Thanks to the world’s no. 1 softdrink, I was able to endure headaches and drowsiness to finally complete the 2007 anime rankings. The top 3 was easy, but re-completing the list (I forgot the original at the office @_@) was not that easy. Redoing something is not an enjoyable task.
But since my brain needed a break from watching nothing but anime, and having finished most of the 2007 shows I was following, I felt it was time to do the list. Coincidentally, the number of ranked shows is also the same as last year’s: 21 shows ranked. The only difference now, is that I have decided not to insert anymore the shows I haven’t finished yet as of this writing. Also, the dropped list seems to be longer than last year’s.
Criteria: It’s a mix of favoritism, novelty, rewatch potential, and story. We all have our preferences, and mine shows quite clearly here. I also excluded movies.
Almost pointless really. Too vague and there is almost nothing to really make us care about the characters–and the anime. Will be confined to the bottom of the crop of 2007, and beyond it, will probably never be heard of again. Unless you have a thing for yuri and obscure anime, and when you watch you will know why it is obscure.
20. Soukou no Strain
Started out ok, but this mecha wobbled in the middle with pointless fanservice and squandered precious airtime with fillers. The bland characters I could have forgiven, however the story doesn’t stand out that much and that’s why it is relegated to the almost generic anime category.
19. Mai-Otome Zwei
Not content with tarnishing the original Mai Hime with Mai Otome, Sunrise just had to make another cash-cow to further milk otaku of their money. Loaded with lots of fanservice sure to lure the fanboys, Mai Otome still was a draw to those nostalgic over the old characters of Mai Hime like myself. It was also pointless. yes, but still watchable.
18. Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge
This started like a good comedy, but in the middle became a little untolerable. Even if we forgive the animation, the fact is that the four supposedly ‘hot guys’ in this reverse harem aren’t hot, and actually have little redeeming qualities. The jokes focusing on the same theme get tired after a while, but miraculously, the show manages to resurrect itself in the remaining episodes. But still not enough to stamp out the failure that is the middle part of the show, and hence, this low ranking.
17. Moonlight Mile: 1st Season – Lift off
This show had good animation, a nice sci-fi angle, memorable character leads–but still doesn’t click enough. Why? Despite the fact that every episode is decent, there really is no clear direction into which the show is headed. Who are the bad guys in this story really? What are the main characters really up against? This brings me to the conclusion that this is the anime version of Gattaca. I didn’t bother anymore with the second season because of the lack of subbers, so unfortunately this series is just another footnote in the 2007 anime season.
16. Blue Drop: Tenshi-tachi no Gikyoku
This series started out slow, and never really took off. Based on an explicit yuri manga, the expectation for this show was a little high. It is quite unfortunate the writers weren’t creative enough to truly make something exceptional from the source material. Even the notorious Strawberry Panic has better chances of being remembered in the long run than Blue Drop. What salvaged this show was it’s not too generic ending. If you want to watch this for the sci-fi and yuri, don’t set your expectations too high, you will be a little disappointed.
15. Red Garden
If a contest was held to determine the best emo girlband, the female leads of Red Garden would win. The first few episodes of the show doomed the show’s ratings–dead girls, men turning into monsters and characters suddenly breaking into song are not a good mix. The show was reportedly shortened, but it still managed to be engaging enough with entertaining fights till the end. There was supposed to be an OVA, but I don’t care anymore as the end of the series has satisfied me already.
14. Death Note
I really liked the show at first, with it’s concept of death gods and a notebook that can kill a person if that’s person’s real name is written on it. But the biggest draw for me was the rivalry between the intelligent but twisted Light Yagami and his archrival L. However, at some point I found parts of the show turning ridiculous and unbelievable. Later somehow I’d stopped caring after a certain character died: the thrill was gone. The road to finishing the show had become agonizing; I skipped parts of the final episode. But this show is still worth checking out if you like something celebral in your anime for a change.
13. Lovely Complex
One of the guilty pleasures of this year, the comedy about a tall girl in love with a shorter guy is not over the top, but still enough to make me laugh. The use of Kansai-ben adds novelty to the show–it was fun watching the raws for a while. This was definitely a good addition to my watch list that lacked light fare.
12. Saiunkoku Monogatari
Funny how the series ended up here, when it managed to break into the top five in one of the rankings. It was a good show. With bishies in a historical setting, how could it fail? It’s just there were better, flashier shows that managed to edge it out of the top 10.
11. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
I dropped this show at first because I didn’t like the mech designs, and it didn’t help that the raw I watched was of bad quality. I didn’t really enjoy FLCL, so the animation style in itself never endeared the series to me. However, since there was so much noise about it being ‘manly’ and having the honor of being mentioned by Hayate no Gotoku!, another 2007 comedy show that I liked, I decided to give the series another try. Thankfully it did not disappoint, and it helped that it’s also about mecha, one of my favorite genre in anime. It’s funny and at times downright silly, but no doubt the series will be remembered fondly from time to time. It’s just that I’m not really that crazy about it, hence its exclusion from the top 10.
10. Genshiken 2
This show had surpassed the first season in my eyes, what else to make of it? Definitely this show about the lives of otaku in college is a must watch for everyone who has delved much deeper into anime, video games, and manga than the casual fan. If not, just watch it for the laughs, and learn about the world of Genshiken.
With Claymore, I fully understood the burden of having read the manga: the unmet expectations. The wait for the subs was too unbearable for me, and that was my undoing. If I hadn’t read the manga in advance, I wouldn’t have placed such high expectations on the series in the first place, and might even have enjoyed it more. Girls with swords fighting monsters is cool in my book (but not if fanservice-y). The arrival of interesting and memorable characters is another main bonus. The battle for survival at the end is supposed to be the climax of the show, but it’s rather wide deviation from the manga is not enough to take away the decent ending. Of course I could complain about it and how Madhouse ‘man-handled’ the animation, but it is my fault for reading the manga anyway. So one advice: if you consider on watching this, read the manga later so that you can appreciate the anime more.
08. Maria-sama ga Miteru 3rd
Remember the criteria that said favoritism and rewatch potential play a role in this list? Nowhere is it more shamelessly obvious as it with the no. 8 pick. I immensely enjoyed the first 2 seasons, and this OVA would have been in the top 5 had the adaptation been more efficient and smooth.
07. Aria The OVA: Arietta
It’s quite hard to really explain the peaceful atmosphere that Aria projects–it’s as of you’re also being taken for a ride in the waterways of Neo-Venezia. This OVA continues that tradition for Aria fans. It’s not feasible to explain in detail, so before watching this OVA it is advised to watch first the previous 2 Aria series.
06. Seirei no Moribito
If there was one reason why you should give Seirei a try, the distinction of having one of the best visuals among the 2007 offerings would be tops. Of course nice visuals would be nothing without a good story, and surely the story of a female bodyguard risking her life to protect a boy prince is another draw. The downside is that there seems to be more talking than fighting, but learning the true fate of the boy prince at the end is decent motivation enough to finish the show.
This was a show that revolved around music and two girls named Nana out to make something out of their lives in Tokyo. It had drama written all over it, hence my high expectations. I hate to say it, but the series was a little disappointing, especially the ending. If I hadn’t spoiled myself a little by reading the animesuki threads on NANA, I could have been scratching my head till it bled wondering what the hell happened in the ending. The series had resurrected itself after a boring first half, only to give us non-manga readers an uneventful end to a show that subjected us to 50 episodes and a handful of recaps. But music and drama is great for most parts of the show, and this is where it redeems itself. NANA is a must-watch if you like memorable music and characters with flaws that you encounter in real life.
04. Code Geass Hangyaku no Lelouch
For some reason, this show magically re-entered the competition for top five when I rearranged my list. I was about to kick it out of the top five, and then I remembered: novelty. Lelouch was the reason I loved the show in the first place, and I remembered that, notwithstanding that atrocious season-ender. Hence, the series was still good enough for 4th, and trumps Gurren Lagann and Souko no Strain as my favorite mecha show of the year. I won’t be so forgiving on the second season though, as Macross Frontier is sure to give Code Geass 2 some stiff competition. 🙂
03. Dennou Coil
The show managed to shoot into the top five in the final rankings post. How did a show about kids, cyberpets and cyberglasses manage to do that? A thrilling build up to a nice ending pushed it higher than expected. When I finished the show I knew immediately it would be in my top 3, but the final placement was quite hard to make. It could easily have been number one, were it not for the next 2 shows that lord it over my top 5 anime of 2007.
02. Nodame Cantabile
I am pleased that my top 3 favorite anime of 2007 had very good endings; it is in fact one major strength of each of the shows. Nodame tops Dennou Coil only because it has one of my favorite endings ever–I have rewatched the last episode of Nodame Cantabile at least 3 times already. NC the anime also trumps the manga simply because you can’t enjoy the music in the manga–you just have to hear it to appreciate it fully. The only thing would be that with JC Staff’s animation it reminds you of Honey and Clover, which it is not.
01. Terra E
Terra E’s journey to the number one spot was never smooth. I had dropped it after it got licensed, then another subber picked it up and so I decided to watch again. From the first episode to the last, there is almost never a dull moment in Terra E. True, some of the characters are emo at times, but it does not deny the fact that it has the most character development (probably) of all the shows I’ve seen for 2007. The last few episodes were also quite thrilling, with the main questions being ‘Who’s gonna die?’, ‘Who’s gonna survive?’ as the adversaries battle it out in the name of their beliefs (or what they were made to believe). The only thing that made me hesitate was, the rewatch potential of the show. It wasn’t something I’d like to watch again (or maybe for a long while). But then I remembered Turn A Gundam. Turn A was one show that I loved simply because it had lovable characters, but I probably won’t subject myself to rewatching 50 episodes of it again. Sure Terra E is not flashy, but it is a solid series that I’d recommend to anyone with a passion for good stories without the moe, fanservice, etc.
- BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution
- Bamboo Blade
- Bokura no
- Clannad – could not finish 1st episode
- Dancougar Nova 2007
- Darker than Black
- Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z
- Dragonaut The Resonance
- El Cazador de la Bruja
- Ghost Hound – could not finish 1st episode
- Hidamari Sketch – could not finish 1st episode
- Idol Master Xenoglossia
- Kaze no Stigma
- Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula
- Kiss Dum: Engage Planet
- Koutetsu Sangokushi
- Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora
- Le Chevalier d’Eon
- Lucky Star – could not finish 1st episode
- Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro
- Moonlight Mile: 2nd Season – Touch down
- Murder Princess
- Night Wizard The Animation – could not finish 1st episode
- Reideen (2007)
- Romeo x Juliet
- Shakugan no Shana II
- Sketchbook Full Color’s
- Skull Man
- Shining Tears x Wind – could not finish 1st episode
- Suteki Tantei Labyrinth
- Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpuchou Tou
- Venus Versus Virus
- Wellber no Monogatari: Sisters of Wellber
- Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi
In Limbo Land (not sure of being finished)
- Heroic Age
- Ookiku Furikabutte
- History`s Strongest Disciple Kenichi
- Hayate no Gotoku
- Shion no Ou
- Kimikiss Pure Rouge
- Gundam 00