Top 5 Anime by Darien Merriett (Honey's Anime Writer)

Life is all about choices. Choices of food, music, toilet paper; and most importantly, choices of what anime to watch. I’m a fan of many different genres of music, love all types of food, and I’m not too picky about my toilet paper; but when it comes to anime, only a few can be considered my favorite, for true love only passes by so often in a lifetime

Anime wasn’t something I happened to stumble upon one day while hopscotching my way to school, nor did it approach me like a sketchy stranger that welcomed themselves to an open seat next to me on a train ride home. Anime, to me, is more akin to the best friend you’ve known since you were still spitting milk all over your bib, or that strange bowl in your kitchen cabinet that seemingly appeared out of nowhere, but happens to be interesting, long lasting, and there when you need it the most. In short, anime has been with me for as long as I could remember, and I wouldn’t want to have had it any other way.

Anime is diverse, enthralling, and god awfully beautiful; but what we need to take notice of the most is that anime is a window into ourselves, and helps describe who we are. With that being said, I give you my Top 5 Anime.

5. Dragon Ball Z

  • Episodes: 291
  • Aired: Apr. 1989 – Jan. 1996

Is an explanation even necessary? If you know anime, then you know Dragon Ball Z. A franchise that transcends generations. A show that was the derivation of the love of anime for many; but for me, it was the single seed that blossomed into the first flower of a blooming garden. Dragon Ball Z not only opened a gateway into to the world of anime, but it also set me on course to become who I am now, and for that I am forever grateful.

As I watched this young kid named Goku triumph over his enemies one by one, I was filled with courage and temptation. Then, to witness that young boy grow into a highly respected warrior; both in the anime and in the real world, was only more resolve for me to keep tackling forward. I knew less of what I was actually watching back then, and was more so enticed by the exciting action passing before my eyes. Now; however, I can truly understand that DBZ had kick started the engine to the train that would get me to where I am now. Everything from my love of art, to my decision to relocate from The Big Apple all the way over to the Land of the Rising Sun, all had a bit to do with my exposure to Dragon Ball Z all those years ago. Maybe I would have ended up doing the same things I’m doing now without it; who knows, but at the end of the day, Goku’s charm and Vegeta’s terrible choice of hairstyle has left a footprint on the story that is my life, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.

Dragon Ball Z Season Eight Trailer


4. Mushi-Shi

  • Episodes: 26
  • Aired: Oct. 2005 – Jun. 2006

Look around you and you will believe that what you see is all that is in existence. That of what you can feel, smell, hear, taste, and see, is reality. After all it’s been that way since the day you were born. But, what if there was something else sharing this world without you even knowing? Could you accept that some things are meant to exist beyond our knowledge? Or would you be afraid? Worried that the unknown may hide more dangers than you could imagine. In our world, the unknown can come in many forms, but in Ginko’s they come in the form of Mushi.

“Mushi” are the unanswered question of life in the world of Mushi-Shi. They are very simple life forms that exist without any reason known to man. They, simply put, just “are”. To discover a purpose to these anomalies is the life set out for Ginko; and while most of the world may be unaware of their existence, those who do know of them know of their incredible capabilities. From mimicking the everyday objects around you, to turning dreams into reality; Mushi can affect the world in many ways. But can they unlock the secrets to life as well?

That is a question that we all ask, and a grave reason as to why Mushi-Shi has crawled its way onto my Top 5 Anime list. It is a masterpiece that almost sinks my mind into a deep meditation, and has opened up my thoughts to several new avenues of understanding the world around me. Mushi-Shi is a must watch, for I have high hopes that it won’t disappoint.

Mushi-Shi - Box Set - VC on DVD 10/6/09 - Trailer


3. Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance)

  • Episodes: 11
  • Aired: Jul. 2014 – Sep. 2014

When terror befalls upon you, the guaranteed thing a person will do is react in some way or another; but how you react will set in motion the creation of an outcome. A cause and effect that can be good, or entirely bad. So, when facing your next obstacle be sure to tread carefully, for every move you make can lead to carnage like never before, and can help ignite the flames of terror in resonance.
This is a scenario that is very much true to our world today; and while that may be a heart wrenching horror realistically, such a scenario has set the stepping stone for some of the greatest anime to date. One of those being none other than Terror in Resonance.

When Tokyo is hit by a terrorist attack, the city is thrown into a frenzy in its aftermath. The only evidence of the culprits behind such a tragedy? A taunting video uploaded to the internet. The problem is, such a video only helps to scream fire louder into a bigger crowd; striking all of Japan with paranoia.

A psychological thriller presented with perfection, Terror in Resonance turned all of the right knobs. Stretching from its mind-jarring twists and delectable storytelling, to its great character development; Terror in Resonance just knows how to; well, ‘resonate’ with my preferences in the world of anime. To watch as two young men forcefully cascade their beliefs onto a society in order to “wakeup the world” can only leave one with the lingering question of, why? Not necessarily why cause such a tragedy, but more so, why set your beliefs above everyone else’s? It allowed me to reposition myself against the rest of the world and try to understand just exactly what this life is that we live day in and day out. But most of all, Terror in Resonance allowed me to experience 11 episodes of just fantastic anime.

Terror in Resonance Official Trailer

Zankyou no Terror wallpaper


2. Naruto

  • Episodes: 220
  • Aired: Oct. 2002 – Feb. 2007

Here goes another anime that could make its way into any room without the necessity of an introduction; and maybe one that you all have already expected to show up on this list of Top 5 Anime. But when anime does it right, it does it right! We all have a Sasuke in our lives; that bitter friend who is clouded by their own need to get ahead. We all have a Sakura also; that one neverending love that is painfully one sided. We all have a Kakashi Sensei, an Iruka Sensei, and a Jiraiya Sensei; but most of all, we all have a bit of Naruto inside of us as well.

Naruto is unique, to be placed in lesser terms. It was like a breath of fresh air when I first came across this anime, and throughout the many years that have passed since, it has remained one of the most imaginative pieces of creation that I have ever come across. We wake up every morning to a world looking to beat us down at every corner, and using what we can, we fight to stay atop our own two feet. In that sense, watching Naruto defy expectations was almost like picturing myself successfully moving the tallest of mountains. When it comes to individual growth and accomplishment, I wanted to be Naruto in every way. Okay, maybe not so much the whole orange jumpsuit thing; but in spirit, Naruto was, and still is a huge inspiration. Life can be hard at times, and when it is, sometimes all it takes to help you out of the rubble is a great anime. Naruto, is that great anime.

Naruto Official Trailer


1. Another

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan. 2012 – Mar. 2012

The feeling of a bad essence lurking above you, casually grazing over your shoulder as it trickles its maliciousness down your spine. Hanging you from your fragile neck as you dangle in the limbo between life and death; as if taunting at your concept of reality. This is the feeling of fear, the feeling of a loss of grip on what’s real; the feeling, of a great anime.

After the death of Misaki, a student from Yomiyama’s North Middle School’s class 3-3; things in the town of Yomiyama took a turn down a dark windy road. Plummeting Yomiyama’s North Middle school into a world of terror. 26 years following that tragic event, a young 15-year-old boy by the name of Kouichi Sakakibara finds himself in the midst of Yomiyama’s circling mysteries after transferring into that very same class. With the atmosphere feeling off, alongside the peculiarities of Mei Misaki; a girl whom may or may not exist, Kouichi can’t help but set out to answer his own looming questions. As he digs deeper into the ambiguities of class 3-3, Kouichi finds himself just as boggled as a child witnessing the pulling of a bunny out of a hat as the paradox that is Yomiyama North’s class 3-3 just keeps stretching onwards.

So, what makes Another take on the high seated chair of number 1? Well that’s easy enough to answer… because it’s perfect. At least in my eyes, and here on my Top 5 Anime list, I guess you can say that my eyes see the clearest. But, as a thank you towards the lovely community that is Honey’s Anime, allow me to share my vision with you a bit.

Questioning the reality around us is an unavoidable hiccup within human society. No matter how much we wish to remain in the “right now” and live our lives without any worry, we simply can’t help but create obstacles for ourselves as we hunt down the true meaning of life. I believe that Another helps approach that life question in an interesting way that gravitates me to its story. The simple questions of whether or not ghosts exist, and if curses are true. The questions of whether or not I am real, or if what I perceive around me is truly reality. Another manages to take on these elements in a beautifully satisfying way, and sometimes that’s all it takes. No over packed action, no flashy sequences, and no overtly imaginative concepts. Just simple, great story telling.

Another Trailer Anime 2012


Final Thoughts

What makes this world unique is that we are all people with different likes, wants, and outlooks in life. This individuality has created unbelievable phenomena from time to time, and the creation of anime and everything that goes with it is no exclusion to this miracle. I hope that opening a peephole into what helps me get up in the morning can help introduce some of you to a new taste of the world we live in; and if so, please express those thoughts in the comments below. I’m always listening.

And that’s all folks!

by Darien Merriett