There are so many new releases of anime that come and go every year, that it’s easy to miss the gems. I thought about the various shows I’ve watched in the past two years and which ones I enjoyed the most. These may not be to your taste, but I’m going to talk about three anime series that I think are generally enjoyable to watch. My recent anime recommendations!
Ore Monogatari 俺物語 (My Love Story)
I came across this show by chance when I was checking out Hulu Japan. The art style looked clean and something easy on the eyes.
A non-handsome named Takeo is starting his first year of high school. His best friend is always being approached by girls because of his beautiful face. Takeo cares for his friend, but can’t help but feel envious that girls pay attention to him. If only Takeo could meet a nice girl someday.
One day, while on the train. Takeo sees a man trying to touch a high school girl inappropriately and calls him out on it, saving the girl. Her name is Rinko Yamato and she starts to like Takeo after he saves her. Maybe Takeo will finally get a girl?
Yeah, the story is simple, but the presentation is so wonderful. The animation is gorgeous in HD and the audio is excellent as well.
I immediately jumped to conclusions about all the characters the first time I watched the show, but I turned out to be wrong about some things. Some people might immediately reject the show thinking that it’s a lovey-dovey romance anime, but they’d be somewhat wrong. The show does focus on the relationship between Takeo and Rinko, but the true strength of the anime comes from the many scenes involving the thoughtfulness between Takeo and his best friend.
Let it be known that this series is the most peaceful anime I have ever seen. After watching an episode of Ore Monogatari, your mood will certainly be better than when you started watching it.
Anime Trailer: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2ZGWRnkdwQ]
Where can I watch Ore Monogatari?
I was able to watch it on Hulu Japan, but it’s on other sites outside of Japan. If you’re looking to watch it for free, I recommend doing an Internet search for “kissanime” and finding Monogatari on that site.
Akatsuki no Yona 暁のヨナ (Yona of the Dawn)
I was first recommended Akatsuki no Yona by a friend, but it took me some time before I started it. I now realize that my friend knew what she was talking about when she recommended this anime.
This show may seem like a chick-flick at first, but it’s not. The anime is adapted from the shojo manga, but after a few episodes, you’ll see that the anime has an interesting cast of characters and a great setting.
A red-haired princess named Yona was living peacefully in her kingdom. One day, one of her guardians whom she knew from childhood decided to overthrow the king and kill any witnesses. Yona managed to escape with the help of her bodyguard into the forest. Now on the run, Yona must learn how to survive and make her way in the harshness of the kingdom she once ruled.
One thing that stood out to me about this show is the main character Yona herself. In typical anime stories, the girl is weak and depends solely on a male figure to take care of everything. Yona is weak at first, but you see her slowly take more risks and become stronger, which was refreshing to see.
The setting has sort of a mystical China scenery, which was really exciting. I loved seeing the wilderness, nature, and the villages that the characters traveled to. This is a recent anime, so it looks stunning in HD if you can get it.
Anime Opening: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWY3DxVjY5E]
Hunter x Hunter
I saved the best for last. Oh my god, where to start with this one. This has to be one of the greatest anime series that I’ve watched in many years.
Let’s start with the name. Yeah, it has an “x” in the title, but it’s not said when you read it. In Japan, people just read it as “Hunter Hunter”. It sounds strange, but you’ll get used to it.
When someone wanted to watch this with me, I was extremely hesitant. Just from looking at the main character, I thought I knew what kind of story was coming. I was so so wrong.
The best way to think of Hunter X Hunter is imagine that the story writer is constantly thinking up ways to change the rules or throw the audience for a surprise, because that’s what happens.
I watched the first episode of the series and was extremely bored because I thought I knew where the story was going. However, after I hit episodes 2 through 4, I became more hooked and was looking forward to how the story was going to change and where I would be taken next.
I will say that I am not a big fan of the main character or the designs of some of the other characters. Don’t let that turn you off of this series, because you’ll regret stopping early.
The plot: A young boy named Gon goes to live with his father’s friend when he is very little. His father leaves him in his female friend’s care and goes off to pursue adventures in the world.
Gon is a bit older and doesn’t remember much about his father, but he knows that his father was a member of the Hunter X Hunter organization. Gon decides one day that he is going to leave home and try to take the “exam” to become a full hunter.
That’s the basic plot for episode 1, but it doesn’t do the series justice at ALL because the story constantly evolves and changes. By the time you reach the end of the whole series, the anime has completely changed in atmosphere and genre. There is a certain part near the end of the series that caused me to become emotional in a way that no other anime has. Truly a remarkable show.
I knew I was hooked when I saw the main character Gon take part in the hunter exam with other supporting characters. There were many traps and puzzles that I was having fun guessing how they were going to overcome the challenges. The results always threw me for a loop.
Hunter X Hunter was originally a shonen manga that was first adapted into an anime, but didn’t finish. A remake anime was released which meant the anime was now in widescreen with better animation AND followed the manga’s story all the way through.
There are two versions of the anime, so be sure to watch the remake and not the original one.
Anime Opening: [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOPv86r4ZCM]
While these are not the only anime series I have watched in recent years, they are ones that I remember the most from the past few years.
Do you have an anime recommendation that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments and I’ll watch it.