Updated: April 14, 2020 4:24:30 pm
With lockdown in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, people are finding it hard to cope with isolation and the mental health issues it brings with it. Social media is brimming with posts of people cooking new dishes, screenshots of video chat with friends and family, and queries of which show to watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime or any other streaming service.
With most of us trying out new things to keep the mind busy and motivated, it’s time to dive into a new genre of entertainment known as Anime — the Japanese term for animation. And before you jump to conclusion and say that we are talking about Japanese cartoon, let us clarify that Japanese cartoon and Anime are two different things (Anime fans get really offended by it) with the latter having characters with accurate body proportions reflecting the human body in reality.
Most of the anime shows are based on manga (Japanese comic) drawn by artists with each of them having their own distinct style of character designs. Each series commonly has multiple genres that range from Action, Adventure, and Comedy to Cyberpunk, Drama, Demon, Fantasy, Martial Arts, Romance, School Life, among others. So there is something for everyone.
It is time for you to try a new form of entertainment. We are recommending several apps where you can binge on anime series along with recommendations to get you started with the ride. We will not be talking about the Hentai (adult anime featuring pornographic elements), but some recommendations might include series with Ecchi (sexual themes) as their sub-genres so do not forget to look out for genre tag on a series before you start watching it with your parents or siblings.
Where to watch?
There are multiple options to stream anime series but some aren’t legal sources. The reason why there are so many illegal streaming sources is the lack of availability of authentic anime streaming services in India. We are listing down the legal sources that are also free.
Crunchyroll is one of the best places to watch Anime as it has a vast collection of series and stays up-to-date with the latest episodes of ongoing series. It is available on both Android and iOS as well as accessible at crunchyroll.com. The platform also offers paid premium plans providing an ad-free experience as well as access to full HD streams.
Anime Amaze is available on the Google Play Store where you can watch Subbed and Dubbed anime series without any worry. It hosts almost every anime series and stays up-to-date with the latest episodes as well. The app is not available for iOS and the streaming quality is not top-notch. Also, you have to bear with full-page ads at every step. There is also an option to buy the premium experience.
Anime Planet is another great source to stream anime titles. Although it sources content from Crunchyroll, Anime Planet offers a more engaging interface that is helpful when you are trying to find new titles to start watching.
Netflix (not free)
Aside from these sources, Netflix also hosts anime titles which is enough to get you started but since the library is too small, it is not the best place to watch Anime. Also, it’s not free.
What to watch?
There are so many good Anime titles that it is impossible to compile them in a list. However, we have made a list of anime shows from across the genre pool that you can mark as titles that should not be skipped. As you start watching you may prefer one genre over the other and the good news is— you will almost never run out of options to watch.
Death Note (mystery, psychological thriller, supernatural)
Death Note is a mind-boggling thriller ride of the battle of two minds, which will keep you stuck to your seat until you finish the first season of the anime. The story follows Light Yagami— a teen genius who happens to find a mysterious notebook— Death Note, which belonged to the Shinigami (God of Death) Ryuk, and grants him the ability to kill anyone whose name is written in its pages.
Light attempts to use the notebook to carry out a world-wide massacre of criminals to change the world and the Japanese police force’s attempt to end the reign of terror, led by L— an enigmatic international detective. (Note: There is a live-action adaption of series by Netflix but we’ll suggest you watch the original Anime instead).
Hunter X Hunter (adventure, fantasy, martial arts)
Hunter X Hunter is one of the finest anime series we have come across. Although a bit slow in the beginning, the show is spectacular and keeps you at the edge when it picks up the pace. The story follows a young boy who sets out to become a Hunter and find his father.
Attack on Titan (action, dark fantasy, post-apocalyptic)
Giant man-eating Titan roam the earth and the last remaining humans have confined themselves within the walls to save themselves, but that peace doesn’t last when a humongous Titan breaks the wall. The story follows Eren Yeager who wants to clean the earth of these Titans and discover the truth about the world. The anime is awaiting new season but the Manga (source material) has already revealed the truth behind Titans.
My Hero Academia (adventure, fantasy, superhero)
My Hero Academia is the story of a young boy Izuku Midoriya who is born without a super power in a world where super powers are the new normal and people call it Quirks. This Anime is filled with action, heart warming moments, and comedic moments. (The series is ongoing)
Promised Neverland (fantasy, horror)
Talking about the Promised Neverland will only spoil the anime. The show is very concise and revolves around three smartest kids in an orphanage. Once the trio discovers the horrifying truth about the seemingly perfect orphanage, they try to break free along with all the children.
Black Clover (adventure, fantasy)
In a world where magic defines everything two young boys Asta and Yuno set out to become the next Wizard King. At first, Black Clover looks like a blatant copy of Naruto but as the story forwards, it improves itself and transforms into a brilliant series. Black Clover symbolised the social status of the real world into the Wizard world where money represents one’s magical powers.
Demon Slayer (action, fantasy, comedy)
Set in an ancient Japan, the Demon Slayer impresses with its animation and chilling fight scenes. A family is attacked by demons leaving only two survivors— Tanjiro and his sister Nezuko, who has been turned into a demon herself. Tanjiro sets out to become a demon slayer to avenge his family and find a cure for his sister to turn her back to normal. (The series is ongoing)
Must watch titles
Naruto, Naruto Shippuden, Bleach, Fairy Tail, One Piece, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super are the must seen series of all time. Naruto and Naruto Shippuden are set in the world of Ninjas and their super coll Jutsus, Bleach is set in the world of Shinigami and after-life, Fairy Tail is set in the world of Magic where wizards and monsters are just everyday business, and Dragon Ball series needs no introduction. Other notable mentions include Parasyte, Seven Deadly Sins, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Mob Psycho 100, Sword Art Online, Fire Force, Tokyo Ghoul, Blue Exorcist, One Punch Man, and Soul Eater.
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