Poll: Your Five Favorite Anime or “The Field?”

In sports betting, there’s a concept where you can bet on a team or two to win/play for a championship, or you can take the rest of the field (all the remaining teams). It’s an interesting bet when one team is especially dominant, helping to even the odds a bit. For instance, Golden State is such a great NBA team that they’re likely to win the NBA championship, but if I were to put money down on it, I might tend toward betting on the field.

That’s the basis for the poll below. Here are your choices: you can watch your five favorite anime for the rest of your life (think about which you would include among these), but only those anime and no others, or you could watch any anime (“the field”) except your five favorites, which you could never watch again. Which would you choose?

Again, as with the previous poll, I’m looking at the sacredness of anime here, those pieces that are so important to us. How important are they really? Are the emotional connections so significant that we would forego entertainment value for the rest of our lives to remain connected to series that will have diminishing value to us? Or does the need for entertainment (or the value we place on anime, media, and/or creativity) trump our heart for these series? Have those series already reached a level of return on investment that is so low that this poll is an easy pick for us?

Let us know your thoughts below! Why did you pick your answer, and what anime did you consider as your five favorites?

Note: The banner image is from my favorite, Oregairu.


14 thoughts on “Poll: Your Five Favorite Anime or “The Field?”

  1. I don’t rewatch anime that often, so I just store those good memories in the back of my mind and move on to see what’s new. Heck, I don’t think I’ve watched any Evangelion aside from the movies since 2008.

    1. Boooo! That’s cheating haha.

      But I’m getting to that point, too, though rather out of necessity than choice.

  2. Just five! What a heartbreaking choice!

    I would choose to stick to my favorites. I´m not a nostalgic, but every single one of these has resonated deeply with me and I´ve learned a lot with them: I would want to keep that, to watch, contemplate and reflect in different moments of my life, to be able to introduce other people to them. My picks would be:

    1. Now and then, here and there
    2. Sakamichi no Apollon
    3. Nichijou
    4. Haibane Renmei
    5. Serial Experiments Lain

  3. Favourites for sure! Although top fives are becoming harder and harder to narrow down the more I watch anime. There was this question I saw on Twitter the other day I thought was interesting, about selecting titles that you’d want your SO to watch to understand you. Is your top 5 still the same?

    1. I saw that question as well! Did you answer it?

      Let’s see…I would say this would my list:
      1. Clannad (she’s currently watching it)
      2. Oregairu (watched most of it)
      3. Toradora (watched it)
      4. Honey and Clover (watched it)
      5. Whisper of the Heart (watched it).

  4. Only five? That’s hard. I love so many shows.

    1. Madoka Magica
    2. Haibane Renmei
    3. FMA Brotherhood
    4. Now and Then, Here and There
    5. Oban Star Racers

    1. Oof, tough choice – but I’m pretty sure I’d pick my top five over everything else. There’s a lot of great anime out there, but my favorites I could watch on repeat for years without ever tiring of them. Some of them, I find, only get better with each rewatch. I couldn’t bear the thought of never being able to revisit them.

      Anywho, my list:

      1. Cowboy Bebop
      2. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
      3. Revolutionary Girl Utena
      4. Haibane Renmei
      5. Samurai Champloo

      I’d be pretty content with these. Ask me again tomorrow, and my picks for 4 and 5 might be different, but the top three are pretty stable.

      1. Haibane Renmei seems to have made a lot of the lists here – it’s a very personal story.

        Can I ask you about Utena? What makes it so worthy of watching? I think I hit a wall somewhere near episode 20, which I didn’t expect because I LOVE Mawaru Penguindrum so much and expected so much out of this classic series, but I couldn’t make it through. :/

        1. Oh yikes – somehow I did not see this comment back in October and only just noticed it today. Apologies for the belated response!

          Regarding Utena: it might be a matter of taste, since I think the surreal flavor of the show appealed to me right from the outset. I dig the mystery, I dig the quirky blend of humor and drama and tragedy. But I also dig the layered psychology and the unflinching look at the brokenness of the characters, even minor ones. I dig the religious elements – how the quest to attain “eternity” and “miracles” is such a central element, and how each character has a different understanding of what these weighty terms mean. I dig the cryptic, allegorical way the show explores adolescence, the way it raises questions about what it actually means to becomes an adult. I also really dig Utena herself – how she strives to embody this ideal of a “prince” in a world that’s so clearly unsuited for her particular brand of heroism.

          It’s also possible you haven’t made it far enough yet. The last of the three major arcs (starting around episode 25) is by far the most compelling, and it complicates all of Utena’s ideas about adulthood, maturity, heroism, friendship, freedom, and the like. I know the series ain’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it speaks on a lot of topics that I think are interesting.

          1. You know, I think it may be that I haven’t made it far enough. I’m a huge fan of one of Ikuhara’s other works, Mawaru Penguindrum, so I think this is my type of series…I just need some patience. 😀

    2. Anyways, it was hard to decide this. Is it right to focus on the shows you already know and have learned from, instead of opening up yourself to new content? Is it better to stay with the things you love dearly? It was a tough choice.

      I largely made it because of the top 2. I’ve struggled with suicide and depression and Madoka Magica is what not only got me through it, but helped me to choose a career path that will help others. This is all thanks to those hurting young girls. The second anime is what broke me and made me realize I needed help. Without Haibane Renmei, I don’t know if I ever would have sought more help than I already had. The show is a masterpiece and watching it is one of the most painful- and rewarding things I have ever done.

      The other three mean a lot to me, but those first two are leagues ahead of the others.

      1. Thanks for replying, and for opening up to all of us! I’m glad that those two shows not only helped you in your struggle, but have continue to guide much of your life decisions. That’s amazing!

        PMMM and Haibane Renmei are such important series to us here on the site as well – I’ve written so many articles on these two; for the latter, a couple of us have taught classes about the series at different institutions, and I even created a website for it! Such powerful stories that affect us on such personal levels.

    3. I haven’t heard of number five on your list, but certainly those top four are all really powerful series!

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