BEST DEAL UPDATE:
This year’s winter anime lineup is chock full of new and returning series, making it pretty easy to kick off the new year by adding a couple more shows to our list. After all, there’s no better New Year’s resolution than vowing to watch more anime. The new series premiering this month are sure to set you on the path to success. Here are the five anime series you need to watch this January.
- Premiere date: January 6
- Studio: Frontier Works and GoHands
- Genre(s): Action, Music
In recent years, anime about music has become increasingly popular, and Frontier Works and GoHands add to the mix with their original anime collaboration W’z. The series follows Yukiya, a 14-year-old who DJs days and night. Like literally any other artist, Yukiya wants to be famous — and important. But Yukiya’s afraid of getting hurt, so he plays music for a crowd of one and uploads his videos online. Things take a turn when he comes across a mysterious live broadcast from “that world.” Yukiya always believed that he couldn’t achieve his dreams by himself, that he needed to work toward his goal with someone else.
Tokyo-based record label GOON TRAX will be in charge of the music, and various other musical artists will lend their talent to the series. Frontier Works and GoHands’ original anime project premieres this January.
The Cost of Smiles
- Premiere date: January 4
- Studio: Tatsunoko Production
- Genre(s): Military, Mecha, Slice of Life, Drama, Fantasy
Anime studio Tatsunoko Productions (Psycho-Pass 2, Casshern Sins) is celebrating its 55th anniversary with an original anime, The Cost of Smiles. The studio describes their latest project as a story of two girls from a distant planet. There’s Yuuki, a cheerful 12-year-old princess who spends her days at the palace with her friends — and who can save the world with her smile. Then there’s Stella, a 17-year-old soldier who can only use her smile to protect herself.
Toshimasa Suzuki (Heroic Age, Fafner: Heaven and Earth) will direct the anime at Tatsunoko Productions, and Shinichi Inotsume (Gangsta., Persona 5 the Animation) will pen the script. NOB-C and Naoto Nakamura will bring the characters to life. How these two young girls’ paths become intertwined remains to be seen. But by the trailer alone we can see that The Cost of Smiles is overflowing with robot battles that mecha anime fans will undoubtedly enjoy.
The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness
- Premiere date: January 13
- Studio: WAO World and GEMBA
- Genre(s): Action, Military, Adventure
Girls und Panzer director Tsutomu Mizushima‘s new original anime, The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness, will premiere this January. His latest project centers around a group of bodyguards for hire known as the Kotobuki Squadron. The group is led by a beautiful yet strict squadron leader who must keep her rambunctious squad under control. But when it comes time to fight, they take to the air to battle against the pirates that plague the skies, pushing their Hayabusa fighters to the limit.
According to Mizushima, the anime will be a combination of 3DCG and hand drawings. And unlike Girls und Panzer — which featured various types of tanks from around the world — the airplanes in The Kotobuki Squadron in the Wilderness are all Japanese-made. So, no foreign fighters will appear in the series. Make sure you tune in this January to follow this eccentric all-female group of fighter pilots working to protect the aerial shipping lanes of a vast wasteland.
Super Dimensional Revolution Anime: Dimension High School
- Premiere date: January 10
- Studio: Polygon Pictures
- Genre(s): Comedy, Live-action, School
While anime has dabbled in 3DCG animation there hasn’t been a series — if memory serves us right — that mixes anime with live-action parts. Luckily, Polygon Pictures is set to dive into this new venture. Their latest project, Super Dimensional Revolution Anime: Dimension High School, follows five high school boys in remedial school who get transported into an anime world. Their mission: to stop the god of destruction from taking over the 3D world. To do this, the boys must regularly cross between the anime world and real life, transforming from real people to animated characters and back again, as needed.
Kaguya-sama: Love is War
- Premiere date: January 12
- Studio: A-1 Pictures
- Genre(s): Comedy, Psychological, Romance, School, Seinen
Based on the manga by Aka Akasaka, Kaguya-sama: Love is War takes teenage rollercoaster emotions to a whole new level. The anime adaptation follows Miyuki Shirogane, the smartest teenager in the country and the student council president of the prestigious Shuchiin Academy. Working beside him is the beautiful and wealthy vice president Kaguya Shinomiya.
Students often call them the perfect couple, despite the duo not being romantically involved. But after spending so much time together, the two develop feelings for one another. However, their pride makes it impossible for either of them to confess their love. So instead, they go to extreme lengths to get a confession out of the other. And so begins their daily schemes and antics to force the other to confess first. The first one to admit their love loses!
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
Getting trapped inside a building can be terrifying, especially if there are dangerous creatures around. But once you get out, you’re safe. The threat remains contained within those four walls. Of course, that’s assuming the darkness and despair haven’t spread into the surrounding area or town. If that’s the case, then there’s no escaping it — and there are quite a few anime series that support this claim by showing us just how terrifying these places, no matter the size, can be. So, here are the five scariest locations in anime.
The Abyss (Made in Abyss)
Made in Abyss centers around Riko, a young orphan girl who lives near the edge of the Abyss, a giant mysterious pit. The Abyss contains many hidden treasures, but seeking them out may cost you your life. Those who dare to venture into the Abyss often die from its “Curse” on their way back up. The effects of the Curse range from nausea to madness — and even death. But that won’t stop Riko.
While many have survived the Abyss, they didn’t go past its 6th level, The Capital of the Unreturned. This point of no return makes it physically impossible for explorers to return to the surface. The Curse subjects the diver to unimaginable pain and transforms them into a messy pile of meat. Even those who somehow avoid this cruel fate eventually lose their intelligence and conscious. With options like these, death sounds like a cake walk.
Fake Mitakihara (Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion)
In the world of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, young girls can get their wishes granted by turning into magical girls. One such girl is Madoka Kaname who, unlike the other girls, doesn’t have a wish; she just wants to be a magical girl. But she still has to fight witches, dark creatures that disrupt the normal flow in life, just like the other girls.
These witches are so powerful that they spread their despair and disaster to entire cities, such as Mitakihara, the town where the story takes place. At first glance, it looks like the girl’s hometown. But upon closer inspection, the real evil hiding beneath the surface becomes visible. It seems that this Mitakihara is a self-contained illusion, a maze with no exit that lures people and leads them astray. Every time the girls try to step foot outside the city, they find themselves re-entering it. Mitakihara is a creepy labyrinth that expands to the whole universe.
Human Activity Zone (Attack on Titan)
Humanity lived in peace for centuries. Then, the Titans, giant humanoid monsters appeared, appeared out of nowhere. These mindless creatures brought mankind to near extinction. As a result, humanity has locked itself behind giant walls. But the Human Activity Zone would come crumbling down when a Colossal Titan broke the outer wall. Luckily, there’s the Survey Corps who, with their omni-directional mobility gear, can fight these human-eating monsters.
Although it would be awesome to fly and jump around buildings fighting monsters, you’d do well to avoid the Human Activity Zone. Beyond the difficult-to-kill Titans, there are the humans who control everything from behind the scenes to worry about. Yes, the people chosen to protect humanity are actually leading the Military faction — their last defense — astray with their backdoor deals. And its citizens, including the armed forces, have no clue. It’s hard to focus on survival when you can’t even trust your neighbors.
Impel Down (One Piece)
One Piece follows Luffy as he sails through treacherous waters to become the Pirate King. During the journey, he and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, face impossible challenges. But nothing could’ve prepared them for the horror that is Impel Down, a maximum-security prison for the most dangerous criminals and pirates.
Set in the middle of the ocean and surrounded by marine battleships and monsters, Impel down is divided into six different levels. With each descending stage, the tortures inflicted on prisoners worsen. These inhuman punishments earn each level a title describing different types of hell (e.g., Crimson Hell or Freezing Hell). Even those who possess Devil Fruit powers can’t escape the six levels of hell. Navigating through a nightmarish, Dante-esque dungeon is scary enough, but it becomes utterly terrifying when you meet those who have landed there — such as Shiki the Golden Lion, one of the most powerful pirates around. This large prison is one of the scariest anime locations out.
Hinamizawa (Higurashi When They Cry)
Imagine living in a place where summer never ends. It sounds great, but not everything that glitters is gold, including the village of Hinamizawa. Taking place in the summer of 1983, Higurashi When They Cry follows Keiichi Maebara after he moves to the little town. He quickly makes new friends and enjoys playing various games with them after school. But this soon comes to an end when one of his friends gets insanely jealous. The obsession drives young Keiichi mad, leading him to commit gruesome crimes.
And the horror doesn’t end there. After Keiichi murdered his friends, the timeline seemingly resets itself, and the terror begins all over again — but with a different lead. The only one aware of this reboot is Rika, one of Keiichi’s friends, who has lived through this event for almost 100 years. Anyone who lives in Hinamizawa is doomed to die a horrible death, either by murder or by suicide. The only way to escape fate is to leave Hinamizawa before the reset.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
2018 was a whirlwind of a year for anime and manga fans. Not only was there a staggering amount of terrific shōnen anime, but Shōnen Jump is also finally catering to the desires of western readers and will publish localized versions of their many incredible manga digitally on an ad and subscription-based revenue model. It feels like we are rapidly approaching a new golden age of shōnen, where there are loads of incredible series to follow with easier access than ever before.
Before we dive headfirst into the future of not only shōnen but anime and manga as a medium, we should be sure to take a few moments to appreciate the very best of shōnen anime from this year. These 10 shōnen anime are exceptional and either pushed anime forward or played around with longstanding tropes to bring something new and revitalizing to millions of viewers.
Dragon Ball Super
The Tournament of Power arc — the final storyline to air in Dragon Ball Super before the anime wrapped up in March — felt like some of the best parts of Dragon Ball Z stretched out into dozens of episodes. Sure, it’s fun to watch lovable characters journey through mystical or alien worlds, but there’s nothing quite like watching a bunch of really strong people duke it out for hours on end while spouting about their life philosophies.
Even if this battle royale structure grew tedious at times, when the climatic moments hit, Dragon Ball Super had some of the best content in the entire franchise. The remaining fighters from Universe 7 rallying together to defeat Jiren in a desperate struggle is nothing short of iconic, and we can only hope that the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Broly film reaches these same heights.
Created as a tribute to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the prolific boxing series, Ashita no Joe, Megalo Box is a visual treat. With an artistic style similar to ’90s anime, gorgeous background art, and some stunningly animated fight sequences; Megalo Box is like a trip back in time for long-time anime fans.
Granted, Megalo Box doesn’t dig quite as far into the sport of boxing or its cybernetic take on it as what the anime could, but the visuals more than make up for this shortcoming. What Megalo Box does well, it does so extraordinarily, and will hopefully inspire other animation studios to experiment with their art direction. It’s not perfect, but Megalo Box is absolutely one of the best shōnen anime to air in 2018
Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online
The ultra-popular Sword Art Online series got not one, but two new anime in 2018, and Sword Art Online Alternative Gun Gale Online changes up the series’ usual format for some exceptional payoffs. Focusing on a new cast of characters, the protagonist Karen Kohiruimaki uses the game Gun Gale Online as a means to cope with her insecurities about her taller than average height. The end result is an anime that’s arguably better than the original series at its best and an interesting exploration of how games and digital relationships can help people explore their identity.
SAOA is as entertaining as it is enticing and offers a much better look at how video games fit into people’s lives than the original. We can only hope the latest season of SAO proper lives up to the bar set by this spin-off.
Yu Yu Hakusho
Yu Yu Hakusho is one of the best anime ever made, shōnen or otherwise. The exemplary series received two new OVAs along with the release of a new blu-ray box set, which qualifies for this list despite the anime wrapping up decades ago. Adapting material from the original manga that never made it into the original anime, these OVAs are a dream come true for longtime fans of the series.
These OVAs brilliantly bring the distinctly ’90s art style of Yu Yu Hakusho to a modern standard without losing any of the series’ charm. It’s also tear-jerking to see these classic characters interacting in news ways after being gone for years. Hopefully, these OVAs make it outside of Japan through a legitimate means soon, because they are a must-see for anyone with a fondness for the series.
Cells At Work!
Equal parts action, comedy, slice of life, and lesson in human biology, Cells at Work! is a terrific anime. Featuring a cast made entirely of anthropomorphized cells in human anatomy, this shōnen anime envisions a world where basic biological functions are performed by people. Of course, when some of these functions involve fighting diseases and other concerning health issues, white-knuckle action sequences can pop up pretty quickly.
Cells at Work! is one of the best shōnen anime of 2018 because it commits to its bizarre premise so completely. Everything that happens in any given episode is something that the human body deals with over the course of a person’s life, and the anime renders these bodily functions in a surprisingly creative fashion. Cells at Work! manages to be both entertaining and informative, which is something few other anime are able to achieve.
Attack on Titan
The third season of the uber-popular Attack on Titan anime premiered this year and pushed the series into a new direction. Abandoning the horror elements common in the first and second season, this latest storyline resembled a political drama more than anything else. This story structure works surprisingly well for the anime and capitalizes on its rather fleshed out world and collection of big personalities.
There’s a lot to like in the third season of Attack on Titan, even if it doesn’t have much of the Titan fighting action that popularized the series in the first place. However, this new direction for AoT works surprisingly well and explores the background of some of the most interesting characters in the franchise. The hype might not be as high as it once was, but Attack on Titan is still an exceptionally good shōnen anime and one of 2018’s best.
The Seven Deadly Sins
Even if its home on Netflix made Western audiences wait a few months to experience the new season of the anime, The Seven Deadly Sins is exceptionally good shōnen anime and well worth the wait. With the arrival of the Ten Commandments, some of the strongest members of the Demon Clan, these are some of the best and most intense episodes of The Seven Deadly Sins yet.
The Seven Deadly Sins had some of the best fights in shōnen anime this year, with Escanor’s many battles and Ban’s futile struggle to save Meliodas from the Commandments being chief among them. Now that the anime is really starting to explore its magical world and introduce its legendary figures, it’s sure to get even better as more and more episodes air.
Boruto: Naruto Next Generations
It may have taken a while to get going, but Boruto: Naruto Next Generations is now undoubtedly one of the best shōnen anime currently airing. Since leaving its introductory arc, Boruto has firmly established each of its central characters, their relationships with each other and the main characters from Naruto, and what they want to do in this mystical ninja world. Between these many likable new characters and regular appearances from the original cast, there’s a lot to like about Boruto now.
Even if it’s yet to reach the heights of the original series, Boruto is still a fun romp through a charming ninja world with an increasingly likable cast of characters. It’s certainly one of the best shōnen anime of 2018 and, if it keeps up its current momentum, could surpass the original series by its completion.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind
The highly anticipated fifth installment in the foundational shōnen series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure finally premiered this year and managed to exceed every expectation. Golden Wind is a gorgeous anime with one of the most likable collections of protagonists yet and some of the most creative fights in the series so far. Giorno’s journey to use his supernatural powers to stop the spread of drugs in his community is both deeply understandable and terrifically bizarre.
Golden Wind so far feels like one of the most refined installment of JoJo’s yet, with several departures from the original manga that make the story more digestible while also managing to improve the tone and style of individual scenes. Hopefully, this level of quality keeps up for the entirety of part five, and it stays golden going into 2019.
My Hero Academia
Surprising absolutely no one, the third season of My Hero Academia was one of if not the best shōnen anime of 2018. Combining some incredible fights with the highest stakes situations in the entire series, the most recent season of MHA was both thrilling and an emotional roller coaster. It was nothing short of a whirlwind of some of the most satisfying victories and crushing defeats in anime for this entire year.
On top of this incredible season of anime, fans also got to watch the exceptional My Hero Academia: Two Heroes film, which saw a theatrical release across the U.S. and Canada. In a year where anime seemed bigger than ever, My Hero Academia absolutely played a pivotal role in pushing the medium to even greater heights and even wider audiences.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
No series would be complete without a villain at its core. They’re there for a purpose — to push the story forward and make the hero shine bright. But sometimes, their plans go beyond what viewers expected, making us questions the main character’s ability to overcome these huge obstacles. And this year, these criminals weren’t short on creativity. Here are the five most villainous acts in anime of 2018.
Papa’s Deception (DARLING in the FRANXX)
DARLING in the FRANXX took many anime fans by surprise — not only did it have pubescent teens fighting in giant robots, but it also tells a love story about the rollercoaster ride that is teenage emotions. However, their biggest enemy is none other than Papa, the person in charge of their mecha units and the one that they see as a father figure. Throughout the series, viewers watch how these children live in cages and fight against the Klaxosaur, often resulting in the children’s death. But there’s something even more sinister going on.
In truth, Papa values the safety and objectives of APE, the organization that governs humanity, above all else. Papa sees every child killed during the battle as a sacrifice for their greater good. Even worse, the children are not even aware as he gains their trust and admiration by praising their combat capabilities and promising them rewards in exchange for fulfilling their duties. As a result, these children are loyal to Papa and are willing to die for him.
During the final episodes, viewers discover Papa’s real identity. He’s a VIRM, an alien hive mind species, and we learn the full extent of his plans. The VIRM is an entitled race that does as they please with other life forms they come across. When the battle against the Klaxosaur was nearing the end, the VIRM killed numerous pilots to escape from Earth, even if that meant the demise of all the people left on the planet. This indifference for human life is one of the evilest acts that we’ve seen this year so far.
Ryo Asuka’s Manipulation (Devilman Crybaby)
Devilman Crybaby took the internet by storm, from its creative animation style to amazing soundtrack, and the Netflix series was an instant hit. But that’s not all — with a despicable character at its core, the series also tells one of the most villainous stories. The series follows a caring teenager named Akira Fudo, who gets manipulated by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, to fight demons, and thus becoming a Devilman, a human by day and demon at night. With each evil act, Asuka gets closer to his goal of destroying humanity by turning them against each other.
Despite his young age, Asuka appears to be very successful in life. He has a college degree and TV show, which earned him a massive penthouse apartment. His wealth also gives him access to powerful gun and drugs, which he has no qualms in showing off or using. But that’s the material stuff. The true horrendous thing is how he manipulates millions of people, including his friend Fudo. When Asuka uploads a video about demons online, he creates many riots around the world.
Although he’s very fond of Fudo, he also holds a frightening amount of power over the young boy, without the latter even noticing. Just think of how smooth Ryo was to get Fudo to go to a Sabbath party with him in only a few hours of seeing him for the first time in years. Even though Asuka profoundly cares for his friend, he uses these emotions to get what he wants.
Manipulating Memories (The Seven Deadly Sins)
Gowther, who seems to have feelings for Guila, erased the memories of her brother so that she would have enough room to love the fellow Sin. Despite his friends telling him this is wrong, Gowther honestly doesn’t realize the weight of his actions. He doesn’t understand why manipulating a person’s memory could mess with someone’s emotions since he, unfortunately, has none of his own.
Due to being emotionless, Gowther is morally ambiguous. As such, there have been some moments where he has been careless with his fellow Sins’ wellbeing. The pink-haired warrior used his power on Diane to make her forget King. Gowther was curious if Diane’s feelings for the former fairy king would remain, even if she forgot about King. Not only that, but he also tries to kill Escanor and Hawk during the Great Fight Festival to further advance in the tournament. He almost killed his friends to win a heart and better understand human feelings.
Although he’s tasked to protect the people, his detached behavior, lack of understanding of emotions, and selfishness tend to make him morally questionable. These, combined with his brainwashing powers, are only a few ambiguously evil acts that fans have seen so far. The next season will see how far the pink-haired warrior will go.
Involuntary Population Control (Dragon Ball Super)
If threatening to eliminate several universes doesn’t count as a villainous act, then nothing will. During the Universal Survival Saga, the fate of Universe 7 and several others come into play during the Tournament of Power. Although it has a prize of a wish from the Dragon Balls, this competition has a villain. But it’s not Jiren or any of the other entrants. It’s Zeno and Future Zeno.
They want to destroy several universes because they feel there are too many. And this isn’t their first time doing this — the entities already destroyed six in the past after a bout of anger.
Worse than that, they want to be entertained by the fighters before they destroy them and their respective universes, making them fight like gladiators in the Colosseum. Beerus, who intends to punish evil civilizations and raise the Mortal Level, had a method to his madness. Even Frieza, who has committed mass genocide and destroyed several universes, finds the Zenos’ plan to be troublesome, showing that even these evildoers have limits on mass killing.
The Zenos don’t care what they do — they just want to destroy. They laugh childishly while erasing entire universes. Not only that, they don’t understand why everyone in the tournament stopped fighting after witnessing a whole universe getting obliterated.
Despite their age, the Zenos are naive, uncaring, temperamental beings who don’t deserve to rule over the universes. Why fear Beerus or Frieza when the Zenos are around?
Giving Family Dinner a New Meaning (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations)
At first, the celestial being was very calm and collected, masterfully calculating each step. But throughout the years, Momoshiki also demonstrated some sadistic tendencies, which came to light during his and Kinshiki‘s attack on Konoha. Without any regard to human life, Momoshiki unleashed several elemental assaults on citizens. After seeing the fear appear in their eyes, he can only laugh at their despair.
But besides that, the villain has a severe superiority complex, calling humans as “lowly beings.” This sentiment also extends to his father, Kinshiki, who in turn is very loyal and subservient to his son.
After taking Naruto to another dimension and preparing to extract the Nine-Tails from him, the process proved to be too slow. This gave Sasuke, Boruto, and the Kage enough time to rescue the leader of the Hidden Leaf Village. Despite their fierce battle against Kinshiki, they manage to capture the celestial being. But, at the last second, he unleashes a powerful blast, causing massive destruction but also severely injuring himself. To everyone’s horror, Momoshiki, without hesitation, turns his father into a chakra pill and devours Kinshinki to increase his strength.
While the evil god has committed some heinous acts in the past, seeing him eat his father just to continue fighting is one of the most villainous acts we’ve seen this year.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
Anime makes it possible for us to travel to incredible destinations that differ much from our world. Animators go to great lengths to create these places, seemingly pulling incredible worlds out of thin air. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to actually go to these places, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. Here are five fictional anime countries we’d like to visit.
The Kingdom of Dowa (ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.)
Our world’s divided into different regions and countries, each with their own history and culture. But we don’t always get the opportunity to explore these beautiful locations. Luckily, ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept gives us a front row seat to such a place — the Kingdom of Dowa, a country comprised of 13 districts.
For centuries, the nation has experienced the chaos and destruction of war. But thanks in part to the public service organization ACCA, Dowa has been peaceful for the last one hundred years. However, when rumors of a revolt start to surface, it’s up to ACCA to stop it. Tasked with the case is ACCA agent Jean Otus, who must investigate all 13 states to get to the bottom of the rumors.
Not only is ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept intriguing but also rich with culture. Through Jean, we get to see all the different regions of Dowa. Pranetta, in particular, stands out with its desert terrain that’s perfect for a dune buggy ride. There’s also Hare, which boasts beautiful tropical beaches and whose citizens have the longest lifespan in the country.
Alfheim (Sword Art Online)
When playing a game, you really don’t want to die in real life. That’s why we’ve skipped Aincard — even though it’s beautiful — and decided on Alfheim, the realm of fairies in ALfheim Online where dying isn’t permanent. Taking place a year after the Sword Art Online incident, the VRMMORPG features nine fairy races competing against each other to reach the top of the giant World Tree. The first to reach the top will turn into the legendary race of Alfheim.
After escaping SAO, Kirito discovers that Asuna is being held captive in ALfheim Online — where the players assume the roles of fairies. Without hesitation, Kirito dives once again into a virtual world and reconnects with old friends to rescue Asuna.
Throughout their journey, we get to explore the beauty of Alfheim — which, like all great vacation destinations, is completely surrounded by water. At the center of this single continent lies the Alne plateau, an area separated from the fairy realms by a mountain range that stretches up into the clouds. It’s essentially the anime version of the Alps, and you don’t need a passport to get there.
Japan (My Hero Academia)
With so many superhero shows and movies coming out, it’s not difficult to imagine ourselves in a world where people have extraordinary abilities. This happens to be the case with My Hero Academia, where 80% of the population has a superpower, aka a Quirk. The anime movie centers around Izuku Midoriya, a Quirkless teenage boy who receives the power of his idol and #1 hero, All Might. To become a certified hero, however, Midoriya must first go through training at the prestigious U.A. High School. And so the story of the world’s greatest hero begins.
We’d love to visit this fictional version of Japan if it meant we could see U.A. High School. The academy is home to the strongest young heroes in the nation — it also doesn’t hurt that All Might is one of the school’s alumni. With the chance to be surrounded by exceptional people, have a Quirk, and study as a hero-in-training, who wouldn’t want to visit (or live in) My Hero Academia‘s Japan?
Amestris (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is the second anime adaptation based on the manga of the same name. In this fantasy, alchemy — a scientific/mystical process to transform, create, or combine objects — reigns supreme. The series follows brothers Edward and Alphonse Elric who, after a failed attempt to resurrect their mother, go searching for the Philosopher’s Stone to restore their lost bodies. Their journey takes them all over Amesteris, leading them to discover the dark-rooted evil hidden in the country’s past.
Putting Amestris’ history of mass murdering people to produce Philosopher’s Stones aside, it’s a country any anime fan would like to visit. In this fictional world, people can transmute objects into other things without much effort. This makes repairing worn buildings a breeze, and even outlandish feats like building giant walls of ice during a battle are within reach. Despite its 20th-century vibe, Amestris is quite advanced when it comes to automotive armored prostheses, also called automail. These parts not only work in battle, but they also double as prosthetic body parts for amputees. Amestris, with its steampunk, metaphysical feel, serves as the perfect playground for those of us interested in elemental battles.
Land of Fire (Naruto)
Everyone’s dreamed of being a ninja at least once in their lives — especially once Naruto, the inspirational series about Naruto Uzamaki’s quest to become the Hokage, hit the scene in the early 2000s. It was impossible to escape the popular shōnen anime, which has inspired countless playground battles, video games, and of course, a fandom of loyal fans. Naruto takes place on a fictional version of Earth, with a single continent that’s divided into several countries. The majority of the series takes place in the Land of Fire, and more specifically in the hidden village of Konohagakure.
Naruto‘s world resembles feudal Japan in many aspects, with its countries maintaining the balance between themselves through the use of the mystical arts of jutsu. To keep the order and peace, and to protect themselves from attacks, the citizens of these countries go through intense training to control their powers — which includes commanding the elements. When you have the opportunity to live in a world where you can defeat baddies with the power of jutsu — and breath fire from your mouth like a freaking dragon — it becomes impossible to say no.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
The survival genre has brought us many amazing shows such as Btooom! and Gantz. These anime have shown fans what it takes to survive unbelievable situations like alien attacks or when a corporation wants to play a sinister game. However, these two aren’t the only series that’ll help you navigate sticky situations. Here are five survival anime that’ll help you outlast your enemy.
Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King
Thanks to technological advancements, humanity has left Earth to live in space colonies. Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King follows 11-year-old twin brothers Thor and Rai Klein — who are banished by authorities to the prison planet Chimaera after finding their parents dead. Their new home is overrun by carnivorous plants and dangerous wildlife. Despite this, there are four communities, or “Rings,” who live on the deadly planet. Only the person who conquers all four Rings, the Jyu Oh Sei (Beast King), is allowed to leave Chimaera.
With a path home now in sight, Thor decides to do whatever it takes to leave this hellish place. But the boys find themselves in danger from the start, and it isn’t just the carnivorous plants they need to worry about but also the humans determined to kill them. Making matters even worse, these young boys have no idea how to defend themselves. It’s a good thing that Thor can pick up survival skills — including combat — so quickly. Now he’s one step closer to becoming the Beast King.
Danganronpa: The Animation
Hope’s Peak Academy is one of the most prestigious high schools in the country. As such, it only accepts the most talented students. So when Makoto Naegi, a seemingly ordinary teenager, gets the opportunity to attend Hope’s Peak, he earns the title Ultimate Lucky Student. But his good fortune runs out when he and the other pupils get trapped in the school by the headmaster, a black-and-white bear named Monokuma.
The only way for them to escape is to graduate, but that means successfully murdering one of their own without getting caught. If they do get caught, it means immediate death for the perpetrator, and the rest of the students must continue the deathmatch until only one of them remains.
Witness the students’ fear and despair as they fight to survive while also searching for the person who’s really behind this horrible game. But with the bodies piling up, who’ll succumb to despair before the end?
A lot of people are afraid of cockroaches, especially when they start to fly. However, the small pests are nothing compared to those on Terra Formars‘ Mars. In the 21st century, humanity took its first step toward colonizing Mars by sending two species to the planet that could endure its harsh environment, algae and cockroaches. Unfortunately, in the distant future, the lethal disease Alien Engine Virus arrives on Earth. Scientists around the world suspect that the cure is on the red planet. But there’s a huge problem: The creatures that they’d sent centuries ago have evolved into strong and intelligent humanoid cockroaches.
To stop these monsters and find a cure, the Annex I team travels to the planet. The group consists of genetically enhanced men and women capable of defeating the cockroaches. Too bad they’ve underestimated how strong and resourceful these pests actually are. Will humanity be able to reclaim its title as the dominant species, or will the cockroaches reign supreme?
King’s Game: The Animation
Based on the cell phone novel game of the same name, King’s Game: The Animation isn’t your typical mobile pastime — it’s a game for survival. New transfer student Nobuaki Kanazawa isn’t interested in making any new friends. The reason why becomes clear when his entire class receives a text from someone called “The King.” The message includes instructions for the “King’s Game,” a game all the students are expected to play. Students who refuse to participate, and even those who quit halfway or don’t follow a command in time, will be punished.
Having played the game before, Kanazawa tries to warn his new classmates about the dangers of defying the rules. Unfortunately, they don’t listen to Kanazawa’s warnings until the King’s Game claims its first victims. Now the students must play the game and follow the rules no matter how horrifying or challenging they might be.
Juuni Taisen: Zodiac War
In Juuni Taisen: Zodiac War, astrological signs are more than just marks that map out the sun’s path. Every 12 years, dangerous mercenaries take part in the Zodiac Tournament, a series of vicious battles between warriors who possess the name and attributes of one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac. The winner of this bloodbath gets a wish granted.
But this time around, the stakes are much higher. Each participant must ingest a poisonous gem, which consequently imposes a time limit on the tournament and their lives. To win, they must gather all the gems before the deadline. Brute strength, cunning wit, and deadly precision will clash, leading to massive battles for survival. And with such a coveted prize on the line, the Zodiac Warriors will go to unimaginable and sinister lengths to win. Their ruthless encounters will teach you the necessary skills to survive any situation, including a bloody battle royale.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
It’s almost the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any new anime to watch or manga releases to read. On the contrary, anime studios and publishers have left fans a few holiday presents. From Super Saiyans battling it out with returning villains to original news series making their premiere, the final month of 2018 has something for everyone. Here are five anime and manga to check out this December.
Dragon Ball Super: Broly
- Premiere date: December 14
- Studio: Toei Animation
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy, Shōnen
Since the Tournament of Power — where the fate of multiple universes was at stake — Goku has undergone many transformations and gone up against incredibly strong warriors. However, there many other challenges that the Saiyan hasn’t faced yet.
Goku and Vegeta come face-to-face with another Saiyan called “Broly.” The only problem: This shouldn’t be possible since the Saiyan race has been nearly completely wiped out. Not to mention, it seems that Broly isn’t just stopping by for some tea and biscuits with his fellow Saiyans. With Goku, Vegeta, and Broly being the strongest warriors around, their encounter will inevitably lead to incredible battles unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Even Frieza refuses to miss this stupendous fight between Saiyans.
Tatsuya Nagamine (One Piece and Saint Seiya Omega) will direct the film with Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama writing the script and designing the characters. Dragon Ball Super: Broly will release in Japan on December 14.
We Never Learn Volume 1 (Manga) US Release
- Premiere date: December 4
- Publisher: Viz Media
- Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, School, Shōnen, Harem
Not only will new anime will premiere this December, but also a few manga issues as well. And the romantic comedy We Never Learn happens to be one of them.
Third-year high school student Nariyuki Yuiga has worked hard his entire life to get a scholarship to support his family. The only thing he needs now is his school’s “Special VIP Nomination,” which would cover all future university tuition fees. But he needs to do one thing before he gets it: tutor two genius female students.
Despite their intelligence, literature genius Fumino Furuhashi and math and science genius Rizu Ogata insist on pursuing subjects that they continually fail. On top of overcoming their worst subjects, Fumino and Rizu must control their burgeoning crushes on their tutor Yuiga.
Viz Media will publish the manga in print and digital editions under their Shonen Jump imprint this December.
Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō
- Premiere date: December 10
- Studio: Gonzo
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Seinen
This December will bring the latest adaption of the Saint Seiya adventure by Chimaki Kuori to life. The anime will have an entirely new lead and will take place right after the events of Saint Seiya: Knights of the Zodiac. Saint Seiya: Saintia Shō follows Athena, the Greek goddess of war and wisdom, as she, with the help of her army of warriors the Saints, protects the Earth from evil.
This time around, Athena enlists the help of young female Saint Shō. Together, along with a new class of female Saints (Saintias), they must fight the goddess of discord, Eris. Follow Shō as she and the first all-women team of armored warriors use everything they’ve got to defend their home and oppose their very destinies.
The original net animation by Gonzo will premiere this December on Amazon Prime and ANIMAX on PlayStation.
Ojojojo Volume 1-2 (Manga) US Release
- Premiere date: December 24
- Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
- Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life
From the creator of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid comes a comedy manga about two teenagers who find solace in each other. Jigokumeguri Haru, the heir to one of the most powerful conglomerates in Japan, is not only rich and famous, but also arrogant, cold, and, consequently, friendless.
It’s because of this that she transfers from school to school, looking for a place to fit in. Things begin to look up when she crosses paths with Kawayanagi Tsurezure, the resident school weirdo.
Tsurezure gives Haru (and her stuck-up personality) a run for her money. But the two quickly form a friendship, despite each of them being somewhat socially awkward. You know what they say: Birds of an antisocial feather flock together, and these birds’ funny and, oftentimes, heartwarming adventures in friendship are sure to keep you entertained.
You can check out the slice-of-life comedy manga this December 24, just in time for the holidays.
- Premiere date: December 3
- Studio: Studio Pierrot
- Genre(s): Action, Mystery, Police, Thriller Sci-Fi
Netflix’s police thriller series Hero Mask heads our way this holiday season. The action-packed crime anime will follow detective James Blood as he struggles to make sense of a string of crimes involving masks. The first season of this mystery will tell its tale in 15 episodes.
Hiroyasu Aoki (Blade, X-Men, Hunter × Hunter: The Last Mission) will direct and write the series for Studio Pierrot. Takahisa Katagiri (Blood-C, Psycho-Pass) will be tasked with bringing the characters to life.
Although the streaming giant hasn’t revealed much about the new project, based on the reception of previous shows — like Devilman Crybaby and B: The Beginning — chances are that anime fans will love Hero Mask.
Hero Mask will stream exclusively on Netflix on December 3.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
Thanks to groundbreaking shows like Neon Genesis Evangelion (EVA) and Gundam, the mecha genre successfully crossed over to the West. These series opened doors, making way for many new robot-focused anime — perhaps, too many. With such an oversaturated pool to draw from, it’s no wonder anime fans overlooked a few great titles. So we found several hidden gems for you to enjoy. Here are five underrated mecha anime you should check out.
In the future, a mysterious race of aliens invades Earth. To better understand these creatures, Dr. Noguchi and his assistants, Maki Agata and Takuto Kaneshiro, try to revive a giant metal-being named Frank. But during the process, Frank unexpectedly comes to life and escapes to the wilderness — but not without killing the doctor and Agata, leaving Takuto as the sole survivor.
Soon after the incident, the military organization ‘Funeral’ takes the biomechanical creature into their custody. Meanwhile, Takuto wakes up in a hospital. With his face disfigured and his girlfriend, Agata, dead, Takuto appears to have lost it all. That is until a mysterious man offers Takuto a new identity as a Funeral officer, and his plan for revenge is set in motion.
While EVA opened a lot of doors for Japanese animation, it also cast a large shadow on mecha series, especially those involving a distressed young male protagonist in a mecha suit. Fortunately, Argento Soma sets itself apart by not heavily drawing from EVA. Instead, the underrated series focuses on telling an extraordinary tale about human interactions and relationships — with a few creative twists to keep things interesting.
One of the most popular underrated mecha anime is, undoubtedly, Bokurano. Countless anime fans believe the series deserves the top spot on many mecha anime watchlists. But for some reason it never does.
Bokurano follows a group of children who discover a cave full of computers and electronic equipment. A mysterious man named Kokopelli then makes them an unusual offer — to take part in a game where they’ll defend the Earth from evil aliens. The children accept the challenge without hesitation. But soon come to regret their decision when the game gets a little too real for them.
Like many other shows on this list, Bokurano suffers the fate of being too similar to EVA. But despite the many parallels, Bokurano goes a bit deeper when it comes to playing with the emotions of its young protagonists. It’s a fantastic psychological horror that keeps you entertained until the final second. You should definitely check out this hidden gem right now.
Galaxy Express 999
In the future, humanity swaps their organic bodies for mechanical ones in order to live forever. But immortality is an expense not everyone can afford. Enter Tetsuro Hoshino, a poor little boy who hopes to purchase a ticket for the Galaxy Express 999, a train that travels throughout the universe. A the end of the line, those aboard the train each get a mechanical body for free. But his hopes are dashed when machine-man hybrid Count Mecha kills Tetsuro’s mother.
A mysterious tall woman steps in and saves the young boy from certain death. Surprisingly, she offers Tetsuro a Galaxy Express ticket under the condition that they travel together. So begins Tetsuro’s journey through the stars to obtain a mechanical body.
Galaxy Express 999 has many sequels, but they sadly weren’t easily accessible to fans outside of Japan. The mecha series lost popularity over the decades and eventually fell into obscurity. Now, with shows like Darling in the Franxx dominating the airwaves, it’s even more difficult for hidden gems like this one to stand out.
Kyo Sogoru is trying his hardest to keep his swimming club alive, but there’s one problem — he’s the only member. To drive membership up, Kyo asks his friend Ryoko to shoot a recruitment video starring the beautiful Shizuno Misaki. Misaki agrees to do the role, but only if Kyo pilots a mecha unit.
Unknowingly, Kyo gets dragged into two different worlds: one where’s he’s a normal student and another where humans and aliens are at war with each other. What’s even weirder is Kyo gets the feeling he’s done this before. The more the young man fights, the more he uncovers about his life. But will the truth set Kyo free or destroy him?
Despite its unusual title, Zegapain contains the usual mecha tropes about reality, psychology, and, of course, aliens. But it also adds various plot twists to keep you intrigued throughout. So, if you’re interested in a bit of mystery, giant robots, and a young man trying to figure things out; then give this underappreciated series a try.
Fafner in the Azure
In the middle of the Japanese archipelago lies the island of Tatsumiyajima. Every day is the same on Tatsumiyajima, with the island’s children believing that their life will forever remain peaceful and undisturbed. Or so they’ve been taught. The reality is actually much different. Humanity is on the brink of extinction, and Tatsumiyajima serves as the last line of defence against a race of aliens called Festum. When a Festum discovers the island, the children band together to fight these hostile aliens with giant mecha units called Fafner.
Like the other shows on this list, Fafner in the Azure is a fantastic series that sadly gets overlooked in favor of mainstream mecha anime. The original anime borrowed too many elements from classic shows such as EVA and Gundam, which made it impossible for Fafner in the Azure to distinguish itself as a proper mecha series. Even so, the anime has some awesome-looking robots and amazing visuals thanks to the great work of studio Xebec (Break Blade and Heroic Age).
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
Japanese animation, Japanimation, or anime as it’s more usually referred to outside of Japan, is big business. Characterised by fantasy-tinged stories brought to the screen in a two-dimensional hand-drawn style, the animated artform has been around since 1917. Think Studio Ghibli’s catalogue of classics, or Toei Animation’s manga adaptations, and any number of titles come to mind that define Japan’s collective animated offering.
In Japan, ‘anime’ simply means animation. To a large part of the rest of the world, anime has historically been considered a genre. But, according to acclaimed director Mamoru Hosoda, that is changing. To Hosoda, anime has long been a method of filmmaking, rather than a genre in itself. One chosen, like live action or CGI, to serve a story. And with his latest film, Mirai, honoured by being the first anime to premiere at Cannes, not only does it reflect that the industry outside of Japan is finally catching on, but it also speaks to the growing popularity of anime and its crossover success.
FANDOM spoke to Hosoda, who welcomes the warm, wide global embrace for the field in which he plies his craft.
The Three Phases of Anime
“Animation is a method in filmmaking so whether it be animation, be it live-action, computer graphics, so long as the story is good, it’s good and it’s a movie full stop,” says the director, whose films include Wolf Children and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. “It’s not just an anime. It’s not a niche thing at all. I think it’s good to know that animation movies are accepted as standard, normal movies. I was at San Sebastian [Film Festival, this year], and I was there three years ago in the competition, and I can actually feel the trend shifting. At that time, if you were making animation movies they would say: ‘Well, there’s this animation festival that’s separate.’ But I think the borders are really blurred now. And I think it’s a good thing.”
So why does he think this shift is happening and why is anime becoming more and more popular?
“I do actually wonder sometimes why Japanese animations are so popular,” Hosoda muses.
He has an answer, and it has to do with how the artform has evolved: “Back in the day when animation began, animation films were for children, so creators were making children’s movies and TV programmes. So that was the first phase. And the second phase became things that grown-ups can enjoy — but those particular grown-ups are like, say, those who still have the mind of a child, or otakus. So it was a genre. Animation — anime — was a genre of movies.
“And I think the third phase, which is where we are now, is [it’s] not a genre. Animation isn’t a genre, it’s more a method of filmmaking. So it’s not just for children, it’s not a genre, it just is a movie. I think animation movies, recent modern ones, are rich in stories and also have universal appeal [with] a really strong storyline, world and lives. And I think animation creators have [adopted a] more conventional filmmaking method if you like, [in terms of] character development, etc. So I think that’s where we are now and I think that’s why Japanese animation is popular. Just because it has got this universal appeal.”
The Fanbase is Evolving
So the mainstream is cottoning onto the fact that modern anime films and TV shows tell stories that resonate. But does this mean that the avid anime fanbase is disappearing as the films become wider in appeal? Hosoda thinks not. In fact, he thinks their numbers are growing.
“Of course they still exist,” he says. “I do understand both points of view because I was [an otaku] when I was young: ‘This is mine; animation is a genre, this is my genre’. And [I thought] nobody else would understand; it’s a group of us. Grown-ups wouldn’t get it.”
Hosoda, at 51 years old, is now that grown-up, making movies that he wants to appeal to all.
“At the end of the day, I just want people to enjoy my movies, or any animations for that matter,” he says. “When I make my movies, I’m totally aware of the existence [of the anime fanbase] but having said all of that, I think these otaku people… I think there are more of them, and also [that they’re] becoming sort of integrated into the standard moviegoers. They are not that different to how they used to be thought of, I think. But, then again, you don’t want to be making movies for that niche category. And you’ve got to be aware of universal values, and animation, or filmmaking, as an art.”
2-D or Not 2-D?
Hosoda’s attitude towards filmmaking, which puts a universal story front and centre, naturally extends to his chosen method of animation. He refuses to elucidate on what he loves about 2-D hand-drawn animation, the medium in which he works, as a result.
“Again, it’s all about different methods and techniques,” he says. “I mean, there’s the theme of a film, its contents, the message you want to tell. These are the most important things. If you think CG works better then use that. Or if you think a hand-drawn technique is better, use that. It’s not about brand new or old. It’s a bit like, OK, you use your pencil, and there’s an Apple pencil. It’s not about which is better, they’re just different tools. Whether that tool you are using would suit what you are making; which is better? That’s what matters. And I’ve been saying this for about 10 years and people don’t get it and it’s really frustrating.”
Animation across the world, including in the west, has become more and more sophisticated in recent years. Pixar movies are loved by children and adults alike and work on both levels, while breakthrough animated TV shows aimed directly at adults — such as South Park, Bojack Horseman and more — are impressing on the collective western mind that animation can push boundaries. And do so arguably more easily than some mainstream live-action fare. As a result, a wide global audience has been cultivated that’s ready to fully embrace animated offerings from further afield and the resonant stories they’re telling.
Hollywood’s Live Action Remakes Are Pointless
In light of all of this, it beggars belief that Disney continues to press forward with live-action remakes of some of their best-loved animated classics.
“OK, I told you that I really, really, really, really, really liked Beauty and the Beast? I really think that live-action versions [of animations] are s—. I’m very angry,” Hosoda spits, albeit with a laugh. “I would make a brand new animation, much better than that.”
He explains, “I might feel this strongly because I’m an animation filmmaker but I just think, say [with] Beauty and the Beast, I don’t see any respect to the original filmmakers. I just kind of feel like they just did it for the money: ‘Beauty and the Beast – great… popular… why not do live action? We get more cash.’ And that’s what I don’t like. I think they just really need to pay more respect to the original animations.”
So if Hollywood came knocking and wanted to remake Mirai as a live action film, Hosoda would presumably tell them where to go, right?
“OK, let’s see how much they want to pay,” he laughs. “I want to know, first of all, why they want to make a live-action version. What I’m trying to say is, as I said earlier, animation is a method of filmmaking. It’s no different from anything else and I think the general concept or idea is that live action is better — if you like, major, and animation is like a little bit of a minor player. And I don’t honestly agree with that at all. OK, there are stories that would work better in animation, there are stories which work better in live action, fine. But [in terms of their individual value] I think animation and live action are the same, so I’d really want to know why they wanted to do a live action [version]. Because this is a fantastic animation movie, so why do you want to remake using these people?”
He makes a strong point. Mirai is in UK cinemas now and hits screens in the US on November 30.
The post The Rise and Rise of Anime: Why the Japanese Artform Is Blooming appeared first on FANDOM.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
It’s almost the end of 2018, but before we can celebrate the new year, we have to get through November. Luckily, this month also has some great anime to enjoy. From planets waging war against each other to giant monsters eating planets, this fall is all about the movies. So here are five anime to watch this November.
Godzilla: The Planet Eater
- Premiere date: November 9
- Studio: Polygon Pictures
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The final part of the Godzilla anime trilogy will head our way this November. The latest film will pick up after the events of the previous movie, where the humans discovered the aboriginal descendants of humankind, the Houtua tribe, living on the Godzilla-dominated Earth. With their help, the humans gain a new weapon, Mechagodzilla, to destroy the king of monsters.
But, an internal rift makes it difficult to bring down Godzilla. Not only that, Metphies, the commander of the priestly alien race Exif begins to attract a following. It seems the Exif secretly want Godzilla to take over the world. But little do they know, there’s an even bigger menace heading their way.
Clad in a golden light, the creature known as King Ghidorah descends on the planet. The Earth shakes once again as the human’s battle for their new home reaches even greater heights. Will humanity ever return to Earth or will Godzilla remain its ruler? Find out when Godzilla: The Planet Eater premieres this fall.
I’m Joybo (Season 2)
- Premiere date: November 9
- Studio: 2:10 Animation
- Genre(s): Drama, Music, Romance, Slice of Life
It’s not only Japanese animation making a debut this November, but also Chinese anime (or donghua). The second season of the romance drama I’m Joybo will continue to the tale of editor Jiang Xiaobai and his new work partner, writer Tong Li. The two believe this is the first time they’ve met, but they’re wrong. They’re actually long-lost childhood friends who have forgotten about each other.
A decade ago Jiang was in an accident that left him with amnesia. As a result, he lost all his memories of Tong. Fast forward back to the present, where the sparks between the two co-workers lead him to slowly remember everything. But an old friend stands in the way of his new love, looking to extinguish it before it starts. Will Tong have the opportunity to confess her feelings to her childhood crush or will another take her place?
Expect this new season to be an emotional rollercoaster ride with an amazing score that goes hand-in-hand with the anime’s many twists and turns.
Anemone: Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution
- Premiere date: November 10
- Studio: Bones
- Genre(s): Adventure, Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi
The second part of the Eureka Seven film trilogy makes its debut this upcoming November. Fans were really excited when Studio Bones announced last year that the series would get a new anime adaptation. While the anime studio hasn’t revealed many details about the new film, we know that it will take place in Tokyo and will center around Anemone, a young girl who lost her father seven years before.
But don’t let her tragic past fool you. Along with her stuffed toy Gulliver and A.I. concierge Dominikids, she must defeat the seventh Eureka (Eureka Seven), which has killed millions of people. Even worse, the seventh Eureka also happens to be one of the biggest around.
If you’re not familiar with the anime series, Eureka Seven centers on a young man named Renton who dreams of joining the rebel group Gekkostate. And his life changes forever when Eureka, a member of Gekkostate crashes into his room.
Mobile Suit Gundam NT
- Premiere date: November 30
- Studio: Sunrise
- Genre(s): Action, Drama, Mecha, Military, Sci-Fi, Space
With Mobile Suit Gundam UC now on Netflix, fans have been getting a steady stream of Gundam shows — and there are many more to come. This November, fans will get to see the sequel to UC, Mobile Suit Gundam NT. The mecha movie takes place one year after the events of Laplace’s Box, in the year U.C. 0097. While the revelation acknowledged the existence of Newtypes and their rights, the world hasn’t changed.
Even the battle between the White Unicorn and the Black Lion was removed from public consciousness. However, things are going to pick up again when the RX-0 Unicorn 03, a missing mobile suit, makes its return — albeit, as the Phenex, an immortal golden bird.
Sunrise studio will produce the anime movie, and Shunichi Yoshizawa (Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt, Gundam Reconguista in G, Psycho-Pass) will take the helm. The next chapter in the mecha series premieres this fall. So, don’t miss it!
- Premiere date: November 10
- Studio: Shaft
- Genre(s): Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural, Vampire
The Monogatari series isn’t quite over yet. This November, the last book of Final Season, Zoku Owarimonogatari will make its anime debut. The story follows Koyomi Araragi post-high school graduation. His life changes (again) when one morning he sees a different person in his own reflection. After touching the reflection, he gets transported to another dimension.
When he wakes up, he sees his younger sister, Karen. But she’s much shorter than she was before, even shorter than him. Even weirder, his older sister, Tsukihi, hasn’t noticed the height difference at all.
Beyond the familiar faces, the trailer also gives viewers a taste of the crazy new adventures awaiting young Araragi. And this won’t be the last that we see of him. There’s plenty more source material to adapt. Nisio Isin’s light novel and anime series have received critical acclaim, with many praising their colorful action scenes and heavy, immersive dialogue.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
It just isn’t Halloween without an intense feeling of fear or disgust. Whether it’s mind games or physical torture, there’s something about horror that attracts us to it. Countless anime series evoke these kinds of emotions, and when it comes to streaming them, Crunchyroll has got fans covered. So, here are eight horror anime to watch on Crunchyroll.
Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories
An anime based on real-life urban legends is a great way to kick off your Halloween watch party. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is an anthology series comprised of five-minute-long episodes. However, don’t let the short running time fool you. The series makes good use of its time, serving up scares that’ll have you afraid to take a bathroom break.
Each episode opens with a creepy old man in a yellow mask setting up his Kamishibai — a Japanese street theater structure — at the local park. The children gather around him as he tells various ghost stories and myths using paper figures.
One such creepy story comes from the urban legend of Hachishakusama (aka Eight Feet Tall), a demon who takes the form of a tall woman to abduct children. (Talk about creepy!) Featuring similar tales about supernatural beings, myths, and Japanese folklore, Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is definitely a must-watch between horror flicks.
Everyone loves vampires, and Crunchyroll has one of the best horror vampire anime series ever produced, Shiki. When a young girl unexpectedly dies from an unknown disease, her village mourns her passing, never once suspecting her death is only the beginning of a ferocious epidemic that will leave their town in shambles.
The town’s doctor, Toshio Ozaki has his doubts about the nature of this epidemic, and with the bodies piling up, he realizes the sinister truth behind these deaths. Meanwhile, antisocial teen Natsuno tries to cope with the sudden death of his best friend, Mutou, and the return of an annoying girl. What mysteries plague this remote little village, and what will its citizens do to survive?
Forget what you know because Shiki isn’t your traditional vampire story. It adds a few twists to the genre that will make you question which side you’re truly on.
The sudden death of a classmate can be tough for a class to handle, especially if they were well-liked. So, instead of saying their goodbyes and having a period of mourning, the students of Class 3-3 decided to carry one as if their friend never left. But the students (and future Class 3-3 students) would come to regret their decision, as it opened the door to the underworld. Now, deaths and supernatural anomalies plague their school.
Every year an extra dead student or faculty member comes to join the class. And when they show it, it can only mean one thing: the students and their families are about to die. During the first few years, the deaths were kept to a minimum, which made it easier for people to brush them off as weird accidents that could’ve happened to anyone. However, as the years passed, the body count grew. It’s taken two decades since the curse started, but now people no longer consider these gruesome deaths to just be bizarre accidents.
Junji Ito Collection
Junji Ito is the master of horror and suspense, with many of his works receiving critical acclaim for how they play with the human mind. So, when news broke that several of his famous works would get an anime adaptation, horror fans couldn’t help but be excited.
The Junji Ito Collection is an anthology series that includes horror, gore, disgust, and comedy. From a famous and monstrous giant fashion model to the creepy Souichi, whose misfortunes are a welcome relief after watching all that horror, the series has something for every horror fan.
If you’re looking for the perfect series to stream on Crunchyroll this Halloween, this is it. Even those unfamiliar with Junji Ito’s work will appreciate being able to watch something terrifying and still be able to sleep at night. One warning though: Don’t get too attached to these characters, most of them don’t come out unscathed.
The Future Diary
Would you steal, cheat, and kill to gain control of space and time? That’s what happens in horror anime Future Diary. The series follows Yukiteru Amano, a high school student who receives a future diary — a future-reading flip phone co-created by Deus Ex Machina, the God of Time and Space. With this strange phone in his possession, young Amano is forced to take part in a bloody battle royale against 11 other future diary holders. The winner of the battle will become Deus’ successor.
This condition quickly turns the scenario into a game of survival, where killing your opponent is your only chance at victory. Amano reluctantly teams up with his obsessive stalker, Yuno Gasai, who also has a diary, and soon learns that he doesn’t have the courage or skills to survive in this game. On top of that, there’s something strange about his partner. It seems she migh have other plans for her unrequited love.
Parasyte -the maxim-
Without warning, parasitic aliens have invaded Earth. However, their onslaught lacks the bells and whistles of other alien movies and shows. Instead, their attack is more strategic. They’ve burrowed into the brains of several vulnerable targets without anyone noticing. The move allows them to fully take over their host and morph into a variety of forms, such as blades, and to even grow wings.
One of these aliens burrows into the brain of ordinary high school student Shinichi Izumi. But it fails to take over his brain, ending up in his right hand instead. Unable to move, the parasite, now named Migi, has no choice but to rely on Shinichi to stay alive.
Initially, Migi is nothing more than a nuisance, but Shinichi eventually finds the parasite does have its advantages. Thanks to Migi, Shinichi becomes more muscular, no longer needs to wear his glasses, and can withstand serious injuries. Too bad the other parasites see their union as a threat and will do everything they can to eradicate Migi and Shinichi.
Monsters are common in horror. But the horrifying creatures of Kagewani are far from what we’ve come to expect. A young man decides to exploit people’s love of the bizarre and unexplained by sharing fake stories of strange animals on his website. Of course, when a giant monster slaughters his entire crew, he comes to regret his actions. Meanwhile, at a college campus, several students become the unexpected prey of a terrifying sand monster.
Sousuke Banba, a researcher obsessed with unidentified mysterious animals, investigates these gruesome attacks and stumbles upon the word “Kagewani.” The strange word leads him to the nefarious pharmaceutical company possibly connected to the monster attacks. But can he stop these creatures or, more precisely, the person behind them?
The Garden of Sinners
The Garden of Sinners is comprised of seven horror films that follow Shiki Ryougi, a young woman whose family is involved with the supernatural. Several family members possess dual personalities that are aware of each other, meaning they’re essentially two people in a single body. This, along with her upbringing, has led Shiki to live a life of solitude.
Yet, she manages to form a friendship with her classmate Mikiya Kokutou, who sees Shiki not as an enigma but as a shy girl. Well, up until he sees Shiki, knife in hand, standing over a corpse. Although the evidence is damning, Mikiya still refuses to believe that Shiki’s killed someone. He gets closer to Shiki, perhaps too close. Together they investigate the seemingly unrelated anomalies occurring throughout the city.
The Garden of Sinners is a collection of magic, mystery, action, and psychological twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat this Halloween.
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The goth movement has grown from its early days in England’s underground pubs and nightclubs to a full-blown lifestyle, influencing books, fashion, and, of course, anime. Japanese animation is no longer only about bright colors and happy-go-lucky characters. It can also be full of dark characters and settings that will appeal to viewers who are into this subculture. So here are five goth anime series full of dark obsessions.
Ergo Proxy takes place in an alternate future where humans and AutoReivs — robots used for everyday tasks — live side by side. Their peaceful coexistence comes to an end, however, when an unknown virus grants the AutoReivs self-awareness, causing them to go crazy and commit several murders. Investigating the murders and the mystery behind the virus is inspector Re-L Mayer. However, the young detective’s investigation will lead her to something much deeper than a bunch of random murders.
Thanks to its washed-out colors and use of a dark landscape to illustrate a dystopian future, the series successfully creates a creepy atmosphere — and a whole lot of suspense — that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Besides that, Ergo Proxy main lead, Re-L — with her pale complexion, all-black dress, and heavy blue eyeshadow — embodies many aspects of goth culture. In a sense, she’s the goth girl deep inside all of us.
Religious architecture, dark elements, and, of course, death feature heavily in goth culture — and Trinity Blood delivers on them all. In Gonzo’s supernatural anime, the world has fallen into chaos thanks to the perpetual war between vampires and humans. Even after Armageddon, an event that nearly destroyed the Earth, the battle between the two races still rages. Luckily, working to protect the humans is Abel Nightroad, a traveling priest from the Vatican.
But Abel isn’t your ordinary pastor. He’s actually a Crusnik, a vampire that drinks the blood of vampires. Even though humanity has regained its strength a bit, it seems that a new Armageddon is just around the corner. Leading the latest assault is the group Rosencreutz Orden, led by Abel’s twin, Cain. He and his vampire army seek to rule the world, even if they have to destroy it first.
Darker Than Black
Over a decade ago, two impenetrable fields appeared: Heaven’s Gate in South America and Hell’s Gate in Japan. While various government agencies have conducted countless studies to decipher their secrets or why they’ve appeared, it seems no one has found a clear answer. But one thing is for sure — the gates grant supernatural abilities. Thanks to this, beings called “Contractors” emerge and use their new powers to commit various crimes. Darker Than Black follows Hei, a Contractor for the syndicate and his assistant Yin, a life-like doll, as they work to solve the mystery behind the gates.
Although the anime isn’t full of dark and moody colors, its female protagonist is oh-so goth. Not to mention, her Gothic Lolita assistant, Yin, would make a worthy addition to any anime fan’s figurine collection. From her pale, emotionless expression to her cute purple and black dress, Yin character is the perfect costume for any goth fan to try out this Halloween. (The show also adds a healthy helping of death for good measure.)
The Mystic Archives of Dantalian
Taking place in England after the Great War, The Mystic Archives of Dantalian follows Huey, who, according to his grandfather’s will, must take custody of Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian — a library that contains forbidden books — and Dalian, a mysterious girl named who lives in the library.
Huey learns that the young child is the guardian of the archives and its countless magical books called “Phantom Books.” Dalian gives Huey a key to unlock the secrets that lie within her. As Dalian’s new key-keeper, Huey helps her investigate supernatural cases involving those in possession of Phantom Books. Using the key, he seals the power of the books they capture to restore order to the areas negatively impacted by them.
The Mystic Archives of Dantalian combines fiction, horror, and death to create a gothic tale to that will appeal to fans of terror. Also, the female lead rocks a Victorian-style laced dress, proving herself a goth fashionista.
A group of scientists uncovers the tomb of King Gilgamesh and can now build Heaven’s Gate to advance human knowledge. Their discovery brings them recognition and fame — and new enemies who want to destroy their progress, and they’re successful.
Their attack creates a blast that disables electronic equipment and turns the sky into an electromagnetic mirror. It also leads to the birth of supernatural beings. The anime follows siblings Kiyoko and Tatsuya, who become the targets of people with superhuman abilities — as well as the man behind the attack that started this whole mess.
Gilgamesh is more than fighting mysterious men. It’s a thriller that injects borrowed elements from the Babylonian Era into the anime’s dark world. With soft-spoken main leads who barely do anything adventurous and a striking yet dark visual design and unique plot, Gilgamesh is everything a goth series should be.
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Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story has filled our nights with paranormal activities. From a house haunted by the corrupt spirits of its victims to a coven of witches seeking to become supreme, fans can’t get enough of its ingenuity. But if you’re an anime fan, you’re in luck — there are countless shows and movies like the American anthology series. So here are five anime to watch if you like American Horror Story.
Midori (Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show)
Starting off our list is Midori, one of the most disturbing movies in anime history. The film centers around a young girl named Midori who, after selling paper flowers to go on a school trip, finds her ailing mother dead. With no one to help her, she turns to a circus run by the creepy Mr. Arashi.
The circus’ acts include snake women, people getting eaten by ants, and performers twisting and turning into impossible shapes. But instead living a joyous life with the circus people, she’s assaulted and forced to perform horrifying acts on stage, like biting a chicken’s eye out. Thankfully, things start to look up for Midori when the magician, Masamitsu “The Bottled Wonder,” brings her under his wing. Is Midori’s luck about to change? Or are things too good to be true?
From bizarre acts that would make you sick to your stomach to humorous scenes, Midori is an ero-guro (erotic grotesque) film that American Horror Story fans will love.
One way to boost website traffic is to post about things that people are naturally curious about, like cryptid sightings. And that’s the plan that a video blogger concocts. But things become too real when an actual monster kills his entire crew.
Elsewhere, on a school campus, a sandworm creature is hunting down a group of students, killing them one by one. And more of these attacks take place all over the country.
Sousuke Banba, a researcher with a profound interest in unidentified mysterious animals, explores these events. Soon enough, he gets a break with the word “Kagewani.” The mysterious word leads him to find various connections between a pharmaceutical company and the strange animal attacks.
Did you love the suspense of Asylum or Roanoke? Then don’t waste any time and watch Kagewani. Its picturesque style of animation and use of dark colors brings the creepy factor of American Horror Story. Since it’s shorter than the standard length, it quickly gets to the point with several jump scares and other freaky surprises.
There are a lot of things that go bump in the night, including creatures of the netherworld, who feast on the living. The only way to defeat these monsters is to use their own power against them. Akira Fudo, a sensitive and caring young man, gets dragged by his best friend, Ryo Asuka, to fight these creatures, thus becoming a Devilman.
This brings him to the seedy underworld of demons where only bloodshed and death exists. Even so, Akira’s new abilities awaken an insatiable and primal part of him, while also giving him a lean yet sturdy physique. Now, he and Ryo must destroy the demons that bring harm to humanity and their loved ones.
As one of the best anime to premiere on Netflix, Devilman Crybaby gives a new spin to the horror genre, much like American Horror Story. Its new style yet colorful animation and awesome soundtrack featuring catchy Japanese rap tunes are only a few of the reasons to turn on Netflix and give the series a try.
In the sci-fi horror movie Memories, three seemingly unrelated stories come together to reveal the true narrative. This is a similar approach to how all the seasons of American Horror Story are related, but each brings its unique take to the genre.
The first story, Magnetic Rose, takes place in outer space where two space engineers find a mansion, revealing the tragic fate of a renowned opera singer. However, hallucinations start to take over and they must do everything they can to retain their sanity.
Back on earth, in Stink Bomb, a lab technician accidentally takes several pills that enhance his flatulence to a lethal degree, killing everyone around him. Now, he must take refuge in his company’s headquarters all the way in Tokyo. But, with military forces after him will the lab tech be able to hold it in?
Lastly, in Cannon Fodder, there’s a boy who wants to become an artillery officer in a fortress city. The young boy spends his days dreaming of firing a cannon for the sake of the fatherland.
Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek
An innocent kids’ game ventures into the horror territory in the short anime film Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek. The movie centers around a group of kids playing the Japanese version of hide and seek, Otokoyo. But, instead of playing in a safe location near adults, they venture into the abandoned ruins of a Kowloon-like city. Rumor has it that a demon appears and takes away children who dare to play the game. To make matters more spooky, some kids have indeed disappeared.
Even though Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek doesn’t have the bloodfest of Hotel or the intricate storyline of Asylum, the movie does deliver a bucket load of suspense and creativity that American Horror Story is known for. From its animation that comes to life thanks to cell shading to its tense mood and easy-to-follow plot, the movie builds up the suspense factor without not much storytelling.
At less than half an hour long, Kakurenbo: Hide & Seek makes for a great horror snack between AHS episodes.
The post 5 Must-See Anime for Fans of ‘American Horror Story’ appeared first on FANDOM.
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It’s finally fall, which means new anime releases, and we aren’t just talking about subs but also English-dubbed anime. Several streaming services have released their dub lineup, and we couldn’t be more excited by their selections (including the decision to dub the best anime of 2017). Here are five English-dubbed anime to watch this fall.
Tada Never Falls in Love
- Premiere date: September 30
- Studio: Doga Kobo
- Genre(s): Comedy, Romance, Slice of Life
- Where to watch: HiDive
Earlier this fall, Sentai Filmworks announced that the romantic comedy Tada Never Falls in Love‘s English adaptation would air on HiDive. The anime follows Mitsuyoshi Tada, a boy who has never fallen in love. But that’s about to change. While taking pictures of the cherry blossoms in bloom, Tada meets Teresa Wagner, a transfer student from the European country of Larsenburg.
Upon arriving in Japan, Teresa gets separated from her travel companion. So, Tada helps her out and brings her to his grandfather’s coffee shop. However, their story doesn’t end there. They unexpectedly continue to run into each other — and even end up at the same school.
But it’s after Teresa joins Tada’s Photography Club that the two begin spending even more time together, igniting a spark between them. Throughout the series, viewers see how Teresa and Tada navigate the roller coaster ride that is high school and, of course, the ups and downs of young love.
Tokyo Ghoul:re (Season 2)
- Premiere date: October 16
- Studio: Studio Pierrot and Pierrot Plus
- Genre(s): Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Seinen, Supernatural
- Where to watch: Funimation
The dark fantasy drama Tokyo Ghoul:re continues in Season 2. The series left off with a dead Quinx Squad member — whose body is mysteriously missing from the rest of the deceased. But more importantly, in the final episode, a cold-hearted and sadistic personality takes over young Ken Kaneki‘s body.
The subtitled trailer for the upcoming season revealed that several old and new characters will join the fight between the Ghouls and CCG. It also appears that Tokyo Ghoul:re will be the final season, bringing a close to Ken Kaneki’s story. What does this mean exactly? Fans will find out when the series returns this fall. But if the manga’s to be believed, anime fans are in for an action-packed season.
Fairy Tail (Final Season)
- Premiere date: October 29
- Studio: A-1 Pictures and Bridge
- Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen
- Where to watch: Funimation
Another long-running series comes to an end, allegedly. The supposed final season of Fairy Tail will air its English version this fall on Funimation. The anime series follows the exploits of Fairy Tail, a mage guild that has earned quite a reputation for itself.
The final season will focus on Natsu and Lucy‘s search for their former teammates to convince them to rejoin the guild. However, this is easier said than done. The Spriggan 12, a group of god-like mages, will test the guild in unbelievable ways. Their epic clashes, along with the series’ comedic scenes, will undoubtedly entertain fans.
No one wants to see Fairy Tail come to an end. But if the final chapter is as long as the previous seasons, then the end is definitely far off. Also, let’s not forget that there are plans to adapt Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest into an anime. The story of the infamous guild might never truly come to an end.
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime
- Premiere date: October 22
- Studio: 8bit
- Genre(s): Fantasy, Shounen
- Where to watch: Funimation
That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, by author Fuse and artist Mitz Vah, started out as a light novel on the user-generated publishing site, “Shōsetsuka ni Narō” (Let’s Become Novelists) between 2013 and 2016. It went on to receive a manga adaptation, and the anime will air this fall.
The shōnen anime follows Satoru Mikami, a lonely 37-year-old man stuck in a dead-end job and unhappy with his average life. He’s also never had a girlfriend. And things only get worse when he dies at the hands of a robber and finds himself in a fantasy world — as a slime.
Freed from his former boring life, Satoru starts his life-changing journey in this new realm as a monster with special abilities. But not before setting off a chain of events that will change this new world forever.
Made in Abyss
- Premiere date: October 23
- Studio: Kinema Citrus
- Genre(s): Sci-Fi, Adventure, Mystery, Drama, Fantasy
- Where to watch: HiDive
The series follows Riko, a young orphan girl who lives near the edge of the Abyss, a colossal, unexplored pit. The Abyss contains many hidden relics and treasures called Artifacts. But it’s dangerous to dive into it. Those who do take the plunge succumb to the “Curse of the Abyss” on their way back up. The curse causes a range of problems from nausea to madness — and even death. But that doesn’t stop Riko.
On her way down into the Abyss, she meets Reg, a robot boy who decides to join Riko on her journey. Accompanied by her new friend, and carrying a note from her mother, Riko decides to go deeper, regardless of the danger that awaits her.
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Are you interested in the supernatural or the netherworld? Do you get the sense that something unknown walks among us? If so, then you might find the ghost subgenre of anime entertaining. From traditional hauntings to supernatural stories about friendship, the subgenre has something for everyone. Here are the five best ghost anime for fans of the paranormal.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Ghosts come in different shapes and sizes, and the spirit in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia appears in the form of a beautiful school girl. Seikyou Academy is unlike any other school. Instead of focusing on cultural festivals and school trips, the student body tells tales about the occult.
According to a rumor, there’s a ghost on campus. The apparition, known as Yuuko, apparently died in the basement of the old school building. But what the students don’t know is that the rumors are true. It’s a good thing Yuuko is a friendly ghost.
The series follows Teiichi Niiya, a middle school student discovers Yuuko while roaming around the campus’ old building. Initially frightened by Yuuko, Teichi overcomes his fear and befriends the beautiful girl. But he soon learns that Yuuko possesses no memories of her life or death. Determined to help his new friend, Teiichi founds the Paranormal Investigation Club to investigate Yuuko’s life and the cause of her death. But Yuuko’s death isn’t the only mystery that needs solving.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
A longtime favorite of horror and gore anime fans, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls is actually about a sadistic, vengeful ghost of a little girl. Students like to tell spooky tales, and the scariest of all are the ones based on true stories. A few years ago, Heavenly Host Elementary School was shut down after a string of serial kidnappings and murders rocked the community. Years later, they foolishly build a new school in its place.
Fast forward to the present, where nine high schoolers conduct a ritual to remain friends forever. The ritual seems harmless at first. That is until they are transported to another dimension — the place where those heinous murders took place all those years ago.
One by one the school kids suffer gruesome deaths, like getting their eyes poked out or being gutted like a fish, at the hands of the dead girl and her minions. The ones remaining must find a way to escape before they fall victim to these vengeful ghosts.
Le Portrait de Petite Cossette
Only three-episodes long, Le Portrait de Petite Cossette offers a different take on the supernatural. The short series follows Eiri Kurahashi, an art student who works at his uncle’s antique shop. One day, while at the shop, he sees the image of a beautiful girl in one of the antique glasses.
Upon touching it, he finds himself transported to the world where this beautiful young woman, Cossette d’Auvergne, resides. She reveals to Kurahashi that her betrothed, Marcello Orlando, killed her due to his obsession with Cossette’s beauty. To free her spirit, Kurahashi must suffer the consequences for Marcello’s sinful act.
Le Portrait de Petite Cossette is, in every sense of the word, a refined ghost story about love and obsession. In only three episodes, the series immerses viewers in Cossette’s tragic world, which is an artistic portrayal of nightmarish scenes. So, if you’re looking for something visually unique featuring ghosts, then give this short anime series a try.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Not every ghost anime has to be about brutal murders or spooky hauntings. Some series can produce beautiful and heart-wrenching feelings, as is the case with Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day.
Instead of spending the summer holidays with friends or traveling, Jinta Yadomi stays home and plays video games. One day, his childhood friend, Menma, suddenly appears and pesters him to grant a forgotten wish. He ignores her — which annoys Menma even more. But Jinta doesn’t care. After all, Menma died years ago.
Initially attributing his sighting to the extreme heat, Jinta soon realizes that he’s actually seeing his childhood friend. When Menma dies, Jinta and the rest of the gang can’t handle the loss and grow apart. Now they must come together to lay Menma’s spirit to rest. But can they endure the pain and guilt that comes with such a heavy task?
It seems that mystery and the paranormal go hand in hand, as each one drives those affected to discover the truth behind them. The supernatural anime Ghost Hunt evokes these same emotions.
Mai accidentally knocks over some of Kazuya’s equipment and is saved by his assistant, Lin. Unfortunately, Lin gets injured in the process and can no longer assist Kazuya. Now without help, the young detective demands Mai become his new assistant. Throughout the series, Mai and Kazuya, along with other supernatural investigators, solve various ghost-related mysteries.
Ghost Hunt has several plots, ranging from lighthearted scenes to creepy hauntings to several jump-scares. But, the nightmare factor comes into play in one particular arc, where the villain copycats the heinous crimes of Vlad the Impaler and Elizabeth Báthory. You might want to leave the lights on for that one.
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Whether it’s due to the art style or the action, fans love a good anime fight. But the high stakes, massive powerups, and showstopper moves aren’t the only reasons fans are interested. The best of these unforgettable clashes add substance to their shows as well by furthering character development and creating new storylines. So, here are the five anime fights that we’ll never forget.
Goku vs. Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
A list of the best animes fights wouldn’t be complete without one of the longest and most iconic battles in the Dragon Ball franchise. Taking place during the Frieza Saga, the battle between the main character, Goku, and the tyrant Frieza lasted a whopping 20 episodes. Each blow makes it clear the two adversaries match each other in both strength and power. Even Goku’s most powerful attack, the Large Spirit Bomb, fails to destroy Frieza.
It’s only after Frieza plays a dirty trick, taking advantage of a distraction to deal a deadly blow, when the gloves come off. Unfortunately, Frieza’s target isn’t Goku, but his best friend, Krillin. Watching his best friend die before his eyes causes an enraged Goku to tap into his inner power reserves, turning him into a golden-haired Super Saiyan for the first time in the series.
With some clever taunting, the Super Saiyan convinces Frieza to use 100% of his power. And while it seems that Frieza still outmatches Goku, the tyrant soon learns the Saiyan was holding back all along. Using an Angry Kamehameha, Goku defeats Frieza, bringing one of the best fights in anime to a close. But it wasn’t just Goku’s triumphant victory that got fans hype, it was realizing his true hero potential.
Kakashi Hatake vs. Obito Uchiha (Naruto: Shippūden)
One of the most epic fights in Naruto: Shippūden is Kakashi Hatake vs. Obito Uchiha. It sticks with fans, not because of the battle’s extraordinary moves or incredible graphics, but for its simplicity. Here you have two former teammates giving their all. While they both use jutsu at the beginning, the majority of their fight boils down to taijutsu, or hand-to-hand combat. And unlike many other battles in Naruto or the other anime on this list, it doesn’t waste any time getting to the action.
The battle takes place in Kamui’s Dimension, an alternate space created by Obito. However, the real conflict started years ago when they were children. During the battle, flashbacks to the two men sparring as children are intercut with their battle in the present. The technique highlights their respective journeys and how much their skills have grown over time.
The visual contrast between the colorful landscape of the past and dark, cube-filled one in the present further serve to illustrate this point. Despite this noticeable shift in tone, we never lose momentum during this symbolic battle with the past and their inner demons.
The well-choreographed fight scene, although short, shows the real talent of both these men. Even as kids, they were formidable sparring opponents, and in Obito’s case, it’s the beginning of learning who he could’ve been had he chosen the right path.
Saitama vs. Boros (One-Punch Man)
During the final episode of One-Punch Man, our hero Saitama finally gets to face Boros, the leader of a group of alien invaders. Disgusted by Boros’ egotistical reason (to find a worthy opponent) for destroying A-city, Saitama throws a swift punch at him.
As the two trade blows Saitama manages to destroy Boros’ arm, which infuriates the alien. Boros grabs our hero, throws him around like a rag doll, and then gloats about how strong he is. But he soon comes to regret bragging prematurely.
When a powerful punch sends One-Punch Man to the moon, it looks like he will finally lose. But this is Saitama we’re talking about. At the very last second, he drops a bombshell: He’d been playing with Boros the whole time.
With a single punch, Saitama sends Boros flying back to Earth. But his attack doesn’t end there. He hits Boros with a barrage of punches and finishes him off with his final move — Killer Move: Serious Series, Serious Punch.
Despite the show being about an unbeatable hero, this fight still manages to fill viewers with suspense, as many believed that Saitama had finally met his match. Fortunately, this fight didn’t end One-Punch Man’s quest, which will continue in Season 2 in 2019.
Izuku Midoriya vs. Shoto Todoroki (My Hero Academia)
After breaking all his fingers on his right hand and his leg, Izuku realizes Shoto isn’t just a kid with a powerful Quirk, Half-Cold Half-Hot. His judgment, mobility, and reasoning also make him a tough opponent to overcome. But there’s another problem: Shoto only uses the cryokinesis part of his Quirk, as pyrokinesis reminds him of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his hero father Endeavor.
Irritated by this, Izuku headbutts Shoto in the chest and demands he gives it his all. Even though Izuku, being born Quirkless, can’t relate to Shoto’s hesitance to use his fire abilities, he still offers him words of encouragement. But he also doesn’t back down, telling Shoto that he has no right to be the best if he won’t use his full power.
Izuku’s words trigger memories of Shoto’s mother burning his face and another of her telling him to be the kind of hero that he wants to be. Motivated by Izuku and his mother’s words, Shoto finally unleashes his flames and the real fight begins — which ends up destroying the stadium. Despite the damage caused and Izuku’s defeat, we got to see that it takes more than a powerful Quirk to be a hero. Encouraging others to do their best and finding the courage to face yourself is what’s truly important.
Rock Lee vs. Gaara (Naruto)
The fight between Rock Lee and Gaara does two things: it tells a story and also changes your perception of a character. In one corner, there’s the Lee, who can only use taijutsu and appears to be nothing more than comic relief in Naruto. In the other corner, you have Gaara, whose skills and villainy strike fear into the heart of his adversaries.
So, when the time comes for the two to face off, everyone assumes Lee will be afraid of Gaara. But in actuality, Lee couldn’t be more excited. During the fight, Lee finds he can’t break through Gaara’s sand defense. That is until he removes his training weights and reveals how fast he really is without them.
With lighting speed, Lee manages to land several punches, proving with each blow that he’s not a joke but a real threat and a skilled shinobi. By unlocking several of the Eight Gates, Lee’s able to surpass his limits. However, Gaara gains the upper hand when Lee’s body shows signs of being unable to handle the pressure. Still, Lee somehow finds the strength to continue and renders Gaara unconscious with his Reverse Lotus attack.
Unfortunately, his attack isn’t enough, as Gaara manages to break Lee’s limbs, which knocks him out. It’s then that something amazing happens — Lee’s unconscious body stands on its own. Even when victory is hopeless, his fighting spirit keeps him going. Gaara ultimately wins the fight, but Rock Lee does him one better and wins the heart of Naruto‘s fans.
ENTERTAINMENT DEAL UPDATE:
Typically, Halloween enthusiasts plan spooky movie nights featuring scary live-action films. But what they don’t know is that an anime OVA or short can serve up just as many scares in a fraction of the time. The only problem: there’s no shortage of horror series to watch, and there are only 31 days in October. But horror fans shouldn’t let that deter them, as we’ve selected the 10 anime shorts you absolutely need to watch this Halloween.
Demon Prince Enma
Demon Prince Enma is a remake of the lighthearted 1973 horror anime TV series Dororon Enma-kun. Unlike its predecessor, Demon Prince Enma is a full-fledged horror short with very few lighthearted scenes and is geared towards adults. The anime follows Enma, a fire-wielding demon, and his childhood friend, snow-woman Yuki. Together they ferret out the monsters who have escaped from Hell and either send them back or burn them to ashes.
Le Portrait de Petit Cossette
This three-episode anime short follows the story of art student Eiri Kurahashi working at his uncle’s antique shop. One day he sees the image of a girl in an antique glass. Upon touching it, he receives a vision of a beautiful young girl, Cossette, whose spirit haunts the Venetian glass. Soon Kurahashi learns her betrothed, Marcelo, murdered Cossette. To free Cossette’s spirit, a man must be willing to take upon himself the punishment for Marcelo’s sin.
Le Portrait de Petite Cossette is, in all sense of the word, an artsy supernatural horror story about love and obsession. Its high points lie in its artistry and portrayal of graphic scenes. Thus, if you’re looking for something different in the supernatural anime genre, then Le Portrait de Petit Cossette is worth the watch for Halloween.
Through this anime short, we follow the cat Nyatto on his journey to reclaim his sister’s lost soul. She lost her soul when Nyatto tried to save her from Death. Now, she trails after him, brain-dead. To get it back, they embark on a strange journey filled with mystery, darkness and, of course, difficult obstacles.
Similar to EVA, Cat Soup plays with symbolism; consequently, viewers will react differently and have a different conclusion about this title. Incidentally, the OVA has no dialogue.
Denpa-teki na Kanojo
Delinquent high school student Juu Juuzawa just wants to be left alone. But, one day, he meets Ame Ochibana, who claims that she knew him in a previous life, and now wants to serve him as his “knight.” At first, Juu wants nothing to do with her. Nevertheless, he accepts her help when a classmate is murdered.
As the title suggests, the story is about crazy girls or yandere. If you haven’t seen a series with yandere, then Denpa-teki na Kanojo is a must-watch. The series perfectly describes the near-death experiences that the male lead goes through without any censorship.
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
An anime short that should be on every Halloween watch list is Corpse Party. Based on a game of the same name, it captures the final moments of a group of students in a life and death situation trying to survive the tortures of a little spirit girl.
Corpse Party has no censorship; you will see guts, blood, and eye-popping, and all of this is happening to children.
Kowabon is a three-minute 13 episode long original horror story exploring the possibility of there being a darker side to the digital age. What if someone or something was looking at us through all our digital devices? Thus, making us think if there’s a supernatural phenomenon behind our obsession with mobile devices.
The series is animated using a technique called rotoscoping. In other words, the animators used live-action images and recreated them to an anime using a rotoscope. The series borrows many scare tactics from famous Japanese films, such as The Ring and The Grudge.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne
The anime short follows Rin a small-time detective who holds a dark secret — she’s an immortal, carrying a “Time Fruit” from the tree of life. These great powers give her the ability to take brutal physical punishment (and can easily regenerate her body parts). Thanks to her abilities she can defend herself against Apos, a supernatural creature with a sadistic streak.
Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne is an adult anime short, i.e. not for kids. Next to all the adult themes, the series has an alluring plot that deepens with each episode while not forgetting its gore and violence. If you’re planning to watch Rin this Halloween, be aware of your surroundings, as the series contains a lot of moaning.
While the series might be one of the worst rated OVA on several anime websites, the short is a must-watch for gore and horror anime fans this Halloween. Pupa follows the siblings, Utsutsu and his younger sister, Yume. During a visit to the park, the siblings contract a mysterious virus known as Pupa. Shortly after Yume grows a pair of wings and gains an immeasurable desire for flesh, either animal or human. Meanwhile her brother, Utsutsu, only attains regenerative powers. To protect the world from his sister, Utsutsu sacrifices his body to feed Yume’s endless hunger.
An anime must-watch list wouldn’t be complete without some “so bad it’s so good” shows. Pupa is one of those series that the sheer amount of blood and gore makes it worthy for Halloween.
Petshop of Horrors
This anime short centers around pet shop owner Count D and the store’s exotic pets. He sells rare and hard to come by animals to people longing for something special. However, with each sale comes a contract. If the rules are followed, then everything goes fine. But, if the new owner breaks the rules, the pet shop can’t be held responsible for anything that might happen. Homicide Detective Leon Orcot has linked many odd and unexplainable deaths to Count D’s pet shop. And now, it’s up to Leon so solve the mystery behind this exotic pet store.
Petshop of Horrors has a similar premise as The Twilight Zone. Each episode explores various horrendous themes and often conclude with a moral point. On top of that, Petshop of Horrors is a shout-out to Gremlins where the owner explicitly informs the buyer that having a pet is a huge responsibility, i.e. don’t feed after midnight. The lesson here is: don’t buy something if you can’t follow the rules.
The Curse of Kazuo Umezu
The Curse of Kazuo Umezu follows two separate stories. In the first story called “What Will the Video Camera Reveal,” a transfer student arrives from Mexico causing great disturbance to the life of a classmate named Masami. In the second part, “The Haunted Mansion,” four girls adventure into a malevolent house in their neighborhood.
This ’90s anime short is everything that we need for a Halloween screamfest: blood, dismemberment, monsters, and a not very smart character. The anime has a similar premise as Tales from the Crypt. Thus, it’s a “good” classic horror with a lot of magnetism.
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