As the summer anime lineup came and went, the fall lineup has already begun. Last season had some strong standouts, like Berserk, Mob Psycho 100, and Tales of Zestiria the X, and I’m seeing even more anime with standout potential for the Fall. As each series this season reaches into their second or third episodes, it’s a perfect time to release my Top 5 anime so you don’t get caught falling behind. Keep in mind, this list is in no particular order. Also be mindful that you can catch all of these shows primarily on Crunchyroll and Funimation, as well as Daisuke.
Looking visually reminiscent of the popular RPG series Persona, Occultic;Nine revolves around a teenager, Yuuta Gamon and his blog, which he uses to explain away the paranormal with science, only to have his exploits mystically backfire on him. Through his exploits, he soon meets a group who confronts him about the occult and paranormal, and before we know it we’re in full swing for some crazy season 10 X-Files type of murder-mystery.
There’s a little fun, a few bland tropes here and there, and one hell of an oppai (the biggest trope of all). It’s my hope that the plot isn’t so simplistic that it’s going to debase itself with fan service shots and jokes at the expense of our busty heroine. After all, the big-boobed characters always seem to be the dumbest characters, and as much as I love me some quirky, spunky characters, it’d be nice every once in a while if a program decided to break molds and do something unique (however doubtful). The show has placed some juicy little threads within its first episode and I’ll assume for the better that they go somewhere. By the end of the first episode, you’ll be left with loads of questions. We’ll have to wait a few weeks to see it all goes.
I really hope Funimation picks this one up for a dubbing treatment soon, if only for the simple reason that if you blink you just missed two sentences of subtitles. There are shows like FMA and Bebop where the dubs were so excellent I never bothered to watch them subbed. However, this program needs dubs just so I can keep up with what’s happening. The characters talk so fast that viewers don’t get enough time to properly soak in the stunning visuals and read along at a natural pace, which does itself a disservice, and I don’t want to bother rewinding to get the gist of the story, because that ruins the flow even more. The anime is very pretty with colorful backgrounds, starkly contrasted characters; something very reminiscent of the Monogatari series. it’s jsut a shame you can hardly focus on any of it. At least Monogatari never pretended to be something it wasn’t, but it’s still too early to judge Occultic;Nine. I’ll hold out hope for the anxious title.
If you’re looking for something that has a mix of Lord of the Rings, Samurai Deeper Kyo, The Witcher, and maybe even the plot to Assassin’s Creed (but better?), Drifters may be right up your alley. It’s no secret that the Tokugawa and Edo periods in Japan have been highly romanticized in anime to the point where it’s been exhausted, but for some reason we never tire of these references. Here again we find our protagonist, Toyohisa, running rampant with sword in hand through the Battle of Sekigahara, one of the most decisive battles ever fought in History, and the catalyst for the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
After getting damaged pretty badly, Toyohisa slumps away from the battlefield only to be greeted by a long white hallway and a receptionist for warriors sitting in the middle of it. The receptionist asks him to pass through one of the many doors in the corridor, and await to be seated. From there he’s transported to another world where other highly-skilled and battle-hardened warriors known as Drifters await his arrival. The only problem is that he’s still bleeding out from his wounds. It’s like being at the hospital, but having to travel to distant worlds in order to wait in a long line to get proper treatment… so yeah, I guess it’s pretty much 100% like being at a hospital. With dark, contrasting character outlines that reminded me of the hardcore action scenes from Gurren Lagann, or My Hero Academia to highlight a recent show, Drifters seems like the promising action thriller for the season. Personally, the first episode felt a bit slow, but I’m holding out hope that the plot begins to develop quicker than it’s letting on.
Ugh, usually I tend to stay away from blatant fan service anime. Recent exceptions included Gate and Kill la Kill, and really it’s just KLK that’s blatant fan service. At least Gate only played down tired harem tropes, and 900 year old lolicon goddesses. Keijo, however, at least justifies its use of the over-sexualized one-piece swimsuits in the winner-takes-all sport of Keijo or; the Art of tossing your opponent into water using only your breasts and buttocks. Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, some perverted artist decides to break the mold with a firm butt chop to the face.
As it goes with most anime, this one is also based off a manga. However, without knowing how the manga begins, Keijo sort of starts in what I’d consider the middle of the beginning of the story. In the first episode, we don’t really get to know any of the characters, and we’re literally thrust into senseless booty action. Big. Senseless. Booty. And Action. In comparison, for those that are familiar with My Hero Academia, we’re treated to a few episodes of our primary characters in a regular school setting just before they begin their exploits at the Hero Academy. Keijo simply starts at the enrollment phase of the Keijo Academy, skips what we’d normally call an introductory episode, and dives right into the abilities/super powers episode. Save for some of the characters names, and some not so subtle action sequences that tell us which characters are important, we don’t really know much about these characters, so the first episode comes off as very superficial. I’m hoping the plot shapes up as nicely as our titular characters, otherwise this series will get butt-slapped back into the deep end.
Ridiculously stupid looking hair is no longer reserved for card fight anime anymore. I’ve never been one for sports anime, with Kuroko’s Basketball being the only one I’ve ever really seen. All Out!! makes its mark as the second on my list, and respectfully so. Like most high school anime, this one begins on the first day of school, where 1st year students Gion and Iwashimizu meet under a thematic bully scenario. From there, both take up an interest in Rugby, and then the exploits really take off.
What I really like about this anime is the sense of camaraderie, the natural flow of the story thus far, and I really love the different body types, many of which are rarely seen in other anime without being some sort of joke – look at Keijo and Occultic;Nine. In fact, the series highlights how people of different body types actually have a natural benefit, at least within the spectrum of rugby, where “anyone can be the star”. If you’re looking for a fun sports anime with a slice of life vibe and a unique and positive perspective on body representation, check it out.
Izetta: The last Witch