Hi MANGA.TOKYO otaku readers! This is Yuki, the editor-in-chief of your favorite online source for anime and otaku news and editorials!
In Japan, we are surrounded by anime: from posters and manga to collaborations and shops the anime industry is part of our culture whether we want it or not. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone is reading manga or watching anime.
I was having a conversation recently with a few friends who are not into anime. ‘I only know NARUTO and Dragon Ball’ said one of them. ‘I can tell from TV that One Punch Man must be really popular now.’ As a true anime fan, I really wanted to recommend them an anime that they could enjoy without necessarily becoming fans. A representative work that is not obscure or full of otaku cliches.
These are the titles off the top of my head. 5 anime titles to recommend to an otaku newbie!
1. ‘AKIRA’ (Anime Movie)
Akira: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) | https://www.bandaivisual.co.jp/akira/
Akira is one of the most famous anime worldwide. It was released in 1988, and it features a cyberpunk future story that takes place in Japan in 2019. This work had a great impact on the world of anime because of its visual expression and realistic characters. Its opening bike scene is especially famous.
2. ‘Cowboy Bebop’ (Anime Series)
Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series | http://www.cowboy-bebop.net/
When otaku fans are asked to recommend an anime series that is NOT mainstream, Cowboy Bebop is usually the title they come up with. An incredible Sci-fi anime with a jazz musical backdrop that is set in the solar system in 2071. Think Firefly in anime or Lupin the Third in space. The story depicts the adventures of four bounty hunters traveling on a rickety spaceship called ‘Bebop.’
3. ‘Laputa: Castle in the Sky’ (Anime Movie)
This is one of the representative works of Studio Ghibli. The anime is famous for one of the first ‘fan excitement’ phenomenons: Japanese viewers recite the spell of extinction, ‘barus’, in unison on Twitter every time it is aired in Japan.
Laputa: Castle in the Sky is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, whose movies include the Academy Award-winning Spirited Away. A boy called Pazu and a girl who came down from the sky named Sheeta set out to find Laputa, a legendary castle said to be floating in the sky.
If you need more reasons, our otaku writer Mokugyo recently wrote a fascinating article about a few Laputa trivia!
4. ‘Attack on Titan’ (Anime Series)
Attack on Titan, Part 1 (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) | http://shingeki.tv/index2.php
Attack on Titan is not just anime, it is a worldwide phenomenon. While many critics and anime purists are still scratching their heads on what made the series such a hit, the fans are swearing by its name and are eagerly awaiting April 1, 2017, the day that the second season will finally air.
Until then, you have plenty of time to binge-watch the first season and learn all about the Titans.
5. ‘Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash’ (Anime Series)
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash VOL.1 Blu-ray | http://grimgar.com/
The anime series Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
was adapted by a Japanese light novel series written by Ao Jūmonji and illustrated by Eiri Shirai. In the story, a group of people suddenly find themselves in a fantasy world with no memories of their previous life. In this new world they strive to survive. It is a typical isekai
anime in theme, but it has some characteristics that make it a distinctive work worth watching. For instance, many scenes portrayed in the style of water-color paintings let us immerse ourselves in the beautiful ‘other world’.
‘Welcome to the World of Anime’
I hope that your newbie friends will love these recommendations. I am still waiting for mine to tell me their first impressions! Do you have any anime you always recommend to your non-otaku friends? Let us know in the comments below!