While P.A. Works doesn’t excite me as much as BONES when looking for anime to watch, I have to admit, over the years P.A. Works have definitely been responsible for some of my favourite anime – and some that I’m not so fond of. Today I’m listing my favourite 5. No real criteria other than I enjoyed them. Basically all of these are really pretty anime (though the other common feature will be slightly problematic storylines). Feel free to add your favourite in the comments or tell me which studio you like.
For patrons my lesser 5 are up though there are actually only 3 titles on my list of P.A Works anime that I just don’t like (though there’s a few I’ve yet to see).
Please Note – There will be spoilers below.
Honourable mentions go to: True Tears and Hanasaku Iroha. A more recent entry would be Sirius the Jaeger. I really enjoyed it but couldn’t justify moving anything else off the list.
Number 5: Charlotte
For all the complaints about the story in this anime, I loved Charlotte. It started off really ho-hum and then it just took off and while not every part of it landed smoothly it was ambitious and it worked really hard. Plus, there was just kind of something about Charlotte that appealed to me. Whichever way, this is an anime that stuck with me after I finished watching it and every now and then I go back for another run through it just to see if I’m deluding myself but I always enjoy that watch.
Number 4: Red Data Girl
Another one where it is pretty easy to make fun of the story. Admittedly, I don’t like the rest of the series as much as I loved the first three episodes, but I still really enjoyed it. There are some good ideas and visually it is great. The story itself doesn’t really manage to achieve what it sets out to do, much like Charlotte it is overly ambitious, but it is entertaining and I quite liked the journey this anime took us on.
Number 3: Another
Classic horror, of course Another made the list. When you take P.A. Works and their very pretty, atmosphere dripped animation and couple it with horror you have a recipe for something very beautiful (in a gore covered fashion). Again, it isn’t like Another isn’t without a few issues in its story but it is great for the horror fans fo the world as this slow burning story plays out before we go to the climax where clearly the writers just went for maximum carnage (though they weren’t willing to knock off the main characters which kind of took a bit of the suspense out of it all).
Number 2: Angel Beats
It really was difficult to not put this at number 1. It is one of my favourite anime ever and it makes me laugh and cry every single time I watch it. There are some amazingly beautiful scenes in this anime as well as some awesome music. The characters are all really interesting (not very believable but interesting) and the story just drags you in and you just want to know why the characters are where they are and what they will do next. I love the crazy and over the top violence of this paired with the quieter refective moments and while I know it isn’t to everyone’s taste Angel Beats will always come up if I’m discussing my favourite anime.
Number 1: Uchouten Kazoku
So what can beat Angel Beats? Try a family of Tanuki living in Kyoto. Four brothers all working to overcome the death of their father in their own special way (including one who chose to transform into a frog and live in a well) while trying to avoid being eaten themselves. This has magic, great dialogue, humour, interesting characters, some interesting action sequences, and a lot of heart. It’s brilliant. It’s also one of those anime that I keep forgetting about until I see it again and then I remember how amazing it is. Definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it before. And they’ve announced a second season which normally doesn’t get me overly excited but this world was just amazing fun (please don’t mess it up).
So that’s my list this week. Your thoughts?