Japan) - the anime". And I wouldn't have it any other way. The humor is dry, at times pretty dark - but that's exactly to my liking. The art looks gorgeous, and while there's been a slight drop in quality ever since the sequel shifted to DEEN, it's barely been noticeable. And well... it just does match my tastes pretty well for a comedy, considering those are usually hit or miss. So well, I could write a novel about this, but let's keep this simpler: It'd take a very strong 2018 for Hoozuki to not appear in my top 10 at the end of the year, so fully expect it to be back in the rankings in 12 months. By that time, I'll probably talk some more about it.

6. Made in Abyss
So, with me already heaping praise on Hoozuki no Reitetsu like this, a question might pop up - "Why is this only at #7, then?". And I admit, there's a lot of years where it might have made it into the top 5, but well... it just shows that the rest did just as well, if not better. With Made in Abyss, it was sort of a tie - I was initially considering to switch the rankings around, but after giving the finale some more thought, I decided to keep it this way. Much like with Hoozuki, Made in Abyss caters to something very specific in regards to my tastes - in this case, it's very similar to a gaming franchise that I love dearly, Etrian Odyssey (and any of you who own a 3DS, I strongly encourage you to try the games out, they're addicting).

Made in Abyss perfectly conveys that feeling of exploration that EO has, and that's actually a lot harder for anime than for videogames - after all, you're only watching here, instead of giving direct inputs through the game, and for that I'm tipping my hat to it. The visuals are gorgeous, so it didn't came as a surprise that there's been ties to Ghibli there, and the same can be said about the soundtrack (composed by an Australian - I wish more anime would do that). About the only thing I explicitly didn't like were the episodes centered around Ozen, and in the end that did cost Made in Abyss a couple of ranks. But well, her turn is over now, and unless S2 pulls out somebody similar to her, it'll be... well, it'd be a lie to say smooth sailing, considering how hard some of these scenes were to stomach (in particular the poison scene as well as Mitty's origins), but well, smoother sailing than for S1. Let's hope the sequel won't disappoint me, then.

5. Mahoujin Guru Guru (2017)
The first of my two big surprises in the past year. I won't beat around the bush - Guru Guru took me completely by surprise in how fun it is. I initially didn't even have it on my radar and only started it because I saw that the first episode had a visual reference to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (yes, sometimes I'm that shallow when it comes to picking stuff for my to-watch-list), only to immediately warm up to the craziness surrounding Nike and Kukuri. Those two just have a great chemistry, and it was always a joy to see the two of them together on-screen (same goes for the same cast too, by the way - whether it's Toma, Raid, or pretty much any other notable side character, they've always been fun), so when the ending of the final episode rolled around, the big question wasn't whether I would watch the original series at some point - it was only a question of just WHEN that would happen. I admit, part of the reason why I like it as much as I do is because it's a very affectionate parody of the things I grew up with – JRPGs of the 90s. But honestly, even without that, I think that Guru Guru stands very well on its own two feet – it figured out what it wants to show, and does so in a fun manner. Now please excuse me for a moment while I cry once more in a corner because it's already over too soon.

4. Kekkai Sensen & Beyond
I'll say this right away - despite ranking lower in my top 10 than the first season did two years ago, I'm of the opinion that the second season is the superior one. Now, I can already hear some people saying "Heathen! But there's no plot this time! Where's my Black and White? Leo doesn't grow as a character!", but disregarding the fact that the last part there is a blatant lie, well, I don't mind any of those "issues" at all. Kekkai Sensen works very well in the episodic format, considering how rich the setting is, and the sequel played to that strength very well. In fact, it did something that S1 sorely missed to do - flesh out the supporting cast beyond Leo, which made this season feel a lot more personal. Would episodes like Bratatat mom be adapted if they wanted to cram an overarching storyline into the anime? Probably not, so I'm glad that they didn't try that (because honestly, Bratatat mom was one of the best stand-alone episodes Kekkai Sensen had so far). And well, let's be honest - the overarching plot of S1 kind of failed.

That's in part because of the long delay for the finale, but even then, the way they tried to wrap it up was a bit messy. In contrast, S2 had a very strong finish, easily showcasing Leo's growth - how much more could I possibly ask for? Besides him, I was especially grateful about the increased focus on Chain and Steven, two of my favorites who barely got any chances to shine (or even do anything, in Chain's case) during S1. It won't take much to make me admit that I'm a huge fan of Yasuhiro Nightow, because his works just have a lot of style, but & Beyond went, well, beyond that.

And of course, what's an entry about Kekkai Sensen without mentioning the superb OST and visuals? While Made in Abyss and ACCA were very strong competitors for both categories in that regard, I think Kekkai Sensen wins out in both of these, which is no mean feat. Here's hoping for a third season once the Back 2 Back sequel manga has enough material, hopefully under the same director who did & Beyond again.

3. Natsume Yuujinchou Roku
This here is where the fight for the title of "Anime of the year" started in earnest. Honestly, for a long time it was only a competition between it and my #2, since the #1 came out of nowhere, so I figured that Natsume would finish no lower than second. In fact, it'd have been the exact same match-up like last year - the same two anime where competing back then, but in the end it did slip a little. That doesn't mean I appreciate Natsume Yuujinchou any less after all this time, however. If you stick all the way with it, for all those six seasons, then you're already firmly invested into the ride after all, and no season of it dropped to a score lower than 9, which says a lot about its consistency.

Natsume overall got a little bit weaker with the studio switch to Shuka, yes, but one can tell that they got the hang of it by now. So how would I compare this? It's nowhere near the stellar fourth season, at the very least. If I'd have to compare it to the fifth season, however, I'd argue that it's the stronger of the two, probably because there's been a stronger focus on the Youkai side once more. The Natsume cast is still as loveable as always - whether it's my personal favorite Taki, Natsume and Nyanko-sensei themselves, or well, pretty much any other character not named Matoba, I simply like them. I've got great expectations for the movie next year, and I'm glad that the anime isn't leaving us anytime soon.

2. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu S2
In a way, writing about Rakugo's second season is a lot harder than writing about my #1 below, in particular because it is, well, pretty much perfect. So how to write about it without sullying that perfection? Rakugo is just a work that comes around once in a very long time and then completely catches you off-guard with how unlike other anime it is. It's telling a great story, sometimes punches you straight into the gut with the direction it is going into, and yet every time utterly captivates you again when they do another Rakugo performance (Shinigami in particular is always giving me goosebumps, no matter how often I watch it). So yeah, what IS there to write about? About the only thing I actually do want to get out at this point are words of thanks towards Studio DEEN for making this adaption possible, because I'm pretty convinced that nobody else would have done it otherwise. And that's certainly a strange world we live in, isn't it? Who would have thought in 2015 that DEEN would be saving anime in the near future (though consider saving anime as tongue-in-cheek here, as I don't like throwing that term around all too much).

1. Girls' Last Tour
So after everything is said and done, if Rakugo was perfection, what does that make my anime of the year, Girls' Last Tour? To not mince any words, if it is just about the quality, then Rakugo is the best anime of 2017, and Girls' Last Tour doesn't match it in that regard. But well, there's always a grade of subjectivity to lists like these, and Girls' Last Tour is showcasing that just fine. It essentially combines two things I like a lot, an anime and a manga - Kino's Journey (the 2003 original, not the 2017 version) as well as Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou. And more importantly, it makes this combination WORK. If ACCA was about the most relaxed coup d'etat ever, then this here was probably about the most relaxed apocalypse ever (well, besides the aforementioned YKK, but let's not sweat the details here). In fact, that was the hook that got me into it in the first place - a friend said he liked it because it gave him YKK vibes, so I gave it a try myself.

What I got was a very fun journey through a destroyed world, where despite all things, it actually always gave away a hopeful note. Chi and Yuu had a very strong chemistry with each other, much like Guru Guru's Nike and Kukuri had, and it managed to make even the most mundane things feel special somehow when the anime depicted had (especially noteworthy was the segment with the rain music in that regard). This is another one of those titles where I'd strongly wish for a sequel, despite how unlikely it seems, but who knows? Stranger things have already happened at this point, so we might actually find ourselves looking at one in a few years. What actually cemented Girls' Last Tour as my anime of the year was probably episode 9, since it's always interesting to me when anime tries to tackle artificial intelligence (hence why I have Time of Eve in my favorites, for example). The episodes after that weren't as strong as episode 9, but definitely better than all the episodes that came before it, which means that it had a very good run from start to finish. And really, that's about all I desire from an anime at the end of the day. I definitely want more of it one day, but even if that wouldn't work out, I'm still glad that we got this at all.

Posted by Hitsu | Jan 2, 2018 9:50 AM | 0 comments
February 1st, 2017
Anime Relations: Mushishi
Related posts here and here. Only used the blog here because I broke the character limit to pieces. So without further ado, my top 25. Excuse the repetetiveness at times. Thanks in advance for reading, and I hope you're enjoying it.

#25: Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuioku-hen [Studio DEEN]
Already starting the list off with what is kind of a classic, actually. Mind you that I could just as well include the TV anime of Rurouni Kenshin as well for the spot, if we're ignoring that last third full of filler (the Kyoto arc centering around Makoto Shishio in particular is great). But what can I say? DEEN has outdone themselves with that 4-part OVA about Kenshin's past. While there were some relatively minor changes compared to the manga, they absolutely nailed pretty much everything – the atmosphere, the OST (“In Memories ~ Ko-to-wa-ri~“ still sends shivers down my spine whenever I hear it), even the visuals are looking good considering its age. Now if only Kenshin could ever get a remake that adapts the entire manga...

#24: Mononoke [Toei]
One of the two Toei anime from the last ten years that I actually DO like, the other one, Kyousougiga, barely missing the cut. This one's actually kind of hard to explain for me, since I believe it's something one has to see for themselves, and even then it can put off a decent amount of people due to its aesthetic. I guess the most reasonable thing I can say is that I love it as an anime similar to Mushishi, just inherently darker (not that Mushishi can't go to rather dark places either). Kind of like the creepy older brother, if you'd want to use the term. The visuals, as unusual as they may be, actually play a big part in its charm. And honestly, it's just... well, interesting to watch the Medicine Seller doing his work. Would absolutely watch a second season should they ever decide to throw one out, which I however highly doubt.

#23: Eve no Jikan [Studio Rikka]
Okay, so this is a fact that will come up a few more times later, so I might as well get it out already right now: I dig Sci-Fi. In particular Cyberpunk, but Sci-Fi in general as long as it's not too far-fetched or nonsense. Eve no Jikan scratches that particular bit of Sci-Fi that I really do like, a setting that's actually plausible and explores a possible future that might actually be realistically obtainable to some degree. I admit that it's been a while since I have watched it, and so I cannot confidently comment on the visuals and OSTs right now without a rewatch (though I definitely do remember that the way they used camera angles, framing of the shots etc definitely stuck with me even back then), but honestly, the most important reason as to why I'm liking it is the setting and how they're exploring it. If you're looking for a more low-key, almost slice of life-ish Sci-Fi movie, by all means give this one a shot.

#22: Major S5 [SynergySP]
Sports anime is something I've taken an immense liking to in recent years, actually. Major in particular is special in that regard – while most sports anime and manga almost exclusively focus on the highschool years, especially if the sport in question is Baseball, Major actually follows the protagonist Goro throughout his entire life, which was a big plus for me. I singled S5 out because it strikes just the right balance of sports, drama and character development in my opinion, though S1 and S6 very much deserve the honorary mention as they are not too far behind in those departments either. It helps that by the time S4 comes around (and therefore by extension, is still valid in S5), Goro is already a pro, participating in the World Cup for his country, which in turn leads to the most intense match of the franchise later down the line (against the US, of course). The relationship between Goro and Kaoru finally makes some progress, and Joe Gibson who hasn't really played a role ever since S1 suddenly becomes one of the best characters the series has to offer, by virtue of being 100% GAR (don't mind it if you don't know the term). Even now, I once in a while go back to watch that final match of the season again. Probably something that only very few reading this will actually watch, considering the length of the franchise and the fact that it's sports/baseball, but if you dig that, you can't go wrong with it.

#21: Aria the Origination [Hal Film Maker]
I'm singling out the third season for this one, though I admit to liking the rest of the franchise a lot as well. Neo Venezia as a setting is just extremely comfortable, and watching one or two episodes per evening is just absolutely relaxing and a good way to forget about the stress of the day. What makes the Origination stand so high compared to the prequels for me is the pay-off, as in the last five episodes – considering that the entire series, including the prequels, have been building up to that point, they could have easily messed that up, but instead it passed with flying colors. Really got attached to the characters, Alice Carroll in particular, and so watching it never resulted in a dull moment. Gorgeous OST as well, while I'm at it, which easily sits at #4 in my OST ranking as well.

#20: Haibane Renmei [Radix]
I'll start where I finished with my last entry, in that Haibane Renmei's OST is gorgeous. Not quite as great as Aria's OST, but Kou Otani does one of his finest anime OSTs here (though not in general – his OST for Shadow of the Colossus still easily outdoes Haibane Renmei's OST). In addition, I just really dig it due to being by Yoshitoshi Abe. Most of you probably know him as the person behind Serial Experiments Lain (which did not make the cut) and Texhnolyze (which will come later in the list), and his style is just... well, you immediately notice it when he's involved in a project, and in my case I'm interpreting that as a compliment. The slice of life parts in the first half of the anime got me just as much as the more haunting parts in the second half, and while there are some wrinkles towards the end, I honestly can't find much fault at all with it. Transitioning between the two halves could have been awkward, but in this case works seamlessly. Bonus points for the opening being completely instrumental (I always dig that), and of course for Abe's character designs.

#19: Natsume Yuujinchou [Brain's Base / Shuka]
Honestly, I could just refer to the entry for Aria and that might probably sum up large parts of Natsume Yuujinchou too, in that it's just extremely comfortable, and perfect for watching one or two episodes in the evening. Unlike with Aria, I'm going for all seasons as a whole here however, considering that all got at the very least a 9/10 from me (my personal favorite remains S4, of course). Almost every character is extremely likeable, from Natsume himself, best Youkai Nyanko-sensei, best girl Taki, to the goofballs Nishimura and Kitamoto, Tanuma, the Fujiwaras, Natori... the list keeps growing and growing (so sorry for omitting you, Kogitsune!), with Matoba being pretty much the sole exception. And even in his case I've been warming up to him somewhat in season 5. There isn't really a weak episode, and a decent amount of really good ones to boot. Honestly, if we're just looking at pure quality, it could easily be some ranks higher, but some of the ones coming afterwards have some personal value for me too. Still appreciate the franchise very dearly.

#18: Seirei no Moribito [Production IG]
Another contender that could be much higher if it weren't for some anime above it having more personal reasons to be up that highly. Because honestly, Moribito has more than enough to be up that much higher. A good story that actually doesn't even need a villain to be engaging (it really doesn't have one, it's just varying shades of grey), a great female lead in Balsa as well as very nice character development for the other lead, Chagum, a good OST by Kenji Kawai, high production values as is usual for Production IG, and not to mention an absolutely gorgeous choreography for the few spear fights that the anime has. If you want to do yourself a favor, look those up on youtube when you find the time (though be mindful of spoilers, naturally), as those are sincerely among the best I've seen in the medium. It's one of the few fantasy anime where I really can't find faults with the setting either, much like titles like Juuni Kokuki or Kemono no Souja Erin (which is by the same author as Moribito), another two from the ever-growing list of titles that didn't quite make it. Seriously, I could just as easily make a top 50 out of this post. (But I heavily doubt the character limit would let me.)

#17: Trigun [Madhouse]
This is one of those personal reasons anime that I mentioned before. I'm a huge, huge, HUGE fan of Yasuhiro Nightow and his works, to the point that I re-read the Trigun Maximum manga once a year (it kind of became a tradition for me at some point). So with that in mind, it should come as no surprise that the Trigun anime can be found here in this list. Sure, it's not without its flaws – the animation did not quite age as well as for other Madhouse anime, and it unfortunately barely adapts content of Maximum in favor of going down the original route, but considering that Maximum was just starting at that point, I'm willing to excuse that. What we got is still a great product, with Nicholas D. Wolfwood in particular just being my favorite male character in anime/manga. That spot was occupied by somebody else for a few years, but Wolfwood kind of took over again by force after last year's re-read of the manga. Vash is also tons of fun as a protagonist, and Legato just the kind of villain that works way more effectively than they should, just the insane maniac who's doing evil because somewhere in the screwed corners of his mind, he's thinking he's doing the right thing for the boss he adores. Yikes. Also, that OST (which is really something that always earns points in my opinion). Scattered Rain and Sound Life ~Rem~ are just too good.

#16: The Tatami Galaxy [Madhouse]
My only Yuasa title in this list (sorry, fans of Kaiba and Ping Pong – I like those as well, but they didn't make it against this competition), but it's a great one. I can't talk about it without going into spoilers though, so for everybody who watched it, I'll just say that the main reason why it's up here is the last two episodes. You'll know exactly what I mean. The visuals are actually pretty neat, despite not really conforming to the usual standards for anime, and that might be exactly what makes Yuasa's stuff in general even more intriguing (besides the kind of madness he comes up with for his stories, anyways). There's been a small stretch with The Tatami Galaxy where I feel like it was out of steam for a little bit, ultimately preventing it from grabbing a higher spot (notably the three-timing arc that went from episode 6 to 8), but it's not too big of an issue that it'd prevent the anime from appearing in this list.

#15: Texhnolyze [Madhouse]
Remember how I said I love Cyberpunk? And also remember how I said I love Yoshitoshi Abe's stuff? Now imagine my excitement about Texhnolyzes, which combines both. From this point onwards, with one exception, is the stuff that I consider to be genuinely great. It already earned a lot of points for me by being extremely minimalistic in the beginning by barely employing any dialogue, and going more by 'show, don't tell'. A big risk considering how many people drop the anime before even getting halfway through the first episode, but it paid off big time by giving it an atmosphere that's almost incomparable to other anime out there, with a few exceptions here and there (like Abe's very own mindscrew Serial Experiments Lain). While it's really hard to identify with the main character Ichise because you can almost never tell what he's thinking, it more than makes up in the character department by having a genuinely great antagonist (I don't want to use villain here) for the first half of the anime, whose name I won't mention for spoiler reasons. The second half unfortunately has a much weaker antagonist, but more than makes up with its final four episodes, which are a legitimate work of art in my eyes. Yes, it's nihilistic as hell, and chances are it'll drag down your mood after you're done watching it, but I didn't regret watching this. Not at all. Because it just really scratched that cyberpunk itch.

#14: Kino's Journey [A.C.G.T.]
This one's mostly in a similar alley to Mononoke and Mushishi, just without the supernatural aspect to it. Watching Kino's journey to the different countries she visits, as well as her musings on said countries is just tremendously fun to watch. Special mention for me goes to episode 9, Land of Writings (or something like that), though honestly every episode just had that special something. Kino in general makes for a very charming protagonist – with the right kind of neutrality and distance towards many events, but at the same time I know just enough about her through the few flashbacks to care about her. That, plus her banter with Hermes. If there's one thing I had to criticize, it's that there's not more of it – there's so many of the novels out, while the anime only covers the first two novels, that they'd seriously have more than enough material to put out at least 6 or 7 more 1-cour seasons. No chance in hell we'd ever get a sequel of course, but one can dream...

#13: Baccano! [Brain's Base]
America in the 1920s and 1930s is something that always interested me, even when I was still young. So of course, when I learned about Baccano, I fell for the premise and setting, hook, line and sinker. Yes, it's definitely a Japanese take on the setting, that much is obvious almost immediately, but that didn't stop me in the slightest from enjoying this crazy ride, especially as I was already good enough at understanding spoken English when I watched it for the first time to really appreciate the stellar dub. Brian Massey as Ladd Russo is my personal highlight there, but by far not the only one who pulls off the role with flying colors. The cast is way too memorable (besides Ladd, the ones deserving a special mention are Isaac, Miria, Firo and Vino), the OST simply perfect for the setting, and the way the story is told by jumping around in the timeline adds just the right amount of flavor. Still not convinced? Have some Ladd then.

#12: Dennou Coil [Madhouse]
Be prepared for a decent amount of Madhouse from this point onwards, as it's easily the studio that appears the most often in my favorites. Dennou Coil is kind of the next step of Eve no Jikan, with the difference that instead of focusing on androids and the like, it's more about Virtual Reality. What starts out as a fairly whimsical anime that entertains the possibilities of VR becomes a very intriguing drama for the last third of the anime. In between are some of the most fun stand-alone episodes ever (the beard episode in particular is one that I'll always remember, no matter how much time passes). Character-wise it loses out to some other titles in my favorites, though that's not to say that it's weak in that department, not at all. A gem in the animation department though, that much I'll say without hesitation.

#11: Chihayafuru [Madhouse]
This is the one exception I was talking about earlier, with how I think that almost every anime in my list starting with Texhnolyze is great. Don't get me wrong, I really like Chihayafuru, but at the same time it can be the most frustrating thing in existence at some points. Which is also why I consider S2 to be weaker than S1, and why S3 would inevitably be even lower should they ever decide to animate it. S2 focuses too much on the tournaments in my opinion so that it loses steam along the way, and the material that S3 would adapt... let's just say it'd have too much drama, some of it not even necessary. S1 has the benefit of establishing things, which means it has much more opportunities to explore the characters before they get thrown into competetive karuta. Nishida in particular is a real bro, though I started to like everyone from the crew of five. The weaker parts centered mostly around Arata in the present, but like with a few other anime in my favorites, that wasn't enough to completely drag it down. And despite that fact, Madhouse really did great work with adapting the material, one definitely cannot deny that. Now let's see whether my opinion on the manga will ever improve again, though...

#10: Boogiepop Phantom [Madhouse]
Another one of those 'Combine two things I already liked to begin with to make an even better entry'. Boogiepop Phantom is probably the most 'obscure' thing in my favorites, considering that even on MAL, only few people actually bothered watching it, and in my opinion it's pretty underrated to begin with. I initially stumbled across this one because I was looking for stuff that felt similar to Yoshitoshi Abe's works, and a friend pointed me towards this. As I started watching it, I also realized that it used the same way of story-telling that Baccano did by jumping around in the timeline and letting you piece together the information on your own for the most part, and well... I was hooked. It's dark and messy at times, and will definitely leave some question marks over your head in the first half before you're even understanding what's going on, but the pay-off, the so-called Poom-Poom episodes towards the end, just made it worth so much, because it wraps up (almost) excellently. The final episode unfortunately does raise new questions that can only be answered with knowledge from the novels, but otherwise? Easily made the jump into my top 10 and still firmly holds onto its rank. Even when it would normally fall out of the top 10, I realize that I'd rather throw out my #9 at the time rather than Boogiepop Phantom itself, which should already be very telling. One of these days, I really should start reading the novels. Or rewatch it, for what it's worth.

#9: Space Battleship Yamato 2199 [Xebec]
The one good title that Xebec put out, and it's a damn fine one. That I'm a sci-fi fan is already established at this point, and since I kind of grew up watching Star Wars (mostly because my dad's a fan of it as well), I have a soft spot for space operas (but still haven't watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes besides the prequel movie). Don't get me wrong, Yamato 2199 isn't in here just because of this soft spot, because it's perfectly capable of standing on its own two feet. Great cast of characters, and in fact one of the few anime where the supporting cast gets just as much development as the main cast. Great production values, a stellar cast of voice actors including the legend himself, Norio Wakamoto, and feeling decidedly oldschool while never coming across as outdated. Sure, the plot might not exactly been ground-breaking and has certainly been done before, but it's the journey that is fun here, moreso than the destination. I already fully expect that the Yamato 2202 movies that start this year will be just as entertaining, and who knows, one day I might watch the original series (I'm certainly not against it).

#8: FLCL [Gainax]
Mother of god, how do I even begin to describe this bundle of insanity that Gainax put out? Some people still don't comprehend FLCL nowadays no matter how often they rewatch it (personally I think I do, but not until reading a few essays about it in the past). I guess I'll take this backwards. While Madhouse really dominates this list of my favorites as you can probably already tell, they aren't my favorite studio. They are doing great work, yes, but that title still goes to Gainax, with FLCL being the main reason for that (though titles like Gunbuster, Abenobashi, and heck, even Evangelion definitely count towards this as well, even if neither made the cut). There's just something to Gainax' insanity that has always been fascinating for me. You usually have to go a few layers deeper to really get what is going on with some of their works of course, but this one's special even for their standards. I'll go right ahead and say that the OST is godly – knowing that The Pillows will be handling the soundtrack for the sequel later this year at least gives me a slight sliver of hope that it won't completely suck. As far as characters go, Haruko is simply such a quirky bundle of hyperactive insanity that you can't not be entertained with her. And let's not go into the visual experiments that Gainax had with this. That goes beyond simple style shifts like animating a few scenes in the style of South Park for example. Just watch episode 1 or 6, as those have sequences where they directly animate it as if it were manga panels, which is a really cool design choice (and as they noted, way too expensive to do it often). Really surprised that they didn't run out of budget like they usually did towards the end, but being an OVA helped, I guess. It might not be my favorite anime ever, but if you'd ask me which anime holds a special place in my heart, this is one of the first ones that would come to mind.

#7: Monster [Madhouse]
Monster is another one of those titles that is really high up here because it has a big name behind it, in this case Naoki Urasawa. This guy's one of my favorite mangakas that are still active in the first place (only behind Satoshi Mizukami), and considering how faithful the anime is to the very good manga, it's not too surprising that this ends up so highly on my list. What truly prevents it from standing at the top is the fact that I prefer the manga over the anime for pacing reasons – sometimes it feels a little bit too slow in the anime, whereas I can choose my own reading speed with the manga. As somebody coming from Germany, the fact that much of the story happens in Germany naturally has a special appeal to me. But eh, the real seller here is the characters and the suspense of the story. Johan Liebert is one of the best villains to bless anime, Tenma a very likeable protagonist at well, and Wolfgang Grimmer just flat-out one of the best male characters in general, period. Pair that with a soundtrack that brings out even more of the atmosphere than the anime already did in the first place, and you've got a big winner on your hands.

#6: Giant Killing [Studio DEEN]
As mentioned before, sports anime are a somewhat recent passion of mine. Giant Killing in particular not only drew me towards it because it's focusing on the beautiful game itself, football (whoever calls it soccer should leave now), while also being completely focused on the professional sport instead of being about yet another highschool team. That's not even where it stops. The sports anime where characters pull out super moves at every opportunity, or where the main characters are just plain overpowered? Not here, not at all. Heck, the beginning of the season is spent with ETU, the team that the main character Tatsumi is coaching, in a losing streak, even WITH him as the new coach. Logistics is just as much of a topic as the fan scene and the game itself, and honestly, Giant Killing just GETS the sports. It gets the atmosphere of a soccer game along with the fans and their chants, it gets the tension of a game, where even a game you thought you'd win can turn around with one or two untimely goals, it gets the rivalries between clubs, as well as the tension that comes with fighting against being relegated into a lower league. Football might not be the sport that I am most passionate about (that's handball), but that doesn't change the fact that Giant Killing captured pretty much everything I love about the sports. The big shame is that only a small portion of the manga was actually adapted, as is common for many adaptions in recent years – the anime leaves off after a quarter of the season (but not of the manga, as the second half of the season is that much more packed), and I genuinely hope that some day, we will see the rest animated (especially as the manga-only stuff is even higher in my manga favorites than the anime is in my anime favorites). Bonus points for the cast just being extremely likeable while also remain colorful, with Tatsumi, Gino and Kuroda deserving that special mention in the parts that the anime covered.

#5: Cowboy Bebop [Sunrise]
Great setting, stellar dub, awesome visuals, a thoroughly magnificent OST – what is there that is not to love about Cowboy Bebop? It might be 'only' listed as #5 in my ranking, but the truth of the matter is that in my top 5, every series can almost be freely interchanged as far as the order goes, as they are separated by only a very thin margin at times. Cowboy Bebop is one of the anime that got me back into watching the medium in 2006, after I took a break from it for a couple of years (my parents thought that watching anime would make you aggressive, so naturally they tried to keep me away from it for a while), until I re-discovered it through airings of Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (another title very dear to me, even if it doesn't appear here) and the like in late-night TV. They don't broadcast those blocks anymore over here nowadays, but back then I always loved watching those, and still tremendously enjoy my rewatches of Cowboy Bebop and GitS whenever they come around. Each time I watch it, I find something new to enjoy about it, starting by discovering that I like some episodes more than I previously gave them credit for, realizing that I love the OST even more after all those years, and the list goes on. Particular favorites probably go to Black Dog Serenade, Toys in the Attic and Pierrot le Fou, though as a comedy episode, Mushroom Samba will always entertain me as well. And of course, the ending gets me every single time, no matter how often I see it. See you, Space Cowboy.

#4: Mobile Police Patlabor 2 – The Movie [Production IG]
I love the Patlabor franchise to pieces (except the third movie, I refuse to acknowledge that it exists), but the second movie of the OVA/movie timeline is the absolute pinnacle of the franchise in my opinion, and therefore the only one listed here. That being said, if I wanted, I could have easily listed another part of the franchise somewhere in the top 25 too, which just shows how much it clicks with me. Patlabor has it all – a very charming cast of characters, an absolutely fitting soundtrack by Kenji Kawai, scenes that make you laugh by a truckload, the willingness to actually explore the mecha concept more realistically and dissect it (more notable in the movies), all by the virtue of being one of the most realistic Mecha anime out there, with probably only Votoms to compare. It not being set in the far future, but instead in the late 1990s helps a lot there, as the technological leap isn't too big that way to put it exclusively in the fiction half of science-fiction, either.Patlabor 2's more in the serious alley of course, which is what makes it really shine. Builds up on all the characters you learned to love in the previous titles, and makes for a gripping thriller that is, in my opinion, Mamoru Oshii's best work to date. Yeah, some will probably protest and say that it's Ghost in the Shell, or maybe even Jin-Roh, but it's not like that makes that opinion any less valid, right? I could probably gush a lot about Patlabor in particular, more than any other title in this list, but I want to keep this at a manageable length after all. If one of you readers ever needs some insight on where to start (or heck, just want to talk about it), I'll always be around to provide my assistance. Seeing more Patlabor fans around is always great.

#3: Space Brothers [A-1 Pictures]
Another one of these anime that tie into my love for hard sci-fi, this time about becoming an astronaut. Honestly, it's mostly the main character Nanba Mutta who really carries this show, and carries it immensely. This guy is so likeable that it's ridiculous, so genuine, full of unintentional mishaps and yet with an intense passion towards the profession that you can't help but to root for him – and that's before you really get to know him or his out-of-the-box solutions. His relationship with his brother Hibito, one of the main points of the anime, feels completely natural, and even if Mutta is stealing the show, that doesn't mean that Hibito is lagging far behind either. Rounded off by a great supporting cast consisting of fellow astronaut candidates, staff at JAXA and NASA, as well as those that already made the cut, and there's almost a guarantue that you'll find somebody to like there. A bit of a bitter pill is the fact that it's suffering from a bit of a cliffhanger ending, as well as the fact that later episodes can be rather stretched due to a lot of recaps at the beginning of each new episode, sometimes up to 5 minutes worth of material. If you just skip that however? You'll get a really engaging story about a guy who's just trying to follow his childhood dream one more time. Considering how popular this was in Japan, I fully expect it to be back at some point, and can't wait for a second season, to be honest.

#2: Hunter x Hunter (2011) [Madhouse]
Among all the entries in this list, Hunter x Hunter is what has been following me for by far the longest. I initially got my hands on the manga when it was first released over here in Germany, which was in November 2001. While I was completely new to manga at that point, I quickly took a liking and kept reading it, even as my access to anime itself was cut off for a few years. Honestly, when the '11 anime was announced I was initially rather apprehensive – after all, I've been a big fan of the '99 anime, and blinded by nostalgia as some fans may be, I wasn't really for the changes the '11 version wanted to make, despite leaning closer to the manga than the '99 anime ever did. That changed pretty quickly once the first arc actually made some progress, and by the time Gon, Leorio and Kurapika wanted to take Killua back from the Zoldycks, I was already fully hooked on it. And oh boy, did Madhouse pull all the stops for this. Scenes like the Gon vs Hisoka fight during Heaven's Arena or the requiem massacre for Uvo during the Yorknew Arc just aren't supposed to look that good. And that's not even going into the content that was adapted for the very first time, the Chimera Ant arc. The cast of Hunter x Hunter is thoroughly great from start to finish, no matter whether it's a main character or a support character, whether it's one of the good guys or a villain. Doesn't matter whether it's Hisoka or Leorio, Meruem or Killua, Biscuit or Chrollo, I like all of 'em. The OST unfortunately really IS a little bit weaker than for the '99 series, though a few tracks definitely do surpass it, mostly in the second half. Hunter x Hunter may be always Hiatus x Hiatus for some (and really, those frustrate me just as much as any other reader), but heck is it worth waiting for each chapter, considering what great stuff Togashi comes up with. Just please finish it before you die, Togashi, that's all I'm asking for.

#1: Mushishi [Artland]
Saved the best one for last. Mushishi actually spent a decent amount of time on the #2 spot – it's only when I rewatched it last year that it finally claimed the top for the first time. What Artland did here is definitely a gem that we won't se another time, as they took a good manga and literally turned it into perfection with their work. I honestly couldn't see how the soundtrack, the visuals or even the voice acting could be any better for this series, and I love those little details of how they actually cast actual children to voice children in the anime. No episode feels like it's wasted, every episode is just absolutely immersive (and can go to really dark places sometimes, something you wouldn't necessarily expect in advance). I mentioned it before, but Toshio Masuda's OST definitely deserves a second, if not a third mention, because it's beating out the big hitters like Cowboy Bebop, Aria or FLCL in that category (and is on the top of my list, much how Mushishi is for anime). Ginko himself is pretty much a male Kino to be honest, and that works perfectly well for me, since he's likeable enough to care about but still keeps his distance as an observer. His backstory episodes are arguably among the stronger episodes too, even if they aren't my personal favorites.

Posted by Hitsu | Feb 1, 2017 12:40 AM | 0 comments
March 27th, 2016
Anime Relations: Chihayafuru
Completion rate: 50/50

 » Watch a movie (Perfect Blue)
 » Watch a short anime (Wakaba Girl)
 » Watch an ONA (Noblesse: Awakening)
 » Watch an award-winning work (Millenium Actress)

 » Watch an anime with a character voiced by one of your favorite seiyuu (JoJo 2000)
 » Watch an anime by the same director/composer/studio as one of your favorites anime (Otaku no Video)
 » Watch an anime by a director/composer/studio you don't know (Ajin)

 » Watch an anime that started airing the same year the user above/below you joined MAL (Noragami Aragoto)
 » Watch an anime that started airing the same season you joined MAL (Saki: Zenkoku-hen)
 » Watch an anime which began airing between 1981 and 1990 (War in the Pocket)
 » Watch an anime which began airing between 1991 and 2000 (Blue Gender)

Tags, Themes & Demographics
 » Watch an anime with a main cast mainly of one gender (Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season)
 » Watch an anime with adults as the main cast (Mobile Police Patlabor: The New Files)
 » Watch an anime that focuses on non-romantic relationships (Usagi Drop)
 » Watch an anime that focuses on a couple with a romantic relationship (Nodame Cantabile Finale)
 » Watch an anime with children as the main cast (Ichigo Mashimaro)
 » Watch an anime with a non-human main character (Ushio to Tora S2)
 » Watch an anime about food, music or art (Hibike! Euphonium)
 » Watch a Historical, Military or Police anime (Jin-Roh)
 » Watch a Sci-Fi, Space or Mecha anime (Legend of the Galactic Heroes - My Conquest is the Sea of Stars)
 » Watch a Dementia, Horror, Demons or Vampire anime (Kemonozume)
 » Watch a Mystery, Thriller or Psychological anime (Kaiba)
 » Watch a Sports, Martial Arts, Cars or Games anime (Saki)
 » Watch a Super Powers, Fantasy or Supernatural anime (Bakemono no Ko)
 » Watch a Harem, Ecchi, Shoujo Ai or Shounen Ai anime (Aoi Hana)
 » Watch an anime that is tagged with a genre you dislike (Golden Boy)
 » Watch an anime that has a main character that is a professional in his field (Kuchuu Buranko)
 » Watch an anime with an archetype as a main character (Nisekoi)
 » Watch an anime with a target demographic that does not apply to you  (Chihayafuru)
 » Watch an anime with a target demographic that can apply to you (Aoi Bungaku Series)
 » Watch an anime with a main character that is not Japanese (Spice & Wolf S2)
 » Watch an anime one-/two-/three-cours (or more) in length (easy/medium/hard) (Slam Dunk)
 » Watch an anime that has been adapted to live action (Kuragehime)
 » Watch an original anime (Zegapain)
 » Watch an anime adapted from a novel, light novel or video game (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita)
 » Watch an anime adapted from a manga with a score of 8.0 or higher (Cardcaptor Sakura)

 » Watch an anime with a score of 7.0 or below (Big Order)
 » Watch an anime ranked in the Top 300 (Tokyo Godfathers)
 » Watch a highly rated and completed anime from another challenger who posted on the same page you signed up on (Space Battleship Yamato 2199)
 » Watch an anime with less than 10k/25k/45k completed members (hard/medium/easy) (Rain Town)

Challenge & MAL related
 » Watch an anime recommended to you by another Anime Watching Challenge participant (Shirobako)
 » Watch an anime that another user has watched for this challenge (Ikoku Meiro no Croisée)
 » Watch a staff member's favorite anime (Akatsuki no Yona)
 » Watch an anime that was recently reviewed (Bungou Stray Dogs)

 » Re-watch an anime (Joshiraku)
 » Watch an anime that starts with the same last letter as your username (Gun x Sword)
 » Choose a random trope from TVTropes and watch an anime listed under the trope (Girls und Panzer)
 » Choose an anime from the predictive search using a generated random word (Cipher)
 » Watch an anime that has been on your Plan to Watch list for too long (Shinryaku! Ika Musume)
 » Watch an anime with a protagonist that shares your hair color (Durarara x2 Shou)
Posted by Hitsu | Mar 27, 2016 7:33 AM | 5 comments
It’s time to ditch the text file.
Keep track of your anime easily by creating your own list.
Sign Up Login