I pride myself on being a bit of an anime aficionado. Here’s my MAL account in case you are wondering why: http://myanimelist.net/profile/leaveit2me . However, I’ll admit that there have been some shows that I really should’ve seen by now. Thus, this list. These are the top 12 shows that I really should’ve seen by now (and am ashamed to say I haven’t). It’s not like I don’t like to idea of watching them, I’ve just never felt like it. However, without watching at least these shows, I’m getting ahead of myself by saying I’m an aficionado.
Note: You might be wondering to yourself, “How can he make a list if he hasn’t seen these shows? How does he know that he need to see them?” Good question Greg. Well, to be honest… that’s none of your business.
Another note: There will be some double or even triple entries on this list, since there are so many shows I haven’t seen that I can put some into the same category.
And now, without further ado, let’s begin.
#12: Kimagure Orange☆Road, Maison Ikkoku, Ranma 1/2 or Urusei Yatsura
Except for Kimagure, all of these are adapted from Rumiko Takahashi cash cow manga. She has just had her hand in so many of these large-cast, colorful character rom-coms. Because of her deep influence and the fact that she basically created most of the greatest 90’s anime, it would be a disservice to not watch at least one of these shows. Oh yeah, Kimagure is pretty good too.
#11: Spice and Wolf
Spice and Wolf has been thrown at me many times. “It’s economics meets wolf-girl,” is what I hear most of the time, whatever that means. I’ve watched up to episode 4, but I just found it boring. I will come back to it though. I’ve just heard too many good things about this show to not give it another chance. I wouldn’t be able to call myself an anime-lover if I didn’t give Spice and Wolf a chance, especially since I gave School Days a chance (a choice I regret to this day).
#10: Kemono Souja Erin
The story of a beast-taming girl living her life in a village with her mother. It isn’t a spectacularly interesting premise, as far as I’m concerned. But there are very few shows that have more hype, while most likely deserving it. It’s source material is from the same author who wrote Seirei no Moribito, and while I wasn’t a huge fan of that, the reviews for this one praise it through the roof. I would be a fool to not give it at least a look.
#9: City Hunter
The escapades of Ryo Saeba, Kaori Makimura, a 10 kg hammer, and some very mean streets is a sight to behold. I’ve watched up to about episode 20 of the first series, but there’s just so much I have yet to see. I like what I’ve seen so far though. This franchise has seen it all, starting as a manga and parading itself out in several forms as an anime, and even a very popular and entertaining Jackie Chan flick. Check that out if you want a good laugh.
#8: Aria Series
Aria is a series that I regret not having seen yet. God knows I could’ve used the famous relaxing feeling that these shows are known to generate within people. I will most definitely get to these shows some time soon, because my work is starting to get harder. Anime is my only solace, and what’s more solace than floating along in a gondola in Neo Venezia?
#7: Touch or Cross Game
Adachi Mitsuru is the master of the love triangle. Time and time again, he never fails to build up the drama, create the characters, and manipulate the situations.
I hate that.
I can’t stand a non-straightforward romance. I need very, very straightforward romance. It can’t have any crying, sadness, heartbreak or anything of the sort. It must be nice and happy. Thus, my aversion to Adachi-sensei’s.
However, I can’t deny the impact of this guy’s work. It will be watching at least one of the shows based upon his manga (most likely Cross Game). It’s the least I can do.
#6: Dennou Coil
This show seems like a lot of fun. Plus, it’s received a lot of positive attention from people whose opinions I respect. It also has a kind of interesting premise, in my opinion. Not entirely exhilarating or promising in terms of emotional impact, but it does put me in mind of some interesting inquiries. I do like a good sci-fi premise, and Dennou Coil is about as good as they come.
#5: Wolf’s Rain
A dystopic future show with a Yoko Kanno soundtrack? I can’t believe I haven’t seen this yet. This is just one of those shows that I come across over and over again in my “must watch” folder, only to pass it by for something else. It definitely has the makings for a show that I would love, and so it will someday no longer be perpetually stuck on the “must watch” section.
#4: Romeo no Aoi Sora
Romeo is here for one reason. Time and time again, Japan has taken from classic literature, and Romeo serves as just one example of this. It would take simply too much time and space to list all of the shows that I have yet to see (ex. Ie Naki Ko, Flanders no Inu, Marco etc.), but I was most intrigued by the premise for Romeo no Aoi Sora (and also Marco). I will definitely take a look at this show, and what makes these shows even better is that there is always the opportunity to enjoy the source material as well. “One bowl of rice can taste twice as good.”
#3: Revolutionary Girl Utena
If there’s one thing I’ve heard the most about this show, it’s that it is just chock full of symbolism. I LOVE symbolism, be it intentional or convoluted. The messier, the better. Utena offers this is spades, and of course that just makes me want to watch it more. My only problem with finding time to watch it is that I need time to watch it with my undivided attention. If I don’t, I probably won’t be doing this show the justice it deserves when it comes to my opinions afterwards. It’s just the right thing to do.
#2: Kaiba or Kemonozume
Masaaki Yuasa is one of the unsung heroes of the anime world, and these shows are two of the reasons why. Yuasa tends to create shows that begin with a simple idea, but are built upon using vibrant settings, brilliant characters, and intense plots. The biggest barrier to starting these shows is the unique animation style. Due to the odd animation, people may be apprehensive about watching these shows. However, getting past that barrier is worth it, from what I here. I started watching Kemonozume and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t yet taken a look at Kaiba, but I’ll definitely get around to it.
#1: Mobile Suit Gundam
It might not be original. It might not be that great. But there’s no denying that Mobile Suit Gundam was the beginning of something very big. The Gundam franchise has seen some up’s and down’s, but in my opinion, judging any efforts made today cannot be done without understanding where it all began.
The toughest part with this show is that the animation has not aged well. It’s understandable of course, but still somewhat off-putting.
In the end, I think that my watching this show is an inevitability, in order to achieve my goal of anime supremacy. That’s just a very grandiose way of saying that I just really want to watch more anime.
Well, after a very long time, I’m done. I hope you liked this list, and perhaps have found some shows that you really need to watch. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!