Anime, or animation series that either originate from Japan or have distinctive Japanese influences, have achieved enormous popularity in the west. With their Manga style art and their incredible, often unrealistic storyline, anime are generally targeted at an older demographic, though there have been anime for children as well.
Anime are prominent today in both print as well as television. Here are ten of the most awesome and well loved anime of all times:
1. Dragon Ball
This series shows the coming of age of the monkey-tailed extra terrestrial Goku, and his quest to collect seven Dragon Balls from around the world, to release a dragon that can grant one wish. Dragon Ball is a story of friendship, trust, and the fight for justice and the protection of innocence. Though the original series is not as dark as the sequels, the character development is brilliant, and the fights are breathtaking. Goku remains a favorite of children and adults throughout the world.
2. One Piece
One Piece is the story of a boy pirate who gains the super power of elasticity because of having eaten the fruit of a special tree, and his search for the legendary treasure named, you guessed it, One Piece. The charm of this series is that it moves away from the eye-patch and “Arr!” stereotypes of pirates that we have grown up with, and introduces bizarre ideas like pirates skilled in fighting with the Japanese katana. The characters are lovable and scruffy, and the emphasis is on adventures rather than violence.
This is the story of the adventures of the adolescent Naruto, and how he proves himself to his fellow villagers by becoming the greatest ninja ever. A nine tailed fox demon was trapped inside the orphan Naruto’s body when he was just a baby, and this is why the others in the village have looked down upon him and treated him with disgust all his life. To redeem himself, Naruto must realize his destiny and become a Hokage, the highest rank a ninja can achieve. Naruto is encouraged by his teachers, and he makes some unexpected friends. Action packed and thrilling, Naruto will have you rooting for the underdog.
4. Neon Genesis Evangelion
What could be better than giant anime robots battling scary anime aliens? Neon Genesis Evangelion is a futuristic anime series in which teenagers are trained to pilot huge robots called Evangelions to protect the earth from great big space creatures called angels. Unlike most other action filled anime, Evangelion has a lot of cerebral content. The story is many layered, and a bit of the secret is revealed in every episode. The characters too are well developed and easy to relate to, and you gradually get to know unimaginable things about them as the story unfolds. If you are a fan of science fiction on mystery, this series will appeal to you.
5. Full Metal Alchemist
Full Metal Alchemist is the story of two brothers who have lost parts of their bodies in an experiment gone wrong and are trying to get them back. In the meanwhile, they’ve replaced their missing limbs, or in one’s case, a whole missing body, with metal limbs. While that summary sounds grim and depressing, this anime series is delightfully peppered with humour and wit.The animation is really impressive, and not choppy like most other anime, and the characters are interesting and well rounded. This is an entertaining ride for anyone with a fun side, who is looking for an adventure with laughs.
6. Death Note
When a faultlessly perfect young boy comes across a notebook that says it can kill anyone whose name he writes in it, it makes an excellent premise for a sinister drama to unfold. Death Note is the story of Light Yagami, who decides to rid the world of evil with his new found weapon, but the viewer is gradually made to realize that power can corrupt even the good. As Light transforms from a crime fighter to a serial killer, he searches for other holders of Death Notes, even while he himself is hunted down by his nemesis, the wily detective L. A deliciously dark story and some amazingly believable characters make Death Note one of the best loved anime ever.
7. Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion
Set several years in the future, Code Geass is the story of a Japanese guerilla rebellion against imperialistic forces. With neat action and a gripping storyline, this anime has managed to captivate the imagination of anime lovers throughout the world. But the best and most unique part of Code Geass is its protagonist, Lelouch, the charismatic leader of the rebellion. At once authoritative and scornful of authority, Lelouch is one of the coolest male anime protagonist. Other characters, too, are edgy and enigmatic. Each episode in this series ends in a cliffhanger, making this anime inescapably addictive.
15 year old Kurosaki Ichigo is not like other teenagers, because, ever since he was a child, he could see ghosts and spirits. One day, when his family is attacked by evil ghosts called Hollows, they are rescued by a Soul Reaper called Rukia. Rukia is so badly injured during her fight with the Hollow, that she can no longer fight, and she transfers her powers to Ichigo, transforming him into a Soul Reaper. The rest of the Bleach series tracks the adventures of Ichigo and Rukia as they hunt down and battle evil spirits. With an enormous cast of characters and a twisting storyline, Bleach is the show for you if you like ghost busting, Japanese style.
9. Katekyo Hitman Reborn
When perpetual loser Tsuna finds out that he is the next boss of the dreaded Vongola Mafia Clan, he finds this something very hard to accept. But when they send their best hitman, Reborn, out to train him, he has no choice but to face his destiny. This anime series is the story of the transformation of Tsuna from a friendless fall guy, to the toughest Mafia Lord ever. Every episode witnesses the main character getting stronger and more confident, as he defeats enemies and makes new friends. This series leaves us with the realization that the real battles are fought within ourselves. You will love this anime for its bizarre plot twists, its amazing character development, and its memorable storytelling.
The Pokemon series enjoys a lot of popularity among children of all ages. This series follows Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum in his endeavour to collect and train all the Pokemon he can find, and pit them against other trainers, in order to be known as the best Pokemon trainer there is. While a lot of people complain that this series is actually sequenced like the Pokemon video games, that is not necessarily detrimental. The Pokemon anime series have a child like appeal, a simplicity, and a factor that can only be called cuteness. If you collected Pokemon cards or played the game, you will love the series.