Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that currently resides at The Artsy Reader Girl and features bloggers sharing lists on various book topics. The official topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday required participants to list their top 10 novels for the upcoming three months. However, as I did that list a few weeks ago, I thought I would take this opportunity to do something fun and have a go at listing my favourite anime series instead. This is a bit of an extension of some recent posts I have done that looked at my favourite animated comic movies and animated comic television shows, and I am excited to see how this list comes together.
Considering how much I talk about my love for animated series, it should come as no surprise that I am a big fan of the distinctive and wildly entertaining form of Japanese entertainment known as anime. There are some absolutely amazing anime series out there, with stories across all the different genres, including fantasy, comedy, science fiction, and everything in between. Anime has long been working its way into mainstream Western culture, and I personally have been watching it since I was a kid, with shows like Pokémon, Dragon Ball Z, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh! and more. In recent years, I have found myself becoming even more of an anime fan and I have started exploring some of the other outstanding series out there. While I am still relatively inexperienced compared to other fans out there, I have managed to check out some great series and I think I have watched enough for this list.
To pull this latest Top Ten Tuesday together, I pretty much listed every anime series I have every watched and slowly started culling it down. This proved to be a bit of a difficult process as it turns out I have enjoyed quite a few great series over the years, and I had to lose several of these off the list to ensure that my absolute favourites where captured. While I have also watched some great anime films, I decided to only focus on anime series, so these films were excluded, although I may cover them in a future list. Despite this, I was eventually able to come up with a Top Ten list I was happy with, as well as a good honourable mentions section. I think that the list below captures the best series I have had the pleasure of so far watching, so let us see what made the cut.
A show I only started watching recently when it showed up on Netflix, Fairy Tail is an entertaining and exciting fantasy anime with an awesome story to it, even if it is a bit derivative of several other series. Still, it was a great show to check out, although, as I have only watched the first season so far, I am just going to leave it on the honourable mentions section for now.
Probably the most famous anime series of all time, Pokémon was the first anime that I ever watched as I was a kid when it was initially released. While I have not watched this series that much recently, I had to include it for nostalgia reasons and being a fun way for kids to first get into anime.
Another nostalgia series I had to include, Yu-Gi-Oh! was a fun and crazy show I watched when I was younger, which took a lot of my money and turned it into pretty cards. This was the ultimate card-game show and ended up spawning several sequel series, some of which are great, although they seem to get more ridiculous with each passing sequel.
Attack on Titan
A brilliant post-apocalyptic series that features giant monsters called Titans who have eaten most of humankind and have pushed them back to one walled city. Following the exploits of a group of heroic soldiers who are attempting to fight back, this is a beautiful and highly regarded series. I really enjoyed this series’ unique plot and brutal animation, although I am only partially through it, so I might leave it as an honourable mention until I finish the whole thing off.
Top Ten List:
First on this list we have one of the longest-running anime series, One Piece. Based on the extensive manga series of the same name, One Piece is an entertaining pirate anime series, that features a somewhat insane crew of pirates with different abilities as they sail around the world, getting into trouble. I first fell in love with this series when I watched the 4Kids dubbed version back in the day, and I quite liked the fun story it contained. A few years later I went back and watched the proper, uncut version which is so much better, and it swiftly became one of my favourite anime series. There is a lot to love about One Piece, from its great collection of characters, the amazing humour, the massive universe with its deep lore, and the unique action sequences featured within. With nearly 1000 episodes, this series is still going strong, even if it requires a massive time investment to check it out. I reckon it is worth it though, and you will have an amazing time falling in love with this epic show.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
One of the absolute best anime series out there, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is the second adaption of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and is generally considered the stronger series. This show follows two brothers with the ability to use the creation magic known as alchemy, as they become involved in a massive conspiracy threatening to destroy their entire nation. Thanks to its incredible story, which expertly combined tragedy, action and comedy, this series was near perfect, and made great use of some awesome animation, deep characters, and clever plot twists. A must watch for anyone interested in anime.
Another incredible and highly regarded series that I deeply enjoyed is the supernatural thriller series, Death Note. This series follows a brilliant teenage student, Light Yagami, who finds a mysterious notebook that allows him to kill anyone whose name he writes inside. Deciding to use the awesome power of the notebook to become a god of justice, Light begins to eliminate anyone he feels deserves to die. When his actions catch the attention of the police, Light finds himself involved in a fantastic game of cat-and-mouse with the mysterious detective known as L. This was an immensely clever series that manages to achieve a lot in only 37 episodes. While the story does lose some punch after a major character is killed off about two thirds of the way through, this was still one of the best written anime series out there, and you will become addicted to its great story.
From the ultra-serious, to the wildly ridiculous, the next entry on this list is the comedy series, Food Wars!. Food Wars! follows a young master chef who is sent to the best culinary academy in the world, where he must battle against a series of opponents in elaborate cooking contests for fame, glory, and the love of his friends. This is an outstanding and outrageous series, and the main appeal of it is how over-the-top they can make a cooking competition. Featuring some hilarious comedy, this show proves to be incredibly addictive, and I found myself laughing myself silly the entire way through, while also salivating over all the amazingly looking animated foods. This is such a fun show, although viewers should be warned that the character’s reactions to the food can be a bit extreme.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
The next entry on this list is the show that I am currently watching, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Despite only being halfway through this series, it has quickly become a favourite anime of mine (especially the episodes after Phantom Blood) and I have really gotten into the story. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure follows the adventures of various generations of the Joestar family, who are destined to fight supernatural foes with a range of different powers. Outrageous and exceedingly weird, this series features a mostly serious story that also makes great use of some great humour and comedic moments. Containing some of the most unique opponents and abilities you are likely to see, this is a very fun and memorable series, which I am having an absolute blast watching.
A cowboy inspired science fiction show with an outstanding musical score, do I need to say more? Cowboy Bebop is one of the most influential and highly regarded anime series out there, and there was no way I could not include it on my list. This series follows a group of bounty hunters as they chase after the worst criminals in the galaxy, while also trying to resolve their own dark personal issues. This was a brilliant and poignant series, and despite only having one season, it will go down as an absolute treasure of the anime world. Set to be adapted into a live-action series in the future (which actually looks pretty good), this show is one that all anime fans need to watch.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Next on this list we have one of the funniest anime series I have watched, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. This show follows Kusuo Saiki, a high school student with amazing psychic abilities. Despite his vast power, Saiki just wants to live a normal life, and attempts to keep his abilities hidden from the world. Unfortunately, he constantly gets into trouble thanks to his chaotic classmates, each of whom find themselves drawn to the quiet and mysterious Saiki, which forces him to use his powers in inventive ways to try and avoid them. This is a very entertaining and light-hearted comedy series, and I love the fun reversal of the classic trope of a powered teenager. This series contains some clever, and often self-deprecating humour, most of which is tied into the impressive supporting cast that exists solely to exasperate the protagonist. This is a great anime to check out if you want a clever comedy, and there is also a sequel series on Netflix, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened, which features some fun follow-up storylines.
Dragon Ball Z
The all-time classic Dragon Ball Z was another series that got me into anime when I was much younger. Thanks to the entire series appearing on the Australian morning television (thanks Cheez TV), I grew up with Dragon Ball Z, and there was no way I could exclude it from this list. Easily one of the most identifiable series out there, Dragon Ball Z follows a group of martial artists as they fight increasingly powerful aliens, monsters, and demons to keep Earth safe. Known for its over-the-top fight scenes, memorable characters and cool animation, this series was a lot of fun and no doubt kickstarted many people’s journey into anime appreciation. While prone to some unnecessary filler episodes and some ridiculously long fight-scenes (the Goku vs Frieza fight lasts for 18 episodes, although considering it has the first Super Saiyan reveal midway through, it is more than worth watching), this is still a great series that nearly every anime fan will have seen. I really need to check out the sequel series, Dragon Ball Super, which I have heard is really good, and which might replace this original series the next time I update this list.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba
One of the more recently released shows to appear on this list, Demon Slayer is a beautifully animated series that follows a group of sword-wielding heroes as they hunt demons across Taishō-era Japan. Despite only having one season so far, this is already considered one of the best anime series out there, thanks to its excellent story, fantastic fight scenes, compelling characters, and stunning art style, especially surrounding the dazzling sword abilities. I absolutely powered through the first season when it came onto Netflix last year and it swiftly became an all-time favourite show for me. You also cannot talk about this series without mentioning the brilliant anime film, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train, the most successful Japanese film of all time, which continues the story from the first series and is beautiful, horrifying and tragic, all at the same time.
The final entry on this list is the hilarious and cool superhero parody series, One-Punch Man. Set in a world constantly beset by monsters, villains, and massive threats, and inhabited by a massive organisation of superheroes, this series follows Saitama, an unassuming and comedic man who is actually the world’s strongest hero. Able to defeat any foe with a single punch, the bored Saitama is constantly attempting to find a stronger opponent and finds himself forced to intervene in a series of dangerous battles and conspiracies, which he usually finishes in seconds. This is a deeply entertaining series which lovingly makes fun of elaborate anime fights and the superhero genre with its immature protagonist. The first season of this show was pretty perfect, and you can easily enjoy the great blend of clever humour and fun characters. Despite a weaker second season, this is still a fantastic show with an immense amount of potential.
And that is the end of this latest list. I think that it turned out pretty well, and I liked the cool collection of series that are featured above. Each of the above shows are very entertaining in their own unique way, and all are worth a watch. I have a feeling that this will be a list that I will come back to in the future, especially once I check out some more anime series. There are several I currently have on my to-watch-list, including My Hero Academia, Hunter X Hunter, Dragon Ball Super and more. I am also quite excited for the Star Wars Visions anime series that is coming out later this week. Once I check a few more of these out, I will no doubt be able to update this list and I look forward to seeing what makes the cut next time. Until then, let me know which anime series you enjoy the most in the comments below.