Speaking of Anime-based Video Games…

Attack on Titan: Chains of Humanity is just the latest.

This was the first one I played back in 2003:

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Yes, that’s the opening from the Game Boy Advance game. Yes, Game Boy Advance not Nintendo DS Reminder: Nintendo released episodes of Kids shows on GBA Carts (GBA Video I believe it was called) two years later just to show how powerful the GBA was. Those who know the history behind Legacy of Goku 1 and 2 know the sequel was an apology to DBZ fans for how unrecognizable the first game was to fans of the Legendary Anime.

Needless to say, all was forgiven XD

Legacy of Goku II spans the Android Saga to the Cell Games Saga. Goku is the main character (of course) but over the course of the game, you will also play as Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo and Future Trunks. And yes, you will be able to go Super Saiyan when playing as one of the Saiyans. The game’s soundtrack also comes from the Anime. They pulled out all the stops to make you forget the first game even existed.

There is an unlockable character and a hidden boss as well: Hercule/Mr. Satan. His name is actually Mr. Satan but to make the series (Anime) approachable in the West, his US Name is Hercule in both the Video Games and the TV Version of the Dub (though from what I understand, he will use the name Mr. Satan in the Dub currently airing on Toonami). He is correctly called Mr. Satan in the most recent English home release versions of the Anime episodes. Anyway, he is unlocked by leveling all of the playable characters to 50 (the maximum level) including Goku. After you beat the game, Hercule will be unlocked as a playable character. Leveling Hercule to 50 gives you an additional ending for him. There is also a hidden boss: Cooler. For those who need a refresher, he’s Frieza’s older brother and has two movies around him and his quest for vengeance against the Saiyans responsible for the deaths of his brother and father. Unlocking Cooler requires collecting all 50 Gold Capsules scattered around the world. Once you’ve found them all, talk to Dr. Briefs in West City and you will be able to fight Cooler on New Namek.

…Of course, you can’t talk anout Legacy of Goku II without also talking about its sequel:

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The third and final game in the trilogy finishes off the series. It spans The Underworld Tournament to the Buu Saga. Goku, Gohan and Vegeta are back as playable characters and they’re joined by Goten and Trunks. You do get to briefly play as Piccolo and Hercule in two parts of the game, though. Like Legacy of Goku II the game went well out of its way to stay true to the Anime: Goku can go Super Saiyan 3, There’s Fusion (“Fu-Sion-HA!”) and there’s even some crossover with the movie Fusion Reborn: The main villain from that movie is a boss in Buu’s Fury. There is also a hidden boss now that we’re on the subject. This time it’s The Legendary Super Saiyan himself, Broly (!) and you encounter him if you’re playing as Gohan, Trunks or Goten at a certain point in the game. This is purposeful as Gohan, Goten and Trunks fight Broly in the movie Broly II: Second Coming.

…Oddly, from what I understand neither of these games have been released on the Wii U or 3DS Virtual Console. I’d say it’s about time at this point XD

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As a reminder, the Anime preceeded both the Trading Card Game (still going strong 10 years later) and the Anime. Most of the Trading Card Games released on consoles follow the rules of the physical card game though the first two–Forbidden Memories (PS1) and Duelist of the Roses (Gamecube)–do not. In recent years, the video games have gone mobile only and can be bought on the Google Play and Apple App stores respectively.

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Although it wasn’t released in the US, this is one of 3 Death Note video games released on the Nintendo DS, all of them following the Anime’s plot. Its spiritual successor Attack on Titan got a US Release so we should be happy with that!

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This video game series recently made the jump to Anime. Unlike most Visual Novels made into Anime, the anime series is not a retelling of the video games but instead follows an original storyline. The above game was recently released on the Playstation Vita. Speaking of, all but one of the Hyperdevotion games are on the Vita. The only one that isn’t is on the Playstation 3.

 

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And of course, Clannad was first a video game–a Visual Novel–before it was an Anime. The game is finally coming to the U.S. later this year ^_^

 

There are other Anime that have video games based on them as well–Inuyasha, Fullmetal Alchemist, Naruto and Bleach to name a few–but most have only been released in Japan. Of course, Bleach and Naruto have had several games released outside Japan. One thing publishers learned with Clannad and Attack on Titan in particular is if fans ask for it, they will bring it to the U.S. and Europe!

 

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Comparing Anime and Manga versions of a series

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As you guys know, I have the full Anime and Manga sets for Death Note (WOOT!) and Attack on Titan (plus the spinoffs!). While most fans of a particular series usually favor one over the other–I’m referring to Anime or Manga–some are so good, you don’t mind experiencing them through a second lens.

I picked Death Note and Attack on Titan as examples for another reason: The storyline is virtually unchanged in the conversion from Manga to Anime. You can literally quote chapters from Death Note while watching same scenes in the Anime. In the case of Attack on Titan, I started buying volumes after watching the Anime for the first time on Netflix. As I mentioned in my review of the Anime last year, The Manga continues the story after the series (or rather now the first season) starting with Volume 9. If you never read the Manga, you’d be in the dark about alot of things going on as well a how Levi’s past and what happened during the time of Commander Ervin’s Predecessor tie in to what’s going on now. Death Note does have prequels too of course but they were written after the original series was done to add on to the storyline. The BB Case L references early on gets a miniseries in Manga form. The third Death Note Movie L Change the World takes place during the space of time between when his name is written in the Death Note and when he dies.

Of course, not all series with both of Anime and Manga either get a US Release (History’s Mightiest Disciple Kenichi) or stay true to the Manga (The first Fullmetal Alchemist series). The original Dragonball Z Anime (292 Episodes) drew alot of heat due to the huge amount of filler added to extend the Anime. DBZ Kai is almost half as long (The rest of the remaining Sagas are currently in production in Japan) but is prettymuch the same story just WAY shorter.

Code Geass is an interesting example in which the Anime came first. The Manga is the same story minus the Knightmare frames used in the Anime. Most folks already know this but Naruto Shippuden doesn’t “exist” in Manga form. All volumes after 29 fast forward to Older Naruto in the Manga. They had to add a subtitle to the Anime for licensing reasons.

 

I’ve updated my Top 10 Favorite Anime List

Here is the link.

 

For those who want to see the list as it is now, here it is:

  1. Clannad
  2. Death Note*
  3. Attack on Titan*
  4. Persona 4
  5. Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple
  6. School Rumble!
  7. Ah! My Goddess!*
  8. InuYasha
  9. Shuffle!
  10. Ouran High School Host Club*

*  Denotes I also have Manga this Anime is based on

…As you guys already know, I have all of the volumes for Death Note. Come Anime Boston, I will have all of the volumes for Attack on Titan. See the updates for a bit more on each Anime. I think I have written a review for all of them as well and if not, I will get to it after Anime Boston.

My Reccommendations for introducing someone to Anime

If you’re reading this, either you’re looking for a good first Anime or you’re looking to introduce a friend  or potential love interest to the world of Anime. Here are a couple choices I reccommend depending on the age and possible interest of whoever you’re trying to introduce to Anime. Speaking of age, I’m referring to adults 18+. Now if we’re talking about introducing kids to decient Anime, I will touch on that at the end of this post =O

Now, this post assumes you and/or the person you’re introducing to Anime are native English speakers. In this case, you’re going to want to go with English Dubs. You can get into the whole Dubs vs. Subs thing after you’ve brought your friend on board.

Alright, so for this there will be three tiers of introduction: Rookie, Intermediate and Advanced. I will explain why I placed each Anime in each group as we go. Also this is just a partial list but anyway here we go:

 

Rookie

The legendary Hayato Miyazaki has been working with Studio Ghibli, which is a sub-division of Disney over the last 11 years to open up Anime to non-Anime consumers in the United States. Spirited Away was the first of his movies (released in Japan a few years earlier) to come on the big screen a bit over 10 years ago. The movie tells the story of Chihiro, a girl whose family wanders into the spirit world and must find the strength and courage to save her parents, who were turned into pigs.

The award-winning movie is visually stunning. I saw this for the first time 11 years ago while I was working for City Year. It blew me away given at the time, I knew I was the only one in the room who even knew the difference between Anime and American Cartoons. This movie is a great entry-level choice for those who’ve never seen an anime and don’t want to commit to seeing a full season just yet.

I first saw this Anime on Netflix four years ago. I’ve since bought the DVD set at Anime Boston 2012. Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple, or History’s Mightiest Disicple Kenichi in Japan (Just gonna Call it KTMD for short lol) has a couple themes most folks should be familiar with: Spineless kid is picked on, kid meets hot transfer student who also happens to be an expert in the martial arts. Spineless Kid goes to martial arts dojo to train, rivals and friends come his way. KTMD is one of those Anime that’s both straightforward but also easy to follow for entry-level Anime fans. You could skip around the episode order and still get the gist of what’s going on.

Around the time I got the box set I learned KTMD, like many other Manga-turned-Anime is continued in the Manga (which is Japan only unfortunately). The Anime references the next arc, which is continued in the Manga. Even so, this is a great entry-level choice and is available on both Netflix and Hulu Plus.

 

Intermediate

I’m sure many of you have at least heard of this Anime. Until a few weeks ago, Inuyasha enjoyed a nearly 20-year run on Cartoon Network. Many Anime fans worldwide consider Inuyasha to be one of the greatest Anime of all time. Its run spanned three decades (late 1990s to 2014) and at least two generations grew up watching it. While on the one hand yes, this Anime has a huge female fanbase it has universal appeal. The Anime tells the story of Kagome, a high school student from present-day Japan who travels back in time to the Feudal Era. There she meets Inuyasha, a half human half dog demon and goes on a quest with him to find all of the pieces of the Skikon Jewel. They are joined on their adventure by the womanizing monk Miroku, the fox demon Shippo and the Demon Hunter Sango.

Along the way they have several encounters with Inuyasha’s full-demon brother Sesshomaru, who views his half-human brother as inferior to him. When they’re not fighting each other, Inuyasha and Sesshomaru are forced to work together to deal with a common enemy. It goes without saying this Anime’s fandom is HUGE. The characters are multidimensional and over the course of the Anime’s nine seasons (seven regular seasons plus the final two titled Inuyasha: The Final Act) you come to love ’em.

While yes this Anime spans Nine Seasons, unlike say, Dragonball Z each episode helps tell the story. Inuyasha is also in Manga form and one can argue this is the reason even 20 years after it was first published, Inuyasha is one of the most popular Manga of all time in Japan. The Manga is also available in America in case you’re wondering. Before I forget, this Anime got four movies: Affections Touching Across Time, The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass, Swords of an Honorable Ruler and Fire on the Mystic Island. Like all movies based on an Anime/Manga in syndication, the movies are non-canon to the existing storyline but they provide a means making an original story using existing characters.

Anywho, that’s all I’m going to say about Inuyasha for now XD

East meets West in this Hip Hop-Infused Anime. I think I might have talked about Samurai Champloo in one of my early blog posts but anyway, the visual representation in this Anime makes it clear to me this was made to appeal to a young non-Anime audience. It did its job nicely: It’s my older brother’s favorite Anime. The Anime takes place during Japan’s late Edo Period (a few decades before Japan’s isolation from the world ended) and follows the adventures of three unlikely traveling companions: The orphaned teenager Fuu, The disgraced Ronin Jin and the free-spirited samurai Mugen.

One thing that should be said about Japan is like the U.S., it glorifies its past in media. Samurai Champloo is a fantastic thrill ride with a little bit of everything. The Edo Period can be considered the no-man’s land between the Feudal Era and the start of Japan’s Industrial Revolution in the 1880s. There were three constants during this time: The Shogun’s brutal crackdown on the underground Christian Movement, non-Dutch outsiders (Gaijin) banned from having diplomatic relations with Japan and unemployed Samurai. This Anime does an amazing job of highlighting all three.

Samurai Champloo can still be found on Netflix and it’s a great choice for the history fans out there.

 

Advanced

I think I touched on this when I reviewed this Anime but the difference between FMA:B and FMA is FMA:B is a faithful retelling of the Manga while FMA is not. FMA:B is much darker and has a much better story compared to the original FMA. Anyway, FMA:B is the story of Edward and Alphonse Elric, who broke Alchemy’s only rule and performed human transmutation. The cost was steep: Alphonse lost his entire body while Ed lost his right leg. Ed then used alchemy to bond Al’s soul to a suit of armor, losing his right arm in change for getting Al back. The Anime is the story of their quest to find a way to get their original bodies back.

Of course, this Anime is reccommended for Advanced viewers due to the overt athiestic overtones some may take offense to. Here’s an example: Amestris’s ruler Furher King Bradley (by the way, Fuhrer is German for “Leader”) states during a flashback episode “God is nothing but a construct created by man to inspire fear and promote order.” The irony is something the Anime’s main antagonist, the Dwarf in the Flask says in regards to those who break Alchemy’s one and only sin: “Humans who would dare to play God must pay a steep price for their arrogance.” This is is rich coming from a being who himself seeks to gain the power of God for himself and views humans as nothing but a means to that end.

FMA:B does have a movie: The Sacred Star of Minos. It takes place in the Creta Region southeast of Amestris where Ed and Al journey after hearing rumors of a Philosipher’s Stone being there. That aside, this Anime is very deep and while it is on the mainstream, it is one of the better ones out there. The tagline in both FMA and FMA:B on Alchemy is this: In order to gain something, something of equal value must be given. Alchemy 101. Alchemy 102 is One is All and All is One. FMA/FMA:B is also the Anime that made Vic Magnogna (Edward Elric’s English voice actor) and Caitlin Glass (Winry Rockbell’s English voice actress) famous so…yeah.

Death Note is, for all intents and purposes one of those Anime that blurs the line between good and evil. As the title of the Manga turned Anime implies, a Death Note is a book from the Shinigami World (Shinigami being Japanese for “Death God” or “God of Death”). Its purpose is simple: “The Human whose name is written in this Notebook shall die.” Click the link for the complete rules but yeah. This Anime centers around Light Yagami, who uses the Death Note to purge the world of criminals and L, the world famous detective who risks everything to stop Kira (Japanese for “Killer”, it’s what everyone refers to Light as), the man who has been killing criminals worldwide.

Most Death Note fans fit into one of two camps: Those who support Kira and those who side with L.  Those who side with Kira believe all who do evil should be punished no matter what while those who side with L believe only those who are guilty beyond reasonable doubt should be punished. By this logic, L views Kira as the ultimate evil. The first half of the series is a cat-and-mouse game as Light and L try to learn the other’s identity before they’re found out: Light to kill and L to capture.

I won’t spoil how their contest ends here but almost 10 years after it premiered in the U.S. on Toonami, Death Note is still very popular. It’s a great anime to watch with a group of people and talk about the legal and moral implications of each side. Death Note was so popular it spawned three live-action movies, the first two of which are based on the Anime/Manga series .

I could name more in each category but I think these are fine for now. So your friend has soon Anime from each tier and they’re ready for more? Now I’d say they’re ready for what’s  easily my favorite Anime of all time:

…Bring a box of tissue for your friend when ready =O

Now, I have been asked at Anime Boston both this year and last year when it would be a good time to introduce thier boyfriend/girlfriend to Clannad specifically. Clannad speaks for itself prettymuch so the best answer I can come up with is when you think you’re ready, go for it!

 

Had your fill of Toonami’s Weekly Lineup? Looking for More Anime? Here’s a few places to start looking!

I’m at that age where I’m old enough to remember watching Gundam Wing, Dragonball and Sailor Moon in the early 1990s, Dragonball Z a few years later, Fullmetal Alchemist, Code geass and Death Note about twelve years ago and more recently, the likes of Soul Eater, Blue Exorcist, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood and Bleach. What all of these Anime have in common is at one time or another they all aired on Cartoon Network and/or its anime block, Toonami.

Back in the day, you only really had Toonami and 4Kids to get your Anime fix. Things are very different now. As an added incetive, outside TV and Hulu there are no commercial interruptions so…yeah. Here’s two places I reccommend to get started:

This should come as no surprise given I reviewed it in January. For those who are unfamiliar with it, it’s basically Netflix but just Anime and Korean Dramas. Like Netflix, programming is on demand but like Hulu, new episodes are made available right after they’ve aired on TV in Japan.  Even though I’m a Dub Man and the Anime CR provides is all Subbed, no other provider comes close to the sheer volume of Anime they have to offer.

Crunchyroll can be streamed through both Microsoft and Sony Consoles as well as the Vita, iOS/Android devices and of course, your computer’s browser. CR is 100% free to watch on your computer but if you want to stream it, it’ll cost you $7 a month which is a buck less than Netflix for prettymuch just Anime.  The original content is easily worth the monthly subscription in my book.

 

As the first streaming service I ever used and as much as I hate to admit it, Netflix has its usefulness in regards to Anime. While the streaming giant has been quietly making original content in recent months (Orange is the New Black and House of Cards), it has also been acquiring exclusive licensing deals with various media providers. One such deal brought the entire Pokemon series to Netflix. At the moment, The Indigo League and The Unova Saga as well as the Reshiram and Zekrom movies are the only Pokemon-related stuff they have so far but those ALONE will easily take a few weeks to go through. The rest are set to be added over the coming months.

Moving on, almost all of the Anime I now own I saw for the first time on Netflix: Clannad, School Rumble, Ouran High School Host Club and Samurai Champloo to name a few. The small but respectable selection of Anime they have is a great place for folks to cut their teeth on Dubs without having to deal with the Ads on Hulu. Netflix also has Attack on Titan Subbed, which recently started airing on Toonami.

Like Crunchyroll, Netflix streams on both Sony and Microsoft consoles as well as the Vita and the 3DS family handhelds and all the rest. It’s $8 a month which isn’t bad. I actually have both CR and Netflix so…yeah. As a reminder: When streaming both CR and Netflix there are NO ADS =D

 

That’s just to whet your appitite.

So now you wanna buy some Anime but not ready for the DVD/Blu-Ray sets yet? That’s ok. I know a few providers that can help you get your Anime fix and the prices are obscenely cheap:

 

 

These were the first places I bought Anime from starting about seven years ago with Xbox Live’s PC Client Zune. The first Anime I bought was Ah! My Goddess! Unsurprisingly, I went on to own both seasons, the movie and two thirds of the Manga volumes (LOL!). This brings up the all-important question of cost. It really depends on which route you go. If you wand Standard Definition (SD) it’s $2 per episode across the board and $3 for High Definition (HD) episodes. While yes, HD is better quality the files are also MUCH bigger and in the cases of the consoles they can really eat up your storage if you’re not careful. For movies, the cost is $8-$10 though with those that have HD versions available it’s $12 or $15.

Both iTunes and Xbox Live/Zune allow you to buy whole seasons if you want. If a season is airing, you can buy a Season Pass which gets you all the episodes of a season in progress so far plus the rest of the episodes made available for download as early as an hour after they’ve aired on TV. You can also just buy all the episodes of a season at a flat rate after all the episodes have aired.

I reccommend one or both personally in regards to Anime. Most Anime seasons are 12 to 13 or 24 to 26 episodes long so…yeah. On average, Buying a whole season on average runs between $18 to $32 on both Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes (the Playstation Network doesn’t currently offer whole season purchases). I wouldn’t pay more than $30 personally for a digital copy of an Anime season or series. The most I paid was $24 each for both seasons of Spice & Wolf, Ah! My Goddess!, and Rosario + Vampire as well as Shuffle! (I bought the DVD set last year at Anime Boston) which I bought on Xbox Live three years ago. Each episode (Standard Definition) was $2 so more often than not, I got a real good deal on a season package. I paid $24 for the Shuffle DVD set in case you’re wondering.

 

…I’ve talked about Xbox Live/Zune almost exclusively but there SEVERAL benefits to buying your Anime on iTunes and The Playstation Network, more so if like me you have quite a few of their portable devices =O

For starters, once you buy anything from iTunes you can download it on all of your devices right away. Cross-buy and cross-download is also possible so for example if you buy Wolf Children on your PS3, you can download it to your Vita or PSP at no extra cost. Don’t wanna wait for it to download? You can stream it while it’s downloading in the case of Xbox Live/Zune and iTunes. In all three cases, you can que multiple downloads simultaneously.

Of course, the smart way to distribute your stuff after you’ve bought and downloaded it to your PC/PS3 is to use a Sync cable so you can get it on Portable device in seconds and not minutes or hours.

Whew…now we’ree getting to the third and final layer. In case it isn’t obvious: I am only providing LEGAL OPTIONS to get your Anime. Of course, there are illegal means but if you wanted to go that route, you probably wouldn’t have read this much (LOL). Support your favorite anime and BUY it!

 

That said, the final layer is of course DVD and/or Blu-Ray. While yes, Digital Purchases are the future there’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a physical copy of your favorite anime and anime movies. I have 14 Anime DVD and Blu-Ray sets (I count multiple seasons as part of a set personally) and 6 Anime movies myself so…yeah. I got most of my Box Sets during Anime Boston and have actually made it a tradition to buy two Anime Box sets at Anime Boston. For example I got Ouran High School Host Club and Fate/ZERO this year and Samurai Champloo and Shuffle! last year.

You really can’t go wrong when you buy your Anime on DVD/Blu-Ray: No DRM, no internet connection, no monthly fees, no ads, nothing but the Anime. The best part is you can decide if you want to watch it with the English Audio (default setting) or the Japanese Audio. With the other layers you’re locked into one or the other.

As for the price, that depends on where you look and how rare the Anime you’re looking to buy is. For example, Code Geass Season 1 goes for $49 while Season 2 costs $72. Persona 4 Blu-Ray is about $27 for each season (they split it in half for the home release presumably to bring the price down and double profits at the same time). Samurai Champloo (complete series) goes for $28 on DVD and $30 on Blu Ray.

Some sets are simply rarer or more common than others. Much of it has to do with licensing and/or the original distributor going under, ending the production of new DVD/Blu-Ray Sets. This is what happened to Code Geass. Those who paid attention will have noticed this Anime never reaired on Cartoon Network/Toonami. The reason for that is the company that held the license went under while the series was wrapping up on Toonami so it was never reaired. It’s also the reason the DVD Sets are so rare and costly XD

 

Ok that’s it for now. Up next, I’ll throw out my reccommended picks for folks who are not fans of Anime =D

Slight change in the name of this blog

Starting today, this blog will be called Aurabolt’s Anime and Manga. The links won’t change since I know some folks reblog my posts periodically.

I got a new bookcase this weekend and over the last two years my collection of Manga has quadrupled. This afternoon I bought some volumes of Naruto for the first time ever. Like my other Manga, all of them were purchased after I started watching the Anime. What this means for this blog is now I will start posting reviews on Manga I’ve read as well as Anime. I’ve already been doing that with Anime that are have a Manga counterpart so…yeah.

Right now, Death Note are Code Geass are the only series in which I have all the volumes in the series. I have two thirds of Fullmetal Alchemist and Ah! My Goddess! and half of Rosario + Vampire. my intent is to finish collecting all three series. Naruto and Bleach are both ongoing in both Manga and Anime form in Japan so…yeah. Both have passed the 60 volume mark at that. I’m definitely not going to try to collect the entire Bleach Manga series though I do plan on getting all the volumes for the Soul Society, Arrancar, Hueco Mundo amd Aizen Arcs. As for Naruto I’ll collect the early ones to 18 and then start collecting the more recent volumes.

Here’s a protip for those looking to start collecting Bleach, Dragonball Z, Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist Volumes: Buy the 3-in-1 Mangas. Why? You’re saving $15 and you only have to carry around 1 book vs. 3. I got my early volumes of Bleach and Naruto from Anime Boston so I ended up having to buy them one volume at a time. I have the 3-in-1s for FMA up to 18 plus volumes 26 and 27. This leaves volumes 19-25 (seven volumes) for me to buy and I’m done with the series.

For those making the arguement “what if I wanna lend a volume to a friend? it’s easier with single-volume books.” Be a good friend and just let them borrow a 3-in-1. Besides, if they trash it you can demand they cough up $30. See what I did there? Yep, I’m good.

 

Ten Timeless Anime You Must See

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.

#6: Naruto

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.

#1: InuYasha

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.