Monday, May 03


Ten Years, Ten Animes

After listening to Anime World Order's decade in review (which took five hours and twenty minutes and spanned two months, which is why I love them) I'm trying to make a list of ten anime series (OVA or TV, not movies) from 2000-2009 that I would consider the must-see shows from that decade.  Not necessarily my favourites, not necessarily even the best, but the ones that, if you're only going to watch ten shows from that period, these are the ones.

My list of primary candidates so far:

Azumanga Daioh (in the cute girls doing cute things category)
Black Lagoon (in the power of cool category)
Brigadoon (in the where did that come from category)
Haibane Renmei (in the every reviewer made the same joke category)
Haruhi Suzumiya (in the let sleeping gods lie category)
Potemayo (in the weird is good category)
Princess Tutu (in the narrative causality Möbius strip category)
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (in the power of awesome category)

And alternates:

Full Moon wo Sagashite (in the shoujo squishies category)
Hajime no Ippo (in the mandatory category category)
Hand Maid May (in the robotics engineer recruitment campaign category)
Hidamari Sketch (in the cute girls doing cute things category)
Jungle wa Itsumo Hale nochi Guu (in the weird is good and let sleeping gods lie categories)
Kamichu! (in both the cute girls and sleeping gods categories)
K-On! (in the cute girls and best internal soundtrack categories)
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (in the weird is good category)
Midori no Hibi (in the cute girls and weird is good categories)
Moyashimon (in the weird is good category)
Nanaka 6/17 (in the youthful-romance-and-head-injuries category)
Popotan (in the better than it has any right to be and also ferrets! category)
Rizelmine (best show with the worst legacy category)
Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar (in the cute cute being cute cute cute aargh poit category)
Zettai Karen Children (in the power of awesome and cute girls categories)

It's been a long weird decade, so naturally I'll have forgotten heaps of good stuff.  Input is welcome.

Update: Steven has his own take.

Update: Mitch chips in with a list as well.

Musings: If we eliminate anything over 26 episodes or so (I add the "or so" as a loophole for Gurren Lagann) that knocks out Hajime no Ippo - and pretty much every other sports anime - Zettai Karen Children (which I really like but am still watching) and Full Moon wo Sagashite

That leaves me to find another shoujo squishy series, and I can't think of many.  In fact, I can't think of any, off-hand.  Kimi ni Todoke would be a good choice, but I've already disqualified that because it ran well into 2010.  Hmm.

The other fun thing would be to work out which shows would be the runners-up - given these categories.  So Kimi ga Nozomu Eien would be a nominee for the best youthful-romance-and-head-injuries anime.  (And lose, obviously, because it's a horrible horrible show where Nanaka 6/17 is insightful and delightful.)  And the various flavours of Negima and Nanoha could be nominated for the best better-than-it-has-any-right-to-be-and-also-ferrets! anime.  (Though Popotan arguably best exemplifies that genre.)

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:17 AM | Comments (29) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 In the Girls With Guns category, I'd nominate NOIR or El Cazador de la Bruja

Also in the Power of Cool pool, GITS:SAC

Posted by: Wonderduck at Monday, May 03 2010 12:52 PM (JWQqT)

2 No Fullmetal Alchemist? It's a solid story (never mind the divergence from the source material, and no, I just can't get into the remake at all) with a deft blend of humor, drama, and moments of awesome.

Much as I'd love to push Gunslinger Girl (but absolutely not the disastrously under-budgeted second series) in the Girls-With-Guns category... I have to back Wonderduck's nomination of Noir. It's the ultimate, original "Bee Train being Bee Train" show.

And for about ninety minutes of must-see anime, for the joy of watching one Rule Of Cool moment after another, Read Or Die OVA. But not the TV series. (I spent pretty good money picking up that whole bundle of DVDs, only to find myself wanting to throw something at the screen several times before I finished watching the story. Feh.)

Posted by: GreyDuck at Monday, May 03 2010 03:05 PM (7lMXI)

3 I was enjoying Fullmetal Alchemist up to the point I realised it was a 52-episode series, and I didn't really want to watch 52 episodes of it.  No question that it's a good show with a huge number of fans, though.

As for girls with guns - I have to assume that neither of you has seen Black Lagoon.  One word: Revy.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 03 2010 03:09 PM (PiXy!)

4 Oh, and on Black Lagoon, two more words: Helicopter.  Torpedo.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 03 2010 03:10 PM (PiXy!)

5 OK, I'll watch Full Moon. It better be as good as they say.

But I'll never watch Hajime no Ippo. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Unless Taliban captures me and makes me watch it, I guess.

ZKC is 51 episodes, unfortunately - just as long as FMA (of either incarnation). It's very unfortunate.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Monday, May 03 2010 03:33 PM (/ppBw)

6 I'm hesitant about recommending Hajime no Ippo to anyone.  It's not my type of show at all, it's very long, and by the very nature of the beast it's rather repetitive.  It is, however, extrememely well-crafted.  If I have to pick one sports show to represent that genre for that decade, Hajime no Ippo is it.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 03 2010 03:46 PM (PiXy!)

7 The only shows I'd insist on so far are probably Haibane Renmei, Black Lagoon, and Gurren Lagann.  All else is mutable.  I really liked Full Moon, but be warned, it is a full-on four-hankie shoujo melodrama.

The point about not putting super-long shows on such a list is a good one, and I might disqualify Full Moon on that basis.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 03 2010 03:50 PM (PiXy!)

8 I would say Azumanga should stay. It was just as revolutionary as To Heart in its day. In a sense even Hidamari are knock-offs of Azumanga. Of course certain geriatric animebloggers didn't like it, but they didn't like Gurren-Lagann either, so whatever.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Monday, May 03 2010 04:31 PM (/ppBw)

9 Oh, I'm familiar with Black Lagoon, and if there was a "Girl With Guns" category, sure, I'm in.  But you've already nominated the show in Power Of Cool, and I sure can't argue with that.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Monday, May 03 2010 10:58 PM (JWQqT)

10 Ah, that's okay then. wink

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, May 03 2010 11:27 PM (PiXy!)

11 HEY! I actually LIKED Gurren Lagaan.
(and Azumanga only fell apart for me near the end when Tomo and Kimura weren't eaten by spiders.)

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Tuesday, May 04 2010 06:09 AM (EJaOX)

12 Pixy, could you fix something? If I go to "", it all seems fine until the time I click to any link, then they all throw into the main page (not even proper 404). The "last comment" sidebar does it, for example. I have to remove "anime/" from them manually. Clearly something has to take into account the nesting of the current URI path and fails to do it.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tuesday, May 04 2010 06:36 AM (/ppBw)

13 Aha!  It is THE BUG!  The bug what I have been unable to replicate.

Yep, I'll get that fixed, now that I have a shiny new example to play with.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 04 2010 07:23 AM (PiXy!)

14 Good God, not only did you pull out ten years, but you pulled out the Oughts.  I swear there have been more notable shows in the last ten years than there had been in the previous twenty.

Hrm, my ten categories...  here you go.  And I didn't hew to the half-year thing.  It was more fun the other way.

Posted by: Mitch H. at Tuesday, May 04 2010 07:50 AM (jwKxK)

15 Just thinking about doing a list like this makes my head hurt.
You've already filled in some slots nicely, although my personal preference for "power of cool" is Soul Eater (which seems kind of underrated among anime fans).
And there has to be a place for School Days.  Maybe in a "Nice Boat" category.
It's actually kind of fun just thinking up categories.  "Train Wreck."  "Best Trap."  "Best Dere Tsundere."  "Best Tsun Tsundere."

Posted by: Kurenai at Tuesday, May 04 2010 08:16 AM (yp7DP)

16 "Best anime by, about, or otherwise concerning yeast."

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 04 2010 08:24 AM (PiXy!)

17 There was one. That one about the guy who could see microorganisms? (What was it called?)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tuesday, May 04 2010 01:21 PM (+rSRq)

18 Moyashimon.  Also Mushishi.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 04 2010 02:18 PM (PiXy!)

19 What about Yakitake Ja-PAN (or should I say "Ja-pun"?) and Tsukkage Ran? Both involve microorganisms rather heavily, maybe even yeast.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tuesday, May 04 2010 02:53 PM (/ppBw)

20 I was going to mention Yakitate Japan, but I haven't wached it, so wasn't sure how much yeast there was in it.  Haven't seen Tsukikage Ran at all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 04 2010 03:18 PM (PiXy!)

21 For best shoujo squishie, how about Itazura na Kiss?

 Magical Canaan is a good example of a magical girl show.

Posted by: Jim Burdo at Tuesday, May 04 2010 05:25 PM (JXm2R)

22 Best blackboard or Best ensemble of crazies: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.
Best student council or Best chubby lolis: Manabi Straight.
Best Sisters or Best trap: Minamike.

OK maybe I'm only really serious about Manabi Straight. Great story, characters you'll fall in love with, uplifting OP and ED, and great rewatch value in a nice short series. And I'm kinda serious about Minamike if you only include the first season or two, like Potemayo you'll find yourself accepting and laughing at a lot of weirdness. Rewatching that show made me appreciate the craft with which many of the situations were set up and the role Chiaki played in setting things in motion. Chiaki is probably the most under appreciated evil genius in all of anime.  

Posted by: SporkLift Driver at Tuesday, May 04 2010 07:08 PM (O8Vdd)

23 Best student council is a good category, because we can nominate Best Student Council and then have it lose.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 04 2010 07:21 PM (PiXy!)


I never watched Best Student Council past the third or fourth episode, did they ever explain the puppet thing?

The best student council would be Seitokai no Ichizon in a runaway, so that's no fun.  Anyways, I thought we were doing "most representative", not "best"?

I thought Magical Canaan was one of those borderline-porn magical girl parodies, of the sort that reeks of cheap fanboy irony?  Or am I confusing it with a similarly-named show?  You could easily confuse the title with the black-and-coal-black-morality gun-fu drama Canaan.  Which reminds me, I need to buy that "Lyrical Tokarev, kill them all" anime.  What'd Media Blasters call it, Magical Witch Punie-chan?

Posted by: Mitch H. at Tuesday, May 04 2010 09:41 PM (JEhiC)

25 I didn't get far into Best Student Council either, so I can't say.  I suspect the girl is just nuts.

I know I saw of a bit of Magical Canan.  Don't remember anything about it though.  Haven't seen any of Seitokai no Ichizon, but I'll take a look.

Steven's a fan of Magical Witch Punie-chan.  Not really my cup of tea.

Oh, and since they're my rules, I'm allowed to twist them into pretzels.  That's why we make rules in the first place!

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, May 05 2010 03:22 AM (PiXy!)

26 Magical Kanan first started out as a hentai magical girl game, then was made into a hentai OVA series and a non-hential magical girl TV series called Magical Canan. Would Code GEASS be an example of "weird is good" or best train wreck?

Posted by: Jim Burdo at Wednesday, May 05 2010 05:22 AM (JXm2R)

27 I didn't get very far into Best Student Council either, but I've read that at one point in the series someone else puts the puppet on their hand, and he talks.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wednesday, May 05 2010 06:27 AM (+rSRq)

28 Jim, Code Geass is much-hated-upon, by people who wouldn't have a blog if it weren't for "train wreck" schtick and catch-phrase humor.  But if you're not up for queeny CLAMP designs and Goro Taniguchi's addiction to magic-eight-ball plotting, then you're probably not going to like it.  Think of it as "the cast of Gundam Wing puts on an Ian McKellan-influenced production of Richard III for the Takarazuka revue".  It's fey and savage and committed to its strangeness, but it isn't really FLCL-class weird. 

Posted by: Mitch H. at Wednesday, May 05 2010 07:26 AM (jwKxK)

Think of it as "the cast of Gundam Wing puts on an Ian McKellan-influenced production of Richard III for the Takarazuka revue".
That sounds awesome.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, May 05 2010 09:40 AM (PiXy!)

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