Top 5 Anime With Fairies

Tuesday's Top 5

Fairies are fun to see in stories because there’s so many variations and forms on the idea of what a fairy is. From The Seven Deadly Sins to Amagi Brilliant Part, fairies show up over and over again. This list are my favourite appearances of fairies in anime (not necessarily best anime).

As always, I’d love to know your take on the list so please leave me a comment with your favourite anime that includes fairies.

Number 5: Midnight Occult Civil Servants

While starting his new job, Arata finds himself dealing with creatures called Anothers and as the only one who can understand them he ends up having to negotiate with these beings on numerous occasions. One of my favourite groups that turned up from time to time throughout the stories were the little fairies that lived in the park. Whether they were mad because the humans messed up their offerings or allowing themselves to be bribed for directions with cookies, these little creatures were always cute when they showed up.

Number 4: The Ancient Magus’ Bride

I genuinely couldn’t have made this list and left The Ancient Magus’ Bride off of it. This one gets points for being very detailed in its folklore and taking a more traditional approach to fairies and their rules. While they may not be as cute as some of the other entries, the attention to folklore here gives this one a well-deserved place and while the anime ended up dragging on a little bit, the magic and magical creatures were definitely a highlight and worth watching for.

Number 3: Sword Art Online Fairy Dance Arc

This may well be one of the most hated of all the SAO arcs and yet while the end of this arc brings us a psycho villain whose motive and actions are entirely flawed, the game that this arc is set in looks beautiful. The different fairy races that the characters can choose from, the flight mechanics, and the magic are just brilliant and I’d honestly love to play this game (provided it wasn’t being run by a made person using it to test mind control on people).

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Number 2: WorldEnd

Here’s a different kind of fairy. These ones I’m never really sure if they are actually fairies, leprechauns, or something else entirely but it is a fun take on the story and the girls are all quite fun to get to know. Used to fight beasts with magic weapons and slowly losing control of their powers or losing their memories, the story here is tragic and yet quite compelling for the most part. If only the mid-season had managed to hold up its end this one would have a lot more discussion around it.

Number 1: Humanity Has Declined

How on Earth could I not have put these adorable and incredibly creepy fairies as the number one on the list. The story takes place as humans are declining and fairies have returned. The main character has the job of liaising with the fairies as they pursue new entertainments. They latch on to any idea and go crazy with it but just as quickly move onto the next thing (kind of like watching the progress of the internet in fast forward really). Whichever way, these little guys are a must see.

And that’s my list this week but be sure to let me know what your favourite anime with fairies are.

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Karandi James
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Top 5 Cute Anime Demon Girls

Tuesday's Top 5

Alright, we’ve had a plethora of cute anime demon girls showing up recently and they aren’t exactly a new trend so today I’d like to count down the 5 demon girls I think are the cutest (keep in mind this is cute not sexy – that would be a very different list). However there are so many to choose from so I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to character design for my choices and as always I’d love to know who your favourite cute demon girls are.

Number 5: Latina from Uchi no Musume

Generally I do avoid putting new anime on top 5 lists, particularly as I have no idea how the characters will change or develop as the series goes. However, given I’m basing this list on character design I think most people would be hard pressed to tell me that Latina is not a cute demon girl. She’s actually just this side of a adorable and I think if I’d had a few more episodes she’d be much higher on the list.

Seriously, can I take her home too? – I don’t even like kids and I think she’s adorable.

Number 4: Ai Enma from Hell Girl

While I’ve never been the biggest fan of Hell Girl, I can really take it or leave it, Ai Enma has always been a character I’ve liked the look of. She is seriously cute in a reserved and serious kind of way and honestly she just makes me want to hug her. Probably not such a great idea, but she’s still pretty adorable.

Number 3: Maou from Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

I may be stretching the definition of ‘girl’ on this one but there’s something inherently cute and girly about this demon lord. The way she playfully breaks down the hero’s preconceptions and recruits him to her side and even the way she negotiates with the merchants is just cute and delightful to watch. Besides, the horns on the head-band are what really gave her the place on the list. A demon concerned with keeping up appearances who knows how to accessorise totally deserved a spot on the cute anime demon girl list.

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Number 2: Ririchiyo from Inu x Boku

Another cool and quiet kind of cute, but adorable nonetheless. Here the cuteness comes in the gap between her calm and sometimes quite cold exterior and her inner freak outs as she starts having feelings for others but doesn’t know how to deal with them. I love the episode where she’s trying to figure out how to invite Miketsumaki to tea and is writing out each scenario before scrunching it up in frustration. Totally adorable.

Number 1: Nezuko from Demon Slayer

Right, so when it comes to cute designs, they pulled out all the stops with Nezuko. Whether it is her big, expressive eyes, her two toned hair, the adorable way she just kind of goes to sleep or kicks her legs into the air while lying on the mat, she’s just all kinds of cute. Of course, she’s also all kinds of dangerous if you happen to be on the side that she considers to be an enemy so probably wise to remember that kittens are cute but they have some sharp claws.

Here we are at the end of my top 5 cute demon girl list. Now it is your turn to share.

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Karandi James
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Top 5 Anime Houses

Tuesday's Top 5

There are plenty of cool homes and houses that we come across in anime but there are some that stick with me well after the anime has finished. Today I’m counting down my top 5 favourite anime homes and houses. That said, there are a lot of great houses in anime so feel free to share your favourites in the comments.

Number 5: Student Council Building – Code Geass

This one is a little bit odd because technically it is a school building. However, as the Ashford’s allow Lelouche and Nunally to crash there I’m counting it as a home so there we go. The biggest issue is finding a picture of the exterior that isn’t the entire school and alas I came up short on that. Still, it looks like an amazing place to live except for the tragic circumstances surrounding the characters who live there.

Number 4: Yuuko’s Shop – xxxHolic

Seriously, how can you not love this place. And I love how it is nestled in amongst the high rises of Tokyo. It is just a beautiful building and with the trees framing it like a small oasis of magic and mystery within the large city, Yuuko’s home is amazing. Okay, again there’s a lot of fine print on this house but that shouldn’t stop us from admiring.

Number 3: Shigure’s Home – Fruits Basket

I still remember watching the original Fruits Basket anime and seeing Shigure’s home with Tohru for the first time. It is an unassuming building surrounded by nature and it is truly gorgeous. The open nature of the house makes it feel like part of the forest surrounding it and the characters spend a lot of time on the veranda or rooftop adding to the feeling that it is a very open and inviting house. As Shigure, Yuki, Tohru and Kyo build a home within it, the house is just as much a part of the show as these characters and I love it in the new anime adaptation as well.

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Number 2: Kirito and Asuna’s House – Sword Art Online

Feel like visiting floor 22 of Aincrad? If you do in addition to gorgeous trees and lakes where hiking and fishing are the relaxation hobbies of choice you can also drop by this adorable little cabin where Kirito and Asuna built a home within the virtual world. While it isn’t as grand as some of the entries on this list, this one is filled with warmth and love and very much was a home built by the characters.

Number 1: Tigre’s Home in Alsace – Lord Marksman and Vanadis

If I’m honest, this is the building that inspired me to write this list. I just happened to watch a few episodes of this the other day to try to help me relax and when I saw Tigrevurmud Vorn’s family home in Alsace, the home that he fought so incredibly hard to protect even after becoming a prisoner of war, I realised that I had to write this list. This place is truly adorable and full of the memory’s Tigre has of his father as well as the upbringing he’s had with his friends. This is a place worth protecting.

That’s my list but as I said before I’d love to know yours. Let me know which anime house you would include on your top 5.

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Karandi James
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Top 5 Anime Characters in the Mafia

Tuesday's Top 5

There’s something about a good gangster story that really draws in the viewers. Unfortunately there aren’t a huge number of anime that deal with the mafia or gangsters and even then, most of my favourite characters in those stories aren’t actually in the mafia, so this list was a little tricky to put together. Ultimately though I’ve picked my top 5 anime characters in the mafia and I’d love to know who some of your favourites are.

Number 5: Nero Vanetti from 91 Days

Nero is an interesting choice because he’s a character I find hard to get a read on and yet I enjoy watching him. He’s carefree to a point and brash but he’s also very loyal to his family. Avilio abuses his trust and uses him and yet when the betrayal is revealed Nero struggles with it because of his loyalty to his friend, even if it isn’t returned. Ultimately Nero is just an interesting character to watch and while he makes many mistakes he comes back from them each and every time.

Number 4: Jolly from Arcana Famiglia

Alright, I’m not a huge fan of La Storia Della Arcana Famiglia as an anime feeling there were a lot of wasted opportunities and plenty of potential left languishing. However, there were some great characters scattered about being utterly deprived of a half-decent plot. One of those characters is Jolly. He makes only sporadic appearances in the story but his impact and influence on the rest of the cast is clear to see. Jolly might be the right hand man in the family but his personal agenda and his experimentation put the rest of the members on edge and this makes him fascinating to watch.

Number 3: The Fourth from Kamisama no Memochou

The Fourth, or Souichirou Hinamura, is full of surprises. While on the surface he seems the typical gangster running his group, he’s got an interesting skill set including repairing stuffed toys. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t an incredibly dangerous character to try to get close to and don’t even think of trying to betray him. While The Fourth is a peripheral character in Heaven’s Memo Pad he gets some substantial character development including his own back story and he remains one of the most interesting members of the cast.

Number 2: Claire Stanfield from Baccano

So many great characters in Baccano it was hard to narrow it down to one for this list, but ultimately I had to go with Claire. The incredibly talented murderer definitely dances to the beat of his own drum but has an interesting personal morality that plays a part in all his decisions about who to kill and who to leave alive, even if he leaves them emotionally scarred for life. In a zany cast of larger than life characters Claire managed to leave a definite impression.

Number 1: Oda from Bungo Stray Dogs

Again, the Port mafia is full of a lot of incredibly interesting characters but the one who has had the greatest impression on me is actually one we only saw for a handful of episodes as part of an extended flash back. Oda’s story is tragic to be sure but it left a lasting impression on the audience and on the other characters. It certainly left a lasting impression on Dazai. I know it is too late but can we please have more Oda, I loved watching his story unfold and just got so drawn into his character.

That’s it from me but as I said before I’d love to know who your top picks would be for anime characters in the mafia.

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Top 5 Short Anime from Irina

Tuesday's Top 5

When you have the attention span of a drunken gerbil. What a weird way of stating it. Can gerbils even get drunk? I’m gonna look it up. Back. I don’t know the answer but do you guys think I should get a gerbil? They’re really cute. Not as cute as baby porcupines OR baby sloths. Man those things are the cutest.

baby sloth
bam! cute attack!

What was I saying? Oh yeah… paying attention for an entire season of anime is really tough. You have to sit there for tens of minutes at the time and read stuff (or listen). It’s o.k once in a while but there’s no way you can keep it up always. And for those times when you’re not up to the task, there are short programs. In fact, here are five that I liked:

kitaro yokai diary
there’s a lot of surprisingly epic scenes

5) Kitaro Yokai Diary

Admittedly I don’t have that much to say about this show. I really like Yokai and this was a light-hearted comedy adventure (with a little bit of harem thrown in) full of cute yokai. It had some Natsume elements and some Interviews with Monster Girl elements, both of which are excellent things.

Sure it doesn’t come close to either of those shows but if you want to kill a few minutes and L me the general mood of mister girls or Yokai, then it’s a decent option.

tiramisu
I keep forgetting how expensive this show looks

4) Space Battleship Tiramisu

The elusive science fiction comedy is one of my favourite genres and I don’t exactly get to enjoy it often. Sure Tiramisu was often very childish and low brow but it gave me something I simply couldn’t find elsewhere. Not to mention that it could also be surprisingly earnest. I did laugh at some of those jokes and I’m not even embarrassed about it…much?

Space Battleship Tiramisu also looks surprisingly good for a short series with highly detailed character models and fluid animation. It’s one of the best productions I’ve seen in the short program category.

luluco
not even close to the weirdest thing in this show

3) Space Patrol Luluco

Few anime studios have the same emotional impact on fans as Gainax//Trigger, and Luluco is a surreal, science fictionny romp through the studio’s history and works. I did not enough about this history at the time I watched Space Patrol Luluco to truly appreciate the nuances and Easter eggs it contained.

As this is a highly referential series, I know a lot went over my head and I plan to go back and rewatch it armed with my new knowledge. When I watched the fantastic Gurrenn Lagann, scenes from Luluco kept coming back to me and made so much more sense. And since each episode is only 5 minutes long, rewatching it shouldn’t take much effort at all!

understand husband
been there

2) I can’t understand what my husband is saying

I think the great majority of shorts tend to be comedies. The format works a bit like a stand-up act. You tell a joke or a funny little anecdote, deliver the punchline and move onto something else. That’s pretty much how I can’t understand what my husband is saying is arranged, only with a surprisingly sweet love story intertwined.

Like most stand up acts some of the material is a bit questionable and will not land with all audiences but the series has heart. You never get the impression that it’s mean spirited when it pokes fun at some of the less respectful sides of Otaku culture.

I skipped a few of the episodes as some running gags were really not my cup of tea but I know many fans who love this show. So if you’re looking for a short romantic series, this may be the one for you.

Special Mention The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

I don’t know how this show aired originally but when I saw it, they were short skirts bundled together in roughly half-hour episodes so not technically a short program. Nevertheless, the vignette structure of the narrative means you can watch roughly 5 minutes of anime and move onto something else without feeling like you’ve left things unfinished… So although it may not be a short in definition, it remains one in spirit.

orenchi
the screencaps are both misleading and perfect

1) Orenchi no furo Jijou

I don’t care that this short is super weird with lots of BL overtones. I don’t care that the plot is nonsensical and the narrative fairly threadbare. Fact is, I enjoyed the heck out of this little show and I can’t explain why. I’m assuming *magic*.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know if you would like Orenchi no Furo Jijo. It’s one of these shows that’s really difficult to compare to anything else. It’s even hard to simply describe. But no matter the risk to my credibility, I will never stop recommending it. Cause it’s magic.

And at 3 minutes per episode what do you have to lose?

Time-of-eve
I want to redo my kitchen like this

Also 1) Time of Eve

With each episode clocking in at 15 minutes, Time of Eve is on the longer side of shorts. Not sure if there’s a cutoff to qualify. But since the entire series is only 6 episodes I think it’s perfectly reasonable. It’s roughly the equivalent of 3 regular episodes so if you ascribe to the 3 episode rule, you’d be done before you even have to decide whether you want to watch it or not.

Whether Time of Eve is an actual short program or not, it is a thoughtful and at times stirring work of speculative fiction in the style of the golden age science fiction masters. A tight nest of moral dilemmas and an examination of human nature against a backdrop of near future technology. I loved this anime.

If I recommend Oorenchi to everyone because I’m not sure who would enjoy it, I recommend Time of Eve to everyone because I think a lot of people would.

There you go 5..I’m 7ish short animes you can binge through in a day or take in one little bite at the time whenever the mood strikes you. Do you have any short program recommendations?

Shoyo_Hinata
Hinata is short…

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Contributed by Irina
from I Drink And Watch Anime!

Top 5 Gardens in Anime Series

Tuesday's Top 5

We all know there are many pretty anime out there and flowers, particularly cherry blossoms, show up in a lot of stories (and usually look gorgeous). Today I’m looking at my favourite gardens in anime series (I excluded movies deliberately but still ended up with far too many options). This is definitely a list of my favourite picks so please feel free to tell me which anime gardens you love in the comments below.

Number 5: Blue Exorcist

Garden - Blue Exorcist

Rin first meets Shiemi when his brother takes him to visit the Garden of Amahara which ends up being important because Shiemi ends up being Rin’s first real friend. However, the garden itself is beautiful even if it is a little bit hostile when we first arrive there. What I love about it though is that it isn’t just decorative. The garden and plants in general play a fairly critical role in terms of exorcisms and healing throughout the story and so it seems right that this is where me meet Shiemi for the first time. That and it is really pretty.

Shiemi - Blue Exorcist

Number 4: The Eccentric Family

The Eccentric Family - Garden in Kyoto

The Eccentric Family takes place in Kyoto and a large part of it is showing the play between the human world, the natural world and the supernatural world. Needless to say we spend a lot of time outdoors and get to see some very nice looking gardens throughout the series. I love the garden that has the well in it where Yasaburo’s brother is for most of the first season transformed into a frog. However, we see a range of lovely gardens throughout the two seasons of the anime and visually this anime is worth noting.

Yasaburo visits the well - The Eccentric Family

Number 3: The World Is Still Beautiful

I’m not entirely sure this one fits in with the rest, but I really like the layout of the garden in this anime. It is incredibly tidy and sculptured compared to the others on this list, but I remember thinking how pretty the garden was the first time I watched the anime. And, given a lot of the story involves Nike trying to convince Livius that the world is beautiful, the garden features in quite a number of episodes in a variety of weather types.

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Number 2: The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Chise - The Ancient Magus' Bride - Garden

Where do you even start with gardens in this story? The Ancient Magus’ Bride was gorgeous from start to finish and while I ultimately found the episode count a little too long and the story felt like it meandered too much, I cannot fault how beautiful they made the countryside look. Whether it is the garden Chise studies in or the rose garden where we meet the vampire character, there’s plenty of pretty sites to visit throughout the run of this anime and ever single scene is worth the effort.

Rose Garden - The Ancient Magus' Bride

Number 1: Snow White With The Red Hair

Snow White With The Red Hair - Shirayuki and Ryuu

I absolutely love the hillside garden in Snow White With The Red Hair. There are so many plants, forests, and greenhouses in this story and they are all gorgeous, but that hill covered in flowers and medicinal herbs is beautiful to look at and so many key story moments take place on or near the hill. Honestly, let’s just have an OVA that involves all the herbalists working on the hill and I’ll happily watch it. This is the garden that immediately came to mind when I started thinking about this list.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Shirayuki and the garden

And that’s my list for the week but as always I’d love to know your picks so be sure to let me know what your favourite anime garden is in the comments.

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Top 5: Anime With Demons or Devils

Tuesday's Top 5

There are a lot of anime that include demons and devils in their cast and I know that a list of 5 can’t even begin to cover all the great titles out there. Still, I decided to have a go at listing my 5 favourite anime with demons or devils in them. I did rule out just standard yokai anime though as I wanted this list to focus more on demons or devils as the are more often represented in the west. Still, there are still a lot of anime out there that we could have got into and with one exception I haven’t even touched the sheer number of comedy anime that use these kinds of characters. Nor have I touched on the harem anime that go there so I’m sure there are plenty more anime that people could list and I’d love to hear your choices in the comments below.

I will just give an honourable mention to Devilman Crybaby. I didn’t really like that anime for a number of reasons but its depiction of demons was actually pretty solid and so it deserves a space on the list.

Number 5: Blue Exorcist

I feel a lot of people will probably have this one higher up their lists and if I had only watched season one I probably would as well. I really enjoyed the set up to this story in the first episode where we learn the truth about who Rin’s father was and we see part of the cause for his volatile temper and violence. While this anime takes a lot of liberties with the church structure, terminology, and the basic idea of what an exorcist is, it is undeniably entertaining. The second season lacked a lot of that charm that season one brought to the table, but still, it is a solid entry in terms of an anime focused on the idea of exorcising demons.

Number 4: Hataraku Maou-Sama

The Devil is a Part-Timer is one of those anime that just hit the right spot for me particularly in terms of its comedy. However, a lot of the enjoyment I found in the anime was in the way they portrayed the devil and his demon generals. Also, the connection between the hero and Satan was very nicely established and as the story progressed we had a bit of a look at the follies of humans and angels as well. While definitely not trying to be serious about its premise, this one is just a fun story where demons, humans and angels interact and the end results are interesting.

Number 3: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Weird for me to include an anime that isn’t even finished yet but I must say that I’ve really been enjoying how demons are portrayed in this one. While Tanjiro certainly has sympathy for demons changed from human against their will, largely because of Nezuko’s situation, he is also aware of the destruction demons cause if left to their own devices and after the first encounter where he hesitated, he’s managed to take appropriate action even if we continue to see signs of his compassion. It’s an interesting concept and I’m looking forward to learning more about the different demons we’ve met who haven’t been instantly killed.

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Number 2: D Gray Man

I couldn’t have made this list without mentioning the Black Order of exorcists who are fighting against the Millennium Earland his Akuma army. What I particularly like about this one is that the demons aren’t just springing to life on their own. The Earl makes deals with humans in order to breed his soldiers and so the number of Akuma the order are facing is in direct correlation to the weakness of humans who, desperate to reconnect with a loved one, accept the Earl’s dubious offer and end up chaining their loved one’s soul inside an Akuma. It is horrific but for Allen it is even worse as he can see that trapped soul which causes conflict inside of him when it comes to defeating them.

Number 1: Black Butler

Well, you all should have seen that one coming. However, when it comes to an anime that does an excellent deal with a devil storyline, Black Butler is still my undisputed favourite. Sebastian is every bit a demon and yet he covers over his monstrous nature with suave appearance and manners only allowing glimpses at the truth beneath the surface when it suits him to do so. I genuinely love this story and have really enjoyed the Book Of spin-offs even if season 2 didn’t really work for me.

That’s my list but there are plenty of other anime out there featuring demons or devils and I’d love to know some of your favourites so leave me a comment below.

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