Past the halfway point in this challenge now. Favourite fantasy and supernatural anime, hmm. Considering my preference of genre is generally more inclined to lean on these two in particular, I’m already fairly certain about my picks as quite a few of my favourite anime are from these genres. Though that means I’ll have less to say about them when it comes to picking my favourite anime later in this challenge, but I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.
How this show manages to pull off three stories simultaneously without the pacing feeling too slow or fast is a miracle in and of itself. Then it goes and brings to life a wonderful ensemble of colourful larger than life characters and makes almost all of them extremely likable in some fashion. Baccano isn’t just a damn good time, it’s a stylish and fantastic jazzy fun time, full of energy and filled to the brim with tons of fun inside an intelligently structured story. It has incredibly lively, catchy, and exciting music that syncs up perfectly with the smooth animation and awesome action sequences. I cannot get over how slick the presentation is or the sharp and excellent dialogue, along with its outstanding opening theme, it all makes the characters and plot all the more memorable.
Unique is one way of describing the Monogatari series. Strange? Yes. Dark and twisted? At times, yeah. Perhaps more often than I give it credit for. Romantic? Surprisingly, very much so. As oddball an anime as it might seem, there is a pleasantly surprising emotional character piece at the heart of its questionable camera angles and cuts. One thing I will never get over is the aesthetic, but I’ve already covered that in a previous post for this challenge. Another thing I find worth noting is the cleverly well-written dialogue. It’s some of the wittiest and often times, hilarious writing I’ve had the pleasant experience of guffawing at.
Yes, Bakemonogatari is quite the mixture of sorts, with its arguably avant-garde type separation from other anime. It abides by, subverts, and transcends its tropes and genres in ways that makes it very special, that makes you think there’s no way it could be anything else other than itself. It also flaunts the pinnacle of what is considered now to be the typical brand of fanservice in its own spectacular way. You could chop this up to its art direction, composition, and animation all being so stunning and beautiful that there’s no way you could mistake it for anything other than Monogatari. It feels like the aesthetic, movement and editing design has a personality of its own beyond the scope of its characters. All things Shaft seems to excel at.
Speaking of which, the characters and music are also astounding. In fact, this has some of the most interesting characters I’ve seen in anime. I can really really appreciate the long drawn-out conversations because they make the characters more interesting in some way. This may be due to the great blend of comedy and suspense forming this awesome fluctuating atmosphere that creates some very real emotional moments more often than I’d expect out of a show like this.
Fate / Zero
This is an excellent modern fantasy that explores interesting and understandable or even relatable philosophies and themes, with dynamic and multifaceted characters. Fantastic animation and awesome actions scenes, absolutely gorgeous and grim visuals and awesome character designs and fight scenes. It’s amazing how something this beautifully drawn and animated can be so incredibly dark, gritty, and dense. Some scenes are unabashedly brutal, while others can be downright terrifying. However, one of the biggest intrigues this show has to offer lies in its rich thought-provoking themes and clashing ideologies of deep characters. It’s nothing short of stunning in how it plays out its methodical, character driven narrative, despite any problems one may have with its exposition. Overall, Fate/Zero is one of the most stylish, mature, and compelling anime I’ve ever seen.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
A sprawling epic of sustained excellence, and one of my favourite ensembles in anime. Brotherhood may not have the best sense of humour, but it does contain one of the greatest stories ever told, a large ensemble of awesome and memorable characters, incredibly well-structured and tightly written plot filled to the brim with some of the coolest action scenes in anime. Epic in scope with a fantastic finale to boot. Meanders here and there, but not enough or bothersome to any degree to ruin what is otherwise a fantastic story full of heart and executed with the masterful delicacy and intensity Bones are known for.
Goes from micro level storytelling to macro level storytelling in such an amazingly well-paced time that I’m still reeling in awe years later at how it accomplished it. Though the characters might not be anything special or spectacularly notable, they are refreshing to me for reasons unknown. Awesome world-building is awesome. Vibrant and detailed; the amount of attention to detail and intelligence that went into designing this world along with its premise is Top-Tier Grade A high quality, first class stuff. I couldn’t have imagined where they took their MMORPG premise, and I’m still having trouble fathoming how they pulled it off so brilliantly. And the gradual implementation of a political plot and the conflicts arising between it and the show’s premise is the kind of complex issue I haven’t seen in any anime before. It’s one of the most satisfying anime experiences I’ve ever had.