Top 10 Drama Anime of 2002
1. Millennium Actress
When Studio Gin'ei commissions filmmaker Gen'ya Tachibana to make a documentary in commemoration of its 70th anniversary, he travels to a secluded mountain lodge to interview the idol of his youth, the enigmatic Chiyoko Fujiwara, who was the studio's leading lady from the 1930s until the 1960s. As Chiyoko reminisces about her life, Tachibana and his cameraman suddenly find themselves on a rich and dazzling journey through time. Chiyoko's films and personal memories intertwine with present events and stretch the boundaries of reality.
(Source: Anime News Network)
2. Princess Tutu
In a fairy tale come to life, the clumsy, sweet, and gentle Ahiru (Japanese for 'duck') seems like an unlikely protagonist. In reality, Ahiru is just as magical as the talking cats and crocodiles that inhabit her town - for Ahiru really is a duck! Transformed by the mysterious Drosselmeyer into a human girl, Ahiru soon learns the reason for her existence. Using her magical egg-shaped pendant, Ahiru can transform into Princess Tutu - a beautiful and talented ballet dancer whose dances relieve people of the turmoil in their hearts. With her newfound ability, Ahiru accepts the challenge of collecting the lost shards of her prince's heart, for long ago he had shattered it in order to seal an evil raven away for all eternity.
Princess Tutu is a tale of heroes and their struggle against fate. Their beliefs, their feelings, and ultimately their actions will determine whether this fairy tale can reach its "happily ever after."
Princess Tutu aired in two parts. The first part included 13 25-minute-long episodes, while the second part consisted of 24 12-minute-long episodes with a 25-minute-long final episode for a total of 38 episodes.
3. Haibane Renmei
A dream of falling from the sky... and then birth. Rakka is born from a large cocoon into the Old Home, greeted by a group of females with small wings on their backs and shining halos above their heads. Soon Rakka’s own wings grow, a halo is placed on her head and she is told that she must work in the nearby town of Grie. She soon realizes that the town and the entire world they live in are confined behind the Wall, a tall, impenetrable wall that none except the mysterious Toga are allowed to exit.
(Source: Anime News Network)
4. The Cat Returns
The Cat Returns is something of a loose spin-off of "Whisper of the Heart" as it features two characters from that film: Muta (the cat from "Whisper") and the Baron (the cat statue from "Whisper"). There is no other connection between the two movies and this is not a sequel. The story is based on Neko no Danshaku (Baron of Cat) by Hiiragi Aoi.
The main character of the story, Haru, is a clueless, ordinary 17-year-old girl. She has no special abilities and neither is she an extraordinary beauty. When faced with reality, she is unable to make decisions for herself, thus often sways to others' opinions to avoid challenge. One day, Haru saves the life of a cat without considering her own safety. The cat turns out to be the Cat Prince from the Kingdom of Cats, however as a result, Haru is trapped in the world of cats. Can Baron and Muta rescue Haru who has wandered into the world of cats?
(Source: AniDB, edited)
5. Full Moon
Twelve-year-old Kouyama Mitsuki was devastated when she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor of the throat. She had made a promise to the boy she loves that she would one day become a singer, but her illness made singing impossible. To make matters even worse, two angels of death, Takuto and Meroko, appeared to Mitsuki and informed her that she only had one year left to live. This news provides an even greater motivation for Mitsuki to fulfill her dreams, and with a little bit of divine intervention, she begins her quest to become a professional singer so she can be reunited with Eichi before time runs out.
6. Mobile Suit Gundam Seed
C.E. 71: In the midst of war between the Naturals (OMNI) and Coordinators (ZAFT), a unit from ZAFT is dispatched to hijack the Earth Alliance's newly developed mobile suits on the neutral colony of Heliopolis. Orb Civilian Coordinator Kira Yamato attends the technical college on Heliopolis. After ZAFT hijacks 4 of the 5 mobile suits, Kira stumbles upon the last one, Strike, forced to pilot it to save his and his friend's lives. During this confusion, Kira also reunites with his childhood Coordinator friend, Athrun Zala, who ironically turns out to be a ZAFT soldier and one of the hijackers at Heliopolis. Having control of Strike, Kira joins the Earth Alliance boarding the ship known as Archangel, to protect his friends while despairing over becoming the enemy of his childhood friend and people.
7. Hanada Shounen-shi
Young Ichiro Hanada lives with his parents and grandfather in a quiet rural town. He is a little brat who constantly teases his sister, insults his mother, fights with everybody, and eats a lot.
Ichiro has a near-death experience when he is hit by a truck, and when he wakes up he can see and talk to spirits. The spirits of people who have just died but who cannot pass on yet seek him out. They have some unresolved issue in their lives that is holding them back, and Ichiro must help them out.
8. InuYasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass
Inuyasha and company have finally destroyed Naraku. And each start to go in their separate ways. Sango going to find her younger brother Kohaku; Miroku back to his old home; Inuyasha, Kagome and Shippou go to gather the rest of the Shikon shards. Unfortunately this peace is not to last. Shortly afterwards the full moon rises, and just keeps rising each night bringing with it the promise of danger. Kagura and Kanna go in search of a mirror, where locked inside is the ruler of the eternal night, Kaguya. To set her free they must gather five items and drop them into the five lakes of Fuji. Setting her free means the worst danger for Inuyasha and the others. Who are forced to face this new threat.
In the future, personal computers have developed into "Persocoms", mobile computers that look like human beings. Hideki Motosuwa, a prep school student, desperately wants to buy a Persocon but cannot afford to. One day he finds a Persocom that has been thrown away and decides to keep it. When he turns on the Persocom, all she can say is "Chii" so he decides to name her that. After a while it starts to become apparent that Chii is more than an average Persocom. Having much better performance, it seems that Chii might be a "Chobit", a type of advanced Persocom rumored to have independent thought.
10. Get Backers
Mido Ban and Amano Ginji are known as the Get Backers, retrievers with a success rate of 100%. Whatever is lost or stolen, they can definitely get it back. Despite their powerful abilities and enthusiastic behavior, Ban and Ginji are terminally broke no matter what they do simply because little people would actually desire to hire them. As a result, the pair of them tend to do dangerous jobs, often leading to unwanted re-encounters with their old (and dangerous) friends.