Top 20 Anime:
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Oh and PS: Grats on listing Suzuka, Ah! My Goddess, Onegai Sensei, and Eureka Seven- they are some of my faves even though I bet most (especially younger anime fans) have not seen them.
Okay, I'll try to be brief. I try to keep spoilers to a minimum- though...
For me, the important aspects of an anime are based the genre that the show happens to fall into. In action animes, animation and character art take on much more imortance than they do for story driven dramas. On the flip-side, action shows can get away with having nonsensical plots and weak character developement. Xamd falls into the drama/character driven genre.
Now, the reason I felt that Xamd was a let-down was for a couple of reasons. Plot is important in these kinds of animes, and I just dont think that the story made a whole lot of sense shortly after the airship attack. I felt they tried to do too many side plots with the characters- which dragged out the show and carved up the focus too much on side characters when then focus of ths show should have remained on Akiyuki and Nakiami. I think they also had a difficult time focusing and making clear the cultures and religions of the characters in the world they created. It seemed to me that they had all these ideas about the history of the world, but they just didnt execute them clearly. They have side plots, battles between people who they dont explain (especially towards the end), and too many conversations with little happening to advance the plot. All of this serves to artificially inflate the episode count to 26 when they could have cut the anime down to a brisker (and more entertaining) 20 or so. There are also nonsensical plotholes that seem unforgiveable to leave unfilled (Nakiami's sister, what exacly happened to Nakiami at the quickening chamber, why did the Haruken emperor have to be mean, why did Akiyuki have to make that sacrifice?, why do the people at the quickening chamber have to sacrifice?) For me the plot was... short of my expectations and unfulfilling. Sorry.
That said, character developement is also important- along with the dialogue. I liked the characters in this show. They are distinct enough to make a memorable impression. The show should have focused on the main ones, but even the side characters are interesting. I just wish the dialogue wasn't so ponderous. There are too many conversations and thoughts seen through the dad, Nakiami, Nakiami boy (forgot his name), the general, and the little white haired kids. I understand that this is called 'character developement', but we could have gotten the same impressions about the cast with far less ponderous dialogue about philosophy and more about what is actually taking place. Look, this is my opinion based on what I saw- I dont mean to rag (too much).
On the flip side though, the production values are really good. Nice animation and good voice acting. These things are more important to an action anime than this one though-although a bit more action I think would have helped. I dont mean that they need to change the 'heart' of the show, but they could have used those 3 hours of pointless dialogue and ponderence to add some fight scenes to disguise what I percieve to be a weakness in the show.
Dont get me wrong. I like Xamd despite its flaws. But I think you put it too high on your list is all- Eureka Seven and Fullmetal Alchemist- both Bones productions with Xamd, both IMO deserve to be higher than it. If the best anime ever is a 10, then I would give Xamd a 6 (above average but there are a lot of better shows). Sorry for the spiel, but you hit me with a long arguement so I thought I would get you back lol. I look forward to your rebuttal- but I don't wanna argue over poor Xamd forever...
Eh, I really didn't like Gungrave's second half. If it hadn't been for that, it would be in my top 5.
I like a lot of your top 20 anime, but I gotta say im surprised you like Xamd second most ever. I have watched the whole thing as well (we're among the few), and I have to say the last 10-15 episodes really dragged on. I felt that the ending was contrived, made little sense, and didn't have any action to back it up. It's funny, if I had only seen up to the attack on the air ship in the middle of the show I would probably have agreed with you- but it just kept going on and on with little or nothing happening. I don't mind story developement- I like Ergo Proxy after all- but there needs to be SOMETHING happening. This show really disapointed me. Not trying to pick a fight i'm just interested in what someone else who has seen the show thought. Good list. I almost agree with your #1. :P
Love your top 20 list even though I haven't seen most of them. Where in Florida are you at?