There's No Such Thing as 'The Best'

Author: Brian Shea
Source: Anta Baka!?
Dated: May 28, 2002

"Evangelion's da best anime ever!!!!!!!"

Yet another misconception. That Evangelion, or any anime for that matter can be conceived as 'the best'. Lets end this now. There's no such thing as the best when it comes to anime. Quality is an objective matter. Its determined solely on the opinion of each individual person. An anime like Eva being 'the best' isn't a fact, its an opinion, nothing more. To call something the best you need stats to back it up. Lets take professional sports for example. We know that a sports team is the best when it wins the championship. We can know whether a particular player is the best at something (like Barry Bonds and home runs for example) by looking at stats. But statistics has nothing to do with quality of an anime. Thus, its impossible for an anime like Eva to be the best, regardless of how good you or your friends might think it is.

In the end it all has to do with personal opinion. Something is only 'the best' in your mind. I prefer to not even use the term. 'Favorite' is a much appropriate term. Saying something is the best can fool people into thinking something its not. If you say Evangelion is your favorite then people know right away that its your personal opinion about the anime. It also has to due with how you experience something. Each person goes through different circumstances when it comes to their 'favorite' or what they think is 'best'. When you see something, what you heard about it beforehand, etc... all have a large effect on how you rate something among favorites. Take me for example. My favorite anime is Escaflowne. Escaflowne was only the second anime TV series I ever saw. Its was the first anime I ever saw subtitled. I went into Esca completely unspoiled except for one thing. Now the fact that Escaflowne is widely considered one of the highest quality animes of the 90's is certainly a factor. I found its quality pretty apparant. But I'll never refuse to admit that the circumstances surrounding how I saw Escaflowne had an effect on how I rank it among my favorites. Unfortunately many Eva fans refuse to admit this. Eva was one of their first animes. They spend all the time obsessing over it and talking about it on messageboards and newsgroups. Certainly they'd rank it higher than the 50th anime series they saw, something that doesn't have too many forums to discuss about it. Of course there's nothing wrong with that. Circumstances are a big part of why you rank something as a favorite. There's nothing wrong with admitting the way you saw Eva and how you discuss it effects how you view the show.