Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s theme is:
September 4: Bingeworthy TV Shows/Amazing Movies (The new fall TV season is starting up this month, so let’s talk about what shows everyone should watch when they’re not reading!)
If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ll know that I love anime. Recently, I’ve been more into K-dramas, but there’s no denying that anime is my life-long love. Some of my favourite types of addictive anime series are action-packed fantasy adventures, so if you’re looking for some new recommendations, here are ten that you should try ASAP.
Attack on Titan // Brutal and violence, but cleverly plotted, Attack on Titan is addictive viewing. Set on an alternative version of earth where most of humanity lives in walled cities to protect them from titans that roam free, AOT follows Eren, Mikasa, and Armin, who join the army to fight back against the titans after their village is attacked. I’ve only watched season 1 (come on Netflix, upload season 2), but Attack on Titan remains one of the best anime series I’ve ever watched. It’s explosive, shocking, and has plot twists that you’ll never see coming. This show should definitely come with a TW for gore (people literally get eaten) but if you’ve got the stomach for it, I can’t recommend it enough.
Seven Deadly Sins // Set in ‘Britannia’, Seven Deadly Sins follows seven knights, each of whom represent one of the seven deadly sins.. After being defeated in battle trying to defend the crown, the seven disband and disappear. But ten years later, princess Elizabeth sets out to find them to ask for their help in taking back the kingdom. The main characters are revealed slowly in this series the mystery of their past and powers is part of what makes the show so watchable. Meliodas is a particular enigma, with a child-like appearance despite being very old, and a curse that we know little about. There are occasional silly moments where the show’s women characters are oversexualised in a way that’s unnecessary to the plot and just plain annoying, but aside from that this anime is a firecracker.
Yuri on Ice // After a big loss in the Grand Prix, Yuri Katsuki puts his career on hold and returns home. He performs a routine by his idol Victor Nikiforov, and his friend secretly uploads it online, where Victor sees it and then travels to Japan to offer to coach Yuri. If you haven’t watch Yuri On Ice yet, what have you been doing with your life? Stop reading this post, and go and watch it. (And then come back and finish reading the post, naturally.) The ice skating routines and slow-build romance make YOI captivating viewing, and one of the more heart-warming anime series to grace our screens.
Blue Exorcist // Rin and Yukio are ordinary teenagers until they learn that they’re the sons of Satan. (Standard plot development, I know.) When Rin draws a demon-slaying sword to protect those he loves, he unlocks his demon powers and discovers who he is. But despite being the son of Satan, Rin decides to become an Exorcist and joins True Cross Academy with the goal of defeating Satan. I love this show for a lot of the same reasons I love the other shows on this list – it’s got magic and demons and great fight scenes, but what sets it apart is the ‘big reveal’ element. None of Rin’s classmates know about his powers when he joins the academy, and some of the best moments come from their reactions to finding out who he really is. It’s entrancing viewing.
Cowboy Bebop // Bebop is an older sci-fi anime that’s become something of a classic in the genre. It’s set in 2071, and revolves around bounty hunter (‘cowboy’) Spike, as he tries to take down his former partner and friend, Vicious. This show is something of a slow starter, but by the time you get to episode 4, there’s no going back. The mix of wild west themes with sci-fi technology make it instantly likeable and reminiscent of the TV show Firefly.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood // After attempting an alchemy transmutation to bring their mother back to life, Edward and Alphonse Elric lose part of their bodies in the exchange, with Alphonse ending up a soul in a metal suit. Edward vows to get their original bodies back by finding the legendary philosophers stone, getting an automail arm and leg transplant and joining the military to do so. But the military has dark and deadly secrets, and the two brothers must navigate a complex political landscape and face enemies who want them dead before they can achieve their goal. FMA holds a special place in my heart as one of the first manga series I started reading and one of the first anime series (alongside Naruto) I watched. The steampunk-type world and eclectic characters make it a must-watch, and once you start watching you’ll find it hard to stop.
Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma // After Soma Yukihira’s father gets a new job that requires him to travel the world as a chef, he enrols Soma in a prestigious culinary academy. There, students face off against each other in shokugeki battles to determine who is the best chef. Upon learning that a third of the class get culled from the academy, Soma vows to become the top chef. This anime is so bizarre and yet so brilliant. When characters taste each other’s food their clothes more often than not just blow straight off. Sometimes they end up hallucinating the food’s origin story. It’s so odd, but so funny. The rivalries between characters are exciting and the friendships sweet. Oh and the food always. looks. so. good. Seriously, why does anime food always look amazing?
Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic // An alternative retelling of 1001 Arabian Nights, this series follows a young magi, Aladdin, as he befriends Alibaba and the two conquer a dungeon to gain the powers of the Djinn that’s housed there. When a Djinn is conquered, it lends out its powers to the conqueror, giving them otherworldly features and abilities. This series has fantastic world-building and some of the most imaginative fight scenes around. The characters are colourful and bold, and the series gets better and better as it progresses. I’d also highly recommend watching the sin off series, Adventures of Sinbad, which follows Sinbad as a teenager.
Terror in Resonance // In an alternate (slightly dystopian) version of earth, Tokyo is hit by a terror attack and the only clues to the culprit are cyber videos posted by the elusive ‘sphinx’. When two boys, ‘Nine’ and ‘Twelve’, transfer into Lisa Mashima’s school, she discovers that they’re responsible for the attacks. This series puts a whole new spin on cyber terror and is incredibly dark and addictive in its storytelling. Through Lisa’s eyes, we question the motives and morals behind Nine and Twelve’s actions and begin to wonder whether things are not quite as they seem.
Yona of the Dawn // Set somewhere in a fictionalised ancient East Asia, the series follows Princess Yona, whose father is murdered before her eyes by her childhood friend Soo-Won. Yona flees the palace with her protector Haku, and goes in search of four legendary Dragon Warriors to help her take back the kingdom. Yona has has A+ character development in this series, as she goes from a spoiled, naive princess, to a warrior who teaches herself how to fight and make alliances. The dark moments and drama are offset by light-hearted humorous scenes, which occasionally border on silly, but the pacing of the series is fast enough to keep you captivated.
What’s your favourite anime series? Are there any others you think I should have included on this list?