Whoops, I kind off slipped on these bi-monthly Anime favorites. But hey, at least I had more time to figure out which Anime was my actual favorite and ones that you may actually enjoy. My last one was for November 11th, which was posted early, and I forgot about Decembers. Time to merge November and January together :).
(Link – Safebooru) – Kobato, our carefree naive helpful girl with an angelic voice!
So what top 7 (youtube embed limit) Anime do I have to share with you this time? I’ll be sharing Anime that try to break the mold and aim to simply share what they truly wanted without forcing “fan-service” to fans. Basically shows that grab real scenarios and plop them into their own full-fledged stories in a very believable manner.
Also, I hope those that drew these don’t mind if I show these images? I prefer my own images but wanted to decorate the article a bit to be visually pleasing.
– Top 7 – Round 2:
– Top 7 – WW1/2 Themed Anime:
– Top 7 – Round 1:
Kobato takes place in present day (20xx) Tokyo toÂ fulfillÂ her wish to go to a desired place. She has a year to fill a jar full of people’s negative emotions – conpato. During her stay, she is accompanied by her teacher, a blue stuffed animal, who assists Kobato in co-exist while observing her behavior in her desire to assist those in a Daycare. She must not fall in love with the person she helped to assist.
Kobato herself is truly unique and special. You can’t help but fall in love with her character due to her naivety and childish behavior. Her flaws areÂ basicallyÂ her strong points in this series where she tries to help others who in turn help her. During the first two episodes we also get to find out that Kobato can sing with an angelic voice which she uses to sooth babies and people’s souls/emotions (your pick).
As for the flow, the story contains mostly comical antics of a…struggling-to-coexist(?) Kobato, a stubborn “stuffed animal”, and numerous attempts to shut down a Daycare. It flows pretty nicely. Despite her fashion issues, she manages to fit right in with society, even though she herself just landed within a children’s playground from where she started her journey.
The soundtrack deserves some serious praise as it’s not one of those generic soundtracks that other low budget series tend to have – Kobato’s singing is proof of that. The soundtrack contains many calm, happy, and serious music tracks fit right in like a piece of a jig-saw puzzle. Here is an example of such a music track – Kobato OST – 15- Amber Sky.
Two of the many key messages:
– Do things while you can before you die. Spend each moment doing something meaningful before you perish since you never know when you might leave this planet – You may get run over or killed by a random individual.
– Treat others as you would yourself and assist those that may need your assistance. Treat everybody with proper respect.
– Instead of hating others for their way of life, it would be wiser to spend your energy helping each other then to claw at one another. (explained in later half of show)
2) Yu Yu Hakusho:
Is it better to be alive or dead? Are your friends, or those around you going to miss you once you perish, or are you fine with causing emotional pain to others? This show basically revolves around the living and the dead; the human world and the spirit; the humans interacting with the supernatural.
In short: Yusuke, a street punk, who views his surroundings as dull and boring while others think of him as social trash. Though, everybody’s views changes once Yusuke dies from a car crash while saving a child.Â As this was unforseen, the spirit world left sent a Botan, a spirit messenegr, to accompany him while situations get sorted out. From there on he is tasked in becoming a “Spirit Detective” in an attempt to regain his body, to regain his body to be with a loved one, and to return to those that actually missed him.
Alone? With other recruits that Yusuke defeated during his missions and with his close school pal.
Catch is, now he has to solve cases for the Spirit World by shutting down Demon Traders & Black Markets, enter a Dark Tournament, save his city, and even save his overly caring girlfriend, Keiko. Reality ain’t all rainbows and unicorns, this Anime even shows that in it’s dark tone. I also truthfully enjoyed how all fights went straight to the point. Those who had ill intentions gained back double the desired karma through bashing and/or humiliation. This show doesn’t mess around.
And this show is believable in our world how? Everything is pretty much explained in how they cross dimensions and how powers are gained. Only the “chosen” may cross dimensions and with special reasoning. Demons? We’re blind to such. Let this slide a bit, please? 😛
I would also like to note the music being of superior kind. The music, story, action, animation (dated now, but still great), and the character’s depth all shine greatly on this show. If anything, other Anime should of taken note from 1994 till now with all the lessons learned from this show.
– Live life to your fullest while using negative energy in a positive manner.
– Fight for what you like/believe in and don’t let people say otherwise.
– Life ain’t simple and this Anime reflects that. Every choice changes everything.
– Think your life is worthless? Try changing your surroundings or those that you know. Suicide ain’t the option.
– Mess with a properly working system and you’re bound to pay double. Cowardly attack a harmless individual and you’ll be sent flying.
Still not interested? It was ranked second behind the overly hyped Dragonball Z up until 2007-ish. I can also praise this show enough to be the king of all Anime’s. It’ puts the majority of ‘ecchi’ Anime to shame that go for forced fan-service.
-> http://myanimelist.net/anime/392/Yu_Yu_Hakusho (For a better explaination)
Last note: Don’t watch the Poltergeist Report movie unless you absolutely must. The dubbing is horrid in both English and Japanese *sighs*.
Some images to those who don’t like reading wall of texts.
(Link – Safebooru) – Botan! Thans to her and her silly antics for making Yu Yu Hakusho amusingly awesome.
(Link – Safebooru) – Koto, our blood-loving Fox announcer for various Tournaments. Her comments were insanely amusing.
(Link – Safebooru) – Kurama in his normal and fox form; both equally sly and calculating.
3) Amagami SS:
From the innocent (Kobato), to the brutal (Yu Yu Hakusho), to the more natural part of life – school love.
Two years ago, Tachibana got his heart broken by a girl who didn’t show up for a Christmas date. Later, we find him as a second year student in Highschool still scared from being dumped by the girl he was supposed to date. While in High School, he finds himself trying to regain interest in dating girls after befriending them. The first arc starts off with Morishima Haruka, a playful carefree girl, where he finds himself spending more time with her than silently sulking in his room decorated as a planetarium.
Amagami SS is based on the visual novel of the same name and goes by routes seen in the game itself. Each route is a “what-if” situation going from one girl to the next. During each we get to see every heroine’s background while learning more about Tachibana’s scared love life.
So what made me choose this? Similar to Kobato, this Anime broke a few molds while adding in a few very interesting moments between the main character and the heroines. The opening and ending music tracks were nicely done with alternating ED’s for different girls that Tachibana interacted with. Also, the each arc contains realistic slice-of-life materials which you would expect to happen in our own reality. Characters behave as we would, of course. Nudity? Fan service? Nope. Well maybe light swimsuit and Santa-Costumes (female) fan-services, yes. The story’s Arc basically rewinds and restarts to the beginning of every arc, as it would in the visual novel routes.
Soundtrack? Very nicely done, but sadly it isn’t within my taste to listen to it alone. It needs to be with the scenes for me to enjoy. I’d recommend watching this if you haven’t!
(Link – Safebooru) – Ayatsuji Tsukasa’s split personality showing.
(Link – Safebooru) – Morishima in her Miss Santa costume for a contest.
4) Yosuga no Sora:
(Warning: Contains mild nudity that may corrupt innocent minds, irritate perverted minds, or catch family time off-guard.)
MAL – (Copied paragraphs)
The story is set in the distant mountain village of Okukozome-chou. Haruka Kazugano and his twin sister Sora have fond childhood memories of going to the village to visit their grandfather during their summer vacations. However, after losing their parents in an accident, the two must move in with their grandfather.
The twins get reacquainted with their old childhood friend Nao Yorihime, their new classmate Ryouhei Nakazato, the shrine maiden Akira Amatsume, and Akira’s friend Kazuha Migawa. All seems peaceful and familiar. However, beneath the surface is a secret promise that the twins made with each other long ago, the whereabouts of an important lost item, and the real reason they chose to come back here.
Why did I recommend this? It takes the same arc/route style as Amagami did and restarts it at the appropriate time within the story with where Haruka interacts with other heroines. That sounds simple, right? Yes, and no. Even though the arcs are shortened greatly compared to Amagami, the story basically ends up slapping you in the face with complex scenes, ideas, and ‘what-ifs’ to the point of making you think for a lengthy period of time. Also, because it’s shortern happenings occur faster which may cause people to think the story is “flat”. The show’s last arc also contains a very controversial arc between Haruka and Sora to the point where the heroines and side characters greatly question Haruka’s decision. I was somewhat moved by how Nao and Kozue reacted to Haruka’s choice.
I started the show thinking it was one of those generic Anime romance harems where the main character gets to have romantic fun in a civilized manner. It was all fine and dandy up until I was caught off-guard by exposed parts in a bathtub and the last episode for each arc. I wasn’t freaked out, just simply caught off-guard. Though, I was wondering how serious and how far the “fan-service” would be brought due to the exposed parts. Yes, there is censorship but there are still exposed parts that may freak off-guard individuals. And the thing I like the best about Yosuga no Sora is how it dealt with the nudity. It isn’t mindless forced kind that you would see elsewhere, but one that actually has a point to move the story and to force you to use your brain.
OST? Music? Opening and ED? Very well done! That is the fourth one in a row! My favorite one is the second ED after a bonus comical arc after every episode – OP, the show, main ED, bonus, second ED.
I’m still trying to process the main contents of this show and what happened. I would also like to bring up that I’m used to this kind of Anime where fan-service and storytelling seriousness is balanced out perfectly.Â Also, we need more of Yosuga no Sora to make people think once again and to return Anime to it’s former glory. And I think Kozue should of had her own minor arc of her own as she had some feelings for Haruka. Whats done is done.
More of my similar thoughts maybe found on a fellow blogger’s review of said show:
(Link – Safebooru) – Sora in her royal tsundere like pose.
(Link – Safebooru) – Akira, Sora, and Haruka enjoying the night sky from the local shrine.
5) 5 Centimeters per second:
“Do you know? The speed at which cherry blossom’s fall…At what speed must I live, to see you again?”
MAL – (Copied)
Tohno Takaki and Shinohara Akari, two very close friends and classmates, are torn apart when Akari’s family is transferred to another region of Japan due to her family’s job. Despite separation, they continue to keep in touch through mail. When Takaki finds out that his family is also moving, he decides to meet with Akari one last time.
As years pass by, they continue down their own paths, their distance slowly growing wider and their contact with one another fades. Yet, they keep remembering one another and the times they have shared together, wondering if they will have the chance to meet once again.
Is it fine for a guy to get near a crying state on this kind of movie? Yes, this show was that deep and touching that I was pulled deep into it’s story. The music and it’s plot depth is it’s very strong point. Animation is also top notch as more focus went into a movie than a 12-26 episode series. Wise choice as it pulled me, and countless others into the show’s world.
You also get to see some great Japanese scenery, nice soothing and realistic atmospheric background noise, and great detail in everyday objects. So, what would you do if you knew a loved-one from a young age and gradually drifted apart? Sadly, I can’t remember much because I watched it 2 years back. Everything about it was great though.
(Link – Safebooru)
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Black God – A world filled with a doppelganger system. Ibuki Keita is the main character of a world fill with tragic mishaps and misfortune with friends and strangers perishing in strange ways. Keita is accidentally drawn into the Black God’s world and is forced to fight with other master-servant pairings. If one individual sees the other then one shall perish and another shall life If you want a better synopsis try MAL.
I’ve noticed this Anime borrowing from the Fate/Stay night realm with the servant-master combo, as with the command spells. Humans controls an entity from another “world” to fight for either side of the battlefield – free-for-all.
The OST for this Anime is actually top-notch – It is time now. Does that sound generic? Sounds good to me. OP and ED was also nicely taken care of. Story? Was a bit sloppy, but it did hold it’s own with alterations from the manga (or so I heard). The fight scenes were great, and some were a bit disappointing. I’ll still recommend this as it did impress me enough to leave an impression. I still listen to the OST which means some portions of the Anime hold true.
Your choice with this one. And I’ll put Kurokami in the “exception” to believability of story with our world as I simply wanted to add this onto the list. It was supposed to be up in November but I forgot *happy shrug*.
(Link – Safebooru) – Only good background-ish image.
7) Tsubasa Chronicles + OVA:
Sakura and Syoaran, an inevitable pairing in a desert world of Clow. One night, Sakura ventured to a nearby ancient structure causing her to sprout wings. Suspicious, Syaoran grabs onto her causing Sakura to lose all her precious memories in the form of feathers with-in countless other dimensions similar and highly unique to our own. To save Sakura, Syaoran ventures to our own world to meet the Dimensional Witch (from xxxHolic Anime) and to save Sakura. For every wish there must be a price to pay, no matter the situation or desire.
Each feather is a part of Princess…Sakura’s memory. Getting each one restores a certain part of her memory, but not the ones with Syaoran in them. The price Syoaran paid was to give up their relationships to travel around dimensions to regain the Princess’s memory. Will you endure hardships and struggles to assist those dear to you?
Story? Very good, cheerful, comical, full of action, and lots of adventure. I enjoyed it while numerous other individuals found it dull and boring for whatever reason. Second season was considered better and the OVA added a darkened tone that caught me off-guard. I was used to the struggling easiness atmosphere until I got to the OVA. What about the two movies? Haven’t watched that and may edit it into a new paragraph.
Music? Top notch. Considering this is was made by CLAMP (same with Kobato) the music has to be great. Have a listen and you’ll agree with me that the soundtrack is well composed.
My little irch with the show was how every character was almost, or is the same as their other dimension counterpart. All souls behaved in a same manner, yet they ignored scenarios that changed an individual’s personality. Too much focus on the lovey-dovey love birds.Â Also semi-waiting to see if a third season will gain a green-lighted because it left an opening for more.
And as a neat side-note: I was checking out String Theory on Youtube and it appears crossing dimensions is mathematically plausible. Us, us in other realms, not us in others, other worlds with different species, and etc. Who knows what might be out there and what might not. We don’t have a way but at least there is a theory saying parallel realms is a plausible thing. However, we don’t have a way to travel or poke our way into them. Well, unless we consider dreams? *shrugs*
I dare you to spend the next few days, few weeks, or a month pondering about the plausibility of dimensions and guess as to what might lay there or how we may get there. Seriously, just think of all the possibilities and “what-ifs”.
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And those are my top 7 for the beginning of 2011, if belated. I hope you didn’t have trouble reading that, tried to compact each reasoning why into as short description and not an essay. We had Kobato, Yu Yu Hakusho, Amagami, Yosuga no Sora, 5 Centimeters per second, Kurokami, Tsubasa Chronicles + OVA.
Thanks for taking the time in reading this and hope you enjoy, or have enjoyed, these anime!