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Halex

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Best Animes From 2007

I really had a hard time ordering the animes from this year, many should be side by side not above or below. I only included the animes I have watched from these years. I'm not including Sequels when quality declines or when the story started on previous years. I am including Sequels where it makes sense to keep watching, in order to complete the story.
1 Claymore

Claymore

Claymore on the surface it's a dark-fantasy-medieval anime, but at a deeper level, it's a journey into the cycle of hatred and its a masterpiece in the way it presents and develops this cycle, getting you trapped into it and then bringing the answer into the surface, although I think some people have missed the metaphors in the story, hence some low scores.

It's full of gore and violence so it may not be for everyone and towards the end, it departs from the manga, which may have caused issues for a continuation. The story arc itself is complete, but it feels like the first act, opening the path for a continuation that hasn't happened yet and who knows if we may ever see it. 

'Claymore has an amazing storyline that keeps you guessing until the very end. This is a very compelling story that I think anyone can enjoy. I myself never thought I would like anime, and people don’t typically pin me as an anime watcher, but ever since I watched Claymore, I just want to watch more. I am really sad that this was one of the first animes I ever watched, because honestly I feel like nothing will compare. This has a lot to do with the fact that this is a very unique anime with a story unlike any I have ever watched. Yes there are many other shows with half demon roles in them, but none that were done in this way.' -taylor01223

Don't miss this anime, judge for yourself what it brings to you.

The dub is awesome!

2 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

This is quite a unique anime with a very simple message of breaking the limitations that others or yourself have placed in your capacity to accomplish what you want in life and just go forward creating your own path. It is a masterpiece in the way it presents its ideas through challenges that will test the protagonist's will again and again and do so in a comical way, without taking it too seriously, although it will surprise you with some very serious twists at some crucial points of the story.

'So it's deeper than what you would expect, and that's icing and a good portion of the cake. It had the spirit but the plot is it's soul, and it burns just as brightly.' -Thrawn

'...I do agree that TTGL is currently the best pure SR anime ever made. And by “pure” I mean it is not to be compared with other mecha anime that have lots of extra philosophical or even religious allusions, such as Neon Genesis, Zegapain or Rahxephon. Those demand a lot more thinking from the viewer while TTGL is pure, almost mindless, entertainment like in the classic shows we all grew up with. At the same time it is not completely shallow either (that is why I have that “almost” word in the previous sentence) as there are several elements in the show that on a basic level do give food for the mind...

In all, I found TTGL to be the perfect example of how much more a SR show can be than just a Mazinger variant. I was entertained by it at almost every step of the way with its animation, fast pace, fluent roles of the characters, the humour, the action, the ideology behind the heroes and the villains. It is a worthy addition to the Hall of Fame of any top list for making the best of what it had and even messing with the mold at points.' -roriconfan

The Movies are just the condensed version with better animation and some new scenes, but I still prefer the series for the pacing and more detail for the story.

The dub is good.

3 Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

This is a slice-of-life/adventure set in medieval Japan with some fantastic spiritual creatures. What, that doesn't sound interesting enough?

Wrong, this is an excellent series that manages to grab your attention from beginning to end. Its genius is the execution, the personalities, and development of its characters and the way the story itself is presented (great editing and storytelling). The tone is serious but not too much to make it stiff or boring. It rather brings an atmosphere of realism to the story and creates an intelligent plot. The main protagonist Balsa, is a character that leads by example, very likable and a cornerstone of the show. The few action scenes are well choreographed and entertaining.

'If you look up 'underappreciated anime' in the dictionary, you'll find Moribito, a gorgeous 26 episode series with a combination of a mature story, brilliant acting, beautiful visuals overall and not a single character that overstays its welcome. The relationship between each of the characters, mainly Balsa and Chagum, are part of the charm of the whole anime.' -NintenDanGX

The dub is awesome!

4 Kaiji - Ultimate Survivor

Kaiji - Ultimate Survivor

This is an anime on a league of its own, brought to us by the same author of Akagi, but this time, it really goes deep into the dark world of gambling and really one of the worst sides of humanity.

The brilliance of the story is how it starts somehow light but progressively takes you deeper into that world through the eyes of Kaiji, whose stupidity and moments of genius are what drives this story forward and is a character that somehow, it still holds some moral or re-discovers his values through his hardships and therefore, it serves as link to that world that voices our beliefs. You'll get to experience how people get dragged into that world. How would you react to those situations? Would you be able to survive on your own?

'Kaiji is an anime with a complete disregard for fluffy notions of fairness, justice, and decency; hardly anyone here learns the error of their ways, and tendencies towards domination, greed, and betrayal are shamelessly flaunted as virtues. With this Machiavellian stance on the world, and populated with thoroughly deplorable personalities, Kaiji's events move in a fashion quite unlike what we are used to. More often than not, the games are designed to be physically and mentally tortuous and proceed in such a twisty way that the outcomes are difficult to predict. Thus, while the premise looks simple on the face of it (i.e. Kaiji gets himself into various games whereby he continually gambles everything dear to him), the plot progression is full of nasty surprises.

Furthermore, the often convoluted strategies Kaiji comes up with in order to survive easily cross the boundaries between genius and insanity...' -VivisQueen

This anime deserves a Dub!

5 Kaiji - Against All Rules

Kaiji - Against All Rules

Continuation of the story.

6 Bokurano

Bokurano

This is not an action-mecha anime, but rather a dark psychological-drama that faces the protagonists, which in this case are children, with impossible decisions under unfair situations, which they need to overcome in order for our world to survive. The background stories of each protagonist are the focus of the show and are a critique or at least an evaluation of our society and its many underlying issues, depicting different aspects of humanity, from the pathetic, selfishness, arrogance to how altruist humans can be and their capacity for forgiveness. You cannot help but question yourself: What would you do in these situations?

'Likening the show's premise to children making 'a pact with the devil' ignores the fact that the devil could never match the original manga creator Mohiro Kitoh (Shadow Star) in pure sadistic creativity. Forget dodgy deals with Satan; just being born one of Kitoh's characters guarantees a short existence replete with biblical punishments. Bokurano's 'game' binds the heroes in airtight rules that make the notion of escape nothing more than a pipedream. Worse, the children discover these conditions mostly through trial and error, each revelation rendering the situation more abject than before. Like agreeing to a game of russian roulette only to realise just as you're about to pull the trigger that there are six bullets in the chamber instead of one. Numerous ironies also sprinkle the plot like salt on a gaping wound. The heroes' pilot seats, for instance, look like their favourite childhood chairs, which seems a mocking reminder of the innocent lives they will never have again.' -VivisQueen

This anime deserves a Dub!

7 Mobile Suit Gundam 00

Mobile Suit Gundam 00

More than a robots anime, this is more about politics with a true intent in how to stop an economy of war and has many comparables to real life. It portrays different views from the people that don't care about war and the state of the world they live in, through people whose life has been completely altered by war since childhood. Then after comparing the current state of our world economy of war with what could it be if we all focus on something more meaningful it proposes a vision for the future of humankind. This is a serious story with something to say and it's truly worth watching!

'Intense, adrenaline-pumping, action-pacted, tragic, head-spinning, five words that may truly describe this anime. I have to say that this one really impressed me...

The story line couldn't be any better, and you can't really change the characters. They used people who truly wanted to change the world at the cost of their own lives... Each episode has a story line of its own, and different missions. They all tie together, so I wouldn't recommend that you skip much. You might find that you missed something. It takes a lot of courage to go after an impossible goal, and even though this is just an anime, it does still hold a lot of truth to it. Who is the real bad guy in this anime?' -Spyderwhisperer

The dub is awesome!

8 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season

Continuation of the story.

9 Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 The Movie: A Wakening of the Trailblazer

Continuation of the story.

10 Darker than Black

Darker than Black

'This anime really was greater then the sum of its parts.  As a rare well executed Film Noir style anime it stands out.  It contains a number of overlapping themes, such as the definition of humanity, friendships, and a person's place in the world.  Its short 2 episode arcs make for easy watching.  Its deliberate and complex plot lays a number of clues about a number of mysteries, some which are answered (as number of which are left unanswered) at the end.  Finally, the anime ends at a point where you the viewer can walk away satisfied.  When you consider the engaging characters, the gritty and dark plot, the solid animation style and the well written storyline you're left with a memorable and enjoyable Seinin anime.' -azanimefan

This anime is episodic, with each episode painting a larger portion of their world, which is full of interesting mysteries and perhaps the best part of it all. There is an overall plot that surfaces through each episode, you'll have to pay attention to the conversations in order to figure out what happens in the overall story. It has great action scenes for its time.

The dub is great.

11 Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha Gaiden

Darker than Black: Kuro no Keiyakusha Gaiden

Continuation of the story.

Although this was released later it's better to watch it in chronological order in order to understand the next season better.

12 Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor

Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor

Continuation of the story.

13 The Garden of Sinners Movie 1: Thanatos. (Overlooking View)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 1: Thanatos. (Overlooking View)

The Garden of Sinners - Watching Guide

Also known as "Kara no Kyōkai" this movie series has excellent animation & an intriguing supernatural story with something meaningful to say. Make sure you watch to the end of each movie.

The story is in anachronical order, but release order (as depicted on this guide) is strongly recommended, especially for the first time watching the series. Otherwise, you lose some of the intrigues. You can rewatch the series in chronological order at a later time.

"The series deals with the paranormal and tackles mature themes such as suicide, rape, patricide, incest and murder. Its lore and story draws inspiration from various religious philosophies and psychological concepts such as multiple personalities; the Anima and animus; the nature of sin; life, death and reincarnation; and the Paradoxical nature of the Taiji." -Wikipedia

"If for nothing more than to gape in awe, Kara no Kyoukai should make its way onto everyone's list - movies like this are every action fan's wet dream.  Even at that, its level of production is so magnificently high that I expect it to appeal to just about any anime fan regardless of taste. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but if Kara no Kyoukai'strend continues down the path of greatness, this very well could be 2008's sleeping giant; not to be missed." -Sheex

"I would have given the first film 10 overall.  Then when you throw in the remaining 6 films, you realise that actually, it really deserves the 10.  I loved it..." -Merryberry

"As one of Kinoko Nasu's earliest works, it introduces some of the most fundamental concepts in the universe of Type-Moon's works, including souls, the Akashic Record/Root, Counter Force, Magic, Magecraft, and Mystic Eyes.

Kara no Kyōkai is set in an alternate universe to Tsukihime and Fate/Stay Night; in which it serves as the prototype for both series as well as introducing many of the concepts prevalent within the latter two." -Wikipedia

Tsukihime is average at best, but I definitely recommend you try the Fate/Series afterward.

This anime deserves a Dub!

14 The Garden of Sinners Movie 2:  ...And Nothing Heart. (Murder Speculation Part A)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 2: ...And Nothing Heart. (Murder Speculation Part A)

Next chapter in the story.

15 The Garden of Sinners Movie 3: Ever Cry, Never Life. (Remaining Sense of Pain)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 3: Ever Cry, Never Life. (Remaining Sense of Pain)

Next chapter in the story.

16 The Garden of Sinners Movie 4: Garan-no-Dou. (The Hollow Shrine)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 4: Garan-no-Dou. (The Hollow Shrine)

Next chapter in the story.

17 The Garden of Sinners Movie 5: Paradox Paradigm

The Garden of Sinners Movie 5: Paradox Paradigm

Next chapter in the story.

This is the highlight of the series, a mind-bending experience.

Cornelius Alba makes a cameo appearance in Fate/Zero.

This movie is also known as Paradox Spiral.

18 The Garden of Sinners Movie 6: Fairy Tale. (Oblivion Recording)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 6: Fairy Tale. (Oblivion Recording)

Next chapter in the story.

19 The Garden of Sinners Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven

The Garden of Sinners Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven

Optional.

Recaps the Timeline: From August 1995 to January 1999 organized in chronological order.

This remix collection extracts the key themes and scenes from the first six movies. The hour-long movie is organized in chronological order, beginning from the 2nd movie, followed by the 4th, 3rd, 1st, 5th, and 6th. It's a mixture of mostly existing scenes and some new scenes.

Alternatively, you can rewatch the series in chronological order.

20 The Garden of Sinners Movie 7: ......Not Nothing Heart. (Murder Speculation Part B)

The Garden of Sinners Movie 7: ......Not Nothing Heart. (Murder Speculation Part B)

Next chapter in the story.

21 The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer

The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer

Next Chapter / Side Story

22 The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer - Extra Chorus

The Garden of Sinners: Recalled Out Summer - Extra Chorus

Side Stories

23 The Garden of Sinners: Epilogue

The Garden of Sinners: Epilogue

Next chapter in the story.

24 ef - a tale of memories

ef - a tale of memories

Ef has a way to grab your attention from beginning to end and although the setting/plot has been done before, this new take has a life of its own, keeping you wondering what will happen next, its great storytelling and direction what makes this work.

'The series has a great way of whisking you along with it, whatever the action is. I was gripped from start to finish, awaiting each new episode to be released, which is a rare event these days. Ef's greatest tool is its fantastic storyline and direction, where not a single second is wasted onscreen without invoking some emotion in the audience.' -FalseDawn

'A unique anime, capable of invoking emotion and making the viewer think, something I appreciate. Off the bat, this was a rather serious, yet sensible anime with a mature, intricate plot.' -mahius

'A fantastic, heart-warming anime that I couldn't stop watching... It's just so nice to watch an anime that actually makes you think about things for a while. Makes you step back, take a breath, look at what's going on, and keep breathing.' -colourmyworld

'Overall I am not usually a huge fan of Anime dramas but someone referred this to me and I’m glad they did because I enjoyed it very much. It’s a drama with characters who are likeable and engaging, the story is familiar but with a twist, and the animation is something to be seen. Go out and watch this it’ll be worth it.' -KillerZEK87

The dub is good.

25 ef - a tale of melodies

ef - a tale of melodies

Continuation/side/prequel of the melodrama story. This time it goes a little darker.

It may be worth watching just because of the melodies, especially if you like classical music!

The dub is ok.

26 Den-noh Coil

Den-noh Coil

This is an incredible world where Augmented Reality has been used for a while and it's now part of everyday life of children and adults, this is for me the genius of the series and although the idea is not new, the way the world is presented here is really awesome and detailed. Any sci-fi fan will enjoy this anime.

'I didn't really expect to enjoy this show as much as I did, and while there were a few things about it wasn't overly impressed with the story was entertaining, compelling and satisfying. It was also quite unique and nearly believable in its realistic portrayal of possible technology bridging the spiritual and real worlds accidentally. The fact that we aren't too far away from the technology represented in those glasses adds a healthy dose of reality to the show's theme.' -Otaku108

The dub is ok but some voices sound really forced to be more childlike, therefore I recommend the sub.

27 Toward the Terra TV

Toward the Terra TV

'This series is a lot like dynamite - it's not much to look at at first, but stick a fire under it and it packs a whole lot of punch! Although brilliantly plotted overall, Toward the Terra makes the single mistake of taking too long to build up, risking losing a lot of potential fans and probably making it 2007's most un-talked about phenomenon. Anyone considering this anime should persevere until at least the seventh episode in order to get a feel for the series' real potential. The wait is more than worth it since the show veers so much from its initial middle-of-the-road promise to deliver a truly ingenious product.

It can be viewed as an argument between two sides; one is purely rational in a utilitarian sense, claiming that because humans destroyed their environment, they should not be allowed to run themselves ever again. The other is about what is right - no, what feels right - and questions whether suppressing all our potential just for the sake of eliminating our weaknesses can really result in a good life. Shockingly, the humans adopt the rational argument while the alien Mu stir things up with messy concepts like justice and emotions.

Springing from an award-winning 70s manga, this powerful tale comes with an added classic flavour. It employs traditional sci-fi elements to great effect and makes psychic powers and the like believable, as well as using an almost Star Trek level of geeky terminology (Mu, psion shield, Ataraxia etc). It does so by anchoring extravagant ideas with grave plot elements. Not to mention the many symbolic references made to non-Japanese literature and mythology such as Peter Pan, Moby Dick, and Shangri La, in order to enrich and maybe universalise its message.

However, the real achievement of this show is that, despite the out of this world setting, there is always a concrete sense of peril. Moments of joy are often punctured by horrendous tragedies. Indeed, the Mu are powerful individuals, but it doesn't change the fact that they're outnumbered and face an amoral enemy who looks no further for validation of an action than what gets the most effective results. These tragic events are so moving because the individuals we come to know and love are suffering for nothing more controversial than the basic right to live. Our intuition tells us the Mu's suffering is unfair but weirdly enough our intellect also comes to understand the other side of the argument. Thus, the series initiates a conflict within the viewer as well. The story essentially taps into historical events like the Holocaust, presenting us not just with the extinction of a people, but the extinction of the very meaning for living.' -VivisQueen

The dub is good.

28 Heroic Age

Heroic Age

'This series is closer to seinen than shounen. I need to clarify this point because some people criticize the series for being a bad shounen...

Heroic Age is the story of what happens to the hero, to the human race, at the end of time and at the end of the hero's journey. It is not about a person growing up and maturing, the hero is already a mature warrior. The maturation process is actually seen in the other characters, the military leaders or fleet commanders.

The reason why I like this series enough to rewatch it several times, is because it shows a view most people will never see. The view of the strongest person in the universe. You'll have to watch the series to figure out what that means. A person that is immature or weak or insecure, that is always staring up at human society from the very bottom of the social resource ladder, cannot understand what it is to look down on humanity at the top of the tallest mountain in the world. It is a view, an accomplishment, that only the worthy deserve.' -Ymarsakar

'The story was well thought out, it was one of those animes which had everything planned from the beginning and almost or even every episode was story related. It could have had a bit more romance but there was some there. It had a great ending in my opinon, everything was cleared up and it didn't just end like other animes it ended with a new adventure.' -Ghoul9615

'The story's theme is based on stories in Greek mythology, especially those surrounding Heracles, upon whom the main character is based, and his Twelve Labors... The tribes featured in the anime are loosely based on Hesiod's Five Ages of Mankind.' -WikiPedia

The dub is good.

29 Hero Tales

Hero Tales

This is a good shonen anime with good characters that shows that the way you reach your goals is perhaps as important as reaching them. The characters are likable and it's a good adventure overall.

'The story was great!  It was solid the entire time.  It was exactly what I tried to be and nothing more nothing less.  Truly enjoyable... Also, the anime did a fantastic job of building building and building up until the end.  There was good character development, and there were great contrasts (good times, bad times, desperate times, ect).  To round it all off the last few episodes were awesomely intense and the ending was great.  Overall a 10 from me.' -theSentinel

The dub is great.

30 Romeo x Juliet

Romeo x Juliet

'I am a fan of Shakespeare. That being said this isn't the normal Romeo and Juliet story but I loved it anyway... Most everything, other than the fact that the families are warring, is different. It’s a fantasy anime so of course it is. That being said it keeps the feel of Romeo and Juliet without being as long winded and is somehow more inspiring and less boring than the original. The changes make it seem more fantastical. There is more drama; it's more romantic than the original play, and more interesting. I love the characters. Juliet is not, I repeat NOT, a damsel and doesn't need Romeo to save her, and though he does she saves him just as much. It's an amazing retelling that would either have Shakespeare rolling over in his grave or proud that his play inspired something this awesome. Everything is beautiful, the music, the art, the story. It’s a must see.' -ffcfran

This is one of the few where the dub may be better than the sub!

31 Afro Samurai

Afro Samurai

This is a mix of styles in the fashion of 'Samurai Champloo' and mostly an anime that you watch for the style, action, gore, violence, and snappy dialog so it may not be for everyone.

'This Anime Is... Badass.  Samurai engaging in blood-baths with rough hip-hop playing in the background...what could be more badass than that?  Not much.' -Matu

The series and the movie is the same story, the movie has better animation, but its condensed so I prefer the series which is more detailed. The sequel, unfortunately, it's not so good.

The dub has Samuel Jackson on it as the main protagonist & sidekick, need to say more?

32 Shigurui: Death Frenzy

Shigurui: Death Frenzy

This show is not perfect, it does a good job of depicting the Samurai in a different light, as power-hungry bullies that care about being respected for their skills and won't hesitate to cut someone down to teach them a lesson.

Unfortunately, the show falls short at the end leaving you without a full conclusion to the story, probably the reason why the low ratings, but still, its a journey worth taking in my opinion if you can handle that end. In my case, even though I was initially furious and disappointed the first time I watched the show, I found myself haunted by everything that had transpired and it really deserves its own place for originality and being brave enough to be bold.

'Shigurui oftens leaves men lost for words. Luckily i found mine again. The series starts with immediate disembowelment. Self inflicted of course.

While blood & guts are certainly the most apparent theme, as you shall no doubt notice from the many splatterings and squelches, the anime tells a story of profound violence, abuse and the outcast so often found in fuedal Japan.

From animes which are set in times of great bloodshed but hold the actual sights of gore from our eyes, like Rurouni Kenhsin (Himura my auld flower) set in the tumultuous Bakumatsu during the Meiji Restoration Period, Shigurui lives up to its translation as 'death frenzy'.

Even while heads are being severed, guts spilled and titties fondled(hehem) the story progresses down a delicately crafted tale of betrayal, aspiration and brutality though most important of themes found, what ones place is in society, the family and to ones peers.

Japan is renowned for its obsessive loyalty, most clearly apparent through Samurai Bushido but each individual was held in the balance of what is and not what should be. 

I summarise the series as such. From death for honouring ones lord, impregnation to act as a conduit for the strongest successor, betrayal, mistrust and uncomprising fastidiousness to 'The Way', Shigurui will take you for an unbridled gallop through the pages of time showing you the true face of what was surely regular life for many under the influence of such a resolute way without any restrictions.' -Thuringwethil

'Every act had its purpose, whether it seemed superfluous or not. Even if it was to simply show how horrible conditions may have been for those living in this period. Women were objects, and so they appear thusly. If you are offended by this, that's proper, but that doesn't mean the anime is in the wrong.

If you are very sensitive to blood and guts, you will not like this anime. In fact, you probably won't even give it a chance based on that alone. If you are too sensitive of mind or ideology, you probably won't like it either due to the fact that it's honest about life in the era, instead of putting a shiny deformed funimation face, with glomping on everyone and just borrowing the time as an excuse to give everybody swords.

I think the problem with most of the people who had serious problems with this anime try to claim there's a lack of story or characterization, but there actually isn't. It just isn't the story or characterization you like, with too many horrible situations to make you feel comfortable with the fact that you're watching a rendition of history that most anime doesn't bother with. The characters seem silent and background, because when you live a certain life, one dedicated to subservience, your individuality (a quality that today is seen as the most important and misread things on the planet) is something you put aside. The story itself is nothing necessarily extraordinary, but I believe its delivery is.

Any time you base a story around a group of individuals whose entire beings are centered around the perfection of their martial prowess, you are going to have a story with strife, and violence. It is a single minded pursuit, and that is why from the first episode, you see the primary characters Irako and Gennosuke come to be rivals. Make sure you understand that there are no good guys really. While the anime does more to portray Gennosuke as the protagonist, if you go into it thinking he's a superhero out to save kittens and undo unquestionable wrongs, you're an idiot. He's a man who had nothing other than the life given to him by Kogan, and that life is slowly tainted, and then ripped from him by the manipulating Irako. Now, while he's portrayed as the wholesale villain, he isn't. He is no saint, but he is no more a devil than any other man in this anime who is a practitioner of the martial arts, and who belongs to the same caste as he.' -ShinjiTakeyama

The dub is great.

33 Vexille: 2077 Isolation of Japan

Vexille: 2077 Isolation of Japan

This is quite an underrated film, but it was great visuals for its time and I think still looks pretty good. The story is, however, the best part, as it involves mystery based on the isolation of Japan and focuses on what makes us human. It's not a new idea, but its well developed here as you'll see at the end.

This will especially be liked by sci-fi fans and people looking for simple action.

The dub is great.

34 Clannad

Clannad

'Clannad is, from the outside looking in, a harem. But the harem ingredients are subdued and don't have a lot of impact on what is, in essence, a series of character studies dealing with family, love, grieving, and achieving dreams.' -Anubischan

'This is a touching anime that would move the heart of a skeleton. Clannad does it without resorting to character deaths, kisses, or betrayals. It does it with clean, simple, elegant drama. It is character driven, and the characters hold everything on their shoulders with ease and comedic lack of grace. Oh yeah, what really makes the show stand out is the humor.' -Gzerble

Perhaps, one of the best parts of this anime is the story within the story, which hints a deeper meaning than what you see in the light-hearted slice-of-life side which is on the surface a world like our own. As you connect all the mysteries and events with the overall story a truly intelligent plotline emerges that delivers the full message of the anime. If you still have questions about the story you can watch this video, but make sure you do after you complete both seasons, to avoid spoilers.

The dub is good.

35 Clannad After Story

Clannad After Story

Continuation of the story.

36 Forest of Piano Movie

Forest of Piano Movie

If you think you don't like classical piano, think again! You've been listening to classical music all your life, its on commercials, TV Series, Movies, at restaurants, at the Mall, when they leave you on hold on the phone, etc, etc. And just like any other type of music, there are some pieces that everyone recognizes and everyone likes; this is the kind of piano music showcased on this anime, and the performances are great!

"...Even I am surprised by how easily I was swept into the story and how quickly I found myself getting attached to the characters.

In truth, this can only be due to the skilful presentation of the narrative, which is refreshing despite the cliché premise. While in anime such as Beck the music is a means of the characters escaping their external situations, Piano no Mori portrays people striving to find ‘the music within' and express that inner peace through an instrument. This kind of theme is always in danger of seeming like self-important bullshit but Piano no Mori's mellow approach makes it easy to go along with.

What's more, although an accomplished drama, the story still manages to incorporate several instances of mildly eccentric humour. Kai's experiences at the competition, where his competitor has a rather bizarre way of calming herself down, are a good example of humour making the predictable progression more interesting to watch." -VivisQueen

37 Forest of Piano

Forest of Piano

Continuation of the story.

If you are wondering if you should watch the movie or the TV Series? Then you should know that it's the same story. In fact, the TV Series follows the movie almost to a T. But the movie has better animation by MadHouse and featured performances by the renowned pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy (I'm not sure who does the performances for the TV Series, but they are also very good). However, the story starts to differ with the ending of the movie. So you can start with the movie and then jump to the TV Series to finish the story, at Episode 5, where the differences begin. The only advantage of watching the TV Series is if you prefer or need the dub, as there is no dub for the movie.

The animation on this TV Series is average at best and loses quality with the use of some terrible CG for the piano performances, specifically the hands. I guess it was just too difficult to animate them by hand, but being an anime about music, probably with some budget constraints, I can only say that they did make the right decision to put everything into the music rather than the visuals, after all, you want to hear the performances and when music is good enough, you may find yourself closing your eyes as well. There are some visualizations on the animation, but these vary in quality and will never be as good as if you are only focusing on the music.

Unfortunately, they added some dialog over the music in an attempt to guide and educate people about the kind of emotions that evoke and the kind of things that makes a performance better than others. This will usually be a good thing, but they added just too much, and don't give enough time to try to "hear" in the music the ideas they are trying to convey, for example, they will say that a performance is warm, but won't give you the time to try to find that quality in the music, instead they go into the next idea/suggestion and the next, etc, etc. At times in some performances, I found myself wanting to yell at the narrators to shut up and let me hear the music, which was so good, but the narrators definitely ruin some performances.

The story is simple, mostly about the pianist's competitions and their struggles to find their own sound & style. There is a lot of criticism for the way judges assign points and even the politics behind the scenes that can move the voting in one direction while making or breaking the artists' careers. In the end, it also proposes better ways to make these competitions fairer.

I should also mention that in the movie, there is a lot of focus on the main protagonist's mother profession and circumstances, that highly gets ignored on the TV Series. I'm not sure if this is because of the TV censorship or the source material, but it's unfortunate that we never get to see how all of these struggles were overcome, and the issues with his mother are highly ignored.

The characters in this story are meant to fill certain roles and represent different ideologies & personalities that you often find in this kind of music scene. Everyone has a different approach to achieve the best performance and focus on different things. In the end, this anime tries to give its point of view for "how things should be" and what they should really be focusing on.

Overall, this show may not be for everyone, but I do think that everyone should give it a chance. The movie may suffice to give you an idea if you want to keep watching this series or not as if that didn't grab your attention then you should not expect more of this show.

The dub is ok.

38 Forest of Piano 2nd Season

Forest of Piano 2nd Season

Continuation of the story.

39 Nodame Cantabile

Nodame Cantabile

This is a great anime where the classical music takes center stage and includes a romance story on the side.

'The story is fresh and original. You will never encounter an anime absolutely like this. It is truly one of a kind. The relationship aspect of the story moves a bit slow but its a nice slow pace that doesn't anger you but may not have you intrigued either. The focus is mostly on the music in the anime but you can't help but feel left out when you watch this anime. As soon as you're finished, you aspire to play an instrument but reality is not as easy as it seems. The overall moral of 'follow your dreams' has been experimented with many times before but this was a fresh and enjoyable take on it.

This is a fun anime to watch and although classical music may not be your jam, you should still try this anime out. The romance, drama, and comedy all melt together pretty well and I hardly ever complained when watching this. The music pulls you in and you find a new found love in classical music. This anime is very intriguing and keeps you wanting more after every episode. This anime was a joy to watch and I would definitely recommend the avid anime watcher to watch this anime.' -Moparty

Unfortunately, I can't really recommend the sequels, as they are less about the music, and kind of feel more of a parody or filler arc than a true continuation. But lots of people seem to like them though. I recommend you read their reviews prior to watching.

The dub is excellent!

40 Baccano!

Baccano!

Many people love this anime from the same author of Durarara!!, Ryōgo Narita, some even consider it to be his best work.

What makes this anime special is the way the story is told, using the same style as Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, but instead of segments, it goes as far as messing the timeline within the same episode, splitting the story through different years and jumping back and forth, which you constantly need to pay attention, to later understand what happens.

'Baccano! is perhaps the first anime series that I've seen that takes the period of the 1930s and dives into the hearts of several gangsters, all with very distinct personalities - something that makes this stand uniquely from its peers...

Baccano's execution may throw some off a bit to start - handing 17 characters already suggests this series is devilishly ambitious, but yet it presents a rather looping story revolving around these characters that seem to 'crash' into each other, whether knowingly or just by situational connections. The storyline jumps back and forth between the years of 1930-1932 primarily, though there are treks to both the past and present in brief context. There's a definite story here: it's mainly driven by the characters, and it's also driven by thematics that drive this beyond a traditional gangster story.

Does it execute well? On most points, a definite yes. The story starts along with enough of a bloodbath of violence to capture attention on one hand, but also mixing humor, action, and intelligent swagger to appeal to those who like traditional gangster stories. However, there's a catch - there are elements of this series, which I won't spoil, that twist the tale as the progression comes forward-and revolves around the character identities that ties them all together-you can say it deals with alchemy, superstition, and a lust for power/domination. There's not just one story in Baccano, there are several, and they're all occurring in fragmented conjunction, some are precursors to certain events (the first episode, as confusing as it may be, is a good example of this), while others occur in sequence with other events. If this seems overbearingly confusing, then chances are that you may be the wrong audience for this series, as the fragmented method of storytelling is sequenced in each episode in pieces, some of which are expanded upon in further episodes and pick up 'in medias res'.' -mariprosa

However, I think this anime succeeds because is unique in its style, although is not new in other media like the movies above and the enjoyment of the show is entirely subjective, depending on how funny you find the jokes, how easy is for you to piece the whole story together, and how new & fresh  you find this style of storytelling.

The dub is ok. Although many people refer to this anime being Better in The Dub, I strongly disagree and rather recommend the sub, as I found many voices (especially the gangsters) sounding like a kid's cartoon, taking away from the feeling that it has on the subs.

41 Baccano! Specials

Baccano! Specials

Continuation of the story.

42 Mononoke

Mononoke

This anime may be worth watching just for the beautiful art style it has. It is a collection of short stories that span 2-3 episodes. The stories are dark, full of hatred and regrets, as this is what gives life to the Mononoke, which are vengeful spirits. In a way, this is like a dark Mushishi, or a horror version of it. And it's not just about the visual art, the surrealist way the stories are told also keep them interesting. Some story endings may be hard to understand unless you place special attention to the symbolism at the end of the chapters.

Note that the first story and probably the best of them all is actually the last 3 episodes of Ayakashi - Japanese Classic Horror (Bake Neko Story), which is the best part of that anime to such extent, that spawn this standalone series. So you should probably start there.

'Mononoke, in being both original and genuinely frightening, thus sticks out from its siblings like a shiny knife from a virgin's breast. In fact, a more appropriate comparison than Jigoku Shoujo, and one that's fairer to Mononoke's excellence, is the outstanding Mushishi. Mononoke takes a similar humanising approach to its paranormal subject matter, putting the tragedy of its characters first before adding some supernatural razzmatazz. On the other hand, unlike MushishiMononoke engages the senses more than the intellect, providing emotive plots via strong hooks and dazzling climaxes. It's classically designed mysteries come with fresh Japanese eccentricities and plenty of spectacle, making the whole product highly addictive despite its steady pace.

Animation

Mononoke is not just animation, it's a moving art exhibit. Everything is washed in faint scratches as though drawn on ancient parchment, and the characters look vibrant but distinctly two-dimensional... On the whole, the design brings to mind Dali as much as it does ancient Japanese art, with a bottomless well of creativity to make established horror themes appear bold and new. From an entire background cast of mannequins to guitar-playing fish demons, each story provides a fresh way to enjoy horror.

Anyone thinking this show is merely for the arty types because of its experimental animation, think again. Mononoke is blood-curdlingly scary in a way anyone can enjoy; where other shows fail to even prick a fan's imagination, Mononoke sends shivers streaming down their backs. Who can resist shaking like a leaf during the disturbing sea voyage with the hollowed-out tree? Who will walk away from the final 'Ghost Cat' episodes mentally unscathed? Indeed, Mononoke comes shockingly close to reinventing the horror wheel thanks to its invigorating style and powerful narratives.' -VivisQueen

'Mononoke is divided into a series of standalone arcs; each of these arcs involve the Medicine Seller solving the psychological problems and unearthing the dark, unpleasant secrets of the characters he comes across - which is to say he fights monsters with a magic sword.

Nominally a horror title, Mononoke really is more a phantasmagorical mindfuck - it's mystical, supernatural, and just downright weird. Expect to be perplexed but never scared.

Surprisingly it can be astonishingly touching - the conclusion to Umibozu is as movingly pathetic and bitter and human as anything I've seen in anime, and the better arcs are characterised by this personal approach. Even when Mononoke isn't delivering that it weaves intricate and rather diverting stories with frequently grim undertones. In either case the anime is lathered in surreal symbolism.

Well, what does all that symbolism mean? Some of it's pretty easy to figure out (apparently, wearing masks is related to putting on another face to conform to society - YOU THINK?), and even when it isn't immediately understandable it never gets in the way of following the story. Flourishes aside, each of the plots are completely comprehensible, though some will require you to pay close attention.

Animation Easily some of the best art direction I have seen in an anime series. Mononoke is classic Japanese art infused with a psychedelia of bright colours, gorgeously vivid texturing, and sprinkled with ever-so-slight old school animation style for some of the character designs...' -valondar

This anime deserves a Dub!

43 Big Windup!

Big Windup!

This series is about Baseball on the surface but it focuses more on the strategy of the game, as you go deep into the minds of the players that try to figure out the weakness of their rivals through careful observation and develop a proper response to the strategies and tactics during the games. This is where the series really shines as it manages to make it really interesting, think Hikaru no Go.

It also has good character development showcasing how anyone, despite their shortcomings can become good at the game.

44 El Cazador de la Bruja

El Cazador de la Bruja

This show is not perfect, it has a slow pace, its episodic with an overall plot that only becomes prominent towards the end. What is good about the show are the interactions between the main characters and the little stories it tells through each episode, their personalities are what keeps it together and make it an interesting watch. 

Try a few episodes and see if you like.

The dub is awesome.

45 Summer Days with Coo

Summer Days with Coo

This was a surprisingly good story, much darker than the initial premise which looks more childish. It plays with what would happen in our society if we suddenly re-discover a creature of mythology, in this case, a Kappa, and then compares both the good, the bad and the ugly that could happen. This is quite a unique adventure worth watching.

'...This is not a warm, wistful childhood fantasy - it's magical, yes, but full of loss, hurt and the dark effects of human ugliness... The movie will scare off the younger kids immediately, with it's introductory scene of a kappa and his son facing human cruelty in the Edo period. 

There's a lot of genuine emotion here - more overtly sentimental than 'Colorful' but not unacceptably so. The themes of parental loss, friendship and environmentalism are not fresh, but well-presented. Obviously this is the product of a director who cares deeply about his work - Hara understands the psychology of his characters and has something genuine and heartfelt to day in everything he does.' -GuardianEnzo

This anime deserves a Dub!

46 Over Drive

Over Drive

In a way, this is the latest installment of sports anime worth watching, as the story is similar to what has been done before in other animes, starting with the hero at the bottom of the ladder who, through determination and love of the sport, raises himself to make something of his life. This time introducing us to the world of cycling.

'The show, on the surface, appears your run-of-the-mill sports firebrand for the burnt-out and indifferent, packaged within a cycling medium. It remains so in many ways; in others, it transcends to take on a more universal subject: the vastness of the human potential. Yes, we’ve heard this before. But Over Drive presents the hackneyed theme in a relatively beguiling way that, at the end, left me surprisingly affected.' -babyeinstein12

This anime deserves a Dub!

47 Sword of the Stranger

Sword of the Stranger

This is a good movie for the action.

'Even though the story and characters are minimal and cliché this is an higly entertaining movie. Dont think too much and let you be swept away by the movie, the action, the animation, the sounds and the characters.If you like deep stories and plots then this movie might not be something for you but if you want to enjoy a good action movie it would be a shame to skip this movie.' -RoyalOss

The dub is good.

48 Naruto Shippuden Movie 1

Naruto Shippuden Movie 1

This is an extra mission that deals with accepting destiny through some visions of the future and the capacity to make your own future.

49 Cheonnyeon-yeowoo Yeowoobi

Cheonnyeon-yeowoo Yeowoobi

This is actually Korean animation and it's pretty good, with an original story and ending. The story blends mythology, magic, aliens, and social drama and somehow everything seems natural. It deals with themes of loneliness, coming of age, and discovering love.

This anime deserves a Dub!

50 Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket is a strange mix of comedy with historical events blended with sci-fi and as well as a mix of art styles with come characters looking more like caricatures, and backgrounds that are more like simplified sketches.

The plot is mostly comedy/slice-of-life, there is also a main plot, but is slowly developed through all episodes, not the focus of the show. The music is an important part of the experience, with the main song being very likable and contagious and very appropriate to convey the feeling of the show while using jazz for background music. The character designs are quite good and creative, but there is little character development other than the main characters. This show is entertaining, easy-going and fun showing good creativity in the way it mixes all things, it is not perfect though, with the pacing being the biggest issue, but you should still give it a try for a few episodes to get the feel of the show and decide for yourself.

'This show was simply like a present you find behind the Christmas tree that you didn’t notice at first... Its very well written backed by an amazing cast, great music, great English dub, awesome artwork, and a well flowing story. After leaving this show, I have faith that I can once again take a plunge into an anime without the feeling that I will be let down by a half hazard attempt to throw something together. If you like comedies with a very small hint of romance, then this is the show for you.

Another very strong point for the show is its animation. A lot of the character models are very well done and are nice to see every episode. Some of the cast are poorly drawn and have excessive exaggerations to their models on purpose and it doesn’t conflict with the overall look of the show. The color scheme is very appealing as there is an overall emphasis on bright, almost neon colors for the fireworks. Sora, the main character is stunning to look at and this quality never lets up throughout all twenty six episodes. It is a very appealing show to watch.'

The dub is ok.

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