This time I’m going to talk about my most recent favorite animes. If I list a general top five, it’s just going to be the ones that everyone has already told you to watch, or the classics like FMA: Brotherhood, Cowboy Bebop, Gurren Lagann, etc. So instead I’m going to limit myself to animes that came out in the last two years, which includes ones that are currently airing. This list is in actual order from five to one, one being my favorite.
Shinsekai Yori (From the New World) Aired 2012-2013
I actually dropped this the first time I started watching it. I couldn’t keep up with it when it updated once a week, I got confused since I’d forget important things from previous episodes and it seemed to just fly over my head. So I forgot about it completely and watched my happy go lucky shows that required nearly zero brain power to enjoy. Then, as the series was nearing it’s end in March 2013 I decided to pick it back up and re-watch everything from the beginning. Re-watching it made everything click together, since I didn’t have to wait for those annoying week long breaks between episodes and I realized that I almost didn’t watch one of the most mind blowing anime.
The premise is about a village where everyone possesses the power of psychokinesis (“Gods” power). Children are watched carefully to make sure that they all develop this power and are trained to use it in school. The story follows a group of six friends as they develop their powers and start to learn secrets that aren’t supposed to be learned. It all starts with a rumor of a monstrous cat that abducts children.
This anime takes a dark turn and there is a lot that you don’t see coming. It also deals with relationships, love, and sacrifice. It’s very complex and it’s something you’ll want to watch again so you make sure you didn’t miss anything.
Akastuki no Yona (Yona: The Girl Standing in the Blush of Dawn or Yona of the Dawn) Aired 2014-2015
I had a huge internal struggle here listing this as number four. In my emotional heart I want to list this as number one, but my logical heart says “no Jess no. Stop that.” I am absolutely in love with this show and this entire fictional fridays might just be a ploy so that I can talk about this one anime. But anyways. Yona is about a young princess named, you guessed it, Yona, who due to a terrible circumstance (which I don’t want to spoil) has to flee the castle with her bodyguard.
It is, at it’s heart, a reverse harem, but sometimes I can forget that when I see the character development. Yona is SUCH an amazing character. Watching her transform from a shy princess who has never seen to world, to a strong girl who has to fight to survive is amazing. The men who surround her are also pretty amazing. The show is serious, funny, and heart breaking all at the same time. I love that in a show. I want to experience a range of emotions that leaves me crying for the next episode.
In fact, I loved it so much that I had to read the manga, which is on going, to see what happens next! I’m now all caught up with that and eagerly awaiting new chapters to be released! Ah! I hate waiting!
Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (Your Lie in April) Aired 2014 -2015
Alex and I have dubbed this the “Pianime” since it’s about piano competitions and music. But, it’s so much more than that. The characters are so dynamic and have such depth, the story is engrossing, the music is beautiful, the symbolism and foreshadowing is swoon worthy, and the animation is great as well. This anime blew my socks off and it’s Alex’s favorite. If he was doing this list, it would be his number one.
This story follows a boy who used to be a prodigy in music, he won every competition he entered until one day he stopped playing completely, unable to hear the sounds of the keys. All this changes when he meets a girl who plays the violin, who is a roller coaster of emotions and forces him to be her accompaniment for a competition she is entering. The story is just so gripping and it becomes heartbreaking. In fact, Alex might actually cry during the last episode, I would bet on it. It is one of those shows that makes you feel all sorts of feelings.
“If you’re not watching it you’re missing a beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful experience.” – Direct quote from Alex.
Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) Aired 2014
Despite being a short anime with only 11 episodes, this show will manage to destroy you completely. I don’t even know what to tell you about it honestly, just thinking about it muddles my thoughts. It totally took me by surprise. I wanted to watch it after reading the brief description on it and then I found myself head over heels in love with the show.
It has a rather cliched type of story premise, two boys are acting as terrorists under the name of “Sphinx”, uploading their threats on the internet for all to see, to try and carry out their master plan. Along the way they meet a high school girl who is bullied and generally feels like a waste of space in the world, almost like she doesn’t/shouldn’t exist. I can’t talk too much about it, or else it will ruin everything! You have to watch it for yourself!
Another thing worth mentioning about this anime is the soundtrack. While I was in Japan I actually picked it up. It is AMAZING. The music is glorious and sets the moods perfectly. The songs almost feel hypnotizing, they are so beautiful. Also. That ending. Oh my god.
Aldnoah.Zero Aired 2014, (Second season airing now)
12 episodes in season one
Speaking of endings……THE ENDING OF THIS SHOW OH MY GOD. I’m going to be honest here and say that I’m not the biggest fan of mecha anime. Sure, I’ll watch them if people tell me that they are awesome, but it’s low on my list of preferred genres, very low. Still, I am beyond in LOVE with Aldnoah.Zero, mecha or not!
This anime takes place in the future where a certain set of humans left Earth to settle on Mars, where they found ancient technology and cut all ties with the Earth, claiming themselves to be the superior being. Now, years later, they have set their sights on Earth, wanting to take it back from the lowly Terrans. (What Earth dwellers are called) But, the princess of Mars loves Earth and wants to make peace.
My goodness. The characters in this show are beyond amazing. The interactions they have are fabulous. The animation is wonderful and not to mention it deals with such complex levels of trust and betrayal. My goodness, the complexity of the human race is captured in this anime. You constantly are at war with yourself over whether or not you hate a character or love a character. It messes you up. Then the ending happens and you are left laying in bed wondering why the world was so cruel to you.
Then, you must immediately start watching the second season.