Here I'm going to list the top ten anime that moved me to tears of both joy and sorrow, that allowed me to laugh in ways I never had before, and that brought me greater understanding and yes, dare I say wisdom?
One stern warning though...Don't you DARE watch any of these great anime in english DUBBED they need to be seen as they were created, please watch the SUBBED.You can click on each title to go directly to watch them.
Code Geass vied heavily with Death Note for this no. 10 spot. They both dealt with anti-heroes who starte out with valiant aims to 'save the world' but ended up with god complexes. Code Geass won the spot for me because I sympathized more with Lulu, who as much as he wanted to, and often thought he was, he was never in charge of his life or the direction he was headed in. His family truly used him, his sister Nunally and his best friend Suzaku. To me Zero was more 'human' than Kira. He was ultimately more selfless. What touched me most and saddened me most was how despite his honest desires, things kept happening that forced him to make the hardest and most villainous decisions, and how much e hurt having to live with those sins. In the end Lulu made the ultimate sacrifice, something Light would and could never do. The storyline in Code Geass is truly unique. I loved how you knew the plot had you switching sides all the time. Sometimes supporting Lulu and sometimes Suzaku, but never hating anyone other than Lelouch's bastard of a father.
D.Gray-man comes in at number nine. As an exorcist themed amine I expected same old same old, a bit of Chrno Crusade a bit of Neo Angelique a bit of Trinity Blood. But what I got was something completely unique. The story revolves around a boy become Exorcist, Allen Walker and his special Innocence (item that allows him to fight akuma, which aren't truly demons, but machines made out of human souls by the Millenium Earl).
There are so many plot twists in this anime that you're always on the edge of your seat holding your breath. The battles are intense and the concepts are singly original. I would love to give more detail, but I really don't want to give spoilers for those who have not seen it. I will say that parts in this anime made me cry, and when the anime ended and I moved over to the manga for the continuation parts made my cry happy tears and sad tears.
I love that it isn't a soft or censored anime, death comes, and isn't masked. It isn't the corny plot where the hero always wins and stands laughing victorious with all his loved ones. I love the realist perspective displayed. It also has very interesting takes and portrayals of the biblical concepts of Noah and the Ark. Currently in the manga, the hero is now the anti hero and I'm anxiously waiting for the next installment.
Also, the anime is really long 100 + episodes and so you really get involved with the characters. I love long anime much more that short 1 or 2 season series.
One other thing I look forward to in anime are the opening and ending songs and soundtrack songs. The opening sounds without exception always play a roll in how much I love an anime. My favourite opening song from D.Gray-man is Gekkidou by UVERworld. Unlike most other anime where I skip over the opening after the first time, I've watched this opening every single time. In making this post I watched it three times ^///^.
#8. Blood +
This is a less modern anime setting wise and release time wise as can been seen from the plot and the animation style. In essence, Blood + is about two immortal sisters who have been fighting each other for hundreds of years, one, Diva, on a path that will destroy the world, the other Saya, on a mission to protect it, and her beloved adopted family. The only one by her side from her past is her faithful chevalier Haji.
He loves her but accepts sorrowfully her decision that they can never be together, and continues to watch over her from the outside as she slumbers and wakes to join new families and generations, helping her, protecting her from Chiropterans and her sisters chevaliers.
The Chiropterans are in essence blood offspring of Diva, and Saya's blood is the only thing that can kill them, so she fight using a sword with he running blood. Incidentally, the only way one of the sisters could become pregnant is by the chevalier of the other twin sister, as such Diva wanted Haji, and all chevaliers were genetically wired to love their mother's sister, however, Haji loved Saya when he was not logically supposed to.
In this anime what touched me the most was the unwavering love, loyalty and dedication Haji had for Saya, going so far as the step aside and support her and her adopted brothers love. After Diva escaped, Haji was made to promise Saya that he will kill her when Diva has been slain, but he could not do it. That was his one and only act of disobedience. I wish I could someday meet a person with that kind of true strength, but that may well be asking too much.
Aside from that I love the detail of explanation of the unusual aspects and concepts. Every inch is covered and at the end there is nothing left for you to wonder or be unsure or in the dark about. It isn't one of those anime that end leaving you hanging stupidly wonder what the hell. Every important character and even many less important ones had their background stories given so you could understand each one. Some shallow minded people may find it hard to follow, but I'm a stickler for detail. Lol, it made me feel 'All-Knowing' XD.
The ending is really bittersweet, but it is realistic and you can accept the final outcome. Honestly the selling point for me was Haji and you guys should read about him even if you don't watch the anime. http://bloodplus.wikia.com/wiki/Hagi.
#7. Jyu Oh Sei
Jyu Oh Sei takes play on a cluster of planet system colonies where human experimentation takes place and unethical experiments are done on children. The colony where the main character Thor and his brother Rai are sent to is masqueraded as a penal colony, however it is the site for the experiments of the home planet which is searching for a way to live on Chimaera since leaving eath (the original home of the people).After becoming the Jyu Oh and riding the Dagger Pagoda orbital elevator Thor learns truth about why his parents were killed. Thor was betrayed by his homeland who exiled him to when he was still an innocent child and he was betrayed my his friend, teacher, confidant when he became the Beast King. At the very end however when he saw it was all for naught he was fully remorseful. Jyu Oh Sei is a story of betrayal and the strength to survive and go on in frightening odds.
The opening song for Jyu Oh Sei, Deep In Your Heart by Koichi Domoto is another great one which I listened to each time and contributed to my love of the short series. Of course I downloaded the full song.
Now it has been many years gone since I watched this anime, and it is also a relatively short one. I do not remember many of the fine details of it, but I do remember the feelings of compassion and empathy I had while watching it as well as the bits of happiness shared with the characters and sadness when I thought the most important person had died. The Dauther of Twenty Faces is one of the most realistic plot wise stories I have seen. No magic, paranormal anything or over exaggerated skills and I fell in love with it for that. Just a normal everyday girl, living in a very difficult period in post war London. Twenty Faces / the phantom thief, was a rebel with a cause just like Lelouch, but with none of the powers he had, just an ordinary man, with things to protect and a world to change. *reminiscent smile and sniffle* One of the first things that came to me when I was considering anime for this list was the theme song of this anime. The way it plainly described life in four simple stanzas. The song is in French, it is called Bonne Justice and was originally a poem written by Paul Eluard.
It is the warm law of men.
From grapes, they make the wine.
From coals, they make the fire.
From kisses, they make the men.
It is the harsh law of men.
They keep themselves intact despite,
The wars and the misery.
Despite the dangers of death.
It is the kind law of men.
They turn water into light.
They turn dreams into reality.
They turn enemies into brothers.
A law old and new.
That continues perfecting itself,
From the bottom of a child's heart,
To the supreme reason.
#5. 07 Ghost
It's hard for me to put into words my love for this anime (and manga) and the reasons why I love it. It is a really complex and detailed anime, but at the point where the anime ends there is still too much we aren't told so you must continue by reading the manga, bit by bit more of the truth is coming out. The story is another unique remix / rendition of a biblical concept / story. It is based on God banishing Lucifer from heaven and there is also reference the the archangel Michael and Raphael, however other than those concepts nothing else relates to the bible. Verloren, the Lucifer of this story was sealed and fragments of him (the seven ghosts) were given bodies and souls and sent to govern the earth. The people fight with a type of word magic called zaiphon and the church and the seven ghosts fight to save lost souls called wars while the armies use zaiphon to engage in human war in the fight for dominance and power.
The main characters are Teito, a prince from a kingdom that was destroyed and his protector is Frau, one of the seven ghosts (Zehel) who wields the scythe of Verloren and has to fight urges to consume Teito's soul and they are fleeing from and fighting Ayanami who is a human reincarnation of Verloren and seeks to retrieve his sealed power. There is really so much that happens in this plot that I don't know where to begin. I will simple say that it is a journey of friendship, self discovery, vengence and a journey to save loved ones lost.
You can find details here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/07-Ghost but I advise you to watch the anime and read the manga instead.
#4. Break Blade
Break Blade / Broken Blade is and anime I started watching when it came out last year. Two episodes were released and the there was a pause in production. Two weeks ago while browsing anime I came across it again and saw that it was completed. There are only six episodes but each one is almost an hour long which more than makes up for it. So I've just finished watching this and I confess that I was teary eyed the entire time. There were moments during an episode where I had to keep pausing because I was so scared for the main character Rygart. There were also moments when I was yelling at the people on the screen... *shamefaced* I've said all this but haven't mentioned what this anime is about.
To begin with Break Blade is a mecha anime and as Mecha anime go, there is a war going on. One country is invading another yo take over its quartz reserves because that is what the civilizations in this anime run on. Three friends, one being the king of Binonten, the other a soldier of Athens (the invading country) and one a non-magic commoner from Binonten who despises war, are forced against each other. Rygart, the commoner joins the war to protect Hodr, the king and try to convince Zess, the soldier to stop the invasion. The invasion continued and Rygart was forced to kill et cetera et certera, people died on both sides and I mourned certain deaths on both sides. I won't say more as I've given enough spoilers, but please watch this anime. Lastly, I fell in love with the opening song, Fate by KOKIA.
#3. No. 6
No. 6 is a really recent anime compared to the others. It came out and finished just this year, last month. It has only eleven episodes, but I believe it finished, whether or not there will be a season 2 is another story. The setting for this anime, as with each of the other is singularly unique. Two boys from different backgrounds meet, and end up joining together to rebel against the government of the country, who as so many governments do, were carrying out unethical experiments. My love for this anime grew as the bond between Nezumi and Shion grew. The harsh realities of their world and the fact that so many people lived oblivious to it inside the city walls while the masquerading government outright slaughtered innocent people en masse to make the country 'look good', was really saddening. The fact that these too boys barely out of childhood were risking their lives to both save and destroy, and still finding love along the way made me love it even more. Despite the short length of this anime there is nothing that I can day it lacked, or that I was dissatisfied with...well there is one thing....but I don't want to post that spoiler, and to most people it wouldn't be something to be dissatisfied about xP. I placed No. 6 at number 3 on this list possibly because it is still so fresh in my mind, but also because it just...feel real. As in, I felt for the people and the things the went through,and I was really pissed at the government for their inhumanity and cruelty, and all this going on in a city they claimed was ideal, while lying to all the citizens. InuKashi is also another excellent character and surprise surprise...there's an identity surprise which I shalt not give away. Finally, I loved the singing voice of the actor who voiced nezumi and the song he sang to mourn the passing of others was lovely.
Now this is one anime that I am completely biased about, and so it gets two pictures ^o^. Saiunkoku Monogatari is set in ancient Japan and is based off of a novel rather than a manga. Its set in the times when the country was properly under imperial rule with all the hierarchical noble families and such and I'm reaallllllly a sucker for period based anime. The character I fell in love with the most, Sa Sakujuun, pictured in both pictures above, was one of the main antagonists that everyone hated....but I love him so :p. My second favorite, Si Seiran, was the most unfortunate soul :( tho he was pious and selfless and counted himself so blessed...so I cried in his stead ~. The main character is a headstrong girl, Ko Shurei with a big dream to make a difference in her country and no time to spare for building relationships and families as much as she did love. Though she was very naive she's a bit of a role model to me. One of the random things I found that I love form watching this anime is Ehru music. Shurei played the ehru every time someone passed away at her home when she was a child, she also played it for Sakujuun ❤. I'm not particularly bother by the emperor though he was nice enough and I also was fond of his confidants Ran Shuei and Ri Kouyuu and Shurei's best friend Ran Ryuren, the most eccentric, yet brilliant and kind individual ❤. It's a genuine bishounen anime and I have no complaints about any of the prominent characters, but what earned it this number two spot is the strugle that shurei went through as a woman trying to make a place for herself in what was in those days very much a man's world. She went strongly against the odds, persevering even as hard as it was, even when her life was always in danger, even when she felt like breaking down. That earned this anime a special place in my heart. Lastly, the opening song, Hajimari no Kaze by Ayaka Hirahara, truly moves me, both the melody and the lyrics comfort me. This not only ranks as number 2 in my list of anime that touched me, but it is also one of the best anime I have seen in my entire life, and I've seen alot...the otaku that i am ^///^. Incidentally, this is the only anime that I had downloaded and burned onto a DVD in it entirety, ever.And for the record, it isn't a chick flick >:|.
Because this anime has earned the number one spot I will start with the part of it that first caught my attention. The opening. The song is 'Shine' by L'arc en Ciel, and watching this anime was the first time I met the band and I love them now ❤. The song grabbed me and drew me into the anime before it even began, that's how important soundtrack is for me. Listening to the song on its own I think its lovely, but when I watch the opening, the combination with the anime and everything I know the anime entails I always, ALWAYS get teary-eyed.
As I mentioned before, I'm a sucker for period based anime, mostly ancient Japan and this one goes back possibly further than Saiunkoku Monogatari as you can see from watching the opening. Seirei no Moribito, which means, Guardian of the Spirit, is about a young prince, still very much a child who is sentenced to death by his father as it is believed that he is inhabited by a spirit which will bring destruction to the kingdom. His mother attempts to save his live and hires a female spear wielder to act as his bodyguard and flee the persecutors. That is where the heart rending story begins. The bodyguard, Balsa, a warrior with a heart filled withatonement for lives that were taken to save hers as a child, sets out to protect Prince Chagum not only from his own people, but from the spirits that are also after him. She seeks to free him from his curse so that he can return to his home and mother. Over the course of the journey they fall in love with each other, not romantically, but as a parent and child as Balsa becomes more of a mother to Chagum than his real mother ever was, and he becomes a much loved son to her. They face many dangers, living under strenuous conditions, always journeying, always encountering enemies.
For me, Seirei no Moribito takes the number one spot on this list and in my heart
for the bonds that grew through dangers, the love you can have for someone, so strong you'd risk you life though the person isn't your child by blood or parent by blood for that matter. It also points out the dangers of the ignorance of men.
Honourable Mention: Vampire Knight, Shounen Omnyouji, Death Note, Darker Than BLACK, Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood and Hanasakeru Seishounen.