Hi all! It’s time for our Winter Anime Update. Because of – [Don’t say the “C” word! – Ed.] … err, reasons? we had to be creative and adapt our last edition and came up with something a bit different from our normal ‘update’ format.

 

You can check it out here:

With the library back in business (we had an awesome Anime Arvo screening in July) we definitely have more titles on the way … but they just aren’t here yet. Sigh! So, in the meantime, we are going to do another list. This time, in no particular order, it’s my …

Top 5 anime I’ve been meaning to see for ages
(but still haven’t got around to yet!)

#5

A Silent Voice:
the movie
(2016)

A silent voice - the movie DVD cover

The first one up is an award winning feature film based on a manga of the same name. A Silent Voice is the story of an elementary school boy (Shoya) who starts bullying the new girl in class (Shoko) because she is deaf. As this continues and escalates his classmates turn on Shoya and he becomes a social outcast. A now older (and wiser?) Shoya, tormented by his past, decides he must see Shoko again to set things right. But is it too late … ?

Possibly I’ve been avoiding this one because it is apparently a bit of a heart-rending coming of age story that doesn’t pull any punches. I’ve been warned to pack a box of tissues for this gut-wrenching and emotional tearjerker.

 

#4

Higurashi
no Naku Koro ni
aka When They Cry
(2006)

This is a series I technically started watching when it came out, many years ago, but never got past the fourth episode (which concluded the first story mini-arc). The main reason at the time? It freaked the hell out of me!

“Keiichi has just moved to the quiet little village of Hinamizawa in the summer of 1983, and quickly becomes inseparable friends with schoolmates Rena, Mion, Satoko, and Rika. However, darkness lurks underneath the seemingly idyllic life they lead.” – Yeah, no kidding!

The narrative setup for this series is a little different: each 4-5 episode mini-arc tells a portion of the story, mainly from one character’s perspective. As more arcs are explored, more of the main story is exposed. Each arc will start with a fun, silly and cutesy, high school friends hanging out kind of episode. The next will introduce an element that is just a little off. Things start to get unsettling and go a bit wrong – filling you with an uneasy foreboding. The last episode will culminate in some kind of shockingly brutal and blood-curdling act of violence.

Note: apologies but I just couldn’t find a decent trailer for this title. What I did discover, however, is that a new ‘refresh’ of the series is being released in Sept/Oct … this year! That trailer gives a similar impression (watch to the very end) but please do try the original.

#3

Gintama
(2006-18)

Gin Tama

Based on one of the biggest manga in recent times – over 50 million copies sold – Gin Tama is a sprawling sci-fi, samurai, action comedy, with a healthy sprinkling of jokes blatantly parodying it’s contemporaries, genre clichés and a whole bunch more.

“In an era where aliens have invaded and taken over feudal Tokyo, an unemployed samurai finds work however he can.”

I don’t know how but I had been completely oblivious of this series’ existence until quite recently. Now I see it referenced everywhere. Scenes from it regularly show up in those 10 minute YouTube “funny stuff in anime” compilations, etc. and it looks hilarious.

So why aren’t I watching it already? The big stumbling block: it’s hard to start watching something when you realise it finally ended after an epic, twelve year run … and it’s a whopping 367 episodes in total!

Note: second apology! Found an awesome trailer this time. Ticked all the boxes: official trailer; extended, 3:35 minute long version; packed with hilarity. Problem: no English subtitle version! Anywhere! Here’s the first opening credits song instead …

#2

Violet Evergarden
(2018)

I had just finished a series (don’t remember which) and enjoyed it so much I did a bit of a genre search (don’t remember for what) hoping to find something similarly good. My search brought me across Violet Evergarden. The blurb reads:

“After four long years of conflict, The Great War has finally come to an end. Caught up in the bloodshed was Violet Evergarden, a young girl raised to be a deadly weapon on the battlefield. Hospitalized and maimed in a bloody skirmish during the War’s final leg, she was left with only words from the person she held dearest, but with no understanding of their meaning.”

Made by Kyoto Animation, renowned for producing high quality series with a focus on telling stories with strong emotional arcs and character development. Looks like another tearjerker!

#1

Carole & Tuesday
(2019)

Carole and Tuesday

Like most people, I don’t have a set process for deciding what to watch and I don’t follow or listen out for industry ‘buzz’. I just kind of wing it and hope I don’t miss anything awesome. I certainly don’t look at aspects like production pedigree – unless Studio Ghibli gets a mention, of course.

This title, however, is an exception. What stands out for me is two things: production by studio Bones and supervising director Shinichiro Watanabe – who, between them, have been behind some of my all time favourite series, such as: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Terror in Resonance, Noragami, Darker than Black, both Fullmetal Alchemist adaptations, Gosick, Mob Psycho 100, Space Dandy, My Hero Academia … and so on.

Carole & Tuesday is a sci-fi tale of aspiring musicians – “[orphaned] part-timer Carole meets rich girl Tuesday, and each realizes they’ve found the musical partner they need. Together, they just might make it.”

So there we are, my top 5 anime I’ve been meaning to see for ages (but still haven’t got around to yet!). What are the anime films or series you’ve always meant to watch but have somehow kept missing? Let us know in the comments. You never know, if we can get hold of it (assuming we don’t have it already) it may be the very excuse you need to come and check out what other titles you’ve been missing out on!