Not simply content to let Richard Eisenbeis decide what anime we should watch, several members of the Ani-TAY community have come together to make an unprecedented Ani-TAY collaboration: A list of anime you should watch this season. Come over and give our list a shot.
This list is a collection of recommendations from members of the Ani-TAY community. The list was collaboratively built over the course of two weeks with the help of a poll and by lengthy discussions later. Still, with so many of us we still ended up with a big list. We've got ten new anime you should watch and two sequels that you should watch. Each show entry was written by one of the collaborators.
Written by Dexomega
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy
Spoiler-free Synopsis: So you're a gamer, and your sister is also a gamer. You're good at reading people and your sister is good at strategizing and playing games of skill. Together you form an unstoppable duo that can defeat anyone you put your mind to... in games. That's exactly what No Game No Life's main characters are: they're super-gamers. In our world, such skills are very much useless in many ways, but our main characters Sora and Shiro get pulled into a fantastical world where everything is decided by games: which countries get which land, who gets to be king, etc. It's the perfect world for an unbeatable brother and sister in gaming.
Why You Should be Watching: It's a big comedy/adventure about how two gamers outwit dozens of other gamers as they rebuild the human empire (Imanity in-universe) with the help of the former princess of Imanity. There's a whole lot of cheaters and schemers in this world, so it's fun to see our main duo take them on and outmaneuver them from week-to-week with skill and sharp tongues. It's a laugh and its best and entertaining at its worst.
Recommended By: Dexomega, Koda89, MainProtagonist, Rockmandash12, DeadlyFatalis
Written by Dexomega
Genre: Science-fiction, Fantasy, Action, Horror, Drama
Spoiler-free Synopsis: From the writer of Elfen Lied and the same studio that made the Elfen Lied anime comes Brynhildr in the Darkness. Brynhildr follows the life of Ryouta, a boy that once lost his friend Kuroneko in an accident that left him injured as well. It's years later, he's in high school and the only member of the astronomy club, when a transfer student named Kuroha Neko enters his classroom. She's exactly like a grown-up Kuroneko with a suspiciously similar name. She says she doesn't know him, but he's not convinced. It's revealed that she's suspiciously unfamiliar with the world around her and that she's a... witch!? She's on the run from a secret government lab that's trying to kill her and those like her? What's going on?!
Why You Should be Watching: First and foremost, it's a play on tropes. There's so many tropes it plays straight, only take a hard left and subvert them at the last second. The speed at which many of them are subverted is prone to cause almost extreme mood-whiplash, to the point where you almost can't keep up with it. Even the blatant fanservice scene with Kazumi hit you so fast that you didn't even have time to understand what you were watching, it was just smashing you in the face with the force of a brick. Ryouta, the main character, is a great subversion of his own. Every trope of the usual "harem center" male lead is played with and usually subverted. He's basically aware of his harem, he's aware of how the girls' minds work, and he's a quick-thinker that gets the job done when it needs to be done.
It's a very unsettling show that constantly keeps you off-balance. You'll never get too at home with the current status quo and you'll always be awaiting that next rapid mood swing they toss your way. It's violent and sometimes a good laugh, and somehow that manages to work very, very well.
Recommended By: Dexomega, Koda89, Rockmandash12, Fatalis
Written by MainProtagonist
Genre: Comedy, Romance, School, Slice of Life
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Usa wanted to live an ordinary high school life. Excited to live on his own for the first time, he moves into the Kawai Complex, a boarding house. Usa soon finds out that the other members of Kawai are far from being ordinary. Consisting of an extreme masochist, a drunk with no luck in her relationships, a seemingly sweet college student with an overwhelming dark side, and pretty-but-cold bookworm, Usa's housemates promise that his life will be anything but normal.
Why You Should be Watching: I love Kawaisou and that boils down to one reason: the show never fails to make me smile. The opening puts a smile on my face and once the show starts it never goes away. The smile comes from different things. It could be from the shenanigans Shiro pulls, the fights between Mayumi and Sayaka, the relentless teasing of Usa, the warmth creeping through the cracks of Ritsu's cold exterior, or the heartwarming moments that the characters share. Kawaisou is a feel-good show, and its blend of comedy, romance, and slice of life moments coupled with the overall relaxed atmosphere of the show ensure that it is an excellent feel-good show. As for the characters, Ritsu steals the show because whenever her cold exterior breaks down your heart will melt and you'll find yourself grinning from ear to ear. The gorgeous artwork and the fact that the show is hilarious don't hurt it either. It might not be the most original premise and the characters are a tad cliché, but the total lack of ecchi and harem elements along with the straightforward romance make Kawaisou a breath of fresh air in a genre that has been flooded with PLOT and little more as of late. I have pretty high standards, and out of every new show I'm watching right now, Kawaisou as at the front of the pack along with Ping Pong the Animation, and unless something goes horribly sour or another show gets really amazing, it's going to stay at the front.
Recommended By: FruityDrinks, Koda89, MainProtagonist, DeadlyFatalis, Dexomega
Written by DeadlyFatalis
Genre: Comedy, Adventure
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Yama Juugo a typical high school student moves to a seemingly ordinary island. The room he moves into happens to be haunted by the ghost of a girl that was murdered there 10 years ago. She was a famous adventurer who had collected treasures that had supernatural powers from all over the world until her untimely death. After her death, her treasures became property of the island and were rehidden within ruins on the island. Uncovering these treasures and ultimately finding Nanana's murderer, Juugo begins his new life on the island.
Why You Should be Watching: This show does a good job of balancing its comedic and dramatic parts. As well as holding an interesting aspect of learning the dynamics between all the characters. There are a whole bunch of different "factions" trying to get a hold of Nanana's Collection for a variety of different reasons with Juugo is in the middle of all of it. However, he himself is kind of his own faction, trying to figure out the how Nanana was actually murdered. The cast of characters are for the most part interesting draw for the show, although a bit tropey. Overall, the show is quite entertaining and certainly deserves a watch.
Recommended By: FruityDrinks, Koda89, MainProtagonist, DeadlyFatalis, Rockmandash12
Written by DeadlyFatalis
Genre: Romance, Slice-of-life
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Yuuki Hase notices that one of his classmates, Fujimiya Kaori, always seems so cold and distant. She seemingly has no friends and always seems to be alone. After some difficulty of getting acquainted with her, she reveals that at the end of every week she loses all of her good memories. Despite this, Yuuki resolves to become her friend week after week.
Why You Should be Watching: This is a really charming and cute romance series, but it always has a foreboding air of melancholy as you always have in the back of your mind that things are going to eventually reset. It really makes you want to cheer for Yuuki as he goes to such lengths to try and find a way in order to cure Fujimiya's condition. It has its tense moments where it seems that things have been lost, but it always shows the light at the end of the tunnel. Overall, it's a generally light hearted show that showcases the progression of a girl dealing with a problem and the her relationship with Hase as they grow closer together.
Recommended By: Dexomega, Rockmashdash12, RJaimes, MainProtagonist, Koda89
Written by FruityDrinks
Genre: Sport, Psychological (Because we're tied down to conventional genre tags)
Spoiler-free Synopsis: In its simplest terms we follow our main character Makaoto Tsukimoto (also known as Smile) and his childhood friend Yukata Hoshino (also known as Peco) who both are talented in ping pong and join the local school and club team and aim for inter-high success. We meet along the way new and old rivals and friends within the competition.
Why You Should be Watching: Don't let the fact that it's based within a sport put you off from the show, because it's simply different to all other sport animes there are. Visually also is so unique and brilliant (though again don't let it put you off, because it's very diverse). The quality of the actual animation is then very higher thanks to its wonderful art style. The fact is you're watching the breakdown of the psychological and effects of a young sports person is exciting and intriguing. The scripting and writing within the show is colourful yet also realistic within its own genre, gripping us with both the plot that unfolds and the very characters we follow and love. Again let me stress that there are two factors which can put you off, but shouldn't because it'll be rare for anime to be graced with another series of this calibre, the fact it's based within a sport and the absolutely crazy art style.
The show is also the show that holds a noitaminA programming block. This holds significance because the purpose of this spot is to expand the target audience of the general anime demographic (typically young male) Meaning this show is going to be different, well written and most of the time actually outstanding. Previous notable shows that held this spot: Psycho-Pass, Anohana , Kids on the Slope and Katanagatari. There are many more, but you can always wiki it.
Recommended By: FruityDrinks, MainProtagonist, RJaimes
Written by Rockmandash12
Genre: Romantic Comedy, Harem
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Flag is about Sota Hatate, our main character; Sota has the ability to see event flags on people's heads. In this show, Sota changes events based on the flags he sees, has to face many challenges, and has to manage to live in a dorm full of interesting girls that all fell in love with him (for the most part). Hilarity Ensues.
Why You Should be Watching: With the manga of The World God Only Knows just finishing, I needed something to fill up the trope-y place The World God Only Knows used to keep, and Flag does this very well. Flag is very fun show that's also full of tropes, so if you liked The World God Only Knows or other similar shows that embrace tropes, you'll probably like this. It does a great job as a romantic comedy harem, and the show is as light hearted, trope-y, and enjoyable as you would expect from this kind of show. The amount of tropes pulled in this show is fantastic, and if you are an avid reader of TV tropes, I recommend this show. Even if you don't read TV tropes, as long as you have an interest in tropes, you will enjoy this show. It's not ground breaking, but it sure is a fun ride. How could you say no?
Recommended By: Dexomega, Rockmandash12, DeadlyFatalis, MainProtagonist, Koda89
Written by Koda89
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Action, Adventure, Comedy, Shonen
Spoiler-free Synopsis: In the time of peace after a long lasting war has ended, former Saboteur Toru Acura and his adopted sister Akari Acura are hired by a teenage Wizard named Chaika Trabant, who carries a large coffin and spellcasting sniper rifle, to help her gather up the remains of the tyrannical emperor whose death marked the end of the great war. Many try to stop the trio, as gathering all of the emperor's remains can throw the world back into the chaos of war it once was.
Why You Should be Watching: Chaika is for the most part a rather straight forward magical adventure series filled with humor and great action. There is still more than enough mystery to keep viewers guessing as to what is really going on, and the show does not bog the viewer down with overcomplicated explanations of how the magical system of the series works.
Recommended By: Rockmandash12, MainProtagonist, Koda89
Written by RJaimes
Genre: Shounen, Sports, Romance
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Ei-Chan is a top student at his high school who is obsessed with getting good grades. One day, one of the most popular, beautiful girls in his high school, Natsu Takasaki, asks him if he enjoys doing the large amount of school work that he does. He then realizes that he isn't entirely satisfied with his way of living, and that he doesn't really have anything he is passionate about. In an effort to get more exercise, Ei-Chan attends a free trial at a local tennis club. After finding out that Natsu is one of the top members of the club, Ei-Chan decides to stick with the sport. He later finds out that he truly enjoys tennis, and that he can use his hardworking nature and his superior analyzing skills to become a great player.
Why You Should be Watching: Baby Steps has a lot of things going for it right now, and it has great potential to be among the top sports shows of 2014. This show's main focus is in the Sports/Shounen category. The romance is set up early, but isn't put into action. It can be assumed that it will take part later in the story though. The romance does, however, have great potential.
Baby Steps creates a lot of satisfying payoffs from all of the hard work Ei-Chan puts into the sport of tennis. It's the generic Sports/Shounen formula and it still works great. A lot of the interesting parts in the show revolves around Ei-Chan's unique trait of over-analyzing things. It's fun to watch how he incorporates this trait into tennis and how he uses it to develop his skills. And the best part is that this show is still in its early form. There is a lot of plot to build on, and it seems certain that the show will get better and better.
Recommended By: RJaimes, Dexomega, MainProtagonist
Written by RJaimes
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Adventure, Shoujo
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Princess Nike, of the small Rain Dukedom, has been called to marry the king of Sun Kingdom, King Livius. She is the fourth princess of the Rain Dukedom and she has the power to control the rain. The king of the mighty Sun Kingdom is a good one who does his job perfectly; however, he is still a child — a child that has the mentality of an adult.
Why You Should be Watching: The World is Still Beautiful focuses heavily on the relationship between the two main characters. And that's what makes the show so enjoyable. The two main characters are well written and have lots of room for development and relationship growth. They are both very different: King Livius has a mundane viewpoint on the world despite him being a child, while Princess Nike loves the beauty of the earth. Watching Princess Nike make King Livius understand the beauty of life is heartwarming. This, also, contributes to the slowly growing romance that began as nothing more than an arranged marriage. Mix that with small elements of comedy and conflict, and you have a very well rounded show with two awesome protagonists.
Recommended By: RJaimes, Dexomega, MainProtagonist, Koda89
Written by MainProtagonist
Genre: Action, Adventure, Shounen, Man Paradise
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Muscles! Action! Vampires! Poses! MUSCLES! Stardust Crusaders, the most well-known arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Hirohiko Araki's bestselling manga, is here to bitch slap your eyeballs with a healthy dose of late 80s/early 90s goodness. At the bottom of the ocean sits a coffin, but the evil that rested there for 100 years has escaped! This evil's name is Dio and he's kind of a huge dick. Follow 17-year old heartthrob badboy Jotaro Kujo and his gang of badass warriors as they travel to Egypt, fighting against Dio and his minions to free Jotaro's mother's life! With the power granted to them by their mysterious invisible creatures known as Stands they fight for a safer world! Stand up to save JoJo's mother! Stand up to save the world! Stand up… FOR JUSTICE!
Why You Should be Watching: If the synopsis didn't convince you, I doubt this can, but JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is the manliest, most fabulous, and most ridiculous show airing right now. Stardust Crusaders is the third arc in the series and is the most well loved and well known arc among fans of the series. The art is exaggerated and colorful, and the animation is fantastic, making it one of the best looking shows of the season. Stardust Crusaders can technically stand alone from season 1 because of the way each arc is presented, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you skip season 1, because there are some returning characters and season 1 was awesome as well. Jotaro is a fun protagonist because he's a giant asshole who is good deep down, and his rudeness makes for some funny scenes. The other characters are pretty good too, but the show is stolen by Jotaro's churlish behavior, Joseph's crotchetiness, and Polnareff's womanizing fabulousness. JoJo isn't an intellectual show, but it's incredibly enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone, anime fan or not, because it's so over the top that anybody could enjoy it. Also, music buffs rejoice, because almost everything in JoJo is a reference to a band, album, song, etc. JoJo is essentially an 80s/90s anime with a 2014 coat of paint, making it one of the most endearing shows airing right now, and ironically making it feel fresh because you don't see many shows like it anymore.
Recommended By: MainProtagonist, RJaimes, Koda89
Written by Koda89
Genre: Occult Detective
Spoiler-free Synopsis: Mushi are strange organisms far more primitive than other forms of life, but usually feature supernatural powers. Few people can actual see the Mushi, though, and this often leads to humans interacting with Mushi inadvertently. These interactions usually have dire consequences for the humans, though, and that is where Ginko comes in. Ginko is a Mushi-Shi, or a person who specializes in the study of Mushi. He travels around the Japanese countryside helping anyone who comes into misfortune due to Mushi.
Why You Should be Watching: Mushi-Shi Zoku Shou is the second season to one of the most acclaimed anime series of all time by critics and viewers alike. Zoku Shou continues on the haunting stories told through a disconnected anthology style aided by stunning visuals and music that made the first season so beloved by nearly all who have seen it.
Recommended By: Koda89
- Black Bullet
- Captain Earth
- Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
This article was a collaboration by several contributors to the Ani-TAY community on Talk Amongst Yourselves. You can join the fun on our Sunday Cafes or by posting your own articles on Kinja with the Ani-TAY tag.