Some of ’em are in my Top Ten Faves and some of them are not. Here’s my list of Ten Anime that I think have or will stand the test of time:
#10: Cowboy Beebop
There’s a reason this Anime lives on in reruns Sunday mornings on Adult Swim/Toonami. This timeless Anime has been been around for nearly 15 years and is an outstanding entry-level Anime.
#9: Samurai Champloo
I got the series on DVD at Anime Boston in April after watching it on Netflix for nearly two years. This Anime’s got a little bit of everything and as such you’ll find yourself falling in love with the characters every time you watch it.
#8: Death Note
It’s hard to believe seven years ago this was one of, if not the Anime to watch worldwide. This Anime spawned a trio of live-action movies all dubbed by the Anime’s English Voice Actors and a slew of spinoffs in manga form. Like most of the Anime on this list it’s hit or miss though few can deny it’s more than earned its place in Anime history.
#7: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
I admit I haven’t watched this Anime much though I have seen it on Adult Swim/Toonami alot over the last 10 years. As the subtitle says this is a meta-sequel to the original Ghost in the Shell. It was an instant hit and can still be found on the Sunday morning lineup.
The anime that defined a generation, it’s hard to imagine how things would have looked without it. The ever-popular Anime will be talked about for decades to come.
#5: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The original FMA was quickly forgotten when FMA:B began airing. Unlike the orinal anime, Brotherhood is a more faithful adaptation of the Manga. There is also far less filler and a deeper and more engaging story to it. I myself have purchased most of the series on iTunes and Xbox Live.
#4: Pokemon (Indigo League + First 2 Movies)
Nearly 20 years have passed since the Anime first aired. Although several “Gens” have passed since 1995 none is looked at more fondly than the first season.
#3: Dragonball Z (Plus all the movies)
There are so many dubs and edits of both the Anime Series AND the movies it’s a wonder the voice actors on both sides of the pacific aren’t filthy stinking rich. DBZ is one of the few anime to go mainstream that has remained a fan favorite almost 20 years later. Its most recent iteration, Kai currently airs on Nickelodeon (and yes, Kai is heavily censored). I bought a few choice episodes from Xbox Live and iTunes (Uncut as it should be) though. Each of DBZ’s Sagas–Saiyan, Vegeta, Namek, Frieza, Garlic Jr., Future Trunks, Android, Cell, Otherworld Tournament, Saiyaman, World Tournament, Babidi, Majin Buu, Fusion, Super Buu and Kid Buu–are easily a season or three each. Everyone’s got their favorites. Mine is Classic Frieza vs. Goku battle on Namek. There’s nothing like a fight to the finish on a dying planet!
#2: Clannad (Plus After Story)
My personal all-time fave, I am doing a panel on this Anime at Anime Boston every year to make sure it’s never forgotten to time. A cast of characters with everyday problems most people can relate to. David Matranga’s role as Tomoya Okazaki is easily my favorite out of all the characters he’s dubbed.
Quite possibly the most prolific Anime after DBZ over the last 20 years, InuYasha created the mold when it comes to introducing an Anime seeped with Japanese culture to North America. InuYasha is also unique in the aspect it lasted nine seasons (7 regular seasons and 24-episode series finale in the West), something that has become a rarity in an Anime since the turn of the century.
…That’s my list.
Two more Anime that should get honorable mentions are Fruits Basket and Bleach. Both have made their mark and Bleach especially has already cemeted its place in Manga history.