Although I have long had a list of my favorite anime in various forms of top 5 to top 30 shows, I have never before made a 3×3, a core list of my 9 favorite anime, so I decided to make one.
But that was back in mid-2016, and since I never finished and posted this 3×3, I am not entirely confident that this list will hold true now, as I currently consider a series holding up on the rewatch to be the most important factor in my feelings about it. For example: I have watched Ping Pong The Animation at least 3 times and I am sure it would remain in this list, but I haven’t fully rewatched Your Lie In April since it aired. (note: I plan to do that in the next couple months for another post about it) So I can’t be 100% confident on it’s place as my number 1. so at the end of each of my quick sells on my favorite shows below, I put in italics how many times I’ve rewatched the series and how confident I am that it would still be my favorite. This is a little different of a post than my page of current anime rankings, which is a more accurate meter of my taste. But anyways, I decided I wanted to finish this post.
When I initially made my 3×3, it took me a few days to sift through what I loved and what influential enough to be to be included in this 3×3. But when I finally got down to these 9 shows, it was extremely satisfying to settle in to this 3×3 and find suitable images for a mosaic….but then I never fully finished writing the post – until now.
Top row, right to left:
Your Lie in April – My favorite anime to date, despite me only having watched it once, this anime took me on a roller coaster of feelings that I connected with on too many levels to count. Tragedy, depression, competitiveness, elation, and hope all mixed up into one. It made a special impact on me when it aired, because it was just the right time in my life for a show to break me and pick me up again. Never rewatched, no longer very confident on its place in here.
Fate/Zero (seasons 1 & 2) – It’s hard to not like a show that brings such strong characters of so many differing philosophies together, and pits them against one another in a battle to the death, all with a production level that makes everything look like a theatrically released OVA. Gen Urobuchi writes incredibly interesting thematic pieces that even if I disagree with I can’t help but continue to ponder long after they are over. Yes, I know that Gen Urobuchi wrote the novel, not the script, but his writing is clearly at the core of this series’ tone. Rewatched 2 times, very confident on its place in here.
Ping Pong The Animation – Having been a division 1 college athlete myself, I can’t help but think that no other anime tackles sport and how it affects the lives of the players more intensely than Ping Pong. It may have a cheesy-looking name, but don’t overlook this one if you love character studies, experimental animation, and subtly complex narratives. Rewatched 2 times, very confident on its place in here.
Middle row, right to left:
Great Teacher Onizuka – GTO is probably one of the funniest anime out there, and also one of the most dramatic. And that mix is handled perfectly. The tone shifts never feel forced or out of place, but rather the wacky (often perverted) comedy compliments and emphasizes the shows more serious moments, driving home themes of acceptance, personal discovery, and breaking down walls between loved ones with a sledgehammer….literally….all while having a good laugh about it. Never rewatched, somewhat confident on its place in here.
Space Battleship Yamato 2199 – 2199 is a very serious space opera that has very few goofy moments. It explores futuristic Sci Fi not only in terms of aesthetics and technology but also in societal outlook and ethical questioning. A huge wealth of ideas are explored here. If you love GiTS:SAC then this is a series you don’t want to miss. Never rewatched, watched most of series while drunk, not very confident on its place in here.
The Devil is a Part-timer! – Having some of the best comedy that I have found in anime, this show takes meta to a high level and is easy to connect to and laugh at if you have ever been down and out in life, working a crappy minimum wage part-time job. Rewatched 2 times, very confident on its place in here.
Bottom row, right to left:
Shokugeki no Souma – The joyous competitive spirit of main character Soma Yukihira is what made me love the manga in the first place and J.C. Staff made sure to let that shine through in this adaptation. It is filled with ridiculous foodgasms and sports-anime styled cooking battles. Never rewatched, not very confident on its place in here.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4: Diamond Is Unbreakable – I’ve always liked JoJo’s, but part 4 is definitely my favorite – equal parts hilarious, mundane, and extrordinary. You kind of have to watch it to fully understand. Only watched 18 episodes (currently on hold), not very confident on its place in here.
Noragami (seasons 1 & 2) – Noragami is another comedy on this list, and it’s kind of like a spiritual brother to The Devil is A Part-timer. The main character is a God who has to do odd jobs to get by, because no one loves him. There is a lot of situational comedy here and more than a few serious moments of drama by the end. Only rewatched part of season 1, only mildly confident on its place in here.
Tell me about your 3×3 in the comments below and/or in your own blog post!! I’d love to see it!
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