Synopsis: Mononoke is a 2007 anime that is a spin off of Ayakashi: Samurai Horror Tales / Japanese Classic Horror. The Bakeneko arc of Ayakashi should be watched before watching Mononoke since it serves as a prequel. A movie has been announced to premiere in 2023.
This short series spans multiple arcs where the main character, a medicine seller simply named Kusuriuri, solves mysteries of supernatural creatures that appear around Japan. His goal is to interrogate the involved parties and try to find the mysterious creature's katachi, makoto, and kotowari (shape, truth, and reasoning). The Monarch AMV by Iren S.S. makes for a great trailer for this anime.
Synopsis: Heike Monogatari is a 2021 supernatural anime adaptation of the classic Heike Monogatari. The show is about Biwa, a tomboy orphan with the power to see the future who is adopted by a member of the powerful Heike / Taira Clan amidst a war between clans.
My thoughts: This anime is gorgeous. The art style is unique and cute. Nearly every frame of the show can be used as an aesthetically pleasing desktop background. As a fan of the Heian era, Genji Monogatari, and Takahiro Sakurai, I like this show a lot. The ending song is incredible, and the opening is good too.
The only problem with this anime I have is that I don't know the characters too well, but that's only because I haven't read the book yet. I have read Genji Monogatari, and I understand when people struggle to identify characters in adaptations. This show is a work of visual art, and it has themes like futility that seem to be unique. This show to me is like "Heike Monogatari the classic tale meets That's So Raven". I relate to Biwa, feeling like I am a person who can see things that many others cannot, and because they don't see what I do, they cannot use their power to change things for the better.
Synopsis: Ping Pong is a 2014 anime based on the 1996 manga. It is a sports anime about ping pong.
My thoughts: I love everything about this anime. The art and animation are wonderful, utilizing unique perspectives and distortion to show the energy involved in ping pong games. The characters are diverse and real, and the entire show is very emotional. I didn't expect a sports anime to be a masterpiece like this. This was one that I had to stop myself from binging in one day because I kept wanting to see more.
My favourite characters are China and Peco!
Synopsis: Aku no Hana is a 2013 psychological thriller anime based on the 2009 manga series. It is about a boy named Takao Kasuga who impulsively steals his crush's gym uniform and gets caught by the weird kid in class. The weird kid, Saya Nakamura, blackmails Kasuga into doing more depraved, perverted things.
My thoughts: I haven't finished this one yet, but I am hooked on it. I find myself watching more episodes in a day than I plan to because I enjoy it that much. It reminds me of Love Exposure. I love the way the show is rotoscoped even though it is hit or miss depending on the viewer. The ending of this anime is a remix of Hana, a song by one of my favourite musical artists of all time, Asa-Chang & Junray, though I like the original song more. The producers saved the original version of the ending to use for the special ending scene of episode 7 which took my breath away. I'm glad they saved such a special song for such a special moment.
Synopsis: Serial Experiments Lain is a 1998 avant garde science fiction anime. It is about a girl named Lain whose identity and actions get wrapped up in the digital world through a network called the Wired.
My thoughts: Of course, it isn't a Neocities site without Lain on it somewhere. This isn't really science fiction as much as it is science real. I haven't finished the show yet, but I like it a lot so far. The show was really ahead of its time, and I consider it to be a work of art.
Synopsis: Mushishi is an episodic 2005 anime that is best described as an atmospheric supernatural show based on the 1999 manga. A new Mushishi series was released in 2014. The show follows a man named Ginko who is a mushishi, a person who can see creatures called mushi that live alongside humans and other living organisms. Ginko travels around Japan during the Edo period and helps people solve problems that involve mushi.
My thoughts: I think this is a show that can be enjoyed by everyone as long as they are able to get into the mood for it. It's not exciting or action-packed, but it is a beautiful piece of art similar to Mononoke. I think of it as Ghibli-ed Mononoke.
Synopsis: Narutaru is a 1998 manga series with a 2003 anime adaptation. It is about children who can control creatures called dragon children that are powerful enough to kill one another. It seems like the "predecessor" to Bokurano.
My thoughts: This is a pretty cynical "edgelord" series that's supposed to take the idea of Pokemon / Digimon and make it darker. Some of the children use their dragon children for self defense, and some use their dragon children as weapons against each other. There's also a big military presence in the area where this story takes place. I take this series to be anti-military, though it is likely not. I watched the whole anime and read most of the manga, though I have not finished it yet.
Synopsis: Yami Shibai is a horror anime that aired from 2013 and currently has 10 seasons. Each episode is a short horror story aimed towards children that is about 5 minutes long.
My thoughts: I started watching this series when it first came out. As the episodes in each season vary in quality, the different seasons also vary in quality. Even though we might not find every episode scary as adults, they are so short that it isn't really a waste of time to watch them. I definitely recommend watching the first season.
Synopsis: Yugioh is a franchise revolving around a children's card game. The original media is a 1996 manga series that was meant to be a horror series, but after introducing the idea of monster trading cards, the series became wildly popular. There are now multiple anime series, manga series, and video games based on the original concept. One of my favourites is the 1998 Toei anime.
My thoughts: My favourite characters were always Yami Bakura, Malik Ishtar, Shadi, and some others. I remember the days when Yugioh used to be played on NickToons, and instead of attending my own Birthday party, I'd sit and watch Battle City duels.
In middle school, I really liked Yugioh abridged. I watched episodes over and over again every day, laughing by myself. Of course, my favourite character was Bakura (both of them). I got to meet LittleKuriboh once at OtaCon, and he signed my copy of the first manga volume.
I also played some of the video games. My favourite was Eternal Duelist Soul.
Synopsis: Ojamajo Doremi is a 1999 anime about magical girl witch apprentices who juggle the responsibilities of witch training and everyday life. After outing a real witch and making her turn into a frog, the girls work together to become witches themselves with the power to return the witch's true form.
My thoughts: This was one of my first animes, and it's really the only one from early childhood that will have any place here. The reason for that is because this is a really good anime considering the age demographic. This show told stories about a character whose parents went through divorce, a character who grew up in a foreign country only to forget their mother language, a character being a victim of antiBlackness, a character whose mother is implied to be a sex worker, and others. My favourite main character is Asuka Momoko, and I also love Makihatayama Hana because I kin her.
Though this show was made to market toys, it told stories of such a diverse group of children. Every season, we get to know each and every one of the students in a classroom of 20+ students which makes the show more personal. It is extremely enjoyable to watch these kids grow even while skipping episodes revolving around the magical plot. There are some scenes that make you think the creators respect their young audience, bringing forth more mature themes.
Here is a link to my Ojamajo Doremi tumblr blog where I reblogged analyses of the show.
Synopsis: Nyan Neko Sugar Girls is a 2010 anime about three friends, Raku-chan, Koneko-chan, and Hitoshi-san, who hang out together and have fun.
My thoughts: One memory I have about this show is that I once watched this while I was in a digital art class in 7th grade. One of the 8th grade students turned up the volume all the way and turned off the monitor so that Vet-sama's voice would fill the classroom. It was one of the funniest things that ever happened to me.
Every so often, Yoli-chan makes a new video which is pretty funny. For example, she made a COVID-19 PSA....