Now that 2007 is over and 2008 is just beginning I think that I’ll add my two cents into the mix. Overall, I felt that 2007 was a pretty good year for anime, the trend of Moe centered anime continues, and the popularity of Maho Shojo anime in Japan seems to be slightly increasing. While I try to watch a episode or two of each new anime from Japan it would be physically impossible even living in Japan to watch all the new anime available there, according to John at Animenation there were 152 new anime series in Japan. While I can’t claim to have watched as many of the new series as him, I think that I have viewed enough of the new series to give what I feel is a pretty informed top ten list. Now my list might conflict greatly with other lists this list is totally biased towards my own personal preferences. So, here we go, my top ten anime of 2007.
10- Kaze no Shoujo Emily / Emily of New Moon —– I’m a sucker for anime set in the real past or period piece anime, and Emily has superior writing, enjoyable and realistic character portrayals, and a bright and vivid animation style. This anime is also a true family anime, I found that Emily contains nothing that could be considered remotely objectionable.
9- Gakuen Yutopia Manabi Sutoreto / Manabi Straight—–a brilliantly realized series set in Japan’s near future speculating on what the effects of Japan’s declining birth-rate might have on their school system and other aspects of their society. Great characters, nice writing, enjoyable storyline, and a touch of Moe.
8- Moetan—–In my opinion the best send up of the Maho Shojo genre in several years, being a huge fan of the Maho Shojo genre for many years this series had me laughing out loud many times. This series spoofs every aspect of the magic girl’s genre from their mascots to their school uniforms. This series is a bit naughty (no, quite a bit naughty) but in a nice way.
7- Clannad—–The current installment from Key. As I have stated in my posts about this series I’m a big fan of anime that have an element of emotional and magical escapism, and through 12 episodes of Clannad this series gives me all the escapism I can handle. But it’s hard to give a final verdict on this series because over half of it remains to be viewed, but judging by what I’ve seen so far allows me to place this series in my top ten.
6- Sky Girls—– Sky Girls was based on the Sky Girls OAV (2006), the OVA was a SiFi / Mecha based anime that never missed an opportunity to show a crotch shot or other similar fan-service. The Sky Girls series could have degenerated into a blatant fan-service series anime but the series surprised me by turning into a very enjoyable, fun filled, fast paced Mecha anime. I found this series to be quite enjoyable, all the main characters were given interesting personalities traits and the plot moved quickly, but what I really like about this series is that it didn’t fall into the trap that many Sifi/Mecha series do, Sky Girls never took it’s self too seriously, the series never became a why me angst filled depression feast.
5- Rocket Girls—–Continuing with my tread of enjoying anime that provides me with escapism, I’ll place Rocket Girls at number 5 on my list. This series follows the exploits of Yukari a “typical” sixteen year old high school girl who goes searching for her missing father, and ends up finding a half sister and becoming a astronaut. Along the way she changes from a average self-centered teenager who is ruled by her feelings and emotions of the moment to a girl who becomes a much more serious and responsible person along the way. While this series has it’s flaws I enjoyed it enough to place it at number 5 on my list.
4-Minami-ke—–When I first started watching this series I had very mixed emotions, I didn’t really find any of the characters very believable or enjoyable, but after a viewing few episodes I feel under the shows spell. While Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki are mostly stereotypical I found their interaction as sisters to be very interesting. But what truly won me over in the last several episodes was Chiaki’s behavior, I think they got her just right, while she thinks she’s knows everything, she’s still has a child’s knowledge of those things and her behaviors gave me as an older anime fans a good laugh.
3-Lucky Star—–I really loved this series, while many anime series constantly poke fun at their otaku fans, Lucky Star grabbed the conventions of otaku-hood and gave them a loving embrace. While this series poked fun at their otaku fans it was always in a loving and kind way, by the end of this series I really cared for all of the main characters and wished them well. My only gripe about this series was that through the entire three years of the show the girls never really changed, but that can also be a very good thing.
2-Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru / 5 Centimeters Per Second—–This is the second feature length film by Makoto Shinkai, I consider him to be the most promising anime director to come along since the legendary Hayao Miyazaki. The visual settings in this film are simply stunning and his attention to detail is second to none. Watching the backgrounds in his films are almost like looking out a picture window. But where he really excels in this films is his portrayal of human emotions and feelings, he draws a perfect picture of how time and distance can effect human relationships. In his last two feature films he sets a mood and a feeling of nostalgia and a longing for the past that is unmatched, when he finally able to put together the nostalgic feelings of the past with a path to a hopeful future he will ascend to the level of a Hayao Miyazaki.
1-Denno Coil—–No anime series or movie this year impressed me more than Denno Coil did, the brilliantly executed storyline, unique vision, strong character development, and animation quality sets this series above everything else I viewed this year. I couldn’t wait to see every new episode as they arrived, as far as I was concerned they couldn’t arrive quickly enough for me. I was completely enthralled by this series from it’s very beginning to the very end, I couldn’t give a higher possible recommendation for this series. If your haven’t watched Denno Coil yet, please do yourself a favor and watch it as soon as possible.