No, I haven’t made a typo nor have I accidentally republished a 7 year post nor have you fallen through a rip in the space-time fabric to the date December 31, 2007 and will use your foreknowledge to become the number 1 anime blogger in the world because you will know which shows to cover and when to start the best anime memes.
In the rush to finish my 12 Days of Anime Christmas and my Secret Santa Anime Review and still celebrate the season, I trimmed my anime posts down a bit. One item in my Ef – A Tale of Memories review that I wanted to talk about was how I would rank it if I’d’ve watched it back in 2007 when it originally aired. Now that Christmas is over and some energy is returning to these bones – not that I’m complaining, everything went lovely and it was the first time since 2001 that my entire immediate family, parents and siblings, were together for Christmas dinner – I can.
(The above featured image is a screenshot of my MALgraph which is one of the coolest things about MAL and still not incorporated into the website.)
The obvious caveat here is that this is just conjecture and guess work because it would be impossible to know with 100% accuracy how I’d’ve reacted to Ef back in 2007. I will, however, attempt to be accurate as possible.
The first step is to see what I thought were the top anime of 2007 back then. Luckily, I started this blog in January 2008 and one of the first things I did was recount what I thought was the best anime of 2007. This was the list I created back then:
10 – Seirei no Moribito
9 – Sketchbook ~full color’S~
8 – Hayate no Gotoku
7 – Potemayo
6 – Manabi Straight
5 – Dennou Coil
4 – Minami-ke
3 – Kanon
2 – Lucky Star
1 – Gurren Lagann
That’s not a bad list. I hope in 2021 I can remember the top 10 from 2014 with as much clarity as I can remember these series. Next I checked MAL and malgraph to see what I missed.
Accounting for shows carrying over into 2007 (and thus eligible) and shows carrying over to 2008 (and thus not eligible) this is a list of series that potentially belong at the top: Baccano!, Ef – A Tale of Memories, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Hidamari Sketch, Mononoke, Ghost Hound, and Ghost Hunt.
Which illustrates why I was right to worry when I started this blog, that, with my viewing habits, I was passing over good anime because they were not exactly up my alley. Look at that list of series I originally missed, it’s practically enough to fill up it’s own top ten list. And looking over the anime that would be eligible for this list there’s still a few shows I’ve yet to get to that could belong as well. (Code Geass for one and Shigurui for another, which if ANN’s reviews are to be believed is either one of the best or worst anime from 2007.)
Now the fun starts. Let’s begin by reviewing the original top 10. (All quotes from my original countdown post.)
I said this of Seirei no Moribito, “With a strong finish, gorgeous animation, great characters, and not having a gimmicky feel, this show makes it into my top ten where it deserves to be” back in January 2008 and I still stand by those words. I still remember strongly being only mildly impressed by it at the beginning which might hurt it’s chances to stay.
Sketchbook ~full color’S~ was a great slice of life show and I’d already hit upon one of the problems with this type of show. “And like other slice-of-life shows, it’s very difficult to explain why this show rocks – try explaining why an episode that was almost entirely about the main character walking to school as riveting and your sure to draw confused looks.” With time I’ve watched many more series of this type and one useful method to rate series like this is to rank them in comparison to others. In the case of Sketchbook ~full color’S~, Hidamari Sketch was the better series and will probably keep this anime from staying near the top.
I did eventually wary of Hayate no Gotoku, especially after the franchise was passed around to other studios like a fruit cake no one really wants. This first season was the strongest but the increased competition doesn’t bode well for Hayate’s chances.
Originally at number 7, Potemayo will be moving up. I guarantee it. To quote myself, “the massively cute moe-blobs seem to kill any chance for this anime to be great but for viewers that decided to actually watch the first episode, we were treated to one of the quirkiest, funny shows of the year. What really drove home how great this show was a little scene towards the beginning of the show when a little bird started eating a piece of chicken.” I’ve watched this series many times since then and my love for it burns even brighter then it did in 2007.
Back before they got big with the Kara no Kyoukai movies and the new Fate series Ufotable made series like Manabi Straight. This cute series set in the 2030’s featured a genki girl trying to save her high school’s school festival from the dust heap of history. I talked just recently about slipping myself into the shoes of anime characters I don’t necessarily identify with and I see I was already doing it back in 2007 as well – “As a person that spent high school trying to disappear into the crowds and not be noticed, I was initially shocked how much this show affected me.” I’d like to see this stay near the top but I think it’ll be tough to stay in the top 10.
Oh Madhouse, never stop making series like Dennou Coil. This series was about a group of elementary school kids living with augmented reality and featured what continues to be one of my all-time favorite episodes. “My favorite episode was 12 – ‘Daichi’s Hair begins to grow’ … (w)atching these elementary school kids trying and ultimately failing at preventing nuclear holocaust was probably one of the most sobering things I have ever seen.” This is a lock to stay and I really should re-rewatch it soon.
At number 4 was Minami-ke which I characterized then as “(m)y personal favorite comedy of the year” and this first season remains one of my favorite anime comedies of all-time. How this franchise was subsequently treated is one of the surest anime-related ways to get me angry.
It’s difficult to create a better short summary of a show then, “Kanon is full of sad girls in the snow.” 2007 was in the midst of the Kyoto Animation – Key juggernaut; Air had aired, Kanon finished in early 2007 and Clannad started in late 2007 and was carrying over into 2008. I’d never watched the earlier Kanon series but remembered thinking how bad the 2002 version’s style looked. Now, I look back at the picture I used in my original countdown and think – man, I remember loving KyoAni’s Kanon style but it looks so dated now. I guess that means it’s time to redo Kanon again 🙂 .
Lucky Star started very slow; but, after we all learned that Yamakan can’t make a good, funny slice-of-life show and was canned by KyoAni for it, Yasuhiro Takemoto (who in 2014 just finished Amagi Brilliant Park) stepped in and turned Lucky Star into a great series. Years later what I wrote about Lucky Star – “Once I understood the show, it clicked. The show was not meant to be a comedy, at it’s core it a slice-of-life show – the normal everyday life of real people do not make good fodder for a comedy and that’s okay.” – would almost be the same justification for placing Nichijou in my Top Anime of 2011 (though Nichijou pushes it’s comedic elements harder).
“(A)fter watching Gurren Lagann, I have to say not only is Gurren Lagann the magus opus of Gainax, it’s one of the best anime( series) ever.” I’ve watched roughly 500 anime series since Gurren Lagann and I can easily say that those words are just as true seven years later as they were back then. The next update to my top anime of all-time will probably see Gurren Lagann drop to #3 only because Hunter x Hunter did Gurren Lagann level awesomeness over a much longer time period.
Next comes internal debating and comparing of the new shows to the older series which can’t really be replicated on paper so … voile here’s my updated Top Anime of 2007 list:
15 – Mononoke
14 – Seirei no Moribito
13 – Ghost Hound
12 – Manabi Straight
11 – Ghost Hunt
10 – Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
9 – Kanon
8 – Ef – A Tale of Memories
7 – Hidamari Sketch
6 – Lucky Star
5 – Dennou Coil
4 – Minami-ke
3 – Potemayo
2 – Baccano!
1 – Gurren Lagann
2007 was a good year for anime and I would not have stopped at 10. I most probably would have gone to 15 so I could cover all the anime that I really felt earned the title “Top Anime of 2007”. I tried to account for how I’d’ve ranked the various shows in 2007 – for example, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Hidamari Sketch needed future seasons to reach their full potential so I tried to knock them down a bit here – but my future impressions of these series taint the results, not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. The result is an even stronger list of the best anime from 2007.
With this improved list I note that Ef – A Tale of Memories made it all the way up to number 8 for the year. Once again, thanks Secret Santa!
To balance the good news for Ef – A Tale of Memories, if I had watched it back in 2007 then Silver Link’s disappointing run of series would have been even more depressing because I would have been looking forward to see what Shin Ounuma could do with his own animation studio. Though, Kunihiko Ikuhara using Silver Link to create an anime sounds divine; Yuri Bear Storm should be one of the best shows of the Winter 2015 season.