Apparently Madman ran a poll for their top 20 titles.  It is a Friday night, I’m bored, so I thought I’d take a look and snark a bit. Where I haven’t seen them (often), I’ll refer to the TV Tropes page for guidance as to whether I should consider seeing them (mostly not).

20. Elfen Lied

I remember being intrigued by the covers when I first saw this, and then deciding that it wasn’t for me.  Looks like a seriously triggering piece of work, and it would need a good story to justify it.  For me the confidence of that just isn’t there so pass.

19. Astro Boy

I haven’t seen much Astro Boy either, but it is a popular and influential series. It is also an old series and, as these sorts of polls do tend to bias towards recent releases, I would have been surprised to see it any higher on the list.

18. Ghost in the Shell

The first item on the list that I have seen, and didn’t like.  This movie is too far removed from humanity for me to enjoy. I am mildly surprised by the movie and not the TV series being here.

17. My Neighbour Totoro

This is the oldest, and best, of the three Miyazaki’s in the list.  That it is at #17 is the first major example of Australian anime fans failing to have taste.

16. Fairy Tail

At this point I’m going to quote the fanservice entry from TV Tropes:

  • “Oh dear sweet Lord of everything holy in this sweet world, where do we start?!” (Emphasis not added); and
  • “Every female character provides some. Seriously, it must be a requirement to join Fairy Tail, or any wizard guild for that matter.”

Based on this alone my reaction to this series is: Run Away! Run Away!

15. Fruits Basket

This is one of my favourite shoujo series.  It does have problems, but I can generally ignore those most of the time.  Tohru needs to grow a spine though and whack the idiotic Sohma’s occasionally.

14. Ouran High Host Club

I do love a good parody, and this gender-flipped harem anime is one of the best. Especially since I’ve seen, and inexplicably liked, one of the shows it ruthlessly parodies.

13. One Piece

I haven’t seen this. Actually that isn’t entirely true: I think I’ve caught parts of episodes in various places. The impression was always “Oh look it’s the half-opponent-of-the-week”, which is usually a deal breaker for me [1].

12. Black Butler

I haven’t seen Black Butler or Kuroshitsuji but there is definitely an interesting premise there. It is possibly a touch too oriented towards horror for my liking though.

11. Akira

Akira probably made sense as a 20+ Volume manga, but was incoherent at best as a film. Visually stunning for its time it is no surprise that Akira is here.  The absence of Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise also doesn’t surprise me but does disappoint me.

10. Spirited Away

Spirited Away is one of Miyazaki’s best so seeing it here is no surprise.  For it to only be at number 10, and behind the markedly inferior Howl’s Moving Castle is another example of recency bias IMO.

9. Howl’s Moving Castle

Speaking of which, Howl’s Moving Castle is a fun film [2], but there is no justice when it is the highest ranked Studio Ghibli film in this list.

8. Bleach

The best thing about Bleach was that it introduced me to the awesome musical talent of Rie Fu. Bleach had a promising start before degrading into half-opponent-of-the-week territory.  In this case it was a deal breaker and I gave up on the fansubs after [BLEEP – NOT TELLING] episodes.

7. Cowboy Bebop

This is possibly the only entry where I agree with both the presence, and the position, of the title.  Actually Cowboy Bebop should probably be a touch higher on the list but I’ll take what I can get.

6. Code Geass

I missed this one on the way through.  There’s enough of interest, and relatively few alarm bells in the description, that I’m prepared to take a look at it.  I note that it is a 2006-8 series so there may well be some recency bias in here as well.

5. Naruto

I have seen exactly one piece of Naruto which I mostly enjoyed. That said I’m certainly not prepared to invest the time or money to needed to see all of it.

4. Death Note

Summed up on TV Tropes as (sarcasm alert) “The touching story of a boy and his god complex”, I find that this holds absolutely no interest for me.

3. Dragon Ball Z

According to a housemate this is quarter-opponent-of-the-week if you’re lucky. The best thing that I can say for Dragon Ball Z is that this is what lets Madman afford to release the good stuff.

Actually, looking at the Studio Ghibli collection, that is worth quite a lot to me.  I’m still not going anywhere near it though.

2. Fullmetal Alchemist

I have most of the original series, and enjoyed it.  There is a lot to be said for this show, but I don’t honestly think it is good enough to be at number 2.

1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

No sign of Haibane Renmei, no sign of The Vision of Escaflowne, several of the best Studio Ghiblis nowhere to be seen, and this gets number one?

This is the final proof that most Australian anime fans have no taste.

As I’ve said before Eva Jelly Donut is a series where the characters are:

a)      Morally reprehensible; or

b)      Insane; or

c)       Morally reprehensible AND insane; or

d)      The occasional sympathetic character who is having morally reprehensible things done to him/her.

If you watch enough Evangelion you should reach the point of hoping that the characters die horrible and grisly deaths.

Fortunately most of them do, so it does have something of a happy ending by that point.

And on that note I’ll finish for the evening.



[1] The exception was the Kyoto arc of Rurouni Kenshin where I persisted.

[2] And Billy Crystal completely owns the dub as Calcifer. 🙂