I'm not new to anime per se (Was introduced to the stuff by Gundam Wing back when it was on Cartoon Network), but I'm just now really getting into it. I've seen a couple of the classics in the past, but thanks to a friend showing me Elfen Lied and Beck, I've finally decided to take the plunge and start watching anime on a more regular basis.
Before anime, I was into making custom Guitar Hero charts; you can check 'em out on YouTube if you're interested (Username: Finalizer0).
PERSONAL GOAL: To get to the point where I will be able to watch & thoroughly enjoy Lucky Star. I think I need to get more anime under my belt before I take it on though >_>
UPDATE 5/26 Holy fuck I'm finally updating this shit.
Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood: Say what you want about it being closer to the manga, that still doesn't stop the new season from being overall inferior to the first. I felt that the first season had a much better pacing, while the second season just blitzkriegs through everything & loses a lot of the magic & mystery the first season had. I understand that they're doing this purposely to get to the new content, but I still can't help but feel like they're destroying a lot of what made the first series great. That said, I'll hold off final judgment until we get to the new manga content, where the pace should slow back down to something reasonable.
Eden of the East: At first, I was a bit unsure about this one, as I just wasn't getting hooked on it like everyone else seemed to be. Luckily, it's managed to perk my interest a bit more in the latest episodes, and hopefully it'll maintain that perk through the rest of it's run.
K-ON!: MOAR MOE! (BTW Yui > Mio)
Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu S2: Who the fuck isn't watching this?
Cross Game: I'll admit, this came as a surprise. I'm normally not a fan of baseball anime, but something about the description piqued my interest before the season started, and several promising first-episode reviews from ANN cemented it. So far, it's my favorite show of the season. Admittedly, it helps that the show so far feels more like a slice-of-life than outright sports, though perhaps sports anime enthusiasts disagree? Regardless, I won't deny that, somehow, this one's my favorite for this season.
Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen: Wow, just wow. Definitely one of the most emotional & tragic animes, well, shows, in general, I've ever seen. Even though I've never seen the Rurouni Kenshin series (I'm currently reading the manga), I believe this OVA stands very strong on it's own. The story is beautiful yet tragic, the animation is top-notch (With the exception of the real-world footage, which just looks silly in the animation, but it hardly affects the overall experience), everything about it is delightful. Even if you didn't like the original Kenshin series, unless you deeply hate sad stories, anyone should be able to find some enjoyment out of Tsuiokuhen.
5 Centimeters Per Second: Again, another somewhat sad story (Or maybe not, depending on your interpretation of the last part), this movie has an excellent depiction of real, honest emotions of people & romance throughout life. While the straight slice-of-life take may not work for everyone, it's still a beautiful work either way. Of course, maybe it was simply more effective to me since part two (Cosmonaut) hit a little bit close to home in my case >_> [lawl]
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo: I might be a little biased on this one because I saw a movie based off the Count of Monte Cristo story before seeing the anime, but knowing what's going to happen is really half the fun in this one. Watching the Count carefully set up the dominoes before letting them all fall is simply one of the most delightful viewing experiences I've ever had. It's so fun to revel in the fact that everyone is doomed from the start, and that they don't even know it. My specific line of thought throughout the first half of the series was "Wow... They are all so fucked!", and it was all the more entertaining because of it.
Planetes: Who would've thought that a series about garbage collectors would've been so freaking good... Oh yeah, they're garbage collectors... IIIIIN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!!! That must be it. Or maybe it's just really damn good at giving it's characters such great depth that you really get emotionally attatched to everyone. It's like no one does anything simply because it's part of their character archetype, they have their reasons, their emotions.
RahXephon: From what I understand, this is generally considered an Evangelion clone, and for that, it seems to be looked down upon. That's unfair IMO; while the two are obviously similar, I think judging RahXephon on it's own merits proves it to be an excellent series in it's own right. The storyline, while difficult to grasp the first time around, is very satisfying once you do wrap your head around it, and the series in general is highly enjoyable. There's action, intellectual ramble, romance, tragedy, but once you get through it all, it comes out to a satisfying conclusion.
Gundam Wing: Okay, I know, it's cheesy as hell, a bit over-dramatic at times, etc, etc, but it still gets an award as 'the show that got me into anime' (Dragonball Z doesn't count since most little kids liked that show for the senseless violence rather than an appreciation of the fact that it's anime). I fully intend to re-watch this series sometime soon so I can realize just how bad it probably actually is, but I'll still love it for it's personal sentimental value. ^^
Elfen Lied: The show that really got me into anime recently. It's funny, because the only reason I watched it was because my friend & I were bored, so he figured "Hey, you like anime a bit too? I heard this show's good." At the time, I figured the show was probably some really indie, under-the-radar show too... Funny how that turned out XD . That said, it's still a great show, even if the ending isn't very conclusive (Something the manga fixes, definitely go check it out if you liked the anime).
Eureka Seven: Yeah, the show is a bit cheesy, over-dramatic, and over-the-top at times, but I still have to admit that I like this series a lot more than I really should. Eureka and Renton are now one of my favorite anime couples. XD
Ef - A Tale of Memories: Okay, this is on the list for no other reason than this stupid story: So I was watching this show, and of course it's a romance story with a bunch of drama and sadness and whatnot, and we finally get to this one scene where, after lots of drama, one of the couples finally kisses for the first time (Midway through episode 9 I believe, for reference). Now, my iPod has this mysterious ability to randomly turn itself on and start playing a song, and the headphones are quite loud, so you can hear it clearly even when not wearing them. Well, in this case, my iPod figured, hey, lets enhance the mood of this show with some nice music to fit, and what better song than Through The Fire and Flames by DragonForce (YouTube the song if you don't know it). Naturally, I wouldn't want to disappoint my iPod's clearly superior decision making skills, so I decided to viciously headbang for the next thirty seconds, completely annihilating any hope of feeling any emotional connection to the romance at that point. So thank you, iPod, for teaching us how to most effectively ruin a romance story. X_X
Air: Okay, so as I've said, while I'm not completely new to anime, I'm not so involved as to know all the intricacies of it. Apparently, this fangled "Moe" is some newer phenomenon that's been pretty popular lately. I'm not sure if I completely understand it yet, but judging by the main girl character in this show, I think I've got a good idea of it now. >_>
Zero no Tsukaima: Ya know, I think under all the slapstick comedy and cutesy romance, there are some serious, mature statements being made in this show. For instance, Louise's taking of Saito as her "familiar", going so far as to whip him, tie him up to a collar, and refer to him as 'her dog', those are all obvious references to human slavery. And despite the abuse, Saito exhibits affection and even a desire to protect his captor. Romance? Bah, clearly a profound statement on Stockholm Syndrome. (I like the series overall)
Kashimashi [Manga]: I'll start off by saying this is a definite guilty pleasure. As stupid as the premise might be, the story does actually get pretty interesting, especially with the plot twist at the end of the 3rd volume. Problem is, I was reading this manga online, and only half of the 4th volume was translated. Basically, I was left with this epic plot twist and no idea how the whole story resolves itself, and the anime adaptation was no help because the story is annihilated in favor of fitting it into 13 episodes.
So, I forgot about the manga for a while. However, I happened to be visiting New York for the past few days, and I figure a good way to spend some time would be to hit the manga/comic shops around the area (Manhattan area BTW). Surprisingly, the 5th volume happened to be in the first several shops I visited, so I was pretty happy to find it, though slightly disappointed that I would miss part of the story in the 2nd half of the 4th volume. After visiting the rest of the shops on my list, I decide to call it a day & head back. However, on the way, I happened by a Borders store, and figured to check it out for yucks. I find the manga section, and don't even see any volumes for the series, so I figure I'd give up. Just as I'm about to leave, I notice the only volume of Kashimashi they have (It was placed in the wrong spot alphabetically), and it was volume 4, of all the luck! So now I can happily fulfill my annoying guilty pleasure and finish the series. Wewt ^_^
Cardcaptor Sakura: Since I started reading Tsubasa Chronicle (Not watching, I've heard the anime is fairly boring), I decided I should get some backstory on all the CLAMP folks. Funny thing is, I was honestly worried about watching a 'kids' show until I read a little quote:
"Critics who treat "adult" as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adults themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence....When I was ten, I read fairytales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- --C. S. Lewis, On Three Ways of Writing for Children
I'm glad I found that little quote, 'cause it helped me finally start watching this one, and I can say that I find the series quite enjoyable.