Sunday Select: 7 Best 2004 Anime Series

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Select. Here is a list of my 7 favorite anime series that aired in 2004. This doesn’t include series that began in the previous year and carried over. Anime films and OVAs aren’t included, either. Please enjoy!

7. School Rumble

*Pros: great, silly-style comedy, memorable and charming characters, genuinely amusing love drama/ romantic comedy, simple but cute character designs, upbeat music, great voice-acting, and there’s even a good English Dub!!
*Cons: A few repetitive gags, there’s no truly deep or emotional themes or scenes when compared to shows like Toradora and The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, or even Ouran Highschool. No resolution to the main love triangle, even after a second season. If you don’t like school rom-com, and you can’t stand poor story resolution, skip this one.

6. Samurai Champloo

*Pros: This is a historic anime in the edo period, containing good action, adventure, and comedy, memorable main characters, pretty artwork, solid voice-acting, and amazing songs and music. There’s plenty of the samurai aesthetic.
*Cons: Poor/disappointing plot structure and conclusion, and the only main female character is weak, loud, and annoying (imo).

5. Kannazuki no Miko

*Pros: mechas, a story with a surprising end, cute/cool characters, and of course, shoujo ai.
*Cons: the plot is kind of convoluted, it can seem shallow, and some things don’t make sense till the very last episode. The art, animation, and sound FX just seem old and unpolished.

4. Paranoia Agent

*Pros: a fascinating story, psychological themes, thought-provoking social commentary, a werid and trippy feel to things, good artwork, wonderfully eerie music, and a bit each of comedy, disturbing elements, drama, and mystery.
*Cons: The narrative style, and plot in general, and the way we see different characters’ perspectives might be irritating to some people or just not to their tastes. The show overall might just be too weird and creepy for some people to enjoy.

3. Maria-sama ga Miteru

*Pros: This is the original story of shoujo ai girls in an all-girls Catholic school, a story concept which many “yuri” anime have since used, and/or made references to. Lovely music, cute characters, mild drama and comedy, and an elegant atmosphere.
*Cons: If you expect straight-up yuri being shown, you’ll be disappointed; it’s not a sexual anime or one about physical love, but simply romance between girls. If you’re bored with slice-of-life or low-action series, skip this one.

2. Elfen Lied

*Pros: extreme violence, cute character designs, story heavily focused on psychology of main character, Lucy/Nyu; gorgeous opening song/main theme, and unique protrayal of Elven myth.
*Cons: extreme violence, “anime nudity,” an awkwardly structured plot, and general dark themes and content. (Warning: cousins incest kissing scene.)

1. Monster

*Pros: This is one of my top 5 favorite anime ever, so for me, everything about the show is good. Compelling, suspenseful story, well-structured arcs, fascinating characters, good (but quiet) music, great Japanese voice-acting, detailed and realistic- art/animation, and many profound and thought-provoking themes, messages, and aspects of character psychology. In addition, this show features one of the best anime villains ever, Johan Liebert.
*Cons: 74 episodes long. I loved every single episode and always wanted more, but this may not be the case for everybody else. That’s about the only con I think of.

Thank you so much for reading my work today! Your time and attention are greatly appreciated! Until next time, Sayonara!


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