Best Anime Series of 2007 – Top Ten Best-Rated

Title_2007

After a few posts on AKB48, here it is back on an anime topic. Many people on the netsphere considers 2007 to be one of the best, if not the best years of anime. They certainly contain some of the most well-known animes, both widely and within specific anime community (Death Note, Gurren Lagann, Lucky Star, Nodame Cantabile among them). Therefore, this is the year that I am particularly interested in seeing which anime series comes out on top.  Note that similar to other analyses I did recently, I am considering an anime to be of a particular year based on when it finished, thus Code Geass, Death note and Nana (all released in late 2006) are considered as 2007 anime in my book.

Without further ado:


10. Dennou Coil (電脳コイル)

Dennou 05

Average rating: 8.35 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 26

Director: Iso Mitsuo

Animation Studio: Madhouse Studios

Watch if you like: Noein: To Your Other Self, Serial Experiment Lain

One-Line Synopsis: In 2026, eleven years after the introduction of internet-connected augmented reality eyeglasses and visor, Yuuko Okonogi joins her grandmonther’s “investigation agency” and got tangled in a conspiracy to cover up the dangerous true nature and history of the new technology.

Excerpts:

At times it’s very low key, with touches of childhood nostalgia and melancholy mixed with some truly frightening, tense and moving moments. (THEM Anime)

Few series can set up such a far reaching setting and mix in innocent adventure while still covering topics that address much more mature audiences. It would be as foolish to scoff at Dennou Coil for being merely a children’s show; it surpasses that realm and becomes something much more. (Nihon Review)

It’s anime like these that show that even stories focused at children can be awesome nonetheless. (Star Crossed Anime)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

My take: I love its take on the potential future technologies. Will Google Glass turn out to be something like this?

9. Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai (ひぐらしのなく頃に解)

Higurashi

Average rating8.44 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 24

Director: Kon Chiaki

Animation Studio: Studio Deen

Watch if you like: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

One-Line Synopsis: The young group of friends in the town of Hinamizawa continue to enter terrible conflicts with one another in their never ending summer of 1983, often ending with the brutal murder of one of their numbers (MAL)

Excerpts:

While it does have its shortcomings, Higurashi is a true epic and one of the few mystery anime that has a set of solutions that do justice to the initial questions. While the execution is far from perfect, it’s not enough to hinder one of the best scripts the anime mystery genre has ever seen. (Nihon Review)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

7=. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit (精霊の守り人)

Moribito5

Average rating8.46 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 26

Director: Kamiyama Kenji

Animation Studio: Production I.G

Watch if you like: The Twelve Kingdoms, Mushishi, Sword of the Stranger

One-Line Synopsis: Prince Chagum, imbued with the power to stave off the drought and bring new life to his empire, must fight for  against those who accused him of possession by an evil spirit. (MAL)

Excerpts:

It’s a type of anime I wish was more prevalent — a strong story-driven piece with a mature main character, a production that can call to a broader audience.  (Happy Soda)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

7=. Mononoke (モノノ怪)

Mononoke 04

Average rating8.46 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 12

Director: Nakamura Kenji

Animation Studio: Toei Animation

Watch if you like: Mushishi, Bakemonogatari

One-Line Synopsis: It follows the Medicine Seller as he deals with various spirits or “Mononoke” in feudal Japan. (MAL)

Excerpts:

I’m afraid it will have to settle with being one of the very best abstract anime ever made, a personal favourite, and an absolute joy to watch…  If you’re looking for something that’s completely different from the norm, here’s a title you definitely should check out. (Anime Planet)

Mononoke is one of my favorite animes, for how it takes such a unique approach with its art and storytelling. And I, being somewhat nihilistic myself, love all the critiques of human nature. I wish that more animation studios would take risks like this, instead of standardized stuff that we see today. (Team Liquid)

The greatest flaw of this anime is that there is simply not enough of it. I wouldn’t mind if the show went on for another fifty episodes so long as it maintains its ability to engross, fascinate and shock. Regardless of length, this is one show that is almost solely about the experience, so free your mind, and let Mononoke sweep you along its surreal wings. (Nihon Review)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

6. Nana (ナナ)

Nana03

Average rating8.65 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 47

Director: Asaka Morio

Animation Studio: Madhouse Studios

Watch if you like: Paradise Kiss, Beck, Honey and Clover

One-Line Synopsis: Nana Komatsu, a dreamy romantic, and Nana Osaki, a cool punk-rocker, meet each other and decide to share a flat in Tokyo while going through the struggles and heartaches of reaching their dreams.

Excerpts:

Overall, Nana is a must-see position for shoujo-fans. It tells us a lot about life, it’s hardships and also teaches us an important lesson about the mistakes that we shouldn’t make. (Top Anime of All Time)

If you like punk rock, gratuitous but well-spoken Jenglish, girls who have to overcome insurmountable odds, and/or heartbreaking stories, Nana comes highly recommended.   (Amazing Stories)

Nana really showed the power of josei-series. It really is one of the most well rounded romances I’ve ever seen… I have never seen a romance show that went on for more than 13 episodes, and had such a tight plot, and yet it never feels like it’s forced. (Star-Crossed Anime)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

5. Baccano! (バッカーノ!)

Baccano06

Average rating8.73 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 13 (+ 3 Extras)

Director: Omori Takahiro

Animation Studio: Brains Base

Watch if you like: Durarara!!, Cowboy Bebop

One-Line Synopsis: A story, set in 1930s America involving mafias, terrorists, serial killers aboard the ‘Flying Pussyfoot’ (This is probably the hardest series for me to summarise the story in one sentence!)

Excerpts:

Watch this review. Gigguk did an amazing job capturing everything awesome about this anime

Blending memorable characters, wild action, absurd humor, quirky romance, and a unique storytelling method, Baccano! is full-flavored anime that goes down smoothly except for that rough first episode. (Escapist Magazine)

“Cool” is probably the most appropriate word to describe Baccano! The slick animation and the catchy music only adds to the overall sexiness of the show. If you want a dash of style and a pinch of epic this season, pick up this anime. There’s comedy; there’s drama. There’s action; there’s romance. All you need now is popcorn and soda. (Nihon Review)

My Take: This is probably my favourite series on this list. I love the OP of this series, the myriads of characters (given how many there are, it’s amazing how they manage to make so many of them relevant in just 13 episodes) and the shenanigans that go on. How I wish they make a second season of this at some point.

The director went on to direct Durarara!! which actually came 2nd in 2010 in my list. This is despite it widely being considered an inferior series to Baccano! in every way. It also goes to show the strength of 2010 animes that many people would consider this series, being 5th and all, heads and shoulder among 2010’s number 2 (and even number 1, Angel Beats). And there are still 4 animes considered superior to this offering.

SourceMALAnime PlanetANN

4. Nodame Cantabile (のだめカンタービレ)

Nodame-Cantabile-Episode-16-English-Dubbed

Average rating8.76 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 23

Director: Kasai Kenichi

Animation Studio: J.C. Staff

Watch if you like: Honey and Clover, La Cordo d’Orro – Primo PassoBeck

One-Line Synopsis: Chiaki, a prodigious, well-cultured piano players, meets Nodame, a clumsy and clueless, but ultra-talent musician, and both go on a journey to overcome all obstacles in their careers (Anime Planet)

Excerpts:

Completely and utterly perfect. Romantic without being too much so–comedy timing is flawless–loveable characters, engaging stories, something to easily be invested into. (THEM Anime)

Few titles are able to keep audiences watching merely with good pacing alone, but Nodame Cantabile has certainly attained grandmastery of the art. Fewer yet can inspire audiences worldwide to appreciate the beauty of music written centuries ago. And only Nodame Cantabile can do it with the perfect dose of humour, drama and energy to make it appealing to all viewers. (Anime Planet)

My Take: I have read the manga and seen the live-action series and love both of them. I have not seen the anime series but seeing all the responses, I am sure it is equally good if this is the choice of medium you want to experience this series.

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (天元突破グレンラガン)

Gurren Lagann 07

Average rating8.81 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 27

Director: Imaishi Hiroyuki

Animation Studio: Gainax

Watch if you like: Eureka Seven, FLCL

One-Line Synopsis: Simoun, who has led a boring life in an underground village, teams up with his friends on an adventure on the surface world and beyond.

Excerpts:

What Gurren Lagann does better than most series is that it creates an emotional connection to the characters so strong that it is hard not to shed a tear when a character whips out a gigantic drill, or someone sacrifices their life for the betterment of the brigade. If you like epic battles, giant drills, emotional speeches, and kicking all reason to the curb, then Gurren Lagann is a must watch. (JE Fusion)

Gurren Lagann is simplistic and ridiculous, but extremely strong characters and artistic mastery on all fronts are more than enough to compensate. (Zelkiiro)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

1=. Death Note (デスノート)

Death Note 03

Average rating8.85 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 37

Director: Araki Tetsurou

Animation Studio: Madhouse Studios

Watch if you like:  Code Geass, Monster

One-Line Synopsis: Yagami Light finds a notebook with the special ability to grant the death to anyone’s whose name is written on it and he is on the mission to rid the world of corruption, one death at a time.

Excerpts:

This is a series that will make you think. It’s more than just passive entertainment, though it is just what you make it. That’s the beauty of Death Note. And fortunately, it shines bright through the ugliness that is undoubtedly to come to its characters. (THEM Anime)

It has much to recommend it, and is highly entertaining with a top-notch production. This is a show with tremendous appeal …with a unique and memorable cast of characters.  (Anime Evo)

 

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

1=. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (コードギアス 反逆のルルーシュ)

Code Geass1

Average rating8.85 (out of 10)

No. of episodes: 25

Director: Taniguchi Goro

Animation Studio: Sunrise

Watch if you like: Death Note, Guilty Crown

One-Line Synopsis: Lelouch grew up in an alternate Japan, which is conquered by the Brittania Empire, and after he gains mind-controlling power, has to decide whether he wants to fight for Japan’s freedom or revenge.

Excerpts:

Code Geass is a solid work with some visual surprises and well executed action; This is all accompanied with some over-the-top meleodrama that both compels laughter, and stirrs feelings of epic emotions. (THEM Anime)

If you haven’t given Code Geass a chance I certainly recommend it to you, doubly so if you enjoy mecha. It leaves you rooting for both sides of a conflict where only one can emerge victorious, will leave you near tears at times and will also keep you guessing on how far each character is willing to go to achieve peace in the world. (Anime League)

Source: MAL, ANN, Anime Planet

NOTE

  • The next five in the list are:

11= Ef: A Tale of memories (8.30),

11= Lovely Complex (8.30),

13 Darker than Black (8.27),

14 Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple (8.26),

15 Toward the Terra (8.17)

  • Madhouse again is the most prolific animation studio this year, (3 in the top 10; Death Note, Nana and Dennou Coil).
  • Despite me putting these animes in a ranking, the top 5 are separated by merely 0.13 points. The year has so many amazing series and none of them truly outshines others. In comparison, 2009 has FMA: Brotherhood as the clear number 1 (it is 0.14 points higher than the second place); 2010 has Angel Beats; 2011 has Steins;Gate and Madoka; 2012 has Fate/Zero 2. This breadth of quality anime series is probably the reason why this year is often recalled as a great year of anime.
  • Only one series in the top ten (Higurashi) is a sequel
  • I tend to spout the effectiveness of the wisdom of the masses (namely, decision by a group is better than those that are made by any single member of the group), but when I can across at the list of best anime from this site, it makes me question this very principle. I mean, Sola number 1? What kind of people vote for this? It also kinda shocks me how only one of my top 10 (Higurashi) and three of my top 20 (+Big Windup! & Sayonara) overlap with this list.

FINAL THOUGHTS

This is a very top-heavy year with many really good series. I am now interested to compare the series of 2007 to those of other years to see if, on a pure rating basis, they really are the best year of anime

APPENDIX I – Sources

The scores given to each series to compile this ranking are a weight average from the following set of sources:

MAL – Ratings as given in MyAnimeList.net

ANN – Ratings as given in Animenewsnetwork.com

AniP – Ratings as given in AnimePlanet.com

AniDB – Ratings as given in AniDB.net

Review sites – Collections of different review sites, including Anime AcademyTHEM Anime, Star-Crossed Anime and Nihon Anime

*Note that I wanted to include blog information but I could not find enough sites to to make the source comprehensive enough to use. When I don’t have ranking sources, it makes it much easier for me to rank all of these anime series based on their ratings, so it does not suffer the shortfall of ordinal ranking (whereby the gap between anime rank 1 and 2 vs. 2 and 3 may not necessarily be equal)

-

APPENDIX II – Weights

The weighting again is loosely based on the number of voters/users/raters each source has:

Titles Weights
MAL 45%
AniP 22%
AniDB 11%
ANN 11%
Review sites 11%

4 Comments on “Best Anime Series of 2007 – Top Ten Best-Rated”

  1. lvlln says:

    I’m a little shocked that Lucky Star didn’t make it to the top 10 or even top 15. I’m not a big fan of the show, but I recall it was a hugely popular one and well regarded among fans at the time. Though I was mainly on 4chan and not on blogs or forums which have different profiles.

    • Good point. You made me having to go back and check for the series to see I have not made any mistake!

      Lucky Star (7.97) is #21 on my list. It has much lower rating on the review sites I use in the data, confirming what you said above. It is also below Big Windup!, Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei, Claymore, Seto no Hanayome and The Story of Saiunkoku which are 16 to 20 respectively. The more I see the list of animes in this year, the more I am convinced that this is one of the better years around in terms of quantity of good anime. I love Bokurano to death and this series is only 27 on the list. The likes of Moyashimon and Genshiken 2 also miss the top 20.

  2. Taka says:

    With regard to wisdom of the masses you need to append the notion as “wisdom of the (intercultural) masses”. What is popular in one country is not the same in others.

    You might be interested in some of the popularity results that http://hashihime.blogspot.com/2013/07/new-anime-popularity-on-2channel.html occasionally reports from 2chan about new anime.

    • Sorry for the late reply. That is absolutely correct. My results are probably only potentially applicable for a subset of the English speaking world. Japanese preference would not be captured. I wish I have a site with the same information for Japanese audience so I can do a good comparison too. That would be highly interesting to see how well-regarded shows such as Cowboy Bebop really are in Japan. If you have any idea of the sources, please share!

      I’ve done a quick comparison in my 2002 vs. 2ch top anime list. Pretty interesting and unsurprising about the type of series 2ch voted as the top series. I will keep this 2ch post in mind also when I get around to doing best anime in 2013 post:)


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