August ’04 was really my starting point of watching anime online as I only had my broadband by then. Well, basically, I’m going to do my list by season, and starting it off, I’ll concentrate on continuing series that started in 2004 and ended well into 2005.
1\. Mai HiME
Possibly one of the most famous series’ among otakus nowadays with the combination of it’s amzing Yuki Kajiura soundtrack(although not one of her best), moé-rrific cast and it’s twisted plot. Although marred by a bad ending, it still remains an enjoyable series to watch
and go fanboy over it. Currently being given the “alternate universe” treatment by Sunrise in Mai Otome.
2\. **School Rumble**
Another great amazing comedic series. With it’s focus on the “complexities” of high school romances and a great cast of characters, **Sukuran** is easily one of the best comedy series of the year, only eclipsed by **Pani Poni Dash**. Although the series ended off in an original (clichéd) ending, there’s still much hope for it, as a second season is scheduled for next year.
A lot of people think it is another Naruto, which is quite true in it’s basest form, but Bleach is lifted from mediocrity thanks to it’s *manga-ka*, Kubo Tite-sensei, ever-so-talented in creating memorable characters, plot twists and suspense. The choice of the production crew is probably the best one in recent times for an manga to anime conversion, with Studio Pierrot magnificently avoiding filler arcs, proceeding ahead with covering the manga arcs up till now and also managing to keep the original materiel’s spirit and *kakkoi*-ness. The choice of *seiyuu’s* are quite top notch with great musical accompaniment by the talents of Shiroh Sagisu(BGM), ORANGE RANGE(1st OP) and others. However, it seems to be heading over to filler arcs now and whether it will destroy the series’ reputation needs to be seen.
4\. **Gundam SEED Destiny**
The sequel to the highly rated Gundam SEED, GSD however is a big trainwreck, with only the salvageble parts of it being the character designs, music and introduction of more overpowered mechas. It was good for the first 20 or so episodes, but everything really went downwards after it stepped into 2005. Currently, a third series is in the works, according to scant news reports.
5\. **Samurai Champloo**
One of the more unique series’ that truly shows that imagination is the limit in making anime’s. The initial impression of combining hip-hop with samurai’s can turn many people off, but I brushed it off and found SC to be a hillarious and entertaining series. From the memorable baseball games to yaoi Dutchmen thinking that harakiri = ass-rape, the humour of this show is truly the most outstanding aspect of this series. However, it still manages to tell a harrowing story of the search of a daughter for her father nicely and also contains one of the most bittersweet endings in most recent anime I have watched. A must-watch for all otakus.
**Rating** : 8/10