Yumeka asks ‘How many favorite anime have you gone through?‘ I reply, ‘a lot.’ It’s funny, you’d actually think that I would have written about this before, and I talked about some very similar things when I wrote the Roadmap to My Anime Fandom and the explanation of Why I Love Magical Girl Shows, but I’ve never outright chronicled the progression of my favorite shows. So, naturally, I have to. I also think it’s interesting how mine and Yumeka’s cross paths a lot.
The Early Era – This was when I was first finding out about anime (though I didn’t know Pokemon was anime until years of watching). During this time, I became an anime fan to the extreme, but I only knew about the shows that were on Cartoon Network, and a few movies that Funeral owned on VHS.
Recall, if you will, that was born in 1991 – I was only 7 years old when the Pokemon crazy hit America, and I bit hard. Maybe all the Power Rangers and Godzilla of years before had buttered me up for Japanese crazes from early childhood hehe. Unlike most fads, though, I never got out of Pokemon. You have to call it an obsession – had I known then what I know now, I would have called myself a ‘Pokemon otaku.’ My family had all the games, all the toys, all the clothes, about 10,000 (not exaggerating) of the damn cards – my whole damn world revolved around Pokemon. I was into it long after it was cool, and I got picked on for it too. And I didn’t even care, went right on loving it – I’m telling you man, the otakudom was born early! I knew that Pokemon was a Japanese franchise for quite a while, and as early as then I had a dream of going to Japan just to be able to buy Pokemon merchandise. We even subscribed to Nintendo Power magazine because of some Pokemon-related subscription deal and I became a massive Nintendo fanboy because of the affiliation. Once I found out what ‘anime’ I of course found out Pokemon was anime, though I did have a hard time really classifying it that way, since it was less of a ‘show’ and really more like a ‘lifestyle.’
As a child, I feared anything violet, dark, or deep. That is, until Ninja Scroll and shows like Samurai Jack taught me how awesome violence was. I actually caught the first episodes of Cowboy Bebop the first time they aired when Adullt Swim was first created. I had no idea what it was, though, and it really shocked me at the end of the first episode when the woman shot her boyfriend and went off to die – I certainly hadn’t seen that coming. However, when Funerl found out about anime and started watching Adult Swim, it didn’t take long for CB to become all of our favorite because it had both action and comedy done perfectly. Episodes like the ones with Ed and Ein were my favorites alongside episodes with major fights. There were a handfull of episodes that bored the hell out of me back then, but the good stuff and the sheer love I had for Spike and Ed kept the show as my favorite even when I saw more lighthearted shows like Yu Yu Hakusho.
My Yu-Gi-Oh obsession, though, was more like my Pokemon one, in that it wasn’t so much associated with being my ‘favorite anime’ as just being a really awesome franchise. I got into it by chance, too – when my family had moved, we couldn’t get cable for like a month, and all I had to watch after school was WB, which aired Yu-Gi-Oh! around 4PM every day. I quickly got into it, and it wasn’t long before my brother and I were buying up asstons of cards and playing matches. I never lost. I always cheated and played mind games with my brother to win, which I sort of credit with instilling an addiction to strategy games and psychoanalysis later in life. I can even thank Yu-Gi-Oh for introducing me to the internet, as I was a member of some forum for the series. One of my primary passwords is even still the Yu-gi-Oh inspired one I had from back then lol. Yu-gi-Oh ended up being more of a fad, in that I’m not still totally into it like I am Pokemon, but nonetheless I haven’t stopped enjoying all the aspects of the series (yes, including the show.)
I’m kind of cheating here, because I don’t know that I ever considered X my ‘favorite anime’ – I would mentally separate series and movies, so X would have only been called my favorite anime movie, but I do remember thinking that I enjoyed it as much as a favorite series. It’s odd, too, since X was pretty different from most of the stuff I liked back then, and I even didn’t care for most of the trippy scenes – I actually never understood the plot of the movie back then. I purely liked it for the violence and action scenes (I know, such a shallow kid.) Might help, too, that X was one of the very first anime that Funeral ever bought (on VHS no less) and at the time was probably the most intense thing I’d ever witnessed. I remember that for a very long time, the moment wherein Kamui implodes one of the Dragons of Earth was my favorite scene in any anime.
I had to confirm this by reading through some of my hundreds of lists, but apparently there was a bit of time where I liked Inu-Yasha even more than Cowboy Bebop. It’s pretty easy to see why, though – Inu-Yasha had fighting in almost every episode and a main character who was an arrogant badass AKA everything a 12 year-old wants. Also, there was the insanely awesome Sesshomaru. You could really say that it was to me what DBZ was to most guys – I always hated seeing big muscley dudes, probably because I was always a scrawny long-haired kid, so I could relate a lot more easily to a skinny long-haired pretty boy with a badass sword killing demons. Also I think Kagome was probably the first woman I was ever sexually attracted to.
(continued on page 2)
Thanks for the mention =D It was great reading about your journey through favorite anime, too.
Though never a big favorite of mine, Cowboy Bebop will always be special to me because we watched it a lot in my high school anime club. Unfortunately I didn’t have cable TV until 2005, so I missed out on Rurouni Kenshin (just when I was planning to watch it, they took it off the air). I was also into Trigun and Yu-Gi-Oh! but not as much as the others.
At one point I considered Eureka 7 one of my favorites, but since then my memories of it have gotten kind of fuzzy (I watched it back in ’06) so I really need to watch it again. I was expecting Gintama and Toradora! to be on your list ’cause I know how much you like those.
Gintama and Toradora are my 2 and 3. Very close behind E7. I didn’t want to include stuff that was close thought because there were a number of very close ones that have kept their place a long time (FLCL and Lain have stayed in the top 10 since their first viewing, effectively meaning they passed a lot of former #1s without ever having a chance to become one.)
Let me try this:
1. Pokemon (~1999)
2. Tenchi Universe (~2000)
3. Outlaw Star (~2001)
4. Trigun (~2001)
5. Ayashi no Ceres (~2001)
6. Berserk (~2002)
7. Touch (2004)
8. Death Note (2006)
9. Higurashi & Claymore (tie) (2007)
10. Detroit Metal City (2009)
No My-Hime love?
It was in my top 10 back in 2005, but I liked Touch better. As far as true lead characters go (as opposed to split leads), Tatsuya Uesugi is arguably my favorite all-time. Shizuru is one of my all-time favorite anime characters regardless of role, but when you take screen time into account, Tatsuya gave me more aggregated awesome over 101 episodes than Shizuru gave me in a few brief moments of murderous lesbian insanity.
I found it intriguing to look over the list as it progressed through time since it also reads at points like a roadmap of anime fandom in America – particularly with Trigun and Cowboy Bebop. I remember when those shows were HUUUGE and it seemed as if everyone who liked anime in America had watched them both. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they’ve completely dropped out of the collective consciousness, but it seems like less and less of the newer fans have watched them. It’ll be interesting to see what the opening of the Trigun movie at Sakura Con will do about that for Trigun.
That reminds me, when I was 13 and all, I always had this belief that the 2 most popular/acclaimed anime were Hellsing for 13 ep shows and Eva for 26 ep shows, which was just going by opinions I read. I thought Hellsing was alright and had 2 vols of the DVDs and manga, though I sold them later – kinda regret selling the manga, too.
Let’s see here.
Rurouni Kenshin (2003)
Azumanga Daioh (2007)
Gurren Lagann (2008) Which has ruled concurrently with:
Manabi Straight (2010)
Damn I love to see Manabi Straight on there :DDDDDDDDDDD
I’m odd, I can’t pick just one anime as my favorite ever. Even back then.
A lot of people have a hard time with it. I just happen to be incredibly anal about ranking things.
I don’t really know the timeline. I know I watched DBZ first. Really early on when it was showing on the WB in like 1997. Then I migrated through Pokemon, Sailor Moon, and the like. Watching subbed sailor moon episodes and reading DBZ movie summaries. Tenchi Muyo hit and I was obsessed with that for awhile. Watching the Toonami block and later the Adult Swim block. FLCL was when it really kicked off for me. When I saw it on Adult Swim I was like holy shit what is this I want more.
From there I started watching shit on youtube. I watched Lain and Eureka 7 on entirely on youtube. I watched one episode of Azumanga. Then I discovered crunchyroll. I watched GTO and Bamboo Blade were the premier anime for me on crunchyroll. I would also DDL Bleach, Black Lagoon and later Gintama. I watched all of Naruto and a fair amount of Shippuuden on crunchyroll.
Then TTGL aired and I knew this wasn’t some show I should watch on a grainy stream. So Gurren Lagann became the first thing I ever torrented. Vandread was I think the first anime I ever batch downloaded. Also Haruhi, Big O, Trigun are in there somewhere above.
My list probably went.
Tenchi Muyo (~2002)
Eureka 7 (~2006)
Gurren Lagann (2008ish)
Clannad AS (2009ish)
Haha, this is pretty similar to my progression, especially the parts in 2007! I too was on youtube, then discovered crunchyroll, and finally started DLing fansubs when I met No Name and he taught me how to use bittorrent clients and stuff. I love your list, because it’s almost all shows I love/d as well~
hah, its good that someone else is acknowledging how good Arjuna is. I talked to people who watch anime that went blank when I mention about it. It frustrated me because I think it has one of the most important message in its story, compared to other anime.
I’ve only had a handful of changes over the course of my fandom.
~1995: Project A-Ko
~1996: Ranma 1/2
~1998: Maison Ikkoku
~1999: Cowboy Bebop
2010: Debating whether Book of Bantorra will be the series to finally overtake Cowboy Bebop. Probably not.
And I dig that the X movie is on that list at the same relative time as Yu Gi Oh. THAT’S the sort of formative experience every kid needs: seeing people cradle decapitated heads.
I wish I had good memories like you lot. I have gaps in between the years, since there were a few years in the early 00’s that my life only revolved around soccer. I still remember what I watched vaguely, although I wasn’t really fully into it.
~2001: Vandread (I think)
~2005: Cowboy Bebop/Trigun
~2006: Eureka Seven
~2007: TTGL/Samurai Champloo
~2008: Code Geass
~2009: Not a great year for me. I still haven’t watched Bakemonogatari yet too.
Oh can’t forget Garei: Zero which I really liked. That would probably fall under 2008 as well
I could have sworn I did this earlier …
1993: Sailor Moon (way back when it was on UPN; the first and only anime I saw for a long time, and pretty much a default favorite)
1998: Pokemon (I was pretty much Pokemon’s target demographic — it came out when I was in middle school, I was still way into gaming and I was obsessed with this. The only way I could have been more perfect is if I were rich and spent all my money on Pokemon shit (which I wasn’t and did not).)
2002: Dragon Ball Z (came on when I got home from school, so it was good to watch after a hard day of learning crap I would never use again)
2003: Cowboy Bebop (pretty much the coolest thing I had ever seen at this point in time)
2004: RahXephon (connected with me in ways I’ll elaborate upon at some later date)
2008: Revolutionary Girl Utena (I watched four anime that topped RahXephon for me — including Monster, Eureka Seven and Kaleido Star — but Utena is the best of the best. It’ll take a pretty fucking amazing show to top Utena for me.)
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