My top 15 anime- series (part 1.)

Top 15 anime- series

This list is based on my opinion and it belongs to me. I have been reading manga and watching anime for many years now (according to MyAnimeList I have seen over 15 000 episodes) which means I had difficulties deciding 15 best of the best. This is my first list and I hope you like it.


 

15. Ginga Nagareboshi Gin

 

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Gin leaving his home behind
Based on the manga by Takahashi Yoshihiro* and directed by Katsumata Tomoharu  Ginga Nagareboshi Gin, is one of the first anime- series I’ve seen. To be honest these series, both anime and manga, have been really popular in my home country – Finland – since the 1980s, when the series begun. The mangaka promised, due to the popularity in here, to create a Finnish dog and add it to the continuing manga. One of the main characters in the original series was born in Finland, according to Takahashi.

The series tells the story of an Akita Inu pup called Gin, as he follows his father’s footsteps as a bear hunting dog. He is trained by human Takeda Gohei, just like his father and grandfather, and like them he is destined to fight a deranged bear named Akakabuto and his followers. The story begins from Gins birth and his training from the aspect of humans, but soon starts to follow point of view of the dogs as they start communicating by speaking instead of just barking or whining. Gin leaves his master Daisuke in order to join a pack of wild dogs who are gathering strong fighters from all over Japan preparing for the battle against Akakabuto.

A big part of the story focuses on Gin and his adventures as a part of the pack led by a charismatic leader. Gin is placed under the command of one of the platoon leaders, Ben. Bens guidance leads the pack to many adventures as they search strong dogs. The story is by no means rushed, just the opposite. The journey is one of the key points, but for the sake of the main plot flashbacks and other platoons journeys are shown as well. The battle against Akakabuto is long as expected and the conclusion is satisfying.

GNG is very old anime and as such is drawn by hand. Because of this it’s very easy and comfortable to watch. The style and art are a little bit rough but it doesn’t bother audience as they get used to it. Despite its age, this anime is visually pleasant. The music is designed perfectly for this old anime and the opening song is truly famous. I haven’t watched this anime for ages yet I can still remember the lyrics (I’m one of the lucky kids that saw the original Japanese dub, instead of the Finnish dub though Digimons Finnish dub was even worse, both hilariously bad).

This anime is so nostalgic that it made it to my list of top 15 anime- series. It’s not only nostalgic though since overall quality is great and the plot is nice to follow. GNG is made well and the episodes are nicely timed, if you ignore few hurried scenes. The important characters are a little stereotypical even if they have their own special features, however they bring endurance to the series. There is a reason why “stereotypical” characters exist in the first place. All in all, GNG is entertaining while also having deeper meanings for example about life and family.

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Akakabuto as massive as ever
On the other hand, like nearly all Ginga- series, GNG is also predictable and “simple”. For example, the character of Akakabuto was greatly exaggerated and other characters underestimated. Akakabuto was the main enemy which is why it had to be big and strong. As the battle continues his strength and endurance is getting annoying and lame. He was just too over the top as was the cliché power of justice and so on. Still I prefer Ginga Nagareboshi Gin over Ginga Densetsu Weed since they take that “justice and love”-crap way too far for my taste. GNG is my childhood (no wonder I’m so twisted wait what) and is also a really nice piece of work, deserving its position as number 15 on my list.

 


 

14. Gangsta.

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To take, one must first give.” – Nicolas Brown (left)

This is a newer anime directed by Murase Shukou and based on the manga by Kohske. During this anime, the audience can get to know the imaginary city named Ergastulum. The city in question has reputation as it is filled with criminal activity, especially mafia. Another known features of that place are its citizens most of them being just normal humans. Ergastulum is particularly known of Twilights who are recognized by dog tags and are inhumanly powerful. Twilights are born as the result of a special drug and are usually mercenaries or assassin due to their ability to kill better than average people, but they aren’t appreciated and are being hunted. Ergastulum offers those people a sanctuary under certain rules.

One of the main characters of Gangsta – Nicholas Brown, is one of those super-human beings following his normal companion slash master Worick Arcangelo. These two form Benrya (Handymen) and are mercenaries for hire taking on jobs no one else could ever handle. The series begin as they get acquainted with a young woman saving her from elimination and take her as their secretary.

 

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“But when the owner takes it off and holds it the meaning slightly changes. It’s not used as identifying someone, but more like… A warning. Like: Beware of the dog.” – Worick Arcangelo about the Tagged

Best word to describe Gangsta is aggression. This anime is filled with violence, but in a different way than in Ginga- series where fights are usually battles with honour and against “evil forces”. Nope Gangsta is filled with pure violence for the sake of violence itself. Ergastulum is ruled by different mafia families working to maintain the delicate balance of power. People follow unwritten rules of Ergastulum, and if one crosses that invisible line they are soon hunted by the Benrya. And as the first episode shows, they really enjoy their job. The main characters are complex and sometimes difficult to understand. Nick, being Tagged, doesn’t always seem equal compared to his companion, but this is also because him being deaf. Woric thinks Nick as his first friend, but he has a nasty habit of covering his nihilistic tendencies behind smiles and carefree nature. Alex, the former prostitute is having problems of her own suffering from her past abusers and the sedative they gave her. These characters and their relationship is interesting and the development is amusing to follow.

If only it had focused on the main characters and their daily lives as Benrya instead of adding unnecessary elements of meaningless gore and war, Gangsta would probably be higher on this list. Unfortunately, the studio was able to produce 12 episodes before succumbing to bankruptcy, which means the anime ended too soon. Their work was really nice since the music, art and animation seem really fitting to the world of Gangsta and in the city of Ergastulum. Pieces which make a good anime are there: plot, characters, art, animation, music and the whole big picture. It was not amazingly good, but it was amusing since it was filled with dark humour and also entertaining. At some points the humour did not fit the situation at all which made fun of the mature themes of the main story, which is a real pity.

I like Gangsta because of those dark mature themes. It for example, focuses on the unequal position of Tagged compared to those of the normal humans even when they are stronger and more capable. Gangsta is also about survival in different environments, different friendship and human values, or rather lack of them. I like Gangsta also because it doesn’t point to the dark themes clearly. If you don’t want to watch anything philosophical, you don’t have to ignore the whole show. Mainly this anime is about relations between mafia and Benrya, which means lots of fighting and cool scenes on rooftops. The fighting is not too over the top either, even if the fighters are stronger than normal humans. All in all Gangsta is philosophical while being not-philosophical at all, and this makes it interesting to watch.

*I write the surname first since it’s the traditional (Japanese) way of writing politely

Thanks for reading this first part of my list
-Unfortunate Fate

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