I Have No Favorite Anime

Oh shoot, I’m posting in March. Looks like my slot in the anime blogger tourney is set in stone now.

If you read my twitter, then you know that I’ve spent the past month or so neck-deep in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fandom. I haven’t felt so strongly about a show in years, possibly something like ten years, reaching back into my original Pokemon fandom. Is it ironic for a die-hard anime fan to find his true love in an American/Canadian cartoon? Maybe, but more importantly, it raises a question which no one has asked, yet I feel that I’ve been avoiding (or at least waiting till I was comfortable enough to answer). Do I like My Little Pony more than anime?

This brings me to a conundrum that I’ve faced for quite some time, and which has caused me to completely stop writing favorites lists altogether (!!!) for something like half a year. I have no favorite anime.

There just isn’t one anime which I feel so strongly connected to that it could be called my favorite show, above all others. Last year, when ghostlightning made his most awesome favorites list, he had just rewatched Revolutionary Girl Utena and found that he loved it in a huge way—but there was no question that Super Dimensional Fortress Macross was still his number one favorite anime, because his connection to that show simply outdoes what Utena might even be capable of.

I probably don’t care about any one show as much as ghostlightning cares about either of those. The last time I strongly felt that I had a favorite anime was when I wrote about Kara no Kyoukai back in 2010. Back then I had a strong grasp of what I thought made me care about a show. I no longer do. My last favorites list (not currently visible) had K-On!! in the #1 slot, and I said right on the list itself that I didn’t really feel that K-On!! was supposed to be my favorite anime, it was just the one that I cared about most at the time.

I feel there’s no anime which I’ve already seen that has the power to be my favorite anime. If it did, it already would be. Instead of caring about them more, I’ve only cared less about most of my “favorites” over time. At the end of last year, I felt that Steins;Gate and Madoka were my favorite shows of the year and had a strong chance of being on my “favorites list” – but I didn’t include them, nor alter my list in any way, because the whole concept felt weightless. Were I to include them, would I rank them? How arbitrary would it feel? My list always feels arbitrary, like its last member could easily be substituted for something else, or like there isn’t really a gap in how much I care for number five against number one. Then why have a list? Forget it. I liked Madoka and Steins;Gate most of 2011 anime. It doesn’t matter anymore. Those are just some shows I like, so I’ll remember them, and the memory can speak for itself.

There’s no question that My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is my favorite show right now. I haven’t stopped being constantly entrenched in it. I’ve seen some episodes upwards of four times in the past month, be it from showing a bunch to other people or watching it on TV or just rewatching episodes on my own. It’s a show where I know a considerable amount of dialog, and can sing a great deal of the fanmade songs already. Not to mention I’ve already made some. This show has mobilized me like nothing else, and I can’t remember being into fandom this hard since my last two-week nico nico douga binge. And I’ve been binging MLP for at least three weeks and counting.

Do I like MLP more than anime? No, that’s insane. Anime is an entire medium. But I do like it more than any individual anime that I’ve seen.