Tuesday, 15 April 2014

10 Anime Recommendations

(10 Anime Recommendations From Neamo)

Well, this took some writing! A top 10? Perhaps. I'll update it certainly if others replace it, but many find these sort of posts helpful, and I am eager to please. While this is in a top 10 format, and alludes to reviews I have yet to write, rest assured I shall at some point endeavor to comply, by hook or by crook. So, without any further adieu, let's begin.

Fist Of The North Star
 (Honorable Mention)
 While I am and remain a huge fan of the Fist Of The North Star and it's manga, I haven't watched the series in it's entirety, largely because it is a gargantuan series that has not dated well. It would certainly rank highly were it not for that, as I can't in good heart review something I have not completed. The manga is certainly worth investing time in.

(10th Place)
Kicking off a list that will almost certainly depreciate in value with any expanse of time, we have Kuroshitsuji in 10th place. I've got to admit, I'm not proud of this decision. I've spent considerable time picking through the various fruits that Anime TV Series have to offer, occasionally tossing aside the rotten in lieu of the ripe, and while there are some I have yet to indulge in and others that left me with a quandary of sorts, Kuroshitsuji kept returning to mind. With writing that in no way offers the best or most poignant delivery, Kuroshitsuji's faults are many and it's virtues are few, but the air of fun and sarcasm within hangs pendulous like a genital wart, and remains just as infectious and hard to remove. You might think that's not a compliment, but it is. The sheer fact of the matter is, Kuroshitsuji is guilty pleasure television, and if it clings to me, however virulently, it's done it's job admirably.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure
(9th Place)
 In my 9th place, I have something a little different to offer you. Not a conventional anime by any means, it takes all of the stereotypes of bad animation and squeezes and pulps them into a hulking titan of a series. With muscles galore and innuendo afoot, this anime explores the fetishistic masculinity and homoerotic pandering of modern anime, breaking convention with a wit, style and flare all of it's own. To call it an anime parody of an anime is a little demeaning to it, for it too has it's own story which however trite served as a progenitor of sorts, and actually aided in the influence. With in jokes and references abound, and a flare for the grotesque, JoJo holds no punches on this list.

Card Captors
(8th Place)
For my 8th place I'm entering the realm of pure and total nostalgia, leaving trace emotions behind. While not a traditional pick in any sense of the word, Card Captors is one of the first real anime experiences of my young adult life, and in many ways served as the gateway that entrapped and enraptured me in the same vein. Seamlessly combining the cuteness of more traditional anime productions with a monster capture premise, it in many ways spurred a deep and unfortunate love for that particular genre. There are certainly points that detract, and I'm sure that in review I will be given chance to air them, but for this snippet? I think I'll let the happy memories flow.

Desert Punk
(7th Place)
Once in a while, you will be introduced to something unique, strange but ultimately rather satisfying. Something that in of itself defies every genre but adheres to none. My 7th place is that anime. Seamlessly integrating humor with an unnatural affinity for the strange, whimsical and genuinely awesome, this anime's entire selling point revolves around the humor and antics of it's primary character, the titular Desert Punk. The post apocalyptic world is fascinating, certainly, but it doesn't hold a candle to the genuine enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, molded into a rubber ball and covered in glitter that is our lead hero.

Shingeki No Kyojin
(6th Place)
That's right, in my number 6th place, we have an anime that frankly is either overtly adored or wrongly hated. Shingeki No Kyojin is one of the most divisive conversation starters I've ever raised with friends, and it's difficult even now for me to reason or rationalize why it separates opinion so starkly. I think it's problem lurks with the hipster movement, and peer pressure. It's fans are louder than many I've ever heard in praising it's virtues, and it's detractors are quick to try and stifle the noise. I care not a jot however, and shall have my say regardless. Written with the same brutal and nihilistic strokes as a love letter from George RR Martin, abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Hellsing : Ultimate
(5th Place)
My 5th place will come as no shock to many, as Hellsing is in of itself a thrill ride that continues to give, but for those who aren't indoctrinated, Hellsing revolves around a vampire called Alucard defeating Nazi's and generally providing the voice of reason through untamed and calculated evil. "Wait!" I hear you cry, "He's evil but he fights Nazi's?" That's right kids, in a series that often explores what it means to be a protagonist or hero in of itself, Hellsing has no good side, only opposing monstrosities. Enigmatic, smooth and furiously menacing, Hellsing is a twisted joy with a style all of its own.

Fullmetal Alchemist : Brotherhood
(4th Place)
Fullmetal Alchemist represented a quandary to me, as my opinion of it is in constant flux. I admire it, certainly. I think it's my admiration for it that has allowed it to climb to 4th place, but beyond that I find it difficult to put my finger on. With gripping action, fantastic character portrayals and innovative story mechanics it should by rights be something I adore, and while I appreciate those qualities of it, I don't find myself enraptured within. Perhaps it will require another viewing, but in any such case, sheer quality alone has given it this place, regardless of personal opinion.

(3rd Place)
Monster is the finest psychological anime I've had the good grace to watch, and it takes the 3rd place with little question. Punchy and poignant, you are constantly on edge as the beautifully penned plot takes us from horror to horror, weaving history with fiction in a blend that leaves you confused and haunted by their mingling. Elegance, I believe is the word I'd use to describe this anime. It doesn't use magic, take us to mysterious worlds or rely on the deep vestiges of fan service, it simply is, and that makes it terrifying to me.

(2nd Place)
It would be in poor taste of me to advise an anime as my 2nd place, and immediately advise moving to the manga and film productions, but Berserk is not an ordinary anime. Forged in the fires of darkest passion, Berserk's story captivates, shocks and quite often disturbs with it's twists and horrifying turns, and while the anime is certainly worthy of this place, lack of finance ended it's run abruptly to leave most hungry for more. Twisted, dark and often uncomfortable, Berserk's seamless blend of horror, high fantasy and phenomenal brutality leave a lingering taste for the darkness it holds.

Cowboy Bebop
(1st Place)
If you've ever searched for perfection, you'll know that it's an effort in futility as it remains an intangible concept, wondrous but beyond the reach of our clumsy and mortal hands. Cowboy Bebop, frankly, is as good as it gets. Taking my 1st place without any trace of real competition, Cowboy Bebop is unarguably the best anime I've ever seen, and remains the standard I set precedent by. Some liken it to Firefly, I liken Firefly to it. With great animation, a breath taking storyline, diverse but well rounded characters that spring free from the screen and some of the best music of any production, this remains in of itself one of the true joys that never wavers. If that weren't enough, it actually sounds better with English voice acting, solidifying it's mythical unicorn like status. It is and shall forever be, barring unforeseen miracle, the best of the best.

As I've mentioned previously, this list may be subject to change with the constant influx of new anime. Whether you agree or not, all listed are certainly worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and very informative to someone who appreciates Anime but has little idea of what to watch so thank you Neamo.


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