This post took quite a bit longer than expected to write, in part because I found I had a lot more to say about its contents than I originally intended. This is pretty basic stuff — a list of 10 of our “best” articles, in celebration of 10 years of Ani-Gamers — but for me it was a reminder of the great work contributed by a number of equally great people over the years. The resulting list is obviously not a declaration of the true “best” posts, since such things are entirely subjective, but it’s a nice summary of some stuff that we’re really proud of, intentionally spread out across multiple years, authors, and formats to give a sense of the variety of content we've produced.
EDIT: It's probably worth mentioning that this list starts in 2008 and not 2004 because Ani-Gamers spent about four years as a fansite with series info, but not really "posts," and most of that content is gone now, so it's not really relevant to include it.
And with that, let’s get started. We’ll be going in chronological order here, with pull quotes and descriptions for each post.
Review: MW, by Mitch Dyer
In one of our very early manga reviews, Mitch Dyer (currently hard at work over at IGN) gets a shocking introduction to Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy, Black Jack) via MW, one of his most disturbing manga.
I can’t emphasize enough how messed up everything is in this single stack of hardcover excellence, but everything becomes clear as the stunning narrative advances, builds up, and comes completely crashing down on itself in the best way.
FMA Brotherhood Diaries: Poetry vs. Prose, by Ink
After comparing and contrasting Fullmetal Alchemist and FMA: Brotherhood in his long-running “Brotherhood Diaries” column, Ink discusses the general differences between the two. Included is a heartbreaking true story with eerie parallels to the events of Fullmetal Alchemist that explains Ink’s intensely personal connection to the series.
November 2004, just 7 months after the hardest decision I’d yet undertaken in my life thus far, the original Fullmetal Alchemist anime aired on Cartoon Network. It featured closely bonded brothers attempting to defy, via their own grief and skills, the fate that took their mother away. God, how I wanted to be Ed or Al.
Review: Ergo Proxy, by Uncle Yo
Ergo Proxy is a bizarre, cerebral series, but otaku comedian and early Ani-Gamers reviewer Uncle Yo does his best to pick its themes apart in his review.
And then comes Ergo Proxy, a beast that is surprising, intelligent, scary and worthy of Isaac Asimov's scrutiny and praises. During its 23 episodes, viewers will see the love triangle of God, Man and Machine brought to a new light as the egg comes face-to-face with the chicken.
Manga Moveable Feast: The Immaculate Conception of Yotsuba Koiwai, by Elliot Page
Participating in the Manga Moveable Feast, our resident Brit Elliot Page explains just what it is that makes Yotsuba, the title character of Yotsuba&!, so impossibly likable.
Yotsuba is an outsider in her own manga, and it is because of this that the reader never gets sick of her antics. We don't know much about her, and don’t care to find out beyond the basics presented as it may disrupt the warm fuzzy feeling that the manga provides.
Stranger in a Strange Land, by Evan Minto
I chime in on the increasing presence of non-anime fandoms (including Homestuck, My Little Pony, and Adventure Time) at anime conventions, presenting a possible solution to this clash of fandoms in the form of anime fan evangelism.
Anime is a social vector for these kids, not a primary fandom. They meet through anime conventions, but they don't define themselves based on it. However, their energy, their excitement in "telling me about Homestuck," is exactly what anime fans once had.
The Trap Door: Eat Steak, Punch Bullets, and Spit Gasoline, by Phillip O'Connor
Phillip goes for a joy ride with Kenichi Sonoda’s beloved 1989 OVA, Riding Bean, and has a hell of a time detailing all the craziness contained therein.
The main reason people should watch this are the car chases. Cars are mangled, crushed or are made from explodium. Bean and Rally, plus a passenger, strap themselves in and hurdle around corners, under train line platforms, through checkpoints and around lorries as Bean tracks down the people who set him and Rally up with the cops.
Drunken Otaku: A Rocky Start to a Grand Adventure, by Ink
In an entry of his alcohol-themed column, Ink regales us with the story of a drunken bar fight in Black Lagoon.
After a few intervening scenes and a commercial break, Revy and Rokuro are still going at it, guzzling down Bacardi to the cheers of a gathered crowd. Then all hell breaks loose. Bullets fly. Bottles crash. People die. This isn’t only the world’s most bad-ass bar fight, this is a hazing!
Review: Kids on the Slope, by Evan Minto
Channeling my experience as a musician, I take a look at the touching, personal stories that make up Kids of the Slope.
This isn't so much a show about music as it is about people who play music. There's a subtle distinction there. It's the difference between a shallow, glamorized view of what it means to be a musician and the emotional experience of a true musician.
Review: Hotline Miami, by David Estrella
David makes a case for the story of senseless violence that is Hotline Miami, taking a look at its treatment of murder and morality.
Hotline Miami is a giant dialogue tree of timed morality choices, where the only option is "COMMIT MURDER." It's better than anything BioWare has ever written, but it's also a bit of a paradox. Here's a game with a lot of purpose behind it but presented in a manner that players can react to and consider in a lot of different ways, one of which will likely be to ignore the messages.
Con Report: Otakon 2013, by David Estrella
With his usual sharp wit, David chronicles his experience at Otakon 2013, which consisted mostly of waiting on lines to meet guests and occasionally attending the con’s myriad events.
I almost turned down the offer to write this convention report since I spent most of my time on a line, but thinking about it, standing in line is an integral part of The Real Otakon.
Bonus round! Here are five podcasts that we really liked. If you’re new to the Ani-Gamers Podcast, these are some pretty good places to start.
AGP#013 – The Professional
In an early and slightly amateurish episode, Mitch and I review the Golgo 13 movie. A lot of this review is the two of us recounting the entire movie and laughing about it, but I think it turned out sort of funny.
AGP#028 – The Greatest Podcast on Earth
I chat with renowned manga translator Fred Schodt and manga blogger/podcaster Ed Sizemore about the Astro Boy story “The Greatest Robot on Earth” and its many adaptations, including Naoki Urasawa’s manga Pluto.
AGP#030 – Code Geass (a.k.a. Pepperoni Hotdogs in the Pizza Crust?!)
Our friends the Reverse Thieves sit down with me for a long discussion of the ins and outs of Code Geass, including a lot of interesting talk about the themes and difficult moral questions it tackles.
AGP#041 – Laser Claws and Robot Sex
Evan, Kate from the Reverse Thieves, and comics writer Rachel Pandich talk about comics recommendations for manga fans.
AGP#042 – Mysterious Girlfriend X
I mostly sit back and listen in this episode, in which Ink moderates an in-depth review of the drool-themed romantic anime Mysterious Girlfriend X with guests Elliot Page and Phillip O’Connor.