My Top 10 Anime Picks to Watch

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Recently I wrote an article on the top Korean Dramas to watch, but I started to love anime way before I started  loving Korean Drama. I love anime, because unlike in America where most animation is catered to a younger audience (unless you count Family Guy, The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, etc.) anime has a far wider interest and range. While adult animation in America tends to only focus on daily life and often makes dirty jokes, anime doesn’t have to be like this. They seem to more successfully explore far more mature themes without reverting to perverse jokes.


Keep in mind, however, that there are perverted animes under the category Hentai (pornographic) and Hechi (perverse), and many people seem to judge anime according to the existence of these categories, but they are not the standard. Just as there’s a difference between Kim Possible and The Simpsons, so is there between hentai/hechi and all the other animes in existence that don’t fall into those categories. It’s just simply what you choose, and just as Kim Possible doesn’t reflect on all other cartoons, considering just hentai or hechi shouldn't be reflective of other categories of anime.


The other thing people should know is that all fandoms have over-the-top people. Therefore, not all people who watch anime sit in their basement all day without interacting with the world. I've heard of people not trying out anime because they say the fans are "weird". First thing is, weird is subjective, and second, most people who watch anime are quite “normal”, contrary to public opinion. I've made a list of my top animes. Keep in mind that my taste are not typical to some. I don’t tend to enjoy as many mainstream animes, and tend to watch more action animes.


1. Attack on Titans

This anime is about the human race being on the brink of extinction because of Titans — giants that seek to eat humans. After being persecuted, the remaining humans built 3 walls: Wall Maria, Wall Rose, and Wall Sinita, Wall Maria being the most exterior and Wall Sintia being the most inner. The walls circle around the villages and protect them. How did the humans build massive wall so quickly without being eaten? Anime logic. No one will ever know. The humans were safe for a century, until a unique Titan appears called the Colossal titan. He breaks a hole in the gate. The main character, Eren Yeager, watches as his mother gets eaten and so he decides to enroll in the army to help fight the titans. If I were to write anymore, I’d give away the entire plot, so there’s your synopsis.


2. Azumanga Daioh

This follows group of high schoolers and traces their friendship and school life as they prepare to take their college entrance exams. It’s a slice of life and there isn't much drama, but it is fun to watch!


3. Fairy Tail

(This one does have a strong emphasis on sexual innuendo…) This anime is about a world where people use magic (I know, fun, right?). Wizards with amazing abilities form guilds and fight evil, whether for a job or just for the sake of fighting a general threat to humanity. This anime follows the characters as they move beyond their pasts and enhance their powers. This anime is more fun than this synopsis sounds! However, the plot isn't very general like Attack on Titans. There's multiple plots that gets resolved and then they move on. PS: this anime has over 300 episodes, and it’s originally a manga, so if you like comics, you can check it out.


4. Kill Me Baby

This is also comedic and a slice of life anime. It follows the assassin Sonya and her friend through high school. It’s sporadic but it's funny and cute since the characters are drawn in child form (a cutesy form of the standard anime).


5. Natsume Yuujinchou

This is about an orphan teenage boy, Natsume, who can see Youkai, or spirits. He’s an outcast to society because of this. His grandmother, who also had this same ability and was outcasted by society, leaves a notebook behind in her old home. When Natsume scares one of his relatives with his ability he has to move to another relative’s house, and this is where he finds the notebook. The notebook contains the names of youkai his grandmother had tricked to gain control of them. In this anime, to have someone's name is to control them. During this journey, he meets a powerful youkai who aids him returning the names to those spirits.


6. Lucky Star

This is one of my favorites. It's a slice of life anime and is really for comedic relief. It's a parody of anime and so if you’re into anime, you'll see that the characters are drawn to reference anime. There are also joke referring to animes such as Kanon and the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. It follows Konata-chan and her friends through high school, and is actually pretty realistic which is a change from most overly dramatic animes.


7. Fruits Basket

This anime follows the story of a young girl who lost her mother. While living in the woods (I'll let you figure this out on your own) she meets a powerful family who lets her stay with them. However, some of the members of this family turn into the zodiac signs, and if a member of the opposite sex hugs them, they transform into the animal of their zodiac. However, the cat, which is not a part of the zodiac is often often outcasted. The main character seeks to help and reconcile this family and break the curse.


8. The Miyakawa Family's Hunger

This is a continuation of Lucky Star. The episodes are shorter and you only see the main cast from Lucky Star as a backdrop. It follows a family of two Hikage and Hinata (there's no mention of parents or anything) and their poverty. It’s comedic because the older sister loves anime and often sacrifices basic needs to buy anything anime related.


9. Gakuen Alice (Alice Academy)

This was my first and favourite anime of all times. My suggestion would be to read the manga instead of the anime or at least do both. While the anime is enjoyable, it is a failure in comparison to the manga. It's about Mikan Sakura, who follows her best friend to a school for students with special abilities. Initially, she doesn't know she has one as it was not detectable, but after following her best friend to the school, it turns out she does (how convenient and typical of anime) and is admitted into the school. The other main character, Natsume Hyuuga, is a star student with an amazingly powerful ability. This is used by the school to fulfill their nasty deeds, and he is not very popular because of rumors about his past. He is a symbol of the dark side of the school and Mikan, determined to save him and those in the school from the dark side, starts a battle against one of the principals, who uses others as pawns to control the school. Unfortunately, most of my summary won’t make sense if you don’t read the manga. The anime doesn’t capture the story fully and is insubstantial in comparison to the manga.


10. Barakamon

This follows a camonlligraphy artist through a dormant stage in his career and his search for inspiration. It follows in time as he moves to remote villages for inspiration and shows how he integrates into the village and finds inspiration from the villagers, as well as how the villagers find inspiration from him. It's very comedic so all the sentimentality may pass you by, but it's there.


Here’s a list of other animes that I haven't had the chance to watch yet but are popular in the anime fandom: Bleach, Kuroko no Basket, Mushishi, WataMote, Kanon, Clannad, One Piece, Naruto,The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Hunter x Hunter, and Madoka Magica. There are many more, but it would be too much to list here. Here are four websites you can go to watch anime:

  1. KissAnime

  2. Crunchyroll

  3. Netflix

  4. GoGoAnime


Happy watching (and reading, if you ended up checking out the mangas suggested too)!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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