What's Your Favourite Anime?

Lately, Tegan and I have been playing the odd anime episode just as a thing to fall asleep to. It's fun to fall back into old habits, like ignoring the five minutes of recaps that old Naruto episodes loved showing.

But it's also reminded me of many classics I loved growing up. So, let's talk anime.

The first anime I remember catching a glimpse of was back when Ghost in the Shell aired on SBS. It'd be nice to find out how all of those great shows got aired back in the day.

It's because one of those shows that my favourite anime is Neon Genesis, even though I wouldn't rate it as the most enjoyable from everything I've watched. The original series ran out of steam — and budget — towards the end, and the pacing is all over the place.

But it was wildly different than any of the other shows on TV at that time. I also had a family friend who managed to record the entirety of every Neon Genesis episode on VHS tapes, and they gracefully lent it to me to rewatch over and over. I probably watched the full TV series about six or seven times as a kid. I couldn't get enough of it.

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex is a better series, but sometimes it's your first taste of a genre that stays with you.

Similarly, Naruto is probably the first "major" series that I binged and kept watching and reading until the end. I was following Bleach for ages, but I eventually cracked the shits at the stupid filler arcs faster — and consequently gave up on the manga sooner. (I've since finished both, and did a quick re-read of the last 100 Bleach chapters the other week.)

But rewatching it has been fun, and seeing Tegan get hooked on Naruto of all things is pretty funny.

So, what's your favourite anime — and why? And if you had to recommend a few anime for someone to get started on, what would your picks be?

For me: Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop and Trigun are good picks. They're also not your shonen regulars. It's a lot easier to get into something when you're not trying to catch up with 10+ seasons.


    Impossible to choose a 'best', but there are definitely some standout ones. I'll skip the ones you've already mentioned, but all three of those final ones are excellent.

    AnoHana - Technically a much longer name, but just search AnoHana and you'll find it. A brilliantly written post-tragedy story about a group of friends who struggle to accept the death of their childhood friend, even years later.
    Black Lagoon - Realistic series about an office worker who, through circumstance, ends up working with a mercenary boat crew in the south Pacific.
    Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Great for its epic storyline and interesting setting.
    Full Metal Panic! - somewhat realistic mecha series set in almost-present-day real world. Four seasons, including one summer rom-com season that I absolutely adored.
    Mushishi - A really chill episodic series about a guy who can see mushi (spirits) and travels the feudal Japanese countryside helping people with the problems mushi have caused. If you like this format, see also Kino's Journey, another episodic series where a girl and her talking motorcycle travel a world filled with bizarre and unusual micronations.
    Steins;Gate - time travel comedy-drama, just watch it, it's excellent.

    No doubt I've missed a ton, but these ones came to mind.

      Oh yeah, Great Teacher Onizuka (aka GTO) was also great fun. And if you like high-speed sarcastic comedy, 4-koma style, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K is on Netflix and is a good watch.

      Great picks and yeah, whenever I see the topic of best or even personal favorite anime my mind immediately goes "Can I give an unordered top 5/10 at least?"

    Agreed re Bleach.
    Also Trigun
    Also Cowboy Bebop
    Also Naruto (again, obviously minus the filler), and Shippuden, probs shippuden a little more as a bit less filler. Man I remember when Naruto literally had like a year of filler... dark, dark times indeed.

    what can I say, I like older animes

    Tokyo Ghoul aint too bad as well.

    I got started on Neon Genesis via SBS. Then Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon were huge growing up in my teens. Proceeded all over the place since.

    I can't recommend Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood enough, faithful manga adaptation minus the first episode which is basically all filler.
    I have to thank 4kids to triggering my love of One Piece. I love the Straw Hats, and the show is decent once you cut the filler out of it. Naruto too, decent once you kill filler.
    I got into Girls und Panzer/Kantai Collection via World of Tanks/Warships. Kancolle in particular I wish got a second season, interesting take on the Imperial Japanese navy fighting a psuedo WW2 over.

    Macross/Robotech was the one that got me into anime as a kid.

    Evangelion was the one that blew my mind as a teenager.

    And now as an adult i just love watching almost whatever i want, whenever i want (thanks Crunchyroll and Animelab!)

      Have vivid memories of watching the last big battle of robotech season 1 over and over again with brother on a VHS we rented from a long dead video store. Our one regret is we didn't get that VHS off them when the store closed.

    Jesus, I don't even kniw where to begin. I'll keep it simple though.

    One Piece is my fav mainstream shonen anime. Love that show so much. :)

    Gakou Gurashi really grabbed me 2 years ago, that show is so good, and very different from anything out there. Great subversion of expectation, don't read about it, just watch it.

    I'm a sucker for both Gatchman series too. A little meta-ish transforming-robot pilots show.

    Whilst I've watched thru plenty of Anime (alot of Cyberpunk & Mecha stuff), my taste has oddly been away from that.

    Jormungand & Black Lagoon rate highly, just because I'm all about violent af adult anime with little to no fan service, to the point I've considered adding a Beretta 92 to the collectionand having it customised to resemble Remy's cutlass :P.

    Gunslinger Girl (first season anyway) as I love the dichotomy between being trained cyborg killers, and kids just trying to find their place in the world is oddly heartwarming whilst simultaneously tragic.

    And lastly (and somewhat embarrassingly) is Heavy Object. Rather fan service heavily, but the fan service sorta works in enhancing the comedy between the characters, and the 'Macguyver' style episode structures leave you cheering when they overcome that mini-arc. Also, huge ass mechs shooting at each other is always entertaining.

    Robotech was the first series I remembered watching.
    I was always a fan of the later Macross anime's, such as Macross Plus.

    My biggest influencing anime in an negative way is Initial D
    because the American dub version was really bad and turned me off dubbing for most anime.

    my list of favourite anime (at different times)
    Black Lagoon
    Cowboy Bebop
    Full Metal Panic! (All of the series)
    Gate - Thus the JSDF Fought There!
    Irresponsible Captain Tylor
    Shokugeki no Soma
    Ghost In The Shell (Stand Alone Complex)

    Rurouni Kenshin would be my all time fav but shows like Trigun and Robotech are up there as well.

    For series:
    Gurren Lagann
    Code Geass
    Steins Gate

    For movies:
    Sword of Stranger

    First Anime I watched all the way through was Ninja Scroll, it's still incredible and the hand drawn animation holds up to this day extremely well. I do remember seeing Akira at the video shop and trying to get my Dad to rent it (I was probably 8 or 9). He just said "it's not for kids".

    Favourite series
    Neon Genesis - left a long lasting mark, hasn't really been topped in terms of theme, execution, sheer insanity etc. The movies really turned it up to 10000 and the rebuild movies have been an interesting departure with incredible artwork.

    Gurren Lagann - The perfect 'saturday morning' series, although deeper then you think

    Samurai Champloo - Everything is dope, animation, soundtrack (especially) filler episodes AND main story episodes. (way better than Cowboy Bebop, sorry).

    Kill la Kill - Similar to Gurren Lagann, lots of fun, but still got some deepness to it's themes and interesting layers to it.

    Robotech/Macross - I bought the boxset of all 3 (unrelated) seasons and churned through them. 1st (Macross) and 3rd (Mospeda) are both great.

    Notable mentions: (series and OVAs)
    Naruto, GITS Stand alone, Diebuster, FLCL, Death Note (first season only), Durarara

    I have tried to get into newer anime, but it just seems so cheap and throw away.

    Cowboy Bebop
    Great Teacher Onizuka
    Death Note

    My top favourites are:
    - Escaflowne
    - Nadesico
    - Slayers
    - Hellsing Ultimate
    - Steins;Gate
    - Ergo Proxy
    - s-CRY-ed

    If you're shopping around then my recommendations would be:
    - Fullmetal Alchemist (The original series and then Brotherhood if you like it)
    - Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works (Series) (A good starting point for the Fate universe)
    - Gamers! (aka Misunderstandings: The Series)
    - LUPIN The 3rd / Castle of Cagliostro (Both are probably good points to enter the Lupin universe)
    - Boku no Pico (This is a troll answer. I do not recommend looking it up)

      SLAYERS! That diabolical flat-chested sorceress Lina Inverse and Gourry Gabriev - best hero/side-kick combo ever! And let's not forget Prince Philionel El Di Saillune - the most violent pacifist ever. Ha ha, good vibes man!

        Man, Slayers was the bomb back then but hardly remembered these days, which is a shame. NEXT was such a great series. It really paced masterfully action and comedy and was full was neat twists and the last two episodes were just incredible.

          I'll be honest. I didn't care much for the narrative beyond how it was used to set up the gags between Lina and the rest of the crew. She's got to be right up there in terms of memorable main characters.

            The gag that has perdured in my memory through all the years since I saw it is when Xellos confessed that he was a demon and while everybody gasped in horror and surprise, Gourry nonchalantly said that he had figured it out long ago. Such a long setup and the payoff was on point.

              I'm a sucker for all the Lina-Gourry food gags, or the flat-chested gag. Philionel's laugh always gets me too. He's like an anime version of Brian Blessed.

    So many great suggestions here. I second pretty much everything above and would also the following:

    Gungrave - This was based on a video game but turned out to be an awesome mafia story with weird boss battle style episodes mixed in because of the fact it was based on a video game.

    Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu if you want something more lighthearted and funny, this is a spinoff from Full Metal Panic which I also really like but it completely focuses on the comedy of the series.

      Fumoffu is excellent, but I think you have to watch season 1 of the normal show first to get the characters down first. Genuinely great rom-com season though.

    - Kill La Kill
    - Gurren Lagan
    In fact anything by Studio Trigger

    - Neon Genesis Evangelion (Where it all began for me)
    - Dragonball
    - Re: Zero
    - Code Geass
    - Gundam (In particular IBO)
    - My Hero Academy
    - Naruto
    - Bleach
    - Most anything with Mechs

    Many more I can't think of at the moment.

    Nothing I've ever seen has been as enjoyable, interesting, complex or feels-inducing as Evangelion. Even 15 years later I'm still pretty enamored with it and still find new and interesting details. Recently read the manga and enjoyed that a lot too!

    There have been lots of other series I've enjoyed, but the ones that stick with me and often get re-watched are Cowboy Bebop and Death Note.

    I've recently been watching Tokyo Ghoul, and while I enjoyed the first season a lot, i'm finding S3 quite a slog to get through...

    Sneaky Edit: One I haven't seen mentioned yet was Kids on the Slope. Wasn't sure how much i'd like it, but ended up loving it! Directed by Shinichiro Watanabe of Bebop fame with music by Yoko Kanno.

    Last edited 11/10/18 1:31 pm

    How has no one mentioned One punch man or Mob Pyscho... or even Shingeki no Kyojin
    Fav will always be one piece though

      Because people have been watching Anime for longer then last year

    Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
    Gatchaman II
    Gatchaman F

    Steins;Gate. Hands down, the best anime I've ever seen!

    My other favourites: Made in Abyss, One Punch Man, Kyousougiga, Baccano!, Hibike Euphonium and more recently Asobi Asobase because its funny as all hell!

    Death Note & Cowboy Bebop

    Dragon Ball Z (Cell Saga) and Nuruto without filler are my guilty pleasures.

    My Hero Academia is a blast, and is easily the best Anime to come out of Shonen in the past few years.

    One Peace is amazing in its depth. You may not think about it much, but the show, over its many arks, has dealt with many different issues, including government, the power of the '1%', slavery and racism.

    Food Wars is great as well. Not only is it fun to watch, but every dish in the show is a real dish that can be made, so you kinda end up learning a bit of cooking along the way. Also, fan serves is a big part of it.

    Gundam: Iron Blood Orphans is also well WELL up there as a must watch show. From start to finish, its, in my opinion, the best Gundam ever made, and one of the BEST anime, pried. The story of brotherhood and being a man is not seen or dealt with I don't think, any better.

      Food Wars is ace! The overblown reactions when people taste the food are what makes it special, along with the triumph of the little guy story line. Yukihira Soma's got to be one of the most awesome protags :-D

      My Hero Academy really deserves all the praise it gets. While it keeps many of the old shounen tropes (some for good, some for bad), it's also full of modern sensibility and just really well thought out ideas. The author is constantly considering cause and effect and not shying from showing realistic consequences of the heroes and villains' acts.

      I have to say that when I finished Naruto, i was feeling a bit pessimistic about the future of the genre. I had previously attempted to dip my toe on Fairy Tail, but I found it unbearably derivative and samey. I still had One Piece and Dragon Ball Super but I didn't think a newer shounen series would be able to go anywhere previous series in the genre had gone. MHA proved my pessimism wrong. Highly recommended to anybody who has liked shounen series in the past.

      Yeah super into Food Wars. I sort of snoozed on the first two seasons so when I finally got around to watching it I had a ton to binge and now I eagerly await new episodes more than pretty much anything else on TV.

      I really liked Mushi-shi, The Tatami Galaxy, Nadesico (although the second half was considerably less good than the first), Made In Abyss, Cross Game (GOAT sports anime), BECK, Monogatari, Madoka, House Of Five Leaves, Baccano!!, most of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure especially Diamond Is Unbreakable, basically every Studio Ghibli thing ever, and I have a soft spot for Cardcaptor Sakura and that terribly low-budget Hakkenden OVA from the early 90s.

      Last edited 14/10/18 5:56 pm

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