A Few of my Favorites
In America people look at cartoons simply as shows for children. Anime, to me, is more than that. They can be hilarious, heart-felt, suspenseful, and unforgettable. In no particular order here is a list of ten anime that have moved me:
Kids On The Slope:
It’s funny when you watch an anime expecting nothing special and then suddenly you finished the whole anime in one sitting. Kids on the Slope was one of them. I read its summary, “jazz,” “friendship,” and decided to watch the first episode. Then I kept clicking next because I couldn’t stop. The anime follows Kaoru Nishimi, a high school freshman who moves to a new town. He is an honor-roll student and use to having no friends until he meets Sentaro Kawabuchi; who is the total opposite of Kaoru, yet they attract each other through their musical interest. They grow together and become best friends while playing jazz together in their friend’s basement. That is the basic thread of the story but much more is tangled in. There’s romance, betrayal, tragedy, heart-break as it comes down to the conclusion that friendship is a powerful thing. The story is amazing due its characters, emotions, and situations that make it realistic and charming. It’s incredible and I enjoyed every episode so please add this on to your “must watch” list.
Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day:
I’m not a person who cries that easily because of something that I read or saw. If it does it is usually a drop of tear that runs down my face. However, Anohana made me bawl. Imagine one day you wake up to the ghost of your best friend that died ten years ago – this is how the anime first begins. Meiko “Menma” Honma dies in an accident leaving five of her childhood friends. Once inseparable, the friends then drift apart after her death. Now they are high school students living their lives past the incident or so it seems. The main character, Jinta Yodomi is followed by Menma who claims she has a wish he must grant in order for her to move on to the afterlife. The problem is she doesn’t know what that wish is. Struggling to figure it out he regroups with his old friends but they don’t believe he can see Menma. Instead they humor him but as the anime continues remembering Menma and discovering her wish, each character reveals the emotions and trauma they repressed throughout the years after Menma’s death. This was one of the most touching anime I have ever seen. Throughout the show you empathize with each character as they struggle to make things right between themselves and each other. The ending will have you in tears (there are reaction videos on youtube). Anohana is simply a beautiful story that also proves how friendship is a powerful bond.
You may have heard of Fooly Cooly because it played on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Fooly Cooly is honestly one of the greatest anime out there. I say this because it’s an alien girl who comes to Earth holding a guitar and riding a vespa. Then, she hits the main character, Naota Nandaba, with her instrument causing an injury on his forehead which becomes a portal for these weird robots to come out. It’s a really funny and strange anime with unforgettable characters. It’s one one of those anime that shows how outrageous and strange it can be but you will never complain. Fooly Cooly is a must.
Full Metal Alchemist/ Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood:
If you like an anime with an actual plot but none of that fluffy stuff, Full Metal Alchemist will deliver just that. This show is popular all around the world and if you haven’t heard of the Elric Brothers then you are living under a rock. The story is about Edward Elric and Alphonse. Eric who committed the ultimate taboo in their world, human transmutation. After their mother’s death, Edward and Al studied alchemy, the science of using raw materials and reconstructing it in order to create something. However, one of the most basic principles of alchemy and the show is “equivalent exchange,” in order to obtain something you must give up something of equal value. In the attempt to bring their mother back to life through human transmutation Elric loses his leg and Al loses his entire body. After realizing what a mistake it was Elric sacrifices his right arm to seal Al into a suit of armor since his brother is the only thing he has. After that, Elric vows to get Al’s body back by becoming a state alchemist or basically a soldier to the country’s military. He uses this to research the Philosopher’s stone, which appears to be the only hope for the brothers to get back what they lost. However, uncovering the Philosopher’s stone leads to a bigger conspiracy challenging what they believe is true. This anime is popular for a reason. The story is amazing and unforgettable. It has a lot of elements to it that makes it watchable even to people who are not anime fans.
***Note: Full Metal Alchemist is different from the Brotherhood version. Brotherhood is heavily based on the manga while the original FMA has its own story. Both are great and have different endings so you can watch both and not feel like you’re watching it twice.
Eden Of The East:
Eden of the East is a really interesting anime. The show starts off with a girl Saki Morimi meeting the mysterious man, Akira Takizawa. At first he has no memory but soon finds out he is part of a secret group of 11 other Selecaos or selected people. Each member is given a phone containing 10 billion yen in the effort to “save” Japan. If they do not accomplish this they will be eliminated. What really grabbed me about this anime was the phone. With it, the Selecao can call Juiz, a woman who can fufill any request using the money on the phone. With those kinds of resources how would you save your country? Not only does this anime have a grip on you through its plot but also through its characters. The relationship between Saki and Akira is entertaining and when they meet other Selaceos and uncover the truth about this “game” does it get really interesting to watch. Eden of the East is definitely one of those anime that you won’t mind re-watching.