Given the slew of live-action remakes of late and the disappointments most of them have been, something has to be said about this live-action mess. And that is: Not everything has to be remade into a live-action series.
In fact, some amazing animated series can just stay exactly that, an animated series. We all remember the Avatar: Legend of Aang fiasco.
There is much to be admired about animated features—the drawings, the vivid colours, complex world-building and of course, talking animals. After all, we are here to watch the trials and tribulations of an exiled prince reclaim his throne, not National Geographic.
As a primer into the wonderful world of animated features, here are six anime shows on Netflix to introduce you to the world of Japanese animation. There’s much to uncover in the realm of anime, so if you’re just a casual dabbler of anime, these shows will ease you right in.
I’ll admit, this one is a little weird. BEASTARS is essentially Zootopia on crack, think anthropomorphic animals living in the modern civilised world. Of course, this isn’t without conflict. The animals in this world struggle to fight against their natural instinct as known to them in the animal world—you know, the whole prey and predator thing.
Though many herbivores and carnivores are friends, there is an underlying tension between these two groups that threatens to erupt at any moment. Our anime centres on Cherryton Academy where a horrific accident has just taken place and all eyes are on the carnivores, especially Legoshi, a big grey wolf.
Weird with profound, philosophical contemplations about cultural diversity, social and class divide, it does what Zooptopia did so well and some more.
Who should watch it: For those who can’t get enough of Zootopia and anthropomorphic animals then BEASTSTARS checks all the boxes.
BEASTARS | Watch Here
Tokyo Ghoul is one of those classic anime series with a couple of flesh-eating ghouls thrown into the seedy streets of Tokyo.
The series follows Ken Kaneki who barely makes it out alive after an encounter with one of these said ghouls. After recovering in the hospital, he discovers that some of these ghoul’s organs were used to save him, thereby turning him into a half-ghoul.
Amidst all the action and fighting, Tokyo Ghoul has its light-hearted and tender moments that might make you shed a tear or two.
Who should watch it: For sci-fi nerds and for those who love a classic story of battling your inner demons (literally), this fast-paced anime will have you on the edge of your seat.
Tokyo Ghoul | Watch Here
While I’m tempted to include some of Studio Ghibli’s more famous hits like Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle is a personal favourite. You can imagine how happy I was when Netflix decided to put almost all of Studio Ghibli’s catalogue on Netflix.
Gorgeous animation aside, Studio Ghibli always has this uncanny ability to pull you into whatever tale they are telling, be it fantastical whimsy like this or grounded in everyday realism.
Howl’s Moving Castle combines classic Beauty and the Beast tropes but with clever, endearing twists. A magical warlock obsessed with how he looks, a hatmaker whose cursed by a witch and a castle that’s powered by a talking flame—what a ride it will be.
Who should watch it: For those wanting to dip their toes into the Studio Ghibli pool, Howl’s Moving Castle is an excellent film to begin. Sooner or later, you’ll be watching all the movies.
Howl’s Moving Castle | Watch Here
You would think that if you can defeat any villain with a single punch, you’ll be on top of the world. That’s not the case for Saitama who has trained himself so well that he can defeat any enemy with a single punch. That’s something, alright. Due to his unmatched strength, Saitama is now left with an overwhelming sense of boredom.
Irreverent with trademark deadpan humour, this unorthodox superhero anime is what you need when you want to shut off your brain after a long day.
Who should watch it: Saitama has got us wishing we could also defeat our enemies with a single punch.
One-Punch Man | Watch Here
Similar to BEASTARS, Aggretsuko features anthropomorphic animals that live and work in Toky but with way cuter animation and less life and death themes. Retsuko is a 25-year old red panda who deals with a lot of the same troubles us millennials go through, feeling lost as she navigates working life with a dose of social anxiety.
With demanding superiors and annoying co-workers, Retsuko blows off steam by screaming death metal at a karaoke bar after work. It’s hilarious and relatable at the same time. It’s an office drama in the most entertaining way and you might find yourself relating to many moments that Retsuko goes through.
Who should watch it: For anyone missing corporate life and hates their current WFH situation, maybe Aggretsuko will allow you to appreciate that your only interaction with annoying co-workers is only through Zoom calls.
Aggretsuko| Watch Here
From the studios that brought you the hit Your Name, Flavours of Youth (International version) is brimming with romance, nostalgia. Set in China, this is a set of three loosely connected stories about lost youth, missed connections that will leave you wistful and a tad plaintive.
You’ll also have to admire how most mundane of affairs such as a downpour or even the clearing of skies are drawn so beautifully you’ll have to sigh in admiration.
Who should watch it: If you love anime food, this is a stunning film that will leave hungry so remember to order in before you watch this.
Flavours of Youth (International version) | Watch Here
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