Some people ask me, ‘why do you like anime?’ and I find myself not even knowing the answer. It’s just something that’s always been a thing I’m interested in. When I was seven years old, my mum showed me my first anime series, Candy Candy, and old one from the 70’s about a girl in an orphanage and all the adventures she’s soon to go on (spoilers: people die). And after that, I just watched some Studio Ghibli films, such as Kiki’s Delivery Service, Ponyo and Arietty. But earlier this year, I found several different sites I could watch anime on, and it has completely destroyed my life. So I decided to look into why.
“Anime (Japanese: アニメ) is Japanese hand-drawn or computer animation.”
–Anime, Wikipedia (x)
In case you didn’t know, anime is basically Japanese cartoons and drawings, stereotyped with big eyes and big hair, like so:
Natsu Dragneel, Fairy Tail (x)
Anime is generally drawn like this, with a few exceptions, but nevertheless, very similar. Most animes, if not all, are based off of ‘manga series’, basically Japanese comic books.
Fruits Basket, 1998 (x)
I find that the art style influences a lot of how much people like anime itself, along with the different genres. In 2o12, a rough draft of what the most popular anime genres were, most popular genre being comedy, quickly followed by action and romance (I personally like comedy, action and somewhat fantasy, but I’ll watch almost anything as long as I like it.)
Anime was first seen in 1917, and gradually making it’s success, and really emerged into the world in the 60’s, with the works of Osamu Tezuka, who drew the mangas for animes like Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion (which I bought the entire box set of after I watched Candy Candy). There are now over 430 production studios, including big names such as Studio Ghibli (My Neighbour Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle), Gainax (Corpse Princess, Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Cowboy Bebop movie) and Toei Animation (Candy Candy, Dragonball Z, Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, One Piece, Digimon, I could probably go on…)
Well, because I have told you way more about anime than you needed to know, and you’re now curious, I thought I could do a ‘top 7 anime list’ (mainly because all I do in my spare time is watch anime.) (also this was supposed to be a top 5 but I got carried away.)
1) Ouran High School Host Club (Romantic Comedy, Reverse Harem)
Ouran High School Host Club, 2006 (x)
As you can probably tell by the high rank I gave it, it’s my all time favourite anime. It’s about a girl named Haruhi, a middle class citizen in an academy for super rich people (such as successful business owners). She accidentally runs into the host club of the school, a group of boys who entertain the girls at the school (by throwing parties, having tea and crossdressing). While meeting them, they think she’s a boy judging from what she’s wearing and she breaks an expensive vase – which she has to pay back by becoming a host.
(don’t watch if you don’t like homosexuals, crossdressing/transvestites and twincest joke acts.)
2) Black Butler (Black Comedy, Dark Fantasy)
Black Butler, 2008 (x)
This one is quite different to the first one (if you can’t tell), but it’s also quite an interesting one. Set in late 1800’s England, a twelve year old boy named Ciel Phantomhive – head of the Phantomhive manor and owner of the Funtom Corporation, highly successful confectionary and toy company. On the night of his tenth birthday, a fire destroys his home, which kills his parents. He gets kidnapped, and while held captive, he makes a contract with a demon which takes the form of Ciel’s butler – helping him make everyone responsible for his parents’ death feel the same embarrassment and humiliation as he did in exchange for his soul. While planning his revenge, he (Ciel) does jobs for the queen.
(don’t watch if you don’t like demons/other evil spirits, gore, transgenders and crossdressers.)
3) Kamisama Kiss (Romantic Comedy, Fantasy)
Kamisama Kiss, 2012 (x)
This one’s about a girl named Nanami Momozono, who’s father has a gambling problem and skips out on her without paying the rent for their apartment (which leads her to getting kicked out). When on the streets, she meets a guy of the name Mikage, who offers her his home, which turns out to be a yokai* shrine that she has become the god of.
(don’t watch if you don’t like supernatural beings or crossdressing.)
*supernatural being of sorts.
5) Fullmetal Alchemist (Action, Science Fiction)
Fullmetal Alchemist, 2003 (x)
There are actually two different series of this one – the 2003 version and the 2009 version. The 2009 version, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, gets higher ratings than the original, mainly because it follows the manga a lot more than the first. This anime follows two brothers – Edward (Ed) and Alphonse (Al) Elric – who, after their mother dies, tries to bring her back to life using human transmutation – human alchemy. They end up failing, Ed loses an arm and a leg and Al loses his entire body. Ed binds Al’s soul to a suit of armour, and from then on they set out on a quest to get their bodies back.
(don’t watch if you don’t like a bit of gore, character death or supernatural-ish creatures.)
5) Free! (Slice of Life, Sports)
Free!, 2013 (x)
At any point, you would have most likely heard someone talking about this. Haru, Makoto, Nagisa and Rin were all in elementary school together and became close friends because of competitive swimming. After they won a relay race, they all graduate from school and part ways (aka Rin went to Australia). When in high school, Haru and Makoto reunite with Nagisa, who then has the bright idea to start a swim club at their school after they found out Rin came back to town, joined another swim club and became a complete ass.
(don’t watch if you don’t like swimming, angst or boys with abs.)
7) Assassination Classroom (Science Fiction, Comedy)
Assassination Classroom, 2015 (x)
I’ll be honest – I didn’t really pay attention to this one until the second season, but it quickly became one of my favourites. Focused on a boy named Nagisa Shiota, enters his third year of junior high and ends up being in the bottom class – something you shouldn’t be proud of at his highly academic-based school. Along with the rest of his class – he has been assigned to kill a yellow octopus-like creature ho vaporised part of the moon, and is planning to do the same to the Earth. The creature just so happens to be the class’ teacher, and teaches them how to kill him before time is up.
(don’t watch if you don’t like octopus-like creatures, fighting or crossdressing.)
Your Lie In April (Drama)
Your Lie In April, 2014 (x)
Aoharu x Machinegun (Action, Comedy)
Aoharu x Machinegun, 2015 (x)
And you thought there is never a girl online? (Comedy, Romance)
And you thought there is never a girl online?, 2016 (x)
ReLIFE (Drama, Science Fantasy)
ReLIFE, 2016 (x)
Fruits Basket (Comedy-Drama, Fantasy)
Fruits Basket, 2001 (x)
As you can see, I got carried away once again. And I could probably list more animes I’ve watched, but then this’ll probably get even more boring than it already is, so I’m gonna go. I hope at least one of these sparked your interest!