Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

If you enjoy a strong female lead where she dedicates her life to healing those in trouble, then this is anime for you. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is fantasy anime that follows the life of a herbalist Shirayuki, who finds herself in the Clarines Palace. Shirayuki’s most notable feature is her red apple hair, a hair type that is extremely rare, which in turn only caused her problems making her hide her hair often. Originally she was a citizen of the tanbrun country but under some trouble concerning her hair, she had met Prince Zen of Clairnes and his two aides Mitsuhide and Kiki. Through meeting them she made it her desire to become a herbalist in the Clarines palace, making the start of her beautiful story. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime has a great plot and i believe they executed it well enough, or else i wouldn’t of watched it. It is a sweet romance that has connotations to Snow White, but a better feminist version, so if you like snow white, then this is a perfect anime for you.

Shirayuki, stubborn, clever, compassionate, she is a dedicated student of apocrypha. Despite her hair being a set back to her life, she takes everything in stride and still pursues her dreams. Through the anime Shirayuki has proved herself many times as a herbalist, her hair is not the only special thing about her. I really like her, she is not a helpless girl, sure she doesn’t know how to fight but she can save millions of lives by caring for them and making medicines.

 

Zen Wistalia, second prince of Clarines, easy going, trustworthy, and a very open boy. Zen at times dislikes his title as it makes people act differently around him, but he accepts that with this title he can help people. Zen has not only helped Shirayuki but his aides as well, he saves people from a dark place and it all because of his open mind. Zen is not too overbearing and actually lets Shirayuki be independent.

 

 

Mitsuhide Lowen, mother hen, loyal, very honest, he is the closet friend that Zen has. Mitsuhide is at first an easy going man, but you will find that he is very serious most of the time. And we see he actually has a lot of influence over Zen, because when he voices his opinions zen will take them into deep  consideration .

Kiki Seiran, stoic, expressionless, stubborn, she is one of the few female warriors seen in the series. Kiki is a strong women who can easily beat many men in sword fights, she can certainly hold her own. Kiki is a favourite because she doesn’t let men walk over her, instead she disregarded other peoples opinions and did what she wanted.

Bearer of good news, there is a manga which is a far bit ahead of the anime, so make sure you read it because it is just as amazing. I think it’s a great catch to watch, so i implore you to watch it or else you’re missing out.

 

Whisper of the Heart

If you enjoy two young children who inspire one another to pursue their future careers then this is the film for you. Whisper of the Heart is a cute drama filled romance, where it follows two young children pursuing their passions. The plot follows Shizuku Tsukishima who often goes to the library and it is through sheer coincidence that every book she takes out was checked out before by a boy called Seiji Amasawa. Her adventures starts here as one day her curiosity gets the best of her when she follows a big white cat, because he was riding the train like a human would. She soon finds Seiji Amasawa who she learns wants to be a luthier (a violin maker), with his push Shizuku decided she was finally going to write. And she uses an antique cat called The Baron as the main protagonist to her story. The most famous part of this movie is the famed bike ride, and i have to say it is so cute, adorable and beautiful. Which is expected of a Studio Ghibli film, the art is just amazing, and the music is captivating. What i am about to tell you, will certainly make you watch this film with more eagerness than before. Whisper of the Heart is an early Studio Ghibli film, and in actuality is a sort of prequel to The Cat Returns. Throughout the whole film there are many allusions to The Cat Returns, for instance the fat white cat riding the train, or the antique cat called The Baron, which you do learn has a female companion, so this film adds a few extra elements to his story. The actual novella that Shizuku writes, which is the most obvious piece is the very early prequel to The Cat Returns, she writes a very similar plot and it will get you excited. So if you enjoy any Studio Ghibli film or The Cat Returns then you have to watch this film, it is an original and you will  feel your heart flutter once more.

Shizuku Tsukishima, age 14, book lover, quick temper, good singer, unsure about the future. Shizuku is a kind girl who does not have a lot of confidence in her own abilities, and so she easily feels overwhelmed when Seiji knows what he wants to do with his life. I like her alot, Shizuku has made it evident that she does not want to be a burden but rather make her own way in the world. And i can aspire to her feelings.

 

Seiji Amasawa, age 14, confident, good head on his shoulders, teases people, very persistent. Seiji knows what he wants to be and he has never faltered in his ambition once. Despite his care for his family and friends he will put everything on the line so he can be the best violin maker in the world. And i have to give him credit for his devotion.

Bearer of good news, as i said The Cat Returns is like a sequel to this so you can watch see the end of Shizuku’s novel if you watch the film. Studio Ghibli films are great, they make brilliant films and their music is the best so no matter what film they make it is perfect. Whisper of the Heart is one of the best out there, so i have to push you to watch it if you already haven’t.

 

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.

 

NANA

If you enjoy hardcore rock music and a flitter of romance then this is the anime for you. Just as a prior reference, this anime contains very sensitive topics that might upset some people, so i would make sure if you were okay with subjects that include personal inflictions.  Now that’s been made apparent, NANA is a very tragic story of love and not only do we get one main female protagonist but two. The plot at first follows the life of Nana Komatsu who is on her way to live with her boyfriend. On the same train we meet Nana Osaki, who is moving to the city in order to start up her own band once again. While they met by chance on the train, they somehow end up in the same apartment and share a flat together. The pun of this anime is the two female protagonists have the same name, yet drastically different personalities. They both hold very different lives, as nana Osaki is more grown up but insecure. Where as Nana Komatsu is very clumsy, and she has not yet grown up in the world. This show takes us on a roller coaster ride, with tears flowing we watch both Nana’s struggle and on some level we feel their pain as well.  There are a lot of mature topics that are crossed, it becomes way more apparent when you hear the pain in Nana Osaki’s songs, with her feelings in her music it makes our hearts break. The best thing this anime did was every time they would end the episode on a cliffhanger while playing the end song, it was perfect. They had Nana Komatsu from the beginning monologue that she was reminiscing about the past, so everything we watch is a memory for Nana K. Definitely watch this, even if you watch it once it will forever be imprinted in your minds.

Nana Komatsu, age 19, clueless, kind and an airhead, she seems to pick bad boyfriends as well. She is called Hachi as a way to not confuse the two Nana’s, she is more like a pet to Nana O. Hachi goes through a stage of grief over her boyfriend troubles, however she learns through tears to be better. She then becomes a sort of surrogate mother figure to the other Nana, Hachi embodies the perfect mother. Though you might find her annoying at first, i find Hachi to be really inspiring, as though she has been hurt she still fights for what she wants. Hachi for me seems to be the real strong one out of the two.

Nana Osaki, age 20, leader of Blast, quick tempered and a little possessive. Nana O has had a rough life from the start, and that can explain the personal problems she seems to have. Her dream is to be the best musician, and she does this through sheer hard work. Nana is the character who seems to be the most sensitive and we as the viewer worry about her more.

Bearer of good news, the manga does go on for a few more chapters but it is not complete so you’ll have to wait for an ending. If you still need some pushing then just listen to the NANA soundtrack, it’ll make you excited. Just because this anime holds sensitive topics, don’t be anxious to watch it, i thought it was a great and you only have to watch it once to feel the impact of it.

Michiko and Hatchin

If you enjoy an action packed female protagonist kidnapping her own daughter then this is the anime for you. Michiko and Hatchin is an action anime which follows two strong females evading the police, as Michiko is a runaway criminal. This anime is vivid and it does not disappoint, there are no stereotypes of the female here, it is solely focused on the power of female on the good and the bad side. Now this is the perfect anime to watch if you enjoy female empowerment. The plot goes that Hana Morenos an ‘orphan’ is living with her abusive foster family, that is until her mother Michiko Morenos kidnaps her and they stat to live with one another while on the the run. The best part is Michiko is trying to find the father of Hana, and while the purpose of the journey is to find a man, the story develops the characters and you grow attached to both girls. You will be missing out if you don’t watch this, the action alone is great and it’s a rare thing for a crime anime to stand out considering there are so many.

Hana “Hatchin” Morenos, age 9, shy, clever and a stubborn girl, she is essentially the cinderella to this anime, she works and cleans for her foster family all because they want the child support money. Hachin is at first unsure of how to act around her mother, but by time she develops a big bond and hates to be apart from her only family member. Hachin is definitely a cutie, her innocent nature makes you want to protect her.

Michiko Morenos, age 20s, she is loud, arrogant, confident and a loving mother, Michiko is a women who truly inspires you. Though she is a criminal her hardy nature makes you like her even more, it is rare to have a female who is strong but also beautiful so much so that she is comfortable in her skin, and can reveal herself without care. Michiko for me is one of my favourite female characters.

Hiroshi Morenos, age unknown, the mysterious father of Hachin and lover of Michiko, we all want to know who or where he is. While he is the main goal of this anime, he is often forgotten about as we mainly focus on the events surrounding the girls. This is really refreshing as it is usually female characters that are the ‘goal’ or damsels.

Bearer of bad news there are only 22 episodes, and while it may seem short i have to say the ending was very good. I don’t think there would be any other way it could of ended and it definitely kept to a realist idea, so for this i say watch and find out what happens. So if you’re struggling for strong females in anime, then take a shot at this show, you wont be dissatisfied.