This is only my second week of taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, but unlike last week’s post I’m actually posting this one on time!
Top Ten Tuesdays originated over at Broke and Bookish and this week’s theme is TV shows. I’ve chosen to do Top Ten Anime shows because I’m a huge fan of the sub-culture and I watch probably as much anime as regular TV (if not more).
If you’ve not come across it before, anime is a style of animated series or film that originates from Japan. It’s normally adapted from a manga series (although sometimes this is the other way around) and airs in Japanese with English (or other) subs, before being dubbed into English.
This list is aimed at both those who are new to the genre and die-hard fans (like me) who are looking for something new to toy with their emotions.
(Disclaimer: I watch all of these in Japanese with English subs, so I can’t speak for the quality of the English dubs.)
1. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin)
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy.
Summary: Attack on Titan is set during a future where titans have driven humanity back behind the walls of a single city, after almost wiping them out a century before. The series follows protagonist Eren Yeager, who has vowed to train and defeat the titans so humanity can be free once more.
The clincher: Although its basically Game of Thrones in anime form, and some scenes will literally rip your heart right out, this series is full of gorgeous animation, fascinating/complex characters and a plot that just goes from strength to strength. It’s bloody, it’s dynamic and it has a soundtrack that might well be the best of any anime ever. (You can watch the first season on Netflix and the second season is coming soon.)
2. Seven Deadly Sins (Nanatsu no Tazai)
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure.
Summary: Seven Deadly Sins follows Elizabeth, the princess of Britannia – a land that’s been taken over by holy knights – as she sets out to find seven legendary knights who she hopes will be able to return power to the King, her father. These seven are known as the Seven Deadly Sins (plot twist) and were once the most fearsome warriors in the kingdom.
The clincher: As well as a talking pig character (which sold it alone for me), this series is brilliantly funny but also incredibly dramatic. The characters are all pretty unique and the mystery of their pasts builds as the show progresses. They also have some damn cool powers. (The first season is on Netflix and the second season is currently airing in Japan.)
3. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Genre: Action, Fantasy.
Summary: This story centers around two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, who are both alchemists. After losing parts of their original bodies during a disasterous transmutation when they were young, they are searching for the legendary Philosopher’s Stone, to try and get their bodies back.
The clincher: This series is an absolute favourite of many, and it’s easy to see why. Brotherhood is a remake of the original FMA series, with better animation and a smoother script. The series is brilliantly original, has a really diverse cast of characters and shows brotherly love at its finest. Its use of alchemical powers makes the action scenes so captivating. Also, if you’re a fan of self-sacrifice for the greater good, this is the show for you! (This series is complete and can be found on Netflix.)
Genre: Drama, Romance.
Summary: This is set in a dystopian world where Shion, a young boy, lives in the ‘perfect’ city, No. 6. One night he gives shelter to another boy, Nezumi, who is running from the authorities. This act of kindness is seen as a transgression by the city authorities who cast Shion out of No.6, where he finds that the city is not as idyllic city is not as perfect as it makes out.
The clincher: Gay romance between beautiful animated boys and an absolute thrill-ride of a plot. There’s also a character called ‘Dog-loan’. I’m not kidding. (This series is complete and since the one season spans the full story of the nine manga volumes it sadly looks like there won’t be another *cries*.)
Genre: Sports, Drama.
Summary: Four boys, Haruka, Makoto, Nagisa and Rei, decide to set up their own high school swim club so they can swim together and take part in competitions. One of their childhood friends, Rin, returns from studying in Australia and they must compete against him when he joins a rival team.
The clincher: Even if you’re not into sports anime/TV shows, there is a good 100% chance you’ll still enjoy this. The show covers themes of friendship, ambition, and what it means to be truly ‘free’. Plus, it involves cute anime boys swimming shirtless. Need I say more. (There’s also a second series called Free: Eternal Summer, for even more of your shirtless boy needs.)
6. Food Wars: Shokugeki no Souma (Shokugeki no Souma)
Genre: Drama, Humour.
Summary: It’s Yukihira Soma’s dream to become a chef and surpass his father, who runs their family restaurant. But when Soma’s father gets a new job that requires him to travel, he can’t stay at home to look after Soma, or the restaurant, so he enrolls his son into a culinary high school for elite, aspiring chefs. In a place where only the top 10% graduate, it’s up to Soma to prove his food is worthy.
The clincher: This is basically Masterchef meets Great British Bake Off in anime form. The food-tasting scenes are hilarious and (as with most anime) all of the food looks absolutely delicious. My advice would be to watch this while you’re eating or you’ll end up hungry. (The first season is available online and the second season is currently airing.)
7. Magi: Labyrinth of Magic
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure.
Summary: An alternative adaptation of Aladdin, Magi follows Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana in their quest to ‘capture’ dungeons, buildings that house the spirits of mythical beings. As an exiled prince, Alibaba is trying to save his kingdom from poverty, and as a Magi, Aladdin is tasked with helping him in his goals.
The clincher: This anime won my heart about five minutes into the first episode. The characters are exciting to watch and it’s very easy to get invested in their story lines. Plus the animation is seriously stunning. And they all have gorgeously colourful hair. (There’s also a second season called Magi: The Kingdom of Magic and a spin-off series Sinbad no Bouken (The Adventures of Sinbad) which I would highly recommend.)
8. Fairy Tail
Genre: Fantasy, Action.
Summary: In a world populated by wizards, the Fairy Tail guild is one of the most renowned. Desperate to escape from her overbearing father, Lucy Heartfilia runs away from home to join the Fairy Tail guild, where she meets Natsu Dragneel, a wizard with fire abilities who was raised by a dragon. Together with Erza, an armoured wizard, and Gray, an ice wizard they must save their guild from those who would see it destroyed.
The clincher: This anime is so full of adventure that I don’t know where to begin. It also has flying cats. Seriously, be careful of Fairy Tail. It’s very bingeable. You’ll sit down to watch two or three episodes, and suddenly you’ve watched fifteen episodes and completed an entire story arc. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.
9. Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona)
Genre: Adventure, Drama.
Summary: When princess Yona’s father is killed in a coup to take over the kingdom, she and her bodyguard/childhood friend Haku must go in search of four humans given the powers of the four legendary dragons to save her kingdom.
The clincher: This anime has a little bit of everything – action, adventure, family drama, fantasy powers, hints of romance and a bit of royalty thrown in. Yona is such a likable character because of her will and drive to help others and become stronger so that people can depend on her. Plus everyone is occasionally goofy and hilarious.
Genre: High School Drama, Romance.
Summary: Naho Takamiya receives a letter from her future self asking her to save her from unhappiness by preventing her ‘biggest regret’ from taking place.This regret seems to involve the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. As the events dictated in the letter start coming true, Naho realises she has to intervene for the sake of everyone’s happiness.
The clincher: So I’ve only just started watching this anime, but it seems good already. The premise is intriguing and the character design is wonderful. Plus the voice acting is great. I decided to put in my top ten, because I can tell from just a couple of episodes that it’s going to be a favourite.
So that’s it guys, let me know if any of you watch anime, and which are your favourites if you do!
(P.s Well done if you made it to the end of this because it was damn long.)