5. Paranoia Agent
Hello Kitty is fucking evil, and she’s gonna sick Batdz Maru and his baseball bat on your ass. How can that not be awesome?
4. Ghost in the Shell: SAC 2nd Gig
Ghost in the Shell is fascinating in that every iteration plays off of the same genre concepts in completely different ways. Stand Alone Complex plays things “straight,” in that it plays up the police procedural side of things. In that respect, SAC is the best police procedural I’ve seen in anime form. Not that said genre’s a big deal in anime, but it still comes out on top. 2nd Gig is the better of the two SAC seasons, largely because all the stuff dealing with illegal immigrants and political coups feels a bit more relevant than the Laughing Man stuff of the first season. That, and the way 2nd Gig uses the Tachikomas is brilliant.
3. Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence
Then there’s the second GitS movie. I’ll link to this post I wrote awhile back to show why I think it’s the best thing to come out of the franchise.
The manga version of Genshiken falls apart as time goes on. The latter half of the first series botches the Sasahara/Ogiue relationship, and the second series just doesn’t understand its fangirl focus. But damn, the part of Genshiken represented by this first TV series is pretty brilliant. The details obviously don’t match up, but no anime that looks inward on the whole otaku thing and get as close to my own experiences as this. That, and I find Saki, the “normal” girlfriend of one of the club guys, to be one of the most fully realized and developed characters ever seen in an anime. Seeing her go from the typical “what the fuck are you thinking” reaction to this hobby to someone who– not so much understands, but accepts the eccentrics and oddities before her– while never quite realizing that her own personal obsessions aren’t all that different from the likes of Madarame’s– is one of the best character arcs I’ve seen in an anime. It’s a shame it’s all downhill from here.
1. Mind Game
I still haven’t quite wrapped my head around this movie. Each time I watch it, I’m struck deep down on some primordial, animistic level., but I’ve yet to truly comprehend what it is I’m experiencing. Considering I always seem to find a way to rationalize that which most people blow off as incomprehensible, that’s saying something. So, for the very fact that this damn thing confounds me on every level, I fucking love it.