Top 5: Romantic Anime (updated July 2021)

Top 5 Romantic Anime

Once again I’m dusting off the list for top 5 Romantic Anime. Will the anime already on the list manages to hold onto their position of have newcomers knocked them down. I last updated the list in 2019 and we had My Love Story, Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Bloom Into You, Snow White With The Red Hair on the list with Kimi ni Todoke taking the top spot.

I’m going to be honest, in the last two years I’ve watched a lot of romantic anime, both old and new, and the list is going to be shaken up a bit as some of my preferences have changed.

As always, I’d love to know what my readers think are the top 5 romantic anime so be sure to leave a comment below.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Romantic Anime Number 5: Recovery of an MMO Junkie

I honestly don’t know why this one spoke to me the way it did but I loved this story. Maybe it was the older characters. Maybe it was seeing them fumbling their way toward a relationship.

All I know is that I found Morioka and Sakurai’s relationship utterly charming in this sweet comedy about two fairly awkward human beings. Both on and offline these two are exactly who the other one needs and I really do hope they live happily ever after.

I wouldn’t mind more romantic anime like this that just kind of meandered about sweetly before giving us some smiles at the end.

Romantic Anime Number 4: Given

Given ended up being my favourite romantic anime from 2019 and honestly, it is definitely in fighting position for best of all time, though I feel there’s still quite a bit of story to go beyond what the first season of the anime gave us and the follow-up movie didn’t focus on the main couple.

Still, given I have the main characters hanging on my wall watching over me as I type away on my laptop I’m guessing this anime left a lasting impression.

It is a boy’s love anime but manages to avoid a lot of the usual tropes associated with the genre and instead plays out as a straight forward romance between two pretty awkward teenagers (who are both boys adding another layer of complexity to dealing with their emotions).

This one is sweet and the characters will charm you and the final song will blow you away.

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Romantic Anime Number 3: Akagami no Shirayuki

This one was one I fell instantly in love with. At it’s core it really is a fairy tale romance (hence the Snow White with the Red Hair) title but it is so much more. It has characters that feel fleshed out and real (even if they are all overly sweet at heart) and Shirayuki is perhaps my favourite female lead in any romance.

While Akagamie no Shirayuki has once again not made the top spot, Shirayuki is one of my favourite female leads in a romance ever, as she is confident and self-reliant but still falls in love and has to find the balance in herself.

Partnered with Zen (I still don’t get that name), this is a fantastic couple. Zen isn’t useless so that the girl can show her stuff. He is capable in his own right and has his own life aside from pursuing and saving the girl (though he certainly does do that as well). If you just want something sweet but do not want to see the simpering girl pining for the guy or being dependent on him, this is the romantic anime for you.



Romantic Anime Number 2: Kimi ni Todoke

This show almost defines love story. So Kazehaya and Sawako’s relationship moves incredibly slowly, but it remains the focus of the series even while we see Sawako develop her other relationships and the usual school events (sports carnivals and festivals) occur.

While the slow pace might frustrate some, it feels necessary given initially the large gap between the protagonists experiences and expectations. Besides, even Sawako’s friends agree that if she dated Kazehaya while still feeling indebted to him it wouldn’t really work out.

There is very little unexpected in this story, but the combination of characters and the way it is presented makes this a truly pleasurable watch. Well worth making it to the end of this romantic anime.

Romantic Anime Number 1: Fruits Basket Final Season

I understand that Fruits Basket is so much more than just a romantic anime and there’s a lot of other drama and character developments. That said, while watching The Final Season, while the emotional culmination of all the character journeys was great and finding out about the curse was awesome, the part that blew me away was Kyo and Tohru.

I can’t help it. Any scene with those two together was brilliant and The Final Season gave us so many great moments to choose from. Whether it was Kyo shyly giving Tohru a paper flower in the classroom, the hug through the washing, Kyo’s panicked reaction when… (well watch it) or the final, beautiful moment where the two finally came together…

Or was it when we had the epilogue that went literally forever and showed us the two still together all those years later?

I don’t know but I do know that for the right now Fruits Basket: The Final Season has emotionally blown any other romantic anime out of the water.

What are your favourite romantic anime or did I include yours on the list?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Feature: I Am Human – But What Does That Mean?

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Anime does a lot of things. It shows us amazing places and takes us on wild adventures. It can make us laugh or cry or wince or groan. It can make our eyes widen in shock and it can bore us to tears. However, what it does every now and then is really make us think. So when a character declares, “I am human”, anime can really make me question what that statement even means.

This is part of why I love stories. Even stupid comedies sometimes hold a much greater truth than we might realise and thinking about those themes and messages, while enjoying a great show, is really rewarding.

I am human!

This week I want to look at anime that look at what it means to be human and have characters declaring, metaphorically if not literally, that “I am human”. And the list is huge and there are plenty of amazing quotes and gifs out there that deal with this and I’m sure that people will tell me I missed some of the most obvious in the discussion below.

I will say I deliberately have avoided Evangelion. At some point I’m going to get into that anime on this blog and I’ll leave that discussion for that later.

Now, some anime are pretty heavy handed when making a statement or delivering a moral message. One that immediately springs to mind is Parasyte. This is a really enjoyable anime but the conflict of our main character, Shinichi, as he wonders whether he is human or not after his arm is taken over by a parasite and his ongoing moral dilemmas about killing people, fighting and the like is anything but subtle.

Ultimately Shinichi does make his metaphorical declaration: “I am human” though his definition of human ends up being somewhat realigned.

Shinichi - Parasyte
I am human - right?

Basically Shinichi wants to protect people from the parasites but is too weak to do this by himself. So he is forced to cooperate with Migi (the name he gave the parasite that is his right hand) in his attempts to protect his friends, family and occasional random stranger. However, Migi isn’t all that cooperative. He doesn’t see the point in risking his own existence for another. Cue long conversations about right and wrong and the value and meaning of life.

While it might sound like I’m belittling it, I’m not.

I really loved Parasyte and at least it didn’t try to be smarter than it was. Both Shinichi and Migi evolved as characters through gaining insight into the others point of view. The blending of what is originally a clear binary opposition and what the compromise looks like really is the take-away from the show and leaves you wondering where you would have ended up if placed in a similar situation.

I Might Be Human

Then we have Gundam, a franchise that is so heavy handed with the morals and messages that at times it is difficult to see individual characters as anything other than the voice of whatever moral viewpoint they have been appointed at that point in the plot.

But really, all these characters want the world to realise: “I am human”. They suffer and die but they fight for what they believe and they want to be acknowledged.

While most of these revolve around war and the futility of fighting and dying while also trying to acknowledge the necessity of these things, they also sometimes dive headlong into the overall discussion of what it means to be human and what motivates us to act.

Weapons or humans. I am human - but I hurt others?

Asking why sometimes seems incredibly futile but it is these questions and reflections that actually make up the stronger emotional side of several of the Gundam series (you know, the parts that aren’t giant robots shooting or stabbing each other).

Similarly, asking what it means when someone claims “I am human” is a question that cannot be so simply answered.

The strength of Gundam is the sheer number of characters which gives more or less every audience member someone to agree with in terms of how they feel about the essential weakness of the human character.

I Forgot but I am Still Human?

Yet life and death aren’t the only elements of what it is to be human. Golden Time tackles several questions about the human experience including a sense of self and personal identity as well as how we define ourselves through relationships. And it is on how we create and maintain relationships with others that Golden Time really manages to shine.

I experience the human experience - I am human for sure.

The other questions the show asks always feel a little forced given most of us aren’t an amnesiac with a dual personality caused by the soul of our past self trying to bump out the soul of our present existence. It kind of makes it hard to relate to.

However, the romance and the heart break and how we deal with others, that we can watch and understand and really feel for some of these characters even as we wonder how we would cope in such a situation.

And the statement “I am human” becomes so much more important to this character as so much else is hidden behind a veil of mystery and confusion. What else do they have to cling to if their humanity is denied?

I Will Know Who I Am Even If I Don’t Yet

But if you were after an anime that decided to tackle identity, Charlotte gives it a good go, though you may find this theme hard to follow as at times it confronts it head on and at others it leaves you to fill the gaps in how the characters respond. That and the story itself more or less derails (though still worth the watch).

Who am I? I am human.

Although, reading the quote above I’m always reminded a little bit of Alice In Wonderland and begin wondering, “Who Am I?” Though the answer here is: “I am human.”

I am not human.

Then we have the sheer number of ‘inhuman’ characters who cast their judgement on the human race. Which of course leads to the I know that this character was actually created by a human so it’s a human pretending to be a demon/ghost/arbiter/god/whatever speaking about their views of humanity.

When done poorly this comes off as cliché and a little inane. But, this trope can actually be done well. Sebastian from Black Butler makes numerous observations about human nature, usually in comparison to himself. He generally views humans with disdain and so lumps most of humanity into very overly generalised groups but at the same time, it is difficult to argue with his conclusions at times.

I am not human - but I will judge you.

Though demons and devils in anime are regularly used to make us wonder who the real demons are as we frequently have human characters acting far worse than the demons within particular stories. Works symbolically but one has to wonder where all the good, old-fashioned demons have gone.

However, I don’t want this post to get too caught up in the ins and outs of philosophy in anime. Keep in mind, mostly it is a form of entertainment. So sometimes, even in anime that seem like they are working very hard to have a serious message, you get a comment so off the wall it just kind of sticks with you. Hence, Potato Girl from Attack on Titan.

To be human is to eat potato.

So what anime have made you think about what it means to be human? Or just made you laugh with an incredibly obvious observation (such as people die when they are killed). I’d love to know.

And remember regardless of anything else (unless you happen to be a space alien or inter-dimensional traveller) you can always declare: I am human!


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


A Decade of Anime 2013

Anime of the Decade

Another difficult year of decisions. 2013 hit us with anime after anime that made me laugh, cry, think, or just straight up get drawn into a legendary story. Still, when looking at my favourites from each season, I noticed some interesting titles ended up pushing their way to the front as the anime from that season I would not want to have missed.

That means Hataraku Maou-Sama didn’t make the final list despite this being a straight comedy anime that I adore. Nor did My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU end up in my top shows even though I love the humour in the story and the interactions between the characters. Even the beautiful and emotional (though with a somewhat flawed narrative) Sunday Without God didn’t end up quite making top of its season. Which leaves me wondering, what did we do to deserve so many great shows in one year?

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

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Maoyu Maou Yuusha

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It’s the story of a hero who goes to fight the demon king but then finds out she’s a hot girl who doesn’t even want to fight but wants to save the world and end the war through economic development. This quirky anime is not technically brilliant and the story is incomplete, but there’s enough here to make it worth having watched. Maoyu Maou Yuusha is a different take on the hero story and one that really looks at the impacts of war and how difficult it is to end one.

That said, there’s a few things that really throw people about this anime. The first is none of the characters have a name, they are referred to by their job. Now, in the post Goblin Slayer days that may not be as unusual but it was a bit jarring the first time I watched this. Secondly, there’s a lot of discussion about improvements to farming, trading and economics in this anime.

You won’t learn a huge amount as it keeps things pretty basic, but there’s a lot of talk about some relatively dry subject matter. I found it pretty interesting but its definitely not something everyone is going to love. Still, I feel this one is worth remembering and I’m glad I came across it as it is one that isn’t talked about much and if I hadn’t watched it when I did I may never have come across it.

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Attack on Titan

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Could it have been anything else? Regardless of your personal thoughts toward the franchise, Attack on Titan got a lot of people talking anime even if only briefly. While the shock and horror of the early episodes faded and the second cour kind of dragged, there was still something about the series that held viewers. It’s hard to believe now it was 2013 when this first came out given we’re still not quite at a conclusion and that gap between season one and two didn’t do Attack on Titan any favours and yet there’s so much here worth noting even if you want to nitpick the flaws.

For me there are two things that stand out from this first season of Attack on Titan. The first was the animation. It was stunning. The way the characters moved, the choreography of the fight and training sequences, even just the way crowds of people were animated, all of it looked amazing for 2013 and it still looks pretty good even by 2019 standards.

The second was the tone and atmosphere. Attack on Titan particularly in its first cour really built its rich atmosphere of fear, paranoia, hopelessness, and anger. It brewed through all the characters and permeated the world design. For all that I will happily criticise aspects of the story, particularly when we get to season two, I will not forget how season one made me feel watching it and I can happily say that on rewatch it is every bit as brilliant.



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The Eccentric Family

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When season two of this quirky supernatural slice of life came out I realised for the first time how many people hadn’t watched the first season. I’m not into slice of life or comedy and The Eccentric Family is dripping in both, yet with its colourful cast of characters, fast paced dialogue, and generally witty delivery it most definitely won me over. When you throw in that the story has a lot of heart with the family at its centre being one that is fairly fun to spend time with and there’s almost nothing to fault with it at all.

However, it gives us even more then that. We have some great female characters on board despite the male dominated cast. We have inter-generational commentary as well as a look at modernisation vs traditionalism. There’s also a great tourist aspect to seeing Kyoto from the perspective of the tanuki that dominate the story. Basically The Eccentric Family is a fun little anime and it has a second season if it leaves you wanting more. Well worth checking out if you are someone who missed it when it aired.

Fall 1533177906 1577945346333

Golden Time

Golden

Golden Time is something of an outlier for me. It is a straight rom-com/drama with an amnesiac protagonist at its centre. Honestly, it shouldn’t work for me and yet I found it pretty hilarious in the early episodes as we watched Koko breaking up with her boyfriend and the friendship forming between Koko and Banri. The introduction of a love triangle was less welcome but ultimately that opened the way for the story to explore Banri’s memory loss and past and in the end everything does just kind of work in this story.

Partly this is because the supporting cast are fantastic at bringing what is needed to the story and the central three, Koko, Banri and Linda, are all interesting characters to get to know in their own way and are carrying their own pain but also looking for happiness. Like with any good romantic comedy you’ll laugh and sometimes cry but ultimately you’ll get a happy ending, unless you really wanted the love triangle to resolve the other way in which case you might be really annoyed at the whole thing. Whichever way, I loved this anime and it remains one I happily watch again and again.

Anime of the Decade

And that was 2013. A big year for anime with the huge appearance of Attack on Titan and many other great anime. What were your favourites from the year? Share in the comments and be sure to check in tomorrow for 2014.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Check out my favourite anime from each year over the last decade:

Three Big Lies We Tell Ourselves in the Face of Love

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Bloom Into You is full of characters who tell themselves lies – but are these lies we tell ourselves?

Watching Bloom Into You, despite finding Yuu’s struggle to reconcile her rational mind and her feelings fascinating and beautifully nuanced in the way it is presented, really makes me frustrated. I’m watching a character who is clearly genuinely in love with another, who has opportunity after opportunity to act on her emotions with few genuine obstacles, and yet time and time again, she creates a barrier between herself and the object of her affection.

Bloom Into You Episode 5

It almost makes me wonder how they’ll play it at the end. If the end up together, Nanami probably deserved better than being strung along by Yuu for so long before Yuu finally accepted what was true from nearly the beginning. If they don’t end up together, than Nanami will be Yuu’s one-who-got-away and she’ll have nobody to blame but herself and her own self-deception and indecision. Either way, while it might seem sweet and it certainly keeps the story moving, the reality is that if this romance were not a fictional construct, this would be a really bad place for the characters to be in.

While it might seem fine to see it as only a work of fiction and to dismiss these characters as exaggerated for affect, these characters, like many others in anime, really do seem to echo their creators and when it comes to love, you have to admit, people do some pretty silly things.

Bloom Into You Episode 3

So Yuu represents the first big lie that people tell themselves. It isn’t love. Yuu is hardly the first anime character to convince herself that what she is feeling isn’t love. She joins a long list of anime characters who insist that they just like the other person, or worse, that they are just playing around. For Yuu, she’s convinced herself that she admires Nanami for all of her outstanding qualities, but that is normal. It isn’t love.

We see a more extreme case of this in Ririchiyo Shirakin who not only doesn’t really she is feeling love (or at least strong like) but manages to self diagnose herself with potential arrhythmia. Now, I’ll admit that most people are at least aware enough of their own emotions to understand that they aren’t genuinely feeling ill when they get that tightness in their chest or their heart goes doki-doki, but Ririchiyo is a fairly special case in terms of being unaware of how to deal with emotions.

inu x boku uniform

And when we ask why do characters do this and make statements about how dumb it is and why can’t they just be honest… You start to think why don’t people in real life. Why aren’t people honest about how they feel?

Which actually brings us to the second great lie that people tell themselves. I’m fine the way things are. This one is illustrated through Sayaka in Bloom Into You. As Nanami’s friend she wants more but for various reasons has decided that she’s fine with things the way they are. She isn’t honest at all about what she wants from Nanami but still feels jealous when she sees how close Nanami is getting to Yuu.

Bloom Into You Episode 6 Sayaka

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So why wasn’t Sayaka just honest about how she felt? 

Because, like most sensible people, she was afraid of losing what she had. It wasn’t so much that she was fine with things, but more the loss of what she had was more than she was willing to gamble. If she’d thought she’d had a sure chance, she might have made a move, but there’s no certainty in love. And with Sayaka’s background, can you blame her? Dumped by her former senpai who then made her feel twisted and wrong about her sexual preferences, Sayaka isn’t exactly wanting to dive head first into another relationship. She’s got plenty of reason to doubt and more than enough reason to try to hold onto what she has.

sayaka

But, Sayaka isn’t alone in this. In fact, she shares this trait not only with many anime characters and people, but she also shares this trait with another Sayaka. Sayaka Miki from Madoka Magica who uses her one wish to save the one she loves and allow him to play his violin again but in all the time he was hospitalised, despite visiting him, talking with him, being with him, Sayaka never once confesses how she feels. And then her friend announces that she’s going to confess and Sayaka is left in an absolute state of turmoil which more or less leads to her downfall. 

So could Sayaka Miki have confessed? Was she fine the way things were? It is kind of too late to know but these characters represent the very real fear people feel about being open and honest with their feelings and the very real potential downside of holding off too long.

Bloom Into You Episode 1

Finally, Nanami gives us the third type of lie people tell themselves in the face of love. Even if you don’t love me back, I’m fine just loving you. One sided, unrequited love makes for excellent story fodder but the reality of it is pretty crushing over time. No matter how generous a person is, pouring love and affection toward another and receiving nothing back is exhausting and for most not something that can be sustained (most, not all). Nanami tells Yuu it is fine if she doesn’t fall in love. Later she tells Yuu not to fall in love with her. Yet despite that, Nanami keeps pushing the relationship forward wanting more and more from Yuu.

No matter what Nanami says her actions speak louder than her words. Her request of Yuu at the sports carnival, that Yuu initiate a kiss, speaks volumes. Nanami wants Yuu to reciprocate. She doesn’t want to be holding up a one sided affection. While she rationalises and says that she’s fine just being in love, ultimately what she wants is more than that.

linda

Looking at another anime character, Linda from Golden Time tries very hard to wish Banri the best. She loved him but because of his accident he forgot her and she left to let him move on with his life. Reunited, she tells herself that she honestly wants Banri to have the life he chooses but deep inside it is killing her to see the boy she loved not know who she is and with Koko. Admittedly, the amnesia aspect of that makes it somewhat less relatable to the average viewer, but it is still an interesting love story.

Bloom Into You is a beautiful anime. The direction, the music, the characters are all beautifully put together. But where it gets a lift beyond just being another pretty anime about high school love is in its exploration of people in love and the lies they tell themselves. This is what makes this story and the characters compelling and brings us back week after week. That and it is just really pretty.

Bloom Into You Episode 6 Nanami and Yuu

Well, if you made it to the end of this ramble, I’d love to know your thoughts on love in Bloom Into You or in anime in general.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Tuesday’s Top 5: Characters Robbed By Plot

Tuesday's Top 5

This is another My Hero Academia inspired list after a discussion with a few people on Twitter and this comment:

Tweet - Robbed.JPG

Which got me thinking of all the times characters have lost out in anime because the plot demands they lose. There are a lot. Of course that is true of any narrative because sometimes you just have to let the protagonist win. Anyway, I made a short list of characters that I thought were genuinely robbed by the plot (robbed, mugged, gunned down and left to die, etc). I’d love to know who else you thinks needs to join the ‘they were robbed’ club so please share in the comments below.

Please Note – There will be major plot spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: This week my only honourable mention is going to every opponent in Katanagatari. Sorry guys, but each and every one of you was robbed of your chance of even getting an appearance in a second episode because the plot demanded you be met, challenged and defeated (okay, some of these guys did show up in episodes prior to their deaths and a few got flash backs after their deaths, but mostly they were all one episode wonders).

Number 5: JJ from Yuri on Ice

yuri

You know, I don’t actually want JJ to have won because he was incredibly obnoxious (even though he wasn’t technically an antagonist). That said, I think the plot really did run him down just for the fun of it and it was kind of unnecessary. In the first skate of the grand prix, JJ choked. Horribly. Considering his overwhelming confidence and presence in every other competition and that this wasn’t his first major competition it just seemed really kind of cruel and I actually felt sorry for the guy by the end of it. More importantly, it wasn’t necessary for him to do so poorly. When you look at the scores Yuri and Yurio ended up with, even if JJ had been at his best, the result probably would have been the same. So pretty much the plot ran him over for no reason and that actually cheapened the Yuri’s victory because they haven’t beaten JJ at his best.

Number 4: Manato from Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Grimgar.jpg

Yes, we need a tragic death to reinforce that fragile nature of life and to highlight the real human process of grief. Sorry Manato, the plot demands your death. No you don’t get to save anyone else spectacularly or have any kind of moment of self-sacrifice. You can just get shot in the back and die. This was a really affective moment by the plot and a great character moment for everyone else in the story, but Manato really did get robbed here. He was the best character the show had and in order to help everyone else reach that little bit higher, the plot threw him under the bus. It did it well, but that was a little mean.

Number 3: Linda from Golden Time

Linda.png

Love triangles always suck because someone is going to lose. More importantly, normally if the person at the middle of the triangle would just make a choice we could all be spared the heartache. The reason Linda gets a place on this list out of the thousands of losing at love characters is because technically she didn’t lose. Banri of the past chose her. Continued to choose her. Unfortunately, Banri of the past only existed as a ghost because Banri of the future had lost his memory and was a whole new person who fell in love with Koko. Seriously, that has to suck for Linda. Worse, when past Banri shows up just long enough to get Linda’s hopes up again. Seriously, plot, we get it. Banri and Koko are going to be together. Now please stop rubbing salt into Linda’s wounds for half an episode.

Number 2: Uraraka from My Hero Academia

Hero17b

Yep, the girl who inspired the list. She went into a fight that she knew she probably couldn’t win with a plan. A good plan. If she’d been the protagonist she most definitely would have turned the tide of the fight and won with that plan. Okay, she would have won with even half that plan given some plans protagonists have made work. Unfortunately, cute side-character who may or may not eventually become some sort of love interest for someone, does not have plot armor and when the plot is demanding a show down between two other characters and you face one of them earlier in the competition you know your luck is out. Poor Uraraka.

Number 1: Grimmjow from Bleach

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I know, every opponent Ichigo faces could end up on this list but most of them I wanted to see lose. With Grimmjow, part of me really wanted to see him win. He was one of the most entertaining opponents ever and he didn’t have some amazingly overpowered attack that couldn’t be defended against. He was just someone in love with fighting and getting stronger. Given Ichigo doesn’t win every fight and regularly has to have a take two or three against particularly strong opponents (they beat him nearly to death, someone drags him away so that he can heal, learn a new skill, go back and try again), I really wanted Grimmjow to be one of those opponents. I wanted him to beat Ichigo up and for there to be an ongoing rivalry between the two. Alas, it was not to be and Grimmjow became yet another casualty of plot.

That’s my list. I’d love to know who you’ve put on yours.


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Tuesday’s Top 5: Anime With A Colour in the Title

Tuesday's Top 5

This week’s list is a bit strange but I started wondering about how many anime actually used colours as part of their title and that took me down a meandering mental path that I won’t bore you with but the end result was this list. Essentially my favourite 5 anime that use any colour in the title. Now, to simplify things, I went with the English name of the anime (assuming they have one). Otherwise, my only other real consideration other than enjoyment was that the colour actually served some significant point in the story (symbolic or literal) and wasn’t just a random word thrown into the title. That, and I tried to avoid multiple titles with the same colour but that gave me a real headache trying to decide between Black Butler and Darker Than Black.

I’d love to know your favourite anime that uses a colour in the title so feel free to comment below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable Mentions: Red Data Girl and Black Butler (sorry Sebastian, but I just couldn’t pass over Darker Than Black on the list).

Number 5: Blue Spring Ride

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While I’m not a hopeless romantic I really did enjoy this story. The main character is kind of pitiful at the beginning as she endeavors to fit in by essentially denying her own character and then she kind of gets crushed when she reveals herself and is rejected, but the slow build-up from that low point is kind of sweet and the romantic element of the show is kind of adorable. Plus, when deciding between this or Blue Exorcist for the list (which were the two blue titles I narrowed it down to), Blue Exorcist just didn’t seem to have enough of a reason for the name other than the whole blue flame thing (though there might be some deeper reason I just overlooked).

Number 4: Golden Time

banri and koko

It might be hard to claim I’m not a hopeless romantic with some of the titles on this list, but I loved Golden Time. Banri was great as the lead and I liked that even though he was kind of the every guy he wasn’t a complete push over. He did break up with Koko when he realised she was using him, which actually slapped some sense into her (metaphorically) and allowed their relationship to progress more naturally after that point. Okay, he is a convenient amnesiac and the story doesn’t really work if you start applying too much logic to it (and what about Linda), but that doesn’t stop it being really kind of sweet.

Number 3: Snow White with the Red Hair

snow_white_red_hair_cast_characters_summer_2015_anime_bentobyte

Okay, I like romance and romance apparently is full of anime with coloured titles. Besides, you had to know this one was coming on the list and it takes out two colours simultaneously, so points for being an over-achiever. Zen and Shirayuki are quite possibly my favourite anime couple ever. Basically, this one is adorable from start to finish and I’m completely in love with this anime which means the two anime coming are ones I am even more insanely in love with for various reasons and despite their flaws.

Number 2: Darker Than Black

darker3

As might have been obvious from my choice of this anime for my 100th review, I really love Darker Than Black. It is one of those anime I never get enough of rewatching. There are some cool characters with awesome powers and a storyline that makes you think (just don’t over think it because it won’t hold up to the scrutiny) and it is fun. The other thing I love about this anime is that it appeals to non-anime fans and I’ve managed to convince quite a number of people to watch it with me over the years given there are minimal moments where you have to use the “it’s anime” excuse for something on the screen. Considering all the other anime out there with black in the title, this should have been a hard decision but Darker Than Black is not just one of my favourite anime with a colour in the title, it is one of my favourite anime of all time.

Number 1: D Gray Man

Allan

But what beats Darker Than Black? Allan Walker and one of the most misery inducing stories I’ve ever watched and loved every single minute of. D Gray Man ran for 103 episodes before leaving us mid-narrative, completely stranded. The story returned in D Gray Man Hallow with new character designs and a brighter colour scheme in general but it just continued on as if 8 years hadn’t passed. And then it was only 13 episodes and gone again barely progressing the plot. Despite all of that and everything this show has done to drive me away, I’m still in love with this story. Partially, it is because I watched it when I hadn’t seen such a huge amount of anime but mostly it is because of what the show puts Allan Walker through and how he responds to it. He isn’t the happy-go-lucky protagonist who occasionally snaps. He isn’t a shouter. He isn’t a calm and collected genius. Nor is he simply a crazy berserker. Allan is a person in every way and a person who has been through some of the worst experiences imaginable and somehow is still mostly nice but has an undeniable dark streak (just try playing cards with him to see that in action). Following Allan, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve stared in stunned shock at the screen, I’ve yelled at him, I’ve supported him, and to be honest he is a character that I will never get over. The show has its rough edges and doesn’t appeal to everyone, but it is most definitely one of my favourite anime ever.

So there’s my list. What would have included on yours?


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