I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t quite posted a review or recommendation in a while. But, I am excited to be recommending something I feel very passionately about…Anime! (No, Mom & Dad, it wasn’t a phase.)
I have been a huge anime fan since I was young. I would see anime occasionally on cable at my grandmother’s when I was a kid, but I didn’t really know what it was at the time. 2010 was when I actually jumped feet first into the world that is Anime. There are so many shows all covering a different genre, it’s nearly impossible not to find one that peaks your interest. I would say I have watched close to 50…maybe 75 different anime’s in total. Honestly, I have met so many people who watch anime and some of their watched lists could clear mine by a landslide. However, I would say I have enough knowledge to at least recommend to you my top 10!
10. Tokyo Ghoul
Ken Kaneki lives in modern day Tokyo, where society lives in fear of creatures that look like humans with a taste for human flesh. Ghouls. Ken Kaneki is a nerd and an ordinary young man, until he is almost devoured by a ghoul. Barely escaping with his life he soon finds out that he has become a half breed of human and ghoul. He must figure out how to survive, who to trust and test the boundaries between man & monster.
When I first saw this anime, I was completely blown away. The first few episodes can be kind of boring, only because when I say that he is an ordinary kid I really mean it. He is the most plain person, but once he becomes a ghoul his character begins to develop rapidly. He soon changes from the sweet and innocent Kaneki to the blood thirsty & powerful Kaneki. The reason this comes in as number 10 is mainly due to the 3rd season. The manga for this show is jaw dropping, but it isn’t showcased as well until the 3rd season, and by that time it doesn’t make much sense. However, season 1 & 2 are amazing if you haven’t read the manga.
9. One Punch Man
The main character is Saitama, a hero that only does it for the fun and can defeat all of his enemies with one punch. (No, seriously.) Even if he is a hero, the world has plenty. He gets no respect from his community and he has a very laid back personality. To him, being a hero is meaningless because nobody can challenge him, not to mention he endured training so intense he is now bald. Oh well, at least he’s super powerful. Haha.
So, I always argued with people on why I wasn’t going to watch this anime. I hated that he was bald and it just looked like it was going to be stupid. Someone I know made me watch it, and for about the first 15 minutes all I kept saying was “this is dumb” and “he looks stupid” and “what on earth is he doing”. But after my initial doubts wore off, I actually fell in love with Saitama’s character. He was always doing good for his community and even when nobody appreciated what he did, he didn’t care. He would just keep doing it and never demanded recognition.
8. Fruits Basket
Tohru Honda, finds herself living with the Sohma family after her mother’s death. Three cousins share the residence: Yuki is the prince charming of their high school, Kyo is an outcast whose temper gets the better of him and Shigure is a bit of a perverted novelist. Tohru finds out the Sohma family secret: when a member is hugged by the opposite gender or they are tired out, they turn into one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.
I watched this anime many years ago and fell in love with the story. It was so sweet and all of the characters were so lovable. Tohru is the sweetest of all the characters and really proves that by accepting every other character no matter how much they are flawed. There is also some romance involved between many of the pairs. You’re rooting for one couple, then you’re rooting for another. Oh, my heart. This is a really exciting time, actually, because they are remaking this anime!!! Ahh! It’s supposed to be closer to the original story (manga), so keep a look out after you watch the original!
7. Akame Ga Kill!
Tatsumi is a countryside boy who sets out on a journey to The Capital. He is looking to become a soldier and make a name for himself. (How heroic.) He soon gets brought in by a family that only aims to kill him, and is rescued by a group of assassins going against The Capital. The group is known as Night Raid and their journey is filled with dark and twisted battles.
This anime is unlike the others I have recommended so far. It is an action anime but there is a ton of blood and death throughout the show. It’s got an eeriness to it and it almost makes you think, “Wow, they actually put this into an anime.” I think often times anime can be labeled as childish or nothing more than a cartoon, but if that’s your view on it I strongly recommend you watch this anime. There is nothing child-like about it.
6. Haikyu!! (The exclamation marks are actually in the title.)
We follow Hinata Shouyou, a short highschool student with a love for volleyball. He aspires to play like a national champion player who is also short, nicknamed “The Small Giant”. He meets Kageyama Tobio, also known as “The King of the Court” and is crushed when facing off against him in a middle school match. He vows to become better and eventually surpass Kageyama, just imagine his surprise when they end up on the same high school volleyball team. They have to learn to work together as teammates and if they can, they have some pretty sick moves to win.
I’ve re-watched this anime several times. It’s my favorite sports anime that I have come across. I have watched “Free!” and also “Kuroko’s Basketball” but neither of those had the same spirit as Haikyuu!! I am rooting for the whole team the entire time because it’s not just focused on how the main character can improve, but the entire team. It’s a great underdog story and you definitely get pulled into the action of the sport on every scene. Oh, and yes, there are anime’s that center around sports!
5. Assassination Classroom
A powerful creature shows up after destroying 70% of the moon. He claims that within a year he will also destroy the Earth, however, he offers mankind a chance to change that outcome. He begins working as a homeroom teacher to a class of students. They were cast out of their fellow students classroom’s due to poor performance. They all have a year to kill him. As their teacher, he not only teaches them normal subjects (very well I might add) but also teaches them combat skills. The Japanese government has a reward to whoever is able to kill “KoroSensei”. But it’s not so easy, did I happen to mention he has the capacity to move at Mach 20? (15345.4 mph)
Oh goodness. All of the feels are coming back to me. This anime is GREAT! I felt really connected to the students because while their school wrote them off as some failures, KoroSensei came in and proved they were anything but that. Working together, they do better in school, they become amazing at combat and their characters improve immensely. You also begin to love KoroSensei and start to think his intentions might be different than he says…oh well…guess you’ll have to watch to find out!
4. Death Note
Light Yagami is a normal and very intelligent college student. One day, he discovers a notebook lying on the ground outside of his campus. He discovers that the notebook has one very devilish power: if you write someone’s name in it and the writer imagines that person’s face, he/she will die. Light soon becomes obsessed with this god-like power and he begins killing those he deems unworthy of life- with the help of a Shinigami of course. Soon detectives start trying to catch him, and one known as L becomes overly determined to stop him. (L is also overly intelligent.)
This anime is a classic, now I’m sure a lot of you have heard of or even seen a live action version of this on Netflix. First off, it was terrible. One of my good friends started by watching the live action, and she was very impressed with the whole concept. But once I made her watch the anime she was absolutely blown away. The level of mastery behind all of Light’s decisions and how he evades L trying to pin him is incredible. It’s truly genius work, a must see!
3. Hunter x Hunter
Gon Freecss is a young boy living on Whale Island. He finds out that his father is not dead, but in fact a top “Hunter” who is risking his life to seek hidden treasures and exotic living creatures. Gon decides to become a professional Hunter but he has to pass a Hunter Examination. During the test he befriends three applicants: Kurapika, Leorio and Killua. We follow him through his adventure of becoming “The Best Hunter in the World” while also searching for his Dad.
I knew about this anime for a while, but never really watched it. Well, okay, I watched an episode but then I didn’t return to it until later on. I didn’t really like that the main character was a child, not sure why. But, once I got over myself, I realized this is an amazing anime. The plot is really good and this character really shows that with confidence and determination you can achieve anything. It was really cool to watch him develop, especially when he took charge of situations. He’s normally so cool headed but sometimes he’s the last person you want to mess with. It’s a bit of a longer anime but definitely worth the watch.
2. My Hero Academia
In this anime world, about 80% of people have a super power. They call them quirks, we follow the main character Izuku Midoriya who is one of the few people who doesn’t have a quirk. Even still, he wants to be the greatest super hero like his idol All Might (The Pillar of Peace). Funny enough, he has a quirk that can be passed down and Izuku must learn to control it, problem is, every time he uses it he breaks several bones. Ouch!
This anime is very new, but it’s definitely one of my all time favorites. I can’t get enough of it and when the next season comes out…whoo! I really fell in love with this anime because it reminded me a lot of Naruto. Here comes this kid, with ambitions to be someone truly special and amazing…but he doesn’t have the means to do so right away. We get to see him embark on this journey, inspiring his classmates to do better and always challenging himself to exceed the highest of expectations. This is one I would recommend highly to anyone and everyone.
1. Naruto & Naruto Shippuden
When Naruto Uzamaki was born, his village was attacked by a 9-tailed fox demon. Naruto’s father sacrificed himself and sealed the demon into his new born son to save their village. 13 years later Naruto is graduating the Ninja Academy. He is the epitome of an outcast, most of the village sees him as evil and thinks his existence is a burden. His rival is Sasuke Uchiha who wants to gain as much power as possible so he can avenge his clan that was murdered by his eldest brother. Naruto’s love interest is Sakura Haruno who loves Sasuke, and all three of them are placed on a squad that will go on missions together. It’s a story of friendship, adventure and heroism.
This anime is an absolute classic. That is why it reins in as my number one, I fell in love with this anime in 2010 and revisited it 8 years later still loving it. “Naruto”, the original anime series, has 220 episodes in total and “Naruto Shippuden” has a grand total of 500 episodes. Those are some pretty intimidating numbers but as you start watching it just sucks you in. It’s amazing how developed the plot is and you never feel like they rushed a scene. Everything is exactly how it should be and the final episode feels like a bad breakup. Side note, there is also an anime series called Boruto that follows Naruto’s son. The legacy lives on!