The other day I was looking at my anime collection and was shocked to see that alot of the shows I think deserve a Blu-ray release have not yet gotten one. So I thought why not list the top 5 here for all to see. Before we go on let me clarify that some of these shows do indeed have a Blu-ray release in Japan and may eventually get a release here. However this list is based solely on the US releases of anime.
5) Code Geass and Code Geass R2. Now I know what you are thinking. Why is Code Geass so high on the list? Why isn't it number 1? Well the reason behind this is because of all the anime to be listed here Code Geass is the most likely to get the Blu-ray treatment in the US. Why? Well awhile back Bandai said they would do everything in their power to release any Blu-ray released in Japan here. Well Code Geass and R2 have both seen a full blown Blu-ray release in Japan and as per Bandai's promise will most likely get a release here in the near future.
So what is it that makes Code Geass worthy of a Blu-ray release. Well aside from being one of the best anime released in recent memory it's also stunningly beautiful to look at. CLAMP created some incredible characters for the show and the world was always very detailed. So it's obvious that the leap to Blu-ray would just bump up the visual fidelity that much more.
If the show does get a US Blu-ray release I would expect to see it some time near the end of 2010.
#4) Gurren Lagann. Gurren Lagann was a show that tried alot of new things in it's animation. Gainax created a ton of new filters to add immense amounts of detail to all aspects of the show. Be it dust and rock debris being thrown into the air after a giant Gunmen came crashing down or glowing green light of spiral energy shown throughout the show.
The show also had memorable character designs. From Yoko to Kamina to Simon all of the characters have a great unique look that most fans still remember to this day. Lets also not forget that Gurren Lagann has some of the most over the top intense battles and fight scenes even seen in a anime. Just when you think "This battle can not possibly get any bigger" it does and then some. So it's no surprise to see Gurren Lagann on the list.
3) xxxHolic. Yes yes we all know that the first xxxHolic TV anime didn't look nearly as good as it's movie counterpart A Midsummer Night's Dream. However that doesn't mean the show isn't nice to look at. In fact there are parts in the show that are a sight to behold. The Hydrangea episode comes to mind. Or perhaps the episode in which Watanuki and the pipe fox venture into the mountains in search of Zashiki-Warashi. Both incredible beautiful episodes that show off the incredible world CLAMP built for xxxHolic.
While the show was not able to completely capture CLAMP's original style and look from the manga(and honestly who could?) It still did a commendable job. The long slender style the manga had is on full display and some may argue that it was over done in the anime. The use of smoke as well is done rather well just as in the manga. While the spirits that plaugue Watanuke were more full form in the movie they are still represented rather well. While I personally would have liked to see the connection to Tsubasa left intact I still thoroughly enjoyed xxxHolic and would love to see what a Blu-ray release of the show would look like.
2) X/1999. Yes we have another CLAMP manga adaptation on the list and it is probably one of the best known. Known not only for it's more violent aspects(something CLAMP normally doesn't do) But also because the manga on which the anime was based has never actually ended. CLAMP simply "took a break" and to this day they have not returned to finish X.
That however did not stop the X from being a incredible show. Being the oldest show on this list one might wonder how it can possibly measure up to stuff like Gurren Lagann and Code Geass. But let me assure you this show is a visual feast. The amount of detail on display here is mind blowing. X is also home to what in my opinion are the best character designs CLAMP has ever produced.
The show has spectacular battles that at some points even become hard to watch thanks to the violence I mentioned earlier. As well as some motifs that are still used in anime today like the use of black and white feathers to relay good and evil to the viewer. To top that all off X also has a incredible soundtrack that would certainly benefit from the jump to 5.1 true HD surround sound.
X is probably the least likely show on this list to get a Blu-ray release. However not all hope is lost. Funimation recently rescued the X license and plans to re-release the show sometime this year and perhaps if it sells well we will see a Blu-ray release in the future.
So here we are at number 1. What show could possibly be worthy of number 1 on this list of stunningly beautiful shows?
1) Jigoku Shoujo/Hell Girl. Honestly what the hell is funimation thinking not having a Blu-ray release of Hell Girl? Hell Girl is one of those rare shows that not only totally shocks you with it's beauty but also retains the incredibly high level of animation prowess set by it's pilot episode. Something needless to say most shows are unable to do.
The show is also home to some of the most iconic images in anime today. Honestly who can forget the first time Ai ferries a soul across the river Styx straight into hell. Who can possibliy forget the first time they hear Ai's proclamation of "Perhaps It is time to die".
The show uses things to catch the user off guard many a time. One will be caught wondering after the first episode how a girl so frail and beautiful as Ai can possibly be someone who condemns people to hell.
So you may ask why exactly is Hell Girl number 1? Well as mentioned earlier the shows production quality remains top notch all the way through to the very end. Hell Girl has incredible art and if there was ever a show that would benefit from having a extremely crisp and clean picture it would be this one.
Lets also not forget the incredible soundtrack that adds to the feelings of terror the audience is experiencing which watching the show. Haunting vocals by who one can only assume is Ai Enma herself and beats that are literally meant to scare the shit out of you are the norm here. This is a soundtrack that actually helps the show scare you. Bringing a soundtrack like that to 5.1HD surround would just add to the tension the show inflicts upon the viewer. If you have yet to see Hell Girl I would highly recommend seeing it as it's a incredible beautiful show even on DVD. One can only hope that Funimation pulls their heads out of their bums and gets on getting a Blu-ray release of Hell Girl. Oh and while your at it Funimation why don't you go ahead and license seasons 2 and 3.
(Funi failed big time on this one. Shortly after this posting Sentai Filmworks licensed the 2nd season of Hell Girl meaning we will more likely never hear the incredible dub the first season had in season 2 and 3 of the show. It also makes a Blu-ray release unlikely as Funi would not release something on Blu-ray if they didn't sell enough on DVD.)
Well there you have it. My top 5 anime that really need a Blu-ray release. Feel free to add anything you would like to add to the list.