Psycho Pass

If you enjoy the idea where a conscious thinking gun can assess whether you have a high crime ratio, then this is the anime for you. The plot follows a future police force in Japan, where the Sibyl System measures the minds of civilians and scans those who have a high Crime mentalities. This world has a watch scanner that one can keep in check in order for their crime rating to not exceed the bad ratio and be flagged up as a criminal. It’s very messed up. Akane Tsunemori is a new police inspector who is partnered up with an enforcer. An enforcer is a person whose crime rating is so high that they are essentially rabid dogs to the system. Each person is handed a Dominator, which is a specialised gun that only works when it is aimed at a person with high crimeCoefficients. It’s actually a very practical way of going about since there are no unnecessary deaths, but at the same time if you are hit with one you will literally explode. Psycho Pass is a great crime fiction anime, it really makes the idea of the police reliable. But it also questions the power that machines can have over humans, and that is something that will get you thinking for a while. As one of the main things that troubles Akane is the morality of the Sibyl System, as one person could for a split second think about a criminal thing and they are on the hit list. Not only does it make you question future technology, but the plot was very interesting, there were enough plot twists to make me binge watch the whole series.

Shinya Kogami, enforcer, skilled, fast thinker, detached and very understanding. He is the main protagonist of the first season, his story is actually a very sad one. Shinya takes on a leader like personality, but because of his position he takes a few steps back.

Akane Tsubemori, naive, stubborn, compassionate, and very true to her own morals and the law. Akane grows in the seasons and she learns who she is through all the hard ships. Her most admirable trait is her sense of justice and it not faulting once. Akane can be seen to be very rational even in dangerous situation, and she quickly falls out of the damsel in distress situation which i give her a lot of credit for.

Bearer of good news, there are two seasons so you can get a good feel of all the characters after some disrupting plot twists. There is also a movie Psycho-Pass: The Movie, which follows the aftermath of season 2 and gives you a sort of better ending. Trust me. If you love crime shows, then this anime is a must see.

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Black Lagoon

If you enjoy badass female lead characters who despite having a dark past can beat everyone in her path, then this is the anime for you. Black Lagoon follows a group of pirate mercenaries who smuggle goods in and out of South Asia. The Black Lagoon companies base is on Roanapur in Thailand, an island dedicated to harbour the worst criminals in the world. Despite the show following a man called Okajima Rock, the show really focuses on the female fighters and how they are so badass. Black Lagoon is a dark anime, there are no happy instances so keep in mind that is a lot of dark humour involved. There are a lot of dark themes, so don’t watch this if you do not enjoy twisted plots with children, vulnerable women and just plain assassination. But don’t let this dissuade you from watching it. I’m telling you, if you want to watch a show with great empowering female characters, then this is the show you should watch.

Rock, age 25, well mannered, humble, but he has a touch of darkness in him. Rock has a luck of an angel, he has managed to survive many hostages situations and somehow can live in Roanapur. Rock can be interpreted as our mind set in a world full of criminals. We are supposed to sympathise with him, but at the same time we see that he is crazy inside as well.

Balalaika, age 31, tall, Russian, military front, and very dark in how she handles situations. Balalaika is one of the many women who you do not want to mess with in this anime. She is a women who made a company called Hotel Moscow, and she used her past comrades in the army to make the group. They are scary. Balalaika being the main boss she is not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she has done so multiple times throughout the anime.

Revvy, age 25, Chinease/American, sarcastic, foul tempered, battle crazy and very blunt. She is nicknames two hands as she wields two guns every time she enters a battle field, and she is good with them. Revvy every time she is in a fight she has to go into a dark place, a place which makes her empty. Revvy may be young but she sure is a girl you would not want to even bump into, because she will not be afraid to shoot you there and then.

Edith Blackwater, age 24, nun, ill tempered, smoker, drinker and very trigger happy. She is part of the Church who monitors the international criminal activity in Roanapur AKA, the Rip Off Church. Eda is very similar to Revvy, which can explain why they seem to get along/hate one another. She is the complete opposite to a nun and this only makes the hole idea of her even more humorous.

Bearer of good news, there is a series 2 and a manga so you have a good range to read and watch. Black Lagoon is a must see anime, it is something that should be on the bucket list so i urge you to watch her.

Hotarubi no Mori E

If you enjoy summer romances and curses then this is the anime for you. Hotarubi no Mori E is a forty minute film which follows it’s shoujo manga to a T. The film follows a girl called Hotaru who as a young child gets lost in a forest thanks to an evil spirit when she is visiting her grandmother. Being too deep in the forest she cannot get out, and by chance she finds Gin. Gin is a supernatural spirt who despite having a human appearance has a curse that if he is touched by a human he will disappear. Despite saying this, Hotaru’s child mind decided she wants to play and try to catch him. Though he dodges each time and pokes her with a stick. After she is saved Hotaru promised that every summer she would visit him. And she did, we see her grow older each summer meanwhile Gin does not age one bit. The climax of the story happens when she physically becomes the same age as Gin. Throughout the whole film I was star stuck at their cute love for one another well Hotaru more so than Gin. The one thing I did enjoy about this film is the art work, it was smooth and seemed more so like the manga style. I’m not going to lie, this film may be a nice romance comedy, but I got very teary at the end. 40 minutes was not enough for me.

Gin, calm, nice, quiet, despite his cold attitude he seems to really care for humans. Gin’s main appearance follows him wearing a festival mask, we do not see his face for a while but it’s worth it. Gin is a very comical person, who often teases Hotaru. One of the cutest things he does is tie a ribbon on his arm and then to Hotarus to help her stay on the correct path. It is so cute.

Hotaru Takegawa, age 6 at start, is brash, cute and very childlike throughout the film. Hotaru found Gin very fascinating, especially when he is friends with the spirits in the forest. Hotaru, at first is just a child but as she grows she is seen as a beautiful young lady who even catches Gina eye. She become great friends with Gin after noticing he is lonely, and she also becomes great friends with the mountain spirits.

Bearer of mediocre news, there is a manga but the film follows it to a T, so while reading it will be nice, there is nothing new that is put into the story.

Beast Master

If you enjoy a wild child styled manga where if a boy sees his own blood or falls unconscious he becomes animalistic the this is the manga for you. This comedy manga follows a teenage boy leo Aoi, who despite his innocent nature can becomes very violet when angered. However with the help of animal lover Yuiko Kubozuka his bloodthirsty nature can be calmed and he easily follows her like a love sick puppy afterwards. The most interesting thing about this manga is that it focuses on taming an animalistic person. I like the concept of seeing past Aoi’s violent nature, and seeing his true naive person, it makes the romantic nature of the manga more powerful. I would say if you enjoy Beauty and the Beast, the you should read this manga. It definitely has the same story.

Yuiko Kubozuka, age 17, animal lover, strong, independent. The funny thing about her is that animals hate her, that no creature will treat her kindly. Which in some way makes no sense to how she can tame Aoi, but it can just be because she is maternal to animals.

Aoi Leo, age 17, naive, innocent, sharp eyes and has an animalistic nature when he faints or sees blood. He for as long as he can remember he has always been in hostile homes and remote locations so he has no idea how to interact socially.

Bearer of bad news, there is only a short manga but the story does get more interesting in the later chapters so read it slow and enjoy it to the fullest.

Watamote: No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!

If you enjoy shows where the main character is a NEET who realises she is not popular then this is the anime for you. Watamote follows a girl called Kuroki Tomoko who through playing constant Otome games, and watching various anime believed she would fly through High school. However the reality is that she is a social anxious individual, who can barely get a word out to a girl, let alone a boy. I love this anime. Watamote is very relatable if you are a shy, or a social anxious individual and you can understand her pain in every episode. Although every episode does give you second hand embarrassment, the amount of cringe is overwhelming. Watamote is perfect if you just want to laugh or be embarrassed. One of the best things this anime does, is when we hear Tomko’s inner monologues she is commenting that people should act like they do in otome games, and i can so understand her. She is rather obsessed with the idea that she will be popular if everyone else just acts the right way. Although even i have to say, there are some very embarrassing scenes that i had to pause and just relieve myself of the second hand embarrassment. But there has to be something special about an anime, that it can make you feel embarrassed and still want to watch it. Oh and to push you more into watching this, the opening song is killer. It is perfect and i did not skip it once.

Kuroki Tomoko, age 15, pervert, socially inept, NEET, pessimistic, and painfully shy. Tomoko in retrospect has no social life, she with exception of two people did not have any friends in middle school. Tomoko somehow in every episode embarrasses herself and causes those around her to effectively see her as odd. She is overcritical of other girls, which i found one of the worst things about the anime.

Kuroki Tomoki, age 14, soccer member, popular, and weirded out by his sister. Despite his attitude to Tomoko he as a young kid admired her so much, and arguable he still admires her. He is a boy who has many friends and will through his pride away to help his big sister.

Yu Naruse, age 15, best friend to Tomoko in middle school, girly, She is a girl who was like Tomoko but once high school hit she made a huge makeover. Naruse is an innocent character so she is a complete opposite to Tomoko. All in all, it’s hard to see how they became friends in middle school. I guess the power of loving anime brings opposites together.

Bearer of good news, there is a manga that extents a bit further than the manga does. Sadly there are only 12 episodes in the anime, so it ends too quickly for our liking.

Fun tips, watch all the endings, there are some little changes that correlate to the episode making them all unique. And you have to pay attention to episode 10’s opening transition. You can skip all the openings except for this one. The turn of the opening scenes to the opening is just so powerful. I do not recommend, i demand you watch episode 10 fully.

The Earl and Fairy

If you enjoy fairies, the victorian era and anything fantasy based, then this is anime for you. The Earl and Fairy follows a fairy doctor called Lydia Carlton, who has the power to see fairies. And they are adorable tiny little fairies. She lives on an isolated island but is scouted by a man called Edgar J C Ashenbert. And through meeting him, she takes a voyage to discover a treasured sword, that was supposed to be handed down by her contractors family. This anime is short, but i find they packed just enough in for the whole series to be satisfying. Earl and Fairy is comedic but it also has a great soundtrack, i could easily sit down and just listen to the opening tune alone.

Lydia Carlton, age 17, independent, clever and insecure about her own appearance. She is a fairy doctor, something that is rare and impressive. She despite what she assumes about herself, seems to draw men in like flies. Lydia is the kindest girl you will ever meet, she will for fairy or human put herself in danger. All because she is a fairy doctor.

Edgar J C Ashenbert, age 20’s, prince like, mysterious and a player. He does not hold back on the charm, and personally for me i found him to be annoying. He always seemed to make Lydia a damsel in distress, despite her being able to take care of herself.

Raven, age 18, servant, has a sprite inside of him, and a powerful ally. Raven is the coolest and most active in the series, he is definitely a friend you would want to have on your side. Raven generally has a kind relation with most of the characters, and he easily becomes the most likeable in the whole series.

Nico, a spirit residing in a cat, he is Lydia’s partner in crime. Nico is certainly a gentleman and it is shown when he has a preference with teas and fashion choices. Nico despite being a great fairy, is a coward. He runs away whenever danger is coming to the group.

Kelpie, water horse, arrogant and helplessly in love with Lydia. Kelpie is hilarious. He is the best character in the whole series. He truly loves Lydia for who she is, but she clearly doesn’t love him back. I found this quite sad, but her disinterest only makes his advances more and more hilarious.

Bearer of bad news, there are only 12 episodes but i found the ending to be decent enough. There is a light Novel that you can read for more adventures, so read it if you enjoyed the anime.

Black Blood Brother’s

If you enjoy vampire anime with loads of sword fights then this is the anime for you. Black blood brothers is a nice slow paced vampire show of 12 episodes, and though the ending seemed incomplete, it is a nice thing to watch. Black Blood Brother’s follows the life of Mimiko Katsuragi a human compromiser who mediates humans and vampires. She is the ticket for Jiro and Kotaro to get into the Special Zone. The Special Zone is the only place where vampires and humans can live in peace with one another. This show is not that serious, it is more on the comedy side than anything. The humour is thanks to Mimiko who is a head strong girl not afraid to threaten vampires. One of the best things she did was constantly throw holy water on Jiro every time he annoyed her.

Mimiko Katsuagi, easily angered, rash, and a very independent girl. Mimiko is the main female character, she by pure compassion lets her clients Jiro and Kotaro stay with her till they find proper homes. She is very kind, but she can certainly dig her own heels in, but never less Mimiko is a very aspiring girl to be.

Jiro Mochizuki, a very old vampire, cranky, powerful and can be a pushover when it comes to Kotaro. Jiro is an old blood vampire, he is specifically weak against the sunlight and water which is evident when he smokes even under an umbrella. Jiro is a kind man when it comes to people he loves, and he will put his own life on the line.

Kotaro Mochizuki, age 10, the youngest old vampire, naive, has a high pain tolerance. At first appearance he seems to not be a vampire but human, and we are surprised he is Jiro’s little brother. He may be cute, but he was annoying.

Bearer of bad news, this anime is only 12 episodes long so there is no movie for it. And more bearer of bad news the ending seemed like it could have another season, and sadly there is not one. But i can gladly say you should watch it, it’s comedy is perfect and there are some great action scenes.

Ghost Hunt

If you enjoy listening to Ghost stories and watching people with latent abilities then this is the anime for you. Ghost hunt is one of the best occult detective shows you can see, it is a must see if you partially enjoys film like paranormal activity. I mean it’s more like Detective Conan but ghost wise. Ghost Hunt’s plot follows a company called Shibuya Psychic Research who investigate occult occurrences in Japan. The show focuses not only on the victims of the occult, but on the employees of Shibuya Psychic Research. Mai Taniyama is the main protagonist who has the latent ability to find information in her dreams. Mai is a very head strong girl, who definitely has the right reactions when someone creepy happens in the house. Mai becomes my spirit animal in this anime. This anime is not only spooky but heart breaking as well, it takes you a moment to realise that with every case someone has died. And when the story of how they died comes to show, a tear or two may come to your eye. Ghost hunt is the perfect show to watch for the occult, so i definitely recommend it.

Mai Taniyama, 16, hot headed, young and a great developing detective. Mai accidentally breaks one of the Shibuya Psychic Research cameras and injuries Lin by accident so she repays her debt by working for them. It is in her adventures with ghost hunting that she learns of her latent abilities, also known as clairvoyance and she also posses astral projection.  Mai at first is seen to be weak and just a little child, but she embodies humanity, she is the emotional support of the group and that is a hard task to keep.

Kazuya Shibuya, age 17, cold, narcissistic, but also very protective of those he cares about. From the start you see that Shibuya is hiding something dark, and it is not till later in the series that we fully understand the truth.

John Brown, age 19, a priest, Australian and the funniest good natured character you will meet in this show. His accent is on point in the Dub, it is brilliant. Because of his occupation he is very kind and empathetic so he is more understanding when a ghost is haunting a place.

Bearer of good news, there is a manga so there is more character development for you to read. I will push you to watch Ghost hunt, it’s not scary, just the occult things that happen seem so life like.

 

 

Five

If you enjoy a strong female protagonist who is bent on having female friends, then this is the manga for you. FIVE a shoujo manga that focuses on the lives of 6 beautiful and smart kids. Hina Aso is the new transfer student, and this school assigns classes to the persons grading, and since Hina is a very intellectual girl she is placed in A+ class. An all boy class. Typical really. Hina being the only female is devastated that she cannot have any female friends, but she through various events becomes friends with the five most talented boys in the whole school. Now don’t go thinking this is a typical slice of life story, where the female has fallen hopelessly in love. Rather this manga, has Hina’s character fight her own battles. She is fully capable of whatever is thrown at her, and that is inspiring. She knows self defence, she is smart, and most of all she does not fall in love easily. FIVE is a brilliant manga, as not only is it’s art style unique but each of the five boys have very different personalities so you feel as if you really know them. I definitely suggest you read this, not for the art but for the plot as well. I mean in one chapter, they have sports day on another island, ridiculous i know but absolutely hilarious.

Hina Aso, smart, oblivious, childish, but a very capable girl. Hina is the main female who despite being surrounded by boys, only sees them as her friends. She is nicknamed princess by her friends, a sort of respected name considering she is the only female in the smartest class. One thing about her, is that once she drinks coffee she essentially gets drunk and has no self control on her strength. Seriously it is the funniest thing you will see. Hina is gorgeous as well.

Toshi Shumizu, leader, player, he is the first person to meet Hina but he doesn’t make the best impression. Toshi is the typical player of the group, he seems to not like monogamy which only ticks Hina off. Despite his attitidue, Toshi does care for Hina which can be seen when he accepts her as part of their group.

Koijro Yauchi, modern samurai, silent, he is gifted with a katana and is like a body guard for the group. He is a man of few words or expressions, but he does not lack in kindness. He’s is the most humorous because he uses a wooden sword for his attacks.

Jun Tairaku, smart, calculative, and he is the least athletic of the group. Jun by far is the the top of his year, he solves some impossible questions. But this helps when they need to hack into something. Jun is the heir to a restaurant which holds some favour from very powerful people. Which is hilarious when he uses these favours in silly situations.

Takui Iwabuchi, sporty, big brother, he is the most ‘normal’ of the group. Takui is an insane cook, which can be brought about from taking care of his family. He is most known to have a skateboard.

Nao Arisawa, cute, tiny, cute and the richest kid in the whole class. Nao is insecure about his friendship to Hina, especially since he only believes girls wants to be friends with him because of the company his father owns. But Hina beats his insecurities and he would do anything for her. I like Nao, but he’s too childlike for my taste.

Bearer of bad news, the manga is not complete, and there is not anime. So, while there is no end, it only means there are more chapters to read, therefore making the story longer, which i definitely enjoy.

From Up on Poppy Hill

If you enjoy a slice of life anime with a girl and a boy being brought together by flags then this is the film for you. From Up on Poppy Hill is a brilliant Ghibli film, it’s a nice slow paced show that revolves around post World War 2, and how a young girl each morning raises signal flags in commerce to her dead father. The plot follows Umi Matsuzaki, a young girl who each morning she uses signal flags in remembrance to her long dead father. Now Shun Kazama, a member of the journalist society see’s these flags every morning and he decides to write about them. So through a series of events he meets Umi Matsuzaki and these two have a blooming relationship appear afterwards. And through various instances they become closer by renovating the old newspapers house. Just because they’re young, doesn’t mean they wont have drama, and this film follows a lot of drama. The art work is brilliant, it’s so beautiful. From Up on Poppy Hill is one of the best romance films you can watch, and trust me when i say it gets you right in the heart.

Umi Matsuzaki, age 16, proper, quiet, mature, she is the surrogate mother in her household. Umi is a very strong female character who has a strong sense of purpose. She is young but she knows where she stands in the world, and that is very inspirational. Umi is very much into her duty as a daughter, sister and so on, so when she firsts meets Shun she dislikes his carefree nature. Umi is a girl who changes and i find her change to be nice and refreshing.

Shun Kazama,age 17, eccentric, brave and a very good leader. Shun is a member of the journalist club, and he was the main instigator to get students to renovate the Newspaper club house. Shun is a daring type of boy, who gets umi out of her shell, he is someone you would definitely want to be friends with.

Shiro Mizunuma, age 17, smart, an observer and the best friend to Shun. Shiro adds a lot of humour to this film, he is also one of the main shippers of Umi and Shun. So he is a boy after my own heart.

Bearer of bad news, there is only a film so there is nothing else attached to make it longer. But be rest assured it is a Ghibli film, so it is guaranteed to have brilliant art and a brilliant story. I strongly recommend watching this, it is definitely a must see.