My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

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Neon Genesis Evangelion to stream on Netflix on June 21st

The classic anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion will be streamed on Netflix this June. Evangelion is considered to be one of the greatest anime series of all time. Debuting in 1995, the series is a complex story that follows high school students as they try to save humanity using giant robots. Netflix will stream all 26 episodes of the series and two films, Evangelion: Death True and The End of Evangelion. Check out the trailer:


The top ten Highest-grossing anime film franchises and film series

10. Naruto

Total Worldwide box office gross: $147,064,005

Number of films: 11

Average of films: $13,369,455

Highest-grossing film: Boruto, Naruto the Movie ($39,500,00)


9. Yo-kai

Total Worldwide box office gross: $159,151,900

Number of films: 4

Average of films: $39,787,975

Highest-grossing film: Yo-kai Watch: The Movie ($69,698,865)


8. Neon Genesis Evangelion

Total Worldwide box office gross: $184,343,170

Number of films: 5

Average of films: $36,868,634

Highest-grossing film: Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo ($66,519,752)


7. Glitter Force

Total Worldwide box office gross: $199,966,807

Number of films: 24

Average of films: $8,331,950

Highest-grossing film: Pretty Cure All Stars: Friends of the Future ($12,099,273)


6. Crayon Shin-Chan

Total Worldwide box office gross: $340,744,810

Number of films: 25

Average of films: $13,629,792

Highest-grossing film: Asleep! Dreaming World Big Assault! ($19,100,000)


5. One Piece

Total Worldwide box office gross: $432,607,375

Number of films: 13

Average of films: $33,277,490

Highest-grossing film: One Piece: Film Z ($88,736,587)


4. Dragon Ball

Total Worldwide box office gross: $735,817,583

Number of films: 20

Average of films: $36,790,879

Highest-grossing film: Dragon Ball Super: Broly ($101,963,596)


3. Case Closed

Total Worldwide box office gross: $842,825,010

Number of films: 23

Average of films: $36,644,566

Highest-grossing film: Detective Conan: Zero the Enforcer ($108,105,223)


2. Pokemon

Total Worldwide box office gross: $1,050,235,271

Number of films: 21

Average of films: $50,011,203

Highest-grossing film: The First Movie ($163,644,662)


1. Doraemon

Total Worldwide box office gross: $1,218,955,319

Number of films: 39

Average of films: $31,255,265

Highest-grossing film: Stand by Me Doraemon ($183,442,714)


Source: Wikipedia

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 7: A character that ruined (or almost ruined) a show for you

Shinji Ikari

Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most successful and influential anime series ever. The main protagonists in this series is Shinji Ikari. He’s the young son of Gendo Ikari, the commander of NERV. Gendo is a terrible father and is abusive towards well everyone. He abandons Shiji at one point.

This is important only because it explains why Shinji is so messed up. Shinji is described by the director of Evangelion as “as a boy who shrinks from human contact, and has “convinced himself that he is a completely unnecessary person, so much so that he cannot even commit suicide.” Simply put, he’s pathetic and he becomes grating. He has a “libido-destrudo conflict,” and several complexes.

Mainly he’s has a Oedipus complex which refer’s to a “child’s unconscious sexual desire for the opposite-sex parent and hatred for the same-sex parent.” He also suffers from what is called the “Hedgehog’s dilemma,” which is “is a metaphor about the challenges of human intimacy.”

I understand that Shinji is one of the most complex characters in anime, his father is an amoral human being, but I couldn’t help tire of his personality. I often found his voice to be annoying and wanted him to just shut up. Ultimately, the series was too good to be ruined by him and he does become less annoying as the series goes on.

EVANGELION:1.0 Review, Killing Angels with Giant Robots

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Evangelion: 1.01 You Are (Not) Alone is the first of four movies in the Rebuild of Evangelion tetralogy. Hideaki Anno was unsatisfied with the original series from the 90’s, aiming to recreate Evangelion. Evangelion: 1.0 retells the first six episodes of the original series, with mild changes to the plot and characters to create greater clarity. Any fan of the original series may have been confused by it’s complicated plot and complex themes. The story is condensed removing a lot of the unnecessary plot points. The often dreary tone of the series is alter, as the sadness characters experience is limited.

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Evangelion series vs Evangelion: 1.0

Evangelion: 1.0 quickly gets past the introduction, greatly improving on the pace, while still successfully conveying the main plot. However, for the most part the story is presented as the original series. Shinji is a teenage pilot, tasked with saving humanity. He pilots a bio mechanical hybrid mecha called an Evangelion. The battles between these EVA’s and the monsters called Angels are still brutal and intense. The most visible change in the film is the noticeable improvement in the animation. Shinji as a character is also improved, as he was extremely neurotic and simply annoying to viewers.

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Shamshel, the fifth Angel from the Evangelion series.

The biggest issue regarding Evangelion: 1.0, is the consequence of condensing and editing several episodes into one movie. The story is feels rushed at times, that said, the remake of the first six episodes is well worth viewing. Evangelion: 1.0 accomplishes what Anno set out to do, retelling the original Neon Genesis Evangelion, while enhancing the animation, making the characters, and plot more understandable. It’s still not for the faint of heart as the brutal violence is still represented. With the first film in the tetralogy being so well received, the next three in the series should be even better.

Production Info:

Chief Director: Hideaki Anno, Director: Masayuki, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Screenplay: Hideaki Anno, Storyboard: Hideaki Anno, Shinji Higuchi, Tomoki Kyoda, Kazuya Tsurumaki, Unit Director: Hiroshi Haraguchi, Music: Shiro Sagisu, Original creator: Hideaki Anno, Character Design: Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, Art Director: Hiroshi Kato, Tatsuya Kushida, Chief Animation Director: Shunji Suzuki, Animation Director: Kazuchika Kise, Hidenori Matsubara, Yuji Moriyama, Atsushi Okuda, Mechanical design: Ikuto Yamashita, Cgi Director: Hiroyasu Kobayashi, Co-Director: Kobun Shizuno, Director of Photography: Toru Fukushi, Executive producer: Toshimichi Ootsuki.

30 Day Anime Challenge

Day 30

Anime you wish never ended and continued on

Neon Genesis Evangelion

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When I first started watching Evangelion I was a child (maybe I shouldn’t have been watching the series at that age), I was obviously too young to comprehend the complexity and symbolism within the series. I just thought that it was a cool violent mecha anime. However, once I got older and more mature I was able to appreciate the series as a whole. I even wrote a college English paper on the series.

Evangelion has been credited with “revolutionized the giant-robot genre“. The series was so successful that it has earned billions. For those who don’t know Evangelion focuses on a futuristic Tokyo more than a decade after a “worldwide cataclysm“. The story centers on protagonist Shinji, a teenage boy who is recruited by his father for an organization called NERV to pilot an Evangelion.

Using the Evangelion Shinji along with fellow pilots Rei Ayanami and Asuka Langley Soryu, combat enemies known as Angels. The series the focuses on deep psychological effects that the pilots experience as they attempt to prevent another catastrophe. It features heavy religious symbolism “from Kabbalah, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Shinto“. Overall, Neon Genesis Evangelion manages to combine themes centered around philosophy, religion and psychoanalysis with an amazing mecha battles. I highly recommend this series, and wish it didn’t end.

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 16

30 Day Anime Challenge

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Anime with the best animation (Rebuild of Evangelion)

I don’t think I going to be able to correctly answer this one. The main issue is the fact that many anime have amazing animation, some have different styles. If you factor in the fact that some of the animators work on more than one series it can get even more tricky. However, in order to comply with the challenge I will have to choose one.

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After debating with myself I decided that “Rebuild of Evangelion” was the best. Rebuild of Evangelion is a series of four movies. Together these movies retelling of the original TV series. “Rebuild of Evangelion” is a separate continuity from the original TV series and movies, Death and Rebirth and The End of Evangelion. The Rebuild movie series is “intended accessible and understandable” to those who weren’t fans of the original series, but still be satisfying to those who were (like myself).

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So far three of the four movies have been released to great success (in Japan at least). Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone was released in 2007, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance was released in 2009 and Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo was released last year. The four and final movie “Evangelion: Final” is expected to bet released in a few years.

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30 Day Anime Challenge – Day 11

30 Day Anime Challenge

Favorite Mech Anime

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Neon Genesis Evangelion

This one was easy. Neon Genesis Evangelion was created by Gainax. Hideaki Anno wrote and directed the series. Evangelion is an apocalyptic anime that focuses on a teenage boy named Shinji Ikari. He is given the opportunity to save the world using a mecha called an “Eva” to defeat enemies called Angels. It’s considered one of the most successful anime of all time, grossing over 150 Billion yen. I think Evangelion is one of the most impressive, intellectual and though provoking anime ever created. Evangelion has tremendous action sequences. They can be rather violent so caution should be taken if your easily offended.  You can miss the underlining symbolism that Evangelion features so it’s probably would recommend re watching the series several times. Evangelion has complicated themes based off of religion and philosophy.

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Evangelion does have some brutally violent scenes