WavesFrom what I have considered my favorites so far, one could call me an anime snob I guess, hahahaa! Actually, I started out with Dragon Ball and DBZ everyday after school as a kid. Activate the NOSTALGIA CANNON, BOOM!
Then a few years later, Toonami showcased some well known titles and I still didn't know what anime was. That is, until I befriended some anime buffs. I transitioned to Adult Swim with all those late nights. It had some animated series that were obviously influenced by anime. I drank in The Boondocks which I found hilarious, Afro Samurai and of course Cowboy Bebop which was anime from the motherland (Japan). Of course, that was if I could stay awake long enough to catch an episode of Bebop. I was very intrigued by Cowboy Bebop and Adult Swim usually never put episodes in chronological order. Reruns....Bleh...
The small group of anime buffs I became friends with had all their eyes light up when I mentioned Bebop and one of them let me borrow their box set that came with the original soundtracks. After watching 26 episodes and listening to the music, I was blown away. The show's director, Shinchiro Watanabe built everything up with such finesse, I wonder how he is not considered amongst the elite in the world. The characters were three dimensional and relate-able, almost human in a post modern sense. The plot made you think as it throws in philosophies that these characters discover, the artwork was different from the generic styles. So I thought this anime set the bar for the anime genre and the whole of storytelling. ******* amazing it was.
I couldn't get into; Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, Sailor Moon, Pokemon (Love some of the games though), K-on! and Fairy Tail. some of these titles were full of stale and obvious fillers, extremely exhausted plot themes (e.g. deus ex machina, damsel in distress, the great journey, the final battle) and predictability. Not trying to rag on them or anything, people have different tastes.
Two I saw recently were okay like Neon Genesis Evangelion and Ruroni Kenshin. Kinda like the aforementioned titles, just less obvious.
My favorites so far are (Not in order of rank):
Kids on the Slope
Ghost in the Shell
Welcome to the NHK
The Dragon Ball franchise except maybe GT.
Course I didn't mention Hayao Miyazaki because the man has already been immortalized. I enjoyed his works immensely.