Author Topic: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga  (Read 7324 times)

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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For the longest time I have wanted to do a list of this nature, about something which I feel passionate about. This was partly inspired by Avaitor's list of the top 25 Marvel Comics stories, which I was really impressed by and got me to want to read more comics in general, especially the ones that Avaitor recommended. The other source of inspiration I had was the idea of that competition thread for greatest story arcs. When I realized that not enough people would participate in that, I instead started brainstorming ideas for this list. I ran this by Cartoon X and Spark of Spirit who I knew to be just as into this kind of stuff as I was. Originally I had wanted to include any animated arc on the list, and even considered live-action to throw into the mix, but all three of us found that it would be far too difficult to incorporate so many different series into just 30 entries when there would undoubtedly be tons of worthy entries that we would have to leave off of the list. Thus, for this feature, we decided to stick to only anime and manga, which each of us has a fair bit more experience with than other mediums (though, the possibility of doing future lists incorporating those other kinds of series is certainly not lost on me).

As for the list itself, we have spent the past few weeks working on this feature, and went through a lot of discussion regarding what arcs to include and what order to put them in. We also set up certain ground rules for what could and could not be included. These include (but are not limited to):

-Only 2 arcs per series were allowed on the list. This was decided in an effort to promote diversity and to abstain from one particular series or another monopolizing most entries on the list. Thus, we picked the 1 or 2 best story arcs per series which we felt represented each of them at their best.

-Series that only comprised of one arc could not have that arc included. This was done to make a clear distinction between acknowledging the great quality of a well-written story-line itself, as opposed to the entire series. Thus, something like Madoka Magica or Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine could not be included, with the former being a one-arc series with only one film as a sequel, and the other taking place within its own rebooted continuity, completely separate from the rest of the franchise.

-The stories had to be of a certain length to be qualified as story arcs. So, no one-episode vignettes (as good as some of those may be), or even mere mere 2-parters, could be included.

With those main ground rules, we set about to create our list, and what we're presenting to you here is the final result. Today I am uploading part 1, including our first five entries, and for the rest of the week we will be counting down 5 entries at a time until we get to our #1 choice, and then conclude the final day of the week with our honorable mentions. With that said, please enjoy discussing or complaining about our choices and entries, and perhaps predicting what will be included in future segments of the list.

Entries:

Part 1: #30-26
Part 2: #25-21
Part 3: #20-16
Part 4: #15-11
Part 5: #10-06
Part 6: #05-01
Part 7: Honorable Mentions
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 12:42:33 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

Spark Of Spirit

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 09:25:24 PM »
This took a good deal of work, but it sure was fun to do. I hope you guys like it.

We seemed to work together quite well so we finished a lot faster than we were expecting to. It sure inspired me to check out some stuff I wasn't that familiar with.
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Avaitor

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 09:27:19 PM »
Great stuff so far! I'm only familiar with the GTO arc, but I do remember it being one of the strongest parts of the series.

I'm not very interested in KLK, but this makes me want to go through Astro Boy some more, and try out the other 2 series.
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Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 09:32:50 PM »
Thanks. :)

KLK isn't for everyone, and to be honest it was kind of controversial among us to include it on the list only because it's so recent, but I do stand by the opinion that it is a truly great story arc.

And I also need to get into Astro Boy. I love what I've read of Black Jack, and Tezuka's works just seems so much up my alley.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 09:42:51 PM »
Heh, and here I was thinking of PM-ing you guys earlier today about when we were gonna put this up! ;D

I sure had a blast writing entries for this list, and highlighting a lot of great (some underrated) arcs and series that I'm very passionate about. I looked around for other lists of people's top anime/manga arcs before we started making the list for reference, and I think we've definitely created a list that's considerably better than any others of this sort. I'm especially glad that we were able to highlight non-action and non-shonen series in the list as well, since people often overlook story arcs not from battle-shonen series, when really there are so many great ones outside that genre in the medium.

Reading through the list, and I notice that my format for the publishers section is off compared to E-K and Spark's, and I have a small grammatical mistake on my Astro Boy entry. Dang, I should have checked that stuff again.  :sweat:

Great stuff so far! I'm only familiar with the GTO arc, but I do remember it being one of the strongest parts of the series.

I'm not very interested in KLK, but this makes me want to go through Astro Boy some more, and try out the other 2 series.

Thanks for the comments Avaitor! I'm glad to see you're interested in checking out more of Astro Boy, as well as UY and BECK. I think you'd really enjoy the latter, in particular.  :)

Thanks. :)

KLK isn't for everyone, and to be honest it was kind of controversial among us to include it on the list only because it's so recent, but I do stand by the opinion that it is a truly great story arc.

Well, it was never much of an issue of contention for it to be in the list (at one point we had it in the top 20, iirc), but yeah, because it's so recent it didn't feel right to put it over a lot of stuff that has stood the test of time for over a decade or more and stuff. But I brought it up initially because I do think it's a fantastic story arc, and because I think KLK is one of the best anime of recent years, and of all time period. I think it's inclusion is a good reflection of how, while there might be a lot of crap coming out of Japan these days, there's still some great stuff coming out as well, some of it standing on par with time-tested favorites.

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 10:11:22 PM »
Yeah, it does represent some of the best material to come out of the medium in recent years, which is why I was OK with including something so recent on the list, although I did make the motion to push it back to the last spot since it was still too new.

BTW, I'd like to see if anyone can try to guess what our top 5 entries for this list are (before we post it, of course). It'd just be interesting to test how well certain people know us.

While I don't want to spoil any of the list, I can at least assure you all that most people on this board have either watched/read at least 3 or 4 of our top 5 entries. That'll be my only clue, though.

::EDIT::

Also, I went back in and fixed 2 of your minor mistakes which I noticed, CX. I just thought that you'd like to know. ;)
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 10:23:05 PM by Dr. Ensatsu-ken »

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 10:29:08 PM »
::EDIT::

Also, I went back in and fixed 2 of your minor mistakes which I noticed, CX. I just thought that you'd like to know. ;)

Thanks!  :thumbup:

Can I ask you to edit one more thing for me, in this line in my Astro Boy article?

Quote
Yet, even so, he does not hesitate to stand up for what is right, though as he soon finds out, there is only so much of a difference he can make?

That question mark should be an ellipses instead. It doesn't read right the way it is now.  :sweat:

Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 10:36:14 PM »
Done. :thumbup:

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2014, 10:07:53 AM »
Reading through these write-ups again, I'm reminded that the FMP! arc is the only arc on this entire list that I haven't seen. I really need to fix that sometime.  ;)

And hopefully Spark's Vinland Saga write-up gets all y'all who haven't read it yet to start it up. It's easily one of the very best ongoing manga around.


Avaitor

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2014, 10:26:57 AM »
The only ones that I'm not familiar with on here are Magi and Vinland Saga, and you make both sound very appealing! This is going to be a great way to help me keep track of what to try out in anime/manga to help me fully get back into it.

The other 3 are fantastic, though! But wow, it really seems like the average Toonami crowd did not like Black Lagoon at all.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

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Dr. Ensatsu-ken

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2014, 10:43:55 AM »
I also need to check out Vinland Saga. As for Magi, to be honest, I thought it was alright during the first few arcs, but I didn't love it. It was actually the Magnostadt arc where I truly started becoming engrossed with the series.

LumRanmaYasha

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2014, 10:50:19 AM »
Thanks for the comments, Avaitor! Both Magi and Vinland Saga are two of the best ongoing manga out there, and highly recommendable. VS might be more your alley (really, it's one of those series that's up everyone's alley), so between the two, I'd suggest checking that one out first. I know that would sure make Spark happy.  ;)

And yeah, it's too bad that BL didn't do so hot in the ratings (though at least the final episode went out strong). I was really surprised to see so many people on TZ dislike it as much as they did. Some of the reasons why were understandable, but others just made me scratch my head. It's a fun action show, with some deeper dynamics under it, and Fujiyama Gangsta Paradise is it's most interesting and best written part of the story so far. It's kind of baffling to me that some people on TZ actually hated that arc as much as they did, but I guess there are detractors for every series.

 

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2014, 11:01:04 AM »
Hmm, alright. I should have some time to go further into AnJ this weekend, so hopefully when I'm done, I can get to VS.
Life is not about the second chances. It's about a little mouse and his voyage to an exciting new land. That, my friend, is what life is.

Sir, do you have any Warrants?
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Spark Of Spirit

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Re: AR Feature Talkback: The Top 30 Greatest Story Arcs in Anime and Manga
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2014, 12:54:21 PM »
Glad to hear it!

Is there any chance Foggle can update the banner now?  :sweat:
"The world will never starve for want of wonders, but for want of wonder." - G.K. Chesterton