In the very first post in this blog, I wrote about an analysis of the most highly rated anime of the last decade. However, the post is definitely for serious anime fans only as most people will likely have a hard time recognizing a lot of those titles in the top 10. I would like to use this post as previews of each series in the top 20 and hopefully entice the reader to check them out:)
Number of episodes: 13
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Slice of Life
Follow up?: None
Similar anime titles (if you like this, what else you should check out): Mushi-shi, Kino’s Journey, Someday’s Dreamer
Date shown: 9-October-2002
Director: Tokoro Tomakazu
Synopsis: Rakka, a newly born Haibane (Angel), awakens into an unfamiliar world with only a strange dream of falling from the sky as her only memory. Alone and scared of who and what she is, she is cared for by fellow Haibanes as they try and search for the meaning of their existence as well as what lies beyond their town’s imprisoning walls. [ANN]
Pros: Rife with symbolism and metaphors; completely original setting; gripping in its oscurity; rich atmosphere; [Anime Academy] sountrack is very soothing and haunting
Cons: Nothing happens; Pace can be very slow
- Haibane Renmei started off a bit slow, but it closed off with one of the strongest finales I have ever seen. It has both a very imaginative setting, and truly excels at its character-development. [Star Crossed Anime]
- Haibane Renmei sings of wisdom and beauty too elusive and immense for our comprehension. A truly special place is Haibne Renmei, where we can spend an eternity swimming in a pool of thoughts, or losing ourselves in its rejuvenating warmth. [Guri Guri Blog]
- This anime is, in a nutshell, a philosophical one that concentrates on character development. So expect no high octane, fast and furious action. At thirteen episodes, the focus, plot and pacing is just right. It neither drags nor contain unnecessary fillers or recaps [THEM Anime]
In My Own Words: Story is originally based on a doujinshi produced by Yoshitoshi ABe (Serial Experiment Lain, Niea_7) Series was ranked FIRST 7 times (the highest frequency) and also rank in the TOP FIVE 14 times (also the highest). THis is also the only series on the list for Radix. I also love the soundtrack in this, especially ‘Ailes Grises’
More reviews: Anime Academy (87%);
I have recently finished inputting the data from 2000 to 2009 (pending some quality check but that will have to come later) so now I can start doing some more anime of the animes from the last decade. The first analysis I want to do is to look closely at animes produced by each studio and how many are recognized as great. For example, Madhouse studios have by far the most anime series listed in the top 100 (18). However, it is possible that it produces so many that if you look from the ratio perspective (how many series produced to how many listed), its record may not be so prolific.
Some note before the list:
– The list is ranked on the number of anime series that appear in the ‘top 100 anime series of the decade‘ list (see my previous post here for the list itself and the methodology behind it) over the total anime series production released by the studio [quality percentage] – The logic is that the higher this number, the more likely the studio is to release great series as opposed to forgettable duds (the more accurate measure should be taking an average of the anime score that it produces, from say ANN rating. I currently do not have the data to do that at this point so I am sticking with this methodology for now).
– Studios need to have a minimum of 10 series produced in the decade. This excludes the possibility of a studio being a one-hit wonder and top the list with 100%, having only done one good anime.
– The list only includes anime series. I will have a different list with movies +OAVs
– Bear in mind that I am working with an anime series sample of 974. So when I am comparing it with the top 100 anime series, on average, the quality percentage of a studio should be 10.2% or there should be 9.7 series for every one good series produced. Any studio with higher ratio than this should be considered above average.
Listed anime: Clannad, FMP: Fumoffu!, Clannad -After Story-, Kanon 2006, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Other anime: K-ON!, Sora o Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, FMP: Second Raid, Air TV
Comment: Very low number of series produced compared to other major studios (ranked 26th in total anime series produced) but dominate the list in term of sheer quality of the outputs. The studio have released FMA Fumoffu as their first series this decade and have been releasing about 1-2 series per year since. It is also definitely riding the moe wave of K-ON! and Haruhi at the moment!
After having learnt how to put pictures on the blog and make it look more attractive, I want to present the top movie directors again in a more accessible, non-technical format. I have mentioned most of the top ones to death but it never hurt to actually highlight them out again since they all deserve as much attention as I can give them. For this exercise , I will combine both movies and OAVs together. The next eight directors (with multiple films in the list, ranked in order of how many times their works are being mentioned in all of the lists used to compile the results) are definitely among the best short-format anime directors you will find in 2000s.
1). Shinkai Makoto
Why he is listed: 5 Centimeters Per Second (2007), The Place Promised in Our Early Days (2004), Voices of a Distant Star (2002)
My one-title recommendation (if you want to check one of his works out, I recommend this): Voices of a Distant Star
Other noteworthy works: She and Her Cat (1999)
Affiliated studios (studio that the direct has done the most works with): Comix Wave Inc.
Comment: The way this guy used lighting is as good as it gets. The quality of his animation is always top-notch. He can be quite a one-trick pony with his story-telling but when it’s told this well and look so good, I don’t consider that such a bad thing:) Hailed as ‘the next Miyazaki’ I really hope he can live up to such title for years to come! If anyone has not seen it yet, I would really urge you to check out Voices of the Distant Star for what this guy is capable of. This is the 25 minutes OAV that he, other than music and voice acting, essentially create by himself. It’s so well-done and the animation looks so great that it is pretty unbelievable that this is a one-man effort. Plus, it’s pretty short too so you won’t be wasting too much time if you happen not to like it!
This post is a continuation of the top 100 anime series analysis I posted earlier. This time, I want to look at the directors, who are most responsible for shaping the series to be as good as it is (at least that is my assumption anyway). To tell you the truth, I am as guilty as anyone in not being able to name the directors of a lot of my favourite anime series, so this is a pretty good exercise for me to recount them. Also, I hope you also find it useful as a brief guide of which director has the best track record and that you should probably pay some attention if you come across their names in any future anime. I will be listing the directors who have more than 1 features in my top 100, as that should somewhat suggest a sustained pattern of excellence for these directors, from most number of titles first.
1). Sato Junichi
Why he is listed: ARIA The Origination, ARIA The Animation, ARIA The Natural, Princess Tutu
Latest Offering: Maria’s Great Sea Story (2009)
Other noteworthy works: He also direct Sailor Moon, Junker Comes Here and Gatekeeper
Comment: He tops the list but 3 of his 5 comes from the ARIA franchise. He also directs ARIA The Arietta (Another OAV from the franchise). The only surprise for me about this guy is he directed Sailor Moon back in the day! He definitely have some longvity over 1990s and now 2000s
While my mind is circling around the topic of movies, I will get around to looking at the directors that are responsible for these 34 titles on the list and see if there is any interesting patterns within them. I have read in quite a few blogs / podcasts already about whether general anime fans really know the directors that work on the famous or favourite movies.
The argument goes that you most likely will know who direct Schindler’s List, Gladiator or Pulp Fiction, but outside of Miyazaki Hayao and maybe Oshii Mamoru, people would not be able to recognize the directors’ names. I imagine with the names being in Japanese, a lot of people just give up trying to recite them but do you feel that this is really the case? Can you name the director of Akira, Grave of the Fireflies or Ninja Scroll (admittedly I only know 2 out of 3 here so I may also be one of the guilty ones).
Anyway, on to the list:
This post will be similar to the last one but focusing on the anime movies and their studios instead. This list includes all the movies that are mentioned at least once in any of the list. I have also worked out a way to paste table onto the blog which looks much nicer than the pasted picture I used before. I will try to update the previous posts also. Firstly, here is the summary of each studio and how many titles it animated in the list
|Rank||Animation studio||Title count|
|5||Comix Wave Inc.||2|
Quick comments based on this:
Next thing I want to look at is the animation studios that produced these top-rated animes. The table below list the series in the top 100 as per the same methodology as my earlier post, segmented by animation studios. The ‘title rank’ column denotes the rank of the anime series as talked about in my earlier posts.