Bit of a random/nerdy post today, and not something I would usually blog about, but anime is definitely something I have always geeked out about. A lot of people would say that it’s childish to watch cartoons at an older age (who cares anyway, it’s entertainment), but I think anime can be appreciated differently as an adult. Anime shows that are aimed at an older audience contain stronger adult themes. However, my favourite thing about anime is the art style – it’s absolutely beautiful! The music is wonderful, the drawings and scenery are stunning, and all the characters are gorgeous – what’s not to love?
Watching anime was something I did quite often when I was younger. I loved shows including Pokemon, Sailor Moon (I even dressed as Sailor Venus for my Year 12 Muck Up Day), Cardcaptors, Hamtaro, OnePiece, and Digimon. It was only around last year, that I discovered how amazing adult anime is!
This isn’t a recommendation post, as I haven’t watched enough of the anime that is out there, nor do I consider myself an expert of it. It is more of review, talking about the ones I have watched, and if you wanted to begin watching some yourself.
So here’s a rundown of what I’ve recently watched 🙂 (With no spoilers!)
Death Note (2006)
This was the first older anime I watched (due to the association people made between the main characters and Dan and Phil), and it was such a good choice, because it started my love for anime again.
The show is about a boy names Light Yagami, who finds a book called the ‘Death Note’, after it has been dropped by a Shinigami (Gods of Death) into the human world. Basically any name you write within this book – dies! Light decides he wants to rid the world of all evil, and creates an alias known as Kira. There is a detective named L, who is working to put a stop to all the deaths caused by Kira.
I think this is a really great anime to start with. It has drama and suspense, and it’s dark but still contains a bit of comedy. Obviously from the title, there is a lot of death, but it’s not overly violent.
The main character contrast was also good. Light was a high academic achiever, with a bright future, and always seemed to be well presented. Although, I definitely had a soft spot for L, with his messy hair and unique habits, he always looked like he just rolled out of bed – but his mind was amazing.
With 37 episodes all up, each around 20 minutes, it’s not too long to watch. It did take me a few episodes to get into it, but after the first 4 or 5, I was hooked!
I will say that there was parts of the anime I wasn’t too happy with, but I think the story took a good direction, with a very powerful ending.
This show had me on the edge of my seat! Whether it was because it was the first one I watched, or I just simply enjoyed it, it was most likely always be one of my favourites.
Sword Art Online (2012, 2014)
This story follows a boy name Kirito, who enters the newly released, Virtual Reality Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), Sword Art Online. After a short time within the game, the players soon discover that they cannot log out; the only way is by defeating the 100th floor. Plus, if they die in the game, they die in real life! Kirito, a highly skilled player, teams up with Asuna, both determined to defeat the game.
This was an amazing anime. I felt that the story line was really compelling, and the idea
of dying in the game and real life was intense. Although, not sure if I’ll be playing VR anytime soon..
I thought that Kirito and Asuna were both really good characters. I’ve heard that a lot of people weren’t big fans on the romance included within the show, but I felt that it was quite nice, and not over the top.
This anime is a slightly longer one, with 49 episodes and 2 seasons. It also has 4 main arcs throughout the show, which I didn’t mind as you got to see different story lines, however, I felt the first part of season 1 was the best. It was also difficult to get into the beginning of each arc, but within a few episodes, I was hooked once again.
Overall, this is a really good anime! Definitely in my top favourites.
Your Lie in April (2014)
Much different the the previous two shows, Your Lie in April tells the story of a young pianist prodigy named Kousei Arima. After the death of his mother at a young age, Kousei’s life became dull, and he is unable to play the piano to the same ability. He then meets another young musician; a violinist named Kaori, who brings a spark back into his life and reminds Kousei how incredible music can be.
The aesthetic of this anime is amazing! The scenery and the colouring (and all the cherry blossoms) were beautiful! It just made me want to visit Japan even more!
In only 22 episodes, it told a heartbreaking, and beautiful story. I wouldn’t class this as a favourite, but I am glad I watched it – a very powerful story about friendship and having passion in your life.
Yuri!!! on Ice (2016)
A sports anime revolved around figure skating, this is the story of Yuri Katsuki who, after countless defeats, seems to be done with skating, until he meets Russian champion Victor Nikiforov. After performing a rendition of a routine by the champion skater, Victor agrees to become Yuri’s coach, and train him for the next season. This then causes conflict from 15-year old Russian prodigy, Yuri Plisetsky, who also asked Victor to be his coach. The show follows both of the Yuri’s training leading up to the Grand Prix series, as well as the relationships between the characters (particular Yuri. K and Victor).
A very popular anime, this was beautiful, intense, and funny. I was so invested in the skating scenes, that I would actually gasp if a skater fell. Plus, the routines were beautifully choreographed.
Yuri Plisetsky was definitely a highlight character for me. Not only was he an amazing skater, but he was so sassy and angry – it was great! He also did have a kind side in his own away, and I loved his obsession with tiger themed clothing.
I really enjoyed watching this anime, however, the season was also only 12 episodes long, so I’m looking forward to a second season (hopefully).
Attack on Titan (2013, 2016)
Back to the death theme, Attack on Titan is the story of humanity fighting against giant human-like creatures, called Titans; who eat people! It focuses on the main character, Eren, along with his foster sister, Mikasa and friend Armin. Eren is determined to destroy all the Titan’s after his mother is killed, and the three of them enlist in the military, training to become Scouts and fight against the Titans.
As such a popular show, I had been meaning to watch this for so long, but was always reluctant because of how horrific and harrowing it is. However, now that I’ve watched it, it is definitely one of my favourites! I finished Season 1 in 8 days..
Season 2 has only just started airing, and there’s only so much I can say about the show without spoiling it. I made the mistake of starting season 2, meaning I have to wait weekly for episodes, which is worse when so many of the episodes end on a cliffhanger! So I’ve decided now to just wait until it’s all out, and binge watch it).
Obviously, the themes in this show are a little more confronting, but the action is so good; all the fighting scenes are intense! Also, the music is so exhilarating, I sometimes just listen to it (and attempt to sing along in Japanese). I do like a lot of the characters in this show; I think Eren is a good main character, and a lot of the female characters are quite strong (Petra and Sasha are great). However, I think Captain Levi would have to be my favourite. Most of the time he has the same moody expression, and monotone voice, and I love that. He is also a great solider.
I am currently quite obsessed with this show; definitely in my top favourites!
There always seems to be online arguments with people saying that the Japanese/English subbed versions are better. While I think it’s great to watch them as they were originally intended, I am definitely more of a fan of the English Dub. Firstly, I think it’s because I grew up obviously watching anime in English, so it reminds me of that. Also, I really like to appreciate the story, drawing, and art of anime, something I would struggle with if I was reading subtitles. It’s definitely a personal preference.
With so many shows, where can it all be watched? I use the online streaming service AnimeLab, it’s basically Netflix for Anime!
You can access it for free, and watch shows with English Subtitles and adds, or become a premium subscriber for just $6.95 a month, which allows you access to English Dub (if available) and exclusive shows. I have been a subscriber for a while now, and think it is worth it if you’re a fan. You definitely get your money’s worth, and you’re supporting anime creators.
Well, that’s my little review on recent anime series’ I’ve watched. Let me know in the comments if you’re also a fan of anime, and if you’ve enjoyed any of these shows – I’d love to nerd out about them!
Now to delve into my list of anime shows to watch next..
As of this post, all the shows I spoke about are on AnimeLab, excluding Yuri!!! On Ice.
*Pictures courtesy of Google Images