35. Magic User’s Club
Quite possibly the most underrated anime series of all time. It did a lot of the cross-genre stuff we see today a good ten years or so before we started seeing series mash together cutesy moe elements with other genres. Except Magic User’s Club is genuinely good, because it actually allows the plot to press forward and get resolved. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty amusing and has some genuinely interesting and likable characters. Sae is infinitely more moe than every generic moe girl from the past decade. Yeah, I’m not sure why Magic User’s Club doesn’t get more credit for helping sire half the stuff that’s currently airing.
I’m gonna copy what I said in my 2008 list, since I can’t say it any better: Repulsive, grotesque exploitation. Awesome, repulsive, grotesque exploitation. It’s more than a little hateful. It’s more than a little trashy. It’s about immortals screwing around with each other over petty conspiracies and grudges and some fucked up spiritual shit. I love this stuff. It’s unforgivably violent and nihilistic. People, especially women, are treated horribly. There’s absolutely nothing nice about it. The story’s secondary to the sensationalism. It’s everything you, dear reader, dread about anime. It’s the shit that gave anime a bad reputation back in the 90s. It’s kissing cousins with Urotsukidouji. And I fucking dig it. Yeah.
33: Polar Bear Cafe
It’s Seinfeld or Cheers in a fur suit. That’s a compliment, dammit. Animals hang out at a cafe. Animals are dicks to each other. Animals deal with prejudice and other social problems in subtle, non-preachy ways. If this shit featured humans, it just wouldn’t be as interesting. As soon as you have animals, though, it turns into an absurd satire on everyday life.
32. Astro Fighter Sunred
The best parodies come out of affection for the target of humor, and Sunred’s a brilliant and loving mockery of the tokukatsu/sentai genre. I was too old to have gotten into Power Rangers, and I never really retroactively got into the genre after the fact, but I think I’ve come to love it because of Sunred. It doesn’t hurt that Vamp is one of the greatest villains of all time. I love his fatherly, domesticated attitude and his simple and cheap cooking segments. More series need cooking show elements. Anime would benefit greatly from Vamp’s example. And, yeah, this is the third and “greatest” of the matter-of-fact anime I mentioned earlier. I like to think they all take place in the same universe. If I wrote fanfiction, my magnum opus would be a three-way epic between the three series.
I’d totally be a Dragon of Heaven. There’s something appealing about fighting to preserve a world that you know is flawed and evil, but you find those flaws and wrong-doings to be worthy of protecting from destruction. The world doesn’t need to be cleansed and purified of all of its terrible things. It’s those terrible things that make it worth living in. Yeah, awesome apocalypse fiction that’s a decent editor away from being the greatest anime series of all time. Shame it’s so full of narrative excess that doesn’t go anywhere, but it’s a testament to its awesomeness that it’s still on this list despite those problems.