I’ve limited this list to titles with a mal page, for which I’ve rated 10/10 (masterpiece). These favorites are listed high to low, with a brief reflection.
Please note that your favorite anime was expressly excluded from this list to personally spite you.
大闹天宫 (1961, 1964)
Director: Wan, Laiming
Studio: Shanghai Animation Film Studio
This isn't really anime; I'm not sure why mal lists this. Dude this was my childhood; I remember watching a bunch of old chinese animations as a kid; stuff like three monks, afanti, supersoap, etc. Stories with sun wukong were lit; you really can't get more epic than smashing down the heavenly palace. 齐天大圣: the great sage, equal of heaven. I was always a bit bothered that this opens some power scaling issues between the taoist jade emperor and buddha, but whatever. Also, big honorable mention to the 三打白骨精 movie; absolutely terrifying yet beautiful.
Director: Ishihara, Tatsuya
Creator: Arawi, Keiichi
Studio: Kyoto Animation
People say nichijou's not funny, and I agree. It has several funny moments, but I think the point was to be interesting. Everything in this series showed me a different way of seeing things while making a good time out of it.
Director: Amino, Tetsuro
Creator: Ono, Fuyumi
Anime vampires: the coolest way to tell a tragedy about inherently incompatible social value systems. It's rare that I find such a complex well-executed story in any medium (maybe because I don't read lol)
Director: Mizushima, Tsutomu
Studio: P.A. Works
There's an actually readable english translation of OP1 here; I think the song pretty much sums up the beauty imparted by the anime. Mizushima is my favorite director hands down: girls und panzer, ika musume, joshiraku, plastic neesan, prison school, mayoiga, another (kinda)
Happy Sugar Life (2018)
Directors: Kusakawa, Keizou; Nagayama, Nobuyoshi
Creator: Kagisora, Tomiyaki
What happens when we become complete? Well, hsl says that's illegal. To paraphrase gasai yuno: the yandere is bitter frustration with the world, that it refuses we become complete. I think reality is more bleak than bitter; satou didn't live to see that true completion never existed to begin with. But one can dream.
Log Horizon (2013)
Director: Ishihira, Shinji
Creator: Touno, Mamare
It's really something when an isekai convincingly births an economy by introducing fastfood. Instead of rehashing things, I'll just link this great analysis series by the golden witch. Good academic content on good anime is hard to come by; highly recommend both the show and analysis.
Director: Oikawa, Kei
Creator: Ohtake, Masao
It's common knowledge that under our a.t. fields, we're all the same orange fanta. But then what makes us different? I think a big part is just where your metal egg drops, and who pushes the red button on the back. Also, this is literally the funniest show I've ever watched. While a lot comes from the manga, I still think it really took someone like oikawa to nail the situational absurdity; watch konobi and outbreak company.
Directors: Motohiro, Katsuyuki; Shiotani, Naoyoshi
Written by: Urobuchi, Gen
Studio: Production I.G
I feel urobuchi gen stories are interesting (madoka, fate/zero, saya no uta, etc.), but I can't imagine the characters outside the story; they act like literary devices. Sybil is the exception. We're shown that society is ultimately run by people making human decisions and mistakes, with human judgement and pride. The psycho-pass universe became real to me, and stuck so strongly that I even watched all of seasons [...] and 3. The movies were meh; the southeast asia one was good.
Ishuzoku Reviewers (2020)
Director: Ogawa, Yuuki
I hope you got tired of reading before making it to this title. Excellent show; really fun and creative.