We’re back and better than ever in this installment of the Hitlist, with yet another top 5 anime.
One of the main misconceptions about anime is that it’s mainly for children or that the plotlines are all insubstantial. However, anime has a myriad of different genres from the child-friendly to the rated R containing everything from magical girls to cannibalism; there’s truly something for everyone.
I guarantee that these picks (whether new or old) will blow your socks off.
1. TOKYO GHOUL
When I say Tokyo Ghoul; I mean the original first season of this series, rather than referring to the newer seasons; Tokyo Ghoul A and the most recent Tokyo Ghoul: “Jack”.
In my opinion the original is in every way superior to the sequel, as Kaneki (a shy, bookish college student) is shoved headfirst into the darker side of life in the 20th ward of Tokyo when he is forcibly changed into a ghoul – the savage, bloodthirsty hunters of humanity. In this we’ll see his struggles to both defend himself & his allies and come to terms with the fact that for him, life will never be the same.
This is only a measly 12 episodes long and for the sheer amount of satisfaction you’ll get out of it, this is time WELL SPENT. The division between man and monster gets more and more indistinct as you watch him traverse the underworld alongside the ghouls of Anteiku, and the climax is chilling.
WARNING: This is not for the faint of heart or stomach as it contains large amounts of gore, torture, blood and cannibalism.
2. ATTACK ON TITAN (SHINGEKI NO KYOJIN)
You already know what this is. If you don’t, you’ve been living under one hell of a boulder for the past 2 years.This has now been made into a live-action movie, expanded into several prequels and no less than 4 video games. If you haven’t seen this you need to. There’s no two ways about it. NO EXCUSES.
Attack on Titan or Shingeki no Kyojin may have aired in 2013, but it’s still being raved about more than 3 years on and for good reason. The storyline’s main premise is a brilliant twist on the classic walking dead angle, including smooth and amazing fight scenes, excellently developed characters and a brilliant soundtrack that allows you to feel all the highs and the lows of Eren’s crusade to reclaim Wall Maria from the vicious titans. Not only is the main plot inventive and engrossing; but the sub plots surrounding corruption and the societal hierachy, human experimentation and morality also give this gory shounen a depth not often seen in action anime, making it truly one of a kind and an exciting show to watch again and again and again.
There are zombies, ghouls, the undead, etc. And then there are TITANS.
3. PSYCHO PASS
Psycho Pass is the first serialisation of the extremely popular manga. This series ran as an anime from 2012 to 2014. It in total, stacks up at around 33 episodes – spanning a whole 2 seasons along with the Movie which came out this year.
PREMISE: The Sybil System keeps order in the city by actively measuring the populace’s mental states, personalities, and the probability that individuals will commit crimes, using a “cymatic scan” of the brain. The resulting assessment is called a Psycho-Pass. When the probability of a person engaging in crimes (measured by the Crime Coefficient Index) exceeds a certain level in an individual, he or she is pursued, apprehended, and killed if necessary to prevent them from becoming a threat to the so called perfect society that the Sybil system has created.
In this we follow the rookie inspector Akane Tsunemori of Unit One (—a police unit from the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Division) and her efforts to both save her fellow comrades and prevent the brutal crimes being commited by several masterminds who are intent on exposing the dark side to the so-called utopia they dwell in. Akane’s character develops beautifully, shifting from the innocent of early days to a more hardened law officer in this grim dark world as she loses several dear comrades and friends along the way. The development of the plot and characters also keep pace with one another well, with no overly significant plot holes present.
The tone of the whole animation is dark, intensely psychological and gritty with an inspired plot, making this a great animation to watch, as are Kougami and Makishima’s brilliant performances, along with the back story of some of the other characters – Ginoza, Yayoi, etc being well explained and decently explored.
WARNING: This is heavily focused on crime and therefore is in no way P.G. including matters such as rape, assualt, disembowlment and cold blooded murder.
4. YOUR LIE IN APRIL (SHIGATSU WA KIMI NO USO)
Whilst this finished airing in March of 2015 (22 episodes) , this still remains one of my favourites, both for 2015 and in general. This is the tale of Kousei Arima – the young award-winning piano prodigy who has seemingly lost his gift, now unable to hear the notes of the piano he plays after the mental breakdown he experienced, caused by the death of his ill mother. However, when he meets the free-spirited Miyazono Kaori, his monotone world bursts into full colour.
The musical score is beautiful and the characters are well thought out, with fleshed out character backgrounds and realistic issues, along with a poignant ending, making this a solid choice to view.
Make sure your kleenex is fully stocked.
5. MAGI: LABYRINTH OF MAGIC & KINGDOM OF MAGIC
Magi is a series near and dear to my heart, both for being yet another version of the Arabian Nights tales (Al A Din & The Wonderful Lamp, Sinbad the Sailor and many others) and also for the sheer greatness of this adaptation.
This tale is set in an alternate universe: a recreation of the ancient Old World in which all living beings possess an essence known as Rukh, and when they die, this essence returns to the huge flow (also known as “guidance“) of Rukh that gives life to all subsequent beings in an eternal cycle of rebirth called “Fate“.
The main plotline spans 2 seasons and 50 episodes in total (with multiple OVA’s), and follows the adventures of Aladdin, a young magician who has lived in isolation and is released into the world; meeting Kings, emperors, champions, friends, enemies and much more along the way as they together face Al Thamen and discover the truth of their world.
This wraps up the second edition of the Hitlist, but don’t worry Part III is almost here!