I gotta tell you, I think Gurren Lagann and Evangelion are two of the most over hyped series from Gainax. I’ve watched both and enjoyed them. But, I wouldn’t include it in my “Top Favorite Anime”.
I mean, if a person asked, “I want to get into anime, where should I start?”, I would recommend those two. Gurren Lagann has fluid animation, good art style and lovely hotbloodeness. Evangelion has trauma, if you’re into that, giant monster battles and mind fucks. Madoka Magica also falls into the “Anime Starter Pack”, even though I love the series. Really, not all anime is for everyone.
Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, is usually sought out for it’s “violence” by “young edgy teenagers”, but it has a good story. Mind you, the series has arcs for each character. Still, I liked the story and overall enjoyed the series. Once it was over, I felt satisfied.
Mobile Suit Gundam is one anime I would really like everyone to get into. Not, Gundam Seed, Gundam Wing or any other recent Gundam animes, even though I do hear good things about Unicorn and G Gundam is a personal favorite. Watch Mobile Suit Gundam to V Gundam and you got your fill of real robot action with magical psychics and trauma.
Gunbuster is also a good Gainax anime, this show INVENTED fan service. You know, tight suits, boob physics, bath scenes. Still, a good mecha series with a hotblooded heroines. One giant ass robot versus a bunch of aliens in space. Inazuma kick!
Tenchi Muyo and Monogatari series, Bake, Nise and so far Neko, are on the top favorites. Full of laughs and action. Also, a high selection of cute girls. Monogatari with vampires, lolis, tsunderes, and yanderes. Tenchi Muyo with harem, lolis, space pirates, incest, and gods.