It’s been really hard for me to write blog posts lately. I already had 3 blogs I was writing before I ultimately scrapped them. I scrapped them not because I think that they were bad subjects or anything like that, I scrapped them because I felt annoyed by it. There was just this irking feeling about some of the rough draft blogs I wrote, and I really don’t know why. At the same time, it came into my mind that I should actually post things on my blog, because there really hasn’t been anything posted for a long time, and that is frustrating. So for now, I am looking to make a blog schedule for everyone in club, so that people from anime club can submit in blog posts (like in last week’s post). For myself, I am already planning to have a specific day to write, and I am already putting down ideas for what to write about. All of this is leading into some ‘Blog Series’ that I have planned, which would be a bunch of blog posts that each have an underlying theme with it, and it would go in its own category.
Either way, on to the blog post itself. This blog post is going to be my Top 5 Anime List, which I have decided to do for two reasons: one, it’s an easy thing to make, and two, it would be nice to look back at the shows I thought were top 5 worthy. This blog post is just supposed to be a simple post that I could put up real quick; it’s the best way for me to put content whilst dealing with school (which has been pretty busy lately).
The biggest thing you have to realize while reading this list is that the shows might not be for everyone, but they are indeed my favorite shows to watch. I believe that number scores for shows are kind of useless (even though I still use it, I just think how much I like it and put a number the sort of corresponds to my enjoyment factor). Putting a number on something for a review belittles the work that someone has put onto the show, and really doesn’t tell you anything about the show. The reason I tell you this is because I’m going to be linking my MAL on here, and I really want to hit home the fact that the number ratings that I put on the shows should not be taken too seriously, but are instead a way to gage how much I like the show. On to the Top 5 list
Your Lie in April
Your Lie in April is number 5 on this list because it holds a special place in my heart for being the anime that brought me back into piano. Piano and Violin are my two favorite instruments, so having this dynamic duo of a classical style piano player and a rebellious violin player makes for great characters. The soundtrack is really nice, having famous classical piano players like Chopin and Beethoven in the mix. The insert songs are also nice. They are all pleasing to listen to, especially the piano solos; all of them have this beautiful tone that somehow brings you back and makes you reminisce about things. My personal favorite song from the soundtrack would have to be Watashi no Uso. The story has a wide variety of emotions, going from happy to funny to extremely sad between episodes, and the show handles it extremely well.
Stay with me here, because I am a bit biased towards this one. After I came back to America, (I was living in the Philippines for a few years) I wanted to get into anime again. The Philippines has a 3 hour block where it would just show anime, and I would watch those anime and keep up with the series. America does not have that, so I looked up on Netflix and one of the shows that caught my attention was Gunslinger Girl. I loved this series so much that I actually own all 15 volumes of the manga (which is even better than the anime). Gunslinger Girl is about girls who were in critical condition that were given a second chance at life, but this time they are cyborgs that are ready and willing to kill at a moment’s notice. They have special Handlers that train the cyborgs for missions, and the relationship between each Cyborg and Handler is known as a Fratelli. The thing I like about this show that it strays away from a lot of Japanese tropes by taking place in Italy. Italy is a beautiful country, which means that the backgrounds of Gunslinger Girl are usually really nice to look at. All the characters become more fleshed out over time and they each are unique and different; even the villains are interesting and engaging. The story is less about the action (which what most of these Girl with Guns shows seem to have) and more about politics and moralities about having girls as weapons. I don’t think that this show is for everyone, but if you are up for a serious show, I think you should watch it.
Now, on to my Top 3 shows. The thing about these top 3 shows is that they rarely change. No matter how many new and interesting shows come out, my top 3 usually stay the same. There is only one show that I watched in the past year that is actually on the top 3.
Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom
Phantom is one of those hidden gems I found while looking for anime to watch. The story is that there is a duo of assassins that goes on and does missions for an organization, but over time they start to realize the problems with the organization. I know it’s a brief synopsis, but I don’t know how to explain it without going into spoiler territory. This show was written by my favorite writer in all of anime, Gen Urobuchi. He originally wrote this as a Visual Novel and it got adapted for anime. Gen Urobuchi is known for writing really dark shows, and this is one of his shows before his big hit with Madoka Magica. The story is the biggest selling point for me; I was so engaged in everything about this show that I always wanted to watch more after each episode. The characters are very typical Urobuchi characters, meaning that they are just slates that move the story along, but even though that is the case, I still love this series. I would give this a try, but try to watch it in one sitting, I think that is the best way to watch this show.
Love Live! School Idol Project (Including Sunshine)
This is the one suggestion that will remove all credibility for me becoming an anime critic. I really do love the show Love Live, as I watched both seasons and the movie of the original Love Live, watched all of Love Live Sunshine, and play the School Idol Festival game on my phone. There is something about Love Live that captivates me and I really can’t put it into words. I will be the first to say that this show is not for everybody, there are massive flaws when it comes to the story and pacing, but for all its faults, I really just love this show a lot. The two biggest selling points to me are the characters and the music. There is not a single character in Love Live that I hate, I really do like them all. Even though there are some girls I think that are better than others (Maki from the original and You from Sunshine), I still like all the characters and I’m always excited to see what they do next. The characters feel like they have a lot of heart to them and that each one was crafted to be a part of the story (even though it might not be true). The music in Love Live is pretty great, I have a bunch of albums on my phone and I usually listen to a bunch of songs from µ’s and Aqours. It’s a show not for everyone, but it was a show that caught my attention and stuck with me.
Ever since I watched it, Puella Magi Madoka Magica has been my favorite anime of all time. It’s hard to talk about the show without going into spoiler territory, but the best I can say is to at least watch up to the third episode, and if you don’t like it, drop it. Madoka Magica was written by Gen Urobuchi, and this is probably his most famous work. The story is interesting and it makes you curious about how it ends, the characters in this series are actually well made and interesting, and the soundtrack sounds great and well composed. The soundtrack itself was composed by Yuki Kaijura, who has been my favorite composer for a long time now. He did a great job on this show, being able to write songs that perfectly fit in with what is happening on screen. Madoka Magica is a must watch for me. Even if you don’t like it, this show has become a staple in the anime community.
-President Nico Nico Nii