I watch too much anime. This realization has led me to also think about what I want my legacy to be in this paper, to which the obvious answer came in the form of an anime column. I am well aware that many people want to say something about this, but let me just say that anyone who tries to clown me for being a weeb can stay pressed, because I know most of you have watched anime at some point and are just jealous because I am living my best life stanning maids and cat girls. With that out of the way, strap in ladies and gents as I share my top 10 favorite anime series (as of November 2018 because this will probably change in like a month).
10. My Hero Academia (僕のヒーローアカデミア)
This would probably be higher on my list if I had finished it. After two of the three released seasons, I can say that this anime is so incredibly well done with some of the most developed characters I have ever seen. In a world where everyone has superpowers (‘quirks’), Izuku is bullied for being normal until meeting his hero All Might and discovering his own special quirk. What I have watched has captivated me, and without a doubt it will continue to do so. Its popularity is well deserved. Hopefully, the rest of the seasons that have yet to come out will impress me just as much.
9. Blend S (ブレンド・S)
You know the intro that goes “Smile! Sweet! Sister! Sadistic! Surprise!” that appears every so often in an edgy meme? It is a shame that many do not know that this is from Blend S, a 12 episode anime that aired last year. The main character Maika becomes a waitress in a cafe where everyone has a different ‘type’. She gains the sadistic title because of her creepy smile. All of the personalities mesh so well with a cute story and, since it is so short, there is no reason not to binge it. Without a doubt, Blend S is one of the most underrated selections on this list. There is nothing wrong with enjoying a little fruitless comedy every once in a while.
8. Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ)
Although I was pressured to put this here by my fellow staff members, I cannot deny that Cowboy Bebop is one of the best anime of all time. Bounty hunters in space in 2071, what could be better? Really, that is the whole plot. Spike is such a dynamic character, and the show has such a wacky premise that you cannot help but love it right off the bat for that alone. 1990’s anime was some of the best, and this is proof. Plus, the soundtrack is top notch. That is the best part right there. Some good ol’ tunes.
7. Tokyo Mew Mew (東京ミュウミュウ)
Cat girls are one of my favorite anime tropes, as are magical girls. Somehow, Tokyo Mew Mew managed to blend these two blessings together effortlessly. Ichigo is literally a furry, as she learns in the first episode that she possesses cat DNA which transforms her into a magic cat. Sounds like a weird fever dream, but really, it is so fantastic. This one is a bit more friendly to English speakers, as it is incredibly popular in the United States and has been adapted several times.
6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (魔法少女まどか☆マギカ)
If you happen to be noticing a trend in magical girl themes, then you clearly realize that I have a favorite type of anime. Madoka is a classic series about a group of middle school girls who are granted wishes and powers in exchange for fighting evil witches. Despite Madoka’s cute, pink design, the show is really quite dark in its content, with topics such as death and suffering popping up multiple times. This is one of the most unique magical girl anime I have ever seen, and anyone who is not typically a fan of this genre obviously has not watched Madoka.
5. Love Live! (ラブライブ!)
Love Live! should probably be at a higher ranking considering that I would die for Nico (undoubtedly the best girl in the series). All of the characters attend a school that is being shut down, forcing them to become idols to save it. Initially, Love Live! was an interactive multimedia project in which the story was released and audiences would vote on their favorite girl, causing changes in their positions for music videos featuring the characters. 2013 saw a short anime adaptation made, and it is the most pure and wonderful thing on this earth. The rhythm game for phones and tablets is quite popular, but I feel as though the anime does not get as much recognition.
4. Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン)
Ah, my first anime. Sailor Moon is possibly the most recognizable title here, and for good reason. What is not to love? Strong women, captivating story, nice graphics, and most importantly, lesbians. For those who are not familiar, schoolgirl Usagi meets a magical cat who bestows powers upon her. There is so much raw emotion and beauty in each episode, so of course I have to recommend it.
3. Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (小林さんちのメイドラゴン)
Most people I have talked to about Dragon Maid know it for the lewd fanart that is littered around Tumblr. Frankly, this is disappointing. How can you simply ignore how precious it is? In short, Kobayashi accidentally saves a dragon’s life, who then appears at her door as a maid girl/dragon hybrid named Tohru, pledging her love to Kobayashi in the process. I love maid girls in anime, and Tohru is by far the best of the best. She loves Kobayashi so much, and her ways of being helpful to her are so adorable. Like Blend S, the anime adaptation of Dragon Maid is fairly short, so getting into it is not much of a commitment!
2. Pretty Cure (プリキュアシリーズ)
Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Precure. Admittedly, it is a bit difficult to put on a list, simply because it functions as a meta-series. What does that mean, exactly? There’s a new season has been released with different characters and plot, but still following the same basic algorithm: two to five magical girls fight a main group of villains together. The character designs are absolutely gorgeous, as is the way the creators have managed to keep a consistent theme while still offering variation. Fans of Sailor Moon will probably enjoy Precure just as much, if not a little more.
1. Cardcaptor Sakura (カードキャプターさくら)
Cardcaptor Sakura is unbelievably special to me. While Sailor Moon was my first anime and easily one of the best magical girls of all time, Sakura will always win in my heart. Sweet, sweet Sakura. I could sit here and discuss how much I adore every single aspect of this series. Little Sakura finds a book in her basement with magical cards called ‘Clow Cards’, which she is tasked with protecting and finding the missing ones. There is not an anime that is more quintessential and ideal for any newcomer than Cardcaptor Sakura. One watch and you will thank me. It is simply perfection.