When asked to write about the top 5 Anime that I personally enjoy, I thought to myself "Only 5? Why not more...??" I'm pretty sure everybody will have a hard time picking out 5 anime as there are simply too many!
However, after thinking much into it, maybe there are actually only 5 anime that I would pick. There are anime series that you like of course because they are silly, they are epic or maybe they are even touching.
But there will always be those few that are unforgettable because they were such influential and life-changing. These are the anime that really spoke out to you and made you thoroughly enjoy them such that you wouldn't mind re-watching them over and over again. These anime series could also have been the ones that inspired you or impacted your life one way or another.
Fundamentally, we all do love anime because it allows us to escape into alternative and creative worlds, and those special instances allow us to be truly and utterly free from reality.
Therefore, here are the top 5 anime that I would personally pick, you may or may not like it, but in the end, we all love anime all the same.
- Episodes: 11
- Aired: Oct 2006 - Dec 2006
What is it about an anime that revolves around making drinks so charming? This is not an anime where the story is about alcohol, rather it’s the short series of stories about human hardships, issues and relationships. If anyone has ever read Chicken Soup for the Soul, this anime is pretty much similar in that respect.
Every episode presents a troubled individual who has his/her problems solved by genius bartender Sasakura Ryuu. However, the answer is not to drink your sorrows away given the situation. It is through this anime that I realised that the original role of a bartender is a friendly individual who will lend a listening ear to you. Sasakura will listen to your problems and provides advice through the drinks he makes.
Combining both the elegant art of bartending and counseling, each episode will leave you satisfied and even enlightened on certain issues that you may have with your life. You just feel comfortable and at ease whilst watching this anime. At the end, the anime even features popular cocktail recipes and how to make them yourself!
Bartender Opening 1
4. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
- Episodes: 22
- Aired: Oct 2014 - Mar 2015
Anime had never ceased to amaze me with new ideas and innovations. Just when you think that nothing will ever surpass the last anime you watched, a new anime will soon come along and raise the bar higher yet again.
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso was a very recent anime that sent the whole community raving. In addition to the stunning animation, Shigatsu had a very powerful story to match the animation. As a lover of music and a musician as well, this anime had inspired me, and perhaps even a few more hundreds or thousands of individuals with the power of music.
The overarching theme of Shigatsu can be said to be on the impact of music, and how it harnesses the power to change lives. This is shown by the individual's play style and how it gradually changes, since music after all is the expression of the soul.
In short, Shigatsu managed to hit the critical points on its message and themes in such an influential manner that it shook the anime community. If you haven’t watched it yet, I would highly suggest giving this anime a try.
- Episodes: 23
- Aired: Oct 2007 - Mar 2008
Clannad was revered to be the feels anime. Any fan of Clannad will tell you to be prepared for an emotional ride. Clannad highlights the importance of a relationship and because it does not present itself in any extravagant manner, it became easier to associate it with our daily lives.
Many, including myself, found that we were not simply watching an anime. Instead, we forged a personal connection with it. The appeal of Clannad lies in its down to earth portrayal of daily events that are so seemingly similar of your own high school days but with a twist.
If anything, Clannad teaches you to feel and empathize. It’s about moving on and accepting reality as it is. Reality may be a shitty game, but it’s an undeniable fact that it exist and that we must live through it. That, is the beauty of Clannad and why it will forever be a masterpiece.
Clannad Series 1 Part 2 Trailer
2. Jigoku Shoujo
- Episodes: 26
- Aired: Oct 2005 to Apr 2006
Jigoku Shoujo was the first anime that I've watched. It could very well be the sole reason as to why I got into anime. This series made me realise that not all anime is all cartoonish and targeted for the younger population, and that anime can harbour dark themes that makes you question humanity itself.
Presented usually with a unique story per episode, Jigoku Shoujo really explores the darker themes of humanity such as vengeance, anguish and revenge. Albeit dark, this anime really makes you empathize with the grieved party and how their revenge is so clearly justified. It shows that there are always two faces on a coin, and how everyone has their version of the story to tell.
Jigoku Shoujo introduced me to the darker side of anime, and showed me that the creativity of anime knows no boundaries, touching on many different aspects of human life and making a timeless classic out of it.
Jigoku Shoujo: Hell Girl Trailer
1. Bakemonogatari/Monogatari Series
- Episodes: 15
- Aired: Jul 2009 - Jun 2010
If it wasn't obvious already with my pen name, my absolute favourite anime is Bakemonogatari. But what places it in the top of my list? Simple answer: I don't even know.
Perhaps it's the witty dialogue and fast paced story development, perhaps it's the unique style of animation that Shaft employs, or it could even be the characters. I feel that it’s the combination of all of the above, and how in general the whole anime is really abstract and unorthodox.
Though being queer and odd, I deeply respect Bakemonogatari for engaging in something different than the conventional methods. The creators had managed to construe together an idea that is so different and abstract such that it feels like you are admiring a masterpiece artwork.
To me Bakemonogatari has the edge in storytelling combined with animation that is of the highest aesthetics quality
Bakemonogatari Trailer | 化物語
And these are the Top 5 Anime that I personally like the most, and those that I will urge you to try out. There are of course many others that I would have loved to include in this list. Such honorable mentions include Psycho Pass, Fate/stay night, Steins;Gate, AnoHana and Angel Beats. You should totally check these out as well.
To me, a good anime is an anime that inspires you to go to the next level and strive further. A good anime is one that allows you to forge a personal connection with. There are so many kinds of anime out there and you might even have your own set of anime that had inspired you before.
Ultimately, that is the magic of anime and the reason why we love it.