206 CommentsLists / By Scamp /

The Top 30 Anime

After over 4 hours of heated debate, all three of the writers on this site have finally managed to agree upon the anime we consider to be the best. The idea was that, if we’re going to have such a prominent link to our top 30, it should be one that represents all our tastes. And yes, this is just about taste with little to no regard for attempting objectivity. But hopefully with 3 of us pitching in, we’ve managed to get rid of each person’s stranger tastes and come up with a more agreeable top list. This also happens to the 1,000th post on this site, so huzzah for that. Right, enough babbling, and let’s get on with it: The Cart Driver’s Top 30 Anime Of All Time.

 

30: FLCL

The story behind the creation of FLCL is that Gainax were exhausted and emotionally wrecked after creating Neon Genesis Evangelion and the subsequent movie and desperately needed a release. It was then that some bright spark on their team said “hey, why don’t we take the budget of a 26 episode TV series and put it into a 6 episode OVA”. Thanks to them vomiting money at FLCL, it ended up being one of the craziest, most vibrant and just plain batshit insane anime ever created. There’s something sort of genius about FLCL. It’s the kind of anime that people can write multi-page essays disseminating the meaning of a scene in which a pink haired girl in a bunny suit rides an electric guitar into a giant alien hand. Now that, my friends, is something worth celebrating.

29: Mononoke

What’s immediately noticeable about Mononoke is its striking visual style. Where many anime might choose to coast on that style, however, Mononoke embraces it as a part of the story. It’s as occasionally difficult to parse the story of each arc as it is to figure out what is being shown in each scene; the viewer never feels as if he or she truly knows what is going on until the ever stoic Medicine Seller reveals all. That visual style and sense of unease are a big part of what makes Mononoke effective horror. This is a world where everything seems dangerous, and it’s stylized with a sense of the unreal rather than the real. And, of course, the final arc is excellent at totally pulling the rug out from underneath the viewer, especially one who is familiar with the “Bake Neko” story from Ayakashi, which was the genesis for what would become Mononoke.

28: Aquarion EVOL

None of the staff on The Cart Driver have seen the original Genesis of Aquarion. We all love Aquarion EVOL. Love its goofy ridiculous symbolism and endless innuendos. Love its colourful world and energetic, bombastic presentation. Love the winking self-aware tone it takes to its grand spectacles of sexual metaphors. But most of all, Aquarion EVOL has heart, and it loves what it is doing. It’s also the most anime anime on this list. Where no character has hair colour that exists in the real world. Where a ‘cat’ is any animal not immediately identifiable as a human. Where women have breasts that bound like bunnies in a lightning storm. And even a metaphor that strange isn’t anywhere close to the ones EVOL uses to describe itself.

27: Time of Eve

Yasuhiro Yoshiura and his small collection of anime are about the closest to an indie hit anime can produce. Time of Eve was a 6 episode web release anime with little fanfare and a several month break between episodes. But man, the stuff this guy does. The combination of his handheld camera style, with swift cuts and zoom shots and the like, along with his fantastic control of storytelling and depth of character really give his works a distinct feel. Time of Eve specifically focuses on a very Asimov-inspired story of robots relationships with humans, and it’s really friggin good. Particularly episode 4 with Nameless. The way they shift your expectations and make you realise what a hypocrite you are through humour is fantastic stuff.

26: Madoka Magica

There are two things that keep drawing me back to Madoka. The first is how perfectly paced and structured the story is. Every twist is deliberate and perfectly planned. It has just the right amount of foreshadowing that you can predict a plot twist just before it’s about to happen, bringing on this almost deadening realisation as you watch the giant candy snake monster bear down on the pretty blonde haired girl. The second is how goddamn fantastic the imagery is. Shinbo has always been a crazy director, but Madoka’s strong story focus means this remains one of the few times that his style has been fed directly into telling that story rather than simply there to look cool. It helps accentuate the story elements so it all comes together in one complete picture.

25: Azumanga Daioh

One of the things that makes Azumanga stand out even more over time is how much every single other anime that copied its formula pales in comparison. It’s not like Azumanga does anything particularly remarkable either. It has a solid cast of characters with distinct traits. It has Osaka, who delivers some of the most wonderful lines and has the most surreal sequences that allow you to get into her mind and see what it is that drives this most beautiful of minds that says these otherwise incomprehensible things. It also has Kimura-sensei, whose deranged spouts of wisdom are inspired. It just has a damn fine sense of comedic timing and sense of humour while not relying on cuteness or tits, and so few anime comedies seem to get those things right.

24: Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum is the type of series that reminds us why we’re anime fans. It’s the type of show that could never be made in another medium — not because it’s necessarily more clever or deeper than other fiction (though it is smart), but because it is so obviously a product of this particular medium and culture. The colors, the settings, the characters, the drama and the ballsy riffs on certain traumatic events in recent Japanese history … Penguindrum is an exciting experience that truly feels as it could have originated only in this medium and from the mind of director Kunihiko Ikuhara. It’s not always a smooth ride, but the journey through Penguindrum’s mad world is memorable as hell.

23: Welcome to the NHK

Welcome to the NHK is crafted to hit harder the deeper you are in a hobby. None of us at The Cart Driver has been as far into the rabbit hole as Satou, but there are always glimmers. What if you get a bit too hooked on that game? What if you buy a few too many figures? What if routinely spend hours of your day surfing for porn? It’s easy to say, “Oh, that will never happen to me,” but even in the most moderate anime fan, there’s just enough Satou there to scare them straight. Satou’s journey is actually legitimately interesting and harrowing, however, and doesn’t simply serve as a hikikomori PSA. The show plumbs depths of despair few others even reach.

22: Death Note

For all of Death Note’s populism appeal, there’s a hell of a lot more going on than just a series of dramatic plot twists. The shadowy animation style really helps bring across the dramatic imagery of Light be an evil dick and how much of an utterly strange creature L is. It also has that great trick with the writing in that you’re never entirely sure what a character is thinking at any one time. Particularly L, whose real thoughts remain an enigma for pretty much the entire series. Plus it actually has depth, and doesn’t shirk the seriousness of its core question by introducing some bullshit cop-out clause in Light’s plan. But really, I love Death Note most of all for the twists and each episode bringing that rush only something as thrillingly absorbing as entertainment can do.

21: Dennou Coil

A good world goes a long way in fiction, and Dennou Coil has a great world that actually feels thoroughly explored by the creators. By the time the series finishes, it doesn’t feel as if there is a stone left unturned or a dark corner left unchecked. While the main story of Dennou Coil is solid (though it wears out its welcome a bit by the end), the strongest episodes in the series are undeniably those that explore some facet of the world and technology the children episode. Mention the beard episode, and fans know immediately what you’re talking about. Bring up the dinosaur, and fans will react as if they’ve been punched in the gut. Dennou Coil is smartly plotted and conceived, and it packs genuine emotion into its stories. You can’t ask for much more than that.

20: Akira

Don’t know if you all know this, but Akira is an amazing looking movie. It’s not just the sheer power of the animation and all the little details that fill out this urban nightmare, but also the way the movie is shot and conceived. Akira is a visual tour de force. However, the visuals alone don’t make this movie worth watching. It captures the tentative feeling of the world during the Cold War wrapped up in a story featuring children hoarded as psychic weapons and the military and science frantically teaming up to rebuild the world. Sure, the ending is weird, but that informs far too much of the discussion of Akira’s plot. This is a movie that deserves to be remembered in anime fandom.

19: Porco Rosso

One of the many things famed Studio Ghibli co-founder and director Hayao Miyazaki is good at is crafting thrilling adventures. Many of his movies are great, but Porco Rosso is genuine fun on a level few other creators can touch. It’s an ode to old Hollywood with many of the old archetypes — it would be easy to imagine, say, Humphrey Bogart slipping into the role of Rosso (though Michael Keaton does an excellent job in the English dub). It also contains some of the most fun dogfighting in any Miyazaki-helmed movie. Porco Rosso stands tall as an example of a sheer, exciting adventure.

18: Rose of Versailles

Rose of Versailles is important as a series that helped establish the aesthetic of shoujo anime, but it’s also well worth watching on its own merits as a great story. It’s an interesting view of the French Revolution from the perspective of a character concerned with justice who grows as the situation in France becomes increasingly unjust. Oscar Francois de Jarjayes is a great hero not because she is strong or cool, but because of her moral development. She is torn between her loyalty to her friends in France’s upper crust (including Marie Antoinette) and what she sees as her duty to those most in pain in France. Her journey from a naive child to a true hero is interesting to see, particularly in the highly stylized form of directors Tadao Nagahama (who directed the first half) and Osamu Dezaki (who directed the second half).

17: Black Lagoon

Black Lagoon is the exemplification of a show that does not give a fuck. Logic and general human kindness are obstacles in its quest to emulate and perfect the formula of cheesy 80’s action movies, and it will damn well break past those barriers in a flurry of guerilla maids and androgynous Romanian twin children. The sheer variety of enemies that Rock and co. have to fight is nothing short of heart-stopping, all scented with their own unique brands of insanity. Even the one-shot villains that die gruesome deaths, like an innocent-looking suburban dad-type with a passion for burning shit, are colourful characters worthy of a large amount of screen time in a more grounded show without so much wonderfully gratuitous violence. And when some of the characters are given (often gruesome) pasts, it’s nothing short of sobering. Black Lagoon pulls off the mood whiplash well, and it always does so with guns blazing.

16: Detroit Metal City

Detroit Metal City is possibly the best piece of satire ever produced by any country, let alone the animation wing of Japan. Sure, it may seem like its focus is on death metal, and it does a damn fine job of destroying the veneer surrounding that subculture. Their symbol of destroying capitalism and embracing anarchy is actually just a salaryman who performs with DMC on his days off. The desire to appear as hardcore and edgy as possible leads to the scenario where Krauser’s legendary ability is his ability to say rape 10 times a second. Yes, Death Metal is silly, but then you see what the main character’s favourite choice of music is, and you realise how fake that image of him is as well, and then suddenly DMC has ruined all of music culture for you forever.

15: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Both seasons of Stand Alone Complex are simply brilliant sci-fi political thrillers. It’s a series that never shies away from going mega deep into psychology or political theory. This can mean it is sometimes difficult to keep up with, but incredibly rewarding if you can, because it’s damn interesting and thrilling stuff. There’s entire episodes devoted to characters sitting in an online chatroom discussing the mystery behind this cyber political activist and it’s one of the best episodes of the entire show. This all wouldn’t work as well if it didn’t have that cast of complex and genuinely likeable characters and the Major’s sweet ass…yeah, that last point is clearly one of the most important points.

14: Millennium Actress

Nearly all of Satoshi Kon’s movies came up in our discussion for what should go in the top 30. Tokyo Godfathers may be the most heart-warming, and Perfect Blue may be the one to leave the strongest impression, but Millennium Actress is probably his ‘best’ work. It has the most complete story, telling the tale of Chiyoko that is as much a tale of 20th century Japan than it is of her life. One of the more remarkable things about the movie is how consistently funny it remains. Even when it gets into some of the truly depressing secret police war crime territory, it has the skill to keep a degree of levity so the experience doesn’t become a true downer without it diminishing the weight of these serious moments.

13: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann is giant robots throwing drill punches at spinning moon robots with sniper rifles taking out giant heads that explode and throw entire galaxies as shurikens with ridiculous attack names. Don’t believe in the you who believes in me. Don’t believe in the me who believes in you. Believe in the you who believes in yourself. Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! Your drill is the drill that will pierce the Heavens! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK WE ARE!!!

12: Kaiba

Yet again, it helps to have a fascinating world and then fully explore all the implications of that world. The first half of Kaiba is one of the most brilliant in anime. It takes full advantage of a tired device (amnesia) to have its protagonist act as a social observer. Because Kaiba is a blank slate, the world can be viewed through an objective lens. He — and, by extension, the audience — is learning about the world for the first time and seeing the class divide and how memory technology is manipulated and abused. The scenarios the series presents are fascinating and pack an emotional punch. Kaiba’s second half, though, while still good, doesn’t quite reach those heights because it concentrates on plot more than pure exploration of the world, but as a whole the show is incredible.

11: Neon Genesis Evangelion

For as much of this show has entered into fandom myth and legend, Evangelion is a difficult series to work out at times. It has an eccentric, make-it-up-as-we-go-along feel that gives the series this confusing and disjointed feel at times. But with the director Hideaki Anno pouring his soul into a work like this, you can return with something that has a crazy amount of raw powerful emotion. No series goes to the depths of the human psyche as Evangelion does. In that sense, it manages to get far more visceral reactions than something that relies on much more shallow horror. Plus it’s got some of the most striking and frightening imagery around, even with the sorta shitty video quality. The image of Unit 01 in berserk mode is still way more frightening than an angry giant robot should be.

10: Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood

While we on The Cart Driver have some disagreements about the merits of the original Full Metal Alchemist TV series, we’re in total agreement on Brotherhood. It is the gold standard for which all shounen anime are compared by. What’s a bit remarkable about FMA is its success is based largely on simply being continuously competent in every category. The characters are likeable and they all go through their own story arcs with progression and growth. The action is thrilling and involves tactics rather than just explosions, without ever letting up too long to offer explanations of battle tactics. The story never goes through a significant dip and there really isn’t anyone in the show you can lift up and point to as being a product of bad writing. It really is the complete package.

9: Infinite Ryvius

Ryvius is a gruelling, harrowing experience. Described accurately, if a bit reductively, as Lord of the Flies IN SPACE, it takes a bunch of teenagers with various levels of emotional baggage, puts them in close quarters with incredible responsibility, and then sits back with a cigar in its mouth and watches the chaos unfurl. One of Ryvius’s biggest strengths is how slow building the tension is, but also how relentless it is. The things that start happening towards the end of the series seem like over-reactions when taken on their lonesome, but the series is so meticulous in building up the decay of each characters mental state that when these more extraordinary things start happening, you’re completely absorbed in the process that none of it seems outlandish. Plus it has one of the finest endings in anime, that works as a fantastic payoff to all the torture you had to sit through to get to the end.

8: Berserk

Berserk has a story so great that I would easily place it alongside the greatest stories told by humanity. It’s high fantasy so high it’s practically in space, but also gritty and human and real. It’s a story of betrayal in that classic Macbeth/Greek myth way in that one key character flaw leads aside a person who is otherwise the perfect human being. Gutts is the main character, the dumb but sincere swordsman, and he’s the person viewers naturally gravitate towards as he struggles with his own aims in life. But it’s his leader and otherwise-perfect-human Griffith that truly drives this show. He warps the world around him, and everyone who meets him ends up being caught up in his vision for greatness. It’s his relationship with Gutts that truly drives this story, naked water fights and all.

7: Revolutionary Girl Utena

One of the secrets to Utena’s greatness is that almost nothing that happens in the series is meant to be taken literally. The series is stuffed with symbolism, and that informs the setting (the school has a fairy tale veneer that is instantly memorable), the plot (the duels are surreal, super serious and somehow silly at the same time) and the way its world works. A series like Revolutionary Girl Utena is perhaps the last place one would expect to find cartoon logic, but the show is filled to the brim with fine examples, and not just in the hilarious comedy episodes that centre around resident buttmonkey Nanami. Because everything is symbolic and allegorical, the Utena creators could literally do anything with the series — they were limited only by their vast imaginations. Above all, that is what makes Utena special.

6: Mushishi

Mushishi is not your traditional story. There aren’t any chivalrous princes, crafty witches, or guiding spirits framing each episode’s central message. Instead, it’s about how people live with the many facets of nature, both good and bad, and how Ginko either changes it or merely examines the effects. Mushishi takes a neutral, detached view of the beautiful and often frightening world that’s been set before us to examine, treating people spending their lives chasing rainbows, children going deaf, and men whose children stem from plants with the same subdued, oddly warm treatment. The sheer variety of its 26 episodes also ensure that whoever watches it will find at least something that piques their interest, so it’s a riskless proposition with a great payoff.

5: Gankutsuou

The artsy presentation and the fact it’s based off the classic Count of the Monte Cristo novel might put some people off, thinking Gankutsuou is too deep for them. In reality though, Gankutsuou is one big overly dramatic soap opera. It’s full of families falling out and daughters being married off and old colleagues coming back to seek their revenge and maybe he’s a vampire now, all classic soap opera dramatics. What makes it really stand out and absorbing to watch is the presentation. It’s so grandiose, with its shifting layers and total abandoning of the laws of physics and scale, creating some of the most marvellous costumes and jaw-dropping spectacles. And even through all this, there’s something wonderfully anime about it too. You have to love Japan for re-creating a classic 19th century novel where two characters engage in a duel and turning it into cyber future Paris and the two characters duel in mechas shaped like suits of armour.

4: Samurai Champloo

When you take a step back and look at the pitch for Champloo, it’s taking the usually dead-polite setting of old samurai era and infusing it with the brash and rude attitude of hip hop. What you then get is a main character who is a breakdancing samurai. But Champloo’s true skill is not making this character funny. Oh he is, there’s rarely an episode of Champloo that doesn’t have several laugh out loud moments. Champloo’s real strength is it manages to make this hip hop samurai setting the coolest fucking thing since sliced suede shoes. Not even ironically cool, but absolute strut down the street with your hands in your pockets as your personal BGM has a lady softly rapping about how awesome you are cool.

3: Cowboy Bebop

Just to cement the fact that Shinichiro Watanabe is an amazing director, right after Champloo gets ranked at #4, here’s his other big TV anime in at #3. While Champloo is more wacky and energetic, Bebop has its blues theme, where everything is laid back and melancholic but absolutely no less cool for it. The show is still funny as hell. It has a fantastic Alien parody episode spurned on by what happens if you leave food in the fridge for too long. Which then transforms into one of the best 2001 parodies ever, and considering the amount of 2001 parodies that exist, that’s saying something. But really, what Bebop really excels at is that melancholic, introspective feel of these wayward bounty hunters in the dying frontier of space. It’s the real Space Cowboy piece, in that it shows how dirty and unattractive the position really is.

2: Code Geass

We could hardly not include the anime this blog is named after, could we? Code Geass is one of those wonderful series that abandons logic at the door, only occasionally coming back to buy it a drink, before jumping back into the dancefloor with lunacy and thrills. It’s approach means that twists are only included if they serve to further the narrative, but cares little for the event actually making much sense. In that sense, Geass can concentrate on delivering this journey of thrills that keeps you clawing for more. I’d also argue that it’s more intelligent than it gets credit for. Its abandoning of logic doesn’t mean it abandons its key plot points and narrative themes, from the solitude providing by power and the clashing of beliefs between military intervention and change from the inside. But really, Geass is here because it’s really entertaining, and is that not all we ask for?

1: Baccano

3 people, thousands of anime, over 4 hours of debating, and the anime we have chosen as the best one ever is set in Murica. Baccano doesn’t have a whole lot of depth. What it does have is a cast of the most wonderfully insane colourful nutters. What the author Ryohgo Narita does is create these crazy characters with larger than life personalities, puts them in large set pieces and then lets them just act themselves. He’s on the record as saying he sometimes has plans for how the story will go, but the characters won’t comply and instead take the story in a totally different direction. Speaking of story, that is where the true depth to Baccano really lies. Its meta-commentary on storytelling deconstructs the entire idea of how stories are supposed to be told. It has no main character and no starting point. It’s a work of both stark originality and incredible entertainment and can be proud to hold the title of The Cart Driver’s Best Anime of All Time. At least, until next time we convene and start this discussion all over again…

If you want our individual lists:

Scamp’s Top 30Shinmaru’s Top 30. Inushinde’s Top 30

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205 Comments

  1. @fkeroge
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 12:57 am | Permalink

    I kinda, no, totally liked the previous list better. Whatever, I’m retired anyway.

  2. Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    No Planetes? No Mahoraba? This list is casual.

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      Mahoraba is incredible. I am happy to see someone else who likes it. :P

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Planetes was in the honourable mentions, but Mahoraba? Seriously? How long has it been since people cared about Mahoraba?

  3. Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    None of the staff on The Cart Driver have seen the original Genesis of Aquarion.

    I recommend you keep it that way.

    Berserk has a story so great that I would easily place it alongside the greatest stories told by humanity.

    I mean, I like Berserk too, but seriously? It’s a pretty standard adventure story. The lone swordsman is betrayed, and forms a party with a pixie, a thief, a princess and a magical girl to save the world. We have some darker overtones, but aside from that it seems pretty traditional to me. (I’ve only read the manga, but I assume the anime is the same)

    Otherwise pretty good list! I like your placement of Code Geass, that’s the show that got me into anime in the first place. It’s fashionable to accuse it of being a “trainwreck” and such, but really, it’s just so damn entertaining.

    • Mazzack
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:44 am | Permalink

      I would submit that Berserk (the anime) tells a better story than Euripides’ Medea. So, that means I am placing it higher than an extremely influential work written by a famous ancient Greek tragedian.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      The way you describe the Berserk manga is part of the reason why I haven’t jumped straight into it. The anime only covers the Golden Arc and ends on the whole alter world demon rape arm chopped off thing. Ending there gives the story this perfect betrayal story symmetry that works fantastically. Not so keen on the adventure story side

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    When I hit the top 10 without seeing Utena, I started to get worried. Glad you folks love it too!

    • Inushinde
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      I don’t like it quite as much as Penguindrum, but it’s an undeniable stunner.

      • Posted November 8, 2012 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Yay, someone else who feels this way.

  5. KBKarma
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I recently bought Mushishi on Region 1 DVD (because MPC ignores region encoding! I could cry…) and Welcome to the NHK! at MCM London. I’m a bit surprised Madoka was so close to the bottom. But, to be honest, these are all brilliant anime (at least, the ones I’ve seen are), so you were spoiled for choice. And something had to go down.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      I tried to get Madoka higher, but the other two wouldn’t have it. Specifically Inushinde kept pushing me away from putting ahead of Penguindrum

      • XXL
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Can we kick Inushinde off the cart? Please? /pitchfork

  6. Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    they’re all solid anime with some mark on the industry. nicely done. i agree with Millennium Actress. such a beautifully crafted movie.

  7. Aris Katsaris
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    Has any of you seen Haibane Renmei? It’s something I’d place quite high on my list of all-time favourite anime, and I wonder if it would find a place in yours as well.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      I gave it an honourable mention but the other two hadn’t seen it. If anything, it’s more a show up their alleys than mine, so it might make a later list if/when we come back to this

  8. Posted November 8, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

    So you guys looking forward to Watanabe’s future projects? Space opera comedy! Although he never actually said what his position was on those anime, so I’m a little worried he won’t be in the director’s chair for those.

    And fuck yeah, Baccano!

  9. Posted November 8, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Popee being dropped from this list is proof that compromise is disease destroying our political landscape. Give me Popee or give me death!

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:00 am | Permalink

      I fought as hard as I could for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Popee, but that traitorous redcoat tyrant Scamp just would not budge.

  10. Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Very interesting list! It also serves as another reminder that I desperately need to watch Aquarion EVOL.

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I’m very surprised that ARIA didn’t make the list, especially since Inushinde’s in love with the series (if I’m not mistaken). I’m also surprised that Champloo ranked so high, but hey, Gankutsuou at #5 is good enough for me. The whole series is a nonstop stream of boners courtesy of Jouji Nakata.

    So I take it that each of you guys are going to have an individual Top 30?

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:14 am | Permalink

      Yes. My top 30 is going up when I wake up tomorrow.

    • Inushinde
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Shinmaru hasn’t seen ARIA (traitor) and Scamp doesn’t like it (fair enough), so it was one person who put it at the top of his own list against two who wouldn’t think to do the same.

  11. Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Interesting top 30. Lots of stuff I’d contend, obviously, but arguing top lists is a pointless endeavour.

    One thing though. “it’s really entertaining, and is that not all we ask for?” No, that is not all we ask for. We ask to be engaged, challenged, emotionally connected, maybe even given some insight, or forced to see things from a different perspective. Watching Geass for me was like binging on sweets. It was enjoyable at the time, but once finished almost immediately left me with a sick feeling in my stomache, and time only made the whole experience seem less impressive. A sweet tidbit to chew on, but lacking any real nourishment. Again, not contending positions, just offering a different perspective.

    Also, more confirmation that I am the only Ikuhara fan to prefer Penguindrum to Utena XD.

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:20 am | Permalink

      Nah, I follow a fair number of folks on Twitter who like Penguindrum more than Utena.

      • Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:39 am | Permalink

        Haha, well how’s about that. I look forward to seeing the individual lists :)

    • Camario
      Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t rank Code Geass so high either, but I’d still probably place it higher than you would. I’ve enjoyed rewatching it twice and so I’d want to put it somewhere up there, just significantly lower.

      Going by your line of reasoning, I did find myself being very engaged and with a certain amount of emotional attachment to the characters, thanks to some of the interesting ideas and situations involved. The first season in particular has lots of food for thought, so entertainment alone wouldn’t really be my sole argument in its favor. But it does help.

      As for Mawaru Penguindrum over Utena…yeah, I guess you’re among the few with that opinion. I’d have to rewatch both of them back to back myself.

  12. Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    By my count, I’ve seen at least 13 of these in full, I’m partway through 3 and I’ll be starting 4 fairly soon. Definitely have to agree on the #1 pick, and I’m starting to realize how a series like EVOL could make the list.

  13. Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Sigh, I still need to see a lot of these, but this seems like a great list regardless. Good job on the “negotiations”. :P

  14. Mazzack
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    This is a fantastic, fantastic list . . .

    except for the inclusion of goddamn Mawaru Penguindrum. (I believe it to be the worst anime I have ever seen.)

    Anyway, apart from that, awesome list.

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

      This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      If you think Penguindrum is the worst anime ever, you need to watch more bad anime

      • Mazzack
        Posted November 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Probably true.

        I must admit that part of my utter hatred for it comes from how lauded it is in some circles. I found it boring and repetitive, and I find certain aesthetics and ethics expressed within it unpleasant. But to find it so beloved is the straw that broke the camels back for my regard of it.

  15. Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    This list is so Fabulous Max!

    Having seen 21/30, I could argue some shows needed included or excluded, ranked higher or lower but that would all be quibbling because this is a super great list to use in answering the question – What is anime?

  16. Mr.RR
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I either seen the show and liked it or never seen it. Since I only rank things into: (like) (meh) (nope) this list is good (imo).

  17. Posted November 8, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t really get the idea of this since even if all 3 of you were in agreement, in the end you didn’t really agree on it since all 3 of you have different taste. IMHO, The Cart Driver should just have 3 Top 30s voicing out the opinions of all 3 of you.

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      We’ll have them too. This is here because if we’re going to link to a top 30 on the main page, it should be one more representative of all our tastes

  18. Billish
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I will never understand the fascination people have with Gankutsuou. There are other anime here that I don’t particularly enjoy either (Black Lagoon), but I definitely enjoyed the making of the list. Cheers to Baccano! at #1 as well. I personally liked Durarara! more after a rewatch of each but no doubt is it a phenomenal anime that stands on its own.

  19. Son Gohan
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I have seen 28/30, dropped Kaiba on the first episode and never watched Mononoke. I agree that those 28 are all excellent anime, although my ranking would be quite different.
    Some glaring omissions IMHO are Lain, Kino no Tabi and Haruhi.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      (late reply but doing so for later reader’s benefit)

      Kino’s Journey was a last-minute cut. I honestly think it deserved a place on here but Inushinde, who was its biggest fan, said he didn’t mind seeing it cut while Mushishi made it. So eh, we cut it in the end.

      Lain was an honourable mention, but I personally don’t think it’s good so I stomped it down. Haruhi didn’t make it onto anyone’s list, but I know both Shinmaru and Inushinde like it

  20. hint
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Oh GOD! Now i have to prioritize Baccano and Gankutsuou (read the first book of Count of the Monte Cristo and the rest… some burglars stole). Having watched 40% of this list, makes me feel so moon. Why am i still watching ongoing garbages… (not space bros)
    Adding Mononoke, Dennou Coil, Rose of Versailles to my plan to watch, knowing i wont have the time or even a way to get them.
    Gintama is not on the list /sad.
    Anyway good list, most of them are crazy stuff from Japan.. Who knows if we some day get to see the crazy Jojolo on the boat hehe.
    Thank you, for this concerted anime recommendation.

  21. Posted November 8, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen 12 series on the list and there are only three of them I would consider putting on my own top 30.

    Different tastes, heh. Not a lot of slice-of-life which is my preference~

    • Scamp
      Posted November 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      Dunno what you talk about, Welcome to the NHK is a more accurate depiction of our slice of life than what you’d call slice of life

      • Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Forgot that you had it in the list >_>’

        How is the anime? I’ve only read the manga (which I never finished), but it was rather interesting.

      • Chipp12
        Posted November 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        I found manga version better then anime, though most of people prefer animated medium so you should see for yourself.

      • Posted November 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Spot on, Scamp. NHK puts standard-fare slice-of-life to shame. A healthy reminder of what the genre ought to be.

        Really happy to see you guys put it in your top 30.

  22. luffyluffy
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I have to say, it wasn’t until I marathonned Evangelion a while back before I realized just how much I’d loved it.

    As for Akira, I keep meaning to watch it! I really do! I just look at the runtime and say something about wanting it on dvd, and then not doing it. Aaahhhhh!!!

  23. Mike
    Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t had an opportunity to listen to the not-podcasts you guys posted, but I’m curious if there was a conversation about Legend of the Galactic Heroes. I know it’s in Scamp’s top 10 and I’m interested to see or hear if there was any discussion about where it fits or I guess does not fit on this list.

    All in all, great list. Need to finally get around to watching a few of these I haven’t seen/have put off watching for like 15 + years.

    • Posted November 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Inushinde hasn’t seen it, and I’m still only about 20 episodes in. I like what I’ve seen a lot, and I hear I’m not even at the good part yet!

  24. Posted November 8, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    We’re going to have differences in experience and taste, but I’d broadly say these are 29 pretty good shows to recommend, and Aquarion EVOL. EVOL was amusing and all with nothing egregiously wrong about it, but it’s a featherweight in a field of heavyweight contenders. It fits better with the likes of Hidamari Sketch and Girls und Panzer, the “stupidly watchable but not worth remembering” tier, and benefits from tremendous recency bias. What makes it worth remembering beyond reproducible character designs and shallow sex gags?

  25. Posted November 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Monster! Where is it? ;__;

    But thanks for the recommendations, have only seen 14/30.

  26. anon
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 2:04 am | Permalink

    hmm 10/30, with 6 in the top 10.

    WHERE IS LOVE HINA?

    • Scamp
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      I felt uncomfortable arguing for Love Hina because most of my love for it is based off nostalgia

      • shengar
        Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        How about Monster then? Is it because not all the three of you watched it yet?

      • Scamp
        Posted December 22, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        You can listen to the pre-list podcasts if you want the full discussion. The gist of it is that I like it, but have serious issues with the meandering nature of its story focusing on sections that are both boring and barely relevant to the plot. Shinmaru loves it though, as you’ll see if you go to his top 30 list

      • shengar
        Posted December 23, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Yeah I read the manga, so I admit there are some of parts of the series are unnecessary boring soap opera and since the anime follow exactly like in the manga, I thought your decision to skipped it is a right decision. I really respect that, and I’m happy enough to see may favorite-underrated-anime be placed on number #1 XD

      • greg
        Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

        The manga is woth discussing, but not the anime

  27. Uriel
    Posted November 9, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Baccano!, really?

    I can’t stand that series. The whole jumping around between all the characters and storylines was just a pointless gimmick, the characters are all one-dimensional (as was admitted), but worse yet, so many of the characters feel the same: Ladd,Clare and Dallas are pretty much the same character, Isaac and Miria are pretty much the same character, Chane, Rachel, Ladd’s sweetheart (forgot her name) and Eve are pretty much the same character and so on.

    Then there’s the fact that Baccano! actually has the balls to single out certain characters as “bad guys” even though it spends most of its screentime going on about how “awesome” these gangsters are. Though you’d have to be a delusional manchild to really think a guy like Ladd Russo would be great to hang with.

    • Camario
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Again, yet another show I’d place somewhere else on the list, but I would have to say the whole of Baccano! is much better than the sum of its parts, which goes both for the cast of characters and even for the use of the gimmick you’ve mentioned. I definitely think it’s worth giving props to.

      It’s not that the cast members are extremely complex or anything, but they work very well together and the results are quite entertaining to watch. For example, you said Ladd’s an obvious bad guy, and he sure is crazy, but that’s the point. It’s not about wanting to be his “friend” or anything. He’s just great to see in action. On that note, Clare is also insane, but his own brand of crazy isn’t the same by any means.

    • shengar
      Posted December 22, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I feel sorry for these poor sods who remark Baccano “jumpy” storytelling as pointless gimmick. Really I wish somebody save these poor souls from anime with bad storytelling

  28. XXL
    Posted November 10, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Bwahaha! Called Baccano as No. 1 as soon as I got into the Top 5.

    That Code Geass is in the top ten, let alone number TWO, is an absolute travesty. Not unexpected at all, but still. The whole thing is an overrated mess.

    • Camario
      Posted November 10, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think they were strictly ranking these in terms of how much they would or should be rated, overall, because then there’s way more “problems” with the list than just having Code Geass on it. For example, on the podcasts they also went over several other series they ultimately left out that are about as good or better than a lot of the stuff listed.

      In other words, I’d say those at the top aren’t automatically meant to be 10/10 picks, but just those they liked or enjoyed the most. And I’m absolutely fine with that, since this is basically a collection of favorites they agreed upon. But I’m sure my own list of favorites would also be a “travesty” by your standards, since it would probably include that show too, just lower on the rankings. It may be a mess, but there’s a method to the madness.

      • XXL
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        I actually think that this is a really, really solid top 30 list. More skewed towards the mainstream than any of their individual lists, but that’s only to be expected. I agree with the inclusion of most of those anime, though not necessarily their rankings (Mononoke and PMMM would be much higher, for example). I’m fine with Code Geass being on the list somewhere, but that number two position just… yeowch. Though I guess it’s to be expected from a blog called “The Cart Driver”.

  29. Nuu
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    ……..Baccano. Seriously. I understand it’s about taste, but baccano? Why is everyone so hype on that show?

    • Gayfag
      Posted April 5, 2013 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Watch it, let your brain muscles explode. Come back to us confused.

  30. Windaerie
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    No Serei no Moribito? :(

    • Scamp
      Posted November 17, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Nope. Shinmaru likes it, but not enough to even put it on his honourable mentions. Inushinde hasn’t seen it. As for me, I really like the directors other work, but Moribito never clicked with me. Tried it twice, couldn’t get into it

    • Sinamon
      Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      I really enjoyed Serei no Moribito. It was a percolating anime and it took its time with the characters. Sometimes I want a punch-in-the face anime and sometimes I want something more sincere and layered. It sucked me in slowly and I found I cared for each character very much, which, to me, meant that it had done its job. I kind of liken it to Mushishi in that it simmers all throughout but still leaves you thinking…and feeling. It may not be the best ever but I think it would definitely make a top 50 list. thanks for your efforts, gentlemen. i will certainly be looking into some of these.

  31. usoppspell
    Posted November 25, 2012 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    one piece!

    • usoppspell
      Posted November 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      seriously though, why is it that so-called true anime fans are negatively bias towards long anime. I mean I understand a dislike of fillers and whatnot, but there is no other show I’ve watched save for maybe FMAB and a handful of other shows that come close to the emotion in one piece. One piece is such a complete story and has amazing characters and an amazing plot. I’m actually looking for a serious answer to that question, other than “because it’s long” or “because it’s mainstream.” So anime experts, please enlighten me.

      • Scamp
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Fine, I’ll bite.

        Long running shounens are a little different to other long running anime, like Galactic Heroes or Monster. Because they have to be wary of catching up with the manga, what frequently happens is they pad things out and run slowly. The original manga are slow anyway, and this just exacerbates the problem. The long shounens I like are FMA (manga was about to end so no need to go slow) and Gintama (episodic anyway so plot doesn’t matter).

        I haven’t seen One Piece, but Naruto, Bleach, DBZ and other shounens like that all have those same traits. I like a tight and well told story, and I don’t have the patience to sit through the drawn out nature of storytelling in those kinds of shows.

      • usoppspell
        Posted November 26, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        okay, I see your point. I guess for me and for you what we’re looking for in anime is slightly different. I obviously think plot is important which is why I hate bleach haha, but I think the minor difference in our perspectives is that I like long running shounen for their ability to make an extremely immersive universe, and I feel like that suspension of disbelief is a little bit harder to achieve in a short anime. Thank god for so many anime genre hahaha (and yeah FMAB is awesome)

    • Xavier
      Posted March 21, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      emotion in one piece? god save whoever u are

  32. Kira
    Posted December 14, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

    Really happy to see Baccano! at number one, it’s my personal favorite. Though I would have put Mawaru Penguindrum higher on the list, for sure.

  33. shengar
    Posted December 22, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh, how I literaly punched my table when I’m see who’s in number #1. ITs great to know that this one anime really got what it derserved. Yeah, I know that Baccano! character really aren’t that deep, the plot is really simple, and the unusual storytelling style might just confuse you.

    Yes, I admit that Baccano! characters aren’t that deep, but they feel so different to each other and very memorable. Also, thanks to the quite simple plot, it allows Baccano characters to even more feel unique as they moving through stories naturally. All in all its all wrapped up in amazing non-linear storytelling. It makes you rethink what you just watch in last episode as it maybe hold a pivotal point for the next episode. This unique, unusual non-linear storytelling alone is enough to make it to #1. Don’t mention about how much they put their effort to research and musical soundtrack. Nagai Nagai no Yume no Naka is easily one hell of a jazz soundtrack.

    Sorry about this quite long “rant” for those who said Baccano doesn’t deserved such spot. Poor sods, I said.

    Today is my first visit here and you guys, got all of my respect because of this.

  34. Moyt
    Posted January 4, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Berserk in the top 10. That’ll do me just fine :D

  35. Robot
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Surprised Stein’s Gate isn’t on this list.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      It nearly made it, but got cut at the last hurdle. Let’s say it has an honourary top 40 position

  36. Sinamon
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    no fate stay night? maybe in the same list as steins:gate

    • Scamp
      Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Nope, none of us like F/SN. We’re rather more cool on Fate/Zero, but even then it’s still a long way off making this list

  37. Norza
    Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Heh, Certainly a curious list, but of the 17 I’ve watched, I’d agree with about 10 of them. Which is a pretty good ratio. So the 13 I didn’t watched are definitely up for the watching.

    Compared to the individual lists, this list seems to have little regard for lax-anime. It seems when you conspired together, decisions were based on the idea and originality, and titles like Arakawa Under the Bridge fall out because there is Zetsubou Sensei, Nichijou, Azumanga, or etc. What I mean is, Azumanga Daioh negated any title related to heavy-comedy which lead to an unbalanced list of plot-based anime overall IMO.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      There were some ommissions due to similar titles appearing, like Kino’s Journey dropped with Mushishi on here, or no extra Ghibli or Satoshi Kon movies thanks to Porco Rosso and Millennium Actress. But that wasn’t really the case with comedy. I think that may be more to do with comedy’s heavy subjectivity. It all comes down to how much that humour clicked with you. If it didn’t, it’s really hard to understand why it did for others. Heck, I didn’t really want Azumanga on this list at all, but the other two shouted me down.

      The only true comedy on this list we all love is Detroit Metal City. Take that as you will

      • Norza
        Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Haha, I just watched Detroit Metal City Yesterday, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. Especially 10 rapes a second.
        Yeah, If I had to make a list of 30, Azumanga would not have cut it despite how much I liked it (Well, maybe it’s force it’s way in because I’ve only watched ~250 unique titles).

        I hear ya on your point about how subjective humor is, but it doesn’t really change how heavily plot-invested it is as a whole. But it’s not like it’s a terrible thing, but peaches are momo’s and strawberries are ichigo’s, you can’t fairly class two differently categories in the same list.

        tl;dr: I just thought the ratio between the genre’s weren’t too great as a list.

  38. Manel21
    Posted January 13, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    As Long as this includes Baccano! It is a fucking great list.
    No seriously, I really like it!

  39. Noobius Maximus
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    What about Soul Eater?I don’t like shounen animes very much,but I loved Soul Eater!Also,very happy that Baccano is on no. #1,I agree with that

    • Scamp
      Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Soul Eater is stylish as hell, but falls into most of the other traps other shounen anime do. If you’re looking for shounen recommendations, Shinmaru really loves Hunter X Hunter, so you could try that

  40. has bas
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    one piece is the best

  41. Seigi
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    why Rainbow not included >_<!

    • Scamp
      Posted January 19, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Don’t get me wrong, we all love Rio Rainbow Gate on this blog, but it barely missed out.

      I assume that’s the Rainbow you’re talking about =P

  42. Shoe
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I like how Azumanga is on that list even though it contains a lot of what you guys hate in anime. Wearing those nostalgia goggles on too tightly.

    And I honestly think most of these shows are on top just because they appeal to foreigners with their love of action and darkness.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Given that most of these anime did really well in Japan too (Geass, Bebop, Evangelion, Madoka, Gankutsuou, Berserk, Ryvius, FMA, GITS, Gurren Lagann etc. all sold well in Japan in one form or another), I’d say it’s just that they’re good enough to appeal to everybody

    • Shoe
      Posted January 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Bebop really didn’t do well in Japan initially. It was only when it became a big hit in the West that it got some more recognition back home. Gankutsuou and Ryvius didn’t have crazy numbers either iirc.

      • Scamp
        Posted January 19, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

        Source

        Bebop sold better on re-release after international recognition, but was still a big deal on first release. Ryvius is a +10k seller too, which is the general cut-off point for late night anime sales hit.

        Although turns out I’m totally wrong about Gankutsuou. Wonder where I got that into my head that it sold well?

  43. Erif
    Posted January 19, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    “…brash and rude attitude of hip hop.”

    haha, cute Scamp.

  44. Animaniac
    Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Guys this is a solid list no need to rip on it. Rating art is inherently objective so what’s really the point in trashing someone’s opinion? Even if anime COULD be objectively approached this list at least nods at a somewhat diverse set of ‘genres’, time periods, etc. Most ‘best anime lists’ don’t even try to get that fundamental down.

    And Girls Und Panzer was criticized somewhere along this thread…no…such criticism is simply not permissible. GUP is golden.

  45. SENSEISHUN
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 4:02 am | Permalink

    Never could get into penguindrum, it was good the first episode but just started to bore me. I would take FMA, Gurren Laggen, Berserk, Geass, and Black Lagoon over Penguindrum, Baccano(not that it wasnt great), Kaiba, DMC, and EVOL

  46. Totenkoph
    Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    Chode Gayass should be completely removed from the list and replaced by Trigun.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 29, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Shame on you for not having the fine taste to enjoy Gay Asses

      • Totenkopf
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Oh, I can enjoy a gay ass or two, just not when they are in an overreaching, overrated mech anime with shitty art. :<

        On the other hand, I just got Infinite Ryvius, as I had never heard of it…

      • Scamp
        Posted January 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        As much as I’d hate to dissuade anyone from watching Ryvius, it does have the same director as Gay Ass. They’re quite a bit different in tone, but be warned anyway

  47. Posted February 2, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Hey, where’s FAIRY TAIL..? It’s TOP1, It’s one of the best anime..! thousands, millions, or even billions, watch Fairy Tail..!

    • Scamp
      Posted February 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      That’s cool. We don’t watch it though

  48. CHIZE
    Posted February 16, 2013 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Is Utena just boring in the beginning and builds up to something greater? I was expecting to be wrapped up in the story from the beginning but it doesn’t seem to even phase me so far. I guess all the symbolism goes over my head if the story itself doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I’m going to try to tough it out though because I want to believe it is at least is top 30 material.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Not really, you have to enjoy the individual episodic stories in Utena first and foremost before you start getting into the overall story. If anything, I’d say let the overall story just wash over you for now, especially since a lot of the imagery is deliberately nonsensical

  49. ??????
    Posted February 17, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Dragonball Z and Naruto, two of the most influential anime, are nowhere on this list? I call BS.

    • DeathsHeadknight
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      Naruto isn’t influential at all. Do not confuse ‘influential’ with ‘popular’. Naruto has not inspired any great manga/anime to be written.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 17, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      If we were listing the most influential anime of all time, Astro Boy, Tetsujin 28, Kimba the White Lion and Space Battleship Yamato would be on here way ahead of DBZ or Naruto. This isn’t a list of the most influential. It’s a list of our favourites

  50. dracojones
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    This list is great! Watched ~17 so far and yeah, amazing. Cheers!

  51. Xavier Hill Wilson
    Posted March 5, 2013 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I’m just getting into anime right now. My stupid friends got me addicted to Naruto and i was in for the long haul. I have heard a lot about many of these anime but i would like to know where to start… Code Geass?

    Thanks Great List :)))

    • Scamp
      Posted March 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Brilliant. You are exactly the kind of person we made this list for. Make sure you check out each of our individual lists too, because chances are your tastes will line up with one of ours quite well

      • Xavier
        Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Thanks really appreciate. Loving time of eve right now!!

    • Posted March 18, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Nice list I will definitely be looking into some of these. I personally enjoy the original FMA series, but I hear brotherhood is supposed to be loads better. Some of the anime on here I expected to see, but I was surprised by the exclusion of Afro Samurai (I personally think it did more justice than Champloo in terms of hip hop infused samurai awesomeness, it’s only flaw is it’s short). I also recently got into Deadman Wonderland which is quickly becoming one of my top 5. Of course I am a little curious as to why DBZ got shafted, I know this isn’t a what’s popular list, but did DBZ even come up at all when this list was compiled? Some others I would have thrown in are Chobits, Soul Eater, and Trigun.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t seen Afro Samurai. Shinmaru and Inushinde have, but neither of them think much of it. Deadman Wonderland is…well, let me just leave this here.

        DBZ is one of those shows that aired endlessly on TV and is great fun when you’re a kid, but doesn’t really hold up watching it now. So nope, it never came up. I was always more of a Pokemon kid anyway.

        Soul Eater and Trigun came up earlier in this comment section. Soul Eater is stylish but falls into the same crap traps as many other shounen. We all like Trigun and it did come up in the discussion, but none of us feel strongly enough about it to put it on this list.

        As for Chobits, I fucking loved Chobits when I saw it as a teenager, but I went back to the manga recently and it really didn’t hold up. I’m due a rewatch anyway so maybe it will recapture some of those feelings?

      • Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Afro Samurai is great you should give it a shot, it won’t take very long to finish. Resurrection is trash so don’t bother.

        Ouch ripped Deadman wide open I see lol. I still really enjoy it, it’s all over the place and makes no sense at times, but I can’t stop watching it.

        Dragon Ball Z on the other hand is still with me after all these years and now my son is watching older episodes with me (not kai, OG uncut). DBZ does get stale around the Buu saga, but it’s still one of the most captivating shows to me. I still get chills watching the original DBZ non-canon films like The Tree of Might, The World’s Strongest, and of course my all time favorite The Dead Zone.

        It’s funny you mention you were a Pokemon kid, because I was as well until DBZ filled the gap and there were wars on the school bus as to which was the better show lol.

        I do like this list though and I actually want to watch the number one pick on here because I was sure as I scrolled down that Bebop was going to take it.

        Oh and I read the Chobits manga when I was in 9th grade from this girl who got me into it and it was amazing and I was also disappointed in the slight differences from the manga to the anime, but I still really enjoy it regardless. I tell my wife all the time that she’s “The one just for me”.

        I’m curious, do you have any “best of” articles for manga? I am currently getting back into reading manga and for the past several years I have been glued to Ikigami. I really wish they would make it into an anime, although they did make a film out of it already.

        Anyay have a good one :)

      • Scamp
        Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        I don’t think any of the three of us have read enough manga to provide a comprehensive list of our favourites. We’re all anime guys first and foremost

  52. That Anime Watcher
    Posted March 7, 2013 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Definitely agree with Baccano!, Death Note and Cowboy Bebop being on this list. But still, there’s Fate/Zero, with its incredible animation (glorious Ufotable) and its idea, that idea being a seven on seven battle royale over a wish that could grant you anything you desired. Also, Monster. I haven’t even seen this show yet and I know it’s awesome. Then there’s Hellsing Ultimate. It follows the manga, which has a fantastic and very unique story. Then the Kara No Kyoukai movies are fantastic.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Shinmaru loves Monster to bits, but I only think it’s good so I kept it out here. All my fault, although it would probably be an honorary top 40. Nobody on this sight really loves Fate/Zero. It didn’t even make our top 10 anime of 2012. Not sure what the others think of Hellsing, but I’m one of those strange people who hate Ultimate but love the original TV series. As for Kara no Kyokai, that never actually came up in our discussions so I don’t know what the other two think of it. I’m not a fan personally. But yeah, it’s all taste at the end of the day

  53. greg
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Can’t tell y’all how much I appreciate you letting me comment without being a member of your website. People who only let in members suck.
    Anyways, I think you know what I’m gonna say and I’m surprised anyone could mess it up: TRIGUN, it’s one of the preeminent anime series of all time, in my o w/in the top three. The end of that series is amazing, and it’s among the most consistent and meaningful series ever: themes of nature, love, the morality of killing in the world and the western genre, it critiques one of the oldest and best known genres in all of entertainment. Life is precious, etc.
    Also, MONSTER. If you haven’t seen it, get up and see it.
    As well as, now and then, here and there, a great antiwar anime.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 11, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Trigun came up in our discussion, but was tossed aside pretty quickly. We all like it, but none of us felt strongly enough to put it on this list

  54. greg
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Never read the monster manga, so I don’t know how it diverts from the original series and is “meandering”, but I liked pretty much all possible diversions, because other wise the series would’ve been too much macho, morbid, gloomy stuff. The only valid critique of MONSTER for me was the end, which was a slight let down compared to the artful stortelling done throughout the major whole of the series.
    And you know inuyasha is pretty good too…….

    For a third of its total run… ;)

  55. greg
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    You’re including movies too? (Gundam wing? Another one I would have considered)
    Paprika, paranoia agent… akira, largely hled as one of the best… gits… crap, if you include movies, it’s really open ended, of course I love porco russo.
    I thought millenium actress paled in comparison to paprika but just my opinion. Perfect blue, actually, is better than any of the movies yet listed.
    Ill have to look up on baccano again. I really wish they’d release mononoke on dvd so I could see the whole thing.

  56. greg
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Otherwise, good list!

  57. Xavier
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    These ppl got me on to time of eve.. finishing right now i LOVE IT not some stupid typical action anime like. ;D

  58. Xavier
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    What would you guys rate as the best franchise like Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Fairy Tail and others obviously?

    Thanks.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 21, 2013 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Long running shounen you mean? Apart from Full Metal Alchemist, I really like Gintama, while Shinmaru likes Hunter X Hunter. None of us have seen One Piece though

      • Posted March 24, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Dude… I’m just here because I strongly want to persuade you to watch One Piece as soon as possible. Hunter X Hunter is really cool too.

  59. jonas
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    not hellsing, not one piece not naruto, not black butler the hell come on and no high school of death this is stupid

    • Scamp
      Posted March 24, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      With respect, I suggest you watch more anime. Because seriously, Highschool of the Dead and Black Butler?

      (although I personally really like Hellsing, but the other two don’t)

  60. Kira
    Posted April 3, 2013 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    Would it be a possibility to label whether your speaking about the movie or TV series. For example I have no idea if you mean Berserk the movie or Berserk the TV series. But I haven’t seen the movie and well hope that the TV series gets better.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 10, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      For Berserk we mean the TV series. The movies have bad CG

  61. Pusswookie
    Posted April 8, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I understand that it perhaps isn’t top 30 material, but Inushinde argued so pitifully for Fate/Zero. God Dammit get me on there.

  62. just saying
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    No Gintama no DBZ no SHIGURUI no RUROUNI KENSHIN hummm sucks

  63. Kenny Bell
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Love the list probably pissed off alot of the casual anime watchers who believe DBZ or Naruto should be up there. I haven’t seen about six of these I’ll be sure to check them out! Hopefully I won’t be disappointed.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 16, 2013 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      A lot of the stuff on here are still popular anime amongst casual fans like Bebop, Death Note and FMA. This post was intended for casual fans to see what else they should check out, so I hope they do more then go “whut no dbz this list sux”

  64. DTH
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    What do you think of Outlaw Star? It has always been one of my favorites. I also fell in love with the world of Gantz. I almost cried at the end of GITS:SAC and Death Note was fantastic. Good list overall. I’ll have to look into a few of these that I haven’t seen.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Outlaw Star seems to get fond memories mostly from folks who watched it on Adult Swim alongside Bebop/FLCL etc. I saw it long after Adult Swim stopped airing it and I don’t think it holds up that well, certainly not compared to Bebop. Shinmaru likes it marginally more than I do, but nowhere near his favourites.

      Oddly, none of the three of us have seen Gantz, although I’ve always thought it might be the kind of thing I would dig.

  65. David
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed this list. I’m always looking for new anime to watch that are really good. It’s sometimes hard to come across forums/ lists that can provide that especially with so many of these ” no DBZ or naruto?? Lol dumb” type posts out there. By the way I love that samurai champloo is up there. That and bebop were my favorite adult swim shows to watch.
    Also I’ve always wondered which is better, the original FMA or brotherhood. My friend who voiced the original alphonse told me to watch brotherhood but I never got around to it.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I like them both about equally, but Shinmaru is adamant Brotherhood is better. Give them both a try I guess? So long as you leave a good few years between the two so your memories of character motivations don’t get muddled because the two deviate from each other quite significantly

  66. DTH
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    What about Claymore?

    • Scamp
      Posted April 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Myself and Shinmaru both like it (Inushinde less so). However neither of us are nuts about it enough to argue for a position on this list. Besides, as far as dark fantasy anime go, Berserk is king.

  67. Mr. Mephisto
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    i would have at least put Steins Gate, Elfen Lied, Shiki, or eden of the east in an honorable mentions category, though they’re my top four. Even though they’re not for everybody, i am a fan of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Helsing, and green green

    • Scamp
      Posted April 21, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Steins;Gate, Shiki, Eden of the East and Higurashi were all honourable mentions. I believe Shiki was actually #31, the very last one to be cut. So yeah, we like all of them.

      As for your other two, myself and Inushinde are both pretty meh on Elfen Lied, although we think it’s all right. Hellsing has been brought up a few times in this comment section already. I personally love it, the other two less so.

      As for Green Green….seriously dude? Like, seriously? That is one of the worst anime of all time, and I have seen a LOT of really bad anime.

  68. Posted April 22, 2013 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    *Sees bunch of people asking for the popular shonen titles like DBZ and One Piece*

    I’ve always wondered what happened to the many commenters on Landon’s blog asking why something wasn’t on his own list.

  69. LordPolish
    Posted April 23, 2013 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I guess Monster was too slow and serious for you guys. It certainly wouldn’t fit in with the rest of the list, so if epic, flashy and outlandish is your style, so be it.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 23, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      See Shinmaru’s personal top 30. I’m the guy who loves the flashy stuff and ultimately kept Monster out of this list =P

  70. Magus
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 3:31 am | Permalink

    JOOOOOOOOJO

    • Scamp
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Patience young grasshopper, it will make this list eventually

      • tf5f89
        Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        Jojo’s deserves a place on this list…but sadly it will mean the end of FLCL’s run. Oh well. At least I’ll still be around to write the essays.

        And I haven’t encountered too many lists like this with Dennou Coil. That might be the best G-rated anime I’ve seen.

  71. corey
    Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    everyone should give kiba a try, it is not very well known but the action in it is very good and the characters are pretty likable.

    • Scamp
      Posted April 27, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Gosh what a strange title to see recommended. None of us have seen it. I’ve heard of it, but never been interested before because it looked too generic-shouneny for me. I’ll keep it in mind

  72. Balsa
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    What about Spirit of the Water Gaurdian.. or Samurai 7? Those were truely great I think, and they werent even mentioned.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 5, 2013 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Moribito never clicked with me the same way the director’s other works (Stand Alone Complex and Eden of the East) did. But if you liked Guardian, do check out his other works. Inushinde is the only one of us who has seen some of Samurai 7 but idk what he thinks of it.

  73. Sawii
    Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Somehow I will start watching Baccano! thx for your list.
    How about Reborn! ? It sure have somehow great characters and plot (yeah well the first few episodes are quite random) but overall its so fun and thrilling at the same time.

    • Scamp
      Posted May 8, 2013 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      None of us have ever watched Hitman Reborn. I guess what put me off is I’ve never been into long-running shounens and I’ve only ever heard positive things about it from people already deep into long-running shounens or fujoshi. I do have the first volume of the manga in my house though, so I should at least read that

      • GwiLo
        Posted May 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Reborn is one of the only long-running shounen animes I have ever watched front-to-back. In fact, I even made a 5-day marathon of it… not sure why. It was a little too ridiculous for me the whole way through.

        Speaking of ridiculous, though it has nothing to do with the top thirty, I just wanted to share my opinion on Star Driver, the first anime I actually had a real knee-jerk reaction to. In one word, I shall sum it up as fantabulous (read: horrible). If you ever want to reference horrible anime, that would be the one.

        In all though, I like the list. It’s getting me to watch Penguindrum and Gankutsuou, and I did see the first episode of Baccano!, and I must say I’m intrigued, though I’m procrastinating when it comes to watching it. I’ve only watched 5 of the anime on the list though (and stopped with some early on — Samurai Champloo, Death Note, NHK)… my tastes differ too drastically (I will never watch Code Geass, and Champloo couldn’t get me past episode one). I won’t argue about Death Note being great though… I loved it, but it was about 20 episodes too long. The episodes were so dense that I had trouble staying interested as it kept building tension without any cathartic release. Once the blonde entered the picture, I got bored.

        Personal favourites that I would have to put on my Top 30 list somewhere are Nodame Cantabile and Cross Game, along with Madoka Magica and FMA: Brotherhood. Seitokai Yakuindomo is up there too, though that’s largely due to the fact that not only is it hilarious, but the fact that it can be solely about dirty jokes while seeming to be so clean amazes me too much.

      • Scamp
        Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Judging by your tastes, you don’t match our preference for audacity and style. I think you’d still like Time of Eve, Welcome to the NHK, Berserk and/or Dennou Coil. Give them a whirl if you haven’t already.

        …although dude, Seitokai Yakuindomo is shit. Every joke is the same punchline and it’s always “lol sex”.

      • GwiLo
        Posted May 8, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        Somehow, I feel compelled to argue about Yakuindomo, though your point is quite valid. I tend to like repetitive horrendous jokes, so it fits me fine. To each his own.
        As far as audacity and style, perhaps that is the case. I would rather say that my tendency to avoid anything resembling futuristic science fiction (with a couple exceptions) is what makes the greatest discrepancy in terms of personal taste. My reason for disliking Samurai Champloo was the main characters (I’m not saying they weren’t deep. I just thought they were assholes.), though I loved how badass the show was. My reason for not continuing with Welcome to the NHK is the same.
        I think in general we will disagree on which anime is good, but I think that is probably the best thing about anime, books, movies, and art in general. It’s totally subjective.

      • Sawii
        Posted May 9, 2013 at 2:30 am | Permalink

        Ah I see your point. Reborn start off as a gag series anyway. But its kinda have a flowing storyline and the main character isn’t the mainstream strong, confident, and naive but cool at the same time boy. Well at least we can see babies in mafia lol. Well everyone have a different taste :)

        As long as I watch Yakuindomo, it going on and on about sexual jokes in the all girl school where the characters are random and the plot is so light. Too light for me. But I appreciated your liking. I like Madoka though.

  74. Canary Paint
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Been watching TTGL lately cuz of this list… never knew I could find the word “drill” to be so hilarious…

  75. Canary Paint
    Posted May 22, 2013 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Aquarion Evol… So stupid and so powerful…

  76. Concaved
    Posted May 27, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I really liked this list, It finally got me to watch Akira, which i am thankful for :D and NHK looks promising for a story purist like myself which leads me to my question: what do you veritable animaniacs ( authors of this blog) Think of ergo proxy , xam’d, the newly released Kingdom , beck and finally kids on the slope?

    • Scamp
      Posted May 27, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never seen Ergo Proxy, but I know Shinmaru isn’t a fan. I remember him being annoyed at it being boring and maybe pretentious. Xam’d I class as being possibly the most disappointing anime ever. It was so good at the start, but it fell off a cliff so hard. Amazing OP though. I’ve heard Kingdom is meant to be great but none of us have watched it. Too much terrible CG to get past. Now Beck I like, as does Shinmaru. Neither of us like it enough to push for a place on this list, but it comes with our approval. Kids on the Slope has too much dreadful melodrama and bad josei tropes that ultimately drag down its much better musical segments. It didn’t even make our top 10 anime of 2012 list

      • Concaved
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        The CG dies out after the first 5 episodes and it goes back to the roots of shounen action/animation which is quite a bit more pleasant to watch I reccomend it to people who dont particularly like the genre as it has alot more to offer in terms of character development then say naruto or any of the big 3, despite bleach. I still think the first arch of that show upto episode 100 and something is some of the absolute best anime i have ever seen but i can definitely see why people dont like it . I totally agree with Xam’d the style of say first 12 episodes? caught me I just wish they had finished it properly. Urgo proxy i have to completely disagree with you ( i’m a big fan of cyber punk and this anime gets close to ghost in the shell in my mind,but i will admit the story in ghost is much better structured) .I like me some melodrama so kids on the slope hit the spot for me :D Have you guys watched tekkon kinkreet ? I really need to start getting involved in anime fandom I have so much to ask and so little sentence structure to do it in!

      • Scamp
        Posted May 28, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Not seen Tekkon Kinkreet, although I’ve heard it’s supposed to be really good. Need to check it out sometime

  77. Concaved
    Posted May 28, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    It’s an odd mix, i’m sure from looking at this list that you’d find enjoyment in it .

  78. Posted June 1, 2013 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Samurai Champloo and FMA are my #1 and #2

  79. Kaede
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Fma,Flcl,Durarara,Naruto,Dbz,When they cry,El cazador de la bruja,School Rumble,Beck

    • Scamp
      Posted June 6, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes they are indeed all anime too, how good of you to notice

  80. Concaved
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Man I wish being able to find gems like Mushishi and planetes was still possible i remember being captivated by the quirkiness and the alluring um i guess ” peace and quiet ” of the story which i cant find anymore and im reduced to re watching samurai 7, and champloo and cowboy bebop for the 50th time, Who knows i could start watching lupin and be 50 by the time i finish it all . I mean shinksekai yori has given me hope and i enjoyed Psycho pass but apart from that I fear for japanese story telling nowadays. Dont know why i am posting this. feel free to ignore it.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 9, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      The issue here is you’re comparing the entirity of anime that came before now to the 2-3 years of anime that just aired. Of course when you cherry-pick the best from the past you’re going to be left with a rosy perception, but nobody ever talks about Hyper Dolls anymore. The last few years of anime have been about as good as any other year when you start cherry-picking the best

  81. edan
    Posted June 10, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I’m touring this list form 30 to 1. Not even going to skip the 7 I’ve already seen. I just finished Aquarion Evol. And let me tell you by the first 2 episodes I was starting to feel disappointed, but then Zessica happened. Now I´m a believer. Can’t wait to see the rest of them, knowing that although I might not like the anime in general, some aspect of it, maybe a character, a relationship, a conversation, or just an amazing animation will make the series well worth watching…

    • Scamp
      Posted June 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Zessica is great, but the real best character is Andy W Hole. You’ll grow to love him the more the series progresses

  82. Canary Paint
    Posted June 22, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    *SPOILER* I have been using the various lists on your blog to choose animes that I watch. I am an old fucker that was looking for some anime to watch during a bored moment because I had seen some impressive animes many years ago while I was tripping and looking for media.

    I would like to comment on a certain anime experience that could only happen via using these this list from this blog to choose one’s next media fix.

    Imagine using this list to choose Code Geass to watch the first time around… I actually tried Code Geass twice and got bored before the end of the first 2 episodes. For whatever reason, the 3rd time was a charm, and I was sucked in.

    Throughout the entire 2 seasons, I had in the back of my mind the fact that apparently the “The Cart Driver” blog was named after someone in Code Geass. As I was enjoying it more and more, I kept thinking in the back of my mind, “Who is this so-called cart driver?!?”

    Now, I tend to hate bad guys. I hated Light from Death Note. I wanted that fucker eliminated from episode one, and it was such a surprise to me to hear from my friends that they were sympathizing with him and hoping he wasn’t caught. For me, the moment L bought the big one ended the series for me. I continued watching only in the hopes Light would get massively fucked. He is a serious douche bag.

    Having said that, Lelouch in Code Geass was a much more complex villain for me. I am not even sure villain is the right word. There were times I had true villain hate for him. Many times… The majority of the series actually… And yet… I was so relieved by the end of the series. And to finally understand this blog’s name… It was a sublime media moment for me: “OH MY GOD!!! THE CART DRIVER!!! YES!!! THE MOTHERFUCKING CART DRIVER!!!”

    • Scamp
      Posted June 23, 2013 at 12:08 am | Permalink

      This is a big reason why I chose the name. So people would have that exact moment. This comments makes me so goddamn pleased :D

  83. gedata
    Posted June 23, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Just finished Code Geass. Was rather disappointed by S2 in overall asides from the last arc, the writing got rather non-sensical in a bad way. I was wondering what this “Cart Driver” fellow was, but I forgot about it eventually…until he showed up and I was all like HOLY CRAP IT”S HIM! Goddayum, never realized what a spoiler this whole blog was.

    EDIT: Lol, I didn’t read the above comment before posting this.

  84. aryan
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    not a bad list, i respect your personal taste and opinion. although i would have liked to see monster acknowledged for being one of the greatest psychological thrillers ever made which requires intelligence to appreciate its complex storyline, hunterxhunter for how brilliant and enjoyable it is, kare kano for a love story done right, child’s toy for hilarious parody, suzumiya haruhi for some great characters and haibane renmei for providing an interesting perception of the world. other worthy more recent anime would be shinsekai yori, bunny drop, chihayafuru, hyouka and fate zero. just my personal opinion based on what i have seen so far.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      At the very bottom of the page, after Baccano, there’s links to our individual lists. I think you might like Shinmarus, as he’s got a lot of the same anime you mentioned there

  85. idiffer
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    cool list, i’ve liked 17 titles out of the 30 very much (rated 8 or higher). although surprised to see FLCL on the last place. oddly enough, even though the first time i watched it, i didn’t really appreciate it that much, now it’s #1 for me.
    also, aquarion EVOL is SOOOO out of place if you try to be at least somewhat objective. key word “try”. but i get that that wasn’t the goal here, so… whatever.
    btw, i was wondering what old animes to rewatch and stumbled upon this list (a second time in 2-3 years lol) – this made things easier as i was too lazy to look through my MAL . so thanks for that.
    lastly, why didn’t you just make 3 lists?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

      We do have individual top 30s. They’re underneath Baccano on the list. Maybe I should make them more obvious…

  86. gedata
    Posted July 10, 2013 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    why hasn’t Eureka Seven made it here? It’s on 2 of 3 individual lists and it’s really really high on Shinmaru’s. It’s the most bizarre ommission.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 23, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      No idea. Shinmaru and Inushinde didn’t argue strong enough for it?

  87. Araby
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    It’s refreshing to see a fair amount of newer titles on a Top Anime list (and in high places, at that) for once. I’m tempted to believe that a lot of bloggers have trouble not looking at things through nostalgia goggles, but that certainly isn’t the case here.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      If anything, I wish there were a few older anime here. Well, mainly just wish the other two would watch Galactic Heroes so it gets its rightful place on this list

  88. Posted July 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Babies first anime list. Nice job appraising cartoons on their script alone. I don’t think anyone above the age of ten watched anime for their “deep stories”.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 23, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      I don’t….what? This is possibly the dumbest comment this post has gotten. I’m pretty certain you’ve commented on the wrong list

  89. ReLeaf Avälo
    Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Now I’m aware I’m a n00b when it comes to anime but I must ask. Why is BECK shown no love on anyone’s list? Did you guys dislike it? lol However, I do like that Baccano, Cowboy Bebop (which possibly has one of the best soundtracks of all time)and Samurai Champloo (R.I.P Nujabes) are on your top five. I think Back Lagoon should be among the top five. Anyways, with the exception of BECK, I’m glad my favorites made the list

    • Scamp
      Posted July 24, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Third person to mention Beck. Myself and Shinmaru both like it (Inushinde hasn’t seen it) but neither of us like it enough to put it on this list

  90. Kirin
    Posted July 27, 2013 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    From this list, I realize that I’ve only seen a grand total of *gasp* nine series here. Looks like I’ll need to step up my game to secure my place at the gentleman’s club.

    Two shows that I would consider are Aria and Lain, but I guess you’ve explained pretty well why they aren’t here. Maria-sama ga Miteru is a personal favorite of mine, but I’m pretty sure that its appeal to broader audiences is variable at best.

  91. Duelit
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Baccano has always been a top 3, so I’m happy to see that one here. It was just an overall quality/quantity show that made it so awesome! I just wish they had OVA’d the other novels X3

  92. gedata
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    too bad no one GTO ain’t here ;_;

    • gedata
      Posted August 12, 2013 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      lol at my grammar

  93. potato
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    first of all, this is a fantastic list that has introduced me to some of my now-favorite anime (baccano, welcome to the nhk, etc.) but one thing i found odd was that mushishi got so far up the list. it was an interesting anime, with really thought-provoking concepts and nice visuals, but my problem with it is that it didn’t have enough plot to keep me engaged. honestly, the show just got boring after a while, no matter how much i wanted to like it. thoughts?

    • Scamp
      Posted August 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Mushishi doesn’t have an overall plot at all, similar to something like Kino’s Journey. It’s more that each individual episode is so great in their own story that it works. Plus it has some over-arching themes about the shocking destructive power and wonder of nature. Its stories are very human while also appearing other-worldly. I can understand how it can feel boring since it’s pretty calm.

  94. Posted September 29, 2013 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Code Geass being number 2 is a bit much imo..

    And I dropped Gankutsuou for it’s slow pacing..

    But death note being on that list annoys me. The whole show takes its viewers for retards by overexplaining ever single things and to show off how ”brilliant” the characters are. The deductions are all wild guesses coming from nowhere just for the sake of advancing the plot. The whole thing was a big let down. I really don’t get the popularity of the show…

    Other than that it’s a good list.
    What’s your opinions on air master and redline?
    Also I’m glad that popee isn’t there ahah ^^.

    • gedata
      Posted September 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      Gankutsuou doesn’t have slow pacing though.

      From what I can tell (from their MALs of course, which I checked for the purpose of this post). The three writers here have seen Redline and rather enjoyed it. Scamp’s the only one who tried Air Master and didn’t like it (not hard for me to see why).

  95. spirobrancho
    Posted October 3, 2013 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Good list of good animes, though I’d dispute some of the ordering. FLCL shouldn’t be anything less than top 10. It bothers me how often it’s written off as simply a crazy, random anime with a nonsensical plot. If I had to describe FLCL in a word, that word would be “rich.” The animation is rich, the music is rich, it’s emotionally rich, rich in subtext and symbolism, etc. It’s like 6 courses of dessert prepared by the finest chefs in the world. I read online that “watching FLCL feels like falling in love for the first time,” and that is totally spot on. And, unlike falling in love for the first time, you can experience FLCL as many times as you want!

    In the highly unlikely event you’re reading this and you haven’t seen it, make it your next watch.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Sorry to break your heart, but if we ever update this list, FLCL will almost certainly drop off

  96. Louise
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes to mononoke – the amount of people I mention this to and they’ve never heard of it or think I’m talking about Princess Mononoke!

  97. Posted December 17, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    To leave out Stein’s Gate is just wrong. And wonderful though Porco Rosso is I don’t think many people think it is the very best of Ghibli. Still its your list of course!

    • Scamp
      Posted January 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Steins;Gate came up in our discussions and we all like it, but none of us like it enough to consider it for a top 30

  98. intheshadows
    Posted January 13, 2014 at 3:18 am | Permalink

    Fantastic list. Though many of the comments seem to bash on code geass and though there are definitely flaws in it. It still love it and like scamp said it was hell a entertaining and I think it is intelligent more than it is given credit for. I personally think it will definitely become a classic.

  99. flegg
    Posted January 14, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Impressed that you guys are well-versed enough to have Berserk and Mushishi in the top 10.

    I was gonna say this is the first anime list I’ve seen that makes any sense but then I noticed some major issues.

    My biggest gripe is Black Lagoon. I just can’t see how that show is worthy of any top 30 or even 50 spot.

    Also you should make up your minds on whether to include movies or not. You stick Akira on there but don’t include the original Ghost in the Shell nor Samurai X? Pretty much blasphemy right there. Hell even Paprika and a multitude of Studio Ghibli movies are better than Akira.

    Also going to agree with other commentators in saying Code Geass at #2 is highly questionable. I guess if you fast-forward through 80% of it and ignore gaping plot holes it’s worthy of that spot.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 14, 2014 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      The Ghost in the Shell movie isn’t anywhere near as engaging as Stand Alone Complex and I don’t think any of us have any affection for Samurai X. Even the Trust and Betrayal OVA, none of us are really that bothered.

      Also Code Geass doesn’t have plot holes. It has conveniences by not explaining every little necessity, but nothing conflicts with what was previously established in the show.

  100. Magicmew
    Posted July 12, 2014 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Very good list.

    Would JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure be here if you guys updated this?

    • Scamp
      Posted July 12, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Almost certainly yes, the first season at least. We’ll probably update it within the next year. Now that Shinmaru has seen Legend of the Galactic Heroes, I can probably convince him that it’s worth a place too

  101. wvj
    Posted July 13, 2014 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    I often browse toplists when considering new shows to watch, and without nitpicking all the choices or their placements, this one has a lot of good picks and shows I’ve enjoyed. The also list inspired me to check out Infinite Ryvius (which I’d had sitting around but was constantly getting passed over for newer shows) although my reactions are mixed.

    I probably wouldn’t have kept watching it past the first episode on my own, as it has a lot of problems (everything from annoying 1-dimensional characters to poorly explained scifi jargon to the random magical girl), but I’m sticking with it a bit longer to see how the social stuff develops. ‘Lord of the Flies in Space’ just has my interest piqued.

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