I’ve been wanting to share my personal list of top anime for a while because it isn’t a typical list at all, and I really want to see if I can turn some new people on to beautiful stories they haven’t heard of before. My favorite anime of all time made me feel something incredibly special or came along at a time in my life where I was ready for that particular story and capable of being blown away.
Since my list is probably unusual and I have a lot to say about each one, I’m breaking it up into part one and part two. Part one may be a little less surprising. Part two gets pretty wacky… Mainly, though, it’s fun to share one’s gateway anime and also which shows appealed to them most growing up. There’s like a party game in there somewhere: share your gateway anime; then the one that made you cry the most; then the one that made you laugh the most… And do a shot every time someone mentions Cowboy Bebop?
Anime From the Lens of a 90s Kid
A bit of context before I start my list… My sis forced us to watch Inuyasha in the 90s, so that was my gateway anime. And this also means I started in the era of downloading fansubs on forums… you couldn’t even buy the ones you wanted to watch subbed in English, let alone find dubbed versions of your favorite anime. Then I was exposed to Escaflowne, the classic Vampire Hunter D, Cowboy Bebop which since became another classic, Twelve Kingdoms… I didn’t find out about the Studio Ghibli stuff until college. And college was also when Bleach exploded onto the scene and I went to my first anime convention.
The upshot of my particular list being… you may not have heard of some of these before. And they are all freaking wonderful. I should also note—I chose these, not for their quality or popularity. For me, it’s all about how each show made me feel; actually, how much love they made me feel. How deeply each one has impacted me and shaped my sense of humor or how I see life, and storytelling. So I’d say this is a list ranked by complete and utter subjective, illogical, instinctive, passionate love. You will not agree. But you will be highly amused.