By Jenae R / September 29th, 2018
In recent years I haven’t been watching anime nearly as often as I used to. I’ve found myself absorbed into games a lot more often, likely because of how interactive they are. Despite the fact that I don’t watch anime nearly as much nowadays, I somewhat grew up with it just like video games. Thus, I have acquired a handful of favorites over the years. This list is a compilation of my six favorite anime and like all of my lists, this is in no meaningful order.
Earth Maiden Arjuna
First up we have Earth Maiden Arjuna. I’ve talked about this anime before and did a whole review of it here. But let me just sum up some of that review for you. I found Arjuna On Demand years ago, back when you used to be able to find a decent selection of free anime on there and I decided to watch it. However, it wouldn’t be until years later that I fully got through it. This anime is definitely a bit heavy on the environmentalist themes which I don’t have strong opinions for or against. So it was mainly the music (I’m a sucker for a great soundtrack), overall atmosphere and relationships between the characters that really sucked me in. The atmosphere of any anime or game, especially the music, has to be top notch for me to really love something over other options out there. Arjuna has a soundtrack with many songs done by Yoko Kanno. Quite a few of them are truly relaxing but still so interesting and good that I’ve gone to sleep before while listening to them. It’s a short anime that’s only 13 episodes. Regardless, the story paired with the amazing soundtrack has always kept it up there as one of my top faves.
Witch Hunter Robin
This next anime is one of my favorites mainly for nostalgic reasons. Back when I was in 8th grade, Adult Swim used to repeat their shows that were on really late, so I was able to watch some when they aired again in the early morning. I can’t remember the exact time frame, but around 5:30 to 6:30 am I’d be glued to my TV, in the dark, watching anime. During that time block, I remember often finding Wolf’s Rain, Witch Hunter Robin and Inuyasha airing. Something about Witch Hunter Robin really sucked me in. In retrospect, it was likely the atmosphere that interested me, much like Arjuna. I don’t know if it was the soundtrack, or if it was merely the darker aspect of that anime in combination with watching in the dark, early in the morning before anyone else was awake. Whatever it was, it stuck with me and for those nostalgia reasons, Witch Hunter Robin has yet to be pushed off this list.
K-On! is a much more recent anime. It’s nothing fancy, perhaps it’s even too similar to a lot of anime of its time, but I think that’s why I love it. It’s just a cutesy, charming and carefree anime with some kids merely enjoying their lives. I mean, who wouldn’t love an anime even more when it’s practically a whole show full of opening songs? The actual opening song changed pretty often and then you had the songs that the Light Music Club performed at their school festivals. This is the kind of slice of life anime I can get into and is a fun one to relax with and enjoy.
Fourth on my list is Nana. Even though I’m not very knowledgeable about music, as I said earlier, I can’t help it, anime or not, there better be good music and an all-around decent atmosphere if you wanna be one of my favorites. Nana is a show about two girls named Nana who happen to become roommates, one of which, is the lead singer in a band with her friends. She’s the Nana with a much cooler air about her and she sings some awesome songs which of course gives this anime two equally awesome openings. Okay, it has three openings, but I don’t think the second one is as good as the first and third. The other Nana is just a regular girl from a smaller town who dreamed of moving to Tokyo. Nana simply has good music and a story full of lively characters, that’s all there is to why I like it.
My fifth favorite anime on this list is .hack//SIGN. Dot Hack was, as far as I know, the first anime to dive into that whole trapped in an MMORPG concept. It is slower paced and I’ve heard that because of this, it’s not the most exciting anime for newcomers to jump into unfortunately. But, it’s one I caught on Toonami many years ago when I was likely only 11 or 12. It was probably a confusing anime at the time that I didn’t fully understand, yet right from the opening I was sucked in. Did you think I could talk about an anime on this list without mentioning the music? Of course not. It could be that I enjoyed .hack//SIGN so much because it was about characters in a game. I had grown up gaming and the thought of putting on some headset and literally being in the game seemed majorly awesome at the time I’m sure. It wasn’t until many years later that I got to play any of the Dot Hack games and once I did, I loved them just as much. After finding .hack//SIGN I was slowly introduced to a whole franchise that I now love and for that, I can’t imagine not putting it on this list.
Finally, one more anime that almost didn’t make this list. I remembered it last minute and couldn’t decide which anime to remove between it and the other five. I mean, that’s why this list is in no particular order to begin with, I love them all and can’t decide. My sixth favorite anime, is Rave Master. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon this anime, I imagine it was on Toonami back in the day. All I know is that I fell in love with it. If you’re a fan of Fairy Tail, then Rave Master might look familiar to you. That’s because it was also created by Hiro Mashima well before he wrote Fairy Tail. Rave Master follows the main character, Haru Glory, who ends up the second Rave Master and has to find five Rave Stones to stop an evil organization. I unfortunately never got to see the true end of this series because the anime was cut short. It didn’t get to keep going for half as long as Fairy Tail has. One of these days, I may have to finish the manga instead. Now this is yet another anime that of course, I can’t talk about without bringing up the music. Specifically, the American opening and ending songs. A lot of anime get cheesier when they’re Americanized but not Rave Master. In my personal opinion, it has the best song changes any anime has ever received in the West. Other than the English music, what I mainly adored about Rave Master were the characters and the adventures they went on. All three of the main characters, Haru, Musica and Ellie, were extremely likable. It was fun keeping up with wherever their journey took them and whatever they were up to. Oh and I can’t forget Plue, he wasn’t as important of a character, but it was always fun seeing what trouble he got into as well.
There you have it, these are my top six favorite anime. These are the anime that have stuck with me throughout my years of watching. Whether the way in which I watched them stuck with me, or whether it was merely the best soundtrack I’ve ever heard. Either way, these are the six anime I most adore as of writing this article. Feel free to let me know in the comments down below what your favorite anime shows are and why.
animedot hackDot Hack SignEarth Maiden Arjunak-on!NanaRave MasterWitch Hunter Robin