eldiax (Level 14)

Finished with Golden Time. That anime was a huuuuuge letdown.
followed by
Anime that I've watched (spoiler-free)

When I first created this list, there were only four shows on it. It's gotten bigger, and I'm going to keep updating it as I watch various anime.

EDIT: 35 anime later, it's gotten REALLY HARD TO RANK THIS. The anime mentioned near the top of the list are pretty much very close to each other, in regards to how much I've liked them.

1. Full Metal Panic!

My favourite anime, also one of the first I watched from this list. I liked it so much I started reading the novels it was based on. The characters are amazing, I don't think there can be a single person who wouldn't like Sousuke - a teenager working for an antiterrorist organization (and has no social skills whatsoever since he was trained to be a soldier his whole childhood) who gets a mission to guard a highschool girl. Hilarity ensues. It perfectly balances comedy, romance and action, so I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is into that kind of genre. EDIT: 3 years after I first watched FMP, I watched it again. It still is absolutely the best anime I'd ever seen. Can't find any cons to this anime except for maybe a little wonky animation and slight fanservice in the first season. But the story, the villains, the action, the main characters, the atmosphere, EVERYTHING is excellent. The pacing is perfect. My absolute favourite show I'd recommend to everyone.

2. Toradora

The best high-school romance/comedy anime I have watched so far. The character development is extremely well done, as well as the way the story is presented to the viewer. Also, the plot is completely believable, no crazy over the top drama, just a typical high-school romance story that isn't unlikely to happen in real life. Great amount of detail has been put in, allowing for some really emotional scenes. I really enjoyed it. EDIT: After rewatching this series, everything I wrote above still stands true. Toradora is truly a brilliant example of how romance comedies should be made.

3. Eureka Seven

A beautiful romance/mecha action anime. The setting is interesting, the characters are endearing and the plot is quite good as well. What I liked the most were the relations between characters. Eureka, the female lead, is a wonderful character and also my favourite in the show. I'd recommend this to both male and female viewers if you're looking for a very good romance story sprinkled with excellent mecha battles. It's also worth noting that this anime has zero bad fan-service. Besides the original 50 episodes, I have also watched the movie. The movie has nothing to do with the plot of the series, it just takes the setting and the characters and assigns them new roles. The movie was okay, but nothing more than that.

4. AnoHana

This is a story about 6 childhood friends who grew apart after one of them suddenly dies. Menma, the one who died, has started appearing 5 years later as some kind of a spirit to Jintan, the one she was closest with back then. Jintan tries to get the old gang back together because that might be Menma's wish before she passes on to the afterlife. This was one of the most emotional anime I had ever seen. Yes, even more than Clannad. I cried in the first freaking episode. The anime does a great job of striking an emotional chord inside of you. But that's not the anime's only strong point. The characters are so well done it's crazy. The characters are realistic, expressions on them are so detailed and every character copes with their friend's death in their own way. The animation and music are beautiful. If you want to get emotional, I recommend this anime all the way. It's only 11 episodes, but that's just the right length. It is downright impossible that this anime won't touch you emotionally.

5. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

I watched the first 14 episodes by nonlinear ordering so far, and I plan on watching everything again chronologically but with new episodes in the future. So far, I'm loving the plot and the characters and I'm really interested how will this pan out. EDIT: Ok, done with the complete rewatch of Haruhi including the second season and the movie. It's been a year since I last watched this show. I have to say it absolutely reminded me why is it this high on my list. The movie was fantastic, and I can't wait to see more of Haruhi. I hope they put something out soon. Kyon is such an amazing male lead, his character has a great sense of humor and I love love love his sarcasm. I won't mention Endless Eight. Don't watch that arc. Period.

6. Angel Beats!

In genre, Angel Beats! is pretty similar to Haruhi, because it incorporates comedy, action and romance, and it is set in a high-school -- however that's where all the similarities end. Angel Beats is set in a world where high-schoolers seeking revenge on God for giving them a horrible life come after dying. The concept is extremely interesting, and the story, although it kind of slows down before the end is absolutely amazing and has a fantastic conclusion. There's even a short 5-min episode titled "Another Epilogue", which might suit you if you are not for some crazy reason satisfied with the ordinary ending. I have to say that the humor in this series is top-notch, I was laughing like crazy during some of the scenes. However, the show isn't scared of switching to serious mode, and such transitions are essentially flawlessly done. The music and the animation are excellent. The only thing I didn't like was the shortness of the series: only 13 episodes long + OVA + Another Epilogue. The story does kind of falter in the second part of the show but it comes around for a spectacular ending. All in all, an absolutely amazing anime that I wrongly accused of being a Haruhi ripoff before watching it -- it doesn't rip off anything, and is amazing in its own way.

7. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion

Wow. This anime felt more like an epic movie, breathtaking start to finish. Amazing plot, amazing characters, ending was perfect.

8. Another

This is a horror/supernatural/mystery anime. It has such an amazing story, consistent and with no plot holes. It's really cleverly done. The atmosphere is amazing as well, the anime sucked me in after the first episode. Perfect pacing, interesting characters, great music. I'll recommend it to all who aren't afraid of anime that dabble a little on the scary side.

9. Bakemonogatari

Bakemonogatari is a blend of supernatural, romance, comedy, and some action too. The art style is absolutely excellent, and it is something I have never seen before in an anime. The characters are really interesting, and the plot is quite good too. I can't wait for the remaining two episodes to be aired. EDIT: After watching the second season (Nisemonogatari) and the remaining first season episodes I hadn't seen yet, everything still stands true for Bakemonogatari. The series is really on a pretty good path, and I can't wait for the movie and another season to come out. One thing bothered me a bit, and it's that Nisemonogatari has quite a bit of fanservice; but the art, story and characters are so good it didn't really affect my view of this anime.

10. Attack on Titan

Great anime. Love the music and the art style. The characters are pretty fun and I'm curious to see which way the story will go. The sense of dread in this anime is very intense.

11. To Aru Majutsu no Index

This entry actually contains two shows: To Aru Majutsu no Index (which is the main anime) and To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (which is the spin-off series focusing on another character). There's a city called Academy City, where 80% of populations are students learning about esper abilities. Majutsu no Index focuses on the war between the espers and the magicians. It kind of starts slow and I have to admit the characters didn't really do it for me at the start, but it gets better. A lot better. The actions scenes are pretty amazing, and the anime is quite funny in places. I found the second season a lot better than the first one. Aaaaand then we have Kagaku no Railgun, the spin-off series. THAT SERIES IS SO SO SO AWESOME. The characters and the setting is the same, it supplements the main series. It shifts focus to Misaka, one of the main female protagonists in Index. I'm going to say it right here, she is probably one of top 3 female characters in anime for me. Kagaku no Railgun is extremely funny, has great action scenes where we have Misaka being a total badass, and although it is slice-of-lifey, it does have an underlying plot which is serious and will cause you some feels. I Highly recommend the spin-off series for everyone. The main series is great and definitely worth watching, but it is a bit overshadowed by the spin-off. If you're interested, watch the two seasons of the main series first, then watch the spin-off. You won't regret it.

12. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Puella Magi Madoka Magica joins the ranks of anime that have a very stupid-sounding title but are actually pretty good. Well, Madoka Magica is more than good. It is fucking amazing. This 12-episode anime has such a great plot, told with such great pacing that it could be called a little masterpiece. Warning, the plot is pretty dark, so if you're looking for something light-hearted Madoka Magica DEFINITELY isn't the anime to go to. If you want amazing art and music however, you can find plenty in this anime. The animation is so well done that every scene is an enjoyable experience to watch. Music is fantastic. I highly recommend this anime to anyone who's looking for a great story. I stole a quote from someone on TVtropes.org which sums up this anime perfectly: "It uses characters done in the cute style of Hidamari Sketch to tell a story that can be accurately likened to Neon Genesis Evangelion.".

13. Ergo Proxy

Ergo Proxy is a cyber/steampunk anime in which the humans, after the destruction of the outer world, all live in some kind of dome-shaped cities. This anime has such high quality of animation and art, it's really a joy to watch it, it's extremely detailed. The sound complements the atmosphere perfectly. The characters are amazing, there are no stereotypes, and the plot is superb as well. If you're into this kind of anime I couldn't recommend it more.

14. Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop probably delivers the best atmosphere out of all of the shows on this list. It combines noir, music of the 20th century and science fiction. The music in Cowboy Bebop is absolutely fantastic, and I couldn't seem to find even one song that I didn't like. Both the characters and the story are really good and the ending left quite an impact on me, and I would recommend this to anyone, especially to someone who had just started with anime.

15. Heaven's Memo Pad

Excellent anime. Great plot and characters. However it's quite short, so I'm really looking forward to more seasons. It's about a detective agency run by a NEET girl. It's even more awesome than it sounds.

16. FLCL

6 episode anime made out of pure awesome and nonsense. Seriously, any attempts to understand what the hell is going on in this anime will fail. However, I have to say that's part of its charm. It's pretty funny and it has an excellent soundtrack. The soundtrack was mostly made by a Japanese band called The Pillows, and it is really great.

17. Death Note

Anime with the most intense moments I have yet seen, literally keeping me on the edge of my seat. A very good concept and constant mind games are what makes this series awesome. Too bad the peak of the show was somewhere half-way through. It is interesting afterwards, although not nearly as much as in the first half. Ryuzaki is one of my favourite male characters in anime, I really like his personality and way of thinking. The plot can be kind of hard to follow though, especially near the end.

18. The Familiar of Zero

Louise is undoubtedly my favourite tsundere so far. I enjoyed this show a lot, as it does a very good job on merging the romance and comedy aspects. It does go a little over the top sometimes, but that isn't that big of a problem. The ongoing plot isn't the best, but it doesn't even need to be because the show is actually about Louise and Saito's (her familiar) relationship. All the negative points in this show are outweighed by Louise's character. I'm hoping season 4 gets made. It probably isn't better than some anime below it on the list, but damn it I had so much fun watching this. EDIT: So, fourth and final season got made, and after watching it, I have to say I really enjoyed this entire anime. It's funny, heartwarming, and even heartwrenching sometimes. It does have quite a lot of fanservice, but it isn't that bad and it's mostly used for comedic effect.

19. Shiki

Shiki is a mystery/supernatural anime which holds place in the recluse village of Sotoba, where people mysteriously start dying one after another. First of all, I have to give props to its excellent music and animation. It truly is something else. The characters and the story are absolutely amazing. It's hard to talk about it much without spoiling it, however I absolutely recommend it.

20. Darker than Black

Darker than Black is one of the rare series that gets really, REALLY better nearing the end. You can read my review here (copy the link in the browser): http://www.animevice.com/darker-than-black/11-2352/user-reviews/?review_id=554

21. Persona 4: The Animation

This anime is based on the video game Persona 4. If you're a fan of either Persona 3 or 4, WATCH THIS ANIME. It follows the plot of Persona 4 closely while still being fresh and interesting. It borrows music from the video games but there are also quite a lot of new tracks. The music is amazing thanks to Shouji Meguro. The usually silent protagonist is given a name and a character here, and I quite like what they did with him. If you never played Persona and want to watch this anime, I recommend playing the game first. It's probably one of the best video games I've ever played. If you jump into the anime without playing the game, I believe you are still going to have a good time and you'll understand everything.

22. The World God Only Knows

Our protagonist is a high-school student who doesn't have any social life and keeps playing dating sims the entire time. All of a sudden, a demon girl drops from the sky and wants him to help her catch the loose souls from hell who coincidentally reside in pretty high-school girls, and the only way to get a soul out is to kiss the girl hosting the soul. I have to say I liked this show. It's pretty funny, it has nice characters who manage to avoid clichés; especially the main protagonist who's not shy at all despite being a geek and he actually manages to employ his dating sim experience pretty well, even though he doesn't really care about the real world girls. The anime's not over yet and I'm expecting another season, but so far it's pretty good. DRINKING GAME: every time Katsuragi says "riaru onna" (real girls) or that he can "see the ending" or Elsie says "shoubousha" (firetruck) take a shot.

23. Ghost Hunt

Excellent horror/mystery anime. It's not super scary, but it does get pretty creepy at times. The characters aren't shallow and the story is interesting. It does lack another season, definitely.

24. Nichijou

This is one of the funniest anime I've ever seen. I was holding my stomach from laughing almost every episode. Highly recommend it to everyone who want their day brightened. Pure comedy anime. Hope they make more!

25. Katanagatari

Katanagatari is a beautiful anime. The art is amazing, the details are so many, and the music is pretty good too. It has its funny moments, its serious moments, its romantic moments, it really is amazing. The battle scenes are excellent. The main two leads are pretty fun to watch and they work together quite well.

26. Neon Genesis Evangelion

I had quite a bit of trouble putting Neon Genesis Evangelion on this list, I simply couldn't decide how much I liked it. I watched the first 26 episodes (the Director's cut version for 21-24) and the movie End of Evangelion. Episodes 25 and 26 aren't the real ending (they are there just because Studio Gainax ran out of money), the End of Evangelion is, so I'm not going to comment on those episodes. The series is absolutely amazing,and what I liked the most is how realistic the characters were portrayed. You can't expect a 14-year old to jump into a huge, killing machine and be all tough. Shinji Ikari, the main protagonist, and the rest of the mecha pilots all have severe traumas because of it. The story and the atmosphere definitely sucked me in. However, the sad thing is, the movie End of Evangelion ends completely weirdly and changes Shinji's personality so much that nothing he did felt logical anymore. I am quite interested in seeing what are they planning to do with the new Rebirth of Evangelion movies. Overall, I quite enjoyed the series, ending: not so much.

27. K-On!

Short, sweet and entertaining anime about four girls who form a music club. I found it similar to Lucky Star in some ways, as it doesn't have any real plot going on. It also has two less male characters than Lucky Star, which makes a grand total of zero. However it surprised me with so many branded names (Fender, Gibson, Yamaha, Korg, Sonor, etc.). This anime was good and I enjoyed it, but it could've been so much better if the girls were playing music more often instead of doing random stuff. EDIT: After watching the second season, I have to say I warmed up to this completely. None of the episodes were boring. If someone is after a relaxing anime, this is what I absolutely recommend. Even though they graduated, I feel we are going to see a lot more of K-on, and frankly, I'm looking forward to it. EDIT 2: After seeing the movie, which was absolutely fantastic, I can say that K-On! is slowly climbing the ranks of my favourite anime series. The anime is so relaxing and I love it.

28. Kimi ni Todoke ~ From Me to You

Kimi ni Todoke is my first foray into shoujo anime (more oriented for female viewers), and I really really liked it. The main charater is Sawako, a girl who scares everyone just by her appearance and thus has no friends. However, she meets a boy who helps her and... you can guess where the show goes from there. Sawako is most certainly an interesting character, and what I liked most about her is that she does not make mistakes that the viewers suppose she will make, Sawako follows her heart. On the same note, the other characters are quite smart too and refrain from making obvious mistakes. It is most definitely a romance comedy, although this may be the first one I had seen that relies much more on romance than comedy. One minor thing I didn't like is that the characters go often into inner monologues - especially Sawako. I really enjoyed this show and I sincerely hope that a second season will get made because the ending kinda left me wanting more. EDIT: After watching the second season, the thing that I praised this show for in season one has disappeared. The characters start being complete idiots (the two main protagonists mostly). I have to say I liked Kurumi's character development in this season. Rest is the same lovey-dovey stuff that's pretty cute and interesting to watch in the end, except for the crap I've been fed in episode 6 (when the characters act really retarded - I cringed the entire episode).

29. Higashi no Eden

Extremely interesting concept, no clichéd characters, and an engaging story make this a really good anime. Note that I watched only the first season (11 episodes) and the first movie. The second one is out soonish. It's about 12 selected people who are playing a game to make Japan a better place. Each had recieved 10 billion yen on their special cellphones. The one who spends it to "save" Japan wins. We are following the story of one of the selected, who wakes up with an amnesia in front of the White House. Naked. It's quite interesting and I recommend watching it. Also it has an Oasis song for the opening, with me being a huge fan of Oasis, it blew my mind. Quality stuff.

30. Elfen Lied

Extremely gory, violent and disturbing anime. The plot is really amazing and the characters have depth to them, but again this anime seriously isn't for anyone. There were a couple of scenes that left a pretty big impact on me, as they were pretty disturbing for the viewer. Also, I can see some people not liking the ending, but it made perfect sense to me. The song that plays at every episode ending is extremely happy and relaxing, so it contrasts the whole tension the episode made towards the end, but I liked that for some reason. Probably because it reminded me that I'm just watching a show. In conclusion, although I don't normally enjoy this kind of a genre, I found Elfen Lied interesting and satisfying.

31. Clannad

A very cute love story with a lot of drama and some comedy elements. I have to admit that this anime got the biggest emotional response from me than all the other ones on this list. Fuuko is the cutest character I've ever seen in any anime so far. Music is excellent, and complements the atmosphere very well. The "Another World" chapters were a nice touch too.

32. Samurai Champloo

I have to say I quite liked this anime, the setting, the music, the characters, and especially the fight scenes - all awesome. However, what bothers me the most is that there is hardly any continuous plot, so if you miss one episode, it doesn't matter much, because nothing related to the main plot happens until the last three episodes. The ending was quite good, although I must say that I would've liked it if things ended a little differently. The soundtrack is one of the best ever, especially if you like kind of jazzy hip-hop.

33. Shakugan no Shana

Pretty fun anime, don't have many comments for this one as I'm waiting for the third season to air. So far so good!

34. Umineko When They Cry

It's pretty hard ranking this anime as it's incomplete. It's based on a visual novel of the same name, but it currently covers only half of the VN, so you're left at the end scratching your head because there wasn't really a conclusion or an answer to anything. Speaking of the anime, it's pretty good and I liked it, however no resolution at the end made me go and play the VN this anime was based on.

35. Ghost in the Shell

I watched the Stand Alone Complex, both seasons and Solid State Society movie. Anime with beautiful visuals, music and setting. However, similar to Samurai Champloo, most episodes don't connect to the main plot so it makes it kind of hard to watch. Political mumbo-jumbo is sometimes too much to grasp. Very good anime, although I didn't really like the disconnectedness of the plot.

36. Great Teacher Onizuka

Damn I wish I had a teacher like Onizuka. This particular 22-year old teacher (who was a gang member before taking up teaching) has his own way of solving problems in his classroom. Although he gets the worst class, which terrorize their homeroom teachers until they quit the job, he slowly manages to turn his students around. Insanely funny throughout the whole show, it never got old. The characters were interesting and unique, and although there were a lot of characters, it was never difficult for me to keep track of them. If you want a good high-school based comedy, Great Teacher Onizuka is definitely the way to go.

37. Golden Time

I have a lot of mixed feeling on this one. The first 3/4 of the anime was amazing, had a really nice build-up that left me wondering what's going to happen in the end. Well, the ending was a gigantic letdown for me. This series destroyed everything it had going for it at the end. I'm really disappointed by this one. It could've been so much much more. Unfortunately, it didn't.

38. The Tatami Galaxy

This is one weird-ass eccentric anime. It was okay, but it's definitely not for everyone. The animation is phenomenal though.

39. Hyōka

I can't really say much about this anime. It has great quality, and it most certainly isn't bad, but I felt like it didn't bring anything fresh to the table. The pace is pretty slow, and while I had fun watching it, I just can't point out anything that stands out in it. Maybe the second season makes things more interesting?

40. The Vision of Escaflowne

The Vision of Escaflowne could be described as an anime slightly oriented toward the female viewers (despite the mecha elements in it). Essentially, it tells the story about a girl from Earth, Hitomi, accidentally coming on a planet called Gaea. The setting is quite weird, because it mixes the medieval period with mechas, and actually that looks quite amazing and is probably my favorite thing about the show. On the other hand, the thing that could've improved this anime by a mile would be better character relations. The soundtrack however is consistently amazing (Yoko Kanno is the lady behind the music). Overall, it was pretty fun watching this anime, but it kind of makes me sad the characters didn't resonate with me.

41. Seitokai no Ichizon

Seitokai no Ichizon is like Lucky Star without being overly moe (well, kind of) and with a little bit of plot, and that is a good thing. The characters are wacky and memorable, so if you're looking for a short anime (12 episodes) that will make you laugh, look no further.

42. Lucky Star

Ever watched Seinfeld? Well this is what Seinfeld would look like if it was an anime starring a girl otaku. Extremely funny with great characters, although it doesn't have any kind of a plot. A lot of references to other anime (especially to the rest of KyoAni work).

43. School Rumble

Everything was really awesome until the ending, which disappointed me a lot. Extremely funny series, but I seriously can't get over the lazy ending. It actually pissed me off more than the last two episodes of Evangelion.

44. Highschool of the Dead

HOTD is a zombie anime. Which is awesome, and I have to say that everything in the anime related to zombies was done perfectly. What was not done perfectly however was the HUGE amounts of fanservice, making this series almost unwatchable. Characters are extremely bland and HOTD can't decide if it wants to be a zombie or a harem anime. However, huge props for using a different song for each episode's ending (12 total, even though one of them's a total ripoff of Radiohead's Karma Police).

45. Hetalia Axis Powers

In Hetalia Axis Powers, all characters are countries. It is a very interesting concept, and every country gets parodied (even Japan). England defies everyone and tries to be different, France always loses wars, Italia is extremely cowardly and loves pasta, Japan usually isolates himself from the rest etc. I found it to be really funny at first, but jokes kind of get old after a while. I only watched the first season so far, and it is worth noting that every episode is 5 minutes long.

46. Fullmetal Alchemist

Kind of slow at first, but the story picks up after a while. Note that I'm referring to the first Fullmetal Alchemist (not the Brotherhood one) and the movie. It could've ended a little better, but the ending was satisfactory I guess. Also, I thought before I started watching that it was going to be pretty childish, but it ended up being extremely violent in some scenes. Overall, very good anime and I enjoyed it.

47. Persona -trinity soul-

Very good, however the plot was so hard to follow and I even played the Persona 3 game it was based on. Had a lot of potential but unfortunately failed to realize it. However, I could easily say that this anime had the best atmosphere of all on this list (except for Cowboy Bebop). The music and cold winter blend well to deliver such atmosphere.

48. Fate/Stay Night

Interesting anime, but it couldn't really hold my attention. Probably because the main character, Shirou, annoyed me so much. He would always rush into obvious traps and try to be overly heroic. On the other hand, this anime has very pretty visuals. The plot is okay, but I didn't find myself enjoying this too much.

49. Love Hina

The comedy was sometimes a little too much for my taste, but overall it was ok.

50. Amagami SS

Amagami might work as a visual novel, but it sure as hell doesn't work as anime. The anime is split up into 4-episode arcs representing different heroines. However, after the end of each arc, it's like that arc never happened and our main character starts to work on boning yet another girl. It really feels disconnected. The characters are pretty shallow and the plot is non-existent. Avoid this anime.

Supreme Marvelon March 29, 2011 at 2:29 a.m.
I've watched myself, 4, 6, 10, 13, 15 and 27.
I'm currently watching Clannad now.
doublezeroduckon April 24, 2011 at 1:19 a.m.
Love the list. 

I really appreciate you putting some of your thoughts on each one. I added quite a few of these to my need to watch list because of it. 
konantenshion Sept. 22, 2011 at 8 a.m.

I've watched 2,3,5,13,17,20,23, and 26. I like best 20 though... and 13, and 2.

PenguinDuston May 13, 2012 at 6:53 a.m.

This is a great list with some good concise reviews. I like this a lot and wish it was easier to track additions to these types of things. For now, I'll be bookmarking it for future reference. I still need to see about a dozen of what you've listed myself. I look forward to several now that I've read your comments.

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