10 Short Anime Reviews that will make you say “That guy needs to get a life.” #5 will blow your mind!

by Jackson Voigt

As many of you may know Anime is “an animated title produced in Japan”. Anime are known for being very over the top with their emotions and reactions, and are drawn in a specific style in which characters have large eyes and often crazy colored hair. Some really popular anime that you may have heard are pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Naruto, One Piece, Attack on Titan, Death Note, and Sailor Moon.

Anyway, I have been addicted to anime for about the past year. In that time I have managed to watch 55 anime titles (probably will be about 58 by the end of the week as a lot of currently airing shows finish up). That is about 838 episodes and about 13 days of anime (here is my anime list for those who care: https://myanimelist.net/animelist/cjvoigt). In that time it is safe to say I have chose some of my favorite anime titles. Below, I am going to share my top 10 (in order) in hopes that you will take the time to watch at least some of them.

Disclaimer: These are MY favorite anime. If your favorite anime don’t make the list that does not mean they are bad, just not my favorite.

10. Toradora!
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/4224/Toradora
Available on: Hulu, Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Romance, Comedy, Drama
Number of episodes: 25
My Rating: 8/10

Plot Description: Ryuuji Takasu is a gentle high school student with a love for housework; but in contrast to his kind nature, he has an intimidating face that often gets him labeled as a delinquent. On the other hand is Taiga Aisaka, a small, doll-like student, who is anything but a cute and fragile girl. Equipped with a wooden katana and feisty personality, Taiga is known throughout the school as the “Palmtop Tiger.” One day, an embarrassing mistake causes the two students to cross paths. Ryuuji discovers that Taiga actually has a sweet side: she has a crush on the popular vice president, Yuusaku Kitamura, who happens to be his best friend. But things only get crazier when Ryuuji reveals that he has a crush on Minori Kushieda—Taiga’s best friend! Toradora! is a romantic comedy that follows this odd duo as they embark on a quest to help each other with their respective crushes, forming an unlikely alliance in the process.

My Review: Toradora! For me was a really enjoyable watch. It was a great mixes romance, comedy, and drama almost perfectly so you never get too much of one. I also love the characters. Each one really seems to have their own real personality that is enjoyable to watch. It’s also very fun to see each of the characters have significant and meaningful character growth throughout the series. Overall, I think it’s a fun easy watch that will surprise you with the amount of character depth it is able to bring.

9. Flip Flappers
MyAnimeList Link:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/32979/Flip_Flappers
Available on: Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Action, Adventure, Sci-Fie, Comedy
Anime Genre: Magical Girl, Yuri-esque
Number of episodes: 13
My Rating: 9/10

Plot Description: Cocona is an average middle schooler living with her grandmother. And she who has yet to decide a goal to strive for, soon met a strange girl named Papika who invites her to an organization called Flip Flap. Dragged along by the energetic stranger, Cocona finds herself in the world of Pure Illusion—a bizarre alternate dimension—helping Papika look for crystal shards. Upon completing their mission, Papika and Cocona are sent to yet another world in Pure Illusion. As a dangerous creature besets them, the girls use their crystals to transform into magical girls: Cocona into Pure Blade, and Papika into Pure Barrier. But as they try to defeat the creature before them, three others with powers from a rival organization enter the fray and slay the creature, taking with them a fragment left behind from its body. Afterward, the girls realize that to stand a chance against their rivals and the creatures in Pure Illusion, they must learn to work together and synchronize their feelings in order to transform more effectively.

My Review: It’s hard to describe why I like Flip Flappers so much. In honesty, I found this show to be completely immersive while watching. You follow these two girls who seem to be polar opposites as the learn to become friends and work together, but it is much more than that. Each episode brings you to a completely different world, different scenery, different people and creatures, and a different atmosphere. Each one of these worlds means something and brings out feelings, emotions, and character development, and on top of that each world is drawn beautifully and executed perfectly. At the same time as you are experiencing that, you are trying to figure out how the heck they get to these worlds and what is the bigger picture. The weak part of the show is the ending which seemed a bit rushed (mostly because the director for the beginning quit). Overall, I think Flip Flappers a unique experience in which you get to explore new worlds and find the power of friendship.

8. K-on! (Seasons 1 and 2)
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/5680/K-On (season 1)
Available on: Hulu
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Sit-Com
Anime Genre: Slice of Life
Number of episodes: S1: 13, S2: 25
My Rating: 8/10

Plot Description: Hirasawa Yui, a young, carefree girl entering high school, has her imagination instantly captured when she sees a poster advertising the “Light Music Club.” Being the carefree girl that she is, she quickly signs up; however, Yui has a problem, she is unable to play an instrument. When Yui goes to the clubroom to explain, she’s greeted by the other members: Ritsu, Mio, and Tsumugi. Although disheartened at Yui’s lack of musical know-how, they still try to convince her to stay to prevent the club’s disbandment. After playing Yui a short piece which re-ignites her imagination, they succeed in keeping their new member and guitarist. Along with the tasks of school and homework, Yui begins to learn the guitar with the help of the other band members, experiencing many mishaps along the way. However, with the school festival drawing near and Yui getting stuck with her practice, will the Light Music Club be ready in time for their debut?

My Review: I once called K-On! The seinfeld of anime. By that I mean it is a comedy show about nothing (except for life). K-On! Focuses on 5 highschool girls who are part of the light music club, which is basically just a band. Each episode focuses on simple events that happen to the light music club as they go on the journey through highschool. What I think is great about K-On! Is that the show really seems to be a look into what highschool is really like for japanese girls (although I’m no expert on that). It’s unique in that it’s not about the girls trying to impress boys, being obsessed with shopping or any other stereotype. It is really just a show about girls having fun and growing up. You really get to focus on who they are as people and the relationships they have with their friends. I don’t think I have ever seen a western show like it. Overall, K-On! Is a super fun relaxing watch, it will always put a smile on your face. I really recommend you give it a try.

7. Steins;Gate
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/9253/Steins_Gate
Available on: Hulu
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Sci-Fi, Thriller
Number of episodes: 24
My Rating: 10/10

Plot Description: The self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe rents out a room in a rickety old building in Akihabara, where he indulges himself in his hobby of inventing prospective “future gadgets” with fellow lab members: Mayuri Shiina, his air-headed childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a perverted hacker nicknamed “Daru.” The three pass the time by tinkering with their most promising contraption yet, a machine dubbed the “Phone Microwave,” which performs the strange function of morphing bananas into piles of green gel. Though miraculous in itself, the phenomenon doesn’t provide anything concrete in Okabe’s search for a scientific breakthrough; that is, until the lab members are spurred into action by a string of mysterious happenings before stumbling upon an unexpected success—the Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history. Adapted from the critically acclaimed visual novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus, Steins;Gate takes Okabe through the depths of scientific theory and practicality. Forced across the diverging threads of past and present, Okabe must shoulder the burdens that come with holding the key to the realm of time.

My Review: Steins;Gate is hard to explain. It is about a crazy mad scientist who manages to time travel. I don’t know what to say about it other than this show is AMAZING. The first 12 or so episodes can be pretty slow for some people they are very much about setting up the characters and the world, and the “science”, so that when episode 13 hits they don’t have to explain how all of the crazy things make sense. I left every episode of the second half saying “What the **** is going on?!” it was very enjoyable. There is a dubbed version of this show, but I recommend watching the sub as the voice actor for the main character is incredible. Overall, if you are interested in a wild ride through time. Watch Steins;Gate.

6. Kill La Kill
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/18679/Kill_la_Kill
Available on: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre: Action, Comedy, School, Super Power
Number of episodes: 24
My Rating: 9/10

My Description: After the murder of her father, Ryuuko Matoi has been wandering the land in search of his killer. Following her only lead—the missing half of his invention, the Scissor Blade—she arrives at the prestigious Honnouji Academy, a high school unlike any other. The academy is ruled by the imposing and cold-hearted student council president Satsuki Kiryuuin alongside her powerful underlings, the Elite Four. In the school’s brutally competitive hierarchy, Satsuki bestows upon those at the top special clothes called “Goku Uniforms,” which grant the wearer unique superhuman abilities. Thoroughly beaten in a fight against one of the students in uniform, Ryuuko retreats to her razed home where she stumbles across Senketsu, a rare and sentient “Kamui,” or God Clothes. After coming into contact with Ryuuko’s blood, Senketsu awakens, latching onto her and providing her with immense power. Now, armed with Senketsu and the Scissor Blade, Ryuuko makes a stand against the Elite Four, hoping to reach Satsuki and uncover the culprit behind her father’s murder once and for all.

My Review: Kill La Kill is very simply the craziest show I have ever watched. Everything is over the top, from the characters, to the school, to the town, to the weapons, and the clothes. Basically, it is about Ryuuko a badass female who is out to get revenge for the death of her father, but to get there she has to fight all of the school’s leaders who are empowered by special clothes. I love everything about this show. The fight scenes are incredible. They are huge epic and a just a tad bloody. 😉 The comedy is insane. They really turn everything up to 11. Ryuuko’s powerful clothing basically transforms into a strippers outfit when she fights, but its great. Did I mention her clothes talks too? Basically, Kill La Kill presents and absolutely over the top world while still maintaining a good amount of actual plot, and character development. It is an insane ride and I might not recommend it for your first anime, but it is well worth a watch. P.S. apparently it is also very heavy on japanese historical symbolism. So much so that someone is writing a whole book on the subject.

5. Little Witch Academia
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/33489/Little_Witch_Academia_TV
Available on: Netflix (TV Show not released yet)
Type: TV Show (and short films)
Genre:  Adventure, Comedy, Magic, Fantasy, School
Anime Genre: Slice of Life, Magical Girl
Number of episodes: 25 + 2 shorts
My Rating: 9/10

My Description: Atsuko Kagari is an ordinary girl who joins the renowned witch academy for witch girls, Luna Nova Academy. When she was younger, she went to Magical Festa, a magic show hosted by a witch named Shiny Chariot. Atsuko was so mesmerized and inspired by Shiny Chariot’s performance that she dreamed to someday be a “cool” witch like her. This young and impressionable Atsuko takes Shiny Chariot’s words as her own motto: “Never forget, a believing heart is your magic.“

My Review: Little Witch Academia is the Harry Potter of anime. I mean literally the show is about a young girl who goes off to magic school. There is tension about “pure” witches vs “mudblood” witches and there is even a draco malfoy type character. Honestly, this show is all about it’s characters. Each one is unique and funny and great in their own way. I don’t know how to explain in fully. Akko, the main character, is probably my favorite character ever. She ball of passion and excitement which means she is also, unfocused, hard-headed, and just a little bit crazy. At the same time, she suffers from a bit of self-confidence issues (although she hardly shows it) and really must find herself throughout the show. On screen she is simultaneously cute, funny, and sad. It is amazing. Along with amazing characters, the show is really filling out the world of LWA with lots of new places, people and things. On top of that this show has some of the best animation I have seen. It is smooth, and puts out this really warm fun, cartoony vibe. It’s a pleasure to watch. Now there are two short films for LWA on Netflix now, but the show has just aired it’s 12th episode and those should be going up soonish. If you can’t wait for those, I may or may not have the episodes on my computer to give you ;). Overall, LWA is a really fun show to watch. It warm and colorful and the characters are so fun. I HIGHLY recommend it.

4. Your Name
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/32281/Kimi_no_Na_wa
Available on: In theatres April 7th
Type: Movie
Genre:  Romance, Comedy, Drama
My Rating: 10/10

My Description: Mitsuha Miyamizu, a high school girl, yearns to live the life of a boy in the bustling city of Tokyo—a dream that stands in stark contrast to her present life in the countryside. Meanwhile in the city, Taki Tachibana lives a busy life as a high school student while juggling his part-time job and hopes for a future in architecture. One day, Mitsuha awakens in a room that is not her own and suddenly finds herself living the dream life in Tokyo—but in Taki’s body! Elsewhere, Taki finds himself living Mitsuha’s life in the humble countryside. In pursuit of an answer to this strange phenomenon, they begin to search for one another. Kimi no Na wa. revolves around Mitsuha and Taki’s actions, which begin to have a dramatic impact on each other’s lives, weaving them into a fabric held together by fate and circumstance.

My Review: Your Name became the number 1 movie in Japan ever last year and in my opinion it deserves it. This film is at face value about a girl and boy switching places, but it becomes so much more than that. It becomes about them finding each other and working together through the connection they have formed over time. It is exciting, heartbreaking, funny, fun, and beautiful all at the same time. It’s art is top notch and the story is great. I can’t really explain much more without giving away a lot of the plot, so I will just say that you should go watch it when it comes out. It’s not in Ames but it is in Des Moines, but seriously it is SOOOOOOOO good. Please go watch.

3. Cowboy Bebop
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/1/Cowboy_Bebop
Available on: Hulu, Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Action, Sci-Fi, Adventure, Space, Comedy, Drama
Number of episodes: 26
My Rating: 9/10

Plot Description: In the year 2071, humanity has colonized several of the planets and moons of the solar system leaving the now uninhabitable surface of planet Earth behind. The Inter Solar System Police attempts to keep peace in the galaxy, aided in part by outlaw bounty hunters, referred to as “Cowboys”. The ragtag team aboard the spaceship Bebop are two such individuals. Mellow and carefree Spike Spiegel is balanced by his boisterous, pragmatic partner Jet Black as the pair makes a living chasing bounties and collecting rewards. Thrown off course by the addition of new members that they meet in their travels—Ein, a genetically engineered, highly intelligent Welsh Corgi; femme fatale Faye Valentine, an enigmatic trickster with memory loss; and the strange computer whiz kid Edward Wong—the crew embarks on thrilling adventures that unravel each member’s dark and mysterious past little by little. Well-balanced with high density action and light-hearted comedy, Cowboy Bebop is a space Western classic and an homage to the smooth and improvised music it is named after.

My Review: Cowboy Bebop is simply put a classic space western. It follows Spike a super cool take no crap from no one bounty hunter and his friends, Jet, Faye, and Max as they travel through the solar system chasing bad guys. Each episode has a new song or type of music associated with it. The soundtrack is one of the best I have heard for any tv show western or anime. Using that Cowboy Bebop presents a cool jazzy vibe to present their 2071 world in. The show doesn’t have a ton of overarching plot, but each episode sublty brings with it a lot of character development and world building. It is a really smooth, interesting and uniques show. Overall, I recommend you watch because of the unique vibe that Cowboy Bebop brings to an action sci-fi show. Also, this was one of the first popular anime in the west and was aired on Toonami.

2. Shirobako
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/25835/Shirobako
Available on: Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Comedy, Drama
Anime Genre: Slice of Life
Number of episodes: 24
My Rating: 10/10

My Description: Shirobako begins with the five members of the Kaminoyama High School animation club all making a pledge to work hard on their very first amateur production and make it into a success. After showing it to an audience at a culture festival, that pledge turned into a huge dream—to move to Tokyo, get jobs in the anime industry and one day join hands to create something amazing. Fast forward two and a half years and two of those members, Aoi Miyamori and Ema Yasuhara, have made their dreams into reality by landing jobs at a famous production company called Musashino Animation. Everything seems perfect at first. However, as the girls slowly discover, the animation industry is a bit tougher than they had imagined. Who said making your dream come true was easy?

My Review: Shirobako is anime about the making of anime. It focuses on 5 girls who have a collective dream of making an anime together (Wow that sounds super cliche). Really what you get though is a deep look inside how real anime are made. Each of those 5 girls works on a different aspect of anime, so that you get an inside look on pretty much everything that goes into the show you are watching. Also, the show is beautifully drawn and in pretty much every episode you get at least one scene with completely different style of drawing just to show you how cool the animators are. Along with that there are TONS of reference to actual people who work in anime. Pretty much every character other than the 5 girls is based on a real person who works in anime. Finally, with all the other cool stuff. You actually get 5 really fun, very realistic, characters that you are always cheering for throughout the show. It is pretty much everything you could want in an anime about making anime. PLEASE WATCH.

1. Your Lie in April
MyAnimeListLink:
https://myanimelist.net/anime/23273/Shigatsu_wa_Kimi_no_Uso
Available on: Netflix, Hulu, Crunchyroll
Type: TV Show
Genre:  Drama, Romance, Music, School, Comedy
Number of episodes: 22
My Rating: 10/10

My Description: Music accompanies the path of the human metronome, the prodigious pianist Kousei Arima. But after the passing of his mother, Saki Arima, Kousei falls into a downward spiral, rendering him unable to hear the sound of his own piano. Two years later, Kousei still avoids the piano, leaving behind his admirers and rivals, and lives a colorless life alongside his friends Tsubaki Sawabe and Ryouta Watari. However, everything changes when he meets a beautiful violinist, Kaori Miyazono, who stirs up his world and sets him on a journey to face music again. Based on the manga series of the same name, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso approaches the story of Kousei’s recovery as he discovers that music is more than playing each note perfectly, and a single melody can bring in the fresh spring air of April.

My Review: Your lie in April is not only my favorite anime it is my favorite show of all time. It’s not perfect by any means. It can be very melodramatic and unrealistic, but it really spoke to me. The show is really all about Kousei, the main character, getting over the death of his mother using music. Each episode is another step in Kousei takes to overcome his grief. And sometimes he is set back, but he gets back up and keeps going and finds new inspiration. As someone who has really never had to deal with the death of a loved one this show really found a way to make feel Kousei’s pain and suffering. It made me cry and inspired me to start learning how to play piano for myself. Overall, I think that if you can get past the melodrama in this show that it is a beautiful story about dealing with grief, and I highly recommend you watch it.

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