Here’s your ticket down the rabbit hole
We all grew up with Pokémon, Ghost Fighter, Evangelion and Dragon Ball Z playing on our square TVs on weekend afternoons. It was natural to watch animated shows then, but most of us have since “outgrown” them—AKA lost our way. Then there are the few that never got into it and refuse to do so based on possible biases and misconceptions.
Well, please give us the privilege of changing your mind (or trying to, anyway).
If you think all anime is childish, please see
Because this is about the story of Violet Evergarden, a child soldier who quickly became known as “The Weapon.” When the war is over, she tries to become an Auto Memory Doll, which is a woman who internalizes people’s feelings and emotions to try and put them into words. But with the weight of her past still on her shoulders and her emotionless programming, she has a difficult time understanding what love is. Nevertheless, she’s determined to find out the meaning behind her Major’s last words.
Because this takes us to the last days of World War II through the eyes of two young siblings. After their mother dies, Seita and Setsuko live with a distant aunt. After conflicts ensue, the children are forced to live alone and fend for themselves—and Seita quickly realizes how difficult it is to raise a child when food is rare and compassion is even rarer.
Honorable Mention: Claymore
Because Claymore takes place in a world where demons thirst for human flesh and a boy named Raki loses his family. Saved by a half-human, half-demon called Clare, Raki then goes on a journey with her and finds out why her organization came to be.
If you think anime is all boobs and completely anti-feminist, please refer to
Because you’ll be welcomed into the lives of three sisters who lost their parents and do everything they can to take care of each other. Because, even with barely anything, they take in a boy who lost his way and give him the family he never had.
Because this show is as modern as anything can get and Utena is her own knight in shining armor—no prince necessary.
Honorable Mention: Sailor Moon
Because while Sailor Moon, Uranus, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto, Saturn and Neptune are all dressed in honestly skimpy school girl outfits, they’re kicking ass in them, too.
If you think anime only tells one story, please watch
Because The Flower We Saw That Day is about making peace with your past, accepting missed opportunities never come around again and facing the guilt and blame in the face.
Because Puella Magi Madoka Magica is about living with the choices you make and how it’s possible to influence others not to make your same mistake.
Honorable Mention: A Silent Voice (Koe No Katachi)
Because A Silent Voice is about forgiveness and trying to finding acceptance, even when you think you don’t deserve it.
If you think all the plots are simple, please watch
Because Bleach isn’t just about ghosts, hollows and action; it’s about prejudices, politics and privilege.
Because this is so much more than a love story. It’s about a man leaving the life he knew to try and be someone more than a killer, about a woman trying to keep a legacy alive, about villains who know nothing but destruction. It’s about second chances and how difficult it can be to live in the present when your past keeps knocking on your door.
Honorable Mention: Hyouka
Because mysteries unfold in places you never expect them to and because their answers always give light to things we never considered possible.
If you think the animation is all in one style, please feast your eyes on
Give it time and give anime a chance. We promise you won’t regret it. Enjoy the rabbit hole.
Art Alexandra Lara