Newtype USA has just brought out its second-anniversary issue, and it includes the final results of its readers’ poll of the top 25 anime of all time. One thing that struck me immediately upon seeing the list was that the readers must have misunderstood the poll to be the “top 25 anime of today”. Out of the 25 selected, none are earlier than 1985, 21 were 1995 or later, and 11 on the list were past 2000. Another striking point was that four out of the top five aired on Cartoon Network (all five, if Giant Robot Week counts), as did six of the top 10, and 12 on the total list. One has to wonder whether that is a tribute to CN’s shrewdness in selecting animes, or a tribute to CN’s ability to give an anime a higher profile among American viewership than it would intrinsically have otherwise (or a mixture of both). I don’t imagine the top anime, “Evangelion”, or the runner-up, “Cowboy Bebop”, would come as a surprise to anyone. I guess a large part of the success of No. 3 “Inuyasha” is that Rumiko Takahashi has done it all before: comical love-hate romance (“Ramna 1/2”--which snagged No. 8 despite being pretty much limited to video release all these years--“Urusei Yatsura”, “Maison Ikkoku” and “One Pound Gospel”), Japanese mythology (“Urusei Yatsura” and “Mermaid” sagas), horror (“Mermaid” sagas, Rumic World tales like “Laughing Target”), even a modern girl-meets-boy-warrior-in-15th-century-time-travel-saga (“Fire Tripper”)--but never all in one place before. There is a touch of irony in “Kenshin” and “Trigun” ranking four and five--they debuted at the same time on CN, yet “Kenshin” has proved to be the more ill-starred in terms of repeat airings and running consistently to the end. The rest of the list has some real surprises. Despite being the oldest anime on the list, despite the controversy that has raged for years with “Macross” purists who have assailed the creator as an “anime anti-christ”, and despite being off the air and even regular cable for years at a time, “Robotech” snagged the No. 7 position, which has to be a real upset. Methinks a big part of it that despite the defects and ill fortune that’s dogged the franchise from the very beginning, Carl Macek still managed to tell one compelling epic. Despite not being on TV at all since CN yanked it a few years ago, despite video release currently being limited to the “S” and “SS” seasons and no release at all on the two most recent seasons (“Stars” and live-action “Bishoujo Senshi”), despite only two other animes on the list being clearly aimed at younger juvenile viewers (“Dragonball Z” and “Card Captor Sakura”) and only four others being predating it (“Robotech”, “Ramna 1/2”, “Akira”, “Dragonball Z”--which really didn’t make its impact in America until well into the 1990s), “Sailor Moon” managed to snag No. 10 spot! Maybe the SM franchise is not irretrievably dead as many seem to think? The No. 20 finish of the “Evangelion” contemporary “Escaflowne” is a bit shocking--one cannot help to wonder what might have happened if Saban/Fox hadn’t stolen this show from “Toonami”, and left America and Canada with only a subtitled video release as the only faithful version (likewise, one has to wonder if “Card Captor Sakura” would have done much better than No. 25 if it weren’t only available in subtitled videos, thanks to “Cardcaptors” vandalism foisted on TV viewers by Nelvana and Kids WB). DBZ placing at No. 19 has to be surprising, given it being a ratings juggernaut of some years standing on CN. And there is the conundrum of no Gundam series making the list aside from “Gundam Seed” at No. 22 (if “Akira” could make the list, why couldn’t the classic “Char’s Counterattack”, a movie of similar vintage?). Comments?