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2006 Anime: Staff Picks
by Alexiel, Chikage_Shampoo, eisenmeteor, Faebinder, Himitsu, Keitarou, leoxjm, strongbad87, xenocrisis0153

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After the long task of gathering together all the votes by our wonderful members here at A-S, we thought it would be a fun idea to get a sense of how the staff team felt about the amazing year of anime that was 2006. These pieces were written by contributing staff members with a more personal vendetta in mind - to really let the community know why 2006 was such a fulfilling year for us. Each of us could only choose 5 of the many series aired, and I guarantee you that you will get a feel of what our individual tastes in anime are. I think I speak for all of us when I say:

Boy was this certainly a tough call to make XD


Fate/Stay Night

5th Choice: 4th Place in A-S's Survey

As a huge fan of TYPE-MOON's work, I think I would have committed adultery if I did not have this series on my top five list. Aside from that, this anime has great animation, a mood-driven soundtrack for almost any situation, and memorable characters with a thoughtful choice of seiyuu (e.g. Emiya Shirou = Sasuke) to go right along with them. The plot of this series is quite simplistic, and falls short of my expectations, but places great weight on character development where the storyline does not deliver. Seeing as how this series is based off of a visual novel game, this did not come as much of a surprise to me. The gripping battles, plot twists, and dramatic confrontations between Servants and Masters on and off the battlefield that permeate Fate/Stay Night was nothing short of compelling and addicting for me.

Kanon 2006

4th Choice: 13th Place

Though this series has not yet finished, there is much for me to appreciate about it at this point. Kyoto Animation (KyoAni) and Key/Visual Arts have done an immaculate job with animating and redesigning many of the intricate flaws that made up the first version of Kanon. Character development is executed seamlessly through the various female characters as each of them almost seem to play off Yuuichi and everything that has entertwined his past and present with each of them. From the first episode, I was captivated by the depth that this story wanted me to experience. I have to mention that I was also giddy over the fact that Kyon's VA was chosen to play Yuuichi. This series continues to be a pleasure for me, and is one of the few bishoujo-driven anime that I actually have a favorite. (Mai <3)

(The) Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

3rd Choice: 1st Place

To be quite honest, I loved this anime and everything about it. I could not stop talking about the creativity of the plot, despite how haphazard it panned out, the likeability of the characters, the fluidness and consistency of KyoAni's animation, and the top-notch soundtrack that fit every mood possible. The creators of the novels that this anime is based off of are genius to incorporate themes like existentialism and sci-fi into a seemingly natural state of school affairs with one of the most realistic male characters I have ever had the pleasure of getting close with (i.e. Kyon). As an all-around joyride, coupled with the great replay value of this series, this anime surely receives high praise and fan-gushing from me.


2nd Choice: 37th Place

School life. The blurred line separating the real and digital. Beautiful mech battles. Applicable philosophical references. Romance. What more could I want in a mech anime? Perhaps the assurance that this wouldn't be "just another generic mecha series" produced by Sunrise. Well, I certainly have never been more impressed with a mecha series such as this. I know so many people are all the rage about Code Geass lately, but Zegapain has such a impressionable flavor to it that makes it a far cry from any mecha-based series I have ever seen.

Given my strong interest in digital concepts that seek to transcend one's physical shell, Zegapain brings to the table various thought-provoking questions that have left a lasting impression and a tear to the eye. Combined with two OSTs consisting of a gorgeous fusion of brass, string, and electronica instruments, OPs & EDs that serve as impeccable expressions of "poetry in motion", and multi-facted characters struggling to make sense of what it truly means to live and be alive, Zegapain goes the distance in a variety of directions that has the indubitable potential for mass appeal.

NHK ni Youkoso

1st Choice 14th Place

Some may say that there were plenty of other anime to put as my #1 favorite. That may be so, but to those who cannot relate to the sense of worth that many of us need to feel every so often, or the feeling that perhaps the whole world is against us may have completely missed so much of what made nearly every character, nestled within multiple themes in his series, an investment. The animation and music changed at certain points, which gave exactly the feel necessary to convey dialogue and the plot. The various comedic points, and the execution of multiple twists and character motivation are just a few of the wonders of this mind-trip of an anime. The overall confrontation with the real-life issue of more and more people in Japan feeling a sense of worthlessness, and the pondering of a "higher power" were impeccably woven together in this 26-episode story that really left me with a sense of hope in my heart. There were at least five or more times when I wanted to cry at the end of an episode.

What can I say? There really is nothing about this anime that could make me not want to watch it over and over again. I know I could say the same thing about TMHS, but NHK's characters and plot struck a chord of alignment with my personality (give it everything, or die trying) and my mild depiction of what I sometimes view my lifestyle as (i.e. hikkomori) that TMHS could not match. My commitment and emotional connection with the characters surpassed all that I could have experienced in my 2006 anime viewing. I honestly do recommend this series anyone who desires to have a taste of "underground culture", and learn about real societal issues that do plague certain individuals in Japan.


La Corda D'oro ~primo passo~

5th Choice: 58th Place in A-S's Survey

Skipping over the somewhat basic plot and the reverse harem nature of this anime, this show provides nice, flowing music. Of course, that's what it's all about in the concours, but since I'm obsessed with the instruments I play, this show really took a hold of me. The opening song, Brand New Breeze, justifies its name with an uplifting feeling, and the classical music performed with (at least some) emotion throughout the series gives off a satisfied feel. I'm glad that this show, while placing a bit of emphasis on the pretty boys, did not fully concentrate on it; instead, the music shines throughout the series. Cheers!

Fate/Stay Night

4th Choice: 4th Place

I remember loving TYPE-MOON's other work: Shingetsutan Tsukihime. I anticipated the release of this series highly - and it didn't fail to disappoint, though I admit I forced myself to plow through the first few episodes of explanation. Although the storyline falls a bit below standards, the music, action, and characters (especially Saber) compensated more than enough to grip me and keep me watching.

Jyu Oh Sei

3rd Choice: 48th Place

A fast-paced anime based solely on the phrase "Survival of the Fittest," Jyu Oh Sei packs a punch. Benefits and disadvantages come with this 11 episode series: There is hardly any room for character development (except for main characters), but since no fillers squeeze in between the episodes containing the regular storyline, Jyu Oh Sei is left with a trail of suspense that grips the viewer throughout each episode.


2nd Choice: 15th Place

I'm surprised that I actually liked NANA this much, as I typically don't add manga/anime of this kind to the top of my list (with a few exceptions). NANA contains a simple storyline, but the charm of NANA lies within its characters and some of the OP/ED songs. Its basic storyline allows for a huge amount of character development; there are hardly, if any at all, any fillers.

Death Note

1st Choice: 2nd Place

I had heard about Death Note's immense popularity, so I was curious and gave it a try. What astounded me was its cliffhangers at the end of many of the episodes: Each kept me hungering for more. Though I couldn't say much for some of its music, some of the themes, like the Death Note Theme and L's Theme, only enforced my paralysis at the screen during some parts of the series. I only hope that it continues to create this suspense until the end of the series' lifetime.


Hanbun no Tsuki ga Noboru Sora

5th Choice: 55th Place in A-S's Survey

I don't know what it is about this anime but I knew I had to have it in my top 5 of the year. The story is pretty simple and straight forward as it's short I can't help but say that it was almost too short yet at the same time any longer would have made it drag on. The show is mostly a romance series about Yuichi and Rika who're both in the hospital, Rika is in the ward where critical patients stay meaning her condition is pretty bad yet an interest spark between them. The relationship they have with each other and how the people around them act makes the show among the better I've watched.

Genshiken [2006]

4th Choice: Unranked

Another sequal this time to the otaku revolving anime of Genshiken. Ever wondered how it is to be an otaku in Japan? Well Genshiken is here to answer all your questions. Even though this is a short OVA with only one episode released in 2006, I felt like I wanted to add this into my list because that one episode made me laugh so much. As the Otaku hating Oguie joins a anime/manga club in college, how can this not be promising? I don't remember exactly but the animation seems to have changed a bit. Other than that, it still follows the same style as the old anime and allows us to once again take a ride into the otaku world with the old gang.

Kyou no Go no Ni

3rd Choice: 58th Place

I love a good laugh and that's excatly what Kyou no Go no Ni delivers. What!? Ecchi sitautions and humor in a grade school? Sounds pretty wacky and wrong but ohhhh so hilarious. The situations are just funny and because of the setting everything just turns into a comedy. We've seen some of these situations in other animes but never have they been as fun as in this show. The only greif I have with this show is that it's far to short as I would have loved to see more of it.

Honey & Clover II

2nd Choice: 16th Place

The first Honey & Clover was among the best anime dramas I've seen except that in the end you still craved more and wished to know what happened since they stoped in the middle of the show, so my expectations were high when the second season finally came about. And it delivered quite according to those expectations, it was great fun to be reunited with the cast and watch as they journey through life. True there are a few more things to be desired from the show but it wraps most lose ends and gave me a satisfied ending to a great show. As it's a worthy sequal to the first show.

Code Geass

1st Choice: 5th Place

Code Geass surprised me among the 2006 animes unlike the other animes on my list I had no prior expectations of Code Geass at all since I only watched it on a whim when the first episode was released. That is something I'm thankful for as the show has been great. With an excellent cast as well as strong story the show intruiged me after just one episode. The animation and music is also top notch furthering the experience of the show. The show has a habit of ending the episodes with cliffhangers making you wish the next episode would come out faster. Code Geass is definately among the best animes I've seen and I highly recommend it to most.


Red Garden

5th Choice: 72nd Place in A-S's Survey

What an odd odd anime. A horror anime with an actual hidden plot story. It's unfortunate that somewhere around episodes 5-9 the story gets stretched a little but otherwise the mystry plot is very good and there is some element of fantasy involved in this horror. This fantasy element (people turning beastial or girls returning from the dead) is not enough to deprive the reality feeling of this anime which in addition to the unique drawing style of the artist, the anime is comes out to be the black sheep of anime that has heroines as the center of the story. Unlike other anime that have female leads, these females are not a bad ass in waiting nor are they walking around with a superior sense of arrogance or a complete clueless airhead aura typical of a not so important girl character in anime.

Black Blood Brothers

4th Choice: 29th Place

At first glance, this anime reeks of a shallow story utilizing a vampire theme and comedy to attract the easily amused viewer. By the third episode, you quickly realize that the writer of this series did his homework on vampires. Black Blood Brothers is an anime in a world where vampires and upper society of humans coexist in a sanctuary section inside a city. The vampires are of various bloodlines and have different powers. The story is focused on an ancient vampire from a special bloodline returning finally to the city he knew so long ago but this time, with a little brother. There are several hidden plots including ones around the two brothers and why the ancient returned after all these years.

(Le) Chevalier D'Eon

3rd Choice: 50th Place

Magic + Horror + Historical setting. Three components that promise a good story. Now add to this a great director (director of Rurouni Kenshin - Reminisence + Hunter x Hunter + Get Backers) and even the voice actor of Himura Kenshin on one of the characters, resulting in a possible great anime. Le Chevalier D'eon delivers a good political story with a lot of fantasy element added to it. The artwork is fabulous, the music is special and the character setup is wonderful. The only draw back is that the story stretches somewhat with an unpredictable finale to the series. A good series for those who love historical fantasy settings.

Death Note

2nd Choice: 2nd Place

Truly, a master piece. Possibly the top horror anime of all time (close to surpassing Elfen Lied in my book). The plot twists and twists and the winning side continues to flip-flop between the opposite sides in the story. And just when you thought it cannot get more complicated, it gets more complicated. I find myself cheering for the bad guy and the good guy. There are no hidden plots in this series but the turn of events is breath taking. If you are looking for a fast paced story full of drama, death and mystry then this is what you have been looking for.

Hellsing Ultimate

1st Choice: 18th Place

Oh the agony of waiting on episodes for a long time. At least each episode is long. The drawings are so much better than the original series. Vampires? Check. Awesome action? Check. Hidden plots? Check. Paying Homage to the learning how to become a vampire? Check. I haven't seen something this promising in a long time. Anyone else waiting for Alucard and Anderson to have at it? I thought so. (You are missing out if you are not following this one.)


Kamisama Kazoku

5th Choice: 69th Place in A-S's Survey

A generic but fun series. The main characters are just about average but oh-so-loveable. The supporting characters are unique and give loads of entertainment, but I don't really take interest in them. The thing that stands out the most for this anime (besides the art) is the interesting storyline. While the story is not solid, it's very fun. I think anyone can enjoy Kamisama Kazoku. Tenko is so cute :3

Hoshizora Kiseki

4th Choice: Unranked

A "feel good" OVA that I really enjoyed. I was especially fond of the art aspect of this series. Hoshizora Kiseki created a short and sweet story with a wonderful ending. I like the characters, and the superb animation. What I liked most about this OVA were the water-like colours (very pretty~). There's no extreme genre in this OVA. Hoshizora Kiseki was simply a good, relaxing change in the more heavy anime series this year. I think everyone should take a break from all the drama in life (and in anime!) by watching something like this.

La Corda D'oro ~primo passo~

3rd Choice: 58th Place

An anime about music... WITH GOOD MUSIC. This is quite rare in anime. Well, this is partly because the chosen genre of music is classical - which is already in my good books. The characters in this anime are likeable, and the art is purdyful :3. Even if it's reverse-harem & shoujo, there's no overuse of the flowers and sparkly-goodness (ahem, Ouran Host Club). The base plot is quite... mediocre, but I like the events of the concours etc. What I enjoy most is the music and the interaction between the characters. I look forward to every episode.

(The) Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi

2nd Choice: 1st Place

Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi is truly unique. It utilized new approaches without being extremely obscure. Firstly, you have an eccentric character with charisma, she's no normal person! Secondly, you have the order (or unorder) of the episodes, this makes it more fun, while it is in non-chronological order, there is still some 'order' within the story + character development. Lastly, the first episode: they surprise us with this poorly constructed, terrible sound + music combination for the first episode. They took risks.

The beautiful animation, character design, and music were bonus :3. While there were some dull episodes (yup, really dull), there were some extremely awesome episodes.

Kyou no Go no Ni

1st Choice: 58th Place

Probably the most hilarious anime I've encountered. And I'm not exaggerating here. They take pervy "adult" events and paste them on grade-school kids. While the humour is a bit out of the border, at the same time, it's refreshing. There was no hesitation in voting for this one. The character design is really cute, and if you enjoy anime for its hilarious facial expressions, you'll see dramatized details in facial features here (and it's hilarious!). Watch Kyou no Go no Ni for good laughs. Cute, perverted humour. We're all pervy - admit it!

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Bowser on Monday, February 26 @
At least NHK made it in a few times, Im quite glad of that^^
Its a great anime, despite the only word I can describe about it being 'Interesting'.
Although...Honey and Clover should deserve more in my eyes... but we all have our tastes^^


Gravija on Monday, February 26 @
Wooo, many of them are my favorites too! ^_^ Nice picks :P


Black_Wraith on Monday, February 26 @
wow this is soo cool!!!
some of my favourite anime made it on the list quite a few times
GO Melancholy of Suzumiya Hahuri, NHK and Death Note!!!


du5k on Monday, February 26 @
Lol, who wrote this: "Boy was this certainly a tough call to make XD" ?

interesting, now some of these has caught my attention as well...


AkaiTsubasa on Monday, February 26 @
@du5k : agreed =D some of these have indeed caught my attention *turns away to add to neverending 'get anime' list*


Cavalier on Monday, February 26 @
Oh boy, Jyu Oh Sei ... no comment.

Lots of different opinions though, glad to see Negima!? on there, its actually hilarious and a much better twist on the original story. No School Rumble though? Thats an injustice i tells ya.


Alexiel on Monday, February 26 @
#4: That would be me, dusk.

It really is nice to see people commenting on this. Keep them coming, even if you have any questions or want to discuss our picks. ^^ We encourage your input!


ch3wyboi on Wednesday, February 28 @
Fate/Stay Night need to see it. Loving: Kanon (2006) at the MO, up to EP 21.


hpikkachu on Thursday, March 01 @
oooohh, nice!! good picks guys!!
dunno why kanon 2006 and honey&clover II didnt pop up more often...
omgss, school rumble ni gakki wasnt there?! whatta shock! i luurved it. =]
glad to see haruhi suzumiya up there, i loved that anime so so much!!! absolutely FANTASTIC!!!
i think that 2006 gave us sooo many good anime series... lets see what 2007 brings, eh?


omnislaya on Saturday, March 03 @
Go Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya! and Honey and Clover II deserves more popularity! Ofcourse School Rumble needs to be in it as well!


Viseroid on Sunday, March 04 @
w00t for Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. But really, where is School Rumble?
A crime has been committed :D


ezxx on Tuesday, March 20 @
i was surprised that no one mentioned Black Lagoon :o


ezxx on Tuesday, March 20 @
i was surprised that no one mentioned Black Lagoon :o


saisa on Tuesday, March 27 @
i've watched most of these


DarkTactics on Friday, April 13 @
Glad to see that xxxHoLIC made it up there. Several anime were listed that I've never heard of, but for the most part I'd agree with the picks that people had their top 5.


asakura on Thursday, April 19 @
fuhh~ fuh fuuuh great list of anime and indeed a good choice thx to all staffs for their work and keep at the good work fuh~


Haruhi-chan on Sunday, April 22 @
wooow... cooll.. there many animes
there also my favorite animes.. :)
and i also watched most of them... :´)


chile25 on Sunday, April 22 @
im glad to see that death note is always there... yeah! baby!


skingg on Wednesday, May 02 @
Dissapointed Ghost Hunt did not make the list but great list nonetheless.


takaya07 on Wednesday, July 04 @
i think ill look 4ward on watching the death note im really fascinated and interested of knowing what is the plot of that birin, hikhik!


Krys1459 on Tuesday, December 18 @
I have watched alot of anime i really do like-Fate/Stay Night, Death Note, REC, Ouran High School Host Club, and NANA but as i look at this list it seems i haven't. I look forward on watching Code Geass and all the others.


Mellowthrasher on Saturday, April 25 @
Well now i see eisenmeteor got in on the action. Great anime, awesome at all angles.

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