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10 Hilarious Anime like Gintama

10 hilarious anime like gintama

Best known for its outlandish jokes and emotional story, Gintama is one of the funniest and most enjoyable anime of all time. If you are looking for a new funny series like Gintama, we’ve got your back. Here’s a list of 10 similar anime you can watch while you wait for the new episode.

Beelzebub

beelzebub anime like gintama picture
Genres: Action, Comedy, Supernatural, School

Like Gintama, Beelzebub manages to blend intense action with over-the-top comedy. Right off the bat we’re introduced to Tatsumi Oga, a student of Ishiyama High who knows nothing but fighting and delinquency. Through a series of weird events, he becomes the surrogate father of a baby who’ll someday become the next demon lord.

Similarities:

– A good mix of intense action and over-the-top comedy involving a cast of misfits.
– Battle-hardened protagonist that acts silly and laid back at times. He’s followed by a ‘straight man’ main character who’s usually at the center of all the jokes and a psychically strong female lead who came from another world.
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Only hints of romance used sparingly as jokes.

Differences

– Set in modern day high school without samurais, aliens, or sci-fi elements.
– Not as focused on world-building.



SKET Dance


Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life

Although SKET Dance lacks the intense action arcs that Gintama is known for, the series makes up for it with its familiar comedy and emotional undertones. The story follows three high schoolers who are members of a special club called the SKET Brigade that specializes in helping people with odd jobs.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy that sometimes parodies other popular shows.
– Laid-back and wacky protagonist who gives heartfelt speeches. He’s followed by a ‘straight man’ sidekick and a physically strong female lead.
– Some of the same voice actors (Gintoki, Takachin, etc.)
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Only hints of romance used sparingly as jokes.
– Main characters help people with odd jobs.

Differences

– Realistic school setting with no samurai, aliens, or sci-fi elements.
– Younger protagonist, and jokes are generally lighter in tone.
– No focus on world-building.
– Protagonist is not physically strong, and there are almost no combat/action scenes.



Great Teacher Onizuka

great teacher onizuka gto anime picture
Alternative Names: GTO
Genres: Comedy, Drama, School, Slice of Life

As an ex-biker gang leader turned teacher, Onizuka has only one ambition: he wants to become the world’s greatest teacher… and meet sexy high school girls along the way. However as luck would have it, Onizuka’s goals are constantly challenged by strict administration, crazy misfortunes, and worst of all an uncooperative class that wants to see him fail as a teacher.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy that sometimes parodies other popular shows.
– Battle-hardened protagonist that acts silly and laid back at times. He becomes serious when things get tough and offers emotional speeches to troubled individuals. A very unconventional hero who doesn’t care about other people’s perception of them.
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Quite a bit of focus on character development.

Differences

– Realistic school setting with no samurai, aliens, or sci-fi elements.
– Jokes and story are much more sexualized; there’s a ton of fanservice.
– No focus on world-building.



Hinamatsuri


Alternative Names: Hina Festival
Genres: Comedy, Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life

During a night of drinking, a mysterious object with a girl’s face falls on the head of Yoshifumi Nitta, an eccentric Yakuza with an unusual love for vases. After unsealing the girl from the object, Nitta reluctantly becomes the surrogate father of this lazy, but powerful psychic girl.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy that involves unrealistically crazy scenarios.
– Protagonist has to take care of a mysterious and lazy girl who has superhuman abilities.
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Only hints of romance used sparingly as jokes.
– Quite a bit of focus on character development.

Differences

– Set in modern day Japan.
– No focus on world-building.
– Protagonist isn’t physically strong and there aren’t many combat/action scenes.



The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.


Alternative Names: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (TV), Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, School

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a collection of short episodic stories starring Kusuo Saiki, an overpowered—but moderately restraint—psychic whose sole goal in life is to be ordinary and hassle-free. However, Kusuo’s life is far from normal; every day is a more ridiculous scenario and every character he meets is a hilarious oddity.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy that involves unrealistically crazy scenarios.
– Parodies other popular shows/media.
– Jokes occasionally break the 4th wall.
– Extremely strong, but lazy protagonist who doesn’t flaunt his powers and love sweets.

Differences

– Set in a modern day high school.
– No focus on world-building.
– No serious arcs like Gintama, and almost no combat/action scenes.



One Punch Man


Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life

Saitama was an ordinary guy who trained so hard he lost all his hair in the process and became so strong that he now defeats all his enemies in one punch. Unfortunately, becoming this strong comes with a downside: he can’t find joy in fights anymore as he just destroys his opponents instantly. Saitama eventually joins the Hero Association to become a certified hero, hoping one day he can find an opponent strong enough to cure his boredom.

Similarities:

– Good mix of action and comedy. Has serious arcs with great action scenes.
– Overpowered, but lazy main character who acts like an unconventional hero and doesn’t care about people’s perception of them.
– Has futuristic elements and alien enemies.

Differences

– Set in a modern day fictional city.
– Not much focus on world-building.



Hayate the Combat Butler!


Alternative Names: Hayate no Gotoku!
Genres: Action, Harem, Comedy, Romance

Hayate is a hard working kid who’s struggled through harsh misfortunes his entire life due to his irresponsible parents. Unfortunately for him, his horrible parents abandoned him on Christmas and made his life even more miserable by leaving him with a mountain of debt. With loan sharks on his tail and no home to return to, Hayate tries to kidnap a young girl he meets at a park in order to pay off his family’s massive debt.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy and action that puts the main characters in unrealistically crazy scenarios.
– Physically strong protagonist
– Parodies other popular shows/media.
– Jokes constantly break the 4th wall.

Differences

– Set in modern day Japan.
– No focus on world-building.
– Quite a bit of romance, especially a harem.



Good Luck Girl!


Alternative Names: Binbougami ga!, Binbou Gami ga!, Binbou Kami ga!, The God Of Poverty is!
Genres: Comedy, Supernatural

Sakura Ichiko’s good fortune has granted her with everything in life including beauty, athleticism, and wealth. However, her fortune comes at a cost—she’s only able to live so lavishly because she subconsciously steals luck from everyone else around her. Recently, Sakura’s abnormal condition has gotten so bad that it’s attracted the attention of Binboda Momiji, a goddess of poverty. After seeing a picture of the fortunate Sakura, the jealous Binboda has only one goal in mind—to take all of Sakura’s luck and restore the balance of everyone’s fortune.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top comedy and action that puts the main characters in unrealistically crazy scenarios.
– Parodies other popular shows/media.
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Jokes sometimes break the 4th wall.
– A bit of focus on character development.

Differences

– Modern day school setting.
– No focus on world-building.
– Almost no serious combat/action scenes



Daily Lives of Highschool Boys


Alternative Names: Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, School

The story follows the entertaining lives of three highschool boys named Tadakuni, Hidenori, and Yoshitake as they’re put through hilarious, but relatable situations involving their eccentric classmates and misfit acquaintances. It’s an enjoyable slice of life comedy series that focuses on developing jokes and crazy scenarios rather than story and character.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top gag comedy.
– Main characters who don’t take themselves seriously and a Shinpachi-like ‘straight-man.’
– Many of the same voice actors (Gintoki, Okita, Katsura, Sa-chan etc.).
– Only hints of romance used sparingly as jokes.

Differences

– Modern day high school setting.
– No focus on world-building.
– Protagonist isn’t physically strong. No serious/emotional arcs like Gintama, and no combat/action scenes.



Arakawa Under the Bridge


Genres: Comedy, Romance

Kou Ichinomiya is a prideful, but honest university student who was born to a wealthy businessman. However, he doesn’t let his privileged life distract him from his one golden rule: never be indebted to another person. Ever since he was little, Kou was able to follow this rule by accomplishing everything himself. That is until one day, a girl named Nino saves his life when he accidentally falls into the Arakawa River and almost drowns, giving him his first and only debt.

Similarities:

– Over-the-top gag comedy that puts a cast of misfits in unrealistically crazy scenarios.
– Main characters who don’t take themselves seriously and a Shinpachi-like ‘straight-man’ protagonist.
– Has emotional/somber scenes.
– Some of the same voice actors (Gintoki, Takasugi, etc.).
– Quite a bit of character development.

Differences

– Modern day setting.
– No focus on world-building.
– Protagonist is not physically strong. Almost no serious arcs similar to Gintama, and minimal combat/action scenes.
– Story has a focus on romance.



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Anime

10 Anime like Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

10 Anime like Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)

Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)’s anime is everything we’d hoped it to be. It’s a fantastic adaptation of the manga and a great seasonal addition to the current list of popular long-running anime series. With season three just around the corner, here are 10 other similar anime to watch while you wait. As always, you can watch this article’s video summary here.


Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign


Alternative Names: Owari no Seraph, Seraph of the End
Genres: Action, Military, Supernatural, Drama

Similarities: After losing his family to vampires, the protagonist becomes set on revenge and joins a military group that focuses on killing such supernatural threats. There’s two main opposing sides to this story with the main characters at the centerfold of the war. It’s a very familiar premise to Attack on Titan’s, and the first episode really highlights those similarities.

Differences: The story and the world of Seraph of the End is pretty black and white compared to Attack on Titan’s. It’s mostly humans vs vampires without much deep emphasis on the backstory or characterization of the enemies. The show also has an apparent casual feel to it even though it tries to be gritty, as the initial setting of the story is inside a High School and comedy is used much more liberally.


Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress


Alternative Names: Koutetsujou no Kabaneri
Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy

Similarities: In a post-apocalyptic world, mankind is at the mercy of mindless monsters who are drawn to human flesh. The few survivors cower inside walled cities hoping to live their lives in peace. The story follows a protagonist who as a child, experienced the horrors of these monsters firsthand, and now vows to take revenge by killing all of them. Sound familiar? This synopsis can be used for Attack on Titan as well, and since both anime are made by the same studio/director, the overlapping similarities are glaring. However, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is still an enjoyable show in its own right and a great series for anyone looking for a similar dark fantasy anime to Attack on Titan.

Differences: Right off the bat, you’ll probably notice the stark contrast in art. While both shows are gorgeously animated and drawn, the art in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is not as grounded and desaturated as Attack on Titan, but that doesn’t mean the art in either show is any less beautiful. Personally, I think the color palette and tone of the respective shows fit their own narratives and styles.

Kabaneri’s first few episodes introduce characters who are quite different than the cast of Attack on Titan. The protagonist of Kabaneri is a bit of a geek and a much lighter contrast to the hot-headed Eren Yaeger. Although their initial goals of killing monsters are similar, they eventually branch out into different, but more mature main characters.


Deadman Wonderland


Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Horror

Similarities: Deadman Wonderland is an extremely bloody and violent action anime featuring a young protagonist who is suddenly thrown into a dark and unjust world. In this world, he acquires an unfamiliar, but powerful ability and uses it to survive. It’s a familiar theme that follows the maturing of a naive boy in a harsh world where his actions and choices are judged with real consequences.

Differences: Set in contrasting time periods with completely different supernatural settings and stories, the two anime have much more differences than similarities. Deadman Wonderland takes place in a futuristic prison where the main characters have to compete in gladiator-styled death battles using their unique blood-bending abilities. The story focuses more on the betrayal and hopelessness of human conflicts rather than the humans vs. gigantic monsters theme from the earlier Attack on Titan episodes. You probably won’t find the expansive world-building of Attack on Titan here, but what you’ll find is an excellent restraint story in a confined setting that is based around a much smaller set of tragic characters.


Claymore


Genres: Action, Adventure, Supernatural, Fantasy

Similarities: Claymore is set in medieval times where humanity lives in constant fear of man-eating demons. Only certain individuals with special equipment and abilities can slay these monsters. The main character is one of these individuals, and the story is her tale of vengeance. It has a familiar dark tone and air of hopelessness that many people love about Attack on Titan. It’s a very serious and mature fantasy where violence, struggle, and revenge play huge parts in the show. So if you are a fan of those dark themes from Attack on Titan, then Claymore will be right down your alley.

Differences: While both shows are story-based action fantasies, Claymore’s story has a much bigger focus on its characters rather than the world. There are memorable instances of world-building, but it’s definitely not as grand or significant as Attack on Titan.

The main protagonist from Claymore is quite mature and starts off almost emotionless. It wasn’t until she meets a kid named Raki that she finally begins to show a bit of humanity. The story mainly focuses on the dynamic between Clare and Raki while Attack on Titan introduces a larger cast of important characters.


Knights of Sidonia


Alternative Names: Sidonia no Kishi
Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi

Similarities: In the distant future where earth is destroyed by gigantic aliens, what’s left of humanity scatters across the galaxy on large habitable ships in order to survive. Like Attack on Titan, the gigantic monsters from Knights of Sidonia also have small weak points. However, it’s extremely difficult to kill one as many of the main characters usually die trying. This series is a dark and cruel reminder of just how fragile humans are, but it also stands as a testament of our tenacity to adapt and survive against all odds.

Differences: Knights of Sidonia is an amazing science fiction anime, but the story happens in completely different time periods and setting than Attack on Titan. It’s a way more futuristic world that relies on science fiction instead of fantasy. The show’s 3D art and animations might also be a turn off for some people that love the gorgeously predominant 2D style of Attack on Titan.


Tokyo Ghoul


Alternative Names: Tokyo Kushu
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural

Similarities: The two shows both explore a violent world where humans are constantly hunted by monsters. Through a traumatic event, the main character of Tokyo Ghoul becomes one of those monsters and gets thrown into a dark unforgiving environment. There’s a constant emphasis on the complexity of morality, and death is around every corner. The main character faces tough choices, through which he matures mentally as a person and physically as a monster.

Differences: Tokyo Ghoul’s modern-day story follows a loose style, in a sense that the main protagonist doesn’t have an end goal in mind during the beginning. It’s quite different than the early plot of Attack on Titan which is directly influenced by Eren and his vow for revenge. But considering the sudden dramatic shift in lifestyle and settings of the two protagonists, Tokyo Ghoul is a great recommendation for Attack on Titan lovers.


Black Bullet


Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Mystery

Similarities: Black Bullet takes place in a post apocalyptic future where humanity has been driven nearly extinct by giant parasitic creatures known as ‘Gastrea’. The remaining humans are forced to live in small territories behind large walls, and only a select few with special powers are strong enough to fight against these monsters. It’s a very similar premise to Attack on Titan and one that explores a dark story full of action, deaths, and mystery.

Differences: Black Bullet shifts in tone quite a bit; it’s mostly a serious action flick with brutal deaths, but at times it tries to be a light-hearted romantic comedy with fanservice. The show definitely isn’t grounded like Attack on Titan, as apparent by its character design, over-the-top comedic moments, and unrealistic weapons. However, it’s still an enjoyable ‘B movie’ type of anime that follows the same human vs giant creatures premise as Attack on Titan and offers a similar tone of hopelessness during its intense action scenes.


God Eater


Genres: Action, Military, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Similarities: In a futuristic post apocalyptic world where humans are driven to near extinction by giant man-eating monsters known as ‘Aragami’, only a chosen few who are armed with special weapons are able to defend humanity. The protagonist is one of those chosen who, after a traumatic event, vows to kill all the Aragami and protect those that he loves. His story is one that is full of action, drama, and tragedy, a very similar vibe to Eren’s story from Attack on Titan.

Differences: As a sci-fi action fantasy, God Eater doesn’t try too hard to ground itself with realism. Instead, the show takes advantage of its gorgeous art to showcase some of the most incredible and over-the-top action scenes. The protagonist of God Eater prioritizes protecting everyone over destroying the enemies, it’s almost like a reverse parallel of Eren whose sole priority at the beginning was to kill all the titans. However, don’t expect the same depth of story and world-building as Attack on Titan as God Eater only has 13 episodes and ended with a bit of loose ends.


Parasyte -the maxim-


Alternative Names: Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu, Parasite, Parasitic Beasts, Parasyte
Genres: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological

Similarities: If you are a fan of the premise where a naive protagonist with special powers gets thrown into a harsh and unforgiving world, then you might like Parasyte. It has a dark, bloody, and gritty story with a very familiar main character who goes through similar tragedies and character developments. Overall an enjoyable action drama that delves into some serious questions as well as ideals about ethics and morality.

Differences: Shinichi, the protagonist of Parasyte, gets his right hand taken over by a foreign parasitic alien who he calls ‘Migi’. The contrast between the main character and the monster on his right hand create some really fun and dynamic dialogues, but the show’s constant focus around a small set of characters is quite a difference from the large cast of Attack on Titan. Unlike Eren, Shinichi also has an active love interest, and romance does play a big part in the story.


Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood


Alternative Names: FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy

Similarities: A gritty fantasy military series that excels in story, character, and world building. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not as dark or bloody as Attack on Titan, but its complex storylines, realistic characters, and deep philosophical themes give off the same vibe. Like Attack on Titan, it also manages to develop an expansive and believable world that’s full of interesting characters and intriguing mysteries. There’s minimal romance, and the show focuses on both action as well as dialogue.

Differences: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is more lighter in tone and story than Attack on Titan. Humanity isn’t actively hunted by man-eating creatures, and there’s really no large threats to the general population besides enemy nations. The world is definitely not as tragic and hopeless, though tragedy and hopelessness are sometimes part of the protagonist’s life. The show is centered around two brothers whose goal in life is to recover what they’ve lost. You won’t really find the team-based main cast of characters that Attack on Titan offers, but what you’ll find are deep backstories and dialogues of all the other characters.


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Anime

The 18 Best Anime to Watch on Netflix Right Now (2018)

Best Anime to Watch on Netflix

Netflix has been updating their anime catalog recently and they plan on following this trend by adding 30 more new shows this year. With so many good anime on Netflix, I’ve handpicked the best ones you can watch right now and broken them down by genres. Keep in mind that some of these Netflix anime may not be available for regions outside the US.


Action

one punch man netflix anime

One Punch Man

Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life

Animated by the studio giant Madhouse and written by ONE, One Punch Man is an action-packed comedy that does not fail to entertain. The story follows the bizarre adventures of an almost invincible hero called Saitama, whose ultimate goal is to find a worthy opponent. It’s a surprisingly solid parody on the superhero genre and one of the best anime featuring an overpowered main character to date. One Punch Man sets out to entertain, and it definitely delivers with its well-choreographed action and fantastic animation. One of my favorite action anime on Netflix, One Punch Man is a show that avid anime watchers as well as new anime watchers can both enjoy.

Story: 7 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 9.5


rurouni kenshin netflix anime

Rurouni Kenshin

Alternative Names: Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan, Samurai X
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Historical, Romance

Rurouni Kenshin takes place during the Meiji Era of Japan and follows the life of Kenshin Himura, a friendly wandering samurai who hides a dark and bloody past. It’s a great classic from the 1990s that people grew up on and an amazing gateway anime for many. While the animation is a bit dated, Rurouni Kenshin still holds up to this day, it’s a testament to how incredibly enjoyable the story, action, and characters are.

Story: 8.5 | Art: 7 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 8 | Enjoyment: 9


kill la kill netflix anime

Kill la Kill

Genres: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, School

Funny, stylish, and at times bizarre, Kill la Kill is the first televised anime series created under the newly formed Studio Trigger. This over-the-top action comedy is full of fanservice, provocative themes, and exaggerated animation; it’s an unpredictable spectacle that puts style over substance and entertainment over narrative. Overall it’s an absurdly fun series to watch and one of the most flashy action anime on Netflix.

Story: 7 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 8.5



Comedy

disastrous life of saiki netflix anime

The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

Alternative Names: Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan (TV), Saiki Kusuo no Psi Nan
Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural, School

Recently added to Netflix, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is a collection of short episodic stories starring Kusuo Saiki, an overpowered–but moderately restraint–psychic whose life-goal is to be ordinary and hassle-free. However, Kusuo’s life is far from normal; every day is a more ridiculous scenario and every character he meets is a hilarious oddity. One thing I love about the show is how both the Japanese and English voice actors really nail the main character’s lazy personality. Kusuo’s deadpan reactions and deliveries are great compliments to the everyday absurdities that he has to deal with and a hilarious contrast to the quirky side-characters he meets. It’s an extremely funny series, and frankly, one of the most underrated comedy anime on Netflix.

Story: 7 | Art: 8 | Characters: 8.5 | Sound: 8 | Enjoyment: 9.5


the devil is a part-timer netflix anime

The Devil is a Part-Timer!

Alternative Names: Hataraku Maou-sama!
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy

What happens when the demon lord of a fantasy world is stripped of his powers and thrown into the real world? Hilarity ensues. The Devil is a Part-Timer! is a situational comedy that forces larger-than-life fantasy characters into everyday mundane activities like working, paying rent, and climbing the corporate ladder. It’s a fun character-driven anime with an interesting plot and relatable humor, a must-watch for anyone into comedy.

Story: 7.5 | Art: 8 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 7.5 | Enjoyment: 9


silver spoon netflix anime

Silver Spoon

Alternative Names: Gin no Saji
Genres: Comedy, School, Slice of Life

Silver Spoon is a wonderful coming-of-age comedy created by Hiromu Arakawa, the brilliant mind behind the internationally hit series Fullmetal Alchemist. The story follows Yuugo Hachiken, a shy city-boy who enrolls in an agricultural school while having no prior experience in farming. It’s a light-hearted and heartwarming anime, but it’s definitely not afraid to leave the comfort-zone of humor to explore some somber and realistic themes. I highly recommend this for anyone looking for a more down-to-earth slice of life comedy.

Story: 8 | Art: 8 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 7 | Enjoyment: 9



Fantasy

fullmetal alchemist brotherhood netflix anime

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Alternative Names: FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy

“In order to obtain something, something of equal value must be lost.”
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an epic fantasy anime that explores the different sides of morality and consequence: the good and bad, the right and wrong, the give and take. The show gets an enormous amount of praise from the community for its incredible story, fantastic characters, and expansive world-building. Currently ranked #1 on my fantasy anime list, Fullmetal Alchemist is one of (if not) the best anime series ever made.

Story: 8.5 | Art: 9 | Characters: 9 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 10


attack on titan netflix anime

Attack on Titan

Alternative Names: Shingeki no Kyojin, AoT
Genres: Action, Military, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

After experiencing the horrors caused by man-eating titans, a boy named Eren Yeager swears revenge against them.

Attack on Titan is an epic cinematic fantasy layered with dynamic fight scenes, excellent storytelling, and vast world-building. It’s an engaging series and a potential masterpiece that focuses on character and story development. Not only that, there’s underlying political conflicts and countless thrilling mysteries that’ll keep you on the edge of your seats. Attack on Titan is an absolutely fantastic series for anyone looking for a darker fantasy. It’s also a mainstream popular show and a great introduction to anime for new watchers.

Story: 8 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9.5


little witch academia netflix anime

Little Witch Academia

Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, School

A young girl without any magical background enrolls in a witchcraft school and aims to become a great witch.

Little Witch Academia is a light-hearted story full of witches and wizardry; a magical journey of comedy, friendship, and adventure. It’s a charming fantasy series for all ages and a throwback to a simpler time in anime where friendship is prevalent and dreams are achieved through determination.

Story: 7.5 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 8 | Enjoyment: 8


fate zero netflix anime

Fate/Zero

Genres: Action, Magic, Fantasy

Seven mages, along with their combat familiars, are pitted against each other in a secret battle royale. The victor is able to obtain the Holy Grail, a mystical relic that can grant any wish.

Fate/Zero is the prequel to Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and the first anime you should watch in the Fate series. It’s arguably one the best animated fantasy series ever and a great introduction to an expansive anime franchise.

Story: 7.5 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8.5 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 8.5


mushishi netflix anime

Mushi-shi

Alternative Names: Mushishi
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Slice of Life

Mushi is a supernatural spirit-like being that’s more primitive in design and nature than any other creatures. Only a few humans, known as Mushishi, are capable of seeing them. The story follows Ginko, one of those Mushishi who travels from place to place hoping to investigate and understand these creatures.

Mushi-shi is a supernatural fantasy series that’s surprisingly down-to-earth. This is a fantasy anime that excels in atmosphere; it’s a beautiful journey full of breathtaking art, incredible music, and imaginative stories. Unfortunately, only season two is on Netflix, but since Mushi-shi is episodic, you don’t need to watch the first season to enjoy the new one.

Story: 9 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 8.5



Mature/Psychological

death note netflix anime

Death Note

Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Thriller

A highschool prodigy named Light Yagami stumbles upon a mysterious notebook that seemingly fell from the sky. He opens the cover and finds a set of instructional messages, one of which reads, “The human whose name is written in this notebook shall die.” After confirming the legitimacy of the notebook, he begins to write the names of convicted criminals inside, hoping to enforce his justice on the world and cleansing it of evil.

Death Note is one of the most popular anime ever made and a must-watch classic for anyone that enjoys a good psychological thriller. It’s got a mature story with strong dramatic twists and a morally grey main character that’s not your average protagonist.

Story: 8 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9


castlevania netflix anime

Castlevania

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Set in the medieval times, Castlevania follows the story of a vampire hunter named Victor Belmont through a gruesome tale full of blood, gore, monsters, and deaths.

A short and sweet dark fantasy series that harkens back to the old castlevania games. It’s a great introduction to a mature franchise and a refreshing assurance that video game anime adaptations can be good.

Story: 7 | Art: 8 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 8.5


ajin demi-human netflix anime

Ajin

Alternative Names: Ajin: Demi-Human
Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Supernatural

Ajins are immortal humans with the ability to summon—and potentially command—invisible superhuman entities. They are considered extremely dangerous by the government and are actively hunted down.

Ajin is an action-filled supernatural anime that features light horror elements and enjoyable antagonists. Although the story has some pacing issues and the animation can be lacking at times, Ajin is still quite a fantastic series with a great soundtrack and entertaining storylines.

Story: 7.5 | Art: 7 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 8


devilman crybaby netflix anime

Devilman Crybaby

Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural

Devilman: Crybaby is an adaption of a classic 1970s horror manga under a similar name. It features a morally unrestrained and emotionally wrenching story that helped influence many other brutally dark shows such as Evangelion and Berserk. Overall a delightfully disturbing anime that you have to be mentally prepared for, Devilman: Crybaby is a violently escalating ride with no breaks.

Story: 7 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 7 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 8


Romance

your lie in april netflix anime

Your Lie in April

Alternative Names: Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
Genres: Drama, Music, Romance, School

A powerful romance series with breathtaking art, phenomenal soundtrack, and enjoyable characters. While it may seem like a heartwarming anime on the surface, Your Lie in April tackles realistically heavy—but sometimes overdramatic—problems that revolves around growing up and falling in love. It’s a visually stunning and emotionally captivating series that’ll put butterflies in your stomach and tears in your eyes. A must-watch for anyone that’s into drama, romance, or music.

Story: 8 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8.5 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9


Science Fiction

gurren lagann netflix anime

Gurren Lagann

Alternative Names: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Heavenly Breakthrough Gurren Lagann
Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Mecha, Sci-Fi

Two kids who know nothing but the underground village they grew up in are given a glimpse of the sky.

Gurren Lagann is an all around extraordinary anime with an over-the-top story featuring a wide cast of larger-than-life characters. It’s an absolutely inspiring tale that starts small and ends in an epic fashion. One of the few anime that I consider a masterpiece, Gurren Lagann is a must-watch on Netflix.

Story: 8 | Art: 9 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 8.5


knights of sidonia netflix anime

Knights of Sidonia

Alternative Names: Sidonia no Kishi
Genres: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi

In the distant future where earth is destroyed by massive shape-shifting aliens, what’s left of humanity scatters across the galaxy on gigantic seed ships in order to survive.

This series is a dark, cruel reminder of just how small and fragile humans are in the limitless immensity of space. But it also stands as a testament of our tenacity to adapt and survive against all odds. Knights of Sidonia is an amazing science fiction anime with a tense story backed by a phenomenal setting. It’s a constant thriller with entertaining mech fights and a great show to binge watch on Netflix.

Story: 8 | Art: 7 | Characters: 7.5 | Sound: 8 | Enjoyment: 8

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Anime

Top 10 Best Fantasy Anime Series Before 2018

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Fantasy is a type of fiction that allows the viewer to experience characters starring in remarkable stories set in different, but familiar worlds. It offers fun escapism and anime is one of the best mediums to showcase those fantastical characters, stories, and worlds in motion. There are so many good fantasy anime out, so it was extra hard picking only the best 10 for this list. I had to narrow it down by excluding movies so expect a separate article for those. You can watch the video summary here.


natsume yuujinchou fantasy anime season 1 cover

10. Natsume’s Book of Friends

Alternative Names: Natsume Yuujinchou, Natsume Yujincho
Genres: Slice of Life, Supernatural, Drama, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, DVD

Plot Summary: Takashi Natsume has always been able to see Youkai (spirits), but he never knew why, that is until one day he inherits a strange book from his late grandmother and finally finds out the reason that spirits are drawn to him. It turns out his grandmother has collected the names of hundreds of spirits into her book as a binding contract and the spirits who want their names back would often mistake Natsume for his grandmother. After finding out the true nature of the book, Natsume promises to free all the names that it contains.

Review: Natsume’s Book of Friends is a slice of life fantasy that highlights the adventures of Takashi Natsume and his spirit-cat bodyguard who he calls Nyanko-sensei. The show follows an episodic formula that features a different Youkai (spirit) every episode. There isn’t much world building as most of the story center around Natsume’s home or in a secluded forest. However, the imaginative and sometimes terrifying spirit designs make up for it. Every episode with a different spirit is like a small new chapter in a grand fantasy book. Although this formula can be straightforward and repetitive at times, the emotional self contained stories and the dynamic character interactions make this anime fantastic. There’s a lot of tears to be shed, both happy and sad. It’s mainly happy tears though, Natsume’s Book of Friends is a really heartwarming fantasy anime.

Story: 8 | Art: 8 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 7.5 | Enjoyment: 9



 fate zero fantasy anime season 1 cover

9. Fate/Zero

Genres: Action, Magic, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu, Netflix, DVD

Plot Summary: Seven mages with the ability to summon a combat familiar are chosen to participate in a secret battle royale. The victor is able to obtain the Holy Grail, a mystical relic that can grant any wish.

Review: Fate/Zero is a prequel to Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works and the first anime you should watch in the Fate series. It’s a great introduction to an epic fantasy that details the conflicts of different mages and their powerful Servants through many wars, generations, and timelines. On the surface, Fate/Zero might seem like an action-orientated battle royale, but it’s actually a really dialogue heavy anime that focuses more on character interaction and emotional conflicts. Don’t get me wrong though, the well choreographed and animated action scenes are extremely enjoyable, and there’s quite a bit of it, but the backstories and goals of the diverse characters are what keeps the story entertaining.

Story: 7.5 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8.5 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 8



mononoke fantasy anime season 1 cover

8. Mononoke

Genres: Mystery, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Amazon Video, DVD

Plot Summary: A mysterious man known only as the “Medicine Seller”, travels across feudal Japan to exorcise mononoke, a type of malevolent spirit. However, in order to perform the exorcism, he must first learn the mononoke’s Form, Truth, and Reason, only then can he draw his sword to slay them.

Review: Mononoke is a collection of 5 different horror stories, with each featuring a different supernatural spirit and setting. At first glance, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell that Mononoke is a horror anime, let alone a psychological horror. Its brightly distorted setting is surreal and bizarre to say the least, but the colorful blend of saturated art and exaggerated animation is beautiful to see in motion. Don’t let the cover fool you though, Mononoke’s vivid surreal art is completely different from its dark story and mature themes. It might sound like a contradiction and a weird recipe for disaster, but somehow the contrasting art and story blends perfectly. I highly recommend this dark fantasy for anyone that loves psychological horror, especially if you want to watch something new and experience something different.

Story: 8 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 8 | Enjoyment: 8.5



berserk fantasy anime season 1 cover

7. Berserk

Alternative Names: Kenpuu Denki Berserk
Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Military, Romance, Supernatural
Where to Watch: DVD

Plot Summary: Born from the corpse of his lynched mother and left to die in a pool of blood, the mercenary known as Guts knows only the battlefield as his way of survival. Talented for his skills and ferocity, he leads a path of carnage and bloodshed. Having seen his ability on the battlefield, a mercenary group called the Band of Hawks recruits him. Finally finding a place in the world, Guts begins to find purpose in life as well.

Review: The first thing I have to mention is that this is mostly a review of the 1997 Kenpuu Denki Berserk anime as the new 2016 sequel is a huge drop in quality from the original. Even though the new 2016 Berserk follows the manga closely, the anime’s sporadic camera movements and rigid cgi animation make it not so enjoyable to watch. However, the world building of the twisted Berserk universe and the stories of the resilient characters are so horrifyingly interesting that it would be a crime not to put this series as a whole into the top 10 list.

The second thing I want to talk about is how dark this anime is. If you read the plot summary then you know this anime is not for the faint of heart. Berserk tells a gritty story that is full of blood, gore, nudity, and death. It’s a somber tale that follows Guts’s constant struggles through the unforgiving world of Berserk, but it’s also an engaging tale. The dramatic story will keep you at the edge of your seats and the fleshed out characters will make you emotional.

When the universe seems to go against you and you’ve lost everything, what are you still living for? That’s the main question that Berserk tries to answer. It’s an emotional bittersweet answer full of love, hate, and guilt. Even though the world looks grim and the future seem out of reach, the protagonist struggles on for the sake of these emotions. There’s so much character and world development in Berserk that the story is not really about the destination, but the journey. A journey full of action, adventure, drama, and twists. It’s one of the most engaging stories ever told.

Story: 9.5 | Art: 7 | Characters: 8.5 | Sound: 7.5 | Enjoyment: 9.5



guardian of the spirit fantasy anime season 1 cover

6. Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Alternative Names: Seirei no Moribito, Guardian of the Sacred Spirit
Genres: Action, Adventure, Historical, Fantasy
Where to Watch: VIZ, Hulu

Plot Summary: The Star Readers of the Shin Yogo Empire predicts a catastrophic drought will cause a widespread famine. They say the first emperor avoided this drought by slaying the water demon. However, the current demon resides inside the body of the new emperor’s son, Prince Chagum. The story follows a mercenary named Balsa, who was tasked by the Prince’s mother to protect her son from assassins of the empire.

Review: Guardian of the Spirit is based on Nahoko Uehashi’s popular Moribito novel series and animated by Production I.G. It’s got gorgeous animation and an inspiring story that stayed true to the source, a criminally underrated show for how polished the production was.

This anime aired in 2007, but you probably wouldn’t be able to tell from it’s fantastic animated and well choreographed fight scenes. Not only do the action and drama look fluid, they feel realistic. It’s a grounded fantasy that’s emotionally engaging and visually captivating throughout all 26 episodes. The main character, Balsa, especially is a genuinely wonderful person to watch. Her struggles are moving and her personality is relatable. In fact, all the characters feel real, even the enemies are well-developed with their own goals and backstories. There’s no clear antagonist either, the enemies in this show are often just misguided or misinformed. Not all conflicts are resolved through violence and this show just oozes maturity. However, that means the anime can be slow at times and the ending might feel anticlimactic. Those are small problems that can be overlooked by its great cast of characters, breathtaking animation, incredible music, and engaging story. It’s one of my favorite anime, but it’s unfortunately underrated. Please go check out Guardian of the Spirit if you love a mature and grounded fantasy anime.

Story: 8 | Art: 8 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9



mushishi fantasy anime season 1 cover

5. Mushishi

Alternative Names: Mushi-Shi
Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Slice of Life
Where to Watch: YouTube, Crunchyroll, Amazon Video, DVD

Plot Summary: Mushi is a term used to describe supernatural spirit-like beings that are more primitive in design and nature than any other creatures. Only a few humans, known as Mushishi, are capable of seeing these entities. Ginko is one of those Mushishi who travels from place to place hoping to investigate and understand these creatures.

Review: Mushishi is an episodic supernatural fantasy anime that’s surprisingly down-to-earth. Each episode features a new character and a different story. Unfortunately, that means not all the character get much screen-time for development. Mushishi is an anime that focuses on the overall journey rather than any particular person or event. It’s a relaxing mature fantasy that excels in building meaningful atmosphere and enjoyable stories. And even though Mushishi doesn’t have much action or character building, it’s still an engaging and entertaining anime throughout. To me, it’s one of those great classic shows that are watched and talked about even after decades.

Story: 9 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 8.5



 attack on titan fantasy anime season 1 cover

4. Attack on Titan

Alternative Names: Shingeki no Kyojin, AoT
Genres: Action, Military, Drama, Fantasy, Thriller
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Video, Blu-ray

Plot Summary: Several hundred years ago, humans were almost completely exterminated by man-eating titans. The remaining few built extremely high, 50 meter walls to keep the titans out. Those walls have kept the people safe for hundreds of years, that is until a 60 meter tall colossal titan shows up in front of the outer wall and breaks it open. Countless titans storm the city and centuries of peace was shattered in a single moment. The story follows Eren Yeager, a boy who was behind the broken wall on that fateful day. After witnessing the horrific tragedies caused by the titans, he vows to eradicate every single one of them from existence.

Review: Attack on Titan is one of those mainstream shows that you can bring up even with casual anime watchers, but why is it so popular? The simple answer is that it’s just that good. The anime’s excellent storytelling, dynamic fight scenes, and vast world-building are all presented through incredible animations and breathtaking soundtracks. It’s so great to see such a promising epic fantasy given the care it needs to become something special. The first episode alone is enough to cement this show as one of my favorite fantasy anime. Attack on Titan is a solid introduction for anyone that likes action. However, don’t expect constant battles because the show also focuses on deep political and psychological elements. For some it could mean slow episodes, but for others that enjoy dialogue it’s a treat. Also keep in mind that this show is full of gore, violence, and mature themes so it’s definitely not for everybody, but if you can stomach that and you love a good action fantasy with deep storylines then definitely check out Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin).

Story: 8 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9



made in abyss fantasy anime season 1 cover

3. Made in Abyss

Genres: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Psychological, Drama, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Amazon Video

Plot Summary: The Abyss is a multilayered chasm that extends to the depth of the earth. It’s a place of mystery, discovery, and unimaginable horrors. Adventurers looking to solve the mystery of the giant hole would delve deep into the Abyss, knowing full well of its dangers and risks. One particular orphaned cave diver named Riko hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and explore the lowest layer of the Abyss.

Review: Made in Abyss has one of the best first episodes of any anime. With the breathtaking music and gorgeous animation highlighting the mysterious story and loveable characters, the first episode really sets up the show to be an epic fantasy adventure. Don’t be fooled by the young characters and the show’s stylized designs, Made in Abyss is definitely an anime for adults. Even though most of the show features the light-hearted adventures and character interactions of adorable children, the anime does explore mature psychological themes and the story does introduce horrifying monsters. From light adventures and fantasy to dark psychological themes, the show has got a bit of everything. It’s definitely my favorite anime this season and having read the manga, I can safely say that there are deeper, darker, and even more interesting stories to be told.

Story: 8.5 | Art: 9 | Characters: 8 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 9.5



hunter x hunter fantasy anime cover

2. Hunter x Hunter (2011)

Alternative Names: Hunter x Hunter, HxH (2011)
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu, Amazon Video, Blu-ray

Plot Summary: Hunter x Hunter is set in a fictional world full of dangerous creatures and people with superhuman abilities. In this world, the exceptionally strong become Hunters, licensed professionals who specialize in dangerous tasks such as treasure hunting, exploring uncharted territories, or capturing criminals. However, the process for becoming a Hunter is extremely rigorous and challenging. The story follows a 12 year old boy named Gon Freecss whose life goal is to become a Hunter following his dads footsteps.

Review: Out of the hundreds of anime produced in a year, only one or two are masterpieces. Personally, I think Hunter x Hunter (2011) goes even beyond that and is currently one of the best anime this decade has to offer. Hunter x Hunter (2011) is a reboot of the original cult classic anime from 1999. The new remake covers more of the story and offers drastic improvements in the animation department. You don’t need to watch the original to see this one because the 2011 show also starts from the beginning.

The story, world-building, and characters are what makes this anime so special. Despite having 148 episodes, Hunter x Hunter (2011) manages to pace itself extremely well. Unlike other popular long running anime series like One Piece, Bleach, or Naruto, Hunter x Hunter (2011) follows the source material closely and doesn’t add unnecessary padding to the episodes. There’s no drop off in animation quality and the story continues to impress. So much care was given to creating such a believable and interesting fantasy world. Seeing this world presented through such beautiful art and animation really brings it to life. Although the story and world-building make Hunter x Hunter a great fantasy anime, the characters are what elevate the show to be a masterpiece. The main cast might seem like a group of cliche fantasy characters at first, but their well-written backstories, constant developments, and grand overarching goals make them extremely likeable and relatable. All the characters, including the villains, have their own stories to follow. And when the story, world-building, and characters come together, they create something really special.

Hunter x Hunter (2011) is one of my favorite anime of all time. There’s so much development in the story, characters, and world that despite already being a masterpiece, it has the potential to be even more. The only problem is that the show’s story is far from over and the manga is progressing at a snail’s pace, we can only hope that there isn’t anymore hiatus.

Story: 8.5 | Art: 8.5 | Characters: 9.5 | Sound: 8.5 | Enjoyment: 10



fullmetal alchemist brotherhood fantasy anime cover

1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Alternative Names: FMA, FMA Brotherhood, Fullmetal Alchemist (2009), Hagane no Renkinjutsushi
Genres: Action, Military, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Magic, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Netflix, Hulu, Blu-ray/DVD

Plot Summary: When performed skillfully, Alchemy has the ability to turn lead into gold. However, Alchemy is not a form of magic that produces miracles, it’s an advance scientific technique that’s governed by the Law of Equivalent Exchange: “In order to obtain something, something of equal value must be lost.” It’s a law that the two young brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, fail to acknowledge during their attempt of human transmutation, an act that’s often viewed as taboo in the world of alchemy. As a result of their transgression, Edward loses his left leg and is forced to watch as his brother dissipates before his eyes. Feeling helpless and in a desperation to at least save Alphonse, Edward performs alchemy once more and sacrifices his right arm to bind the soul of his brother to a suit of armor, hoping one day to return him to his original body.

Review: Currently the highest rated show on MyAnimeList and AnimeNewsNetwork, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood gets an enormous amount of praise from the community and is often regarded as the best anime ever made. With how amazing the original story is and how high the production value was, most of the praise is definitely warranted and the number one spot is well-deserved. However, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is not perfect. There are some minor pacing issues and the story can be cliche at times, but despite all of these small criticism, it’s definitely the most complete anime out and the closest to a perfect series.

Unlike the original 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist anime series, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has no fillers and follows the manga more closely. It offers a dark and gritty story full of action, drama, and adventure, a surprisingly thought-provoking and realistic depiction of an otherwise fantastical world. It’s an incredible story all the way through with the exceptions of a few pacing issues in the beginning episodes, but those are just personal nitpicks and they don’t really make the story any less incredible.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has one of the largest cast of supporting characters in any anime under 64 episodes, it’s a testament to how expansive the world is and how interlocked the characters are. Everyone has their backstories as well as motivations and It’s easy to get attached to these diverse and realistic characters. Not only that, the characters are well-acted and their storylines are great. I find myself emotionally invested in almost every character, including the antagonists.

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is an epic fantasy that I’ve watched several times over, with each time feeling just as emotional and enjoyable as the last. The expansive world-building, realistic characters, incredible story, and inspiring music really elevate this anime above others. It’s one of (if not) the best anime of all time and I plan on re-watching it several more times in the future.

Story: 8.5 | Art: 9 | Characters: 9 | Sound: 9 | Enjoyment: 10


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Anime

8 Anime Like My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia)

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With season 3 just around the corner, here are some anime with similar characters, story, or tone to My Hero Academia.

Mob Psycho 100


Alternative Names: Mob Psycho One Hundred
Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life, Supernatural

Mob Psycho 100 follows a familiar story of a socially awkward middle schooler named Shigeo Kageyama who’s gifted with powerful psychic abilities. As a kid, he learns the dangers of his volatile power and now studies under a con artist named Reigen who promises to teach him ways of controlling it.

At their cores, both shows have very similar main characters and storylines. The two leads, Izuku from My Hero Academia and Shigeo from Mob Psycho 100, are overpowered but uncertainty in their own abilities stops them from going 100% at times. In their respective shows, the two strives to become better persons through sheer hard work. Izuku is constantly going through hell training to control his powers and Shigeo is always seen working out physically even though his psychic powers can do just about everything for him. Both shows are somewhat upbeat in nature with dark storylines. It’s a good mix of slice of life comedy and well animated action.


Hunter x Hunter (2011)


Alternative Names: Hunter x Hunter, HxH (2011)
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Hunter x Hunter is set in a fictional world full of dangerous creatures and people with superhuman abilities. In this world, the exceptionally strong become Hunters, licensed professionals who specialize in dangerous tasks such as treasure hunting, exploring uncharted territories, or capturing criminals. However, the process for becoming a Hunter is extremely rigorous and challenging. The story follows a young boy named Gon Freecss whose life goal is to become a Hunter following his dads footsteps.

Both are action packed anime set in a world full superpowered individuals. Hunter x Hunter also introduces a young protagonist with incredible potential and a colorful cast who all have their own quirks. The narrative features quite a bit of familiar storylines such as training arcs, tournaments, rescue missions, etc.


Eyeshield 21

eye shield 21 anime picture characters cover poster
Alternative Names: Eyeshield21
Genres: Action, Comedy, Sports

Eyeshield 21 is a sports anime that stars a timid, but dedicated young football player named Sena. The story follows the protagonist’s hard and heartfelt journey as a new running back in highschool for a team of misfits called the Devilbats.

It might seem weird to compare My Hero Academia to a sports anime, but in terms of character and story progression, they are absolutely similar. The main characters of both anime start off relatively weak compared to their competitions, but their drive to become better and their willingness to adapt helps them progress as stronger characters throughout the story. It’s not just a straight forward story either. Like My Hero Academia, there are many twists and turns, wins and loses. It’s a motivational anime about success, but more importantly the story highlights the road it takes to get there.


Katekyo Hitman Reborn!

katekyo hitman reborn anime picture characters cover poster
Alternative Names: Reborn!, Home Tutor Hitman Reborn!
Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life

Tsuna is next in line to become the new boss for the Vongola Mafia Family, but he has none of the traits of a mafia boss. In fact he’s clumsy, timid, talentless, and even nicknamed ‘No Good Tsuna’ by his classmates. Katekyo Hitman Reborn! is an underdog story that highlights the main character’s journey towards becoming a stronger, better, and more reliable person. It’s a fantastic action series full of comedy, character development, and superpowers.

Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Has a familiar structure to My Hero Academia where the main character starts off mentally and physically weak, then gradually grows as a person through conflicts and bonds. Both the shows start off relatively slow, which means the first few episodes feel like a slice of life anime in comparison to the later action and drama packed arcs.


Assassination Classroom


Alternative Names: Ansatsu Kyoushitsu
Genres: Action, Comedy, School

One day, the Moon gets suddenly destroyed by a mysterious creature. The culprit, a yellow alien octopus with superhuman abilities, threatens the government that he’ll destroy the Earth as well, unless they make him the teacher of a certain classroom. With how powerful the creature is, the government has no choice but to agree. The alien arrives in classroom 3-E and gives his new students their first assignment—try and kill him within a year or he’ll blow up the Earth.


Tiger & Bunny

tiger and bunny anime cover poster
Alternative Names: Tiger and Bunny, Taibani
Genres: Action, Mystery, Comedy, Sci-Fi

In a universe where people with special powers compete by earning Hero Points to become the next “King of Heroes,” one veteran known as “Wild Tiger” struggles to climb the hero latter due to his stubborn attitude towards others and his inability to connect with his partners. He clings to his traditional view that saving people comes first, while trying to adapt to the new age of Hero Points and popularity rankings.

In terms of the hero setting and abilities, Tiger & Bunny is basically a futuristic version of My Hero Academia. Both anime highlights what it takes to be a hero, whether it be their past motivations or even their future goals. And like My Hero Academia, Tiger & Bunny offers a similar well thought out and enjoyable super hero system that highlights all the different heroes/villains and their abilities. The CG might be off putting for some people, but if you love a good hero show, then check out Tiger & Bunny.


One Punch Man


Genres: Action, Comedy, Slice of Life

An ordinary guy named Saitama trained so hard that he lost his hair in the process and became strong enough that he now defeats all his enemies in one punch. Unfortunately, becoming this strong comes with a downside—he can’t find joy in fights anymore as he just destroys his opponents instantly. Saitama eventually joins the Hero Association to become a certified hero, hoping one day he can find an opponent strong enough to cure his boredom.

Like My Hero Academia, One Punch Man’s overarching story follows the premise of heroes versus villains. Although One Punch Man goes down a more comedic and action oriented route, both anime does a great job highlighting their hero systems and there’s a quite a bit of focus on the overall responsibilities of a hero. If you are craving for a hero anime that doesn’t try to take itself very seriously then definitely check out One Punch Man.


Naruto

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Genres: Action, Comedy, Martial Arts

During a night of full moon, a giant nine-tailed fox attacked Konohagakure, the Hidden Leaf Village, killing all that stood in its way and wreaking havoc wherever it went. It took the sacrifice of the current village leader, the Fourth Hokage, to finally seal the monster inside a newborn baby named Naruto. A few years later, the boy with a monster inside of him struggles to graduate his ninja class, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming of one day becoming the next Hokage.

The characters are extremely similar, the story has familiar arcs, and there’s a lot of emphasis on character/character power development.


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Anime

Top 10 Best Isekai Anime Series (Recommendations)

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The word isekai means another world. There’s been a huge growth in isekai manga over the past few years and most of them are many chapters in. As a result, some already have enough material for an anime adaptation. Here’s my favorite 10 isekai anime that came out before 2018.


problem children are coming from another world aren't they? isekai anime poster

10. Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They?

Alternate Names: Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?
Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Blu-ray/DVD

Three psychically gifted teenagers who are bored with their current mundane life are summoned to a new world and given the opportunity to win in dangerous games using their abilities.
Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren’t They? caters to those that love escapist anime, especially one with an overpowered main character. Everything about this isekai anime is over the top, in a good way; fights often feature gigantic enemies, story is extremely fast pace, and characters all have their unique personalities. However, most of the fights are one sided and the overall story/world-building isn’t too deep. Nevertheless, Problem Children is a fun action isekai anime that offers an enjoyable ride all the way to the end.


vision of escaflowne isekai anime poster

9. The Vision of Escaflowne

Alternate Names: Tenkuu no Escaflowne
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Fantasy, Mecha
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Amazon Video, Blu-ray/DVD

Hitomi, a highschool girl with an ability of accurate fortune telling, gets transported to a mysterious world where both the moon and the earth can be seen from the sky. In this new world, Hitomi meets the prince of Fanelia and gets engulfed in their war of political and power struggle.

Aired in 1996, The Vision of Escaflowne is one of the oldest isekai anime and one of the only isekai to feature mechs. And while some of the art may look dated, the mech fights are quite enjoyable to watch as the animation and choreography still hold up to this day. It’s a highly produced isekai fantasy with an engaging story and expansive world-building. The only problem is some pacing issues in the latter half of the anime, but the 26 episode series manages to wrap up well in the end. It’s got great character progression, detailed fight scenes that are ahead of its time, and an amazing soundtrack. The Vision of Escaflowne is an anime that was ahead of its time.


the devil is a part timer isekai anime poster

8. The Devil is a Part-Timer!

Alternate Names: Hataraku Maou-sama!
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Amazon Video, Blu-ray/DVD

In The Devil is a Part-Timer!, the main character, Sadao Maou, is previously Demon Lord Satan of a different world. During his conquest of that world he is stopped by the hero, Emilia, and forced to retreat into a new world using a dimensional portal. However, the portal takes him to modern day Tokyo and he is stripped of almost all his powers. He assumes the guise of a human named Sadao Maou and starts working at a local fast food restaurant called MgRonald. Unsatisfied with his current position, he vows to climb the corporate ladder and take over the earth, one satisfied customer at a time.

Some people wouldn’t consider The Devil is a Part-Timer! to be an isekai anime because it’s basically a reversed one, but it’s got all the right aspects of a great isekai comedy. It’s enjoyable watching the main character adapt to a new setting and experiencing the different character interactions that arise from it. The two main characters, Sadao and Emilia are polar opposites; they have opposing goals, ideals, and personalities, which makes the character interactions between them really fun and comedic. However, this anime is not just comedy, there’s also hints of romance and some great action scenes. The Devil is a Part-Timer! is not really about character progression, deep storylines, or even romance, so don’t go in and expect too much. Though if you love comedy, this isekai anime is outrageously funny and enjoyable to watch.


now then here there isekai anime poster

7. Now and Then, Here and There

Alternate Names: Ima, Soko ni Iru Boku
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Military, Sci-Fi
Where to Watch: DVD

On a fated day, the main character, Shu, finds a mysterious blue-haired girl named Lala-Ru on top of a smokestack. He tries to talk with her, but suddenly futuristic machines teleport next to them and kidnaps the girl. Shu jumps in to save her, but fails and gets transported to a new dystopian desert world.

Now and Then, Here and There is a very old isekai anime from 1999. The animation may be a little dated, but the story is solid and the music is amazing. Most of the story is quite dark and the anime brings up some disturbing themes. It can be difficult to watch at times, but don’t let that discourage you. It’s an emotional rollercoaster watching all the characters experience escalating danger and deeper misery. This anime is not for the lighthearted, the world is depressing, the story is tragic, and overall it’s just a heavy anime to watch. However, this anime does appeal to emotions and at the end of the day, Now and Then, Here and There is a great solemn anime that makes you contemplate for a while after completing.


overlord isekai anime poster

6. Overlord

Alternate Names: オーバーロード
Genres: Action, Adventure, Game, Fantasy, Magic
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, Blu-ray/DVD

Overlord is an enjoyable action packed, fantasy adventure isekai featuring a thought out MMO system and an overpowered main character. Overlord follows a familiar isekai plot where the main character becomes stuck in a video game. However, unlike most of the other stuck in a video game isekai anime, Overlord features an overpowered lawful evil/true neutral main character called Momonga. This adds another layer to the story, whereas a normal isekai main character will do things like a standard protagonist, Momonga will do things his way due to loose morals and overwhelming power. Overlord is also full of action and references to MMO mechanics so it’s definitely a fun time if you are into isekai and MMORPGs.


saga of tanya the evil isekai anime poster

5. Saga of Tanya the Evil

Alternate Names: Youjo Senki, The Military Chronicles of a Little Girl
Genres: Military, Magic
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll,

When an atheist Japanese salaryman was pushed into an oncoming train, time stops and a being who claims to be god shows up to question his religious beliefs. Unsatisfied with the main character’s answers, the supposed god sends him to a new war-torn world as a baby girl, punishment for not believing in him as god. With a plot like this, it was quite a surprise to find how enjoyable the anime turned out to be. The main character, Tanya, isn’t exactly main character material. She thinks and acts in order to better herself without much ethical obligations. However, she does progress as a character and her actions do change, a little. The anime is set in a gritty World War II type world, but a key difference is the use of magic in warfare. The fights are mostly in military formations and drama is usually political. Don’t let the weird plot dissuade you from this great isekai anime.


log horizon isekai anime poster

4. Log Horizon

Genres: Action, Adventure, Game, Magic, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu, Blu-ray/DVD

The main character, Shiroe, along with thousands of others are teleported to an MMORPG called Elder Tales, right after the game’s latest update. As a veteran of the game, Shiroe immediately sets out to explore this familiar yet very different setting. Unable to logout, Shiroe must learn to live, fight, and even lead others in this fantasy MMORPG world.

There are so many stuck in video game anime out, but Log Horizon manages to top that list with its well thought out mmo mechanics, competent main character, and varied economic/political undertones. There’s a lot of callbacks to MMORPG mechanics such as everyone’s formation in a party and their respective roles as healers, dps, or tanks. That’s just one example of many where this anime references a MMO game really well. If you love MMORPG or isekai then this anime is a treat to watch.


no game no life isekai anime poster

3. No Game No Life

Alternate Names: NGNL
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Game
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, Hulu, Blu-ray/DVD

In No Game No Life, two siblings, Sora and Shiro, get summoned to a new world where playing high stake games become the deciding factor to all conflicts. In this world governed by games, the two main characters use their wits to try and defeat all sixteen different races/factions of Disboard in order to challenge its current god, Tet, to a final game.

No Game No Life is a fun show that focuses on the contrasting personalities of the two siblings and their grand overarching story where the two will eventually challenge a god. It’s an underdog story, but the underdog always wins. If you are into that and fanservice then check out No Game No Life and its movie.


konosuba Kono Subarashii isekai anime poster

2. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

Alternate Names: Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!, Konosuba
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll

After an embarrassing death, the main character Kazuma Satou was given a choice of either going to heaven or starting life anew in a different world. Kazuma chooses the latter then gets transported to game-like fantasy world and given the task of defeating the demon king.

The characters of KonoSuba are all extreme individuals in some respect and KonoSuba is a comedy that excels in fun ridiculousness through these exaggerated characters. There’s not much world building, but the adventures that Kazuma goes on are still extremely enjoyable, mainly because of the different character interactions we get from them. It’s basically like watching a dysfunctional party in a RPG trying to get work done. I highly recommend this if you are into comedy.


rezero isekai anime poster

1. Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-

Alternate Names: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu, Re: Life in a different world from zero, ReZero
Genres: Psychological, Drama, Thriller, Fantasy
Where to Watch: Crunchyroll, DVD

Re:Zero took the internet by storm in 2016 and for a good reason too. It’s got memorable characters, a dark storyline, terrifying antagonists, and everything’s presented through amazing animation.

After buying groceries, the main character, Subaru Natsuki, gets suddenly transported to a new fantasy world. In this world, he gets sent back to a checkpoint everytime he dies. Although it sounds great to have the ability to respawn, Subaru is constantly dying over and over again trying to save the one he loves, Emilia. As he finds out more about the world he’s in and the people he’s around, every death becomes a more gruesome ending and every life a more morbid twist. Re:Zero is great if you love the idea of a physiological drama in a fantasy world. There are light hearted moments between characters, but some parts of the the story are pretty dark and it can be hard to watch at times.


Worthwhile Mentions: I know this is a top 10 list, but I just want to mention an isekai anime called The Twelve Kingdoms. It has excellent music, great story, and amazing worldbuilding. It’s actually one of my favorite isekai, but unfortunately it had an abrupt ending and there are some loose ends. Definitely check it out if you love a good fantasy isekai that focuses on adventure and worldbuilding.


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Anime

Science Fiction: Space Opera Anime

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When it comes to anime, science fiction space operas are few and far between, and only a handful are really worth watching. Here are those handful of classic and underrated sci-fi space opera anime.

LoGH

Legend of the Galactic Heroes

Alternate Names: LoGH, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, 銀河英雄伝説

Genres: SciFi, Military, Space, Drama

Considered a classic and a masterpiece by many, LoGH takes place in the distant future in the middle of a century long conflict between the two main factions. The story follows two soldiers, one from each faction, who use their wits to outsmart each other in what could be considered a galactic chess game. Filled with political intrigue and charismatic characters, LoGH is sure to draw you in if you give it a chance. LoGH is based off of the critically acclaimed novels of the same name. In Spring 2018, a new LoGH anime will air under the title The Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Die Neue These, followed by three movies in 2019.

Crest of the Stars

Crest of the Stars

Alternate Names: Seikai no Monshou, 星界の紋章

Genres: Sci-Fi, Military, Space, Action, Romance

Another classic, Crest of the Stars and its sequel series, Banner of the Stars, features a love story in the midst of a conflict between humanity and the Abh Empire. This series, however, brings you under the perspective of humanities invaders, which is certainly a welcome difference from the norm.




Toward the Terra

Toward the Terra

Alternate Names: Terra E, 地球へ

Genres: Sci-Fi, Military, Space, Action, Drama

After humanity colonized space, some have undergone an evolution resulting in the manifestation of extraordinary powers. Normal humans feared and hated this new breed of human, which they called Mu. The Mu aim to go back to humanity’s cradle, Earth, which was left long ago, to live in peace. This anime is fairly underrated, overshadowed by more popular anime that came out during its original airing time. This series is itself a remake of a movie of the same name made in 1980.




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Anime

Similar Anime Movies to Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.)

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Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.) is an emotional coming of age romance film starring two high schoolers, Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana, who learn about each other through body swapping. It’s a deeply moving and beautifully rendered anime movie that’s full of adventure, drama, and mystery.


to the forest of firefly lights movie poster

To the Forest of Firefly Lights

Alternate Names: Hotarubi no Mori e, Into the Forest of Fireflies’ Light, 蛍火の杜へ
Genres: Drama, Romance, Supernatural
Where to Watch/Buy: DVD

If you love a good emotional romance with a bit of supernatural elements like Your Name, you should check out Hotarubi no Mori e. Much like Your Name, the overarching plot and story of Hotarubi no Mori e also centers around romance, but unlike Your Name, this movie abandons the development of supporting characters for a more direct focus on the two main characters. This movie does not feature the body swapping theme shown in Your Name, but time is still a factor in both movies. Without spoiling too much, I will say that this movie is bittersweet so if you are looking for a happy ending like Your Name, you might not find it here. This is also a very short movie compared to Your Name, at less than half the running time of Your Name, Hotarubi no Mori e sits at just under 46 minutes.


the girl who leapt through time movie poster

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time

Alternate Names: Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, The Girl Who Cut Time, 時をかける少女
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
Where to Watch/Buy: Amazon Video, Blu-ray/DVD

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a coming of age drama film that features a bit of slice of life and romance in a school setting. The slice of life parts in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time have a similar feel to the slice of life parts in Your Name. The main character’s casual conversations and small interactions with side characters lead to personal growth. However unlike Your Name, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time does not focus on romance, in fact, it’s so subtle you can get rid of the romance tag all together. Also since body swapping is prevalent in Your Name but not in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, the romance, comedy, and character progressions of the two movies can feel completely different. Nevertheless, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is a great movie and just like Your Name, it explores romance through similar concepts such as the fate of star-crossed lovers and the apprehension of time.


the garden of words movie poster

The Garden of Words

Alternate Names: Kotonoha no Niwa, The Garden of Kotonoha, 言の葉の庭
Genres: Drama, Romance
Where to Watch/Buy: Blu-ray/DVD

The Garden of Words is a bittersweet romance drama by the same director and script writer of Your Name, Makoto Shinkai. You can expect beautiful and breathtaking art similar to Your Name that Shinkai is known for, especially those short scenic shots of just background and environment animation. The story on the other hand, is less dramatic than Your Name. The emotions in Garden of Words is grounded by reality whereas the emotions of Your Name feels like a roller coaster inside a fairytale. And it’s not just the emotional plot that’s different, the supernatural elements that Your Name introduces really separates the two films. In the end, the two anime movies are similar in the regards that they both are a romance drama created by the same director, but differ in story and execution. Also this movie does not focus too much on romance so don’t expect the same type of emotional closure as Your Name.


5 centimeter per second movie poster

5 Centimeters per Second

Alternate Names: Byousoku 5 Centimeter, 秒速5センチメートル
Genres: Drama, Romance
Where to Watch/Buy: Blu-ray/DVD

5 Centimeters per Second is another great romance drama directed by Makoto Shinkai, and like his other movies, the animation is astounding. The story of 5 Centimeters per Second shows the emotional journey of two star-crossed lovers, much like Your Name. However, this movie is more grounded in reality than your name, and without the supernatural elements that Your Name provides, this movie develops slower. 5 Centimeters per Second does follow the main characters from children to adults, but the actual character progression does not feel as strong as Your Name. If you really enjoyed Your Name and don’t mind a more bittersweet and grounded romance movie then definitely watch this.


patema inverted movie poster

Patema Inverted

Alternate Names: Sakasama no Patema, サカサマのパテマ
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi
Where to Watch/Buy: Amazon Video, Blu-ray/DVD

Patema Inverted is a Sci-Fi drama with a hint of romance. The setting, animation, and premise is quite different from Your Name, but the character and overall progression feels similar. Patema Inverted introduces a villain to drive plot and drama, whereas Your Name focuses more on character progression and unforeseen disasters. Also Patema Inverted is set in a post apocalyptic era, while most of Your Name is shown in a school setting. Even though these two anime seem very different, there are many overarching similarities that made Patema Inverted onto this list. Just like Your Name, Patema Inverted put two characters with completely different personality and background together. It’s the interactions and progressions of these opposite characters that make Patema Inverted and Your Name such a pleasure to watch for me. If you are a fan of that then check this movie out.

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Anime

The Best Anime Movies of 2016

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2016 was a great year for anime movies. Here are some of my favorites listed in no particular order.

your name movie poster

Your Name

Alternate Names: Kimi no Na wa., 君の名は。
Genres: Drama, Romance, School, Supernatural
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRfHcp2GjVI

Your Name is an emotional coming of age romance film starring two high schoolers named Mitsuha Miyamizu and Taki Tachibana who learn about each other through body swapping. The movie has likable characters, beautiful animations, and phenomenal soundtracks. Your Name is a movie that excels in its perfect balance. The director, Makoto Shinkai, manages to balance light humor with heavy tones, supernatural elements with grounded reality and most importantly, we see the different lifestyles of the two main characters balance each other out.

Story: 7.5/10
The story can be confusing at times, especially during the climax of the movie when the viewers are introduced with not only body swapping, but time traveling as well. There are also some plot points that are left unsolved for the viewers to decide.

Art: 10/10
The art of Your Name is phenomenal. The background scenery and time lapse shots are amazing. I found myself glued to the screen even during parts without the characters.

Sound: 9/10
The music and background sounds are beautiful. I think the director picked the right soundtracks for the movie. It’s just unfortunate that some of the music didn’t fit certain shots. In some parts of the movie, the music vocals overwhelmed the art, and in other parts the art overshadowed the music. However, the music is good enough to warrant those scenes. Check out this official music video of one of the songs from the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2GujJZfXpg

Characters: 8/10
The contrasting lifestyles of the two main characters really balance each other out. Their interactions and reactions after body swapping feels genuine and there’s a constant progression of character as they get to know each other through one another’s lives. Unfortunately, the supporting characters don’t get enough love. I feel like the supporting characters are all likable, but not memorable.

a silent voice movie poster

A Silent Voice

Alternate Names: Koe no Katachi, The Shape of Voice, 聲の形
Genres: Drama, Romance
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfK6UgLra7g

“Try to be good starting tomorrow, okay?”
Although listed as a romance, A Silent Voice is more of a redemption story about the main character, Ishida Shouya, who struggles to become a better person in order to amend for his past mistakes. At the start of the movie we see a grown up Ishida planning to suicide by jumping off a bridge, but as he stands there and looks around, he reconsiders. The movie then goes back in time to Ishida’s childhood where the story starts. In elementary school, Ishida bullies a deaf girl named Shouko Nishimiya. When the teacher confronts the class about Shouko being bullied, Ishida is singled out by his friends. Shouko eventually switches schools and Ishida’s former friends starts to bully him instead. Growing up, Ishida becomes reclusive and begins to avoid people. However, a few years later when he meets Shouko again, he starts to open up his feelings once more and tries to amend for his past. The movie explores some really serious topics such as suicide and bullying, but ultimately it teaches us about forgiveness and change. The beginning of the movie can be really hard to watch for some people, but if you can get through the start you are in for a masterpiece.

Story: 8/10
The story does a great job of portraying sensitive topics such as bullying, suicide, and death. However, since the movie touches on these hard subjects, parts of it can be hard to watch.

Art: 10/10
The different personalities of each characters shine through their body languages. You can even say that these unique characters are created by their subtle body movements and hand gestures. Even something as overlooked as the camera angle is relevant to the story. When the movie is shown through Ishida’s point of view, the camera tends to shy away from people’s faces, reflecting how shy and insecure the main character is. A Silent Voice does an amazing job of animating the emotion and personality of each character through expression.

Sound: 10/10
The sound design in A Silent Voice is breathtaking. The music and sounds in certain scenes reinforce emotions of the characters and the tone of their stories. A huge amount of care is put into making the sounds of each scene resonate with the character’s emotions and movements. This movie also has some of my favorite soundtracks such as the song ‘Lit’ that is featured in the trailer.

Characters: 7/10
In A Silent Voice, one of the characters are outright perfect beings, they all have flaws that make them feel human. Well all of them expect for Tomohiro Nagatsuka, who is just a saint. However, like Your Name (Kimi no Na wa.), a few of the side characters in A Silent Voice are not very memorable. I think there are just too many side characters to keep track of. The two main characters on the other hand are extremely well fleshed out. Also, the voice actress of Shouko Nishimiya did a fantastic job of portraying a deaf girl.

in this corner of the world movie poster

In This Corner of the World

Alternate Names: Kono Sekai no Katasumi, To All the Corners of the World, この世界の片隅に
Genres: Drama, Historical
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jBe-uHhlNs

In This Corner of the World is incredibly beautiful in it’s art and story, but it’s a somber reminder of what could happen to a human during the darkest times of war.

Story: 7.5/10
The story follows the journey of an 18 year old woman named Suzu Urano as she learns of love, loss, and war. During the movie, Suzu is constantly in a dream-like state, she often questions whether or not she is truly awake. This dreamy personality of hers adds to the surreal art and animation, but everything is eventually grounded by the harsh story of the movie which focuses on the reality of war. The first half of the movie feels extremely slow. The story does pick up eventually, but and there are also times during the second half where story pacing feels out of place.

Art: 10/10
The art In This Corner of the World is simply beautiful and breathtaking. The movie is like a vivid moving painting on a large canvas. The bright and surreal tones of the art is such a contrast to the dark themes of the movie, but somehow they complement each other so well.

Sound: 9/10
The soundtracks and ambiances really fit the different types of moods and tones from the movie. Nothing really stood out, but I think that’s a good thing because everything just sounded right.

Characters: 8/10
The character progressions were really well done. It was a pleasure to watch the emotional journeys of all the characters, especially Suzu and Shuusaku. However, there are some characters that are introduced with interesting backstories and personalities who are never shown again.

garo divine flame movie poster

Garo: Divine Flame

Alternate Names: 劇場版 牙狼〈GARO〉‐DIVINE FLAME‐
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Magic, Supernatural, Mature

Garo: Divine Flame is a mature supernatural fantasy movie that centers around a story of love, betrayal, and moral ambiguity. The movie takes place a few years after the ending of Garo: The Animation. You don’t really need to watch the anime in order to understand the movie, but watching the anime would definitely make the movie more enjoyable.

Story: 7/10
As someone who has not watched any other Garo films, the story of Divine Flame seems chaotic at times and while the overall plot is engaging, the movie feels more like a sequel to a story that has already concluded. After finishing the movie, I was left with more questions than answers. However, the story is simple enough to pick up and the world feels expansive enough to be engaging.

Art: 8/10
Other than the characters and a few backdrops, the movie is done in 2D. The only noticeable 3D art is when the characters put on their armor. Personally, I think the 3D armors stand out too much and feel out of place in front of the detailed 2D environments. Other than that small complaint, the overall art is detailed and the animation is fluid.

Sound: 8/10
The soundtrack has some of the best background music in anime. It’s just unfortunate some of the transitions between them feel out of place.

Characters: 7.5/10
The protagonists and the antagonist aren’t fleshed out enough, and while their personalities are fun to watch, their motivations and ideals are hard to relate. That’s one of the problems with anime movies based on an existing series; usually you have to watch the anime to understand a character’s actions.

ajin shoutotsu movie poster

Ajin Part 2: Shoutotsu

Alternate Names: Ajin: Shoutotsu, 亜人 第2部「衝突」
Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpjAWaH7lX4

Ajin: Shoutotsu is the second movie in the Ajin series. Shoutotsu is a sequel to the first movie, so if you haven’t watched the first movie, watch that first. And if you are a fan of the first one, definitely check Shoutotsu out. However like the first movie, this movie is also just a combination of scenes from the Ajin anime. So if you already watched the anime, you will see the same scenes in the movie as well. The first movie covers the first half of season one (episodes 1-6) and the second movie covers the second half (episodes 7-13) as well as some parts of season 2.
Ajins are special humans who are immortal and have the ability to summon IBM (Invisible Black Matter). The movie takes place in Japan where Ajins are considered dangerous, so there is an active effort by the government to hunt them down. The ones that become captured are used in inhumane experiments and the few that escape are bent on revenge.

Story: 7.5/10
Ajin Part 2: Shoutotsu explores the concept of mortality and the consequences of immortality. The story follows Kei Nagai who, after finding out that he is an Ajin, becomes the target of the government. Overall, the story is mostly consistent; the action scenes are impactful and the exposition scenes are to the point. However because the movie is a condensed version of the anime, there are some small pacing issues during parts of the movie. Some scenes are rushed and as a result, a few minor plot points were left unexplained.

Art: 7/10
Although I gave the art a 7/10, I think it’s mostly subjective. Some people prefer CGI animation while others think it’s the worst thing to happen to anime. Personally I don’t mind it too much, but I do feel that with CGI, some of the more subtle facial expressions, body languages, and environment animations are lacking. On the one hand, the art in Ajin: Shoutotsu is a huge step up from other CGI anime. On the other hand, when compared to other anime movies, the animation feels clunky and art seems unrefined.

Sound: 8.5/10
Ajin has some of the most varied soundtracks in anime. Check out this main theme to get an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMzm9E2WCtc
Overall, the music fits the themes of the movie. Exposition scenes feel suspenseful and action scenes feel dramatic.

Characters: 7.5/10
Kei Nagai has sociopathic tendencies which you don’t see often in main characters from anime. He’s a character that bases his actions on logic and reasoning instead of emotions. However because of his lack of emotions, Kei doesn’t really care about anyone but himself. Some people might not enjoy that kind of main character, but don’t watch the show for him, watch it for the antagonist, Satou. Satou is what you would get if you give immortality to a sociopath that has no moral standards and is constantly hungry for a bigger thrill. It’s refreshing to see a bad guy that doesn’t have a tragic backstory or have underlying good intentions. Satou is just straight up a horrible human being who wants to watch the world burn, but that’s what makes him such an entertaining character.

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Anime

Upcoming Winter 2018 Anime

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Winter 2018 is a great season for anime. There are quite a few amazing anime adaptations, continuations, and remakes this season. Here are some titles to look forward to.

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Devilman: Crybaby

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ww06yGPM7Kc
Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural
Airing: Jan 5, 2018 (Netflix)

“With demons reawakened and humanity in turmoil, a sensitive demon-boy is led into a brutal, degenerate war against evil by his mysterious friend, Ryo.” Description taken directly from Netflix.

Devilman: Crybaby is an adaption of the 1970s horror/shonen manga by Go Nagai. The old Devilman manga inspired many well known series such as Evangelion and Berserk. Devilman has been adapted before as OVAs, but it was never finished and didn’t have the backing of Netflix or the collective talent of some of the most well known people in the anime industry. Keep in mind though, that this is a very gory anime with tons of nudity and excessive violence so it’s not for everyone. Devilman: Crybaby will air on Netflix January 5th, 2018.

ito junji  collection 2018

Ito Junji: Collection

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMNcx1Z2BPo
Genres: Horror
Airing: Jan 5, 2018 (Crunchyroll)

I was introduced to Junji Ito through one of his most popular works, The Enigma of Amigara Fault. If you haven’t read the manga, search it up and go read it. It’s a good introduction to Junji Ito’s work and what you can expect from this anime. Unfortunately, this particular story won’t be adapted into anime, but expect great stories nonetheless because almost all of Junji Ito’s shorts are scary. It’s been so long since a proper horror anime so hopefully this adaption will do the manga justice. Stay a bit skeptical though, as one of Junji Ito’s previously work, Gyo, was horribly adapted into anime before.

pop team epic 2018

Poputepipikku (Pop Team Epic)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otfYAvJzoRE
Genres: Comedy
Airing: Jan 7, 2018 (Crunchyroll)

Poputepipikku is an anime adaption of the gag manga by the same name. The manga is a series of random short comedic stories that follow two high school girls named Popuko and Pipimi. The stories are always ridiculous and at times even insane. It’s also full of meta humor and profanity riddled jokes so it’s not for the light hearted.

Gintama.: Shirogane no Tamashii-hen (Gintama.: Silver Soul Arc)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcb-D3FlaCg
Genres: Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Airing: Jan 8, 2018

The final arc of Gintama. Get ready for another Gintama in the top 10 anime section of MyAnimeList.

Overlord II

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p2ksX48PBQY
Genres: Action, Adventure, Game, Fantasy, Magic, Isekai
Airing: Dec 17, 2018

The second season of Overlord. If the anime follows the light novel/manga then there will be less of a focus on Ainz and more time will be spent developing side characters/stories.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku (Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody)

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NzZvYIyb0c
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Airing: Jan 11, 2018 (Crunchyroll)

A 29 year old programmer named Suzuki Ichirou suddenly gets transported to a new fantasy world that follows video game mechanics. In this world, he is able to cast a limited use magic attack called meteor shower which ends up wiping an entire army of lizard men. He gets so much experience that he levels dramatically and becomes overpowered. Suzuki decides to hide his newfound power and try to live a peaceful life.

If you love isekai then you should check Death March out. On the other hand, if you aren’t really a fan of this genre then this anime might be too generic for you. As a fan of isekai even I think the manga and light novel of Death March is pretty average, but the overall story is still quite enjoyable. If the anime follows the manga/novel then the story will be a laid back, slice of life isekai harem with an overpowered main character.

Darling in the FranXX

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4jDgDSV6Kk
Genres: Sci-Fi, Mecha
Airing: Jan 13, 2018 (Crunchyroll)

In the distant future where land is destroyed, humanity builds a mobile fort city named Plantation. Inside Plantation there is a facility called Mistilteinn, also known as “bird cage”, where children are taught only of piloting mechs and fighting. The story follows the main character called Hiro, who was once a prodigy, but now has fallen behind. One day a mysterious girl appears in front of him, two horns growing from her forehead.

Darling in the FranXX is a sci-fi mecha anime made by A1 Pictures and Studio Trigger. A1 Pictures is known for many masterpiece anime like Your Lie in April, and Erased, but they also made a few mediocre anime under the same ‘training children to fight’ concept seen in Darling in the FranXX. Studio Trigger always delivers quality animation so even if the story of Darling in the FranXX is mediocre, at least it will be visually stunning.

Saiki Kusuo no Ψ-nan 2 (The Disastrous Life of Saiki-K 2)

Trailer: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6bgffs
Genres: Comedy, Supernatural, School
Airing: Jan 17, 2018

The second season of The Disastrous Life of Saiki-K. This is a comedy about an overpowered main character who tries to hide his physic powers from everyone and live an ordinary life. However, there isn’t anything normal or ordinary about him, his friends, or his life. I’m pleasantly surprised The Disastrous Life of Saiki-K is getting a sequel. The first season didn’t do very well in sales, it’s Blu-ray/DVD sales were particularly bad. However look forward to season 2 and expect more of the usual funny, witty, and sometimes ridiculous comedy.

B: The Beginning

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3acPVFkvTm0
Genres: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Airing: Mar 2, 2018 (Netflix)

“In this anime series, scientists hope “new humans” will create universal peace, but they’re kidnapped by an evil group with very different plans.” Description taken directly from Netflix.

Formerly known as Perfect Bones, this Netflix original anime is being created and animated by Production IG. It is set to be 12 episodes and will debut globally on Netflix, March 2nd, 2018. Based on the youtube trailer and its description, B: The Beginning seems to be a suspense drama that takes place in an advanced science fiction world. One of the main characters, Keith Flick, investigates a series of murders surrounding a serial killer known as Killer B.

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