I would like to thank Fan Girl Confessions for publishing this article. The site offers insights into the cosplay community, overviews of anime and TV shows and reports on conventions. Check out the piece “Becoming Sera from Dragon Age: Inquisition” for a look at the creating a great cosplay.
Not all anime are equal. As popular as One Piece and Fairy Tale might be, they tend to have formulaic and predictable plots. While some of the best anime might have expected twists and turns, the journey and characters make the experience far more satisfying. Plus, most of the them are able to squeeze all of the action and drama into less than 100 episodes. If you haven’t watched any of these anime yet, go out and get them right now.
Many fans of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood started off on the original Fullmetal Alchemist series. In this one you still follow Edward and Alphonse Elric as they search for the Philosopher’s stone in order to regain their bodies. This series came out while the manga was still ongoing, so partway through the series it departs from the original plotline and ending. The mangaka, Hiromu Arakawa, gave the studio free reign to create new plotlines and change up the characters, leading to a very different yet still engrossing story. While more upbeat than Brotherhood, there are still many dark moments, amazing action scenes and meditation on the human condition. This is a must watch for any fans who want to see an alternate ending to Brotherhood.
Kill la Kill
If you want action, humor, over-the- top fight scenes, skimpy outfits and amazing animation, then Kill la Kill is the anime to watch. Ryuko Matoi transfers to a militaristic school called Honnouji Academy, which is ruled by the domineering Satsuki Kiryuin and the Elite Four. In order to find out who killed her father and get revenge, Matoi challenges everyone at the academy to get answers. The only downside is that every student has a uniform that gives him or her superhuman abilities. As she battles through the student body, she finds things aren’t what she expected.
At only 24 episodes, Kill la Kill packs a whole lot of story and action into each one. There’s hardly any downtime to catch your breath. This parallels Matoi’s own struggle as she fights against a vicious student body and even larger threats. While the show can get grim at some points, Matoi’s friend Makoto helps break up those moods with a good dose of humor. This alleviates not only Matoi but the audience’s as well.
Not to be confused with Naruto, Narutaru is definitely not a show for kids. Yes, it starts off innocently enough and features a spunky 12-year old girl who stumbles upon a cute starfish-looking mascot, but things quickly evolve from lighthearted anime to something much darker and more sinister. As you progress, you learn more about dragonchildren and meet other children who have bonded with them. Although a lot of the story revolves around the actions of these chosen children, it also goes into detail about how they arrived at this place. Their backstory sheds some light as to why they act the way they do. This is one of the lesser known anime due to its very graphic nature, but is still absolutely worth a watch.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Yet another anime you should not judge by its cutesy animation and premise. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is perhaps one of the grimmest looks into the world of magical girls. It might seem like a noble job, but there is much more to them than meets the eyes. Very quickly the series pulls off the kid gloves and delivers one gut punch after another. Being a magical girl would come with consequences and dangers, so it makes sense in a way. Even though you understand this, it’s hard to really accept it as the girls are middle schoolers. The animation here is flawless and the voice acting is top notch. The storyline keeps you enthralled and the ending really ties everything together.
While you can certainly buy the box sets for these anime, you can also stream most of them through Netflix, Crunchyroll or Funimation. Unfortunately, if you’re traveling or live in a geo-restricted area, you likely won’t be able to watch some or all of these. While Netflix in the US offers most of these titles, they might not be available in the UK. Luckily, there are ways to watch American Netflix by going through a Virtual Private Network.
Are there other anime you think should be on this list? Any opinions on those listed above? Anything else we should know about? Tell us in the comments below!
About the Author: Cassie a freelance tech and entertainment writer. She excels at finding ways people can utilize technology to discover the best shows. As a self-professed anime nerd, she hopes this list introduces more quality anime to people around the world.