Anime is definitely an underwatched thing in this part of the world. But it shouldn’t be. Some anime series are among the best things ever shown on television.
You might think it’s a childish to watch an animated adult drama but before South Park the idea of an adult animated comedy would have been considered equally ridiculous. Here’s just a few ones to get you started.
Yagami Light finds a notebook that he can use to kill anyone simply by knowing their face and writing their name in it. Over the episodes you see him descend from a gifted teenager into a megalomaniac willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Soon a mysterious detective known only as ‘L’ is set on the case of catching him. The result is a classic cat and mouse chase that’ll make you forget about all the stuff you have to do that day.
It’s rightly criticised for having gone on too long and not finishing when it should have but the first 25 or so episodes are some of the best television ever created.
Attack on Titan
This caused a storm when it was released last year and was hailed as one of the best animes to come out in years. Humanity survives in an area surrounded by high walls to keep out creatures called Titans. They look like humans but are much larger and stronger. They don’t seem to have the same brain power (at least most of them don’t) and humans are the only things they’re interested in eating. They are almost invincible except for a small area on the back of their necks. Humans must use devices which shoot ropes into buildings to swing around through the air and get in for the attack on their weak spot.
A real slow burner. The first dozen or so episodes it is just a funny show with great characters and its enjoyable but after halfway the story really gets going. You might be tempted to shut it off before then but it’s definitely worth sticking in there. The people involved figure out time travel and the main character has to keep reliving the same number of days over and over again to save his friends.
Following the bounty hunter crew of a spaceship in the near future as they travel around the solar system looking for targets, Cowboy Bebop, regularly tops best anime ever lists. It’s got great characters, storylines and one of the coolest theme tunes and soundtracks you’re ever likely to hear.
The thing about anime series is that they either go for one series, with maybe a second or a movie, or they seem to go on forever. Since it started in 1998 One Piece has racked up more episodes than The Simpsons and is closing in on the 700 mark.
Everything about it has depth. The story follows Monkey D Luffy, a pirate who ate the devil’s fruit which gave him the power to stretch himself like a rubber band. He and his crew sail the seas trying to make Luffy the pirate king. Every character has a detailed background. They’ll be sailing off for a big mission, come across someone and get side-tracked for ten episodes dealing with their story. This might sound annoying but at the end of those episodes you’ll probably be so drawn in you’ll forget that it isn’t even the main story.