During my time with Odyssey, I am surprised that I have not really written an article about anime and my love of anime. Some may call be a “weeaboo” and others may call me a nerd or a geek (since I also like video games too), but to me, it is all worth it for the creative and interesting stories and deep or lighthearted worlds that I get to explore everyday! Anime is not cartoons, it is animation. It is animation which delves into worlds and topics that a lot of American stories do not always go into the way that anime does.
Today, I want to talk about some of my favorite anime that I have seen as recommendations for anyone. So, no matter if you have seen some anime or have not seen any at all, I bring to you some of my anime recommendations for anyone at all! Also, with all of these recommendations, I will provide legal websites to watch all of them. I do not like watching things on illegal sites, but that is another rant for another time. With that said, let me get on with my recommendations!
Ouran High School Host Club
This show is just something light-hearted and in the genre of “slice of life”, but also deep at the same time. It is a very easy story to get into, not too complicated like some anime when you get more into the slice of life genre and other anime in general, but that does not mean that it is not full of something special (which is why people still are looking for a second season to this day).
Ouran High School Host Club is about a Host Club at the prestigious Ouran Academy “where only those with excellent social standing and those with filthy rich families are lucky enough to spend their time”. In Ouran Host Club, the show centers around “where the school’s handsomest boys with too much time on their hands entertain young ladies who also have way too much time on their hands. Just think of it as Ouran Academy’s playground for the super rich and beautiful”. Yes, that is directly quoted from the show itself because it is just the perfect way to describe that part!
Well, the true premise of the anime begins with the commoner honors student, Haruhi Fujioka, who walks into the club one day on accident while trying to find a quiet place to study. Haruhi walks into the club and ends up breaking a very expensive vase that the club was going to auction off at the school auction. From that point forward, Haruhi’s adventures and antics with the host club to help repay the debt ensue.
With the club’s many different members, this anime is full of life with the perfect mix of personalities. From the quiet Mori, the cute third year Honey, the Hitachiin twins that basically have their own love between themselves, the secretary Kyoya, and lastly, the king of the club Tamaki, this cast of characters all mesh really well together with many laughs and deep moments.
This title might be one of the first animes that other anime fans show people because it kind of shows all different sides of a slice of life anime that not many have done still. It made me smile, laugh, and cry all in one sitting. This is one show I have watched at least four or five times all the way through and still go back to it to watch episodes. It is that good!
The legal websites to watch this anime on, in the United States are Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll, Funimation, tubi.tv, Amazon Prime, and Yahoo Video. You can also pick it up for less than $30 on DVD on Amazon most of the time. They put it on sale all of the time, but with so many places to legally watch it, watch it on a legal place first. Most of those places are streaming the English Dub and honestly, the dub is one of the greatest dubs among a lot of anime fans, so I would try to watch it dubbed (if possible).
This show is a longer one, but it is a longer one that is over, so it is not going to keep going on. I promise. I feel if people want a longer show where you truly do get to spend time with the characters and the world, then this is a show that will allow you to do that. It does have 167 episodes in the main show, a continuation season that concludes everything that has another 26 episodes, and also four movies! You will have so much time with these characters!.
Inuyasha (yes all of the episodes and the movies) is about a girl named Kagome who is just starting high school. She, one day, accidentally falls into the well in her family’s shrine and ends up in the feudal era, over 500 years before. There she meets Inuyasha, a half demon that someday wants to become a full-fledged demon. The feudal era has the Shikon Jewel which is somehow embodied within Kagome. This jewel ends up getting destroyed into many tiny pieces and this is where the fateful journey begins. Along that adventure, Inuyasha and Kagome meet a delightful cast of characters with many personalities that all mesh perfectly together in the team dynamic.
This is the first long running show I completed and I absolutely love every moment of being with this loveable cast of characters going through their times in the feudal era. They all have relatable emotions and situations, but there are also those times where you never know what the heck is going to happen. It is totally an amazing show and at least worth checking out the first season or two.
The main legal websites I know to watch this series on are Netflix (for the first two seasons and all four movies), Amazon (all seasons, but some are paid only), Hulu (all seasons dubbed and subbed), and VizMedia.com (where you can watch all seasons dubbed or subbed with Hulu’s player with ads for free at anytime).
Parasyte: The Maxim
Now, this show is still to this day one of the darkest animes I have watched, but I will not deny that it is extremely well done with the intensity of everything that happens throughout it.
Parasyte: The Maxim is about a boy named Shinichi Izumi who is still just a high school boy. Across the city that he lives in, there are words of parasites taking over other humans brains and plotting to basically destroy each other. One night, Shinichi is pulled into all of this when a parasite comes to take him over, but things do not go exactly the way they are supposed to. What will happen to this young man? Well, I will save that for when you watch because if I go any further, I might end up spoiling a bunch of the actual plot (which I do not want to do).
This is on the more dark side of the spectrum, yes, but the entirety of it is not fully dark. There are some light moments, some action packed moments, some sad moments, and some moments where those feelings all mix together. Parasyte: the Maxim is an emotional thrill ride with an extremely interesting story attached to it!
The main legal websites I know to watch this one on is Crunchyroll or hidive.com. You can also go on Amazon and buy the DVD/ Blu-ray sets. That is always your choice though.
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club/Eternal Summer
I need to write a whole separate article on this show and how much it inspires me. This show is my baby and the show that helped me through a rough time in my life.
Free! Iwatobi Swim Club/Eternal Summer are season 1 and season 2 of the Free! Franchise. The currently two season series is mainly about high school boys Haruka Nanase, Makoto Tachibana, and Rin Matsuoka. They are all childhood friends in elementary school and they were on a swim team together that won a relay until Rin goes off to Australia for middle school to pursue his father’s dream of being an Olympic swimmer. Makoto and Haru go through middle school together and once they get to high school in Iwatobi High School, they run into their old friend, Nagisa Hazuki. Nagisa recommended that Makoto and Haru along with him start a swim club. Haru had a little reluctance, but goes with them. Along with the fourth and final member of the swim club they find, Rei Ryugasaki and Gou Matsuoka, Rin’s little sister, they start the swim club together with many adventures that you could never expect, one of those things being Rin coming back to another school which starts the plot of the first season.
This show is one that I have an emotional attachment to. It helped me through a lot of my high school days through seeing these characters feel and process some of the same emotions I did. All of this along with the actual relatable characters make this show one you cannot miss. I promise you, it is not all just half-naked swimming men.
The main legal websites I know to watch this one on are Funimation and Crunchyroll. You also can purchase this series on DVD/Bluray and it is so worth it whatever way you decide to watch it.