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Best Animes From 2013

I only included the animes I have watched from these years. I'm not including Sequels when quality declines or when the story started on previous years. I am including Sequels where it makes sense to keep watching, in order to complete the story.
1 Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan - Watching Guide

So, of course, this is a dark show with great animation, awesome non-stop action scenes with brutal fights, and thrilling dramatic moments, with a story full of mysteries and likable characters, which is why most people like it. These characteristics alone are what the hype of this show is about, and while watching it for these motives makes for an entertaining experience, that is not what makes this show a masterpiece.

One of the characteristics that set this show apart is how the story easily evokes metaphors, analogies & symbolism across different cultures and demographics, you cannot help yourself but let your mind wander, although perhaps, this story is best understood by people who have fought hard for a dream against immeasurable obstacles and by people who have questioned the sanity of the society where they were born.

For example, from a psychological perspective, the walls can represent the limitations we or our society set for ourselves in order to protect us, but they also become the cage that binds us, leaving us unable to reach our full potential, our dreams, limiting our freedom. While the Titans can represent the obstacles that we must overtake in order to find that freedom, the problems of 'Titanic' proportions that stand in our way, the fears we must overcome in order to go beyond the walls and reach our dreams.

Analogies to real-life history have been a matter of controversy in several countries. I'm not sure how much the author intended this to be, but unfortunately, the themes of corruption & segregation are still part of our current history and easily understood by people who live in regimens like that.

There is a lot of emphasis in the show about being a conformist vs people who dares to go beyond the walls despite the horrors they encounter and does an excellent job at exemplifying what it means to charge for your dreams against immeasurable odds. The show portrays both the worst and the best of humanity when they are in dire situations.

The story is built on deceit, the show has received some bad reviews by people who notice some contradictions & things that don't quite make sense and they quit watching making a quick judgment of the show, but in fact, what you see in this story is not always the truth and if you keep watching it will eventually make all sense. In fact, this is one of the highlights of the show that offers a great rewatch value, since as new information is revealed and the truth is cleared out, the story takes new shape as you rewatch it. And this happens 3-4 times, every time making you see the story from the perspective of other characters based on what was revealed and everything fits perfectly. This goes beyond adding new meaning to some events, but rather the story itself is created anew changing the way you perceive it. On the first watch is all about surprises, shock value, and mysteries; while on the second watch the veil is lifted and you can only wonder how they were able to deceive everyone with a straight face? What they were thinking? People who seem heroic at first are seen in a new light, events that seem insignificant at first become of great importance and characters that were relegated to the background take centerstage. You'll get to see that there were no wasted frames on each scene and everything has meaning. It all ties up with the theme of questioning the society we live in, questioning what we take for granted, how do you know you have not been deceived? How can you be sure the sea really exist if nobody you know has ever seen it? Would you be able to go beyond the walls, risking your life against the Titans, just to reach the mythical sea? Or would you conform to a society that says the walls will protect you? In this story, you as the viewer are being deceived and that makes you part of the experience you are seeing.

'Truth be told, very interesting story and very well layed out. The story flowed without feeling rushed. Every episode was like crack, you just had to watch the next one to see what happens. Although the story was kind of choppy in places because flashbacks seemed like they weren't very well planned out and were kind of random. I didn't mind this, but it was very random in the middle of an action scene to take a journey to the past and then return in the heat of battle. Overall the story was exceptionally well done and very interesting.

OVERALL Attack on Titan did not disappoint. There were a few things that did, but none of them were a huge bother. The overall experience was both fascinating and intense. Many situations throughout, you didn't know who was going to make it or not, which made for a great sense of suspense going into every battle. Definitely recommended.' -Flint879

The dub is awesome!

2 Attack on Titan: Ilse's Notebook

Attack on Titan: Ilse's Notebook

Attack on Titan - Watching Guide

WatchIlse's Notebook Episode 3 - Distress. After Episode 3 of Season 1. Although this is a filler episode, it is pretty good and fits well at this point.

SkipIlse's Notebook Episode 2. This is just a filler food contest.

At Season 1, Episode 15, Watch & Ilse's Notebook Episode 1 - Memoirs of a Recon Corps Member:  It is likely that this is the story Hange told Eren during their conversation at night, at 20:25 minutes of Episode 15. It is a good story that furthers the mystery of the Titans.

3 Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Attack on Titan: No Regrets

Attack on Titan - Watching Guide

This was also written by someone else, Gun Snark and illustrated by Hikaru Suruga, but it is also considered canon. The story follows Levi before he joins the Survey Corps.

This is a good backstory in my opinion that shows a different part of their world, and it definitely captures the feel of the series.

This anime deserves a Dub!

4 Attack on Titan 2nd Season

Attack on Titan 2nd Season

Continuation of the story.

5 Attack on Titan 3rd Season

Attack on Titan 3rd Season

Continuation of the story.

6 Attack on Titan 3rd Season: Part II

Attack on Titan 3rd Season: Part II

Continuation of the story.

7 Attack on Titan The Final Season

Attack on Titan The Final Season

Continuation of the story. (Currently Airing)

8 Ghost in the Shell: Arise

Ghost in the Shell: Arise

Here is a Ghost in the Shell Series Watching Guide if you are wondering the order of the series and why you should watch it.

While chronologically, this series is a prequel to both the original movie storyline and Stand Alone Complex (SAC), it could also be considered standalone and you don't need to watch anything prior in order to understand this story.

This series shows the beginning of Public Security Section 9 and how the Major form her team. It's a great introduction to the characters and has an excellent balance of action, philosophical questions, and thrills. Each chapter (or border) is a self-contained story but there is also an overall plot building over toward its conclusion in The New Movie. This is a worthy addition to the franchise and a must-watch for any sci-fi fan.

The dub is awesome!

9 Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture

Ghost in the Shell: Arise - Alternative Architecture

Continuation for Arise timeline. Watch Only Episodes 9-10.

This is the same as Ghost in the Shell: Arise, but split in time for TV. They include Border 5: Pyrophoric Cult, which you should watch between Arise and The New Movie

The order of the TV Series is slightly changed starting with Border 4, 1, 2, 3, 5. I rather recommend you watch the film series, which is in chronological order and won't split the story in 2. Then come back to see Border 5 (Episodes 9, 10) before you watch The New Movie.

This anime deserves a Dub!

10 Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

Ghost in the Shell: The New Movie

Continuation & Conclusion for Arise timeline.

The dub is awesome!

11 Kill La Kill

Kill La Kill

This is one of the most over-the-top shows ever made, with wild camera movements, wide-angle cinematic scenes, bright color combinations, continuous movement, and fast-paced dialog. The story is as crazy as the visuals, with a sense of fashion, and most of the show revolves around this theme, involving clothes (and the lack of them), posing and fighting over them. Not that the story is bland, in fact, there are hidden meanings for everything that's happening, full of satire and social commentaries to accompany all the comedy and crazy action, creating a far more interesting story for those who read between the lines. Not everything is as it seems.

People seem to either love or hate this show, so in the end, you'll have to decide to give it a try after watching some episodes. There are lots of fan-service too. I'm not a fan of fan-service but didn't bother me as much in this show as it blends with the craziness of the story.

'Kill La Kill is an anime you CAN NOT take seriously. Watch this anime if you are looking for a good time and something you can laugh at. It is shear ridiculousness with oversized cleavage, graphically exhilarating fight scenes, and a take on clothing which will blow your mind. This anime is not afraid of making its self a fool, but don’t take its insanity for stupidity. This anime will have you sitting on the edge of your seat with its plots twists and clever story.' -zMuze

'With an impressive creative bloodline to draw from, Kill la Kill is a visual feast for the senses. Were it a meal, it'd be shooter sandwich: a ridiculous amount of delicious ingredients crammed into a small space, squashed down to fit and then consumed with zero regrets. But is it a meal you'll want to go back and have again?

Ryuuko and Satsuki are immediately appealing and it's easy to see why. For both characters, their resolve to achieve victory is unflinching, and while they possess enormous power and fighting skill, ultimately it's their sense of determination, loyalty and sheer will power that fuels their drive to succeed. The visual design of these characters, along with the side characters, effectively matches their personalities...

In addition to the visual design, the other stand out of the show is the action sequences. As expected of the show's production team, nothing is held back when it comes to animating the battles. It's hard to avoid using the term 'over the top', but it applies perfectly in when it comes to depicting the fantastical combat that are a hallmark of Kill la Kill. It's also in the battles scenes where the personalities of the characters really shine, their stoic will to win perfectly aligns with the stratospheric energy levels of the fighting.

Kill la Kill is a lot to take in, and the pacing of the show is pedal to the metal throughout the course of the series. While almost frantic in its story telling, there is an appropriate level of efficiency in its design. I would've liked to have seen more development in the characters, but really this show is not about delivering a story that examines human complexity. It's a no-holds-barred visual feast with simple but effective characters that tie it all together. The wonderfully creative visuals and the amazingly choreographed action sequences are enough to make this series a classic. Along with copious amounts of fan service, Kill la Kill is easily digested and enjoyed. It's a meal that you'll look back on and desire more of.' -uncaringbear

The dub is ok, but the sub is far superior!

12 Log Horizon

Log Horizon

This is a blend between .Hack (with moe characters & lots of slice-of-life moments) & Sword Art Online (trapped in an RPG World, good battles and giving lots of information about strategies to win the game and how to work in a team).

Despite the lack of originality in the setting, I wouldn't discard it right away, as it does have great moments and becomes so much more than just a game based anime. The start is slow and focuses on gameplay, there is action but it's not the centerpiece of the show, then it starts to evolve into different themes, for example, there are several episodes dedicated to commerce, Spice & Wolf style, there are social criticism and examples for how society functions and how it has evolved since the medieval ages to form our civilization. There are many mysteries in this world, including why they are there. There is a lot of emphasis on analyzing threats and using strategies to solve their problems. Overall, is a smart plot that will keep you interested. The story develops through the eyes of several characters, which also helps to keep it fresh and interesting.

'After being turned off to Log Horizon by some of the 'moe' aspects in the first few episodes and the striking resemblance to other anime titles like .Hack and Sword Art Online, I listened to a good friend who told me to stick it out until at least episode 7.  So I did.  And it was worth it.

Log Horizon has its moments of nice animation, solid character development, and gripping plot.  But it struggles to find its pacing.  Shifting back and forth between the more sinister plots, the subplots, and all the gimmicks that make Log Horizon so interesting, it leaves the viewer wanting more.  A lot more.  

I've heard this show compared to Sword Art Online a lot.  And understandably so.  But there's a lot more to Log Horizon than meets the eye.  Unlike Sword Art, this anime feels like an MMO.  From the camaraderie to game mechanics to economics, nothing isn't addressed in this anime.  It's really impressive, actually.' -bentobox

The dub is ok, not great.

13 Log Horizon 2

Log Horizon 2

Continuation of the story.

14 Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table

Log Horizon: Destruction of the Round Table

Continuation of the story.

This season is average and barely moves the story forward, it seems to be setting things up for another season, let's just hope it doesn't take another 6 years.

15 Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

This is a show that blends many genres, including sci-fi, mecha, and slice-of-life, but the main focus is the contrast of someone who was raised as a soldier and only knows war vs. a society that strives for coexistence without fighting. There are many themes within this frame, including how productivity can lead to advanced technology and efficiency but at the same time, that does not equal better quality of life, as sometimes we cut what its more important, and this is taken to the extreme in the way both societies work regarding people and social structure.

Despite the show being just 13th episodes long, there is a lot to talk about if you can read the story between the lines. A lot of people seems to miss the deeper themes and ideas presented in the story (based on some reviews of the show), same as the main character that is not getting what he expected, some people expect mecha action, sci-fi or comedy slice-of-life, but this is a different show from the norm. I hope you give it a try with an open mind!

'In part, this anime is a cliche 'fish out of water” story, however, it does explore some deeper issues for anyone who cares to look beyond the surface. Gargantia is more slice of life than a mech action, but one shouldn’t be too disappointed by that fact. It is a worthwhile coming of age story of a young man who is basically thrown into a primitive society with no choice but to fit in.

Ledo is experiencing major culture shock in his new surroundings, which is both really awkward for him and amusing for us. Of course, his arrival with Chamber somewhat upsets the balance of power, so he has some learning to do when it comes to fitting in with the primitive Earth people...

The anime stuck to one major plotline, exploring questions around what it means to be human, and what if we lost our humanity. Unfortunately, Ledo doesn’t forget his primary objective (killing things) even while on Earth, and that lands him in a bit of hot water with the natives. What they hold sacred, he holds in contempt, due to what he has been engineered to believe. We learn a little bit more about Ledo's personality in this sequence, as he learns about consequence.

This anime is visually beautiful as well, which makes it all the more worthwhile. The backdrops are stunning and the characters are well designed to fit with a post-apocalyptic utopia. The fan service is kept to a minimum. One of the prerequisites I have, when I watch an anime, is no obvious, embarrassing fan service. There is a beach/party scene, but other than that, we see very little. Gargantia isn’t the best anime ever, but it’s certainly one of the more enjoyable shows that I've watched.' -ShannonApple

The dub is great.

16 Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Specials

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Specials

These are extra episodes:

  • The first one is an ok slice-of-life side story, about working and living in the fleet, and it can be skipped if you don't find it interesting.
  • The second episode is the one I found more interesting, showing what happened to Commander Kugel when he arrived on the planet and the path he chooses to walk.
17 Harlock: Space Pirate

Harlock: Space Pirate

Leiji Matsumoto is well known for his space operas, intriguing settings, and tragic heroes. His work is not perfect, as you can always spot some inconsistencies, but is full of intrigue, drama and often poses several philosophical questions that serve us to reconsider our values. Harlock is one of his best-known characters, but you don't have to know or watch anything prior to understand and enjoy this movie, which serves as a restart of the franchise. The 3d is outstanding for its time with very real-life characters and backgrounds. This story's main theme is freedom.

'Despite this being my first Harlock, the movie does a great job of catching the viewer up to speed. It gives a lot of the backstory without being completely monologue and boring. There are bits in the movie that don't make a whole lot of sense, especially when it comes to the technology used.

...beautiful. The CGI for this movie is gorgeous. I can honeslty say I haven't seen many movies with CGI like this. Maybe some short films, but rarely a full-length feature. Clothing, hair, skin, even the smoke looked almost live-action instead of animated.

Overall: Even if you haven't seen the Harlock series from the 1970s or any of the movies, this is a great stand alone movie. I'd definitely recommend it.' -hamletsmage

'Does Harlock Space Pirate have any issues? Yes of course it does... but for me personally these are definitely negatives that aren’t gonna bother me too much. Harlock Space Pirate is absolutely fantastic... It”s an excellent Space Opera that deals with freedom and duty and does them expertly. It’s a story that will captivate a lot of people and an excellent re-boot to the franchise. The animation is gorgeous, the 3D effect is excellent and makes me wish I had seen it in a Cinema, and the Actors do their job brilliantly...' -NerdConsultant

The dub sounds great, but out of sync with their mouths. 

18 Patema Inverted

Patema Inverted

This is a good sci-fi movie with some romance. What makes this movie great is the setting, that makes you wonder as you discover their world and amazing visuals.

'The animation was stunning! Took my breath away at times! The soundtrack was wonderful, it really fit the movie and the mood of the story. The characters were awesome!' -duchessliz

'Visually stunning, with a promise of a sweet love-story, i was instantly intrigued. Petema Inverted is by no means mind-blowing but it's touching -and even quite deep at times- leaving me a lot to think about. It's exactly why i loved this movie so much.' -Aly7

'I'd recommend this movie to anyone who is looking for a beautiful, atmospheric anime that contained a heartfelt relationship with a little bit of Sci-fi mixed in. ' -lynxiify

The dub is great!

19 The Garden of Words

The Garden of Words

So this one deserves being in this list for the animation quality alone! From the drops of water, the movement of the air making the plants dance, the colorful tiles that make even the floor look interesting as a piece of art, the incredible detail architecture, this movie is a feast to the eyes that paints the moments of silence and transitions with awe. This work is in effect, better than real-life!

Ah, there is a story somewhere with a romance between the two main characters with a great age difference and the character's traits are used to demonstrate how awkwardly and disjointedly people mature in their lives.

'By now, the name Makoto Shinkai is synonymous with production values that are absolutely through the roof. I think we may have reached a point where the aesthetic quality of his work is no longer even rivaled by Studio Ghibli. But I was still completely blown away by what I saw. I was convinced that what I was looking at was a trailer for one of the most beautiful animations I had ever seen. I knew instantly that Garden of Words was a film that I had to get my hands on...

I applaud Garden for having the prudence to tell its story in a timely manner. And yet, part of me can't help but feel that it was all over too soon. I really can't remember the last time I was so thoroughly engrossed by a movie. It's not uncommon to get lost in a good film-- but that's not what happened to me while watching this one. I consciously absorbed every frame of this production, listening to the rainfall, paying attention to the way lighting is casted on the people and objects, appreciating the line art, and listening to the intonation of the characters' voices. I was enthralled from the very beginning, and became more so as the film progressed. And while I won't divulge how the film ends, it is not one that ever runs out of gas. It picks up steam the entire way, and ends strongly, which definitely counts for a lot.

I feel as though my praise for this film could not be made any clearer. I consider this to be a modern classic, and to be Makoto Shinkai's masterpiece. To grant context to my opinion: I view this as being on near-equal footing with films such as Princess Mononoke, and Ghost in the Shell.' -GermanDragon

The dub is awesome! And in this case, I'll recommend it so you can focus on the visuals instead of subtitles.

20 Silver Spoon

Silver Spoon

This is an interesting story with an unlikely setting of a farm academy, with a deep insight into the things that we give for granted and social criticism of farm practices & food production.

'As I watched the final episode of Silver Spoon, a single word came to mind to describe this anime. 'Thoughtful.' But also thought-provoking.

Themes: Making friends, business realities, the difficulties of being in the agricultural industry, how food is made, the value of hard work, the value of struggling with large moral issues (for example, should humans eat animals?), and struggling with goals/being unmotivated/not knowing if you have a life goal/parental expectations for your life.

Story: I like the story a lot. It's simple, yet sincere, and allows for a lot of interesting ideas and issues to come to the surface.

Arakawa-sensei (also the mangaka for Fullmetal Alchemist) grew up on a dairy farm and that experience is definitely evident in Silver Spoon. I really enjoyed Silver Spoon. It's a totally different type of story, and it is refreshing, entertaining, thoughtful, sincere, thought-provoking, and well written.' -snivets

This anime deserves a Dub!

21 Silver Spoon 2nd Season

Silver Spoon 2nd Season

Continuation of the story.

22 Maoyu: Archenemy & Hero

Maoyu: Archenemy & Hero

This is from the same author of Log Horizon and despite the fantasy setting and some cliche harem comedy, this show's main focus is on the economy of war and the reasons why the conflict is perpetuated between nations and does a great job to show critical thinking to figure out the underlying reasons. It also revisits humanity's history from the middle ages that showcase the innovations that helped advance humanity and form the basis to our current society, including topics such as agricultural advances, discrimination between social classes, education for all, commerce & trade, etc. So as you see, in the end, this is not a show about fighting, nor comedy, but it requires some interest in humanity's history of innovation and advancement to fully enjoy it.

'Let me start by saying this anime is seriously underrated due to the fact it attracts the wrong kind of viewers (or rather people who expect different things then what is being offered here)

I have found myself going for the next and next episode, even though there were no obvious cliffhangers for me to lean on, I just wanted to see what will happen to this world and how it will be influenced by this unusual pairing. I can sincerely say that you can judge this anime by the first two episodes. If you find yourself wanting to see the next one right after that it means you will enjoy it very much, just like I did. If you do not find this enjoyable after the first 2 episodes I'd suggest you skip it, it's not your type.' -Poio

This anime deserves a Dub!

23 My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

This anime is not so much about romance, the real focus is on social interactions and especially tries to teach you how to be assertive. And I think it does a great job with that while showing you realistic examples of situations that we can all find in life, not just in the school setting, but also in family and more. In future seasons it also explores how to deal with people in power. Most of the time & dialog is spent with the thoughtful analysis of the situations, understanding people's interests & wants, and creating tactics & strategies to change their behavior in order to get you closer to your goals.

All of the above really makes this anime stand out from the crowd. Even if you have seen something similar, this is a good iteration, probably one of the best in anime form.

The romance aspects of the show only start to become more present at the end of the second season and they feel quite realistic.

Definitely one of the best parts of the show is all of the likable characters. They all have certain importance in the story and there is great character development through the show for several of them.

"This anime represents the anxiety of teenagers in school. In addition to anxiety, the main character also presents a point of view of what life really is. Will you fill your life full of pressure or try to take everything? Will you sacrifice everything or try to pretend to be someone else? There are so many elements that this show is one of my favorite romance anime.

In fact, there are many people who feel their school experience is the same as Hachiman. Regardless if you may be too much alone or whatever. Other time, you see there are plenty of people who always pretend to be your friend. On the other hand, they are trying to push you on the brink just because they hate you so much. A bitter fact says that not everyone likes you. Either anyone even a stranger, there always someone who likes you and also doesn’t like you. This relies on Hachiman’s perspective o them." -ClubFoot

The dub is excellent!

24 My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO!

Continuation of the story.

25 My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Climax

Continuation of the story.

26 Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They?

This is not perfect, and although is a standard plot of a 'Person in a Strange World', it is a good iteration that manages to balance comedy, action and an interesting world full of possibilities. It is mostly character driven.

Unfortunately, one of its biggest flaws is that this is just the first act, but to date, no new seasons have been released, despite the fact that the manga ended a while ago. So although the arc does finish with a satisfying ending, the overall story is left unfinished.

'...'Problem Children' is an anime that is worthwhile of your time. Its main course is strange comedy, with few fan service here and there (mainly in OVA). If you're looking to have fun by watching a laid-back anime, yet sometimes serious, this anime is just for you!' -Neukris

The dub is ok, but I prefer the subs.

27 White Album 2

White Album 2

Despite the cliche school festival setting and the fact that the first 2 seasons were a complete flop (don't worry, you don't have to watch them to understand this story, as this is a restart of the franchise), this anime was surprisingly good thanks to the characters, decent music and finally creating a romance story that takes itself more seriously, breaking out from the lame romance story that goes nowhere and the characters don't know what to do or how to move forward.

'Ok, so this isn't a masterpiece. But if you like romance anime, I think it's a pretty good choice. I wasn't very excited by the initial episodes. It honestly seemed just like another mediocre and cliched romance set in a high school. If you aren't a newbie to the anime world, you'll know there are tons out there. I was just about to drop it. But I persevered and it got better. So much so that I would recommend it.' -haize78

'Overall, I love the anime in the sense that it's really rare to watch this kind of serious romance. And I love all the music in WA2. They are so touching and beautiful...' -ShinoaHiragi

This anime deserves a Dub!

28 Little Witch Academia TV

Little Witch Academia TV

This is a good light-hearted show, a spiritual successor to Princess Tutu, where the childish looks hide more profound messages suit for all ages. In that regard, the show focuses at least in 7 life lessons that create the journey for the heroines, and these lessons are exemplified through the story in a remarkable way, that invites you to re-evaluate your inner-child.

'The world of LWA is strange, with both witches and technology competing for relevance. The idea of witches growing weaker to the point of needing a giant crystal to use magic was well thought out and never felt like a plot point even when it was convenient. I would describe the setting as a less paranoid, lighthearted version of Harry Potter. Harry Potter influences this series so much that on reflection, the creators must have loved Harry Potter. What prevents this series from feeling like a complete clone is the difference in scope. Many episodes are focused on learning little and little about the characters and setting rather than a foreboding story building up over time. The filler in this series is short and sweet, with a excited pace that leaves me wanting more.' -zala

'This show has done everything I could have hope for. No show is the perfect show but what Little Witch Academia does is nothing short of coming as close as it could, at least in my eyes. It looks great, is chock-full with strong characters and consists of what is now one of my favourite self-improvement stories. An absolute must watch for Trigger fans of course, but it’s a show no fan of magical shows and films should miss.' -SpanglishJC

The dub is great.

29 Little Witch Academia

Little Witch Academia

This movie is standalone, and it covers one of the events during training. It is a separate canon from the TV series, but it can easily fit within any day at the academy. So I'm going to recommend to watch it after the TV series for a more in-depth knowledge of the characters (although some personalities are slightly different). But if you are not sure if you are going to like the series and don't want to commit to the longer TV story, then this can also serve as a good introduction to the franchise.

'OK, it's family friendly fun. The premise has been beaten to death in all forms of art. And yet, Little Witch Academia is so earnest and fun that it is absolutely fantastic. From the clever and distinct character designs (like a cartoon of Hogwarts), the brilliant backgrounds, the uplifiting cinematic music, multiple character arcs, and a bunch of jokes ranging from slapstick to situational via nerd and literary references, this is some top notch stuff.' -Gzerble

The Enchanted Parade Movie is also a standalone, 'day at the academy' story about participating in a festival, but in my opinion, is just ok, not as good as the first movie nor the TV series, which also contains a festival and was done much better.

The dub is good.

30 The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

This is another good Studio Ghibli film with a good blend of characterization, history, dreams and as always, excellence for graphics and production values.

'The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The film is adapted from Miyazaki's manga of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on both the 1937 novel The Wind Has Risen by Tatsuo Hori and the life of Jiro Horikoshi.' -Wikipedia

'Fast-paced telling of a story that emphasizes the significance of dreams. 'The Wind Rises' also leaves one in awe of the technological development of Tokyo, Japan during World War II. Though I found some parts of the story could have been a little further elaborated, the film itself is still a masterfully told tale. 

The animation was simply beautiful. The animation staff of Studio Ghibli are very talented at animation and were clearly well-directed by Miyazaki, of course. I loved all of the colours and details in the backgrounds. The character designs are a classic style.' -CallMeQueenie

'I have loved Studio Ghibli movies my entire life and this one did not disappoint. The scenery and character animation was breathtaking and imaginative while still staying true to the historical setting. The story had a calm pace, but it never left me bored.

Jiro's accomplishments from childhood to manhood were masterfully told through following his everyday life, but the viewers were not excluded from his hopes and dreams. The love story in this film was natural and beautiful, but laced with hardship, as life usually is.

The ending left me with a sorrowful, yet peaceful ache--I wouldn't have wanted it to end any other way. Content wise, there are a few instances of strong language, but otherwise it is completely clean. Overall, a magnificent film. Definitely worth watching.' -kawaiiscribbles

The dub is excellent!

31 The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

This one is definitely not for everyone, it will appeal to those who can appreciate its art, both visually and dramatically, as it's an adaptation of a classic tale from the 10th century 'The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter', also know by the name of the movie. I'm not sure how faithful is this adaptation to the source material, but you may already have seen other versions of this tale adapted in other media & anime (like at the end of Naruto Shippuden).

The story is long, slow and can get boring at times (I had to watch it in two seatings), but as the story progress, you can see it hides several interpretations and themes that seem very advanced for its time; Is it a social critique for how we complicate our lives with useless customs? Can happiness be defined by the social status of our lives? Is this a historic tale of ancient aliens that visited earth several centuries ago? LoL

The level of enjoyment of this movie is certainly attached to what you can get out of it in terms of 'a message' if you enjoy letting your mind wander and get lost in the philosophy of life, then you are in the right track. That is probably why this film has found critical acclaim while performing badly financially, this is not really a film for kids as it requires a more analytical mind to understand the story, in my opinion.

'Ok so this film is art. There are few that I have seen that can truely be called art but the tale of the princess kaguya is one of them. After watching this I thought what the hell was this film about? And thinking about it, I believe that rather then the film just being about life being shit. It was about how expectations of others wiegh on a person over time. How wealth doesn't mean happiness,and that in life well there isn't always a happy ending. And when we expect to much from others well we may indeed lose the ones we love. The movie was somewhat painful to watch but that's life in a nutshell...

That being said I both loved and hated this film. I loved it for it's moments of playful joy and the animation is quite honestly amazing and that doesn't really even do it justice. But I hated it for the pain. It was a painful film for me to watch...' -Toothygrin

The dub is great.

32 Shashinkan


This is a good short story about the nuisances of portrait photography and the power of memories have in our lives, paired with excellent soft piano music instead of dialog.

'A very cute little short OVA type animation. It had a very simple story, but was very touching. There were no words, but they did a good job of bonding the characters with each other. A very quick look at a melancholy life story. 10/10 on the sound because of the beautiful classical music ' -Desarray

This anime deserves a Dub!

33 Akichi Asobi: Playground

Akichi Asobi: Playground

This is a good short about rivalry & friendship, with great animation quality and creativity.

34 Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

Devil Survivor 2 The Animation

This is not a perfect anime and apparently not liked by people who played the game, however, if you are only watching the anime then its better than other shows of its type, like Persona 4, for example, as it takes a more serious approach, the story has good pacing, managing to maintain good tension through all of its episodes to a satisfactory ending.

The dub is good.

35 Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited - Hyoubu Kyousuke

Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited - Hyoubu Kyousuke

This is a spinoff or restart of the franchise, so if you watched or attempted to watch the first seasons and didn't like it, you should still give this one a try as its a welcome improvement with a more serious style. You don't need to watch the first seasons in order to understand this story either and I recommend you don't, as they are awful.

This series is like the Japanese version of Magneto from X-Men and the plot & setting shares many similarities with that series, so in a way, this becomes its weakest part as the story has been done really well and expanded in the X-Men Series & Movies. At the same time, this show will still appeal to any X-Men Fans. The execution of the show is very good and the animation on par with any shows from this time. In the end, is a good action series that deserves a try.

'This was a good anime and there is no need to watch the other Zettai Karen Children (and the art is way better). It was well organized and easy to follow. Focusing on one individual character's background and maybe a second main character worked well for this anime and was not limiting. I wish there had been more insight on supporting characters but that might be seen in the other adaptations. Overall, the end of this anime has you leaning forward at the edge of your chair wishing for more. Hopefully they will do another series or even a second season based off of Hyoubu Kyousuke and the catastrophe crew.' -Willowen

This anime deserves a Dub!

36 Gatchaman Crowds

Gatchaman Crowds

Let's start by saying that this show has nothing to do with the original Gatchaman other than sharing the name. It could have been easily called just 'Crowds', and that may have worked out better to don't deceive people into thinking that this show will be somehow based on the original.

This is a very different anime show from the regular shounen breaking several rules and using a storytelling style with lots of symbolism and analogies, that is more similar to shows like Penguindrum & Humanity Has Declined, to name a few. However, the execution is not perfect and requires more from the audience to decipher the messages that are trying to convey, but although is not perfect, I give extra points for innovation and daring to be different from the bunch, at least for me, that makes it worth watching.

You should watch at least to the end of episode 2 before you make up your mind, so you can see that there is more to the show than the lame episode 1 presents at first glance.

'Gatchaman Crowds is an anime focused on politics, opinions of others and the influence of them, and herd mentality. What happens when people start to rely too much on something and stop thinking for themselves? What happens when people gain power over others that they can use without consequence? In this anime, things which seem very simple are often much more complex.

It is is a more realistic take on a hero anime where all characters have a very defined and flamboyant personality. They each have their own very different role and perspective on problems. One day a creature named 'Berg-Katze' appears which turns the leader of a community app into a Gatchaman. This person gains the power to have people unlock a special power within them: The 'Crowds'. A big blue alien looking creature which is very strong and cannot normally be seen by humans, only by Gatchaman.

Berg-Katze then takes over Crowds powers and tries to spread them around the world. When humans gain the power to anonymously take actions without consequences, it draws out the worst in them. And this is exactly what Berg-Katze wants. To destroy the world by setting people up against themselves. To make humanity's egotistical nature lead to its downfall.

...Gatchaman Crowds is the most underrated anime I have ever seen, and anyone who takes a critical look at it will be able to appreciate originality and conflicting opinions more after seeing this anime.' -Osiummaster

The dub is bad.

37 Gatchaman Crowds: Embrace

Gatchaman Crowds: Embrace

Director's cut of Season 1, Episode 12. The first half of this episode is the second half of the original Episode 12, with the addition of some new short scenes. The second half is entirely new material, which provides the 'complete ending' for season 1.

I should mention that the sequel is not as good as the first season. If you decide to keep watching then you should watch the Inbound Special first.

38 Aura: Koga Maryuin's Last War

Aura: Koga Maryuin's Last War

This is a story similar to Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!, but slightly more serious, focusing on the bullying of people with these delusions.

'Aura: Maryuuinkouga Saigo no Tatakai is a weird little thing. It’s an interesting mix of cute, cringe and sad. What makes it stand out, is the fact that it’s recognizable even if you haven’t been in this exact same situation.  Everybody has felt the need to escape reality, has wished they were someone else. The movie manages to reach out to us and tell us that it’s okay to be who we are. The climax was appropriately epic and almost managed to bring me to tears. And though I didn’t expect to be moved by this anime, I totally was. Go watch it now.' -Ailly

The dub is good.

39 HENNEKO - The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat

HENNEKO - The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat

Despite the 'Hentai' in the name, this show's main focus is not the fan-service itself but rather is a coming of age story about leaving our facade to be ourselves, learning to control emotions and be true to ourselves and what we want. Of course, everything is exaggerated with comedy and it does have fan-service and harem elements and although I'm not a fan of those genres, this is one of the few I have encountered that really made me laugh and kept me watching.

'This show was a real shocker for me. When I saw “hentai” in the title for the show, I automatically assumed it was going to be a stupid ecchi anime. What I found out after twelve episodes, was that masked in this gag comedy anime, there are some really cute, interesting, and serious moments that I will remember for the years to come. I strongly encourage you to take the time to sit through this show. You will be too busy laughing your ass off to point out the plot holes.' -RingoStarr1991

'What I found surprising about this show is that despite the seemingly shallow premise, the story rises above the simple mechanics of the classic wish fulfilling fantasy and delivers a tale where the characters are developed in a meaningful way. The flip side of this is that the show sometimes suffers from identity crisis. On one hand, it often wants to be a romantic comedy with a liberal sprinkling of naughty slaptick thrown in for good measure. But despite giving a cursory nod to 'hentai' in its title, the series makes a commendable effort to take the two protagonists beyond their initial basic character designs. As we learn more about Youto and Tsukiko, we realize there's more to them than the stereotypical hormone-driven teen and the expressionless girl, character types often seen in other shows.' -uncaringbear

This anime deserves a Dub!

40 Airy Me

Airy Me

This is a good music video with soft, mysterious music and animation sketch style with great use of camera movement that keeps changing the perspective over the short story.

41 Hokori Inu no Hanashi

Hokori Inu no Hanashi

A short about dogs with an interesting sketch art style and a simple message.

42 Yakusoku


This is a simple short with sketch art that tells a story about life cycles and overcoming sadness, paired with good piano music.

43 Wasureboshi


An interesting short with dreamlike artistic images that tell a story or perhaps a theory about the origins of life.

44 Ace of the Diamond

Ace of the Diamond

This is a notable mention and a difficult show to rate. This show may only appeal to Baseball fans or people who really enjoy sports anime. The story is repetitive of other sports shows about going to The Nationals, however, this show offers the view from the perspective of one of those powerhouses where students live and have at their disposal all the equipment they need, they have to compete for their position on the team with other 2-4 students, the coach takes them out of play with 1-2 errors, etc. Usually, sports shows focus on the underdog team with no resources, so seeing the perspective from one of these powerful teams that often comes as the antagonist in other animes is a welcome view that no other show has done this well.

Unfortunately, the animation is lacking a lot, despite this show being animated by MadHouse, is very low budget, employing mostly panned still frames, lines to imply movement and no movement on backgrounds. On the other hand, the story is able to continue beyond the point other sport shows usually end.

Regarding the story, despite being similar to all other team sports shows, it has creative and realistic plays and great character development, you get to know some really intense characters with valuable insights that make them either succeed or fail at their game.

The voice actors also deserve praise for keeping the flow of the story going despite the lack of animation.

Overall the show is worth your while if you have an interest in sports, especially Baseball. Still, you may want to give it a try for a few episodes to see if they caught your attention, the pacing and progression of the story won't change much of what you see in the beginning so watching the first arc will give you enough of a glimpse to decide if you want to keep going or not.

'technically speaking, this anime is heavily lacking in one very important thing: visual appeal. the animation is mediocre at best, though i understand that in order to produce consistent episodes at the rate they were at the time for the like, 70+ they had, they had to make some sacrifices. still, i feel like the show could have capitalized on its timing better and created better visual content. i honestly felt like i was watching a slideshow half the time. the characters were almost always standing still when they weren't hitting/throwing a ball (even then, those were mostly just still images with some lines to indicate intense movement) or running. i felt like the most camera movement we ever got was a powerpoint transition pan across a field of still characters at like ten frames per second. so basically, to summarize, the animation in daiya no ace is shit.

the story's... tricky to describe. like obviously it's sports and we wanna go to nationals and the seniors are graduating and the main character needs to Get Gud Fast, but there's just so much in between all of that and i honestly can't really complain much about it. it lends itself to the character development of this show, which is honestly the Sole Redeeming Factor of this otherwise average show. but anyway, while the show is just a constant oscillation between games and practice and the rare chill episode, it seldom feels redundant. there's always a new character to focus on, or a new pitch to be learned, or a new fielding trick someone's gonna try, or an injury or enemy or something, so while the entire focus is literally just baseball and you know by the amount of episodes that they win a solid amount of times, you still end up at the edge of your seat for every play because there's always something new to look forward to.

...the characters and their developmental arcs are pretty much the only thing i watch the show for, and they are absolutely worth your time. ' -muistaa

This anime deserves a Dub!

45 Ace of the Diamond: Second Season

Ace of the Diamond: Second Season

Continuation of the story.

46 Ace of the Diamond: Act II

Ace of the Diamond: Act II

Continuation of the story.


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