Darren Pangan March 2, 2007
First and foremost, don’t think that I consider this as “The List”. It’s more like “My List”. I haven’t seen all the anime shows out there so expect me to be bias over those that I’ve seen and enjoyed. But I also considered the reaction of the people around me and anime fans over the internet that I encountered. If I’ve seen a certain series and it’s getting so much love from people, then it’s a plus. If it’s getting so much hate, then it’s a minus. Now, here’s the list.
Just a little while ago, I was mentioning how I would consider other people’s opinion for this list if it’s quite obvious (getting so much love or hate from the general public). Now here’s a series I’ve seen, although currently it’s still on-going, that I liked but wouldn’t get into this list if not for fans, sometimes labeled as “Narutards”. If you go to non-title-specific/general anime forums, you’ll see people saying this anime isn’t good and often, the reason is for the excessive fillers. But even these people can’t deny how popular this series is now. Just to prove that, go to Google and search for your favorite 26-episode series (you can even try your all-time favorite, “Evangelion” if you want). How many results did you get? Less than 2 million? That’s nice. Now try searching for “Naruto”. At the time of this writing I got almost 30 million, including Google images result. If you know SEO, then you’ve probably heard about the “keyword suggestion tool”. Check how many searches does that term gets. Again, at the time I wrote this article, I got around 1.5 million. Compare that to “Elfen Lied“, a series that is getting a lot of love from anime communities today. You only get around 37 thousand. Now that’s how popular Naruto is today. I haven’t seen the filler episodes (which most people hate) yet but so far, I think the series is good and deserves the fandom. By the way, Naruto got my first review on this website.
Bleach is Naruto’s greatest rival today when it comes to popularity. Whenever you find some Naruto download site, most likely, they also have Bleach download stuff. We can’t say for sure if it’s more popular compared to it’s rival or less popular. Based on my observation, I’d say less popular. Then you might be asking why is this one notch ahead of Naruto. Well, I’ve seen both series and I like Bleach a lot better. My “Anime friend” told me (when I asked him for some recommendations) that he likes strong and prominent main characters, then I came to realize that I feel the same way. And probably that’s the reason why I like Bleach better than Naruto. The strong main character in the series is Kurosaki Ichigo. He’s got a team behind him but he’s the one who takes care of the strongest villian. Unlike Uzumaki Naruto who is at times (or should I say, often) over-taken by Uchiha Sasuke. Also, when it comes to the story, I find Bleach a bit more exciting. Naruto and Bleach are most likely the two most popular anime today, and this two gave more life to anime fandom in this generation. But since I prefer Bleach over Naruto, I put it at number nine!
8. Ranma 1/2
Ok. Maybe this Rumiko Takahashi masterpiece may not be as popular (today) as the two anime series mentioned earlier. But it was quite popular during it’s prime. Even my girlfriend loves this series and according to her, this is her favorite anime of all time. (How’s that? hehe) I saw this series, I think, back in high-school. It was my favorite back then and I felt really sad when RPN 9 stopped airing it without finishing the series. I was traumatized and since then everytime I saw a Ranma 1/2 poster, I felt like crying. (I’m exaggerating a little bit but it was almost like that). I searched anime shops everywhere but sadly, if they have it, it’s only the first season. But often, they don’t have it at all. Then came the internet.. and downloadable fansub videos. But still I couldn’t find the whole complete series. (sigh) Anyways, enough ranting. Ranma 1/2 is mainly not a continous series but rather, each series is stand-alone. What I really liked about it is the humor and the relaxing feel whenever watching it. There’s a also a bit of martial arts and love story. I really wasn’t sure if this anime is popular until my friend sitting beside me right now, diligently doing his work, confirmed it. For a second opinion, I did the “Google popularity test” I mentioned in number ten and found out that it is still quite popular over the internet.
7. Ah! My Goddess
Ah! My Goddess is an anime that has a great story and concept, and great cast of characters (I’m saying this probably because they’re goddesses.). And because of these qualities, the anime and manga got so much love from anime fans and it became very popular. At first, my perspective over the anime is that it is made for girls who like drama and love stories. Probably because of the relationship between Keiichi Morisato and Belldandy and during that time, I was under the somewhat traditional belief that action is for boys and drama is for girls. But as time went by, my perspective changed. I realized that Ah My Goddess is actually a “boys’ anime”.. wait.. let’s make that “boys’ dream anime”. Why is that? Well it’s typical for a boy like me to dream about being surrounded by pretty girls, much more if they’re serving me, much much more if they’re beautiful goddesses. *snaps out of it* Now why is Ah! My Goddess on this list? Well it’s pretty popular and I liked it so much and is actually one of my favorites.. enough said. It’s number 7!
6. Yu Yu Hakusho
When people were starting to get tired of the Dragon Ball Z phenomena, they had to look for something else, something new, but will still provide the action and excitement Dragon Ball Z has given them. Then comes Yu Yu Hakusho. In our area, as far as I can remember, Yu Yu Hakusho became a household name. Everyone was watching it. Even some unexepected people came out of nowhere acting like they were Toguro and Yusuke. Even my classmate in high-school used to put Yusuke’s name as alias in his test papers. And I thought that was just too much. The story is different from Dragon Ball Z and you might also notice the attempt to give it more twist. But I could say that the action and fighting scenes were somewhat patterened from DBZ. Really a great and entertaining show. According to my brother, this is his favorite series of all time. And for the balanced amount of popularity and “how much I liked it”, I put it at number 6.
5. Full Metal Alchemist
Talk about popularity. This anime used to be extremely popular and well liked. I did a quick search over the internet and found out that this was actually voted as the most liked anime series for 2005 and 2006, and why am I not surprised. Actually, I just saw this anime recently, although I’ve been hearing about it (it’s inevitable) but ignored the hype for I was under the influence of the drug most popularly known as “Rurouni Kenshin” at that time. But after I’ve seen the series, I was like.. wow. Great story and great cast of characters too. If there are series that revolutionized Anime, Full Metal Alchemist has to be one of them.
4. Rurouni Kensihin
Now here’s the drug I was talking about. This is the second series that was able to push me into making a fansite (The first one was DBZ). To me, Rurouni Kenshin has the best story of all time for an anime series. Maybe the reason is that I like historical stuff and Rurouni Kenshin has a touch of history in it. The anime has a lot of fillers. As a matter of fact, you can stop watching after the Kyoto Arc because everything is filler after it. But if you’re a solid fan like me, you probably know about the Jinchuu Arc which is actually the following saga which was not animated. And up to this date, I still haven’t got over it. I still want it to be animated but it’s hopeless now. If you are amazed by the series, wait until you see the first OVA, Tsuiokuhen. Most people have it in their list of favorite anime shows. I have it at number one. What more can you ask for when you got great, great story and top notch animation? It’s also pretty popular and most people would say that they hated the fillers but liked Rurouni Kenshin as a whole. It’s actually hard to find someone who doesn’t like this Anime.
3. Dragon Ball
If you an anime fan, there’s no way you haven’t even heard about the Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z series. They’re simply one of the most popular anime series of all time. Even non-anime fanatics know it, it’s a house hold name. And this great anime journey started here. The first of the three series. Some people think the first one is superior over the sequels. Story-wise, I would agree. The character we all know by the name of Son Goku was still a young boy here although as the story goes by, he grew up. The first time I saw this series, it was aired on RPN 9 after cutting the sequel, Dragon Ball Z series for the meantime. I don’t know why but probably they were still dubbing the remaining episodes. Whatever the reason, I was greatful that they gave us the first series. It also became very popular and anticipated by everyone I know. And up to this moment, it is still all over the internet together with its sequels.
2. Astro Boy
If you only saw the remake that was done in 2003, you’re probably surprised why I put it in number 2. Just in case you don’t know it, Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atom) became a household name for many generations too just like Dragon Ball Z probably it’s reign was even longer. It’s a work of the late great Osamu Tezuka, The Father of Manga. I really don’t remember the details of the story anymore because I watched this maybe 20 years ago, but I know I loved it back then. And my brothers and I grew up knowing who Astro Boy is.
And now for my number one greatest anime of all time…
1. Dragon Ball Z
You heard it right, Dragon Ball Z haters! No matter how much you hate it, this anime has to be the most popular in our generations. Not only in Japan and the US but in other countries all over the world as well. Just check it’s Wikipedia page and see how many languages it has been translated into. Most people who got into the anime fandom started with Dragon Ball Z. Some people bash Dragon Ball Z for it’s long fight scenes that span into several episodes, for characters that move too fast that you don’t see them anymore, etc. Some even compare it to newer action titles and say that the new title is better because it got better story and action scenes. Sure. When it comes to story and action scenes, I don’t put Dragon Ball Z on my number one either but were talking “greatest” here. I try to recall how much I loved it during it’s time when this new anime doesn’t exist yet. How much excitement did it gave me back then and compare that to the excitement this newer anime with better story and fight scenes gives me. I can say that nothing beats Dragon Ball Z for that matter. It was the first of it’s kind and the others only followed. Only a few considers Muhamad Ali to be the pound-for-pound best boxer of all time, he’s been beaten several times while other fighters retire with their records unblemished. But why is it everyone considers him “The Greatest”?
So, there you have it folks! My top ten greatest anime of all time. Agree or disagree with me, this is still just my opinion. If you’re thinking about asking me why I don’t have Evangelion, Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star, etc. in there, probably because I haven’t seen them yet or I don’t hear about them as much as I hear these 10 titles. Just to clarify, this is different from my list of all-time favorite anime series. In that list, I wouldn’t include other people’s view and for sure that list will include Slam Dunk and Hajime no Ippo. ^_^
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Category: Rants & Raves
You can contact me at darren at anime 2 manga dot com.