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A beginner’s guide to the world of anime

December 10, 2020

Recently, anime has become extremely popular worldwide. Rather than ignore the surge in anime fandom, why not join? Below is a list of Anime worthy of a watch. Enjoy!

Castlevania(キャッスルヴァニア, Kyassurubania)

This animated series, based on the video game of the same name, is centred around the story of Dracula's curse. The main protagonist, Trevor Belmont, is on a quest to stop the evil Count Dracula, who seeks to destroy humanity following the execution of his wife, Lisa. It's gripping, funny, beautifully animated, witty, exciting, and damn well gory!

The anime has three seasons with a fourth to be determined. 

Available on: Netflix

Attack on Titan (進撃の巨人 Shingeki no Kyojin?, lit. Advancing Giant(s)) 

An anime based on the manga series of the same name. This Anime is set in a world where the rest of humanity lives in cities surrounded by giant walls that protect them from Titans. Titans are gigantic human-like creatures that devour humans without reason. After a colossal titan appears and destroys their hometown and causes the death of their mother, Eren Jaeger and his sister Mikasa Ackerman vow revenge and hope to reclaim the world from the titans. Attack On Titan is a gore-filled anime so if you’re squeamish at those kinds of things, take a pass on this one. If you’re one to welcome the gore, you’re gonna love this anime. I really love this anime because it’s not as cliché as other anime. It takes its own spin on a dystopian future and it’s not a story centred around one protagonist but a number of them so you end up loving different characters along the way.

Available on: Cruncyroll

Death Note (デスノート, Desu Nōto)

A genius high school student, Light Yagami, finds a notebook with supernatural powers. The book allows him to kill anyone by writing the victim's name while picturing their face. The story follows Light Yagami's attempt to become a god by creating a New World cleansed of evil and the conflict between himself and all those who oppose him. The story is so thrilling and exciting and never gets boring anywhere. I really like this anime because even though it has exaggerated action sequences, it tackles an actual moral dilemma which I think is prevalent within everyone. When given absolute power, how do you not get consumed by it? It’s the classic idea of trying to fix something that may not be broken and following his journey from the hero to the villain is so interesting. It’s like Sherlock Holmes meets Gotham and that makes the anime even more compelling to watch.

Available on: Netflix

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (鋼の錬金術師 FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST)

Two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric are raised by their mother, Trisha Elric in a remote village. Their father, a well-noted alchemist, abandons his family, leaving Trisha to raise the boys on her own. As they grow up, they begin to show an interest in alchemy. After their mum dies of a lingering illness, the boys travel to learn more about alchemy in hopes to bring their mother back. One thing I absolutely love about this anime is that it isn’t afraid to tackle emotional themes. It sets them up in a way that the heroes have to conquer it. It also has a good approach to juxtaposition with dramatic scenes sometimes followed by comical ones. 

Available on: Netflix

One-Punch Man (ワンパンマン, Wanpanman)

This Anime tells the story of Saitama, a superhero who can defeat any opponent with a single punch. It was his childhood dream to be an all power superhero and as a result, trained hard for 3 years and lost his hair in the process. After establishing his enormous strength, Saitama found himself no longer able to enjoy the thrill of battle since he can easily win. This anime is such an interesting watch as it introduces new villians with seemingly immense strength for Saitama to battle. Not to mention, it’s highly satirical in nature which will have you chuckling along the way. 

Available on: Hulu, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, JoJo no Kimyōu na Bōuken

Set in the early-to-late 1880s, George Joestar takes in an orphan to pay off a debt to the orphan's late father. The orphan, Dio Brando, tries to become sole heir to the Joestar fortune and is foiled. He later resorts to using an ancient Stone Mask which transforms him into a vampire with his sights set on world domination. I like this anime but it is a difficult one to embrace honestly. It is very bizarre at times, and sometimes very talk heavy but trust me it’s worth it. Have normal expectations for this one and you’ll see yourself actually enjoying it.

Available on: Netflix

Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ, Kaubōi Bibappu)

This science-fiction Anime takes place in the year 2071. After an accident left the Earth uninhabitable, humanity has resulted in colonizing the rocky planets and moons of the solar system. Due to a spike in crime rates, a group of bounty hunters, Cowboys, chase criminals and bring them in for rewards. Some anime like to focus on a general plot and centre episodes about that but not  this anime. It also looks at the individuality behind each character and sometimes leads to very interesting character arcs. Also the soundtrack is pretty good. 

Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll

Erased (BokuMachi, 僕街)

This Anime follows the story of a 29-year-old manga artist, Satoru Fujinuma who somehow possesses an ability known as "Revival", which sends him back in time moments before a life-threatening incident, enabling him to prevent it from happening again. When his mother is murdered by an unknown assailant in his own home, Satoru's ability suddenly sends him back eighteen years into the past. This is sort of a murder mystery type anime and does the genre some justice. I found myself gasping at some scenes and being genuinely shocked at some things that happened. It is also a short and fast-paced anime so if you’re not into 500 plus episodes of anime, like Naruto and One Piece, definitely check this one out. 

Available on: Netflix, Crunchyroll

Parasyte (寄生獣, Kiseijū, lit. "Parasitic Beasts")

A manga turned Anime; Parasyte follows the story of 17-year-old Shinichi Izumi. One night, worm-like creatures with drills as heads called "Parasytes" appear on Earth taking over the brains of human hosts and going on to cause mayhem. One parasyte attempts to take over Shinichi 's brain but fails after Shinichi cuts blood flow to his head. As a result, the Parasyte takes over his right hand, and Shinichi names him Migi (ミギー) after the Japanese word for right. Together both beings live a mutually beneficial relationship and go on a quest to destroy other parasytes from taking over humanity. 

This anime, available on netflix, is for those who want a starter and short but fast paced anime to keep them interested. If you’re a sci-fi enthusiast this is the anime for you.

Available on: Netflix

Dragon Ball Z (ドラゴンボールZゼットDoragon Bōru Zetto, commonly abbreviated as DBZ)

This classic Anime follows the adventures of adult Goku who defends the Earth against numerous villains and conquerors with unnaturally powerful skills with the help of his companions. This anime is for those who want to follow a long journey with sudden twists and exciting adventures. The fight scenes are honestly one of the best things to look out for in this anime. 

Available on: Crunchyroll

Final pro-tip

You’ve probably heard people argue between dubbed and subbed and you’re probably lost. Here’s a brief explanation. Dubbed refers to anime that has been dubbed over by a different language and not the original Japanese script. Subbed refers to using subtitles. It’s as easy as that. 

On that note, please watch anime subbed. It keeps the same feel and consistency in the original Japanese version that English just does a disservice to. So to keep anime in its original and true form, go subbed all the way.