Posted on October 7, 2015
My Anime Watchlist #1
A few months ago I was gifted a subscription to Crunchyroll for my birthday. Crunchyroll is a streaming service much like Netflix with as major difference that it is focused on Anime, Manga and (Japanese)Drama. I am a huge fan of those but in recent years didn’t really keep up and kind of lost touch with watching and reading stuff like that. But after hearing friends being really enthusiastic about some recent series I decided to pick it up again and I love it!
Since autumn has started it is the perfect time for an anime watchlist, get a warm drink and sit on the couch or in bed. Time to start (binge)watching and pretend the weather isn’t that dreadful outside.
Currently I focus on Anime shows as they hold most of my interest at the moment. Some may think Anime is cartoony kids stuff, but they are dead wrong. It has many different genres and focuses on audiences from all ages. You indeed have titles for pre-schoolers but also series that are marketed at adults with complex/deep storylines which put many Hollywood TV shows to shame.
Here are five of my personal recommendations of anime shows that I think are really worth a watch.
Title: Gate: The Self-Defense Forces Fight Like This in That Place
Gate: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri – ゲート 自衛隊 彼の地にて、斯く戦えり
Episodes: 12 ( mid season stop, will resume in a couple of months).
Gate is an anime where our reality meets a fantasy world and makes a fun mix of it. The story starts when a gate to another world randomly opens in Ginza, Tokyo and unleashes an army of soldiers and monster that look like they are straight from a fantasy game. The army charges through and attacks the people in the streets of Tokyo who have no idea what’s going on and what they are dealing with. Yōji Itami uses his geeky knowledge to save many citizens and deal with his opponents. In the end the Japan Self Defense Force ( JSDF) uses advanced modern weaponry to defeat the enemy army and save the citizens.
But the Gate remains active, requiring the modern world to deal with it if they wish to stop other armies from attacking. So the JSDF is ordered to go through the portal to set up a base of operations and gather information. Not realising this will set in motion a series of events that might change things forever for both worlds.
The series tells an entertaining story JSDF soldiers entering an unknown world and having to realise that mages, elves and dragons are very real. On the modern site many countries are plotting to use the new land for conquest or new resources. While in the new world they have some plans to further their own agenda.
I really like the series as it is fun to see the clashing of two worlds. But also to see how some of the geeks there can suddenly use their knowledge to deal with dragons, mercenary wars and more.
Gakkō Gurashi! – がっこうぐらし!
The story is about a girl called Yuki Takeya who attends the “School Living Club”. This is a club that requires the students to live at school and do their best to earn some independence. Together with her friends Yuki she attends classes and afterwards comes up with several plans to keep themselves busy and entertained.
But not all seems to be well at school and something much more sinister might lurk in the shadows.
This anime was a bit of a surprise to me. Originally I had wanted to watch Love Live!, which is an anime about a groups of students on the road to become Idols (popstars) at their high school. I accidentally clicked on this title but was intrigued and kept watching and soon saw pretty much all the episodes in a few nights.
Don’t be surprised by the majority of the first episode as all seems bright and bubbly. Looks are very deceiving here and the situation quickly escalated to something that not everyone will expect. I don’t want to spoil too much as the first episode has a nice plot twist that really set up the story for the rest of the series.
Title: Log Horizon
Rogu Horaizun – ログ・ホライズン
Episodes: 50 – The first and second series have 25 episodes each.
Log-Horizon deals with a team of players of the popular Elder Tales -game series who are stuck in the game after a new expansion has been released. All players who were logged in at the time have been transported into the game world and are no longer behind the computer. With no way to return and no idea what caused all of this, they have to make the best of it.
In the series you follow the adventures of Shiroe and his companions who try to make the best of the situation. The world they knew is gone and replaced by the virtual one which is now real to them and with them being there has some severe consequences for everyone.
Not only do you have to try and find a place for yourself, the world is now riddled with cases where high level players start abusing, controlling and exploiting other players and NPC’s, breaking laws that exist in the normal world. And NPC’s are now people like them with feelings, histories and their own opinions.
Currently this is the anime I am binge-watching on Crunchyroll. The setting that is used is pretty much the same premise as SwordArt-online and Hack//Sign but with a bit more focus on consequences it will have on the “virtual” world and among players themselves.
As a big MMORPG fan, many of the situations are familiar to me but I understand it might be really confusing to others. But if you liked things like Sword Art Online or Hack//Sign, this is the anime for you.
Title: Food Wars!
Shokugeki no Soma – 食戟のソーマ
Soma Yukihira is a boy who dreams of to become a chef in his father’s restaurant and become a better cook than his dad. But when he graduates from middle-school his father leaves for a job overseas and closes the restaurant. At first he is at loss about what he is going to do, but his spirits are lifted when his father challenges him to attend the elite culinary school. Only 10% of the students actually finish the school and Soma will make sure he is among them.
When he arrives there he sees that students descending from many important restaurant and cooking families attend as well. And that surviving to the finals might be a bit more tricky than he initially thought. But pretty soon he makes friends and with his ideas and cooking techniques quickly makes a name for himself, proving to others that it’s time to watch out.
This is currently one of the most popular titles and people are eagerly awaiting the next book or series that will be released.
While the premise of cooking competitions might seem boring it actually works really well
The part I am less pleased about is the amount of so called “Fanservice” with shots of panties, cleavage, weird poses and all that. While these occasionally happen to the male character it is at times happening so often in an episode that it gets stale and boring.
But other than that I can really recommend it. And if you like cooking and enjoys shows like Master Chef, this is a sure hit.
Title: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka – ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか
Another fantasy anime!
The series focuses on the land Orario where in the middle of the capital is a major dungeon. This dungeon has many levels with monsters which increase in difficulty the further you go. By defeating the levels and monsters you can come across loot and treasure which can be exchanged for money. Adventurers who go in are often members of a familia, a kind of guild which serves a deity that lives among the mortals. By going into the dungeon the adventurers raise their level and the status of their familia.
In this anime you follow the adventures of Bell, who is the only member of the Hestia familia. Together with his deity he tries to level up and increase his skills so to make Hestia proud and make a name for himself. Along the way he meets Aiz Wallenstein one of the best adventurers in Orario. Bell is saved by her and develops a bit of a crush on her. Leading to him to try extra hard to become the adventurer he wants to be.
In the anime you see him level up and meet new allies and enemies. But at the same time, something seems off about how fast he levels and other adventurers and even deities take a sudden (dark) interest in him.
The title caught me a bit of guard and I half expected a bad anime about some guy going into dungeons and trying to score with girls. But it was anything like that. Bell is really trying to the best adventurer he can be and doesn’t really know how to deal with people being interested in him.
There is a lot of humor in the series and it has little story arcs which are easy to follow and watch. But as the series progresses there seems to be more going on than just a boy and his deity.
Crunchyroll allows you to watch for free (with ads) online or through the app for mobiles, tablets and gaming consoles. There are some limitations with regards to localisation and not everyone has access to all the series. And some series are only available with non-english subtitles.
However all the series here are available in most countries and have english subtitles available.