Last month, we wrote a short article on why more people should be watching anime (Japanese animation) and gave five anime for the budding anime-watchers to stream, when they are up for it. Today, we shall cater to the intermediary level of anime viewers, the ones who have been watching this Japanese art for a few years now and love it, but they do not know what to watch next. Most of you would have watched popular anime such as ‘Naruto’ & ‘Naruto: Shippuden’, ‘Death Note’, ‘Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood’, ‘Cowboy Bebop’, ‘Bleach’, ‘Dragonball Z’, etc and are looking to watch similar anime.
But at this point, you guys should be experimenting with multiple genres, to get a feel of what these artists can offer. We will suggest five anime, which are one of the best in their genre and hopefully you guys will find the niche group you are into. So here are 5 popular anime series you should be watching, if you haven’t already:
FAIR WARNING: MOST OF THESE ANIME ARE 18+ AND SHOULD BE VIEWED RESPONSIBLY
Genre: Action/ Jidaigeki – Period Drama/ Comedy/ Martial Arts
Beautiful animation, awesome martial arts action and likeable characters, this 26-episode masterpiece is amazing from start to finish. Filled with dark humor and brilliant dialogue, this anime is a must watch. It is available to stream on Youtube.
Synopsis: Set in an alternate Edo era (1603-1868) in Japan, with a misplaced hip-hop style-like background, the story follows Mugen, an crazy freedom-loving vagrant swordsman, Jin, a composed and serious rōnin and Fuu, a young woman. The two swordsmen follow Fuu as she goes on a quest across Japan to find the “samurai who smells of sunflowers”.
Genre: Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction/ Comedy/ Adventure/ Mecha Anime
Full name: ‘Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagan’; this series is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but with space travel and huge mecha-robots. And “fan-service”. We apologize in advance for the amount for “fan-service” you will see during this anime (if you are not into that kind of thing), but the series is brilliant and a must-see. Stream this 27-episode anime on Crunchyroll.
Synopsis: Simon and many others live in an underground village to escape the terror of Beastmen. Their dream of returning to the Earth’s surface stops seeming impossible when a giant mecha suddenly crashes into their underground home.
This short 13-episode anime is a heart-wrenching, beautiful watch. Featuring musical performances, humor and brilliant action, this “short, yet sweet anime” captured the hearts of many audience members. Watch this fantasy series on Crunchyroll.
Synopsis: In a realm within the afterlife, a band of teens fight to keep from being “sent forward”.
Genre: Action fiction/ Thriller/ Urban Fantasy
This action-packed, high-paced series is based off a series of novels of the same name by Ryohgo Narita, which takes place in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. This anime is rich with multiple interesting characters and has amazing visuals. The characters are well fleshed-out and distinct personalities. This is the only long anime featuring on this list, having over 70 episodes released so far. Stream this series on Crunchyroll.
Synopsis: Ikebukuro is where young people have gathered, each with their own expectations, and it is home to many unique characters, including an underground doctor, a stalker, a headless motorcyclist and a mysterious gang called “Dollars.” These characters both cause and get caught up in trouble, and as their lives intersect the story becomes more unpredictable.
Genre: Alternate history/ Military Fiction/ Mecha Anime
Another anime with a ridiculous amount of fan service, but the 2-season, 50-episode masterpiece is a must watch for all anime watchers. This political action-drama has an almost ‘Game of Thrones’ level of important characters and it will be hard to keep a track of all the main players through just one sitting. Touching on topics as varied as political greed, racism, love, immense hatred, military strategy and self-sacrifice among many others, ‘Code Geass’ is one of the most nuanced series available for viewing, anime or otherwise. Rated as one of the best animes ever released of all time, this series can be watched on Netflix.
Synopsis: In an alternate universe, the British Empire doesn’t crumble. More than 45% of the World’s landmass has been conquered by The Britannian Empire and it has just captured Japan, the only country exporting the most sought out element in the world, Sakuradite (which releases a massive amount of energy when burnt). Japan has been renamed into Area-11, another “Area” under the rule of the Britannians. The Japanese lose their rights to self-govern and are now called Elevens. The Empire uses powerfully destructive robotic weapons called Knightmares to ensure control, but someone is about to stand up against it. Lelouch, the banished black prince of Britannia, has endless ambition and uses the power of the Geass to build a world based on his ideals. Suzaku Kururugi, the white knight, aspires to justice and strives to live an honest and fair life.
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