Aside from the number one spot, this list was quite difficult to put together.
10) Kuroko no Basuke
One of the fascinating things about anime and manga is that they make sports look awesome…to me. I’m that type of nerd that detests any physical activity and doesn’t like any sport (except for pro wrestling, MMA, and soccer), yet I somehow get a lot of enjoyment out of sports anime and manga. Anyway, this is obviously a basketball anime, and even though its second season is still airing, I’m pretty comfortable with placing this in my top ten. It’s just so awesome. Always love when the natural genius versus hard work fight comes up, and that’s a central theme in Kuroko.
9) Clannad/Clannad: After Story
So, I’ll go ahead and admit that fictional works can definitely make me cry. I get emotionally invested in characters pretty easily. That’s why the feels-fest known as Clannad hit me so hard, and why its second season, After Story, put me out of commission for a couple hours. If there’s one thing Key knows how to do, it’s dragging tears of their victims.
I acknowledge Cowboy Bebop as an undisputed classic, but when it comes to the space westerns, Trigun is my favorite, hands down. Vash the Stampede is such a well-written and complex character, one wouldn’t think to find him in an anime set on the planet Gunsmoke. Also, Wolfwood. Gotta love Wolfwood. And the Gung-Ho-Guns have some of the coolest monikers in all of anime.
7) Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Like many others, this is how I popped my Gundam cherry, and it’s still my favorite. Most of my favorite Gundams come from this series, most of my favorite mobile suits come from this series, and most of my favorite Gundam pilots come from this series. The fact that it got better when I finally watched it again at age 20 or so just cemented it that much deeper in heart.
6) Monogatari Series
I was introduced to the works of Nisio Isin through the first two Zaregoto novels that were translated and released in the US (bee-tee-dubs, I need the rest of those now). Those two books made me in an instant fan of his, so of course I was going to check out the adaptation of his light novel Bakemonogatari. I loved it, and then Nisemonogatari came out. I loved it, too. Then the Nekomonagatari: Kuro OVAs came out, and I loved those. And I am currently loving the soon-to-end Monogatari Series: Second Season (although shouldn’t it be the third?). The characters, the plots, the animation, and dat dialogue all mix to make one hell of an anime. Also, Sawashiro Miyuki voices my favorite character, Kanbaru Suruga, so that’s just icing on the cake.
Know what I hate? The D.Gray-Man anime ended with the manga still on-going. Know what I hate more? Only the anime’s first half got released stateside. Both of those need to be rectified soon. I thought it was going to be a typical supernatural shounen series, but oh boy, I was wrong. It’s still quite shounen, but the atmosphere and strong characters make this anime stand out. It also has one of my favorite beat-downs on a main protagonist in any form of fiction.
Raise your hand if you thought Steins;Gate would be heralded as a modern classic. Just so you know, my hand is not raised. I watched and was underwhelmed by Chaos;Head when it first aired, so I wasn’t looking forward to its spiritual successor. Thankfully, I gave it a shot anyway. Never would’ve guessed that a phone capable of sending texts to the past could cause so much greatness. And before we move on: EL PSY CONGROO.
3) Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
I stayed away from this one for a while because I knew it would dominate my life for a few days…and it did. Once I started watching it, I couldn’t stop until that last episode was finished. Except for sleep. I had to sleep for some reason. Sleep just ruins all the fun.
2) Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
The mafia never looked so good, eh? A lot of people write this series off thanks to how it begins, and I don’t blame them. Random comedy is good, but not when it’s nonstop. That’s exactly what the first 20 or so episodes of Reborn are. Stick around and go past that 20, however, and you’re in for an epic shounen anime full of great fights, awesome powers, and memorable characters.
1) Hajime no Ippo
All that stuff I said for the earlier entries about feels, characters, fights, plots, and whatnot just gets multiplied here. Go. Go watch it now! Please do yourself a favor and watch it. You won’t regret it.