[2015 SEP 22]
Removing the outdated intro here to just say, hey, here’s my top 20. I initially posted this in mid 2014 but I’ll bump it up in the post order any time I make a big change since it was hiding a bajillion pages back.

[2019 SEP 17]
I’ve reworked the list! I’m now considering manga/novels alongside anime. I’m indicating which medium is what landed the series on my list by whether the anime or print columns are populated. Could be or or the other or both.
• If I’ve liked and seen the anime, Broadcast Year and Studio are populated.
• If I’ve liked and read the manga/novel past the material covered by the anime, Publication Year and Author are populated.

Updated as of 2019-06-11

Top 25 Favorite Franchises

Rank Change Title Broadcast Year Studio Publication Year Author
1 ►0 Flip Flappers 2016 Studio 3Hz
2 ►0 Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica 2011 Shaft
3 ►0 Sakura Trick 2014 Studio DEEN 2011 Tachi
4 ►0 Hidamari Sketch 2007 Shaft
5 ►0 Yama no Susume 2013 8-bit
6 ►0 Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou 2014 Tsukumizu
7 ►0 The iDOLM@STER 2011 A1 Pictures
8 ►0 Yuyushiki 2013 Kinema Citrus
9 ▲1 Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha 2005 Seven Arcs
10 ▲4 Hanayamata 2014 Madhouse 2011 Hamayumiba Sou
11 ▲4 Koufuku Graffiti 2015 Shaft 2012 Kawai Makoto
12 ►0 Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho 2018 Madhouse
13 ▼4 Aria 2005 HAL Film Maker
14 ▼1 Sora no Woto 2010 A1 Pictures
15 ▲3 Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! 2007 ufotable
16 ▼5 Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann 2007 Gainax
17 ▼2 Yuru Yuri 2011 Douga Koubou / TYO Animations
18 ▲7 Gakkou Gurashi 2015 Lerche 2012 Kaihou Norimitsu/Chiba Sadoru
19 NEW Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume 2016 Kinema Citrus 2013 Asano Yagura
20 NEW Urara Meirochou 2017 JC Staff 2014 Harikamo
21 NEW Yagate Kimi ni Naru 2018 Troyca 2015 Nakatani Nio
22 ▲2 Flying Witch 2016 JC Staff 2012 Ishizuka Chihiro
23 ▼4 Sasameki Koto 2009 AIC 2007 Ikeda Takashi
24 ▼3 Ookami to Koushinryou 2008 Imagin / Brain's Base 2006 Hasekura Isuna
25 ▼3 Mouretsu Pirates 2012 Satelight

[Entries include all relevant sequels, e.g. Idolmaster counts Cinderella Girls too, Aria is all three seasons, etc]

I don’t have a clear criteria for getting into my top series ranking, or even for the ordering. It’s just whatever I’m feeling at the moment.

46 Responses to “All-time Favorites (updated 2019-06-11)”

  1. something says:

    Just finished rewatching Sakura Trick so it’s time for some big updates. I’m trying to drop all attachment to nostalgia and just move stuff around wildly without thinking too much!

    Sakura Trick jumps up six spots all the way to #3. This show is just too important to me to put it any lower than that.

    Huge jumps for Idolmaster (adding Deremas and watching Animas last year helps a lot), Yuyushiki (the rewatch prior to Sakura Trick), and Yama no Susume (because of just thinking back on what a masterpiece the second season is, goddamn).

    After its best season yet, Yuru Yuri finally makes an appearance in the top 20. I also brought Sora no Woto back because I’ve been a little iffy on keeping Marimite above it, but in truth they’re difficult to compare and might as well be tied.

    And after a decade, Haruhi finally slips from the top 10.

    Not sure what else might move. If I did a Hyouka rewatch it could go up, but then so could Mouretsu if I rewatched that. My next rewatch will liekly be Hidamari or Aria though. But not for a few months, I actually have a decent amount of new shows to watch in Spring.

  2. Scruffy says:

    Nice list! I’ve been really enjoying the new Aria episodes. Just managed to watch episode 2 a couple of days ago. About the only show on your top 20 list I haven’t watched is Touka Gettan which I understand airs backwards!

    I must say I have a huge affection for Yama no Susume. It’s great to see the manga being translated!

    • something says:

      Yeah, Touka Gettan’s story structure is fascinating. It’s a gradual reveal of finding out what scenes that previously seemed frivolous or nonsensical actually meant. It’s very theatrical (one pivotal episode is told using the device of a stage play) and fantastical and at times confusing to follow, but it’s gorgeous and silly and dramatic and so many things all at once. I haven’t watched it in many years because I’ve been waiting in vain for a BD box, which I’ve kinda given up hope of ever seeing.

  3. Wow! Awesome list! I really like your taste! Haha. Over time favorites can change. By the way since I’m talking. Thanks for always updating Anime Sales. I’ve never gotten to say it. You’re awesome! I love to see the sales and stuff! It must be hard work. Thanks so much!
    Anyways, here’s my list on my favorite Anime Series. Not necessarily just the anime but the series as a whole.
    My Top Anime Series of All Time:
    1. Hyperdimension Neptunia Vs. Senran Kagura
    2. Love Live! School Idol Project
    3. K-ON!
    4. Kiniro Mosaic Vs. Is The Order A Rabbit?
    5. Himouto Umaru Chan!
    6. Lucky Star
    7. Gintama
    8. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
    9. Kill la Kill

    Runner Ups:
    1. Hanayamata
    2. Yuyushiki
    3. Wakaba Girls
    4. Kantai Collection
    5. Space Dandy
    6. SpongeBob Squarepants, haha just kidding.

  4. something says:

    I suppose this is a slight spoiler for my 2016 list, but… well, I’ve updated my top 20 again.

    • AholePony says:

      Oh wow you really loved Flip Flapping lol. Knowing some of your preferences from what you’ve said here I get it, still sad you dropped K-On 4 spots ;-( The only outlier to me is Manabi Straight, do you have a review stashed away somewhere? Curious what you like about it, I thought it was kind of empty feeling myself.

      • something says:

        Manabi was way before I started trying to collect and preserve my thoughts on shows in any useful way, so I don’t have anything written up.

        It’d be difficult to explain my feelings about it if you came away feeling it was a bit empty, because the very reason I like it is that I feel the complete opposite way, heh. What I remember best about Manabi is how it hit really well crafted emotional highs in so many different episodes. Most shows don’t deliver a final episode half as satisfying as Manabi handles the majority of its episodes.

        I also really appreciated the slight tinge of melancholy that ran through the whole thing. “Save our dying school” isn’t a new idea but no show did it as well for me as Manabi did. Manabi herself takes on the role of blasting away the dull gray gloom of an increasingly childless world through her sheer excitement and determination. It’s weird to explain, but I feel like her enthusiasm isn’t blind optimism. I think she reads the mood well, and even if she risks annoying people with her overwhelming cheeriness, presses on anyway, knowing it’ll be for the best in the end. The show sticks to that theme throughout and is really rewarding for it.

        I kinda mourn the loss of the old ufotable that produced this and Futakoi Alternative. Sure, they’re infinitely more successful and popular now than they were then, but their current filter-heavy, digi-effects-laden action spectacles aren’t my cup of tea.

        • AholePony says:

          I can appreciate that. It only felt empty to me because I didn’t connect with the characters, any SoL-ish anime lives and dies by the characters and sometimes they just don’t click for you. “…blasting away the dull gray gloom of an increasingly childless world through her sheer excitement and determination.” sounds an awful lot like someone in your new #1 series!

  5. Gintoki_KotAro says:

    stranger taste ( :

    for me the top 5

    2-Natsume Yuujinchou
    3- Steins gate
    4-Hunter x hunter
    5-Shigatsu wa kimi no uso

  6. Yil says:

    I’m surprised that Jinrui is not on your list. It’s the one non-yuri series I can unreservedly recommend to anyone.

    Also, what did you think of AKB0048?

    • something says:

      Jintai is fantastic. Watched it, loved it, imported it. But I’ve seen (in part or full) something like 900 series and by definition only a small number of those can get onto a top 20.

      As for AKB, the CG was too much of a turn-off, I’m not that into idols, and after one or two good eps it just wasn’t doing it for me. I might have continued if not for the CG, but everything combined led to a drop.

  7. Chad says:

    I’m surprised that no Sunrise anime made the Top 20.

    • something says:

      Code Geass used to be in my top 10 quite some years ago, but it’s just not as much to my tastes anymore. The well-known Sunrise shows are primarily in genres I don’t watch these days.

      • Chad says:

        What genres are those?

        • something says:

          A lot though not all of their most famous series seem to fall under mecha/scifi or kids’ shows. thinking back, I think the last show from Sunrise that I liked was Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon in 2011-2012, unless I’m forgetting something.

  8. AholePony says:

    I just rewatched Tamayura this weekend and I thought about your preference for shows with solid yuri-ships and I knew it wasn’t on your top list….. but after this rewatch I can’t imagine how it’s not there! Tamayura is like the real-world alternative to Aria infused with all of that Junichi Satou passion with the beautiful soundtrack and lovable characters voiced by a great cast of seiyuu. Anyway Something, I’m just curious what your take on the series was, what did or did not work for you in it (if you did watch it). And if you DID watch it long ago and your preferences have changed…. I would like to recommend a re-visit! That show has this amazing power where I guess a bunch of dust gets stirred up by my TV when it’s playing because all of a sudden my eyes water A LOT xD.

    • something says:

      I love Tamayura, and have it all imported. It’s just a little below the other shows here.

      I do still need to watch those four OVA/movies though.

      • AholePony says:

        OMG yes you do that’s where all the payoff is lol. Sad to see K-On fall of your list but welcome the addition of Flying Witch ;-)

  9. something says:

    Quick update for the first time in a year, welcome Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho. (Bit of a spoiler for my Winter 2018 post.) Also did a quick gut check of the rest of the list and slightly juggled a few things around.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Really surprised that Konohana Kitan didn’t make your list. We hold very similar tastes other than a few things (I thought Toradora was poorly written garbage) and Konohana easily slipped into my personal top 10 after it aired. Such powerful episodes and some fun characters made it my favorite iyashikei since Aria.

    • something says:

      I’ve just seen enough anime that getting into the top 20 is extremely difficult. At last check I’ve completed 606 TV series and seen at least one ep of 907 TV series, so being in the top 20 means being in the top 2.2% of series I’ve tried (or slightly more since I group sequels). Konohana Kitan is fantastic, but it’s just not quite that high for me. I gave it a 9/10 and wrote up my thoughts about it here: https://www.someanithing.com/8479

      In order to go from “one of the best shows of the year” to “one of the best shows of all time” Konohana would have needed to focus much more on the Satsuki/Yuzu romance than it did. Instead it leaned more toward episodic stories about Konohanatei’s guests, and while those stories were frequently really fantastic they weren’t what I was most interested in seeing.

      I caught up on the manga after the anime ended (caught up with the volumes anyway, I don’t read individual chapter releases), and I feel like the later volumes that the anime wasn’t able to get to are easily its strongest material yet. It still hasn’t gone -quite- as far as it could with romance, but it’s definitely ramped that up big time. And the stories about guests include some profoundly beautiful, heartbreaking encounters even more powerful than the story of the old woman and her deceased daughter that the anime covered. It’s also given us a deeper dive into Yuzu, which I appreciate.

      So it’s a fantastic series but its best material is post-anime, it maybe tried to do a bit too much for just one cour, and there are just too many other shows that are a little bit better.

      • Anonymous says:

        Glad to hear the manga continues to have great content. I’m pretty sure it was licensed recently so I’ll definitely be picking it up. Thanks for your answer.

  11. something says:

    I’ve reworked the list! I’m now considering manga/novels alongside anime. I’m indicating which medium is what landed the series on my list by whether the anime or print columns are populated. Could be or or the other or both.
    • If I’ve liked and seen the anime, Broadcast Year and Studio are populated.
    • If I’ve liked and read the manga/novel past the material covered by the anime, Publication Year and Author are populated.

    So for example, I’ve restarted the Gakkou Gurashi manga but haven’t gotten past the material the anime covered, so I’m just listing the anime for now. Same with Sakura Trick, which I’ll read more of one day (4koma is just kind of a turnoff when it comes to reading). Then there’s the rare case of Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou, where I’ve only read the manga and it earns an extremely high spot just based on that.

    When both are listed, they aren’t necessarily of equal weight. Sasameki Koto is a good anime, but the manga is why it’s on the list. what lands it on the list. Hanayamata is wonderful in both forms, but the manga pushed it higher by telling the other half of the story. On the other side, the Ookami to Koushinryou novels are decent from what I’ve read so far, but it’s the more concise anime with its snappy dialogue and inimitable atmosphere that earns it a spot.

    The initial impulse for updating was to push Yama no Susume up the rankings. I was going to wait until it was done, but I’d already started incorporating the manga-related changes. And Yamasusu concluded its core emotional arc of s3 this week, so I feel confident in just ranking it now.

    Oh and I expanded it to 25 because why the heck not.

  12. something says:

    Just a small update. Revisiting the final volume of Shoshuryo moves it ahead of Idolmaster, and now that I’ve finished the Sakura Trick manga and while the spot doesn’t change I’ve noted year/author under the manga columns to reflect that. A bump for Koufuku Graffiti as well.

  13. something says:

    Bumped things around quite a bit, as I continue to keep this current with how my tastes are changing. A number of Kirara titles continued to climb as I read more of, or finish, their manga. Additionally, some changes were made to what series are included:

    Shakunetsu no Takkyuu Musume
    Urara Meirochou
    Yagate Kimi ni Naru

    Touka Gettan

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