I’d always considered myself a fan of anime for a long time. But it wasn’t until July that I realized that I hadn’t really watched that much. You see, following Naruto and Bleach for years gives one the illusion that they’ve watched a lot of anime. As it turns out, you’ve just watched a lot of Naruto and Bleach. Once I realized this and that there were tons of titles that people were talking about that I had no idea existed, I sought to remedy the situation.
I took advantage of the fact that I’d stopped raiding in WoW and didn’t need to block off four hours per night anymore and, later, that I’d be on a work term at home when all of my friends would be busy with school or outside the city and I went through almost everything of interest from the past few years. Anyhow, here are 2008′s (that is, aired during 2008) most influential anime for myself.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
I’ve always liked Gundam, even though I’ve still not familiarized myself with UC. But, you can count on me watching a Gundam show. As a result, even though it wasn’t entirely captivating to me like SEED was, I still made sure to catch 00. As the aforementioned WoW raiding picked up, 00 soon became the only show I was following. And while the first season of 00 didn’t win me over, the second season is quickly redeeming its predecessor.
This is probably the anime that brought me into watching anime as it aired. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon this. I do remember that it was the stunning OP and the amazing animation in the first episode that won me over. I’ve said constantly that while the premise is a bit typical, it’s the quality of the production that makes this series shine. It’s been about three-quarters of the way through and it still holds true.
There are two reasons I picked this up. The first was that I’d just finished 5 Centimeters per Second and was in the mood for another sadface anime. The second was Clannad After Story’s OP. It was my introduction to the visual novel adaptation and harem anime. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It turns out Kanon, which I watched afterwards, was what I was expecting. Anyhow, Clannad and Clannad After Story remain as some of my favourites and it’s influential for opening me to the genre. This lead me to watch things like ef – a tale of memories, which I consider a good result.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
I’d mentioned this anime a week or two ago and why it was important. For me, it introduced the anime community on the Internet: a vast collection of various anime blogs and 4chan’s /a/. And it’s through this machinery that I gather information about other anime, empowering me to trudge through and find out what I’ve missed over the past few years.
Xam’d: Lost Memories
Xam’d is a very good reminder of why I hate Sony. It’s a shame that one of the best shows of the year ends up with pretty much the worst distribution model. Other than that, the show began with some definite Eureka Seven vibes, which I forgave, since it had a main character that wasn’t Renton Thurston at the beginning of E7. As it went on though, it really turned into its own thing (other than those wings) and it’s influential because it’s just damned good. If it’d already ended, I’d probably crown it the best anime of the year.