In the coming decades after World War II, the country of Japan experienced a massive growth in technological and industrial advancement. As the third largest economy in the world today, Japan has expanded its technological and cultural influences throughout the world in various ways. From large vehicle corporations, to video games and entertainment companies, evidence of Japanese influence can be seen in many areas of American life. One of these areas consists of Japanese animated television shows commonly referred to as “anime” that have captured the interest of many people like myself from around the world.
Unlike american cartoons that are generally thought to be geared towards children, anime has brought animation to people of all ages. Just like there is no one genre of music or live television, there too is no one genre of anime. From action and adventure, to romance or comedy, there is an anime to spark the interest of just about anyone. Moreover, in contrast to television and movie productions, anime is able to portray anything anyone can think of. The only downside is that just like in American animation, it takes time for the artists in Japan to draw, write, and digitalize whatever story they are concocting.
Personally, my favorite anime are the action and dystopian genres that define my favorite titles of Attack on Titan and Akame Ga Kill as well as psychological thrillers like The Promised Neverland, Steins;Gate, and Death Parade. As my most recommended and favorite anime thus far, Attack on Titan is a wildly popular anime that follows the journey of three childhood friends living in a fictional walled nation. When a portion of the outer wall is unceremoniously knocked in and large man eating humanoid creatures called titans flood the nation, the three childhood friends must fight to save their friends, family, and humanity itself. I just really love the engaging plot and amazing animation in this show and highly recommend it to fellow action lovers.
Second on my list is Akame Ga Kill. This anime follows the story of a group of assassins as they attempt to overthrow the corrupt government in a large scale coup d’etat. Things get interesting when weapons and gadgets with special abilities are thrown into the plot to effectively distinguish this anime from the others. Fans of unpredictable storylines will surely love Akame Ga Kill.
Next in the list of my favorite anime comes The Promised Neverland. The Promised Neverland is a new ongoing series that just came out winter of 2019 with its first season quickly gaining popularity amongst anime watchers. The anime follows a group of orphaned children in a lone house seemingly in the middle of nowhere. However, the anime soon leaves viewers feeling uneasy as the show progresses indicating that this orphanage may not be what it seems. The Promised Neverland is a wildly fun anime to watch and takes viewers for a loop through its multitude of plot twists and turns. This anime is a great choice for individuals who like mystery mixed in with a touch of horror.
Coming in number four, we have Steins;Gate. This anime follows the self acclaimed mad scientist Okabe Rintarou in his seemingly peaceful everyday life with friends in Tokyo, Japan. However, when tragedy strikes, Okabe and friends are sent in a mad race to create a time machine to alter reality itself. Steins;Gate is masterfully paced as the writer slowly incorporates their plot into the series expertly cultivating it into a great work of art. It is known for its excellent character development and is sure to be a treat for all viewers.
Lastly we have Death Parade. Death parade is a rather short anime that forms its storyline off of the hypothetical question of “what happens when we die”. Taking inspiration from the Buddhist principle of incarnation, Death Parade progresses in the perspective of individuals called “arbiters” who put people to the extremes through small rather cruel minigames to decide whether their souls are worthy of reincarnation or dissolution. Death Parade explores the raw depth of humanity raising questions about the true value of life and who is fit to judge it.
Hiroshi, Hamasaki and Satou Takuya, directors. Steins;Gate, White Fox, 2011.“Akame Ga Kill.” Hozumi, Gouda, et al., directors. Akame Ga Kill, White Fox, 1 June 2014.
Hozumi, Gouda, et al., directors. Akame Ga Kill, White Fox, 1 June 2014.
Mamoru, Kanbe, et al., directors. Yakusoku No Neverland, CloverWorks, 2019.“Akame Ga Kill.” Hozumi, Gouda, et al., directors. Akame Ga Kill, White Fox, 1 June 2014.
Shuuhei, Yabuta, et al., directors. Shingeki No Kyojin, Wit Studio, 2013.
Yuzuru, Tachikawa, et al., directors. Death Parade, Madhouse, 2015.“Akame Ga Kill.” Hozumi, Gouda, et al., directors. Akame Ga Kill, White Fox, 1 June 2014.