5. Mind Game
Rather than going into some long rant about Mind Game, since I’ve yet to actually write about it on my site proper, I’ll just leave it at this: Mindgame is anime’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. ‘Nuff said, go watch it. Now.
4: Project A-Ko
The first anime I saw with full knowledge that this thing I’m watching is some silly cartoon made in Japan. Its placement is due to no small degree of nostalgia, but numerous rewatches have proven to me that it stands the test of time. It’s a wicked parody of 80’s anime, but at the same time it stands up on its own as an example of that era. The characters are endearingly over the top– even the ever-obnoxious C-Ko and her whining is charming in its own way (Even if you still wish she’d die a horrible firy death.). The rest of the movies in the series are pretty solid in their own right, and expand on the world and characters from the first movie, but A-Ko’s up here mainly for the sheer awesomeness of the first movie. It’s still the funniest anime I’ve ever seen.
Damn Perfect. The story is simple. Monster loves monster hunter. Monster hunter loves monster. They give both societies the proverbial middle finger and kill everything that gets in the way of their undying love. It’s the anime equivalent of the 60’s Bonnie and Clyde movie in that regard, and just as brilliant. I love the music. I love the sexual nature of the series. I love the art and animation. It’s the closest an anime has come to capturing the magic of Aeon Flux, which happens to be the best series I’ve ever seen– anime, western animation, live action, whatever.
2: Cowboy Bebop
Also Damn Perfect. The only criticism I can level against the series is the way it demystified Faye and turned her into a generic “lost little girl.” Other than that, Cowboy Bebop is the perfect anime. While I’m all for being wowed by another series and having it uproot Bebop, I seriously doubt that’ll ever happen. Perfect storms like Bebop are once in a lifetime.
1: Space Adventure Cobra
No other anime series has clicked with me the way Cobra has. It “gets” the way I think. It plays off of the sci-fi genre in every way I like to see it exploited. The stories are filled with violence and deceit and tragedy and everything that makes life worth living. Cobra himself is the sort of iconic lead character on par with the likes of Superman or Indiana Jones– you know he’s gonna win out in the end, but he pulls off that level of invulnerability with such style and panache that you don’t really give a damn about that predictability. The world he lives in is bizarre and filled with all manners of awesome creatures. It’s everything I want to see in an anime, or any form of entertainment for that matter. Damn perfect.