Anime is a broad spectrum of genres, art styles and an infinite number of variables, which makes each one unique. Traversing this sea of content can be daunting, as one that frequents this ocean, I feel that I know at least a little of the content and what it holds. Exploring anime by genre is a great way to discover a lot about what you like and really nail down what type of anime you enjoy the most.
In this article we will explore some of the best content you can find in the following categories:
- Old School
- Slice of Life
Remember that the options on this list are purely based on opinion and what I have personally seen. There are innumerable animes out there and the best ones boil down to an individual preference. So, without further ado, here are a few animes I have selected as top of their class.
Old School Animes
This might not be the ticket for everyone. Older anime tend to have a style all their own which is decidedly not the clean cut and pretty style that we know in modern anime. But the charm and humour are still evident in these anime classics. There is something fun and interesting about the various styles you discover in old school anime.
I know that I am a sucker for pretty animation, but modern anime is certainly more beautiful. But sometimes the way an anime looks is a moot point. Sometimes the characters and story outshine the way the anime looks. Below I have selected a few old school animes which I have found to be exemplary in this category.
This long-running anime is an old classic and one of the few I found to have a satisfying ending. The story centers around a young girl who falls down a well and obviously into feudal Japan where she finds herself mixed up in a much older world still rampant with demons. She frees a half demon named Inu Yasha and goes on a quest to find the many shards of an ancient jewel.
This anime is full of adventure and comedy. It is a fantastic mix of serious, comedy and romance. The big question about this anime being: Is Inu Yasha complete? Sadly, it is not fully completed as the show was cancelled after over 100 episodes so that the Manga could get ahead. But personally, I found that the anime ending was satisfactory and I loved the end they cobbled together.
First things first, this anime is not for children. It has mild nudity, dark and gritty themes and is said to be an adult anime. But, if you are not prudish, then this is a rather great anime. The story is fantastic and the characters are well created.
The story centers around a front line journalist back from the war and how he stumbles across an underground ‘playground for the rich and famous’. Getting tangled up in this mess and gaining supernatural powers leaves the main character in quite a pickle. But that is what makes a good anime. . Is Speed Grapher a good anime? In my opinion, it is without a doubt a great anime. The dark and gritty themes, characters and story telling are just a few things that make this anime fantastic. I would highly recommend this anime
A lot of people that know of this anime have one core question on their lips. Is Berserk a good anime? I would say yes. The animation style in both the series and the film trilogy is beautiful and striking. The story itself is interesting to follow, once again with that dark and gritty undertone which makes it unsuitable for children.
This story is about a lone warrior named Guts who ends up joining an infamous band of mercenaries led by Griffith. The story takes place over several years, in which time they two grow close. As Griffith gets closer to his dream of fame and wealth, I personally enjoyed the trilogy more than the series, but that is up for debate. If you have the time and are willing to sit through mild nudity and lots of blood and gore, this is a fantastic story to get into.
Vampire Hunter D
Vampires are always a winner, no matter the genre. Vampire Hunter D is an old classic. The art style is beautiful and something you do not see any more in anime. The more modern style having taken over in the 2000s. The story takes place in a bleak world harbouring the last surviving humans. With vampires and monsters having over run the world as they know it. It follows the story of a vampire hunter known only as D, who is part vampire himself. He is hired to track down an infamous vampire who kidnapped a local girl. There is plenty of action, monsters and drama in this anime if you are interested.
If you are interested in a great story and fabulous characters, this is a great anime to start with. Not only is the story fun and interesting, the animation style is also beautifully executed, making this anime a feat for the eyes.
The story centers around a band of bounty hunters who land on Mars in the year 2071, of course, chasing a massive cash reward. This anime follows the story of Spike Spiegel and his crew as they go after money and much more in a sci-fi universe.
Slice of Life
The next genre on the agenda is slice of life. This genre is essentially based on reality. It is the drama of everyday life with no bells and whistles. Although there can be instances where there are supernatural elements or other genres mixed within a slice of life. But at its core, these animes explore the everyday life of characters usually with relatable situations or content. It is exactly what it sounds like. Some might find this genre of anime boring, however the intricacies and complexities of life can make for excellent entertainment.
This section will explore slice of life animes which I thought were the most interesting and entertaining to watch. As always, there are many different opinions out there and this list is based on me and what I have watched. So without further ado, here are my top five slice of life anime.
When I think of ‘Slice of Life’, I think of this anime. It is touching and down to earth if a bit strange. The animation is beautiful with a kind of washed out watercolor look to it which I found charming. The characters are extraordinary people living their own busy lives and that is something I personally really enjoy about this anime. But, is Usagi Drop a good anime? In my opinion, it is more than good. It is fantastic and contains a beautiful story.
It starts with a middle-aged man who, through strange circumstances, comes to take in a child his family was going to send away. He takes this child home and cares for her. It is a simple story about this man raising a young girl on his own and dealing with the sudden burden of parenthood. This storytelling is beautiful and I found this an enrapturing anime to watch.
This anime was one I stumbled across and found to be rather splendid. It follows the story of a high school student who lives with his grandmother. He is not a particularly sociable person, but ends up making friends with a group of strange individuals.
Is Tsuri Tama worth watching? I would say it certainly is. It is fun, imaginative and impactful where it needs to be. I loved the animation style and the characters. I loved the way the characters interacted and the relationships formed. The strange fantasy element made this anime funny and interesting while still holding onto that slice of life feeling.
This anime was simple at its core and yet relatable for any artist needing to get away and find inspiration. The story follows a calligrapher who moves to an island away from the city to find himself and create his masterpiece. In essence, this anime is about him and his various interactions with the people of the island. Watching the character grow as a person and adapt to life in a new place is something most of us can relate to. I found Barakamon to be a funny and interesting anime all at the same time.
This has to be one of my all-time favourite animes. The animation and storytelling is simply superb, as is every film directed by Mamoru Hosoda. But the touching and simple story told of young love and the raising of two children which can change into wolves makes for a beautiful and fun story.
It centers around a young woman who meets a man in college and how she struggles to raise these two children who, like their father, can change into wolves. The struggles and situations are real and have such meaning behind them. I think that is what makes this anime so good. The realism mixed with fantasy is a perfect blend. For those of you who only know of the manga. Rest assured, there is indeed an anime for Wolf children and it was executed perfectly.
A Silent Voice
This was a relatively new anime on the scene but it quickly worked its way to the top for me. It is a fantastic and impactful story which is beautifully animated. The story centers around a child who bullies a deaf girl and how he deals with the guilt for what he did as he grows up. He feels that he needs to reconnect with this girl and make amends with her. The story is simple but beautiful and done.
I loved the characters and the realism of dealing with the guilt of doing bad things for the main character. The point of view following the bully was also a great touch. This anime is full of romance, drama and emotion. Overall, I would have given ‘A Silent Voice’ a 10/10.
Romance is an ever expanding genre when it comes to anime. I shared a few romance animes last week but there are always more. It is a popular genre and with little surprise. Watching a relationship blossom and seeing the characters overcome their differences is always a great form of entertainment. Especially if there is a little comedy thrown in there to make a rom com.
I have curated a few romance animes that I have found to be touching and amazing to watch. So, without further ado, here are my top five romance animes .
Spice & Wolf
This anime is both adorable and clever. It follows the story of a travelling merchant who helps a wolf deity escape a town she was tied to after the townspeople stopped believing in her. It tells the love story of a female deity and the merchant. This is a long and drawn out affair but it is punctuated with clever plots to make money along the way.
I loved the way their relationship grew over the course of the seasons. Is Spice and Wolf a good anime? I would certainly say so. It is charming and cute. Watching the plot unfold and the characters grow to love each other is amazing. Not to mention, the animation style is beautiful, which only helps the animes story shine all the better.
Hotarubi no Mori e
If you would like to enjoy a romance film, this is an interesting choice. It is not your conventional tale of love and strife. It follows the story of a demon and a girl. They become friends and as she grows up the pair start to have feelings for each other. This is a sweet yet tragic anime and one I couldn’t leave out of this list.
The art style is beautiful and intricate and the subtle story telling, I think, is amazing. Is Hotarubi no Mori e worth watching? I definitely think it is. It is a charming story with stunning animation and an unconventional romance story. I personally loved it and would highly recommend to anyone that they must watch it.
Say I Love You
This is a fantastic anime. The animation is stunning and the animation is beautifully done. Personally, I find female characters in anime to be irritating. However, the female protagonist in Say I Love You is strong and interesting to follow. This is a romance story between an outcast high school girl and a popular guy. It is your classic guy likes girl and sees more in her than their peers.
I loved the story and seeing everything unfold. The characters really grow into themselves and the love the main couple share is lovely to see develop. For those that watch this or those that already have. The big question is: Will there be a season 2 of Say I Love you? This is a little up in the air. If there is, it should be renewed for 2023 but at this point it seems unlikely that there will be another season of this brilliant anime. But keep your hopes up. There is still time.
If you are a fan of shounen ai, yaoi or boy love, this is a great anime. There are several seasons of Junjou Romantica, each one follows the story of a different couple all of whom are gay. It is a lovely and beautiful collection of stories. Showing characters’ relationships with their significant others or growing to accept themselves.
The animation style is beautiful. I always say this but it is always true. The colours and way the characters are drawn was really well done and appealing to me. Is Junjou Romantica a good anime? If you enjoy this genre, it is a funny and adorable series of romance stories. I enjoyed this anime when I watched it and I think if given the chance, you would like it too.
Ouran High School Host Club
This anime is a fantastic combination of humour and slow-burn romance. The characters are all lovable and unique in their own way. Each one catering to a stereotype. But it all makes sense when you find out that all these boys are part of a host club at a prestigious school. The story follows a girl who is mistaken for a boy and inducted into this host club in order to pay back a debt for a broken vase.
The baseline story is simplistic, but of course, the story gets crazy and funny and ridiculous. I loved this anime a great deal. When I reached the end, I was eager to find out if there was a season 2. Because this is the big question when it comes to this anime. Will there be season 2 of Ouran High School Host Club? The sad answer is no, there has been no indication of a second season and it has been years since it was released. But do not let this put you off watching this anime. It is fantastic and a good laugh. Definitely worth watching.
That is all I have time for this week. There are countless animes out there and hundreds more even in the genres I have covered today. When you are trapped in your own home, this is a great way to take up time. If you give any of these animes a chance you will be addicted in no time. It is interesting to watch how people’s opinions differ. After getting into anime, what you like may differ greatly in comparison to this very list.