Anime Film & Television

Anime to Binge On, Part I

I recently found myself binging on the anime series One-Punch Man on Neon Alley over this past weekend because I couldn’t tear myself away from the screen and all the fighting, excitement and all-around anime beauty that was presented for my entertainment consumption. The amazing story that the anime tells coupled with some amazing visuals, off-the-wall sound design and amazing character development over the 12-episode run of the series drew me in – and there was no way I could tear myself away from the screen long enough to let me eyes and brain rest. I wanted to take it all in. I wanted to finish the story of Saitama and his quest to find an opponent worthy of his immense strength. I wanted to bask in the brilliant and vivid visuals that the series displayed. I want to know all about the characters Saitama, Genos, Tornado, and the characters that make up the Hero Association and others who populate the world of One-Punch Man. I wanted to take it all in and enjoy every minute of the series that I could. So, I sat down for a nearly 6-hour marathon of anime and didn’t get up until it was over. And man, what a finish it was.

With that in mind, however, One-Punch Man isn’t the only series that I have binged on over the years, especially since the advent of streaming media services. Sites and services like the Anime Network, Neon Alley on Hulu, Netflix, Crunchyroll, Funimation and others make it easy to delve into an anime series and get completely lost in the anime goodness that is presented to viewers. I’m not ashamed to admit that on perhaps two weekends a month I can go on an anime binge with my wife and kids (my oldest son in particular) checking out new series or old favorites available on these services. Which is much more efficient, inexpensive, and timely than the old way of having to collect each series as their VHS/DVD/Blu-ray releases came out. We’ll sit at home and enjoy the series as a whole (or in large parts for longer running series) and enjoy it as a family. And that is what got me thinking about what other anime series are worth binging on if you’re in the mood to do so.

So, between my wife, Desiree, and my three kids (Lily, Alex, and Kay), we’ve come up with a list of anime series that we feel are the most enjoyable to watch and binge on that is worth your time to do so. Most these are newer anime series (within the past decade) that we have enjoyed while some are older series that we still love and enjoy and watch time and time again because of the joy and value they still present as a series in whole. We hope you enjoy the list because we’re also working on a Part II to this as we couldn’t limit ourselves to just ten series and we have a few more (like 30 more) that we’ll present to you in the coming weeks.

Akame ga Kill

Produced by: Square Enix, TOHO Animation
Licensed by: Sentai Filmworks
Studio: White Fox
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Episodes: 24 23-minute episodes
Air dates: July 7 – December 14, 2014

I started watching Akame ga Kill on a whim while scrolling through the series list on Crunchyroll and I am glad that I did. I didn’t know what to think of the first episode at first as it started off rather blandly, but when everything started falling into place with the introduction of the Night Raid characters and the seriousness and violence of the series slowly started to come across in the series. With the introduction of characters like the Three Beasts, Esdeath, and then her team of Jaegers, it became apparent that there was more substance to the story than I had first imagined. And by the end of the series, as characters on both sides of the civil war taking place throughout the series begin to fall (at a rather alarming rate), you realized that no one is safe and the series ends on one of the grimmest of endings you could ever imagine. This is definitely an anime series that all anime enthusiasts should try and watch.

Attack on Titan, Season 1

AKA: Shingeki no Kyojin
Produced by: Production I.G, Dentsu, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Pony Canyon, Kodansha, Mad Box, Shingeki no Kyojin Team, Pony Canyon Enterprise
Licensed by: FUNimation Entertainment
Studio: Wit Studio
Genre(s): Action, Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 25 24-minute episodes
Air dates: April 7 – September 29, 2013

This series took the anime world by storm and dazzled fans with its mature story, gory visuals, and a soundtrack/OST that really captured the look and feel that was presented on screen. The dire situation that humanity was presented in for the series Attack on Titan certainly felt different from what other anime series had shown viewers before. And this series starts off fast and serious right from the get go and never really lets up as the series progresses; and you get just as many answers as you do questions which helps keep your interest in the story always on high. We would highly recommend this series to anime fans of all kinds as it shows just how to create a wonderful and interesting that would entertain all anime fans.

You should also check out the second season of Attack on Titan that has recently begun airing, continuing the story that left so many fans enthralled and excited.

 

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Bladeworks, Seasons 1 & 2

Produced by: Aniplex, Notes
Licensed by: Aniplex of America
Studio: ufotable
Genre(s): Action, Drama, Fantasy
Episodes: 12 28-minute episodes & 13 23-minute episodes
Air dates: October 12 – December 28, 2014 & April 5 – June 28, 2015

I was a fan of the first Fate/stay night anime series but it really left a lot to be desired. It introduced fans to a fantastical story about a long waged war for control of the legendary Holy Grail that would grant the victor their ultimate wish, but the way that the war was fought, in secret, with the use of Servants, heroic spirits taken from different points in time, that would do battle at the will of their Masters was an interesting story in its own right. But Unlimited Bladeworks certainly took everything that made the first series fun, left out some of the uninteresting bits, and really took the action and swordplay to a whole other level. Fast paced and engaging, this is one anime battle fans shouldn’t miss.

There is a film version of the Unlimited Bladeworks that was before the anime series, but because of its condensed nature it leaves a lot out that the anime series fills the viewer in on.

Highschool of the Dead

Produced by: Geneon Universal Entertainment, AT-X, Showgate
Licensed by: Sentai Filmworks
Studio: Madhouse
Genre(s): Action, Horror
Episodes: 12 24-minute episodes
Air dates: July 5 – September 20, 2010

I’ll admit that Highschool of the Dead first caught my attention because of the female character designs, but the story and zombie induced violence is what really sold me on the series. I admit that this series was a bit hard for my kids to watch when they were a bit younger but as they got older they really started to enjoy the series – especially after they began enjoying AMC’s The Walking Dead. Because of the quick action and gory and horrific death scenes shown throughout the series, this is a horror anime series that earned its praise. If you’re into the genres of action and horror, HotD is one series you should check out for yourself.

You can also check out the single episode OVA, Highschool of the Dead: Drifters of the Dead, which is a 16-minute short providing some more ecchi and fan service fun for the viewer.

I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying &
I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying: 2nd Thread

AKA: Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken & Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me
Produced by: Dax Production, Dream Creation
Licensed by: N/A
Studio: Seven
Genre(s): Comedy, Slice of Life
Episodes: 13 3-minute episodes & 13 3-minute episodes
Air dates: October 3 – December 25, 2014 & April 2 – June 25, 2014

Short, sweet, and hilarious is the best way to describe this series of short anime episodes that present the life of a married couple who couldn’t be more different from each other. One is a beautiful, career driven office worker and the other is the epitome of an otaku male. Yet, despite their differences, they are a beautiful couple whose differences highlight how great their relationship is… even if there are a few hiccups between them from time to time. With the entire series taking place at just over one hour in length, I highly recommend watching this from beginning to end to enjoy a wonderful and humorous slice of life. And if you’re married yourself, you can definitely relate to what the characters from I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying on a deeper level.

Kill la Kill

Produced by: Aniplex, Dentsu, Kadokawa Shoten, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Movic, Ultra Super Pictures, Lucent Pictures Entertainment
Licensed by: Aniplex of America
Studio: Trigger
Genre(s): Action, Comedy
Episodes: 24 24-minute episodes
Air dates: October 4, 2013 – March 28, 2014

Kill la Kill is definitely different from the other anime that studio Trigger has produced. There is very little in common between Little Witch Academia and Kill la Kill aside from the fact that they both deal with young girls in school. But whereas Academia is about friends, magic and comedic drama, Kill la Kill is all about battling, revenge and more than its fair share of fan service. But it does offer up an exceptionally interesting story for the viewer to follow, which is perfectly in line with what I expected from Trigger. Because of this, Kill la Kill is definitely an anime series worth investing your time in.

You can also check out the single episode OVA, Kill la Kill Special, which is a 27-minute episode providing some more high school battles for fans of the series.

One Punch Man

Produced by: TV Tokyo, Bandai Visual, Lantis, Asatsu DK, Banpresto, Good Smile Company, Shueisha, East Japan Marketing & Communications
Licensed by: VIZ Media
Studio: Madhouse
Genre(s): Action. Comedy
Episodes: 12 24-minute episodes
Air dates: October 5 – December 21, 2015

To say that I am high on One Punch Man right now is a bit of an understatement. The action, the comedy, those intense fight scenes…this anime series is damn near perfect and I can’t get enough of it. I am just about to rewatch the series with my two sons because they hear me talking about it all the time that they are now oh so curious to see what it is I am raving about. One Punch Man is definitely one of the craziest and best series to come out in the past few years and knows how to take the viewer on an adrenaline-fueled romp of battle after battle, even if the main character Saitama does bore of how easy each battle is for him.

As of right now, I’m really excited to see when the next season of One Punch Man will air as it has been announced but no definitive air date has been given.

Please Teacher &
Please Twins

AKA: Onegai Teacher & Onegai Twins
Produced by: Bandai Visual, Genco, Lantis
Licensed by: Nozomi Entertainment, Bandai Entertainment
Studio: Duame
Genre(s): Comedy, Harem, Romance
Episodes: 12 23-minute episodes & 12 25-minute episodes
Air dates: January 10 – March 28, 2002 & July 15 – October 14, 2003

Admittedly, I started watching this series because of the character designs for the main character of Onegai Teacher, Mizuho Kazami. There was just something so alluring about the way she was drawn that I was instantly attracted to it. As I watched the series, however, I became emotionally invested in the story between her and Kei Kusanagi, her love throughout the series. Because of the interest I had in Please Teacher, I was driven to watch the sequel, Please Twins, and became just as invested in that series as I was the first. Harem and fan service qualities aside, it really is a set of anime that is worth watching again and again.

If you’re a fan of these series, there are several OVAs and side-story episodes that you can check out that add a little more to the story, and a lot more ecchi fan service, for you to enjoy.

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

AKA: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Produced by: Aniplex, Mainichi Broadcasting System, Movic, Nitroplus, Madoka Partners, Houbunsha
Licensed by: Aniplex of America
Studio: Shaft
Genre(s): Magical Girl, Thriller
Episodes: 12 24-minute episodes
Air dates: January 7 – April 22, 2011

Take everything you know about the magical girl genre in anime and turn it on its head and you start to get the slightest inkling of what Puella Magi Madoka Magica is about. It certainly starts off innocent enough but man, do things turn in a hurry. You don’t even get past the first set of episodes when it becomes clear as day that this series is not what you were expecting. Dark, grim and full of emotional twist, this series will make you hurt and cry but entertain you in ways you never thought a magical girl series would ever do.

Because of the popularity of the series, several Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime films have been produced, adding to the lore of the series and even expanding a bit more as to what the characters have to deal with in their devilish deals with Kyuubey.

 

Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World

AKA: Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
Produced by: TV Tokyo, Media Factory, Kadokawa Shoten, AT-X, Magic Capsule, Memory-Tech, Hakuhodo DY Music & Pictures
Licensed by: N/A
Studio: White Fox
Genre(s): Fantasy, Thriller
Episodes: 25 25-minute episodes
Air dates: April 4 – September 19, 2016

To be honest, I started watching Re:Zero on a whim because I started hearing people talk about the character of Rem on all the message boards I was going on. Then I became attracted to the character of Rem after seeing her (yes, I still am attracted to some anime characters) and I became interested in watching the series. I became so interested in the story and presentation of Re:Zero that I ended up watching the series in just over three sittings. Watching and understanding how the story would unfold, especially given Subaru Natsuki’s “Return By Death” power, and how it takes a toll on him was one of the more interesting elements in any anime series I have ever seen.

There is a Chibi style comedic follow up to Re:Zero but personally I am not a fan of this side series. But if you want to check it out for yourself I say go for it. I just feel it takes away from the entertainment value of the series.

If you like this list, or don’t agree with what we had to say here, be sure to comment below and share your thoughts with us – we’d like to hear what you have to say. And be sure to follow geekXpop here, on Facebook, on Twitter and on Instagram.

One thought on “Anime to Binge On, Part I”

  1. Nice list, I have seen them all btw, by watching the titles you choose for this list I believe I get what kind of anime you like so I have some anime to suggest you to watch in case you haven’t seen them yet:

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Sidonia no Kishi
    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
    Bokura no
    Elfen Lied
    Gantz
    Saishuu Heiki Kanojo
    Terra Formars
    Gokukoku no Brynhildr
    Shinsekai yori

    I didn’t write the obvious one like FMA, Code Geass, Evangelion, Berserk, because I’m sure you have watch those already, anyway check them out & if there is anything you haven’t seen yet give it & try & tell me if you found anything you liked.

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