Animes are great in story, drama, and action. It is one of those visual arts where you get to see the beautiful artwork, engaging story telling, incredible imagination and intense development of characters. At each step, the audience will be kept up-to-date with the story; you’ll never feel lost, except may be, during the first few episodes.
Animes are so sprinkled with psychology, mythology, science and what not, if you observe them carefully. They even contain life lessons. One thing I always do once I am done with an Anime is to go read it’s wiki page. There I find many interesting bits about the themes explored in the story line. So yeah, if anyone thinks animes are for children then he/she should try watching a few.
Here is the chronological list of animes I watched last year. I also give my rating along with it. While preparing this list, I went through the wikis of these animes again. It was fun to read them.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood [4/5] [64 Episodes]
This anime is pretty intense in emotions most of the times. The story is about two brothers (teenagers) in a world of alchemy. Alchemy is this technique of creating anything by providing something of equal value, governed by the Law of Equivalence (law of conservation of mass reference). Alchemists are forbidden from transmuting Humans and Gold. There is a pantheistic entity called Truth, which regulates the use of Alchemy. Those who attempt human transmutation, are sent to the Gate of Truth for the punishment, as a result, they lose some part or the whole of their body. The two brothers try human transmutation to bring their mother back, which obviously is not successful. This marks the start of their journey to find the solution to the serious loss they suffered as punishment. This journey involves finding about Philosopher’s stone (which enables one to perform alchemy by bypassing the Law of equivalent exchange), a government conspiracy and their father’s past.
Steins;gate [5/5] [24 Episodes]
This anime will blow your mind. There are no themes here. It’s an amazing sci-fi story of a self-proclaimed “mad scientist” who, in his “Future Gadget Laboratory” along with two other members, somehow discovers a method of sending text messages back in time using a cellphone-operated oven. Yes, the setting is ridiculous, but the whole time loop shown is amazing. I loved how the series progressed into a very interesting plot with a spectrum of emotions.
Future Diary [3/5] [26 Episodes]
This one is okay-ish. This again as no themes. This is just pure battle royale between 12 players having diaries with different abilities. All players’ diaries have different abilities, but mostly related to seeing future in some way, hence, “Future Diary”. This series has Deus Ex Machina, the God of Space and Time. This series has Apocalypse. At times this series is really dark. This series even has super computer. Other than that, it’s just okay.
Rick and Morty [5/5] [31 Episodes]
This is an American animated series. It tells the story of a crazy scientist Rick Sanchez and his grandson Morty Smith. Rick takes him to intergalactic/inter-dimensional missions and the series revolves around those adventures. Sometimes Rick’s sister also crashes the party. This series is hilarious. We have family drama. We have great Sci-fi. We have darkness. The series address the point that we not alone in the universe and compared to the universe humans are so insignificant. Till now there have been 3 seasons. The 4th season is in the making.
Sword Art Online (SAO) [4/5] [49 Episodes]
SAO focuses on Virtual Reality MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). Basically, online games where you “role play”. You have a virtual world where you interact with other players. During the first part of the series, players are trapped inside a game called Sword Art Online. If they die in-game, then they die in real life too. So, 1st part the story of how they got out of it. Fighting sequences are enjoyable and imagination is exuberant.
Durara!! [2/5] [26 Episodes]
I dropped this one at the last 4-5 episodes. I completely lost interest in this one. It was just going on…
Ping Pong [5/5] [11 Episodes]
This is 11-12 episode series where we see the journey of two childhood friends winning it in table tennis (ping pong). With an incredible story and diversity of emotions combined with a very different and unique artwork than normal animes, this series was exceptional. What’s the cherry on the top is that, the creators were able to do it in 11 episodes.
Fate/stay night [3/5] [24 Episodes]
This is another Battle Royale themed series. Here we have a group of seven sorcerers, called masters who are chosen by the Holy Grail. Holy Grail also grants each one of those masters a servant, reincarnations of legendary heroes from all times (both fictional and real). Servants are for the protection of their masters, as well as, to kill other masters or servants. Whoever wins, gets the holy grail which can fulfill any wish. The story is about the 5th Holy Grail wars which started prematurely (40 years earlier than it’s time). This series had a lot of creative imagination and references from real world. For instance, Holy Grail used as an all powerful entity which grant wishes has a rich history surrounding it. Similarly, each servant has a past which is again inspired from the real world. Characters shown are just great.
Fate/Zero [4/5] [25 Episodes]
This is prequel to the Fate/stay night. It ends where the Fate/stay night picked up. It’s 4th Holy Grail war, we have different masters and different servants. Here we are told that 3 earliest magi families are the ones who developed the Holy Grail wars. And all the past grail wars were inconclusive. The masters and servants are both very imaginatively developed. The animation is better visually and in quality. Story is great too.
Log Horizon [4/5] [50 Episodes]
This is another MMORPG series where the players are trapped inside the game. Based on similar premise as SAO, but it’s still different. First is, they didn’t get out of the game till the end. Second is, in-game death is not a real life death. I found this series less “teenagery”. What I especially liked about this series is, how everyone (almost, anti-social characters are always there) got together and started building a society complete with leaders, central bank, guilds, military and the whole deal.
Neon Genesis Evangelion [4/5] [26 Episodes]
This one is very different. This series reminded me of the movie No Country for Old Men. When I finished that movie, I was like, what just happened here. I didn’t understand it properly. Same was the case with this series. I finished this whole series which was pretty dark at times, in the end, leaving me with the question of what just happened there. Reading the wiki page kind of showed how deep in themes this anime is. It is littered with the references to religion, philosophical and psychoanalytical concepts. The story is around the experiences and emotions of the pilots of these bio-engineered mecha called Evangelion. These evangelions fight the Angels (a race of giant monstrous beings), to prevent the destruction of earth.
Apparently, when the Japanese anime industry was going through a slump period this anime was very inspiring to them. It brought new insights into the animation, specifically, mecha genre. It brought innovation.
No Game No Life [3/5] [12 Episodes]
The series features a brother sister duo, known as blank, killing it in every game they play. Then one day, they are transported to a world where every decision gets made by playing a game, any game of their choice. Humans in this world are lowest in the hierarchy. The duo represent humans and take decide to take upon themselves to the previous glory to further go on to beat the god of this world. This anime only has one season whereas it’s manga version is quite long.
The Devil Is a Part-Timer! [3/5] [13 Episodes]
A story about Demon Lord Satan Jacob coming to earth after fleeing from the hero Emilia Justina. Here due to lack of powers, Satan is forced to work in a fast food restaurant named MgRonald (McDonald’s watch out). Then Satan and the Hero Emilia meet on Earth and the series follows the story after that. This series is a comical series. There’s nothing more to it. Also, not all the volumes are made into anime.
Samurai Champloo [3/5] [26 Episodes]
If you have watched Cowboy Bebop then you might like this. Samurai Champloo was created by the the creator of Cowboy Bebop. The series is quite artistic. It uses Japanese History references with a modified version for the story.
Hunter x Hunter [4/5] [148 Episodes]
This was the last and the longest anime that I watched in 2017. The plot is quite long and complex to explain. It’s better to read the wiki page. I wont be able to do justice to it in a few sentences. I was skeptical at first about this series, but as the story developed, characters got deeper and involved, animation gets better, fighting sequences are beautifully shown. It’s an amazing series. If you are going to watch it, watch the 2011 version.
Fans of Japanese Manga might call me a fake based on the idea that mangas are better than Anime. There are plenty memes floating around on that. May be they are better, but there are A LOT of mangas out there not to mention numerous volumes (as versions, sequels and prequels) of each. On the other hand, non-anime watchers might call me a weeb (I very recently came to know about this word). Alas, they don’t know the meaning of the word and just use it without thinking about it. I can’t blame them though; there are far more frequently used words which are inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, or logically confused like this study lists.
1: Pantheism is this belief that everything makes the god. Nature is god. We are god. The concept of pantheism belongs to theology as well as Philosophy. Famous individuals like Carl Sagan and Einstein are considered to be the followers of pantheism.⤴