HONORABLE MENTIONS (TOP 50) ROW 1: Mob Psycho 100 • Stand Alone Complex • Cowboy Bebop • Kaiji • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ROW 2: March Comes in Like a Lion • Hajime no Ippo • Eureka Seven • Nana • The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya ROW 3: Death Note • One Punch Man • One Piece • Monster • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure ROW 4: Baccano! • Bakuman. • Haikyuu!! • Made in Abyss • Your Lie in April ROW 5: Mononoke • Kill La Kill • Barakamon • Tsuritama • Steins;Gate ROW 6: Haibane Renmei • Flip Flappers • Non Non Biyori • Great Teacher Onizuka • Seirei no Moribito ROW 7: KonoSuba • Berserk (1997) • Nichijou • Fate/Zero • Kino's Journey (2003) ROW 8: Natsume's Book of Friends • Little Witch Academia • Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei • Katanagatari • Gankutsuou
TOP 10 ANIME MOVIES
The Wind Rises • Ghost in the Shell • The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya • A Silent Voice • Perfect Blue
Kara no Kyoukai 7 • Tokyo Godfathers • Wolf Children • Akira • Into the Forest of Fireflies' Light
TOP 5 OVA / ONA SERIES
Legend of the Galactic Heroes • FLCL • Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal • Japan Animator Expo • Aim for the Top: Gunbuster
I adored every second of what I saw. The show resonates with me on a personal level and delivered an unforgettable experience.
Works like these make me appreciate anime on a deeper level, they shape my taste and expectations for every other piece of media.
These are my all-time favorites, the stuff that I think about all the time and in my opinion this is the very best the medium has to offer.
Extremely enjoyable show with great writing and directing, presented in a way that appeals to me directly without ever losing my interest.
Succeeded in setting itself above the rest and left a huge impact on me. Their flaws are barely worth mentioning next to their achievements.
I still count them among my favorites and I consider them a must-watch for anyone who considers him/herself a fan of the medium.
Pictured: One Piece • Your Lie in April • Death Note
I hold these titles in very high regards. Really enjoyable for the vast majority with just a few minor issues holding them back.
Easily one of the best shows in its respective genre. There's a good chance I might revisit them in the future when I'm feeling nostalgic.
Would highly recommend to anyone and everyone regardless of taste or personal preference, you really can't go wrong with these.
Pictured: Durarara!! • Code Geass • Soul Eater
I like it, these shows get my seal of approval and I'm truly glad they exist but not to the point that I'll constantly gush about them.
There are some noticeable flaws or I'm just lacking a personal connection, but easily had more going for it than there were negative aspects.
It's an easy recommendation for most people but especially so if it looks like something you would typically enjoy.
Pictured: Death Parade • My Hero Academia • Re:ZERO
Pretty good stuff honestly, I definitely don't dislike it but I can't quite wholeheartedly say I love it either in its entirety.
For the most part it's straight-up enjoyable but there are also a handful of moments where I didn't find it all that appealing.
It's not bad at all, in fact it's better than most shows out there but I probably wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it.
Pictured: Blue Exorcist • OreGairu • Black Butler
The baseline of quality for a show to be worthwhile but nothing more than that. Forgettable and deeply flawed but not bad overall.
May have had a few highlights but with the amount of problems the show has it's nothing more than par for the course in the end.
Still, I definitely wouldn't disregard it entirely, but it is pretty safe to skip these and they're probably not worth your time in most cases.
Pictured: Overlord • Love Live! • Elfen Lied
Suffers from more problems than highlights. May have had some promise but completely falls apart throughout.
There are still a couple of redeeming qualities and they keep the series from being a complete failure, thankfully.
I don't despise them but I'd still advise you to stay away from these shows if you know what's good for you.
Pictured: Angel Beats! • Akame ga Kill! • ERASED
A very aggravating show with way too many glaring, obvious flaws regarding both the narrative and production to ignore.
Feels insulting to watch. Mostly one-trick ponies with negligible substance, usually with characters I can't stand.
This is where the actual bottom of the barrel begins and even just finishing the show starts to become very painful.
Pictured: Tokyo Ghoul √A • Fairy Tail • Mirai Nikki
This is when a show isn't just terrible but it also actively pisses me off. Their mere existence makes the world a worse place.
I hate them more than I can put into words, usually more so than stuff I rated a 1/10 because they're not even entertainingly bad.
I will legitimately think less of you as a person if you unironically like these pathetic piece of shit shows, I'm not even kidding.
Pictured: Big Order • Pupa • Hand Shakers
This is anime hell, the stuff that's so stupidly bad it's actually good, the Birdemics and Sharknadoes of anime so to speak.
At this point there really isn't a single redeeming factor, but watching a show spontaneously combust has some charm in its own right.
You could get drunk with some friends and watch it for some laughs, that might actually be pretty fun, but proceed at your own risk.
BEST OF ANIME IN 2018 JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind • The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. (S2) • Gintama: Silver Soul Arc • Yuru Camp • Devilman Crybaby
BEST OF ANIME IN 2017 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu (S2) • Kizumonogatari III • March Comes in Like a Lion (S2) • Made in Abyss • Little Witch Academia (TV)
BEST OF ANIME IN 2016 A Silent Voice • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu • March Comes in Like a Lion • Flip Flappers • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
BEST OF ANIME IN 2015 Gintama° • One Punch Man • Haikyuu!! (S2) • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders 2 • Non Non Biyori Repeat
BEST OF ANIME IN 2014 Ping Pong the Animation • Mushishi Zoku Shou • Your Lie in April • Haikyuu!! • Barakamon
I believe there good and bad shows in literally every genre, but some of my overall favorites include: Character-driven Drama, Psychological Thriller, Battle/Sports Shounen and anything with a grand sense of Adventure.
I often seem to get drawn towards Urban Fantasy settings and Coming-of-Age Stories and I always have a soft spot for well-choreographed fight scenes, complex world-building and awesome mechs.
I'm also always in need of a steady stream of cute girl Slice-of-Life shows or else I'll actually die from cynicism and loneliness.
Some tags that immediately raise a red flag for me are: Battle Harem, Horror & edgy shows in general and Fantasy/Sci-Fi Light Novel adaptations. And oh yeah: original anime > manga adaptations > light novel adaptations > visual novel & game adaptations.
Still, in the end, genres and plot descriptions are almost entirely irrelevant towards my enjoyment of a show.
In the words of Roger Ebert: "A movie is not about what it is about, it is about how it is about it."
My favorite anime production houses are Shaft, Trigger, Kyoto Animation, Bones and Production IG.
Also Gainax was the absolute GOAT back in their glory days, and even though they are now a shell of their former selves, Madhouse has produced more of my favorite shows than any other studio over the years.
Ufotable, Wit Studio and P.A. Works are up there as well and Studio 3Hz, Kinema Citrus and Feel are showing some amazing potential for the new generation of animators.
The studios on my shit-list are: Production IMS, Haoliners, Creators in Pack, Diomedea, Asread, TROYCA, Satelight, Asahi Production and those fuckers that did the new Berserk TV series.
NARRATIVE vs PRESENTATION
I'm not someone who always necessarily values substance over style, in fact I'm big time into sakuga, however, something can look like hot garbage and still be pretty good because of an engaging, well-written story and lovable characters but that absolutely does not work the other way around.
That being said, slick animation, well-executed cinematography, unique atmosphere and good character/setting design are definitely excellent tools to make a show that much more memorable to me. And the best shows are always those that succeed on both fronts.
Ideally, the visuals and the story should go hand in hand and reinforce each other to create a true Gesamtkunstwerk.
To quote the great Digibro: "Aesthetic IS Narrative".
It should also be noted that I usually prefer to have my animation be as dynamic, expressive and imaginative as possible, even if that means characters aren't necessarily always on-model or their designs incredibly detailed (e.g. Mob Psycho looks a million times better than Violet Evergarden).
I would consider myself somewhat of an 'elitist'. At least I definitely try to gauge the actual artistic merits of a show when deciding on a score rather than just going off of personal preference and some intangible gut feeling. Bias still influences my opinion in the end of course and the critique of art will always be completely subjective, obviously.
To me the best shows aren't necessarily the ones that do nothing wrong but instead the ones that do the most right, it's a matter of how much the positives outweigh the negatives. A certain amount of courage and ambition is required to get a strong score out of me.
It's not uncommon for my rating of a series or film to change a while after the initial viewing based on the aftertaste it left in my mouth.
I only rate a show once I have finished it or once I have watched enough of it to fully understand what the show is going for (mostly relevant for long running shounen).
Most of my ratings are lower than average, that's the case because I actually use the entire 10-point scale and something like a 7/10 is actually a legitimately good show to me, potential AOTS material, in fact. Check my ranking scale for full details explaining what each score means to me.
I believe every show deserves a fair chance and I don't wanna risk a hidden gem slipping under my nose so I tend to check out pretty much every new show that comes out for at least 1 episode at the start of each new season.
Because of that I end up dropping quite a few of them because, frankly, most of them are garbage or just completely uninteresting.
Nothing is dropped forever in my book tho. If I hear a show improves drastically over time or if something I dropped immediately ends up super popular there's a good chance I'll give it another try.