Do you wonder what the hell is anime and why it’s so popular? Feeling bogged down by the overwhelming amount of shows? Look no further for I am here to recommend several starting places to catch up on this anime trend.
In this final part of this series, I recommend my favorite anime released within the past 5 years.
Synopsis: Upon your death, you will arrive at a bar. Behind the counter, Decim, the bartender, who instructs you to play a game. The results of the game determine whether you are reincarnated or sent to the void.
Why I Recommend It: A unique take on judgement and the afterlife, Death Parade treats its subject matter with a sympathy you wouldn’t expect from the first episode. The art direction makes the show seem darker than it is. Plus the opening number is great. Since this show is not based on anything specific, it’s easily accessible to anyone looking for an entertaining show.
Gargantia on the Verduous Planet
Synopsis: Ledo is a soldier of humanity who falls into a wormhole and arrives on Earth, the legendary lost planet. On board the Gargantia, Ledo navigates first contact with fellow humans and must overcome challenges like finding a place among a community and learning a new language.
Why I Recommend It: This is one of the rare anime from the mecha genre that doesn’t give anime a bad reputation. The story moves slowly and deliberately, taking its time because, like Ledo finding a way home, there is no rush to do anything. Bonus points for Ledo realistically tackling and overcoming the language barrier. Recommended for novices because, again, there is no previous knowledge required to enjoy this show.
Synopsis: Akane Tsunemori is the newest Inspector with the Public Safety Bureau’s Unit One. Against her partner’s better judgement, she listens to the Enforcers–potential criminals employed by the Public Safety Bureau under the assumption that it takes a criminal to catch a criminal.
Why I Recommend It: Similar to Ghost in the Shell, this is a science fiction/cyberpunk story with compelling ideas, though this time the show explores the nature of violent crime and whether it can be prevented. The show gets bonus points for subtly subverting a couple genre tropes, namely who we see with their shirt off (spoiler alert, it is not main character Akane). Recommended for novices because the cyberpunk aspects of it resembles Ghost in the Shell and The Matrix.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
Synopsis: Satan, a demon warlord from another dimension escapes to Tokyo where he is forced to get a job at MgRonald’s in order to make a living. Similarly, Emilia, the hero sent to destroy him, starts working at a call center.
Why I Recommend It: The wacky premise alone was enough to hook me in. Anyone with a sense of humor would appreciate this comedy for the gem it is. Things get adorable when Satan starts going on dates, but my favorite part is the henchman Alciel taking on the role of housewife.
Knights of Sidonia
Synopsis: One thousand years after the destruction of Earth at the hands of the gauna, the generation ship Sidonia has seen better days. Hopefully Tanikaze, a young man who grew up in the underground tunnels, can usher in a new era of prosperity.
Why I Recommend It: This show is basically Attack on Titan in space, but done better and with not as much plot armor for the characters. Tanikaze is a doofus but endearing. My favorite aspect of the show is the sense of creepiness that underlines the story and shows what humanity had to do in order to stay alive for as long as they have. I recommend it to anime novices because it uses mecha genre tropes better than other shows.
I am definitely missing something. Which anime from the last 5 years would you recommend to an anime novice? Let me know in the comments!