This is another hard one. I wonder if I’ll be saying that for every question in this 30 day challenge.
For most people, when they think of their favourite thing there’s always one thing that pops up. I’m not like those people. My favourite things change depending on my mood or whatever I’m into at the moment. I do have a bunch of animes that I absolutely love, but when I stack them up against each other and try to figure out which one is best then I’m conflicted. Sure I like them, but the reasons for each are so different from each other.
While looking at my list of animes, three stood out to me the most. I know the question asked for one, but I can’t decide which one is my all time favourite!
Samurai Champloo was one of the first animes I watched as it was coming out and in subs. The feeling of watching a show that wasn’t cut and coming out every week was a special thing. Plus, the story is pretty amazing. The characters came alive, the artstyle was rich and lovely to look at, and it felt different from anything I’ve watched before then. Whenever someone asks me to recommend an anime for them, I always tell them to watch Samurai Champloo. It has action, comedy, and some deep moments. The last scene of Samurai Champloo always cuts me deep.
I think what makes this one special to me is that even though I haven’t watched it again, I miss it. I just liked everything about this anime. Sometimes I do wonder if my feelings towards Samurai Champloo is more of nostalgia than anything else. I haven’t had the chance to re-watch it since it first aired back in 2004 (wow, it’s been 10 years…wow), but I did read the manga a few years back and felt the same love for Fuu, Mugen and Jin.
Another anime that I would consider to be my favourite is Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. When it first came out, I didn’t really think much of it. I knew that it was being produced by Bones and they did Darker Than Black (which is another anime that I loved) so I watched it for that reason.
Like Samurai Champloo, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was so different from anything that I’ve watched before. It wasn’t an action comedy. It wasn’t about a girl and boy falling in love with each other. It wasn’t a typical slice of life comedy. It wasn’t anything that you normally see in animes. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was the story of two kids, Mirai and Yuuki who, along with an adult named Mari, try to make it back home after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake hits Tokyo.
There are some hard scenes to watch here. Some people were mean to the kids, some were lovely and really showed how a disaster can bring people together. I can’t say anything else without spoiling, but I remember I cried after watching this. That’s how I knew that this anime was special. I actually cry very easily in movies/shows and a lot of the time it doesn’t really make sense, so the crying here wasn’t shocking. But I remember thinking about the show a day or two after it finished and I could feel the tears coming.
Whenever one of my friends tells me that animes are all the same, I always tell them to watch this and then to come back to me. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 isn’t your typical popular anime and I think that’s why I like it so much.
The last one rounding out my three is Haikyuu!! I have a confession to make. Before I watched Haikyuu!! I would stay away from sports animes. I watched a bit of Kuroko no Basket, but I never finished for some reason. It was good, but it didn’t really grab me the same way that Haikyuu!! did.
It did have one big thing going for it. Volleyball. I love, love, LOVE volleyball. I remember a teacher asked me to try out and then I got cut. Another time I tried out and got cut again…..I could serve really well, volley and hit too, but I can’t spike to save my life. Oh well, I still love the sport.
So I watched it for that reason and was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Yes, it was a typical sports anime. Guys come together in a team, then they start fighting among themselves. After an episode or two of this, they discovered their passions for the sport and come together to take down their opponents. They cry, they laugh, and lay their hearts on the line for the victory. For the most part Haikyuu!! followed the exact same formula, but the way everything happened was just so well done that I didn’t care.
During their games, I was on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. When the players felt stressed, I felt it too. When they were happy, I was cheering along with them. And when they cried, I got it. I think my favourite moment in the anime was when Asahi got to hit the ball in the tournament.
I got chills when it went through. I wasn’t even expecting it to happen, but there he was jumping and my jaw dropped. Would he hit it? Would it go through?
I never realized how great sports animes could be until this one, so I like that it changed my view on the genre. I also loved that I didn’t read the manga for this before watching it, so everything was up in the air for me. I loved it!
I guess the common theme with these three is that they’ve changed my perception and offered me something different. Samurai Champloo was one of the first subbed animes that I watched. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 was the first realistic anime that I watched. And Haikyuu!! was the first sports anime that made me want to watch sports animes. They all offer very different experiences though, so out of those three it’s hard to chose my top dog.
That’s not to say that these are my only favourite animes out there. I also loved Baccano, Higurashi, Tonari no Seki-kun, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and tons more. I kind of want to write a little something something about a lot more animes, but I’ll just leave it here. I do love a lot of different animes, but I think these are my top there. At least for now. That might change tomorrow, you never know.