Top 20 Favorite Anime

A long time ago, I did a post where I discussed my top 15 favorite anime series.  However, now that it’s been a few years, and I have become more familiar with more series, and have rewatched some of the ones on my list previously, my opinions have changed somewhat.  So now I am going to put out the definitive list.  Here are the top 20 favorite anime that I have.

20. Black Lagoon
What do you get when you combine an 80’s action hero, Studio Madhouse action, and one of the most dark and violent gunplay styles ever made?  You get this series.  Telling the story of a band of mercs for hire – the Lagoon Company.  This series has some of the best dub work of all time.  It has violent shootouts, insane villains, and absolutely zero subtlety.  It’s like someone wanted to bring the 80’s out of its hiding place and put it in the 21st century.  With an amazing cast of characters, all of whom are complete scumbags, you have a series that is morally gray in the extreme, and too much fun to watch.  I miss this style of cinema, but anime is keeping the flame alive.

19. Rahxephon
After the success of Evangelion and what a cultural icon it became, there were a TON of imitators out there.  Most of them never even went past the line of derivative, with people seeing them for the schlock that they are.  However, then you get series like this one.  Which took the formula for Eva and actually went further with it.  In fact, I would say that it perfected it.  A show about aliens who look like us, machines that are golems made of stone, and a focus on music and the power of sound, this was a very grim series that I would argue was better than the series it was riffing on, in more ways than one.  Were it not for the ending which is kind of dull, this show would be able to easily stack up to the more famous predecessor.  But quality animation, a fantastic score, and really good voice acting makes this series shine.

18. Darker Than Black (Season 1)
Another series where the second season just royally fucked the quality, this series was about darkness all around.  In a world where some nameless calamity has stuck the Earth and imprisoned it under a cloud that has stars symbolizing people with special powers, our tale follows a clandestine group who does dirty work for a shady organization who is exploiting those individuals.  Action that keeps you pumped, dark subject matter, and a kind of grotesque nature keeps you guessing.  This series is cold, but for at least the first season you can see where it’s coming from.

17. Digimon Tamers
Given how this franchise had been so light-hearted by comparison, this series in the franchise took a decidedly darker turn.  For a marketing vehicle, this iteration of the franchise was meta, had complicated characters who you like, and took some incredibly dark turns that as a child I was in love with, and as an adult I still can sit down and watch and feel very moved by.  How a show this dark was able to get onto a children’s cartoon block is beyond me, but I am glad that it is, because there is nothing like it.  Whether it is just for the nostalgia, or to just enjoy a children’s show that wasn’t afraid to push the boundaries of what is acceptable, it still holds up to this day.

16. Samurai Champloo
What do you get when you take the creator of one of the greatest anime ever made, add in hip-hop, and enough meta to make Deadpool proud?  You get this series, of course.  A stylistic, badass and overall too fun series about a bunch of travelers, I love this show so much.  It’s not complicated.  This is entirely style over substance.  But that style is just so damn cool!  The creator of Cowboy Bebop comes back to tell a story about three travelers in the Edo Period of Japan, trying to find a Samurai who “smells of sunflowers.”  From the awesome sword-fights to the fantastic voice-work in English, nothing about this series doesn’t stick with me.  Sure, there are some episodes which just die, but overall it is still a ton of fun to watch.  Steve Blum steals the show as Mugen, but the rest are still so cool.  If you can handle some history-twisting, this series is for you.

15. Gundam Wing
I am dying to know when FUNimation is going to re-release this series, now that they have  the Bandai licenses.  Here’s hoping they don’t do a shitty redub of it.  The voicework in this series is classic.  Telling the story of five youths who head down to Earth to get revenge for the murder of a leader of the Colonies, along with strike back at the clandestine Organization of the Zodiac, Gundam Wing is all about big robots and big battles.  But more than that, it looks at ideas about war, the nature of good and evil, and how the changing tides of history can leave people behind.  This series is classic, and while the animation hasn’t aged as well as you’d think, it still is pretty awesome.  I’ll admit that my nostalgia goggles are on pretty tight for this.  It is the first series that I watched as a kid that got me into anime.  But I still love it, and in my opinion it holds up to this day as a gateway series into anime.  Seriously, though, FUNimation, don’t do a redub of this.  It can only suck.

14. Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad
When I watch this series, the whole time I think about what life was like growing up.  But more than that, this series does something that so few stories about growing up does – feels real.  When I see the grungy basements that the band is playing it, I feel like I am there.  I feel like I could watch these shows and hear these instruments.  It tells the story of a young man who is lost growing up, and just so happens to run into the lead guitarist of a band.  From there begins a story of growing up, music, and the hardships that come from knowing that youth is temporary.  Were it not for a totally forced plot later about a mobster which had no reason to be in there, this series would have been nigh-perfect.  But I still feel each string of the instruments when I watch it to this day.

13. Baccano
What do you get when you combine a total lack of chronological order, supernatural powers, and the backdrop of early 1900’s gang warfare?  You get a show that is so damn fun to watch!  This series is a marvel.  It’s a marvel how such an unapologetically violent series can exist but be so fun to watch.  This series is brutal.  You have dismemberment, a gleeful enjoyment of murder, and characters who are pretty much all terrible people but you love all the same due to how deliciously evil they all are.  It tells the story of a train massacre, along with a drug war that goes on because of a substance that grants people immortal life.  Between the phenomenal acting in the dub, and the cool style that it has, this series isn’t about the narrative.  It’s about the crazy ride aboard a train that you can’t look away from for one second.

12. Outlaw Star
Some series are substance over style.  Others are style over substance.  Outlaw Star, on the other hand, is nothing but style and not a lick of substance to be found anywhere.  But dear god is it cool!  Gene Starwind finds himself going from a do any dirty job business owner to a starship captain outlaw who has a mysterious vessel and a mysterious woman who can pilot it in his care.  What this show lacks if any form of substantive elements it makes up in some of the most fun that a series has ever had with its premise.  This is science fiction escapism at its best.  This show knows exactly what it is and doesn’t shy away from it.  Hell, it embraces what it is, and does nothing but have fun with that every step of the way.  If you like all the trimmings of a space adventure story (no joke, they don’t miss a single beat), you need to watch this anime.

11. Vision of Escaflowne
First off, let me say, FUNimation – shame on you for making a redub version of this series.  If you hadn’t have included the original version in the blu-ray, I would be hunting you down.  The redubbed version is just bad, no matter how you scratch it.  A series that also retreads ground that we have seen before, but damn if it isn’t all the execution.  The story of Escaflowne is as predictable as it gets.  You have a girl taken to a mysterious world, who ends up becoming involved in a greater plot that involves fantasy elements in a world with animal people and fighting robots.  Original as my pizza pops idea, but as I said, all in the execution.  This series is incredible to watch!  From the gorgeous visuals, to the fantastic voice-work, it has it all.  Not to mention the soundtrack, which is so damn beautiful.  You know exactly where it will go from beginning to end, but each step of getting there is worth it.  Just wish the ending to the series wasn’t as flat as it is.  I guess they meant for it to go further, but ran out of budget.  Oh well.

10. FLCL
This series is one that I saw when I was much younger, but when I rediscovered it as an adult, it grew on me so much.  The best coming-of-age anime that I have ever seen, this short series tells the story of a young man who is dissatisfied with life, but has his boring days broken when a woman on a vespa with a guitar smashes him over the head and nothing in his life is the same.  While this series does play with elements of eldritch horror and mecha anime, at its core it is about our young hero and his issues with growing up.  He is a lonely kid, and I see so much of my own struggles growing up in him.  Plus, it looks at the problems associated with sex, love, and emotional honesty in a way that feels mature.  The guy who made it studied under the creator of Evangelion, but I would argue that this series does complex emotions better, simply because they capture what it’s like to be a kid better.  If you saw this when you were younger, check it out again and see what you think.

9. Death Note
One of the most widely-known anime series, Death Note tells the story of a man’s rise to power.  Light Yagami is a bored high school genius, who one day happens to come across a notebook dropped from a death god called the Death Note.  He then goes from a soon to be lawyer to little Hitler and he fights to remake the world in his image.  This series has zero subtlety.  None.  But dear god is it fun!  The game of cat-and-mouse between Light and L is too much fun to watch.  Too bad that the entire conflict just dies after that point, up until the very end of the series.  Looking back on it now, I don’t have the same love for this series that I do for others on the list, but it is still an incredible show that has one of the best dramatic arcs to follow.  At least for the first 25 episodes.

8. Wolf’s Rain
This series is probably the most thematically dense of any of the anime on this list.  This is a cold and cryptic series that fuses religious allegory with bitter tragedy.  It tells the story of a young pack of wolves, on their journey to find Paradise, all while the world is slowly descending into chaos and the end of everything is near.  Between the truly incredible visuals, the voice acting that is at the top of its class, and one of the most gripping tragedies ever told, this series will make you cry, think, and question all at the same time.  It isn’t for everyone, as the material is dense and there is virtually no exposition to let you know what is going on.  However, if narrative rich in symbolism and with a lore that you have to pay attention to in order to figure out is your game, then check it out.

7. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
I find it so weird that the most true to the original story version of this series is done in an anime set 3,000 years in the future.  That is just so strange to me.  It follows a young man named Albert, who comes into the acquaintance of a mysterious Count.  What follows is a tangled web of lies, manipulation, and a revenge story that will keep you hooked.  But not only that, it also has a style that is all its own.  This series animation is strange, to say the least.  But that strangeness is what sets it apart.  The style in it fits so perfectly.  This series is almost impossible to analyze, because it is nearly perfect.  Were it not for how bad the last two episodes are, I would almost call it a perfect anime.  Some flaws, but too much fun.  Not to mention having a villain who is just so awesome.

6. Stein’s Gate
When time travel, fate, and the changing of reality collide, you get Stein’s Gate.  Telling the story of a young man and his band of misfits who stumble upon the ability to change time, a young man learns the true price of changing reality, and what it takes to set things right.  So much of what I love about this series centers around the main character.  A lot of people see it as a gripping thriller about time travel, and that is true, but that isn’t what keeps me loving this series the way that I do.  Every single one of these characters all feel like people I could know and love, but as I said, it’s not what keeps me coming back.  The real reason that I love this series the way I do is the character of Okarine.  His anti-social nature and awkwardness in the face of life and the hardships he comes across resonate so much with me.  His fight to be a good friend all while battling his own awkwardness feel so true to me.  Not to mention the fact that he lives in his own head, desperately trying to make sense of it all.  It’s a cold story, but seeing how far he will go to save his best friend hits me right in the heart.

5. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
A lot of people have made comparisons between this series and Death Note, and while I do see those, I believe that this is the better series.  Why?  All because of the main character.  The story goes that Lelouch is a disaffected youth living in the occupied nation of Japan.  He has no thoughts about life and is looking to strike back at the Holy Britannian Empire who he blames for ruining his life and crippling his sister.  As fate would have it, he gets his shot when a mysterious woman gives him the power of Geass.  Now it’s a battle of wits to destroy the people he hates, and manipulate the world on his ultimate chess board, that grows bigger and bigger with every battle.  Light is an interesting character, but his corruption is ridiculously immediate.  Lelouch, on the other hand, is one we can watch grow and slowly become turned by his own power.  To the point that he has to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring about total peace.

4. Mushi Shi
Anyone who knows me knows that my first love is animation.  I love to watch animation that has quality and a look all its own.  It’s why I love the film Bambi to this day, even if it is cutesy to a sickening degree.  The animation is a step above.  To that end, this series is much the same.  Telling the tales of the wandering Mushi Master Ginko, this series is just so peaceful.  It’s kind of like a lullaby.  I can watch this series anytime that I need to just feel better about my day, and it works wonders.  But dear Groj, the animation!  This series is a visual marvel.  Each episode seems to play around with a different style, and man do I love it for that.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist (Original)
I honestly don’t think much of Brotherhood, so I’ll head that off.  But the original series is a brilliant character study into the Elric Brothers, and their tragic tale of trying to get their bodies back.  This series is nearly a flawless tragedy.  Telling the story of two brothers and how their quest to get their own lives back destroys the lives of countless people around them.  This series is a near-perfect character study.  Edward and his brother are so likeable, which makes the fact that they are doing irreparable harm to the lives of everyone around them that much worse.  This series is also almost perfect, save for the ending.  I am one of the few people who calls bullshit on that ending.  How does sacrificing memory for Al’s life even make sense.  This series would have been a perfect tragedy if it ended with Al giving his life, and Edward realizing that in the end, he has to accept that some things cannot come back, and he has to move forward with his life.  But it is still a transcendent anime that is another perfect gateway series.

2. Avatar: The Last Airbender
How America was able to create an anime this good is beyond me.  This series did something that few anime have done before – transcended the gap between kids show and adult.  This series is incredible.  There isn’t a single bad episode.  There isn’t a single wasted character.  There isn’t a single frame that doesn’t fit in one way or another.  When you learn the insane amount of research that went into this little masterpiece, then you realize that anime can be more than just a niche market.  The story of Aang and his journey to learn the four elements and save the world combines incredible animation, lovable characters, and so much fantastic story-telling in all the best ways.  I honestly can say that this series is perfect.  Right down to the ending, it gets everything right.  For those wondering what I think of its sequel series, then it can be boiled down to this – Season 1 and 3 are amazing, while 2 and 4 go from terrible to boring.

And my favorite anime is…

1. Cowboy Bebop
Everyone and their brother has said about how awesome this series is.  Most people will call me a sheep for loving it the way that I do.  But so be it.  This series is perfect.  From the very beginning where you see Spike going to what is likely his doom in order to escape his life in the mob, the end of the first episode that sets up the tragic nature of the series.  Taking elements from tons of genres and blending them all together, this series cannot be defined by any one genre.  The story of the Bebop and its crew of misfits goes from pensive look at tragic characters, to beautiful elements of action set-piece, all of which are set to the best music that anime has ever or will ever have.  This series is astounding.  People sing its praises, but you know what, it’s earned that.  No series has ever done it like this, and I doubt another series ever will.

So, what are your favorite anime?  Let me know down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’m just in a dream that I can’t wake up from.” – Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 15 Anime Series

Now, I’m not talking about the top 15 series ever, just my personal favorites.  I’m not some kind of otaku.  I am a story-seeker.  Wherever I find a good story, I run with it.  And anime has given us some really great stories.  Of course, like with film and books, a lot of what I have seen in junk, but when I do find diamonds in the rough, I am really grateful.  Now, some of the series’ that I have on here are ones that I grew up with, and if I watched them now, I might have a different opinion.  But I doubt it.  I had a pretty good sense of story even when I was younger.  In any case, any of these series’s would be worth checking out.  Hopefully you have!  Enjoy.

15. Outlaw Star
So, there are going to be a few shows on here that are style over substance.  I don’t mind that, so long as the style is cool.  But this series is a little different.  This series has no, and I mean NO, substance at all!  It is entirely style, but for what it is, it is very, very cool.  This is science fiction escapism done right.  The universe is very neat, the characters are all over-the-top, but it is never boring.  The story is almost nothing but vignettes about the adventures of the crew of Outlaw Star, going around the galaxy, trying to find the Galactic Layline.  For real, that is as deep as it gets.  No personal journeys, no great introspection, just kick-ass action and bizarre adventures.  And bless this little show, because it does it just perfectly.  The animation for the series has aged incredibly well, and the universe is all sorts of fun.  Check it out, if you want something that is high on action, low on brains.

14. Digimon Tamers
A series that I saw when I was younger.  I was around 12 when I saw it for the first time.  And man, for a show that was made for kids, I don’t think it is possible for this to have possibly been darker!  For real, for being a kid’s show, there were a LOT of shit-your-pants scary moments in it.  This show dealt with some pretty heavy stuff.  There were the personal insecurities of the characters, which often manifested in the most harsh way possible.  There was the ugliness of what they were doing, deliberately destroying living creatures to make themselves stronger.  Even up to the end, this show never lets up with its subject matter.  And it does so very well.  It is cool when something that is made for kids doesn’t talk down to them.  I think that kids can handle the darker stuff, so long as their is a happy ending.  What makes this series especially interesting, to me at least, is that I don’t actually think it was a happy ending.  It was rather cold, in a lot of ways.  This show isn’t one of my favorites because of great animation or great music, but because of great characters.

13. BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad
I never thought that I would be a big fan of slice-of-life shows.  I mean, why would I want to watch something like real life?  I get to see it enough as-is.  But this show is a total exception to that.  The characters in this show are 100% believable.  This isn’t Disney Channel trying to interpret what being a teenager is like.  This is life experience we can all understand.  I love every minute of this show.  You can feel the strum of the guitar strings as the chords play.  You can smell the dusty basements where the music is playing.  You can identify with the young man as he is trying to find a place that he belongs.  Every single element of this show works, and it works great.  I love it.  I haven’t enjoyed a show like this in a long time.  Now, because it is slice-of-life, this isn’t for everybody.  It doesn’t have a perfectly happy or perfectly unhappy ending.  It is like life – a little good, and a little bad.  And it makes for a masterful show.

12. Baccano!
Whenever people talk about Lost, they make a point about how ridiculously convoluted it all is.  A lot of people have the same thoughts about this series.  To their credit, yeah, this series is REALLY complicated.  It takes more than one run-through to catch everything.  The series tells a whole bunch of stories, all centered around the massacre aboard the train, The Flying Pussyfoot.  This series involves so many characters, so many plot points.  You would think, with how incredibly complicated it is, that it would fall flat on its ass.  But it doesn’t.  This series paces everything so perfectly that even though you may miss some stuff here and there, you will hardly mind.  Every single character, even if you only see them for a scene, plays a part.  You feel like they all have a purpose in the series.  There isn’t a single waste scene, sentence or second of the series.  It is only 13 episodes long, and the creators of the show took advantage of every gory and deliciously odd moment of it.

11. Rahxephon
Man, this is one of those series that is so thematic that one has to sit down and think about it.  There are so many thematic elements at play that it is almost like a study in the subject.  The story tells of a young man named Ayato.  He finds a giant mecha-like golem, and it takes him outside the city of Tokyo, which in this world is its own reality.  It is inside of its own universe.  Outside, Ayato has to do battle with other golems.  Over time, he realizes that reality isn’t as simple as he thought, and that his destiny isn’t as kind as he had hoped.  Everything about this series flows so well.  The music, the visuals, the character growth.  It is very subtle, and very beautiful.  There are a lot of points in this show that don’t make a whole lot of sense, but it is such a pure descent into a fantastical world that you scarcely mind.  It isn’t about the science fiction element, which isn’t the show’s strong point.  This is about questioning reality, and questioning yourself.  What more could one want?

10. Samurai Champloo
Made by the creator of Cowboy Bebop, this series is one of the strangest pieces of historical fiction that I have ever seen.  The benefit of it being completely inaccurate, historically speaking, is that this series knows it.  It is making fun of a whole bunch of time periods and cultures, yet still having not only a cool action story, but also deep characters and some really cool fights.  It is kind of strange how you are having to constantly shift back and forth from not taking this series seriously at all, to finding it almost too serious.  The characters have stories, and like Cowboy Bebop, they all find that by trying to outrun their pasts, they eventually become consumed by them.  This series mixes samurai era with hip-hop style and the same level of good visuals that is to be expected from the creators of Cowboy Bebop.  I will admit that this is a style over substance series, but if that is your gig, you’ll find something to love.  If you don’t take history very seriously, pick it up and enjoy!

9. Gundam Wing
Now, this series has kind of become one of the classic pieces of otaku fanbase, but I am not among them.  Those people creep me out.  I love this series for reasons all my own.  This is a series that gets me because of the story.  The story goes that many years into the future, humanity has started colonizing space.  When a pacifist leader was vying for independence from Earth, the United Earth Sphere Alliance cracked down on them.  Eventually, the colonial leader was assassinated.  Now, many years later, five machines are being sent to Earth, to get revenge.  This series follows the five young pilots in their mission to get revenge.  In the process, they become embroiled in a battle with shifting political sands, different allegiances, and finding that they are not only figuring out the destiny of the stars, but of themselves as well.  The animation for this show wasn’t especially great, but this was more about characters and story.  It has a broad arc, and you never feel bored watching it.  This is a show for a very specific fanbase of sci-fi lovers, but if you are in the mood, and got some popcorn, take a watch.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

Wolf's Rain8. Wolf’s Rain
Alright, I’m just going to level with you – this show is incredible.  Truly, unbelievably incredible.  This anime is probably one of the greatest of all time.  This show is perfect.  Absolutely, utterly perfect.  There is not one thing that was done wrong.  A genuine tragedy about wolves who are searching for paradise, a divorced couple who is caught up in the web of things, a man who has vowed to hunt all wolves to extinction and a noble who has his own nefarious plot, all of which revolves around a young woman called “The Flower Maiden.”  The animation of this series is incredible.  The voice work in English has pretty much every anime all-star voice actor and actress.  It’s an incredible cast.  But the best thing about this show – how smart it is.  This series is an allegory.  The world that it exists in is incredibly complex with a very rich history, however, there is one caveat to that – there is no, and I do mean NO exposition.  All of this history is stuff that you, the audience has to pick up from bits and pieces.  But what makes it better – you don’t have to go through it with a fine-toothed comb to enjoy it.  This series is one that you can enjoy, regardless of if you are aware of the level of depth or not.  If it weren’t for personal preference, this series would be right at the top of this list.  It’s what a great tragedy should be.  It will warm your heart and it will also make you cry.  A lot.  But it is still beautiful.  Take it from me, you won’t be disappointed that you watched it.

7. Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking – what the hell?  How could an anime about The Count of Monte Cristo possibly be any good?  Well, for a lot of reasons.  The first is that this adaptation, believe it or not, is actually both the most faithful, and the most different adaptation of this story that I have ever seen.  I could go on for hours about that, so I won’t, but it is almost surreal how close to the story it is, even though it is set in a futuristic universe.  But the real selling point for me, aside from the great writing, the great story, and the coldly good acting are the visuals.  This series is a visual mind-fuck.  I don’t think that I have seen anything like it.  Ever.  You can get lost in how they do everything that they possibly can with this series not to make it feel understandable or comfortable.  The use of color, the use of lines, the use of faces and voice, they are all totally bizarre, yet entrancing at the same time.  It’s hard to look away when you are watching, because it is that gorgeous to look at.  But of course, the story is great too, and it is cool to see the story take place from the son of the noble that the Count is trying to get revenge against, rather than from the Count himself.  Like the story, in that regard.  If you’ve never seen the story played out before, I would recommend this version first.

6. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
One thing that I love is a story about intrigue and deception.  This series is rife with that.  Code Geass has been compared to Death Note, another series that you’ll see on this list, but to be honest, I think that they are very different shows.  For one thing, their style is 100% different.  Code Geass is a very traditional anime.  I would say that I don’t think that their animation is anything special, but that’s okay, because the story is very engaging and interesting.  It tells the story of a prince who is hiding out from the totalitarian empire of Britannia, who is gradually taking over the world.  Through sheer chance, Lelouch comes into possession of a Geass.  For each person, this power is different.  In Lelouch’s case, it allows him to be able to make anybody follow a command he gives them, so long as he has direct eye-contact with them.  This allows him to begin his efforts to overthrow Britannia, and to get revenge for his mother, who was murdered, and for his sister, who was mutilated at the same time.  This series isn’t has harsh as Death Note, either.  It is definitely an action series, though it does have some good moments where Lelouch’s brilliant mind gets a chance to shine.  This series has a LOT of really harsh moments, and when the characters shine, they shine brilliantly.  Plus, the cat-and-mouse game never lets up.  Overall, a great story, with some badass action.

5.Mushi Shi
Anybody who knows me knows that I am a HUGE fan of animation.  I think that when it is done well, it can bring a story to life in a way that nothing else can.  It can make a world seem more enriched, and it can make characters feel closer.  Honestly, I think there is more that can be done with animation that live action.  And this series is a perfect example.  I like JesuOtaku’s description – that it is a lullaby.  This show truly does feel like a lullaby.  I could go to sleep watching it.  The stories are quiet, very melodic.  You feel very calm, even when this show has incredibly gory and gripping moments.  It tells the story of spirits called Mushi that live with humans, and there is a special magician who can interact with them.  The animation in this series is perfect.  Were it not for the fact that I don’t just judge this by animation alone, this would be right at the top of my list.  Each episode has a new style, a different way of animating.  It never stop being impressive.  I am consistently feeling like I am diving into an unknown world.  Now, there is the fact that this series has absolutely no, and I mean NO, over-arching plot.  Each episode is a vignette.  This is a show for a person who loves animation.  For real, if you want something that will tease your mind, and dazzle your eyes, this is the show to watch.

4. Death Note
Yeah, you knew it was coming.  I LOVE this series.  I truly don’t think that a single element of this series fell flat.  Except for all the episodes after 25.  Yeah…that got pretty bad.  I won’t spoil it for the 5 people who haven’t seen it, but yeah, it got a lot less exciting.  Up until the last episode, which is so incredibly good that you’ll want to watch it again the moment it is done.  But the premise is simple.  Yagami Light is a lot like Lelouch.  He is a brilliant young student who is profoundly dissatisfied with the state of things.  He sees all the prisoners who get out of jail, not having to pay for their crimes of murder or worse.  He wants to do something about this, but can’t.  Then, by sheer chance, he comes upon the Death Note.  This is a notebook.  With it, he can kill any person, however he pleases, so long as he knows their name and face.  Now, Light is using it to kill the world’s criminals, and create a peaceful utopia with him as the new god, under the assumed identity of “Kira.”  Enter the brilliant detective, L.  L wants to catch Kira, and is willing to do anything to accomplish this.  While he has a very strict sense of right and wrong, L will also do absolutely horrible thing to get Kira, making it a good argument over which of them is the actual monster.  The pacing and characters are brilliant, and the animation is amazing.  The use of light and shadows is just great.  The character models and environment animation is also among the best that I have ever seen.  This series never lets up, and the intensity keeps building and building, right to just the right moment, and explodes in a way you never thought possible.  All up to the very, very bitter end.

3. Fullmetal Alchemist
This series only did one thing wrong – the ending.  Other than that, every aspect was perfect.  For real, it is perfect.  The only reason that it isn’t at the top of my list is because of personal preference.  The story goes that Edward and Alphonse Elric use the power of alchemy (taking one substance and changing it into another) to try and resurrect their dead mother.  Their efforts fail, and Edward loses and arm and a leg, Alphonse loses his entire body.  Now, both of them join the military and become State Alchemists, using their position to try and research the all-powerful Philosopher’s Stone, which they hope will be able to create a new body for Alphonse, and new limbs for Edward.  This is an incredibly tragic series.  It is heart-breaking and sad right up until the very end.  The idea of a tragedy show is incredibly difficult, and this series pulls it off perfectly.  From the very start, you are invested in the struggle of these two boys, who have become involved in something far bigger than themselves, and in the process grow up very fast, and very harshly.  There is also an expansive cast of recurring characters, all of whom have a plot and feel like they are a key part of the story.  The voice acting is top-notch.  This series is on par with a great animated film.  Of course, it is also dark, violent, and very horrific at times, so this isn’t a show for the younger crowd.  But I guarantee that if you like a good story, you won’t be able to stop watching.  Not for two seconds.  And if you are wondering what I thought of the reboot series – Brotherhood.  Well, I’m not a fan.  It was rushed, clearly an action show, and on top of that, there were WAY too many people, none of whom was flushed out enough.  But there is the first, and the best.  Enjoy.

2. Avatar: The Last Airbender
I know, why am I putting a kid’s show above Fullmetal Alchemist?  Well, to be honest, this was an incredibly well-done show.  I think that this is like most any of the animated feature films that Disney has done.  It is able to be enjoyed, by both the young and the old.  The story goes that there are four types of elements – Water, Fire, Earth, and Air.  They can be manipulated by “Benders.”  There is one bender, though, above them all – the Avatar.  This person can bend all four kinds, as opposed to only one, which is the way it is for everybody else.  Things were all well and good in this world until the Fire Nation began a campaign to take over the other nations.  Only the Avatar had the power to stop them, and he vanished.  For 100 years.  Now, he has returned.  It is a young Airbender, the last of his kind.  The story picks up from then, when he has returned, on a mission to stop the Fire Nation and restore balance.  It’s a pretty basic plot, but man, it shines in this series.  The characters are all fun and all grow throughout the series.  The bending elements aspect was clearly thought through entirely, as you can clearly say that each style was based on a different form or two of martial arts.  The animation also is great.  It starts out pretty basic, but after a while, it is incredible, outright gorgeous.  The voice-work is top-notch.  All in all, this show may have been made for kids, but it is easily able to be enjoyed by adults.

And my top anime series is –

1. Cowboy Bebop
Don’t accuse me of following trends.  This is one hell of a show.  The premise is that the crew of the Bebop is a bunch of social misfits who are trying to find a way to get by, in a universe that is without law and order.  They work as bounty hunters, ever-working to hunt the elusive paycheck.  Not an easy thing to catch.  But it is the growth of characters in this show that is just amazing.  My favorite is Spike, and not because he is cool or because he can fight.  His outlook on life just marvels me.  He views life as a dream, that he is waiting to wake up from.  All the risks he takes and the tempting of fate that he does is purely so that he can justify his own existence.  Of course, the rest of the cast is great.  So, the characters are great, but what about everything else?  The animation is the best that I have ever seen in any series.  The darkness, the detail at some points, and abstract at others, the noire quality of it, while at the same time the science fiction style, it’s all perfect.  And the music is just great.  Blending western themes with jazzy beats, it is almost a perfect soundtrack, and compliments its universe in the best way.  The reason that this show is so loved is because it is just that good.  I don’t think a single element fell flat.  Except that one episode…Boogie Woogie Feng Shui.  That was the only real time that this show failed.  And it did fail badly, but still.  Overall, this series has perfect music, perfect characters, perfect writing, perfect voice-work, perfect animation.  It is the best that I have ever seen, and I love it to death.

Until next time, a quote,

“Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake because I lost it in an accident. Since then, I’ve been seeing the past in one eye and the present in the other. So, I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture. I felt like I was watching a dream I could never wake up from. Before I knew it, the dream was over.”  -Spike Spiegel, Cowboy Bebop

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Characters From my Childhood

You remember when you were a little kid, and you used to watch TV shows?  Remember when these shows were good?  Remember when there used to be stuff that was actually smart on TV?  Thankfully, it is seeing a resurgence, but the fact is that smart is not something that appears in overwhelming amounts anymore on TV, especially where kid’s shows are concerned.  Now, I was thinking about doing a post on the top 10 nostalgic kid’s shows that I grew up with, but rather than do that, I thought about taking the characters who really made an impact with me.  The ones who I remembered, even to this day.  The ones who really got me to thinking about stuff.  With that in mind, I give you my list of the characters from the shows that I watched, who have still stuck with me in a lot of ways, even today.

10. Tom Paris
Star Trek Voyager
If you are a hater of this show, piss off.  I happened to like it.  While there were elements that didn’t hit so well, like that stupid-ass outfit they stuck Seven of Nine in (seriously, did you see the episode where she is in uniform?  She was much more attractive in that!), they did a lot right, and it is a credit to the Star Trek franchise.  And by far my favorite character who me and the parents who sit down to watch was Tom Paris.  Paris was the helmsman, the pilot.  He was skilled at what he did and competant in many areas.  This guy had it all going on.  He was cool, he was fun.  He was a smart-ass, he was a rebel.  He would disobey and fight for what is right, even when it got him in a lot of trouble.  This was the character for the young guy’s crowd, and he was well-portrayed.  He wasn’t like Robin from Batman: The Animated Series, doing stupid stuff that incompetant writers feel can connect with younger people.  He was just himself, and it was fun to see.  I really liked this show, and he was a big reason why.

9. Evil Tommy/Green Ranger
Power Rangers
To anybody who was a kid in the early 90’s, you watched Power Rangers.  Don’t deny it!  Just accept that you watched this show, and that this was by far the coolest character.  I have always loved a villain more than a hero.  And when he was a villain, man was this guy cool!  He kicked so much ass!  He had the moves, he had the look.  Even his Megazord was a badass dragon!  He would kick your ass in and out of costume, and he was the thing that made the show.  Sure, when he became good, he was still cool, but let’s fact it, watching him beat the shit out of all the other Power Rangers was lots of fun, and when we got older, we could have fun imagining him and an evil Kimberly having crazy and kinky romps together! (She would turn evil for him.  He is that awesome) He was a really cool addition to a really silly show that we all watched and enjoyed.

8. Ms. Frizzle
The Magic School Bus
I don’t think that there is a kid who grew up in my generation who doesn’t know this bat-shit crazy broad and her utterly absurd and often dangerous adventures that she took her students on with a magic bus.  She was funny, weird, and enjoyably over the top.  You liked how much fun she was having, and how much she enjoyed her position in life.  You learned a lot watching her show, and since the lessons were fun, you wanted to get more of them.  The animation was interesting, and all of the characters in that show were unique.  Ms. Frizzle was most definitely a staple of my childhood because she made the idea of learning about the world exciting.  Ever since she has disappeared, PBS has seemingly lost the ability to make such likeable characters, every time I was baby-sitting and tuned in.  For real, she was a lot of fun, and I, as an adult, still think it’s a good show.

7. Wufei Chang
Gundam Wing
This was the first anime that I had ever seen, and I was immediately drawn to Wufei.  He is a Gundam pilot who fights for honor, for his own sense of integrity.  True, he is fighting a battle for vengeance, but the fact is that he is fighting for what he believes is right.  A lot of people think that Wufei is sexist and hates women.  Not true.  He hates weak women.  When he met Sally Po and saw that she would keep fighting her guerilla war, knowing that all the odds were stacked against her, he showed a lot of genuine respect.  He hates women who are led by their emotions, women who let their kindness get the better of them, especially in military situations.  But he is an amazing warrior, and a hell of a pilot.  For it being the first anime I saw, I was introduced to the genre with an amazing show.  Gundam Wing challenged a lot of themes like the innocence of youth, the value of war, and what true peace really means.  It is a lot of fun.

6. Freakazoid
Freakazoid (Duh)
I think a lot of how I talk and my general approach to things that are legitimately serious came from this character.  This show still gives me big laughs, even now.  Partly produced by Steven Spielberg, this show was a parody of all superhero shows, and I love it.  Freakazoid is by far the strangest character ever to greet children’s shows.  He doesn’t take what he is doing seriously at all, and makes a big joke about it.  This guy really is a little bit nuts, and his villains are all totally not the stereotypes that we all assume we will see.  It’s kind of a bummer that the show only lasted two seasons.  I would loved to have seen how far they could go with this character.  But yeah, my way of saying things in strange ways and not taking a serious approach to the big stuff mostly came from old episodes of Freakazoid.  A great show, if you are ever in the market.

5. Sonic the Hedgehog
The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
It’s so ironic that I love the Nostalgia Critic’s videos.  He did a review of this show, talking about how bad it was, and how bat-shit crazy it is.  I remember being really young and looking forward to seeing this show.  I don’t know what it was, but I just loved watching it.  Maybe it is because I am a little bat-shit crazy myself.  I kind of dug the absolute insanity and the total lack of focus that this show had.  And I am also a die-hard Sonic the Hedgehog fan.  Still, I think what I liked about this character was how weird he was.  Normal bores me.  It bores the living shit out of me.  The more crazy and bizarre something is, the more that I generally tend to enjoy it.  Call me crazy, but the thing that I like about this show is that reality and comprehension have nothing to do with it.  It’s just nuts.

4. Garfield
Garfield and Friends
The late Lorenzo Music supplied his voice to a character who I have been a fan of for years.  I love the old comics, and this show was just fun.  Music’s voice will always be what I associate with this character.  He’s fat, he’s mean, he’s a complete jerk, yet for the same reason that we all love Dr. House, we love him because Garfield reflects a part of ourselves.  He reflects that part that does what it wants to be evil, and do horrible things.  The part of ourselves that is selfish, and feeds only our interests.  Garfield is the perfect example of how fun that can be, even if we never take part in it.  And I love him for it.  This was another of the shows that I just love because of how much I was able to bond with it.  And the title character was every reason why.  Lorenzo, rest in peace.  You won’t be remembered by everyone, but you will most certainly be remembered by me.

3. The Joker
Batman: The Animated Series
I love this show so much.  Not only was it grown-up and kid friendly, but the characters were amazing.  Mark Hamill’s Joker will always be the real Joker to me.  The laugh, the personality.  Everything about this character is exactly what I imagined.  He was disturbing, scary, and genuinely terrifying at moments.  It was the perfect portrayal, and even though I know that Hamill will probably just be remembered as Luke Skywalker, this is the role that he did greatest, for me.  I just love how electric this character is.  As much as you hate and are afraid of him, it’s almost impossible not to like him just a little bit.  My favorites episodes with him in it are in Superman: The Animated Series.  I just love how it doesn’t matter who he is bleeding or killing, it’s all the same to him.  This character is not only my favorite villain in this show, he is my favorite villain, period.  What a great performance.

2. The Brain
Pinky and the Brain
It is completely impossible not to like this character.  He is a great pun on evil geniuses.  This character is just pure fun.  He is a little lab mouse who was experimented on and now possesses massive amounts of genius.  His mission is simple – to try and take over the world (of course!)!  This guy and his accomplice/wife Pinky just play off one-another.  If you are asking why I call Pinky his wife, just watch the show.  These two are so much like an old married couple it’s scary.  They argue, they fight, they have moments.  They even show to genuinely have compassion for one-another, even if it almost always is coming from Pinky.  When I was a kid, this is who I wanted to be.  I wanted to be the Brain.  I wanted to take over the world.  Part of me still does.  Of course, his crazy schemes not withstanding, I just loved this character and how fun he was to watch.  He was so sure that his absolutely nuts ideas would work, and I think that’s just awesome.

And the #1 character that I looked up to as a kid is…

1. TJ Detweiler
Recess
I swear, I could do a character analysis about this guy.  I may just do that one of these days.  More than any other on this list, this is the character that I took the most away from.  TJ is so unique in so many ways as a kid’s show character, especially looking at the shows that are on now.  For one thing, he openly mocks authority.  He will disregard any authority figure that he doesn’t have respect for.  While many of the teachers and administrators at Third Street think that he hates them, he has shown that he pulls pranks on them because it is in his nature.  He is also not some lean and super-attractive kid.  TJ is most surely the everyman.  He is a bit chubby, but nobody makes a point of that because of his outgoing and likeable personality.  He is honest and has a very strong sense of justice, along with right and wrong.  He will protect the common kid, trying to help those that he sees as the down-trodden.  He is loyal to his friends and will fight for them.  But the part I took away most was the absolute lack of respect for authority unless they proved to be worth respecting.  You would NEVER see such a character in a kid’s show these days, and that bugs the shit out of me.  But yeah, more than any other, TJ is the character on this list who I try and emulate the most, even to this day.

Until next time, a quote,

“I don’t have a best friend.  I have five!”  -TJ Detweiler

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Most ANNOYING Male Leads

Well, since I did a list about the top ten women who were leads who just plain annoyed me, I thought that I would now put out my list of the male leads who annoy the CRAP out of me!  I hope you enjoy.  I know I didn’t.  I am going to anger a lot of fans here from a lot of popular shows.  Good times.

10. Will Turner
Pirates of the Caribbean
This guy has got to be one of the worst things in cinema history.  I mean, we all watched the Pirates of the Caribbean films for Jack Sparrow, and all the while those films were going on, I just thought that Will was his gay friend.  For real, nothing about him was interesting.  He was put in that movie for the same reason my top picks were put their film series – eye candy.  He was about as emotionally deep as a block of wood.  The only reason he did well as Legolas in Lord of the Rings is because he was right for that role.  Tall, pretty, girlie, that works.  And he had emotional depth because Peter Jackson is a good director.  But here, he is just a pretty boy with about as little personality as possible.  He is also a complete tool.  He is used by his woman, and when he finally does get a personality in the third film, it is kind of too little, too late.  I liked the third film, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but yeah, he suck.

9. Quatre Winner
Gundam Wing
You know what sucks about this character – he had a lot going for him.  The idea was interesting.  He is a young man who comes from a family of pacifists, but decides to fight the group OZ anyway.  He throws away his inheritance for this cause, and it is pretty profound.  However, the delivery is AWFUL!  He is such a whiny, whiny, preachy little bitch.  This guy is all about peace and love and all that junk.  It makes for a really boring and really annoying character.  The problem is that he just doesn’t fit the archetype he is supposed to be in.  If it showed more inner turmoil about him selling out his family and his beliefs, that might be more interesting, but as it stands, its really dull.  It is a really good show still, but this character didn’t help.

8. Superman
Superman (I know, Duh)
Okay, where do I start with how annoying this guy is.  It’s my opinion that a good 90% of all comic book films and comic book characters, suck.  Badly.  And here is the greatest example.  Look what this guy stands for – truth, justice, and the American way.  Who talks that way?  This guy is so ANNOYING!  Plus, he’s totally unfair as a hero.  Bullets bounce of the guy, and almost no amount of physical punishment does any significant damage to him.  He is so incredibly cheap.  And think about this – he is the world’s greatest stalker!  He follows Lois Lane everywhere.  He even follows her home and watches her eat!  This dude is not only annoying and cheap, but he’s also a super-creeper.  All in all, this dude just needs to be shot, with a kryptonite bullet.

7. Spiderman
Spiderman (Again, I know, Duh)
Here’s another superhero who just plain sucks.  I have hated every single version that has been introduced.  I hated the old cartoon, I’ve hated the new cartoons, and I hate the film version most of all.  I think part of the problem of why he is so annoying is because of the universe he inhabits.  It’s filled with people who scream AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS FOR NO REASON!  There is only so much screaming that one can take, and let’s face it, there is only so much screaming that people will do in a dangerous situation.  But back to the main character, he is just so annoying.  The idea is that he is a wise-cracking smartass, but he isn’t done well.  In any of the versions that I have seen.  And also, he is the perfect stalker.  Especially the film version.  In the comics and the cartoons, he has to replace his webbing.  It’s a kind of weakness that he has.  In the film, he can theoretically go for as long as his strength holds out.  Meaning that if he wanted to stalk you, he could do so forever.  He literally could be like the fly on your wall.  If that doesn’t creep you out, ladies, nothing will.

6. Reed Richards
The Fantastic Four
Why are there so many heroes on this list, you ask?  Because they are ANNOYING!  So few of them are genuinely interesting.  Most have the most absurd abilities, and they have the most absurd villains.  For case and point, look no further than the Fantastic Four.  These four are so implausible that it is beyond ridiculous.  But to the character, they couldn’t have possibly made such an absurd character more unlikeable.  Reed Richards is the most effeminate hero who has ever lived.  He doesn’t like to really do much of anything, and it never comes up how many incredibly awesome uses for his ability.  But his whole universe is ridiculous, and this character just has all the warmth and charm of spoiled milk.

5. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Here’s another actor who is going to get me a lot of hatemail.  Well you know what?  I don’t care!  I hate this guy.  I have everything he has ever done.  When I was watching Predator, I was rooting for the Predator.  I wanted it to tear his head off!  All the stupid one-liners, all the over the top action.  I don’t get what guys see to like about this dude.  He can’t speak well, he can’t act.  Nothing he has ever done has been even remotely convincing.  It has been like watching a fish try and sing.  It is the worst.  I hate the man, and every single film that he has ever done.  I hope he disappears from film forever.  The reason that I picked him, the actor, instead of a role is because I hate them all equally, it is like listening to a cow try and recite Shakespeare.  It’s the same with David Boreanaz, who you will see in a couple rates.  I would have done Keira Knightley in my companion post to this, but honestly, she has had a couple of roles that actually worked.  But yeah, this Austrian nightmare is the bane of my existence.

4. Tidus
Final Fantasy X
Now, I am putting a video game character on here as a precursor to a post I am going to be doing about the most annoying video game characters, but I thought it was worth mentioning.  Tidus is a bitch.  He is.  He has no redeemable qualities about him.  He isn’t a good leader.  He isn’t particularly strong, or strong-willed.  He has no real talents of any kind.  All he does throughout this entire game is bitch about his predicament in life, his past, his problems with his father, and having to do much of anything.  Even when he finally steps up to become a stronger person, he still is a whiny little bitch.  The only reason this character was even useful to play as was for his speed and Overdrives.  There was nothing to like about this whiny little bitch.  When he died in the end, that was awesome.  Granted, he does come back, and right at the very end was the only time he actually had balls, and accepted death with a great deal of coolness, but that was too little too late.

3. David Boreanaz
Here is another actor who I just cannot stand.  Why?  For the same reason as I don’t like Tidus – he’s a whiny little bitch!  In Buffy, he played the vampire Angel, and the only time he was interesting was when he was evil.  In Bones, he plays an FBI agent who is also a whiny little bitch.  A lot of people will reference the action sequences he is in, but you know what, screw that!  Being able to fight is meaningless when one doesn’t have the balls to back it up.  It’s like adding a ray-gun to a goat.  You can’t make that cool.  A lot of dedicated fan-girls are going to call me out on this, but screw them.  This guy had all the rich emotional texture of a jar of mayonnaise, and I love that Family Guy was able to make fun of him in their Christmas special.  That was a vidicating moment to me.  But yeah, this guy is just the worst.  Well, not the worst, as you can infer from his ranking, but he is pretty bad.

2. Xander Harris
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
This is another instance of Joss Whedon having a lot of good ideas, and a VERY poor delivery.  This was one of what had to be at least six characters who could have been written out of the show and it wouldn’t have made any difference.  This guy was supposed to be the comic relief of the series (one of many), but he really added NOTHING to the series.  He wasn’t a pivotal character in any instance.  He saved the world at the end of season 6, but honestly, I think they just shoe-horned him in there for no reason.  His jokes aren’t funny, he brings no powers or skills of any kind to the table.  Really, this character offered nothing.  And when they gave him a girlfriend who served even less of a role, that just made it worse!  All the cheesy and stupid arguments that happened between the two of them, along with the cheesy dialogue and the cheesy drama.  It was all so annoying.  This guy is definitely one of the worst, and nobody will miss him.

But all of these characters are as nothing compared to what is coming now.  This is a tie for the first spot, and for damn good reason.  Never before have two characters been written who are this annoying.

1. Edward AND Jacob
Twilight (and all the subsequent movies)
It is kind of poetic that Bella was my number 1 pick on the couterpart list to this, and now, here are her two love interests.  Both of these guys couldn’t be more annoying if they tried.  Like Will Turner, they weren’t picked for acting talent (of any kind) or anything else.  It is dead-clear that these two are just eye-candy.  But let’s examine these guys.  Looking at the film version, while he is clingy and a total creeper, it is show that Edward is a total tool of Bella.  He has problems of his own, but Bella is manipulative, bossy, stupid, and a total dumbass in distress.  Those two and their creepy issues almost seem made for one-another.
But as weird and pathetic as Edward is, he is as nothing compared to his counter-part love interest, Jacob.  If Edward is a tool, then Jacob is a garage.  He openly accepts Bella’s manipulation of both of them.  He even accepts that she is using him for intimacy when Edward breaks up with her (yeah, and it was so convincing too).  This guy tries to do right by this girl, never once realizing how pathetic he looks because he accepts that she is using him.  This guy is every stupid jock metaphor in the book.  Edward is every creepy stalker metaphor in the book.  And they are, by leaps and bounds, the most ANNOYING male leads ever.

Until next time, a quote,

“And by god, how can she turn down a guy with no personality who just looks at her weird?”  -Doug Walker, Top 11 Dumbasses in Distress

Peace out,

Maverick

Top Ten Most ANNOYING Female Leads

There have been a lot of good women who had done amazing things with film.  I am a guy, and even I am sometimes entranced by a female lead in a romantic film.  It’s happened.  I loved, and still love Chocolat.  Mostly because of the fact that chocolate and atheism wins over religious stupidity, but hey, there have been worse reasons to love something.  But, the fact is that where there is a really inspiration and really good female lead, there are some awful, and I mean god-awful female leads that just make you want to hang yourself!

Here is my list paying tribute, along with wishing death, for all the female leads who just annoyed the living shit out of me!  And hopefully most of all of you too!

10. Elizabeth Swann
Pirates of the Caribbean
Okay, this is a character who really served no purpose in these films.  In the third film, they tried to make her a kind of badass character, but after having been nothing more than a whiny damsel in distress for the first movie, and just fucking whiny in the second, it was too little, too late.  She brought nothing of any value to the story, and the fact is that she actually took away from the quality of the films.  In the first movie, she was just a romantic who had a kink for pirates.  In the second, she was a back-stabbing bitch, and come the third, not only was she not sorry for her actions, but she manipulates even more people!  She even cheats on her dream guy and then basically says, “I’m a cheating whore, marry me!”  And of course, the dumbass did, even though he saw her cheating on him.  I am not all the much of a fan of Keira Knightley.  She is boring, predictable, and really not good at showing any emotion that wasn’t just grading on your ears.  Here is a character who should have gone down with the ship.

9. Lisa Cuddy
House M.D.
Here is a character who was cast looking for one thing, and what they got was something else altogether.  Cuddy is supposed to be the inevitable love-interest of Greg House, the title character.  It was so obvious that she was going to get with him, but by the time they got there, we really just didn’t care.  She was annoying, really annoying.  Her voice was annoying, her pathetic attempts to look like she cared about what was going on was annoying, and most of what she did the entire series was bitch about pointless junk.  It got really nerve-grating after a while to listen to her whiny tone of voice ragging on House for things that we all knew he was going to do!  She was never all the interesting to watch, and she never left a lasting impression.  All in all, she was a dean of medicine who seemed to be a part of the wallpaper.

8. Irene Adler
Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Now, this incarnation of this character in-particular was so unbelievably annoying.  I have never had any real love for Rachel McAdams.  In this movie, we all found out why.  Not only was she a disgrace to the character that she was meant to portray, but every word that came out of her mouth, along with the pathetic attempts to mess with people just left you feeling like somebody was scratching their nails on a chalkboard.  The character of Irene Adler is supposed to be cool, classy, sexy, smart.  The Adler in this movie sounded like a blonde bimbo who just happened to get lucky in her life.  Nothing about her character ever implied that she had a great deal of intelligence.  Had it not been for Watson saying that she had gotten the better of Holmes, I never would have believed that she would have.  She just seemed to be a whiny hussy who just bitched and got captured a lot.  A disgraceful performance of what is supposed to be a cool character.

7. Asuka Langley Soryu
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Here is another character that I get what they were trying to go for, but the end delivery was just ANNOYING!  She was supposed to play the really gung-ho pilot what was in love with herself, but all that narcissism was just a defense mechanism to hide some really serious self-esteem and mental issues.  She was also supposed to have a love-hate relationship with the main character, Shinji.  On the surface, that all sounds really good.  It all sounds like it would be kind of fun to watch.  But it is the delivery of this character that sinks that boat incredibly fast.  Both the original and the dubbed version are equally annoying.  She whines and bitches about everything.  By the time they finally do decide to develop her, you want to sew her whiny mouth shut and keep hoping that she is going to die.  They did make her compassion towards Shinji look believeable, but that was the only saving grace of a character who was supposed to bring some pretty substantial subjects to the table, and instead brought a prima donna attitude and no substance.

6. Elizabeth Bennet
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Another role where the delivery is not only a million times different than the source material, but it is also killed by the person playing it.  In the novel, Elizabeth is a smart, clever, witty, charming, but still kind of judgmental woman.  In the BBC miniseries, they captured this rather well.  However, in the film, she is as much of a whiny prima donna as Asuka is.  And the performance of Keira Knightley just makes what was supposed to be a character that we all saw as defying societal norms just seem like a whiny little bitch who should just get with the guy so we can all hear her stop talking.  I know people who just love this performance, but what is there to like about it?  Knightley is just so terrible!  She complains, bitches, never seems to do anything of merit, and never shows any sign of being very smart.  She is just another prima donna who we all want to strangle!

5. Relena Peacecraft
Gundam Wing
Here is a character who brought absolutely nothing to the table.  I mean, I guess that maybe she was supposed to be one of the main male lead’s love interest, but all of the interactions that are had with her hinting at there being an attraction are really just blown away by the fact that she is so annoying!  I compare it to Winry Rockbell in Fullmetal Alchemist.  She was a little annoying, but her attraction to Edward Elric was clear, and while they could have stood to develop it more, you got very strong indications that she cared about him, probably even was in love with him.  It added to the story.  Relena, on the other hand, isn’t a whiny prima donna, she is just pouty.  She is always crying about peace.  Peace this, and peace that.  It took away from the greater tragedies that were unfolding in the series when we had to go and listen to her talk about how great peace is, and how bad war is.  She never looks at the greater societal issues, or examines what gets us to fighting, just talks about how fighting never solves anything, which is bullshit.  She could have been erased from the show, and it wouldn’t have been much of a loss.  Peace never got her anywhere but in trouble, only to be another dumbass in distress.

4. Faye Valentine
Cowboy Bebop
Here is a character who I am actually a little torn about.  Granted, she is on this list because she REALLY annoys, but there were times when she actually brought something to the table, and she was kind of cool to watch sometimes.  But she was annoying.  From the moment she gets with the crew of the Bebop, she is a whiny prima donna who does nothing but rob them, then comes back to them later and basically gets not attacks or even having them angry at her.  The crew treats her like an annoying house guest, even when she steals from them, attacks them, vandalizes their property, cheats them out of money, and at one point tries to kill them.  The lack of aggressive response to her actions is just nerve grating, and after a while, you really start to wish some serious death upon her person.  Add to that the fact that she is hardly developed at all.  One could make the same argument about Ed, but she is a teenager.  Not a lot of development is needed, because she is young, and she played her role rather well.  With Faye, she was just an annoyance who helped with the plot every now and again.  I would have blown her brains out, but that’s just me.

3. Willow Rosenberg (early in the series)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Now, I think it is really important to point out that this character became a hell of a lot cooler later in the series, when she got some real power, and some real dilemmas.  But when it started, she was just the nerdy and annoying friend of the annoying title character.  Honestly, I was tempted to put Buffy on here, because she is really a pain in the ass, but the fact is that while Buffy was annoying, she actually served a purpose.  For the first three seasons (well, up until close to the end of the third), all Willow did was get in trouble, and get saved.  She had no skills, no talents, no real use for anything.  For that matter, neither did Xander, but he’s a guy, and we’re talking about the ladies.  You can bet that when I do the male equivalent, he will be on that list.  But for the most part, up until the fourth season, she just kind of got on my nerves.  This show kind of sucked until the third season, when it got a pretty badass villain, and it actually took itself serious.  Joss Whedon had a bad habit of making shows that are great on paper, but the delivery is crap.  He’s a good writer, but a lot of his shows suck.  Go figure.  And annoying characters like Willow didn’t help.  If you want to see the really good parts with her in it, watch when she is evil at the end of the sixth season.  I really wish that had gone more of somewhere, but oh well.

2. Rita Bennett
Dexter
I don’t think that anybody liked this character.  I think Julie Benz is a terrible actress.  She has butchered every single performance that she has ever done, and this one was the worst!  In this series, you get to see why she is such a terrible actress, and why this character is just so awful!  She is manipulative, a complete prima donna, whiny, bitchy, and whenever she doesn’t get her way, she treats everybody (including her own children), like shit.  I get the idea, that she was supposed to be Dexter’s connection with his decency, but he never seemed to particularly care, and the audience hated her.  The best moment in the show was the one where she died!  I remember all my friends and I cheering!  We started drunken song at the death of Rita.  She brought nothing of substance to the series, and the performance was just awful.  Love the show, hate the girl.  It is good that she died.  Ironically, every single aspect got better with her death, even her annoying kids!

And the number one leading lady who just annoying the living shit out of every single person is…

1. Bella Swan
Twilight
I’ve already covered the pathetic, whiny, spineless, and boring character from the books.  Here, I am going to focus on the character in the films.  There has never been in teenage cinema a character more selfish, dependent, uncaring, manipulative, narcissitic, pretentious, stupid, and whiny little bitch before!  The worst part about all of the horrible qualities of her character is that it wasn’t intentional.  They wanted Bella to represent any teenage girl.  But that isn’t what happened.  She’s the real vampire of this series.  She doesn’t have a single problem in the world, yet bitches about how tortured she is.  She gets a crush on a guy, and at 17 decides that she is in love and wants to marry him.  Yes, because we all know exactly what we are supposed to do at 17, right?  Wrong!  When the loser boyfriend Edward dumps her in order to save her, she then manipulates him by putting her life in danger, over and over, just so he’ll notice her.  Manipulative much, bitch?!  She jumps off a cliff to get his attention!  Not only that, but it is a horrible lesson to give to the dimwitted throng of teenage girls who admire this shit.
And when Jacob, a guy who actually seems to care about her and want to take care of her gets involved, she dumps him for the guy who treated her like shit, just so she could use him!  A war starts all because of her, and when all these people are fighting to protect her, she doesn’t care!  She doesn’t give a shit!  And when she finally pressures Edward into marrying her, she then fucks around with Jacob!  And this wasn’t the first time she cheated on her guy with him.  This girl is not only scum, she’s a slut!  What do girls like about her?  She isn’t a hero, she’s a villain.  And she is a horrible lesson to give to teenage girls about what a teen girl is supposed to be.  Mothers, tell your daughters to avoid these films, and the books too, at all costs.  They are fucking dumb!

Until next time, a quote,

“Alice. You’ve disappeared. Like everything else. Now who else can I talk to? I’m lost. When you left, and he left, you took everything with you. But the absence of him is everywhere I look. It’s like a huge hole has been punched through my chest. But In a way, I’m glad. The pain is the only reminder that he was real. That you all were.”  -Bella Swan

Peace out,

Maverick