Second New Year’s post. This time, it’s actually getting posted on the day that the West considers the start of the new year.
I can’t quite remember when exactly I ditched my old top anime list for that “stuff I like” header, but I’ve got to say that whilst the former really brought in the views during my early years and still brings in the views from time to time, I vastly prefer just listing names and kinda wish I had done so earlier. Not only do I not have to worry about rankings, generic descriptions, or how many anime is allowed on the list, but it’s incredibly flexible in regards to changing opinions due to how quick and easy it is to add/remove names, and I get to include some of my other hobbies on the thing as well. As I’ve established sometime in the past and as is said on the header, I consider something a favorite if I feel like I can go back to it whenever I get some free time in my life – a condition I really should have placed on myself back when I thought doing a top 100 anime list was a good idea. And like it or not, there will be times when what was good on the big screen isn’t so good on the small screen, or what was once enjoyed because it was fresh has aged about as well as anything involving Bill Cosby. Opinions are kinda complex that way, as I’ve experienced first-hand over the years.
But I’m just reiterating stuff most of you guys know by now. The real reason I’m writing this post is to give a quick summary of shows that got on and were taken off of my favorite anime list throughout the year along with a short description regarding either why I think it’s worth buying or why I don’t consider it rewatchable anymore. And as a reminder, just because I don’t consider an anime rewatchable doesn’t automatically mean I don’t think it’s good. Nana is ranked high on MAL for a reason, y’know? However, there’s a difference between being decent and being a favorite of mine.
What Got On
Concrete Revolutio – 2nd half might be awful, but the first half works well on its own terms.
Death Parade – Flawed, but so is Psycho-Pass, and I still allow it on the list.
Guilty Crown – Shows that take its stupidity as seriously as this thing really need to be more common. As long as they’re not in the Psycho-Pass 2 vein, I mean.
What Came Off
Air Master – Fun, but the times when the humor fails, the lack of a really engaging narrative, and a “nothing ending” prevent me from going back to it these days.
Baccano – Ryogho Narita’s appeal has all but worn off on me now.
Ghost in the Shell – The characters aren’t fun to me anymore.
Giant Robo – Characters are too simplistic for my taste these days.
Macross: Do You Remember Love? – I’ve realized over the years that I just don’t like space opera anime.
Popee the Performer – Meh.
Redline – Need to rewatch the Speed Racer movie to see if I’d still like it, but even then I’m pretty sure I’d consider it a better visual camp film than Redline.
Samurai Champloo – Too many one-off episodes that are only mildly intriguing at best.
Shin Mazinger Z – Eh.
Space Adventure Cobra – Don’t really enjoy pulp for its own sake as much as I used to. Also, Great Teacher Onizuka beats this out on the fun meter any day.
Space Dandy – Creative, but not funny. Plus, there’s no getting around the fact that Rick and Morty is a much better space comedy.
Summer Wars – Good elements let down by a weak narrative and mismanaged character development.
Yeah, I don’t think anyone’s really surprised that most of what got off are “fun” stuff. It’s not that I’m automatically biased against that sort of anime now, as Mobile Fighter G Gundam is still staying on. But I prefer my anime to have strong characterization these days regardless of intention, and with the exception of Samurai Champloo, none of the shows I took off really have that. Domon wasn’t the most engaging lead in his show, but he had quite a few things we can identify him for: a stupid haircut, trouble with women, thinking his shonen-esque logic was cooler than it actually was, and a troubled past that motivates him to pilot a Gundam in the first place. Dandy is kind of missing the last one, and his off-beat logic isn’t on the same level as Domon’s anyways.
As for the stuff that got on, what can I say? Smart shows tend to have better characterization and more lasting appeal. Exploitation is still my favorite genre of course, but there’s no way anime is going to successfully produce something like Ichi the Killer anytime soon, so why bother hoping for that? Instead, let’s hope this year produces even more shows that get my mind racing enough to earn a spot on my list, and hopefully nothing else gets taken off in the process.
That’s really all I have to say about my top anime list. Again, Happy New Years and look forward to more stuff from me in the future.