Reducing this list of "the best" to only twelve (overall) picks was by no means an easy task. I could have easily made this list twice as long, and still feel that there would be some notable omissions. Therefore, allow me to start the second half with some "honorable mentions", because they still are worth bringing up:
-Yugo the Negotiator (two halves done by two completely different studios & staffs, and both are great stories)
-Hareluya II BØY (animation is cheap & chintzy, but literally everything else is just outstanding)
-Yakitate!! Japan (some might feel the comedy goes too ridiculous the longer the show goes, but it's still easily one of the funniest anime I have ever seen)
-Saint Seiya: Legend of Crimson Youth (if you only ever see one Seiya anime, it should be this, as it's the purest distillation of the series & the best movie)
So, with that out of the way, let's move on to the other half of the best anime I've reviewed on this blog over the previous decade!
Violinist of Hameln [TV]
Yasuhiro Imagawa may not have a large amount of anime on his resume, but his work as a director is generally considered some of the best out there. However, not mentioned anywhere near as much is Imagawa's work as a screenwriter, which he actually has a slightly larger amount of titles to his name, though this does include some anime that he also directed. The first time he was in charge of series composition (i.e. he was head writer) but didn't also direct was Violinist of Hameln, the 25-episode TV anime adaptation of the manga by Michiaki Watanabe. This anime debuted at the end of 1996, following a theatrical short film earlier that same year which was done by a completely different studio & staff. However, whereas the movie is accurate to the comical stylings of the manga, the TV series went in a completely different direction, and Yasuhiro Imagawa made sure he delivered on director Junji Nishimura's concept... All by himself.