Otome Youkai Zakuro

If you enjoy an anime that has the western military team up with eastern youkai then this is the anime for you. Otome Youkai Zakuro is set in Edo Japan where youkai and humans coexist, but only barely as there are still some prejudices against the youkai kind. Because there was an upset between the youkai and humans the Ministry of Sprits was created, where human males and female yokai work together. Otome Youkai Zakuro’s plot centres around this Ministry of Sprits establishment, having the human and yokai individuals being forced to work with one another. The anime follows multiple individuals lives and the impact that this treaty has on them, the youkai females especially.  Zakuro is the main character alongside her partner Kei Agemaki, and it is with these two that i would say their paring are the funniest. Zakuro like her friends adorns fox ears showing her youkai blood, and this feature is apparent because she and the others are half yokai. Zakuro and Agemaki are the funniest because their ideals are completely different, she is totally against any wester views and he funnily is completely afraid of spirits. So in effect they both abhor one another, and this is hilarious. I would hate having to work with someone i strongly dislike, especially if they are dead afraid of my kind. This show is very supernatural and one of the things i love about it is the visuals, the art is so beautiful especially when they use their blossoms flower attacks. Blossom flowers are my favourite flower, and this how just makes them even more beautiful. Not only are the visual great but the songs as well, the opening is killer and is so catchy, and the song they sing before they attack is so cute. The greatest things about that is the song is innocent yet deadly, and that is art. Despite it having it’s romantic element, i find the action and adventures they have to be exciting. Just a heads up you are so going to ship all the girls with their partners, i swear you will squeal like i did whenever something romantic happened.

Zakuro, age 16, aggressive, impulsive, easily angered and a girl who deeply loves her kind and will do anything to protect them. Zakuro is the most aggressive and verbal at not liking the Ministry of Spirits idea. Her hate to westernisation is through the bad treatment it has given to Spirits, and how peoples attitudes quickly changed to how they see Youkai. I do like her blunt personality but even i find her mind to be closed off, she seems to not want to establish a good middle ground until she wants it to.

Kei Agemaki, age 18, scardy cat, clumsy, kind but deadly afraid of any Youkai that comes near him. Kei is is in the tip ranks of the army and so when he is deadly afraid of spirits our illusion of him is shattered making his character the funniest out of all of them. From zakuro appearing human he seems to be at ease with her, and so sticks to her like glue whenever a youkai appears making the whole scenario hilarious.

Susukihotaru, age 16, shy, intelligent, and very kind, she at first cannot look humans in the eye through sheer shyness and that only makes her cuter. Susukihotaru can feel peoples emotion by touching them, so her empathy and sympathy tank is always at full capacity. Susukihotaru is my favourite out of all the girls, not only does she seem to have a sold and open mind, but she grows as a character and i always find character development to be important. Despite her appearance she is not weak, rather she uses her strength to support Zakuro who mainly does the attacking in the group.

Riken Yoshinokazura, age 19, emotionless, tall, and a non talkative male. Riken is paired with Susukihotaru and thought they seem to be an odd match they are actually perfect for one another. Riken is the silent type who with a scary face has a big heart on the inside, he deeply cares for those he calls friends. He is even helpful to Kei as he knows about his fear of spirits, so all in all Riken is my favourite male character.

 

Bonbori  and Hozuki, age 15, twins, clingy, younger minds, they are not as open to people as they should and so getting them to like you is hard. Bonbori  and Hozuki are identical and are very hard to separate, but their partner Ganryu can tell them apart straight away. The thing about these two is that they are very vocal about their love to Ganryu and it actually quite refreshing.

 

Ganryu Hanakiri, age 16, very intelligent, childlike, and a bit arrogant, Ganryu is the smallest male and seemingly the loudest. Ganryu can instantly tell apart the twins and that alone shows some form of brilliance. The thing about him is that he prefers to be in the back seat, to not get into any violence which is completely fine for the girls.

Bearer of bad news the anime is only 12 episodes long, so you can binge watch it in one setting or set it aside to watch an episode a day. Personally i binge watched it because i couldn’t get enough of it, so i induce you to watch this as it is very freshening. If anything the art style should make you want to watch it.

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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.

 

Sukitte Ii na yo

If you enjoy watching a socially awkward teen who through a roundhouse kick gets a boyfriend, then this is the anime for you. Sukitte Ii na yo is an interesting anime that focuses on everyday problems in relationships, especially when one side of the relationship is anxious on how to express their feelings. Mei Tachibana has always believed that friends will always let you down, and so her lonely life at high school was a given. With a chance encounter, Yamato Kurosawa changed her life for the better with the two starting a relationship Mei is challenged not only with his feelings but her own as well. Sukitte Ii na yo is a lovely slice of life anime, it really sets the tone to what i love you means. And because of the anxiety Mei has during the relationship, i can relate a lot to the fears and doubts she has. If you want a sappy love story, then this is the perfect thing to watch, there is a lot of drama and it always keeps you on your toes.

 

Mei Tachibana, age 17, gloomy, lonely, observant, Mai is a girl who despite her quiet composure can act out to defend herself. Mai is shy about how she feels most of the time, but through her relationship she learns to truly express herself. One thing i love about her is that when she sees someone in a position she used to be in, she will give them advice so they don’t stoop to how she used to be. Mai is the best, she is blunt and will stick to what she believes in.

 

Yamato Kurosawa age 17, popular, jealous, forward and truly cares for those he loves. Yamato is a nice boy who truly cares for Mai, he is the person who brings her out of her shell. While he has good motives, the only problem i have with him is he is a sucker for a pity story. From the past to the present, Yamato has made it his duty to protect those in trouble.

 

Bearer of good news, there is a magna that far exceeds the anime and the story only gets better and better. I found the manga art to be brilliant as well, it’s just so alluring to the eye. It’s a brilliant story so i implore you to try and watch it, if anything it’s a nice easy watch so just relax and watch.
 

Usotsuki Lily

If you enjoy a manga that involves a cross dressing boy who vomits blood every time a guy touches him, then this is the manga for you. Contrary to the image, Usotsuki Lily is not a Yuri manga rather the cross dressing individual is straight. Usotsuki Lily is a gender bender romance manga, where it follows a girlfriends journey in having a boyfriend thats cuter than she is. Originally when En Shinohara had asked out Hinata Saotome she was completely oblivious to his cross dressing tendencies, but she gets past her frustrations and falls in love with him easily. I love Usotsuki Lily because it gets rid of any gender stereotypes, but it also breaks all the conventions and just has two people who have fallen in love, making appearances not everything in a relationship. Passing the gender bender topic, Hinata Saotome and Hinata Saotome are the best couple, they are stupidly in love with one another, making enough drama for you to roll over in laughter. One of the greatest things this manga does, is that it does not follow one couple but multiple. This variety adds many new stories and a lot more humour, if anything it makes the plot better than it already is.

En Shinohara, cross dresser, confident, beautiful and a jealous individual when it comes to his girls friends attentions. En cross dresses as a hobby, because he absolutely loves women. But on a more serious note he does it because of his pure hatred towards men, if he sees even a reflection of himself he will punch it. En is a nice boy, but he makes me frustrated because he looks so damn good as a girl.

Hinata Saotome, kind, blunt, oblivious and a deep romantic but has a taste for good looking men which is why she instantly fell for En. She is a very open girl as she easily accepts en’s hobby and his reasons why. Hinata fights for what she wants, and she becomes the ‘ideal’ girl for En when he explains to other people his love for her. Hinata is very much into doing her own gags which makes the whole manga series way more interesting.

Bearer of good news, the manga is complete so there is an ending, which i can gladly say is fulfilling. Usotsuki Lily is one of the greater gender bender novels you can read, and even if you are unsure i say read it. The romance and slice of life style will only make you fall more in love with this manga.

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.

 

Double Arts

If you enjoy a martial arts styled manga where both protagonists have to hold hands for eternity, then this is the manga for you. Double Art’s is in a world where a disease called troy is spreading over, and when one is infected they literally disappear. Troy is spread through skin to skin contact. There are people called sisters, who are trying to find the cure for this disease, but in the mean time they absorb the harmfull disease from those infected. Sisters use the ‘healing arts’ in order to absorb the disease, and while they have a high resistance to the Troy disease they will eventually die. The sisters main mission is to find the person who is wholly immune to the troy disease. The main sister we follow is Elraine who starts to contract the symptoms of the troy disease, and on the verge of death a young man called Kiri holds her hand. It is here she find that she no longer feels pain, because Kiri Luchile is the chosen man they are looking for. The whole point is that they can not let go of one another hands because Elraine will die. This manga is a perfect piece to read, it is filled with romance, adventure and a unique fighting ability called Double Art’s. This is a rare find, and it’s not that well known, but you should definitely give it a try, it has a great art style as well. And the outfits they were are so pretty, i would so want to wear them.

Elraine Figarette, age 16a sister, a healer, kind and deeply cares for those around her. Elraine has been a sister since she was 8, and by the time she became 16 she had healed more people than any in the sisterhood. She is a kind girl who wants to push people she cares about away, especially when she contracts the disease. Elraine is a great character, she definitely knows how to fight and she wont let her disease get the best of her, since she would die for the sake of the world. And that means getting Kiri to the head church so they can make the whole world immune. 

Kiri Luchile, age 16, a painter, calm, rash, and a happy go lucky boy. Kiri is a great boy to become friends with. From having immune blood he has a ‘power’ called flare, which lets him to see his strength and speed that he can gain with the number of people he touches. Kiri is a very lucky boy, even more so to have meet Elraine.

Bearer of bad news, there is only a manga, so there is no anime adaption to watch. But the best thing to know is that it is a complete manga, and the ending is not bad but not good either. The only qualm i have is that the journey is not that complete, but overall i find that the plot was good and i was happy with the end result.

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.

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.

 

Mamotte! Lollipop

If you enjoy magical boys and romantic comedies then this is the anime for you. Mamotte! Lollipop is a fantasy based anime that has a wide amount of magical battles, and it also doesn’t fall short on the romantic side either. The plot follows a young girl called Nina Yamada, who accidentally ate the crystal peal. The crystal pearl is an object that is used for the sorcery exam, which goes on for half a year. The exam goes on that whoever has the pearl at the end of 6 months is the person/group to pass the exam. However because Nina ate the pearl she is now targeted, and many of the participants do not value her life, she is expendable. But Zero and Ichii decided that they needed to protect Nina, mainly for the pearl. Apart from the obvious killing intent, many of the other characters are fabulous. They all have their own individual quirks and that’s what makes this anime special. It’s rare to have so many side characters in a short anime and actually expand on their backgrounds. Mamotte! Lollipop is a very cute light hearted anime that though has a damsel in distress situation, it still makes you go all gooey at the romantic tension involved. It is not only romance that is included but comedy, as there are many love triangles that make you cringe and laugh at the same time. Definitely watch this if you like magic girl anime, just this time it will be magic boys.

Nina Yamada, age 12, violent and a crybaby, Nina is a girl who is a dreamer which causes her to accidentally eat the pearl. She is the stereotypical damsel in distress character, and sometimes she is annoying but most of the time she seems to gain a back bone and fights for what she wants. There is a large sense of sympathy for her as she can die, not everyone is as kind as Zero and Ichii, she has more death flags than any other character.

Ichii, age 15, kind, logical, calm he is the thinker of his group and because he is older he has a sense of paternal feeling for his friends. Zero is a nice character but he seems a bit plain for my liking, he is the popular guy so he’s not as appealing as the other characters.

Zero, age 13, quick tempered, rash, but very kind. Zero is an exact representation of a kid his age, he is unsure how to treat Nina but he wants to win so his decisions can be somewhat harmful to her. Zero adds a very comedic element, as he and Nina are constantly fighting, he does not see her as a girl at all and that irritates Nina.

Bearer bad news, the anime is only 13 episodes long and it only covers half the story. However there is a manga that follows the first season and another called Mamotte!Mamotte! Lollipop that adds more adventures. So if you want to continue and find out how everything ends, then read the manga.