Need New Anime? The Best Anime Shows to Watch
My Favorite's List:
First and Foremost:
Anime is wholly different from western animation. It doesn't follow the same principles of story or plot, nor does it seem to adhere to any sort of guidelines of reality. While western cartoons, although full of imagination, allow a realistic feel, anime rarely sticks to real life stories. It is completely centered around the imagination and everything it conjures from vampires, to metal body parts, spirits, alternate dimensions and every type of monster thinkable.
If you're reading this you are one of two types of people: the one who is familiar with anime or the one who is not and is curious.
If you have not encountered anime shows before I would highly recommend it, unlike many western animations, a lot of anime is not suitable for children, for either adult themes (shows like Attack on Titans is quite graphic and centered purely on cannibalism) or their sexualized women (examples of this can be found in a lot of their shows, Sword art online depicts many of their women in quite sexual manners, they bend over a lot with very skimpy clothes or the 'camera' will be placed below them so you can see up their skirts...it's a bit putt of-ish, but not overtly offensive).
If you have found anime, and are as in love with it as i am, please leave your feedback about the ones on this list or new ones you think I'l enjoy :)
Pros and Cons:
The entire show is amazing for its ability to make you cower and laugh simultaneously. Although in saying that, I was mostly laughing at Kurono's thoughts, which are less than pleasant. The ending, as I've said I thought was brilliant and had so much to offer, but overall the character development was the aspect that stood out. The way they dealt with Gantz at the beginning was chaotic and maddening, they couldn't pull the trigger even when it meant their friends were going to die, instead just standing their shaking, but by the end, they were real hard-asses, defending not only themselves but others that happened to come across the chaos.
One word, alien! The premise started with such amazing finesse, then they meet Gantz and they have to kill aliens, and I'm not talking super scary, slimy alien creatures, No. Gantz wants these people to kill the 'onion Alien' and the bird-man alien. These characters were out of children's books and that's where the show lost its appeal.. Also, as Ive said, the fact that none of them could pull the trigger. Literally, their friends are being torn to pieces, and they stand there whispering 'I can't do it'. Just ridiculous. we all have flight or fight in us, so why the hell didn't these guys??
What started as possibly the weirdest premise I've seen in Anime, ended in a way that I will never forget. Now, for starters, this is an adult anime, no way in hell should children be watching this, it filled with nudity, perverse thoughts and a lot of cussing. In saying that, its done in a way that provokes harsh criticism for the actions, not the show itself.
It begins with two high school boys on a train station platform, who end up jumping on the tracks to hep save a homeless man who has fallen. This entire first scene is narrated by the peoples thoughts. We see people on the platform sitting around, waiting for the train, but we hear them complain about their daily lives, their struggles etc. The protagonist, Kurono, complains when an old friend, Kato, who is first to jump on the tracks in an attempt to ave the old man, calls for him to assist also. We hear him complain and then, being put on the spot, he feels he has no choice but to help. They end up saving the beggar, but being hit by the oncoming train themselves. As they are dying they see people taking photos, gasping and gawping, but nobody else offered any assistance.
Next they wake up in a room, with a large black ball, also known as Gantz. There are other people there, all very confused, when a message appears on Gantz saying that their lives are no longer their own. They are given the task of taking out Aliens in a specific amount of time. They are given weapons and suits but with no instructions.
Without getting too deep into what happens next, they struggle to stay alive while keeping with Gantz rules, which aren't entirely fair to begin with. The really fascinating part of this show though is not only the way in which people view morality, but also how the mind can sometimes work against us. Kurono is constantly thinking about how he can get laid, the show even deals with serious mental issues, as the reason one woman was brought to Gantz was because she had commit suicide. When the first group are brought to the room, nearly the first thing that happens is attempted rape, by men who see women as objects, and who see themselves of entitled to said objects.
While they fight for their lives, they make connections and all realize that their lives are much more important than they original thought and even that the lives of others should be held in equal value to your own. The ending is extremely abstract and many of the manga fans did not enjoy it, and even some of the shows fans hated the ending. I, however, loved it. It was exactly what I wanted in a show with such deep messages about morality and the human psyche. It left some things open to interpretation, but actually ended in a finite way. I'd recommend it to people who aren't into PG Anime. like Bleach.
Pros and Cons
Everything about this show is a pro. The characters were great, brilliant presentation, funny in parts and poignant in others, it has the horror factor, the love factor, it is an all round joy to watch.
There's not much. One tiny problem I had watching it was the fact that it took Yuki a long time to get his head in the game and actually start defending himself. A lot of the time he lets Yuno protect him as he cowers, crying in the corner, but when he does finally step out of the little boy role, he really gets his game on.
Oh lordy did I enjoy this show! It had me hooked instantly. Again, great premise and fantastic delivery in an anime that is memorable and kind of freaky. Set around a zero-sum game, each player must take out the other in order to gain the title of god. They each have a phone with unique abilities which gives its player an edge against the rest. They have 90 days to have only one participant left, who will then have to prevent an apocalypse and become the new god. Let the games begin eh?
Yuki is a loner who spends all of his time documenting his every action, everything he sees and everyhere he goes in his phone. At first he believes he has an imaginary friend, Deus, who as it turns out is a kind of god. He notices that his phone has diary notes up to 90 days in the future, as if he's written them himself. Yuki initially has no desire to win the game, but after Deus informs the other contestants that Yuki, as the "1st" Diary owner, is his favorite to win the game, Yuki is forced to team up with the 2nd Diary owner Yuno in order to survive the game. She is an obsessive stalker whose diary tells her only things about her true love, Yuki. So she knows everything about him , where he is, what hes doing and what he's thinking too. He needs her to survive, but she wants a happy ending where both can survive.
Its an amazing anime, very similar to both Death Note and Code Geass, but with its own unique stamp on the fight to the death theme. Yuno is probably the most memorable of all anime characters I've encountered, as the absolutely psychotic, manipulative but completely naïve girl who will do anything to get her happy ending.
Pros and Cons
Its an extremely well thought out story and plot, with so many twists and amazing plot points. The characters are individual and fantastic. Amazing humor throughout mixed with highly emotional moments and no fan service-that's always a plus.
Not much to be honest. It can be confusing to start but all the confusion caused is explained perfectly so there's no unanswered questions.
Steins; Gate is without a doubt, a one in a million anime series. The context, themes, characters, setting, twists and visuals are simply brilliant. It has one of the best characters ever written (In my opinion, Yuno from Future Diary is another); the protagonist, Rintaro Okabe, is delusional, comical, sincere, immature, and yet wholly courageous and brave. The story involves a time travelling phone..or at least a phone that can send texts to the past. They experiment with the new discovery, and although they send what seem like very simple texts, the results are catastrophic and Okabe finds himself trying to go back to the original timeline, but seems to be getting further and further from it, with horrific consequences.
This chaos sends Okabe travelling through time in order to erase the mistakes they made and return to the world they know. This show has so many highly emotional moments and yet the comedy never faulters. Its without a doubt a serious, sombre show, and yet the comedy is crucial to this. Overall a tremendous show with so much to like. Its enjoyable without being lazy.
Looking for More Chilling Anime?
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Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Pros and Cons:
It is so difficult to figure out whether Lelouche is indeed the hero or not. He makes many decisions that portray him as pure evil and this unknown factor goes right through to the very last minute of the show. Its amazing, as although there are many shows in which hero's can be seen to faulter, they never actually portray the 'Bad Guy' to the extent that the viewer finds him repulsive. In this case, there are many times when the viewer finds themselves further from understanding Leluoche's decisions.
Not too long of a serious, unlike Bleach which has around 300 episodes, its concise and well thought out. Mysterious and interesting, this is defintiely one to watch.
This is the ultimate Anti hero story and absolutely brilliant. It begins with the three superpowers, Britannia, the Chinese Federation, and the European Union. The story takes place after the Britannian Empire's conquest on Japan, because of Britannia's newest weapon, the "Autonomous Armored Knight", or Knightmare. Due to this, Britannia strips Japan and its citizens of all rights, renames the country 'Area 11' and refers to the its citizens as Elevens.
Lelouch Lamperouge is an exiled Britannian prince who was sent as a bargaining tool to Japan, along with his sister Nunnally, by his father, the Emperor Charles zi Britannia, after his mother was killed. He vows revenge on Britannia for exiling him and his sister.
This is where it gets a tad complicated:
Lelouch gets caught up in a terrorist attack and finds a girl called C2, who saves his life from the Britannian Royal Guard, by making a contract with him that grants him a power known as Geass, where he can force people to do whatever he says by looking ito their eyes.
Lelouch decides to put his Geass to use and destroy the Britannian Empire in order to create a better world where his younger sister, Nunnally, can live happily, but also to find out who kiled his mother. In the process, Lelouch becomes the leader of the resistance movement known as 'The Black Knights' under his alter ego Zero, where he gains the popularity and support from the Japanese and tries to defeat his fathera nd the Britannian Empire.
The Evolution of Ichigo
Pros and Cons
The storyline is brilliant and will keep you watching for hours. Its a very hard to show to stop watching actually and you'll find yourself losing hours due to this anime.
The animation is visually amazing, clear and colourful, it certainly appears a happy and cheerful story.
The humour is brilliant and well thought out. It mixes this with moments of very intense sadness which gives it a well rounded feel.
The Arc Stories- these are filler short stories, interspersed throughout the main storyline. They are totally separate to the main story and don't always revolve around Ichigo. They usually come at the most unwelcome of times, when the main Ichigo story is at its most suspenseful. However, as annoying as these are, they are actually quite good. They don't follow the linearity of the Ichigo story, and its not obvious when they are supposed to be happening. They are simple short stories, but funny and entertaining.
The fight scenes- these in themselves are not bad, they are actually done very well and are full of suspense, however, there were times when the same fight scene went on for 10 episodes or so. This can be kind of annoying and need a bit of effort to keep watching.
This was probably the first really good anime I came across. Firstly its a show about a teenage boy who can see ghosts, who meets a soul reaper (similar to the Grim Reaper, a soul reaper finds the souls of people who have died and brings them to the soul society or afterlife) where she accidentally gives him her powers and he must fight hollows (monstrous beings that feed off of the souls of dead).
The soul society is a very peculiar place, quite the opposite to what most people would think of the afterlife. It is hierarchical, in that the soul Reapers are similar to royalty and the rest of the souls are left in Squaller and considered poor.
It is here that most of the story takes place in that it is basically the centre everything. Ichigo, the main character, gets to go the soul society to save Rukia, the Reaper that gave him her powers. After Rukia passes her power on to Ichigo, she is taken back to the soul society and condemed to death. Athough the soul society is supposed to be the afterlife, it is anything but fair as we soon find out. Ichigo attempts to save Rukia from death and so a story of conspiracy, death and governmental control (represented by the soul reapers) begins.
SAO: The main Characters
Pros and Cons:
Simply put, its very enjoyable, full of suspense and humour. The story is good and quite the comment on how video games are literally taking over our lives.
Visually attractive, its colorful and bright with dark themes that crop up (mainly in the 2nd part of the story, trying not to spoil the story-a character gets a little pervy).
Not many in this show, but as I mentioned above, the sexualization of all female characters, regardless of age, is a bit concerning. Its common for anime to portray men and women in very little clothing, but in this show, lets just say the 'camera angles' are a bit concerning.
Sword Art Online
Sword Art Online is an anime based on video games. In it, a game called 'Nerve Gear' is made, where an individual can place the helmet on their heads and travel to a virtual reality, multiplayer universe. The day of the game release, thousands of people log in and explore this virtual world as avatars they've created. However, as soon as they try to log out they discover there is no way to get out of the game.
They are all transported to a sort of city hall place where the creator of the game emerges to tell them that they must complete the game (battle monsters on 100 floors, going up a level every time they beat a boss) in order to get out. If someone in the real world tries to take the helmet off they will die, and if they are killed in the game, they will also die.
Kirito is the main character,determined to finish the game. He, among a few others, had the chance to try the game out before official release as a trial and so had already gained much needed information and skill before getting stuck in SAO.
After two years of fighting his way throught he game and trying to survive he meets Asuna Yuki whom he falls in love with. The two become a team, and set out to free themselves from SAO.
Pros and Cons
No Cons at all, so I don't see the point in regurgitating what I've already said.
This was a really enjoyable show to watch, its clever, entertaining, full of suspense and has everything you would want from an anime show. Again, its one that is finished completely, an aspect that wilI think I prefer from Anime, unlike Bleach which is never ending, this show in finite and complete.
It begins with a boy, Light, who finds a notebook on the ground. When he opens it, there's a message saying that the person whose name is written in the diary will die. He tries it out, for a laugh, using the name of a well known criminal. He finds out that the person does die and so a story of manipulation, murder, and a high schooler toying with adults like a cat with a mouse begins.
He attempts to create and rule a world "cleansed of all evil" using the notebook to kill any criminals and soon the people hunting him too. A detective known simply as 'L' is brought in to help this unknown killer, and the duo ignite a relationship of admiration, hate and mental games in a series that will literally have you falling off your seat in suspense.
Its similar to Future diary and Code Geass, but Personally it surpassed the two of them. Possibly because of the intensity to the show due to the catch me if you can vibe that Light gives off and L feeds off of. Although L knows 70% that Light is the murderer, he has no way of proving it, so brings him in on the investigation, which light uses to his advantage. Its hard to see whether or not Light is the bad guy, obviously he is killing people by the dozens day, but I think nearly everyone can somewhat see his point of view, in that he has been giving a lot of power, but he tries to use it in a way that will make the world a better place for everyone. His vision doesn't quite come true though as he gets caught up with protecting himself and not letting anyone in his way.
Attack on Titan
Pros and Cons:
Absolutely everything! The whole story is flawless, and absolutely entertaining. I loved it and Im so glad I watched it.
This isn't personally a Con for me, however I know subtitles can be a bit of a turn off.
The map of the city: where the last of humanity live
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is yet again, darker than the rest. Its based around a world where the human race has been nearly extinguished by massive idiotic human looking monsters called Titans, who eat people and cause mass destruction. Since most of humanity was nearly wiped out they built a three part city, with three round walls protecting the people. These people live in peace safe from the Titans for one hundred years, until the day when a massive Titan breaks the first wall, bringing with it many more of its kind. Some people in the outer circle escape to the next wall, while others are killed.
The Titans themselves are probably the freakiest of all the manga monsters I've encountered in Anime. They are human looking but lack any type of human emotion and don't seem to reproduce the same either, making them difficult to understand for humanity. They can look like children and adults alike, some walk, some run and others crawl creepily fast. Because they are so massive and inflict extreme damage, the humans are barely able to get close enough to them to study them, which is they are yet to understand them. Elite squads are trained to fight them and kill them, but are never able to capture the giants, called the survey corps. These squads leave the confines of the walls in attempts to find ways of defending humanity but usually always end up having half the squad killed.
The story is centered around three characters: Eren, Mikasa and Armin, three young friends from the outer circle who are determined to defend humanity from these giants and join the Survey Corps. It is a dark story, with very graphic scenes of violence, but hugely thrilling with many twisted and shocks. I picked it as number two simply because its such a great story and done brilliantly. It is the opposite of predictable,very enjoyable, and a tad cathartic at times.
Full Metal Alchemist
Pros and Cons:
I can't find a single con in this show. Some say the fact that there are two separate stories takes from the epic-ness of it, however, I loved it. After I finished FMA I was devestated, so finding Brotherhood made me so happy, and with two endings, I got to choose which one I preferred :)
Full Metal Alchemist (Brotherhood)
This show still haunts me to this day: it is amazing. The story is set in a world where some people use the powers of alchemy, a magic that can be conjured in which objects can be created from raw materials . Two young boys, Edward and Alphonse attempt to use alchemy to bring back their dead mother (this is a seriously dark show) but end up losing both their mother, Edwards Arm and leg and Alphonses entire body (edward manages to bond Alphonses soul with a suit of armour). They then set out in search of the Philosophers stone, a powerful stone that will allow them to restore their bodies.
This show has everything from terrifyingly scary scenes, to sad ones but also manages a lot of humour throughout it too. You really feel for the characters, and the plot is intense from the very first second to the final one. However, there are two separate series, FMA and FMA: Brotherhood. I found it a bit confusing as the first 6 episodes of each series are basically the same, and then from there, both stories veer off in completely opposite directions. The endings are different and its really up to the viewer to figure out which one they prefer. The reason for the 2 series is that FMA was in the process of production the same time as the manga, and so had to try to imagine what the story was going to be. They didn't get it right though and when the manga finally finished, they redid the show to fit the story.
Both series are equally as entertaining and honestly I think I watched both in about a week, its so hard to stop watching and trying to guess what's going on. The characters are so lovable and well thought out, they capture every bit of emotion possible and its simply one of the best things I''ve seen in a while, not excluding western shows.
I personally preferred Brotherhood but at the same time, there were no cons about the first. In fact many people preferred the first. Its really up to the viewer. :)
The Best Anime Poll
Which is your Favourite?
Well, I hope you enjoyed and please feel free to comment away or suggest more anime shows. If you haven't come across anime before, i would definitely start with one of these. I had to go through many bad and just ok ones to find these gems!