Anime / Drama Friday Five Personal

Top 5 Favorite Anime

13 February 2015

Extremely busy with house-moving, but I cannot miss a Friday Five post just one week after I launched it!

In this week’s Friday Five, I’m sharing my top 5 favorite anime after a suggestion from a reader!

I’ve been watching anime for more than a decade, and some of the earlier series I can recall watching is Ranma 1/2, Fushigi Yuugi and Ayashi no Ceres. Has anyone else even heard of them? Haha.

It was difficult picking only five, but this is Friday Five, not Friday Fifty, so one has got to do what one has got to do.

The list is in no particular order of merit as I recommend each and every single one of them with all my heart! ;D

Naruto

Naruto Uzumaki, a hyperactive and knuckle-headed ninja, lives in Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf village. Moments prior to his birth, a huge demon known as Kyuubi, the Nine-tailed Fox, attacked Konohagakure and wreaked havoc. In order to put an end to the Kyuubi’s rampage, the leader of the village, the 4th Hokage, sacrificed his life and sealed the monstrous beast inside the newborn Naruto.

Shunned because of the presence of the Kyuubi inside him, Naruto struggles to find his place in the village. He strives to become the Hokage – the ninja in his village who is acknowledged as the leader and the strongest of all – and he meets many friends and foes along the way.

— Adapted from Myanimelist and Wikipedia

I’ve been following this series for more than 10 years now (and still counting!) and although I watched the sporadic anime here and there before Naruto, it was Naruto that completely hooked me into the anime world, so this series has a rather special place in my heart.

This series may be a bit of a challenge to tackle for a newcomer (619 episodes at the point of this post). But if you are looking for a intricate storyline woven together with many (many, many, many) interesting, and often complex characters, packed with epic battle scenes, filled with emotions to tug at your heartstrings (I’ve been feeling all emo and tearing up at every episode for the past couple of months, even non-emotional episodes wtf -_-), this is one anime to check out. Skipping the filler (non main plot) episodes will shave down the episodes a little if you’re not that patient to sit through the non-essential parts.

The other series are less intimidating than this one, so don’t be discouraged and read on!

Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)

Several hundred years ago, humans were nearly exterminated by titans. Titans are typically several stories tall, seem to have no intelligence, devour human beings and, worst of all, seem to do it for the pleasure rather than as a food source. A small percentage of humanity survived by walling themselves in a city protected by extremely high walls, even taller than the biggest of titans. Only the heroic members of the Scouting Legion dared to stray beyond the safety of the walls – but even those brave warriors seldom returned alive.

Flash forward to the present and the city has not seen a titan in over 100 years. Those within the city clung to the illusion of a peaceful existence until the day that dream was shattered, and their slim chance at survival was reduced to one horrifying choice: kill – or be devoured!

— Adapted from Myanimelist and Wikipedia

I wrote previously that I finished all 25 episodes of this series in a single day.

Since that post, I did it again. Also all episodes, also in a single day. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a third time…

Yes, I really like it that much. This series is like Pringles. Once I pop, I can’t stop.

What do I love about it? The story, the gripping pace of development, the characters, the art (minus titans), the music, THE FEELS!!! It makes me cry, it makes me laugh. It makes me grip the edge of my seat in anxiety, it makes me collapse back into my chair in relief. It makes my heart soar with hope, yet it also ruthlessly drops me into the pit of devastation. Most of all, it floods me with inspiration and courage, that as long as we keep fighting, there is still a chance. A glimmer of hope. And then it jumbles up all of these emotions up and does it all over again.

It truly is one of my favorite animes of all time. I’m not that much of an otaku to watch just any anime – and twice at that – in a single day, ok? -_-

Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online (SAO) is a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), released in 2022. With the Nerve Gear – a virtual reality helmet that stimulates the user’s five senses via their brain – players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds.

One day, players discover they cannot log out, as the game creator is holding them captive unless they reach the 100th floor of the game’s tower and defeat the final boss. However, if they die in the game, they die in real life.

Their struggle for survival starts now…

— Adapted from Wikipedia and Crunchyroll

This was another anime I came close to finishing in a single day, but held back and forced moderation upon myself.

But this a freakin’ good anime!

The series really drew me in because it seemed SO REAL. Virtual reality? Being able to port ourselves into games? It actually sounds like we’re almost there! I’m pretty sure we have some prototypes in some secret (or not-so-secret) lab somewhere in the world…

Because of how realistic the premise was (and also because I like games) I was really immersed in the anime, constantly thinking, what if I was trapped in that game? What would I do? Would I survive? It makes me want to see how the story unfolds and play out. It makes me want to find out if I would stay alive till the end. What about the other characters? Will they survive? I have to keep going until I find out.

I loved the storyline and exceptional art in this one. The music isn’t particularly memorable, but the battle scenes are awesomesauce. That two-handed sword skill? LOVE.

Code Geass

Set in an alternate timeline, the Holy Empire of Britannia began a campaign of conquest, its sights set on Japan. Operations were completed in one month thanks to Britannia’s deployment of new mobile humanoid armor vehicles dubbed Knightmare Frames. Japan’s rights and identity were stripped away, the once proud nation now referred to as Area 11. Pockets of resistance appear throughout Area 11, working towards independence for Japan.

Lelouch, an exiled Imperial Prince of Britannia posing as a student, finds himself in the heart of the ongoing conflict for the island nation. Through a chance meeting with a mysterious girl named C.C., Lelouch gains his Geass, the power of the king. Now endowed with absolute dominance over any person, Lelouch may finally realize his goal of bringing down Britannia from within!

— Adapted from Myanimelist and Wikipedia

First of all, to clarify: I don’t fancy mecha animes (sorry Gundam fans!) so not to worry, this is not one of them (not to me, anyway), even if there may be machines in the anime.

Code Geass is often compared to Death Note, but I feel the similarities stop at the protagonists wielding a godly power and possessing an intellect beyond compare.

Although Lelouch is a super genius, he has his flaws and weaknesses, which serve as a subtle reminder that “Hey, he’s human too!” rather than some hyper-evolved species his IQ and newly-acquired superpower might have us believing at times.

He’s an extremely complex character, and I really enjoyed watching how he developed throughout the story. He’s by far my favorite-st character in the whole show. I liked Lelouch so much I watched other series by the same seiyu who voiced Lelouch so that I could hear Lelouch again hahaha.

Well, there are other things to watch for apart from Lelouch. The progression of the story (I remember I was shocked at the ending. Will not say more.) and the beautiful art (by CLAMP) are all additional reasons to watch!

Haikyuu!!

Junior high school student Shōyō Hinata gains a sudden love of volleyball after seeing a national championship match on TV. Although short in stature, he becomes determined to follow in the footsteps of the championship’s star player, nicknamed the “Small Giant”.

His club started off with no other members, but somehow persevered and finally made it into its very first and final regular match of middle school, where it was steamrolled by Tobio Kageyama, a superstar player known as “King of the Court.” Vowing revenge, Hinata applied to the Karasuno High School volleyball club… only to come face-to-face with his hated rival, now teammate, Kageyama!

— Adapted from Myanimelist and Wikipedia

This is the newest anime series in this list!

There are many popular sports series lately (Kuroko, YowaPeda, etc) and I’ve watched some of them and like many of them very much, but Haikyu!! is my favorite.

As sports series usually go, Haikyu!! will also make emotions surge continuously throughout. From how hard they train for the Inter High (it’s always the Inter High, eh?), facing tough opponents, suffer defeat, band together as a team, depending and trusting in each other, see sweet victory. Sprinkled with a few comedic scenes here and there.

It’s a cookie cutter storyline, right down to the part where a few characters will have some sort of unique point about them (in this case, one is a short not-so-tall person playing the role of a center blocker in volleyball).

However, cliche as it may be, I still enjoyed it very much! I especially like that in this series, we are also told the back stories of the side characters, who are more often that not overlooked in other series.

If you’re new to the sports genre, I highly recommend Haikyu!!

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