Previously, on the first part of this article:
"These were just the first 6 anime in a two-part list full of spiky hair, gigantic eyes, and senpais failing to notice you. The remaining 7 will be featured at a later date, but unlike most of these cartoons, this piece won't end in a cliffhanger.
... Or will it?"
And now, the
final seven anime...
7. BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (2004)
If you ever thought of starting a band with your friends, here's a word of advice: "don't".
Not only do one in hundreds of bands become famous, but the chances of your friendships remaining intact throughout the first day of practice are about as high as the ceiling of the garage that you're playing in.
Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad shows that oftentimes, the drama and offstage conflicts in a group aren't worth all the money in the world... but it sure can be fun.
When Yukio Tanaka saves a Frankenstein-looking dog belonging to upcoming musician Ryusuke Minami, he becomes inspired by the power of rock to learn the guitar. After discovering that becoming a rock god requires more than an expert rating in Guitar Hero, Yukio eventually join's Ryusuke's band and becomes its lead singer (probably because the position usually doesn't require a lot of musical talent).
spanned 26 episodes and centers on trials almost every real life band goes
through, instead of your usual "ugly monsters and giant swords" cartoon.
8. Rave Master (2001)
Speaking of ugly monsters and giant swords, this anime had both in abundance.
Based on the first 12 volumes of the manga with the same name, Rave Master sets itself apart from most other shonen anime by providing likeable characters who aren't comprised solely of male adolescents with oversized weaponry.
Abandoning his life on Garage Island, Haru Glory embarks on a journey with Plue (a miniature snowman with a diamond-hard nose) and an amnesiac girl called Elie in order to rid the world of the Dark Bring, magical stones with evil powers. Using a medieval sword powered by likewise magical rocks, Haru takes on the mantle of Rave Master and searches for the missing Rave stones which allow his weapon transform from a searing-hot variant (great for roasting marshmallows) to a water sword that comes in useful during the summer heat.
Along the way he comes across unlikely allies, discovers more about Elie's past, and eventually reunites with his deadbeat dad.
This was one of
the first anime I watched that didn't involve electric rats zapping one another
and was a forgiving gateway into darker, more serious shows. It also starred a
female protagonist who wasn't just set to the sidelines but was essential to
the entire story.
9. Gensomaden Saiyuki (2000)
Now for something completely different: anti-heroes!
Most of the anime on this list involve characters who become famous or save the world, but we all know that real life isn't like that. More often than not, people can be cruel, selfish, sadistic individuals who were made so by other buttholes who were mean to them.
Gensomaden Saiyuki stars four unlikely allies who set out to India to stop the resurrection of a powerful ox demon. In a world where humans and demons coexist, it's up to the gun-totting monk Sanzo, the less famous, non-Super Saiyan Son Goku, the half-demon Gojyo, and the human-turned-demon Hakkai to keep the peace while dealing with both external and internal demons.
The 50 episodes incorporate
elements of Chinese mythology such as demons, gods, and deities, which is a
nice change from traditional Japanese folklore that is more common in anime.
But if that wasn't enough to get your attention, this was also one of those
shows that made you question the protagonists' sexuality, since the opening
titles featured the heroes in rather seductive poses and wearing shirts with
10. Vandread (2000)
On the other end of this sausage fest (no sexual pun intended) is Vandread, a robot-merging anime with a female-dominant cast.
In this universe, males and females live on separate planets and are at odds with each other; taking gender wars to a literal level. So when Hibiki, Duelo, and Bart, three males who are caught in the crossfire between two warships, are warped to the edge of the galaxy with an all-female ship, it becomes everyone's mission to get back to their respective home planets without murdering their captives.
On their quest back home, the two genders find out more about each other and come to realize that working together is much more beneficial than worrying about their different body parts. Though Duelo and Bart become competent crew members, it's Hibiki who forms the strongest bonds with three of the female pilots; seeing as his robot literally merges with their specific mechs.
Majority of the
26 episodes involved robot fights and light comedy, but the selling point was
the romance between Hibiki and Dita, one of the female pilots. Fan service also
wasn't lost in this anime, as it opened my 10-year-old eyes to the fact that
the Japanese always find a way to put a staggering amount of crazy into
everything that they do.
11. Detective Conan/ Case Closed (1996)
Also known as Scooby-Doo for adults, this is the only show on this list that is still ongoing up to this day. With over 800 episodes, Detective Conan plays exactly like those five meddling hippies and their addicted dog; albeit with a more serious tone and less Scooby Snacks.
Shinichi Kudo is a teenage detective who solves crimes alongside the police, but when members of a gang called the Black Organization beat him up and force-feed him a mysterious roofie, he turns into a child with a penchant for blue suits and bowties. After adopting the name Conan Edogawa, he stays with his childhood friend (and love interest) Ran Mouri and her bumbling detective father while finding a way to return to his proper age.
Most of the episodes play out similarly; with a murder happening and Conan looking for clues as to who the bad guy is. After around 20 minutes teasing the audience, the remaining time is spent having Conan tranquilize Ran's father and explaining to the police via his voice modulator how the perp got away with the crime.
It sounds boring
when written down, but playing that guessing game where you predict who the
real criminal is and how they killed someone is much more fun when there is
more than one person introduced per episode. The only downside to this show is
that there are too many instances where Conan has a chance to get his original
body back but fails to do so and remains at that age where he is easily
distracted by cartoons and cheap sweets.
12. Initial D (1998)
I know nothing about cars. Open up the front hood of a sedan and the only thing I notice is that there is an engine inside; and as long as it takes me from point A to point B without breaking down, I couldn't care less.
Anyway, Initial D is the show that was the cause of speed demons spawning inside my classmates and most likely the reason for a lot of speed-related accidents.
Contrary to an outsider's belief, the main protagonist of the series, Takumi Fujiwara, is not a highborn speedster like Speed Racer, but a humble tofu delivery driver who likes to break the speed limit to compensate for having a pretty crappy job. So when a racing team from another town come over and hustle their local racers, Takumi is given a chance to cross the speed limit legally by competing in a set of races located around a hazardous mountain range.
Surprisingly, Takumi's early morning tofu runs arm him with the skills that any successful racer would kill for - so the show helpfully explains his maneuvers with overly intricate details on how he totally did not cheat out the competition. It's a bit like Naruto in a sense, where techniques are explained step-by-step so that audiences can see just how cool it is to make a turn on a car with a manual transmission without it dying on you.
The songs used
during the racing scenes are better than those used in the credits, and have
spawned their share of memes while being as catchy as the flu during the rainy
13. Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995)
If you're thinking that a young child would be able to understand this, then you would be wrong. More often than not, the entire premise of the show would fly over their heads like a poorly constructed Gundam.
A cult classic among anime aficionados, I didn't understand Neon Genesis Evangelion even when I watched it as a teenager. The series is deeply philosophical and a tad disturbing, making it unfit for those who just want a good robot fight.
Forcing teenagers to fight in gigantic bio-machines known as Evangelions, the paramilitary force Nerv seeks to fight back against beasts known as Angels. The mental instability of said teens is one of the biggest themes in the anime, with almost every pubescent having more mental breakdowns than they do acne problems. This then reflects on their Evangelions, which aren't just hunks of metal but have minds of their own and go berserk whenever their pilot loses their shit.
There isn't just
one way to look at the 26 episodes, as they are open to interpretation by its
viewers (kind of like a Christopher Nolan movie that doesn't involve Batman). Even
so, the finale left some fans confused and disappointed. So if you want your
head to ache something awful just to cross this off your to-watch list, then by
all means go ahead.
These weren't all the anime I watched as a kid.
There was Yu-Gi-Oh!, whose card game I understood more than Magic: The Gathering and abridged series I enjoyed more than the show itself. Medabots was a show that made me wish I had a small robot of my own. And Rurouni Kenshin, whose Japanese roots and action sequences were the cause of the slashed-up banana trees in my back yard.Toys, human sacrifice, big-ass robots - these are just a few themes that can keep a child preoccupied during the summer drought.