one of the nice things about being a complete reprobate is that it allows you to have some diverse interests and as such, I've decided to start to list things that I like, dislike for those that wish to argue and ebate such things. Naturally, your own opinion is lacking if it doesn't dovetail with my own, but seeing as not all of us can be right all of the time, I'll allow you to be wriong here when you disagree with me.
this list is my own, I've seen a boatload of cartoons, good, bad and indifferent, but what I am referring to here is the japanese, or japanese inspired art form of anime, which is often times simply manga brought to the screen and made real.
Again, this is a personal preference, your mileage may vary.
10) Lovely Complex
It seems simple, but it isn't. The would be love interests don't seem like a natural match, he's short, she's tall. Their interests are similar in many ways, but its that old bugaboo of peer pressure and how one sees oneself that continually get in the way of romance. Friends are understanding, history that never quite leaves us and our own way of looking at ourselves and seeing ourselves in someone else's eyes. The humor is broad and the characters sympathetic.
9) Hikaru No Go
Anime about a traditional asian board game. It takes a while to warm up, but the episodes talk about the inner struggles to prove oneself and the dedication needed to become the best. It also goes into loss and pride and shows the evolution of a child into a young man. Worth the time to invest in it if you're looking for insight into asian cultures and foriegn concepts of gaming.
8) FLCL / Fooly Cooly
This has just about everything you might want in a series, a love triangle between a space pirate, his dame and the new kid who has been chosen to be integral to his release. With varying styles, killer music and everything from baseball playing robots to teenage pyromaniacs this series is for those who like their minds expanded or are tired of seeing just the "same old thing". The music is so good, I bought the band's music as an import.
A slice of life series that is very recent. It covers a nice mix of personality types who are only slightly broadedned for our own entertainment purposes. One of the few series that had me laugh out loud at least once an episode. If you enjoy adult flavored wacky, this is the series for you.
6) Rurouni Kenshin
If you're gonna watch japanese anime, then you must understand that the weapon of choice is hard steel and no, we're not talking bullets. This is a feudal era setting when Japan is painfully moving into a more modern era. Not all of the old ways have died just yet and the primary character is a man looking to escape his past or finding a way to deal with it that allows him to have a future.
5) Cross Game
There had to be at least one sports anime and this one is the best, again, ymmv. It covers the subjects of family loss and grief and love and baseball. It does it in such a way so as to not bludgeon the viewer but slowly allows them to realise the depth of it's characters and to allow them to express themselves just as much as what is not said as is actually spoken.
4) Full Metal Alchemist - Brotherhood.
A reworking of the original that follows the 2nd year of the manga more closely (not the fault of the folks who created the 2nd part of it, it hadn't been written yet) but following the magical art of alchemy in an alternate universe and the moral and personal battles that follow. Great stuff, wonderful voice acting and great plot developments. It's nifty stuff visually.
3) Great Teacher Onizuka
yeah the artwork looks dated these days, but the story is great in how a former rebellious youth imparts his own special brand of wisdom to the adults to be in this rather ribald version of "To ir, with love" japanese style. The life lessons are good and help the students grow up and see themselves for who they are and how they can get there from how the actually are.
If its battles that you want, you get it here. lots of wonderful over the top hyperbole to boot. There's always another challenge and yes, the style has fallen into the Inuyasha trap of never seeming to ever be an end, but the ride is fun and the cast is resplendant with wonderful archetypes and folks that are oozing subtleties and backstory. the only problem is that we've already had three filler arcs of stories to make up for all of the time it takes the manga to catch up. Who knew the afterlife was so full of anguish.
1) Cowboy Bebop
This the best blend of story, music, visual and characters.