More anime and manga that I like.
12. Attack on Titan
A lot of people put down Attack on Titan because of its mainstream success, but there’s a reason it’s so successful: Because it’s good.
If you’ve only watched the first season of this anime, you probably just figured it was another generic anime fetishizing vore. As someone who thinks vore fetishists are degenerates akin to foot fetishists, I can stand 100% behind AoT and say that it’s not. The fight scenes are awesome, the character development is there, and you’ll routinely find yourself frustrated to see that “To be continued” screen right when things are starting to heat up.
Every season intro song is basically a banger (with the exception of the first half of season 3). The season 1 theme song “Guren no Yumiya”, which is probably the one most of you are familiar with, goes strong af and captures the intensity of the series perfectly. But then the season 2 opener, “Shinzo wo Sasageyo!”, comes along and tells the other song “Oh yeah? Hold my beer and watch this.” “Shinzo wo Sasageyo!” translates to “Give your hearts!”, and the intro to the second season unquestionably gives its heart.
The first season is good. The second season is diamonds. The third season is meh up until the second half.
The fourth season though? Holy shit. I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t watched this series yet, but I was legit blown away by the sudden shift in how the world was portrayed. I will say though that I was sad that a certain character underutilized their, ahem, “colossal” power. In fact, I feel like the writer basically retconned that particular power during the final battle of season 3. I understand why the character doesn’t like to use that power too often, but I wanted to see more of it, and I feel like I was kind of let down in that regard.
Attack on Titan is a great series though, and if you like amazingly choreographed fight scenes, wild plot twists, sick opening themes, and an interesting story to boot, then you’ll definitely enjoy this anime.
13. Afro Samurai
What do you get when you cross Wu Tang Clan, feudal Japan, and futuristic technology, then throw Samuel L. Jackson into the mix? You get one of my most favorite motherfucking animes ever motherfucking made.
There isn’t anything bad about this series, and if there is then I purposely choose to ignore it. The series is one giant bloodbath, and at the center of it stands Afro, a badass samurai voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, and Afro’s imaginary friend (actually, he’s probably more like a tulpa, the whole thing is up for debate honestly) Ninja Ninja, also voiced by Samuel L. Jackson. Afro seeks to avenge his father’s death at the hands of a gunslinger named Justice (voiced by Ron Perlman), and in order to do that he needs a magical item known as the Number Two headband, which he already has at the start of the series.
The problem? Everyone else also wants that headband so they can also challenge Justice and take his headband, the Number One headband. Whoever holds the Number One headband is basically a god, so you can imagine how much shit Afro has to endure in his quest. Afro doesn’t care about godhood or any of that BS though. All he wants is to get revenge against Justice for killing his father. Anyone who stands in his way? Well, they’re just collateral damage.
The soundtrack to this badass bloodbath is provided by Wu-Tang Clan rapper The RZA as well as several other Wu-Tang friends and affiliates, and in true Wu-Tang fashion they create the perfect blend of gangsta rap and Asiatic-style music to make the perfect backdrop to the glorious fight scenes.
I hear rumor that they’re working on a live-action adaptation of Afro Samurai. I’m not one for live-action anime adaptations but if any anime would work as live-action it would definitely be this one, and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
This is an oldy but goody.
Trigun is the story of Vash the Stampede, a gunslinger who roams across a futuristic desert planet that’s basically Mad Max on Tatooine. Vash’s nickname (aside from “the Stampede”) is “The Human Typhoon”, as he seems to attract chaos and wanton destruction everywhere he goes. Maybe it’s the fact that he has a whopping $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his head.
It’s this chaos and destruction that attracts the attention of Meryl Strife and Milly Thompson, two employees of the Bernadelli Insurance Company. Thanks to the destruction being left in the wake of Vash, Bernadelli Insurance is losing money having to pay out millions of dollars in claims. So they send Meryl and Milly out to follow Vash in a vain attempt to mitigate the damage he’s causing.
I’m not going to spoil the whole story for you, but there’s an overarching plot that slowly builds up in the background, culminating in multiple amazing battles. The pacing of the plot buildup might be slow for some, but for me it was an enjoyable slow burn that built just the right amount of suspense.
I’m also aware that they’ve went and redone the series recently under the name Trigun Stampede. As a fan of the original, I’m not going to watch this remake. I’ve heard enough about it to know that it’s hot garbage. There’s the fugly art style that looks like it belongs in a Blizzard game, there’s no buildup to Knives and the main plot, and worst of all there’s no Milly. Seriously, they wrote out the second best character in the series (the first of course being the cat that pops up in every episode) and replaced her with some hipster-looking douchebag. That’s gonna be a “Nope” from me, dawg.
Definitely watch the original Trigun though. Despite being older, it really is good.
15. Vinland Saga
It’s an anime about vikings.
Yeah, I know, I thought it sounded crazy too. But it’s crazy enough to actually work.
As someone who enjoyed the Vikings series as well as The Last Kingdom, I was unsure just what to expect going in to this anime. When I think of vikings, I don’t think of anime, or even the Japanese in general. I didn’t even think the Japanese knew what vikings were.
After watching the first season of Vinland Saga, the best way to sum up my thoughts is:
For some reason, it just works. The plot is good, the characters are cool, and the fights are well-animated. There’s also a certain blood-soaked charm to watching Thorfinn go to work with his daggers, disemboweling entire squads of soldiers and taking down seemingly untouchable opponents, all for another chance to have another losing duel with Askeladd, the man who killed his father.
I will say though, there’s very little historical accuracy, aside from using the names of historical figures and the general time period of the events. So if you care about that sort of thing then watch at your own peril.
16. Death Note
Imagine finding a notebook on the ground one day. You pick up that notebook and a god of death appears and tells you that if you write someone’s name in that book that person will die. Imagine that you go to town and start browsing law enforcement registries killing off every named criminal you can find, becoming a magical version of the Punisher. Imagine that doing this attracts the attention of the world’s most renowned detective, an anonymous guy using just a single letter as his alias who has now been sent to track you down on behalf of Interpol. Imagine that your father is the police chief in charge of investigating the mysterious killings, and as a result you’re able to insert yourself right into the investigation, while trying to outwit and outmaneuver the previously mentioned detective (who figured out that you’re the killer ridiculously quick, but still insists on concrete proof before bringing you in).
Welcome to Death Note.
I haven’t watched the anime on this one (I hear it’s good though), but the manga was a great read.
Watching Light and L go head to head and constantly anticipating each other’s next move with frightening accuracy was one of the most thrilling things I’ve ever read. These guys could’ve given Batman a run for his money with their insane levels of intelligence, planning, and attention to even the most minor of details. In fact, I’m convinced that L could have deduced Batman is Bruce Wayne in about five minutes and be sipping on tea with Alfred in the Batcave by the time Batman gets back from his nightly ritual of letting the Joker murder hundreds of people. Likewise, Light would have figured out the Joker’s real name and killed him, then done the same to Batman the moment Bats comes to avenge his dead playmate.
I’m not going to lie, if I found a Death Note I’d probably end up going off the rails just like Light does. Seriously, by the end of the series the guy is literally calling himself a god and acting like he’s the ultimate moral authority. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Light was already a little off the hinges before he found the thing.
Steer clear though of the live action Netflix movie. I haven’t watched it, but I hear it sucks. They made Light American and changed his last name to Turner. Disgusting. Perhaps one day I’ll do a review of this shit show on YouTube. But until then, go read the manga or watch the anime.
17. Assassination Classroom
For some reason, Hulu kept pushing this anime onto me. I initially ignored it because I thought it looked stupid. There was just something off-putting about a giant smiley face wearing a cap and gown, and the title seemed kind of cringy.
I’m happy to report that I was wrong.
After having the suggestion forced at me for the millionth time, I caved and watched Assassination Classroom. This shit is great. Korosensei might be in my top ten favorite anime characters of all time (another article perhaps?). The rest of the characters, despite being middle school students, are also enjoyable, and watching them grow over the course of a year into highly effective deadly assassins is satisfyingly pleasant.
The plot itself sounds cringy and stupid on paper, but once you actually watch the anime it’s really not. You have Korosensei, a tentacle monster that can move at speeds of Mach 20 (over 15,000 MPH) and blow up part of the moon (well, not really, but… Oh, just watch the damn anime!), telling the governments of the world that if they don’t kill him within a year he intends to blow the entire planet up. He also stipulates that he be allowed to teach a class of remedial students who all but failed out of regular classes. Not only do they learn their regular schoolwork, but they’re also being trained to kill Korosensei, by Korosensei himself.
Korosensei isn’t their only teacher though. The students’ other two teachers are Karasuma, a retired hitman for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, and Ms.
Bitch Jelavic, a Serbian femme fatale assassin. Both are considered to be two of the best assassins in the world, and under their tutelage the children become efficient killers capable of holding their own against experienced adult assassins.
I really can’t go any deeper on this one without spoiling the entire story, but trust me, Assassination Classroom is an awesome anime and definitely worth watching.