Before I start again, I would like to make a note. I used to post pretty regularly, but with school back in, my posting schedule will become a little more erratic. I’ll still do my best to give you guys content on a more consistent level, but no guarantees.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get back to the show:
10. Yuri!!! on Ice
Even though there’s been a lot of salt towards this anime ever since the Crunchyroll Anime Awards came out, I’m going to stand by it. Let me explain why I love it so much: It gave me happiness and love in a time I was struggling. Last semester, Fall of 2016, was the worst few months I’d had in years. I didn’t get along with my professors, I hardly had any friends, and I felt alone most of the time. Yet Yuri!!! on Ice shined through the darkness with themes of pure love and of never giving up and gave me one of my favorite scenes ever, the one with JJ in episode 11. Not only that, but it reminded me of marching band and of the best times of my life, as sports anime tend to do. So, no, I don’t love it because I’m a mindless fujoshi fangirl who’s only in it for the ships. I love it for everything else it has to offer.
As much as I love Yuri!!! on Ice, it’s not my favorite anime to come out of 2016. That would have to go to the fantastic thriller anime, Ajin. If you’ve avoided the series because of the CGI, I suggest you give it a chance, or at least give the manga a chance. Though it may be bleak, it has an intriguing and well-developed cast of characters that are easy for me to love. It has my favorite ED, and it’s the one anime that I can claim that the main character is voiced by my favorite voice actors both in English and Japanese.
This is one anime I’ve been rewatching in the past few weeks, and I love it just as much as I did the first time. One thing that I should note is that I absolutely love traditional Japanese legends and spirits, and this show is choc full of them. It carries a beautiful, mysterious, and even relaxing atmosphere. The banter between Watanuki and Doumeki is some of the most hilarious I’ve seen, but beyond that, the friendship that they have is probably my favorite of all anime. It’s felt on such a deep level. All in all, despite any noodly character designs, I love this show and all it has to offer.
7. Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)
Spaaaaaaacccceeee!!! In all honestly, before watching this anime, I had little to no interest in space. But this anime is so full of passion for space that it’s become my favorite science topic. I love learning about it and thinking about it, and of course, the more I love it, the more I love this anime. It’s not just the space factor that makes me love this anime, though, but the genuine development of the strong and well-rounded characters in its massive cast. I also love how grounded the show is – nothing that happens in this show is beyond the realm of realistic belief (well, other than that space exploration gets proper funding).
Let me put something into context. In high school, in some of the best years of my life, I did marching band. I had to learn teamwork, I spent hours upon hours with those in my band, I went to competitions and met the other teams. I ate, slept, and breathed marching band. What’s so special about Haikyuu!! to me is that it takes me back to those days. The Karasuno team is not all that different from the mellophone section I marched with and the passion for the sport is very real. The humour is exactly my type, the characters are fantastic (I really like good characters, apparently) and the matches are, of course, hype. Though there are many anime out there who try to take the watcher back to their high school days, Haikyuu!! is the one that does it the most for me, and I love it for it.
I mentioned earlier that I love traditional Japanese spirits and legends. Well, the one anime that does it even better than xxxHolic is Mushishi. It carries such a feeling of ancientness, tradition, and gentleness that makes it so great for me. Each story is beautiful and memorable, and Ginko is such a great character to carry the entire show nearly on his own shoulders alone. Even beyond that, the art and music of the show are so inspirational. In fact, I started to do watercolour painting because of this show, and every time I pick up that paintbrush, I’m listening to this show’s soundtrack. Mushishi is definitely an experience that no one should miss out on.
4. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it as many times as it takes: The Count of Monte Cristo, in all its forms, is one of, if not the best, stories ever written. With the setting and POV changed within the anime, it would have been easy to slaughter it. Instead they managed to create a masterpiece that does the original story justice. The friendship between the Count and Albert becomes much more compelling than in other forms of the story. On top of that, the animation, though a bit trippy, is also gorgeous and nearly every shot is wallpaper-worthy. Add in the complex nature of the story itself, and you find an anime that deserves its title of The Count of Monte Cristo.
3. Tengan Toppa Gurren Lagann
When I started this anime, I was not expecting to love it as much as I do. Yet I couldn’t help but get sucked into the engaging, over-the-top characters, the wacky story, and the animation that just pops off the screen. But what pushes it even further than just fantastic popcorn material is actually how deep the show is. With so many quote that are worth remembering and one of my favorite characters of all time, that being Rossiu, this show only gets better. The final straw is the rather long, well-developed and fondly remembered roleplay I had with a friend in this universe. That made the characters and setting only more personally loved by me, and makes the show deserve no less than third place.
2. Kuroshituji (Black Butler)
Kuroshitsuji is my favorite anime. Yeah, it’s only at number two on this list, but I usually don’t count number one in these lists that will be explained in that entry. So, with that, ignore the actual numbers and understand that Kuroshitsuji is my favorite anime. Why is it my favorite anime? Basically, it hits all my sweet spots. I’ve fallen deeply in love with the Victorian gothic aesthetic, which is something that Kuroshitsuji lives and breathes. On top of that, it has a mysterious atmosphere, characters that I love to death, strong animation, and, of course, an incredible soundtrack. The snark and mistrust, yet reliance between Ciel and Sebastian is fascinating. Of course, Toboso’s character designs never fail to look stylish without being over-designed. I’d even go so far as to say that nearly all the Kuroshitsuji merch I’ve gotten has been top-notch, too. I might be biased, as I count this as my first anime. Even then, after multiple rewatches, it still deserves the title of my favorite anime.
Hear me out on this.Yeah, sure, there are those who will say it’s racist, but I’ve already argued against that and probably will again in the future. I usually don’t include Hetalia on these lists because, while I love the show, it’s not the show itself that makes me love it. It’s the concept behind the show and what people do with it. They can make it ridiculously hilarious, chilling and realistic, beautiful and inspirational, or make it just reflect real history. It’s what led me to want to learn so many different languages, travel to so many different places, and even became the catalyst that led me to add history as one of my majors. Hetalia has, on a very literal level, changed my life. And I keep coming back to it. Hetalia, as a concept, is so flexible and so fantastic in all its forms, and I still hold the firm belief that, if used right, could be something that helps push the world into the direction of world peace. In other words, Hetalia is what keeps me moving. It’s all that I am. And when there’s an anime and concept that means so much to me, it’s impossible to not give it the top spot on this list.