My blog focuses primarily on One Piece, since that’s the anime that I’m watching through right now. Since I’m not watching any other anime for now, I created this blog to fully analyze and post reviews, rankings, etc. on One Piece as I go through it.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have strong opinions on other anime I’ve watched in the past! And since I have a ton of time to kill at work (don’t tell my boss), I’ll give out my top 10 recommended anime shows below. As I think of more anime I like, I’ll post full reviews of them, but I still want to keep this blog as One Piece focused as possible. By the way – this list is definitely not set in stone, and can especially change as I watch more more anime.
I’ll start this post off with one of my favorite anime shows from childhood into my early teen years. Naruto had the right amount of action and fighting right from the beginning to the end. Sure, seasoned anime watchers might not find shonen anime to their liking, but I love it. I loved the character development, especially for characters such as Gaara, who was introduced as an enemy but became one of the best allies for Naruto. Another great (and very sad) aspect of the anime was the amount of deaths. As a younger kid, I hated it, but looking back, the amount of main characters dying off was very realistic and allowed for a better show. It also ensured the character development we needed in a very long-running anime series. It sucked back then to watch, but the deaths were also very defining moments in Naruto. Overall, Naruto falls on my top 10 list as a very sentimental and nostalgic anime, with incredibly awesome fight sequences and battles.
9. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
I know I’m going mainstream with Naruto and Fullmetal as numbers 10 and 9, but they’re popular for a reason, and I’m a sucker for popular animes, I guess. I read the manga and watched both the first Fullmetal and Brotherhood series. The anime (to me) was short and sweet (especially compared to the long shonen animes), and the brothers Edward and Alphonse were great to follow on their adventures. There really wasn’t that much character development as compared to long-running animes, but it was definitely still there as the brothers grew stronger and dealt with the guilt of trying to bring back their dead mother. The usage of the 7 deadly sins coincided at the same time I was learning about them in English class late middle school, so that was a great complimentary occurrence in my life. The fight sequences, again, were awesome, and the scenic backdrop through the series was artistically great. To be honest, the only reason why it’s number 9 and not higher is because I watched it a long time ago and it’s been kinda fading out of memory.
8. A Certain Scientific Railgun (& A Certain Magical Index)
I watched these shows out of order – I started with Scientific Railgun, found out about Magical Index, and watched that afterwards. I thought that the fanservice and the whole “onee-chan” thing was waaaay too overdone in Scientific Railgun, but to each their own. Otherwise, I liked the mix of slice-of-life and action in both of the series, but undoubtedly, the fights in Magical Index far surpassed the fights in Railgun, with more magic, illusions, and incredibly fight scenes that arise from that. On the other hand, I do think that Railgun had some more action, and that the concept was a lot more straightforward that Index, which confused me on occasion. It’s really a question of quality (Index) vs. quantity (Railgun). In the end, I liked both series, and I group them together at Number 8 since they’re in the same universe.
7. Monogatari Series
The series, starting off with Bakemonogatari, begins with a bang. Immediately, you see the really, really cool art style, and the premise of the plot is mysterious. I really loved the artistic style and storytelling in this series. However, I think the series really started to fall off after Nisemonogatari, the second series in the anime. At a certain point, the story becomes long and dragged out, and discontinuity between different arcs made me lose interest. Because of that, I kinda stopped watching the series…I would still recommend it though, especially the first installation. You’re allowed to slowly change your anime of choice to something else, like I did. Also, the opening theme, “Staple Stable”, is one of my favorites.
6. One Punch Man
An artistic masterpiece of comedy and action, One Punch man is the one you watch when you want a good laugh and watch some good action. Admittedly, I watched many of the episodes while under the influence of certain substances (*coughdrunkandhighcough*), but it was a masterpiece nonetheless. There were genuine serious parts of the anime, but for the most part, it was hilarious. The fight sequences were also amazing and out of this world. Of course, it’s not going to be super thoughtful, or have great character development, but that doesn’t matter. The show will keep you laughing and engaged the whole time.
5. Hunter x Hunger
It’s a shame that this anime didn’t continue on with the manga. My only critique is the incredibly long arc with the Chimeras. It was a great idea – but it was taken on such a long ride I had completely forgot about Leorio and Kurapika. Otherwise, the amount of action and fight sequences makes this one of the best anime. The anime arcs are great, and investigates each character’s backstories and strengths. The vast variety or powers and fighting styles make each fight interesting and keeps you on your toes. It left on an incredible note – the idea of a gigantic World Tree, with unexplored areas beyond the horizon. It seemed like a great jumping off point for the rest of the series – but then it ended. I tried to continue with reading the manga, but it just isn’t the same as watching the anime. Overall, it’s a great anime and lands at number 5 on my list.
4. One Piece
Yes, I know I’m watching it right now, so I’m biased. One Piece is far superior than all other shonen anime – it’s definitely better than Bleach, which made me lost interest after the first arc due to its horrible filler arcs. I would also say it’s better than Naruto, simply because I’m drawn to the adventure and pirating aspects of the show. The vast complexity of power structures, bounties, and more make the show interesting, and the lingering mysteries of the Lost Century and One Piece keeps you watching the show. Some episodes can get slow – but they’re much better about filler episodes than other anime, and occasionally I can even watch through them. Hell, it’s so good that I started a blog for it and not the others!
What could be better than One Piece!? Well, I currently have three in mind. At number three, I have Magi. I read through the manga and watched the anime adaptation as well. Similar to Hunter x Hunter, Magi stops at a certain point, which is definitely disappointing since the rest of the story is so great. Similar to One Piece, Magi has an aspect of exploration and adventure, with deep dives into unexplored dungeons and even alternate dimensions. However, the aspect of magic and exploration is even better than One Piece, where unknown phenomena are usually explained through some pseudo-climate/scientific reasons (thanks Nami). The creativity in plot, character, and scenery is terrific. The fight sequences are great by themselves, but the larger focus is on the magic and exploration, which is what I loved. This anime was so great that I watched it multiple times over.
2. Akame ga Kill
If you want an action-packed, tragic anime in which your favorite characters slowly die off, then watch Akame ga Kill. Now, my picks for numbers two and one I would never watch again – for the simple reason that I don’t want to put myself through the horrible tragedy of the anime shows. Akame ga Kill is the perfect example of one of the best animes because it’s the complete opposite of a show like One Punch man, for example, where only good things happen. The fact that people die keeps you on your toes in each fight, hoping desperately that your favorite character makes it through the show. Akame ga Kill takes you through the highs and lows of character development, making you fall in love with main cast members who are doomed to die. The fighting is immense and bloody, it’s action packed, and the plot is thick throughout the series. It’s one of the best animes I’ve seen, and I highly encourage everyone else to watch it as well. Just be warned – tears will definitely be shed.
1. Angel Beats
In a complete turn from the other anime shows on my list, my number one anime recommendation is not an action, fighting based anime at all. It’s angel beats, the first anime that ever made me shed tears. I think that Angel Beats is the most heartbreaking and saddest anime I’ve ever seen, especially due to the ending. The premise is based on passing people through the afterlife, and focuses on a character that has amnesia in the beginning of the series. As he regains his memory, he falls in love with one of the girls in the afterlife. The ending is one of the most heartbreaking moments I’ve ever encountered, and I think that Angel Beats ends up as #1 on my list for that reason. It’s not shonen (though there are some fight scenes), it’s not mysterious or adventurous – it’s a romance anime – a genre I normally don’t care for. But it’s just so good that it has to be my number one on this list.
What do you guys think? Agree or disagree? Be sure to follow for more posts on One Piece as I continue through the series, and posts about other anime shows I’ve seen as well!